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37 Comments

  • Douglas Stuart Wilson 4 months ago

    Amazed and disappointed by the number of posters who are pouring cold water on Bella´s fundraising campaign, demonstrating the kind of petty mindedness which risks our very independence. You're not going to win over the 54% who voted NO with "SNP good", every bit as tedious as "SNP bad"...

    Bella is a trailblazer, the first indie site I knew of, and one with an international reputation, which is what I want to emphasize here.

    When I went to cover the Plan B for Europe summit, in Madrid, where I live, for Bella Caledonia, to see Varoufakis speaking, the place was packed to the rafters, and there were no tickets available.

    I went to see if I could get a press pass and told the two women there I was from Bella Caledonia. One of the Spanish women knew Bella Caledonia and told me she frequently reads it. She gave me a pass as a result of that.

    Bella is international, it is broad and intelligent and relishes contradiction and debate. It should not have to justify itself to the moronic world view of the narrow, petty minded SNP supporters who see any criticism in any shape or form as being a "betrayal"....

    ...you SNP supporters should hang your heads in shame. Few have spent as much time and effort for the cause of Scottish indie as Mike Small and his team. If you ever put in the same shift, then maybe I will start engaging with your warped concept of what a healthy indie press should look like...

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    • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

      Thanks Douglas. Amazed we're known in Madrid, that's great!

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      • Douglas Stuart Wilson 4 months ago

        Thanks to you Bella eds, for shining a light...

        ...the beauty of it is that Bella means "beautiful" in Spanish...which is what the press woman said to me that day..."Beautiful Caledonia, I know it.."...she didn't know who Bella Baxter was, so I took advantage to plug Alasdair Gray...Irvine, for his part, is a legend here, by far the best known living Scot.

        So you know, if we are going to talk about the free press in Scotland, in my experience, the site with the biggest international reach is Bella. And that is not an inconsiderable factor, because that is one of the fronts we have to win too...

        Bella is approaching its tenth anniversary if I´m not wrong, and it opened a path and a new discourse in Scottish politics, culture and society in general...hats off to you and Kevin and the team. This should be a time for celebration, not recrimination...

        And by the way, and not least: GGTTH!!!

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    • LesRoches 4 months ago

      I am sorry and have to disagree with you. The Yes group is large and varied. To blame SNP supporters for undermining the fund raising is ludicrous. Bella is a product on the open market that covers aspects of a pro independence debate. I have read many articles on the site and would personally class 30% of what is published as being pertinent to what is happening on that given day...just my view. It is for that reason, I personally choose to fund other ventures. I would like to think that there are enough other people who view it differently from me and support the Bella site and some, I have no doubt some are "Bad SNP" people.

      Good work has been done in the past by many groups, but the debate has now polarized more and while I applaud ideas of all kinds coming from all directions, I take the view, focus has to prevail and priorities set to get a converged message across, not under the banner of one party or one site. The Bella product will stand or fall on whether readers deem what you print to be relevant to them and how this fits into the communication models of other like minded organisations, nothing else. A healthy indie press does not fail to exist because one site fails, the idea is too big for that. The people involved in Bella will not disappear if the site goes, some are very smart and talented, they will evolve and continue in one way or another. When you crowd fund, the crowd decides.

      Don't get bitter, get focused and genuinely, go luck to any group involved in promoting the best idea in town.

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      • Douglas Stuart Wilson 4 months ago

        LesRoches, I agree with your general message, but not about the SNP trolls who have been plaguing Bella for the last few months. And I don´t include all SNP supporters in that, the majority of SNP supporters debate and I have respect for that. Guys like Dave MacCann or Doug Daniels and many others are guys you can debate with and agree or disagree with and we are all the better for it.

        No, I am talking about something quite different, and quite new on Bella - I have been on Bella since it was Mike Small, Kevin Williamson and their dog - which is the non toleration of any pro indie opinion which does not match the SNP party line propagated by a minority of fools who refuse us pro indie non aligned Scots a voice under the charge of something like treason. I am thoroughly fed up with it by now.

        I have total respect for the SNP, I disagree with several of their policies, not least on the monarchy and the currency, but I don´t go onto Newsnet Scotland or Wings to try to undermine their supporters. I just agree to disagree...

        My own personal opinion, and like any personal opinion it is fallible, is that you will not win indie through one single political party. I can´t think of one single country which has won indie in such a way. And given that we need to win the Labour vote to gain independence, then Bella has never been more important in my opinion, because it is the most left wing site, along with Common Space.

        Slainte.

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      • Douglas Stuart Wilson 4 months ago

        I mean LesRoches - I take you to be an SNP supporter, but maybe you´re not - can we actually introduce a wee bit of rigour in the debate?

        You know, it is called political science...which is what I studied at Glasgow Uni...and political science is based in no small way on the methodology of the Scottish Enlightenment. And people like Hume and Kames and Smith and Fergusson actually based many of their political theories on a rigorous study of history, history and comparative analysis, and what has happened in other countries, is the laboratory for the political scientist (though I make no claims to be a political scientist; I´m a film-maker and a translator)

        So, this idea which is peddled, and I´m sure sincerely believed by most SNP supporters, that the quickest route to indie is SNP all the way, come what may...well can maybe one of the SNP´s more articulate supporters enlighten us as to when such a policy worked in any other country which gained independence? I mean, can we have one example? It´s certainly not Ireland and it´s certainly not Norway.

        Is it too much to ask that somebody pro SNP actually explain to us why the SNP are the only route to indie? It would be preferable, and much more stimulating, than just trotting off a pack of hackneyed cliches about "divide and rule" and "we can decide that once we´re independent" and "the SNP are the only way to independence"...

        I say all of this in the best of faith, and there is nobody in the SNP who wants indie more than I do...

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      • DavidW 4 months ago

        "I have read many articles on the site and would personally class 30% of what is published as being pertinent to what is happening on that given day"

        Yes. It's a Sunday magazine rather than a daily newspaper. Not necessarily a bad thing, but imo, what is missing from the alt-media in Scotland and would be well worth funding, is a popular online pro-indy online newspaper similar to the Scotsman website. I think Newsnet Scotland started off as a daily news site but wasn't updated enough. The National exists now, but has an online paywall.

        To me, Bella and Commonspace are identical with the same style and the same readership.
        Now if they combined their resources, maybe Newsnet also, and added a few daily current news stories - there is a good chance of achieving far more prominence than could be achieved separately, especially with Google news syndication.
        Now the Scotsman is a big operation with paid journalists, but even just a couple of factual current stories would make a big difference, and could be achieved from combined resources and maybe your proposed interns or students looking for work experience ?

        The boost in readership from current news would provide more eyeballs to the more thoughtful contributed articles, and there is also the chance of some advertising income.

        Oh - and add upvotes/downvotes/comment sorting. People like interaction and competition.
        Just my 2c.

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        • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

          Thanks - all feedback welcome. We work closely with Common Space and plan to do more of this in the coming year (if we achieve our funding).

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  • Douglas Stuart Wilson 4 months ago

    As for the crowing bunch of ahistorical numpties who deride "the Utopian Left"...can we, again, just cast our minds back in history for a minute? If it wasn´t for the Utopian Left, you would not have a Welfare State, you would not have free health care, you would not have the vote for women, you would not have the end of slavery and the demise of British Imperialism...read your history books before you start sticking the boot into the Utopian Left...

    ...the terrain of the Left is to dream of a better society. That is its duty and its job. Sometimes it bears fruit and sometimes it doesn´t. But it is galling to see so many SNP fanatics - I can think of no other word - who seem to think they got the right to vote because the British Establishment one day decided that it was a good idea...

    Every single right we have, every single one, from the vote to the Welfare State, has been won at huge sacrifice of everyday people who organized under the banner of the radical, Utopian Left, and believe me, one day, hundreds of years from now, somebody will look back at Neo-Liberalism, which is in an acute crisis, and wonder how it was that there was no such thing as a citizen´s income and the right to a roof over your head...

    ...our time is coming.

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  • Douglas Stuart Wilson 4 months ago

    Or my grandad Bobbie MacNaughton who worked in the Hillington factory making engines...and who went on strike in the 50´s I think, and no money on the table for weeks in the family home in Penilee...eh? Who in the SNP has made such a sacrifice as the Scottish working class?

    A poor family with a great library, a family of autodidacts. Bobby´s family cleared from the glens a few decades before, Arrochar, and married my grannie, an Irish immigrant, Peggy., whose parents had come to Scotland fleeing from the London imposed Irish famine...

    And I never met either of them unfortunately, fate had other plans...but for a Catholic like Peggy and a Protestant like Bobby to marry back then was no easy task...I have a photo of them. That, and their message handed down through the years...

    That´s my Scotland...and no bunch of jump-upped Edinburgh lawyers with plumbs in their mooths, a bunch of Burns supper fanatics...Stuart Hosie, say...and "proud to be Scottish by the way"?

    Now and again, aye. When the Edinburgh City Chambers marked the coup against Allende in the City Chambers, with a formal reception, and the Glasgow workers downed their tools in 73 against Pinochet´s coup...then I´m proud to be Scottish, because in the case of Chile say, we are an example to the world. I was proud to be there that night, and proud of Edinburgh, and so pleased we could at least do something to combat "la soledad de ser Chileno"... siempre con Allende...

    The division between the SNP and the Scottish Left could put back indie 100 years. And it is coming from the SNP foot soldiers, not even the leadership, and certainly not from the indie Left...

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  • Derick fae Yell 4 months ago

    Deletion of perfectly polite comments is one, perhaps the biggest, reason I will decline to contribute

    Delete folk that dare to disagree with you, and all that is left is an echo chamber of nothingness

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    • Broadbield 4 months ago

      Agreed. A little less hubris and a little more humility would be good to see.

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      • Douglas Stuart Wilson 4 months ago

        So, Broadbied, there are certain people who write on Bella - who are pro indie - who don´t think like you. Could you explain to me the problem there? As I say above, I am looking forward to some avid poster like yersel - one ae yins who never lets an opportunity go by to put the boot in - to lay out for me the paradigm of Scottish independence through everybody voting for one party. Because, in my limited research of the matter, I cannot find one example in the history of the world which would back up such a strategy. Can you maybe enlighten me? If you cannay, hud yer wheesht man.

        I can tell you how the Irish did and the Norwegians did it. And it wasnay through one party...

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  • Douglas Stuart Wilson 4 months ago

    And Stuart Hosie, we´ve just seen what he´s made of eh? Put a pair of tits in front of him, and it´s all over. Is it fair? No. Is it right? Not especially. But the fact is he is down there representing Scotland, and this wanna be actress / journalist - one line biography, fifteen glamour photos on her webpage - comes along and flashes her eyes, and "proud to be Scottish" melts away and disappears like an early morning haar...

    ...amateurs, naive and foolish and emotionally retarded males who probably never experienced the real world ...and who claim to be patriots. Well, what kind of patriots are these?

    And "it´s a personal matter". Well, I'm sorry, it's not. These people make their living by putting themselves in front of TV cameras. So, you know, you can't do that and pick and choose when the cameras focus on you... that's not how it works.

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    • Julia Gibb 4 months ago

      This is the path Bella has chosen. It aligns itself with the extreme left and it's supporters who are willing to use gutter politics in attacking the individuals private life which is totally unrelated to his politics, effort or contribution.

      A disgraceful post unworthy of further comment.

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  • LesRoches 4 months ago

    In my humble opinion, political science, will not win us independence. It will be the economy. This is the only battleground, the money trail. Either we can stand on our own feet and pay our own way or not. Political science means jack.
    I live in France, a republic through choice and will return home if or when we are independent. Sometimes it pays to live outside the bubble and live in other countries, which I have, and see how they operate.
    Despite your comments, I choose to spend my money where I think it best, I suspect many reading your response to mine may well choose not to assist Bella, not because of my reply but yours. Bella's loss.
    To close, I thank the editor for his balanced reply and wish him and venture well.

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    • Douglas Stuart Wilson 4 months ago

      Les, I have total respect for your decision to spend your money where you wish. That is your prerogative. And you are not one of the brainless types who comes on with a two line put down, which is why I would exchange comments with you, but not them....

      But dinnay tell yer granny tae sook eggs. I´ve been living in Madrid since 1992, with two years back for the referendum, when I was fortunate enough to make a lot of good friends, many in the SNP, many of whom donate to this site and write for this site. I have no problem with the SNP. What I have a problem with is group thinking. I cannay hack it. That´s my manner of being. And most of us on the Left are like that...we cannay help it...we are semi anarchists...

      ...as for Bella, well, again, that´s your decision and they don´t need hauners frae the likes o me. You have a political journalist star like Lesley Ridoch, and you know, for Lesley alone, I would donate. But it´s up to you.

      Nobody in Spain is likely to know who the Rev is. And good luck to him in his acute demolition of the lies peddled in the MSM, which he does so well. But when he gets to putting across his points of view, there we part...so what? He's a Minister ae the Kirk after all. And it being Scotlandshire, he has his flock. Who am I to undermine the fervent and fanatical preachings of the Rev, whose words are lapped up by the beguiled faithful just as much as those of Billy Graham were back in his day...? Scottish tradition, ipso facto, good thing, according to the Nats...

      People have to decide whatever they want, I'm sure we can agree about that.

      Slainte.

      DSW

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  • Phantom Power 4 months ago

    What a pile of shite comments. I'm glad you all live in Madrid and France.

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    • John 4 months ago

      Touché !

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  • DavidW 4 months ago

    @Douglas Wilson

    In my view, independence is likely to be won through the centre and not the 'utopian left', regardless of the parties involved.
    I think the SNP was right to take a moderate, social democratic approach, and it wasn't helpful to be attacked from those who were seen as allies in the YES cause.
    Looking at the election results, the SNP did well in traditional Labour territory, but their vote went down in rural and wealthy areas. It seems like the gap in Scottish politics is on the indy right, not the indy left. The aspirational vote rather than the protest vote.

    I think part of the problem is those who only want independence on their terms, rather than for the wider principle of self determination.
    LesRoches makes a good point above regarding the economy. Are we going to win independence if centre ground voters see an independent Scotland as some kind of high tax, anti-business place?

    eg I see England has just approved fracking. Now what happens if it is done safely and is a big success, and it improves their economy.. making Scotland look relatively poorer as a result ?
    Personally I am open to the evidence here, but instead all we see on the left is a closed mindset. Perhaps there is a middle ground with the offshore coal gasification ?
    What if it turns out Scotland could be self-sufficient in methane gas for hundreds of years ?
    Surely that would surely make independence a bit easier to vote for ?

    I hope Bella does well with the fundraising though. These are all issues we have to discuss, and we need a wide range of viewpoints.

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    • Douglas Stuart Wilson 4 months ago

      DavidW, thanks.

      The SNP were not attacked during the referendum campaign by anybody I can think of in the Scottish Left. There was a kind of omerta, and almost all of us on the Left respected the need for unity in the run up to 18S.

      But you can´t expect that to last for ever. a) It's not healthy and b) we need vigorous debate, because, in debating, you maybe discover things. That, at least, is what Socrates said, that is one of the fundamental assumptions of the Western philosophical tradition: the Socratic dialectic. So, any idea to shut debate down, I oppose - and I'm not saying you are arguing for a shut down on the debate by the way.

      Plus, the SNP have some truly awful policies. It´s culture policy is shocking, for example, and as a film-maker, like so many other film-makers, you have to leave Scotland to work. Recession racked Spain has more money for film per capita than Scotland which lacks three fundamental things to have what could be considered a film industry: a) a studio, b) an independent Scottish broadcaster and c) a stand alone film agency. The SNP could remedy two of these things with one stroke of a pen, and wage a war for the third, which is to say a fully autonomous Scottish publicly funded TV channel, instead of the pathetic BBC Scotland. Why don't they do it?

      Scottish film-makers have repeatedly made this point to Fiona Hyslop, but nothing happens....why? What is the problem with Fiona Hyslop's hearing? Why does she not look at the examples of countries like Denmark or Catalonia and try to come up with a sustainable model for a thriving Scottish film industry? It's not rocket science, and anybody who knows the industry could explain it in twenty minutes...but we get this non-response...

      As for the Utopian Left, my point is that the Left has often contributed ideas indirectly, which later become mainstream. My need a space for progressive thinking outside of the SNP party machine. RISE is clearly trying to imitate Podemos, but of course Podemos had the mass mobilization of the 15M to draw on, and RISE did not have that. I don't know if it's a party or a think-tank we need. In any case, I like some of the stuff coming out of Commonweal / Commonspace.

      Slainte.

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      • Onwards 4 months ago

        Douglas - You obviously don't live here, because there was certainly a lot of SNP bashing especially in the final few weeks. And vice versa. Parties were in competition with each other.

        But despite the equal prominence given here, RISE got 0.5% of the vote. SNP got 46.5% yet lost their majority. When both parties are bashing each other it is the SNP that has the most to lose. At least through voter discouragement.

        During the indyref organisations like RIC did a great job in getting out the vote - but that was for Scottish independence. When the focus of the left was to campaign for RISE and Solidarity, with many of their supporters having a go at the SNP for not raising tax enough, then the result was voters staying at home. And it made little sense when the SNP is spending a fortune to alleviate Tory austerity policies.

        We have to deal in reality here. Labour proposed higher taxes and it went down like a lead balloon. The same as when the SNP tried it with their 'penny for Scotland'.

        If there is a second referendum, then perhaps many of the people who don't normally vote can be encouraged to do so out of patriotism alone and getting shot of the Tories - not the promise of a high tax socialist utopia with handouts all round.

        Scotland just isn't as left wing as many people think. Even this week there was a poll with a small majority in favour of Trident.

        Agree with you on the film studio though. Long overdue.

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        • Douglas Stuart Wilson 4 months ago

          Onwards, when you refer to "SNP bashing" - I understand that to be a general term, of your usage and coinage, to describe those of us who happen to be critical of certain SNP policies. And I am not going to apologize for being critical of certain SNP policies, and I am beginning to dislike the SNP supporter superiority complex....you guys borrowed 15% of the vote of the Scottish Left to get in touching distance of indie. Instead of recognition, we get invective and contempt...

          Maybe we should just get back to the agenda of the international Left, which is fighting for the weak against the powerful, wherever that happens to take place.

          You guys, carry on with your dream of indie, but without the Scottish Left, you will never, ever, achieve it...believe me, the chances of an indie Scotland without the Scottish Left on board are precisely zero.

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          • Onwards 4 months ago

            I hear you, but I think the vast majority in Scotland are moderate left social democrats - the type of folks who are more attracted by populist SNP policies than the tax raising, anti-business, protest politics of RISE or the Greens.

            Independence support ended up at 45% during the referendum, and yes, that included support from many of those who never usually vote. But that wasn't enough to compensate for NO support in the centre ground, by those terrified of higher taxes and economic risks.

            The 15% of the left wing vote that you say the SNP or the YES campaign 'borrowed' didn't come out at this election and vote for RISE or Solidarity. They weren't interested. So chances are at a future referendum these people would come out and vote for patriotism alone.
            And we could work towards making it less scary for those in the centre.

            I personally think the pride/self-respect argument for independence was underplayed as a whole.

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  • Frank Wright 4 months ago

    Before funding Bella again, I would like to see more detail about how the editorial procedure operates. As you may guess, I was made aware of this when James Kelly tried to publish, here on Bella, his analysis - in an unaltered form - about voting options and their consequences prior to the holyrood election. We all recognise diversity in the IndyRef movement and we should protect that. I hope that a clear procedure for publishing submitted articles from recognised pro-Indy contributers can be outlined.

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    • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

      Hi Frank,
      thanks for supporting us in the past, and hope you will again.

      We published James Kelly's piece on voting options after he requested this.

      As for process we are open to submissions and then accept or reject ideas on their merit.

      We frequently work with the writer in dialogue to improve or refine their ideas.

      This doesn't mean that we will just publish anything submitted, because that would mean a drop in standards.

      In that sense this is not an 'open forum' like, say, Indymedia, but an edited space open to ideas.

      In the past ten years we have published tens of hundreds of writers both new and well established who's ideas we think are interesting or challenging, not all of which we agreed with.

      I hope this answers your question, if it doesn't let us know.

      Thanks

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      • Frank Wright 4 months ago

        Thanks for your reply.

        It is not my wish to re-open the discussion of the details of the James Kelly's article on voting. I'd prefer to talk more generally about how, in future, to deal with a topic that is very important to the pro-independence community but about which there is substantial disagreement. This is particularly important when the topic is one that exposes differences between the view of Green & RISE supporters and the view of SNP supporters.

        I am happy that the bulk of the material on Bella Caledonia is subject to some refining. However, when a contentious issue appears, I suggest that the Bella Caledonia website should have a place where an unedited article for each side of the argument is published. So perhaps a section called "both sides of the debate". Bella Caledonia posters could be asked to suggest topic(s). This would be a useful mechanism of drawing together the various sides of the YES community.

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  • Almannysbunnet 4 months ago

    The labour party made the mistake of blaming the voters for their ills. Going by some of the posters here the same mistake is being made about Bella's dip in crowdfund contributors. They're not going to get far by blaming the customer for not buying their stuff.

    I support independence and contribute my pounds to WGD, Bella, Wings, Ponsonby, Bateman etc. because I strongly believe that we need these sites to counter the corporate media. Leading up to May something changed on Bella that had me staring at the screen and wondering. Just a gut feeling that something was not right. I don't mind a few home truths and a bit of uncomfortable reading but it felt like that Bella lost site of the prize. I stopped enjoying what I was reading. It sounds like I was not alone.
    I want your site to succeed but you have created a perception problem that needs to be fixed and fast. I wish I had the answer but I don't. I wish you good luck and I may contribute to your crowdfunder but at the moment I genuinely can't decide. Bit of a ramble but that's how I tend to write.

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  • Archie Hamilton 4 months ago

    As regards the crowd funding it is entirely possible that I missed a guiding article about your future plans and if that is the case then by all means point me in the right direction. Aside from that however I'd want to see some detail before making any decision.

    In the past I've enjoyed a percentage of the articles and probably enough that I'd like to see it continue regardless of whether I agree with the content. However more recently there has been just a little too much tit for tat back biting and to be honest searching for the nuggets of common ground and interest for the way forward is becoming tedious.

    We're unlikely to see a referendum being held within the next 5 years and maybe 10 or more if some degree of calm and focus doesn't decend within the various pro factions.

    I've read statements elsewhere, with which I disagree, critical of the "intellectual" element of BC but as a fairly pragmatic person I do think that some of the criticisms regarding "utopian" aims for the future have a degree of truth

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    • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

      Dear Archie
      thanks for the comment, there's a fair amount of detail on the crowd fund website here:

      https://igg.me/at/Z-T8yEXM-Hc/x/4989065

      We think we have a fair amount of focus and strategy for development that we outline on the Indiegogo page but we'll be publishing more over the next week.

      We also outlined a sample of some of the range of writers we have published in recent years:

      Our main aim is to help democratise the media by creating a space for new writers and new voices. Here’s just some of those we’ve published since 2007:

      A. Balharry, A.R. Frith, Abdelaziz Almashi, Adam Ramsay, Adam Weymouth, Adrian Girling, Adrian Martinez, Adrian Searle, Agnieszka Karasiewicz, Aideen McLaughlin, Alan Bisset, Alan McCombes, Alan McIntosh, Alan Smart, Alasdair Mac Gill-eain, Alasdair Nicholson, Alastair Hulbert, Alastair McIntosh, Alda Sigmundsdóttir, Alec Finlay, Alex Bell, Alex Grant, Alex Mooney, Alex Renton, Alex Thomson, Alexandra MacRae, Alf Baird, Alistair Davidson, Alistair Grant, Alistair Heather, Alistair Livingston, Allan Armstrong, Allan Grogan, Allan Whyte, Alyn Smith, An t-Ollamh Ùisdean MacIllInnein, Andrew Anderson, Andrew Barr, Andrew Eaton-Lewis, Andrew Gardiner, Andrew Giles, Andrew Hardie, Andrew O’Hagan, Andrew Whitaker, Andy Muirhead, Andy Wightman, Angela Haggerty, Angharad Tomo, Angus MacLeod, Angus McFaddyen, Anna Arqué i Solsona, Anna McFarlane, AnneMarie Ward, Anni Donaldson, Annie Mackay, Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul, Archie McKay, Arthur Cormack, Ashley Thompson, Athanasios Georgilas, Bailey Hicks, Barrastinian, Basharat Khan, Ben Murray, Ben Wray, Benoit Renaud, Bernadette McAliskey, Bernard Thompson, Bill Boyd, Bill Kidd, Bill Ramsay, Bill Wilson, Billy Kay, Billy Noland, Blair Jenkins, Bob Hamilton, Bonnie Prince Bob, Bram E Gieben, Brian Beadie, Brian Davey, Brian Holton, Brian Quail, Bruno Diaz, Bryan Beattie, Bryce Milligan, Caitlin O’Hara, Callum Baird, Callum McCormick, Calum Cashley, Calum Miller, Calum Stuart, Carla Sassi, Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero, Carol Ann Duffy, Carole Ewart, Carolyn Leckie, Cat Boyd, Cath Ferguson, Catherine Happer, Catriona Maclean, Cecilia Ballesteros, Charlotte Du Cann, Chloe Burges, Chris Bamberry, Chris Cairns, Chris Erskine, Christian Wright, Christian Wulff, Christie Williamson, Christine Hamilton, Christopher Harvie, Christopher Silver, Christos Galanis, Ciaran Healy, Clancy McMahon, Clare Ferguson, Clare Galloway, Clare MacGillivray, Coco, Colin Fox, Colin Kirkwood, Conor Cheyne, Craig Murray, Craig Paterson, D.J. MacLennan, Daibhidh Rothach, Daniel Mittler, David Eyre, David Graeber, David Greig, David Officer, Deirdre Forsyth, Deirdre Shaw, Derek Bateman, Derek Wall, Dervla Murphy, Des O’Sullivan, Dòmhnall Iain Dòmhnallach, Dominic Hinde, Dominyka Bačanskaitė, Donald Adamson, Donald Urquhart, Doug Daniel, Doug the Dug, Dougald Hine, Dougie Strang, Douglas Alexander (yes really), Douglas Robertson, Douglas Stuart Wilson, Iain MacKinnon, Dr Liza Morton, Dr Oonagh Williamson, Wilson McLeod, E.S. Sandberg, Elaine C Smith, Elaine Morrison, Elaine Mulcahy, Ellenor Hutson, Ellie Dooks, Em Strang, Emily Macintosh, Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, Ewan Crawford, Ewan Morrison, Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh, Fiona Hyslop, Fiona MacGregor, Fiona MacInnes, Flora Napier, Fran Higson, Frances Lengel, Fraser MacDonald, Fraser Stewart, Fuad Alakbarov, Gar Alpervitz, Gary Dunion, George Gunn, George Rosie, Gerry Hassan, Gerry Loose, Gillian Cummings, Grace Murray, Graeme Purves, Grant Thoms, Greg Moodie, Gregor Gall, Gus Abrams, Haniya Khalid, Hannah McGill, Hannah Wallace, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Hazel Frew, Helen Wright, Henry Bell, Hsiao-Hung Pai Huas, Iain Heggie, Iain Macwhirter, Ian Bell, Ian Brotherhood, Idrees Ahmad, Irvine Welsh, Ishbel Flett, Isobel Lindsay, Ivan McKee, Jack Foster, Jackie Kay, James Kelman, James Maxwell, James McEnaney, James Meadway, Jamie Heckert, Jamie Szymkowiak, Janie Nicoll, Jannica Honey, Jay Griffiths, Jayne Calderwood, Jean Urquhart, Jean-Francois Joubert, Jen Stout, Jennifer Dempsie, Jenny Lindsay, Jenny McKiernan, Jessie McLaughlin, Jim and Margaret Cuthbert, Jim Monaghan, Jim Sillars, Jim Slaven, Jo Clifford, Joan McAlpine, John Aberdein, John McAllion, John S Warren, Johnny Gailey, Jonathan Mackie, Jonathan Rimmer, Jonathan Rowson, Jonathon Shafi, Jordan Daly, Joyce McMillan, Julia Macintosh, Juliet Swan, Justin Kenrick, Karen Campbell, Karen Emslie, Kate Gallogly-Swan, Kate Higgins, Kate Samuel, Katherine Trebeck, Kathleen Jamie, Katie Mackenzie, Kevin McKenna, Kevin Williamson, Kimberley Cadden, Kirsten Han, Kirsten Stirling, Kirsty McAlpine, Kirsty Strickland, Lallands Peat Worrier, Lang Banks, Laura Cameron Lewis, Leanne Wood, Leigh French, Lesley Docksey, Lesley Riddoch, Liam O’Hare, Liam Stevenson, Loki, London Clay, Lorraine Fannin, Louise Ramsay, Lucy Conway, Lynn Hancock, Maggie Chapman, Maggie Mellon, Magnus Jamieson, Mairi Campbell-Jack, Mairi McFadyen, Malachy Tallack, Mandy Meikle, Marc Savlov, Margaret Woods, Mark Buckland, Mark Cousins, Mary Ann Kennedy, Mary Church, Matthew Fitt, Maya Wind, Mayte Carrasco, Meaghan Delahunt, Mhairi McAlpine, Mhairi McGregor, Mhairi McLellan, Michael Gardiner, Michael Gray, Michael Greenwell, Michael Hance, Michel Bauwens, Mike Small, Moira Dalgetty, Moira Kinross, Murdo Macdonald, Nathan Sparling, Neal Ascherson, Neil Cooper, Neil Davidson, Neil Gray, Niki Seth-Smith, Nine, Pasta and Chips, Pat Kane, Patrick Scott Hogg, Paul Mason, Peter Arnott, Peter Burnett, Peter Geoghegan, Peter McColl, Peter Ramand, Petra Reid, Petrie Hosken, Phantom Power, Phil Mac Giolla Bhain, Poppy Kohner, Prof Jim Gallagher, R. Eric Swanepoel, Rachel McCormack, Rachel Ormston, Ray Bell, Ray Burnett, Rebecca Nada-Rajah, Robert J Somynne, Robin McAlpine, Rona Dhòmhnallach, Roseanne Watt, Rosie Kane, Ruairidh MacÌomhair, Ruairidh MacIver, Ruth Wishart, Saffron Dickson, Sara Sheridan, Scott Hames, Shaun Burnie, Sheena Blackhall, Sigrun Davidsdottir, Simon Barrow, Smári McCarthy, Sophie Cooke, Stan Blackley, Stephen Paton, Stewart Bremner, Stuart Christie, Stuart Cosgrove, Sue Wilson, Suki Sangha, Susan Pettie, Svenja Meyerricks, Talat Yaqoob, Tammas Clark, Vonny Moyes, William Mohieddeen, Zara Kitson.

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  • SheenaJ 4 months ago

    I have contributed to your crowdfunder and I value Bella along with Wings, Scotgoespop, wee ginger dug, indyref2 etc. the list goes on thankfully.

    However, I am very frustrated with you all just now for seemingly working in competition with one another and creating competition between the pro-Indy parties. This is so childish, and Scotland has a history of descending into in-fighting which will please the unionists no end. Those of you who edit the new YES websites have a responsibility to act like adults and to understand that undermining each other just serves to fragment and demoralise the Independence movement.

    Bella's strategy seems to be a mixed bag now. I come here because it used to be a pro-Indy website, but it seems now that the priority is no longer Independence but the promotion of left-wing views and parties, even if this is to the detriment and destruction of the Independence movement as a whole.

    If the priority is to hold the SNP to account, then it must be understood that at this stage in our history this is a destructive thing to do. The only party which can deliver Independence is the SNP. Yes, the smaller pro-Indy parties are needed too, but they are needed in a loose co-operative arrangement, not in a destructive one, because once the SNP starts to lose popularity, then the Independence dream recedes.

    This site and Commonspace have a lot to answer for in joining the British media in SNP bashing. Already we see the damage this has caused. Don't you think the SNP has enough enemies already without you joining in? Set out your stall by all means but this petty competitiveness makes us all lose out.

    What is your top priority Bella? If it is no longer Independence then please say so. If it is promoting Rise, holding the SNP to account etc. to the detriment of Independence then please say so. Then we know where we stand.

    However, if Independence is your top priority, then you need to make some changes. You need to get over your hatred and disputes with other pro-Indy sites and start working in a positive way again towards rebuilding our movement.

    We have to win the general will for Independence before we announce the next referendum, there is so much work to be done. However, if you keep producing the divisive articles have been, then you must realise you are contributing towards losing another referendum and you must understand that that is why people are hesitant to support you this time round.

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    • John 4 months ago

      Couldn't agree more !

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      • Monty 4 months ago

        somebody has to hold the SNP to account or support for them will slowly slip away. The party seem to be belatedly trying to address the criticisms over education and perhaps the appointment of two ministers means they are going to try to rise to the challenge of using new economic powers. What Scottish politics needs is new ideas and these have to come from outside the small SNP elite, or at least no sign so far of the SNP generating these, and Bella has played an important role in this.

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  • Julia Gibb 4 months ago

    I'm afraid that I will no longer contribute to Bella. The site has gone from a high percentage of quality articles to a few of the old standard.
    When you get back to the old format I'll help again.
    You have made the choice to become the forum for the minority parties rejected by the public.
    A different view is always welcome but don't expect my support when you attack my choice of party to pursue Independence.
    As with the MSM I expect the income and readership will continue to nose dive.
    It is a great pity that my once site of choice has become the home for a narrow minority of the Independence movement.

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    • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

      Hi Julia
      our readership isn't dipping, its thriving and we arent allied to any one party. Here's three senior SNP MSPs who disagree with you:

      "One of the great things to come out of IndyRef was the diversity of new media, and 2 years on much of it is still going strong. Bella was one of the first, and continues to publish great content on a wide range of topics.You might not agree with everything they say, but you’d miss them if they weren’t there. Don’t waste your money on the Dead Tree Press, give it to Bella!”
      – Ivan McKee, SNP MSP

      “Bella Caledonia was a trailblazer for independent online media in Scotland. Now we have a plurality of sparky blogs and netzines focussed on Scotland and its future. It has not always been so. Bella was one of the first and, for a while, one of the few to offer a cultured, left of centre, pro-indie space to dream, protest….and plan. While I don’t agree with everything it publishes, I am forever glad it was there at the beginning, opening a door which many others rushed through. Now it has competitors, which reflects the health of the democratic debate. But we cannot take such intellectual diversity for granted. Editing a magazine whether online or in print requires stamina and imagination to ensure some kind of consistent quality – and keep up those page views. It also requires money…so I warmly endorse the latest fundraiser. ”
      – Joan McAlpine MSP, journalist and Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament for the South Scotland region.

      "As the referendum showed Scotland needs new media outlets. Getting an alternative message out there is more vital than ever. The mainstream medias is diminishing fast and new voices are needed not just to raise but to champion issues. Bella offers that and should supported."
      - Kenny MacAskill, former Justice Secretary

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  • Christopher Harvie 4 months ago

    I have sent you a lengthy polemic, stressing the 'old Labour' priority of reindustrialising Scotland, but in a new eco-hi-tech way that follows the priorities of leading European regions. A country with less than ten percent of its GDP in manufacture isn't going to survive. Nor will a country without its publicly-owned savings banks, the promotion of measures of land nationalisation and technical education, and the rigorous control of the financial sector.

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  • M Cochrane 4 months ago

    Do you publish your site statistics? Where can we see them?

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