independence – self-determination – autonomy

Backing Bella 2016

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46 Comments

  • Jock Tamson 4 months ago

    When Bella starts actually working for Scottish Independence then we'll dig deep.
    So far you have failed to prove your independentista credentials, siding as you do with the (non) Greens and the terribly interesting and incredibly divisive rag-bag of self-exploding non-electable middle-class Trots.
    Anything in fact, except to support the vehicle which has got us where we are right now.
    all your fancy words and commentary and wonderful diversity is simply a distraction and a dilution of effort, whether intentional or not.
    RIght now, any rational observer would be hard-pushed to regard Bella as a true friend of the Scots working-class.

    Let's see some more focussed output and less whining from the unelectables and then you'll see some money.

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    • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

      Fancy words?

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      • John 4 months ago

        For someone who is asking people to put their hands into their pockets to support you , you sir, are pretty condescending !.

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    • Onwards 4 months ago

      I'm happy with Bella to provide a platform for a wide range of voices, but we should remember that the SNP got around 7 times the votes of Greens/RISE/Solidarity combined. (And that many of these votes were tactical votes)

      So not every opinion deserves equal prominence if the site has a campaigning purpose.
      It's important to think strategically. IMO, independence will only be won when most average Scots in the centre ground aren't scared of the economic consequences of independence.
      I think most academic thinking should be focused around that, and how to grow our economy. To that end, the protest politics and the anti-business / anti-infrastructure stance of the Greens could be counter-productive to the goal of winning independence.

      Bella seems to have a more balanced and less strident approach recently - a big improvement. I hope your fundraiser goes well. Everyone has disagreements as to the best approach, but we all have the same ultimate aim.

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  • M Cochrane 4 months ago

    Do you publish site statistics?

    Where can we see them?

    TIA

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    • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

      Hi - we don't routinely but happy to publish a summary of the last year or more.

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    • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

      Hi G Kirk, you asked for some stats.

      Individual blog posts vary greatly from about 5000 to 30000 readers per article.

      Our most read article had over 250,000 readers, our best ever month had over 1 million readers.

      In one week in January 2016 we had 130,207 views.

      We have 45 k followers on Twitter and our Facebook group has 12.5k members.

      Hope this is helpful.

      Thanks

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  • John Page 4 months ago

    Hi Bella
    This month's pension in the bank and have transferred a small amount extra in addition to my monthly sub. Please keep up the good work.
    John Page

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  • G Kirk 4 months ago

    I find the articles on Bella thought provoking and I'm happy to support it. It's important to have other sources of news and comment than the tired mainstream.

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    • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

      Thanks

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  • Bawbag No1 4 months ago

    Apparently Bella has virtually no readers but managed to change the course of Scottish Parliament 2016 election. Which is it? Neither.

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  • david kelly 4 months ago

    It seems that Bella has failed the test for many who want to live in an SNP monoculture. Personally I think we will only achieve independence through diversity not unthinking obedience.

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  • Angus MacCuish 4 months ago

    As per Jock, stop mucking about in the bushes and get behind the SNP.

    Only the SNP will deliver independence for the Scottish people, yes others must have a voice to provide guidance, but splitting the vote at elections will not lead us to freedom!

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    • fi mcnab 4 months ago

      united we stand, divided we fall

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    • David Allan 4 months ago

      I don't hear Nicola shouting from the rooftops about the BAE Frigate situation, now that for me is a "material change" the SNP Leadership (unelected Peter Murrell)continue to demonstrate a lack of backbone.
      To campaign to remain in the EU when they told us to get stuffed is incredulous. If brexit occurs good as it's an obstacle removed from Indy2. A referendum that likely will require the Greens to propose. As for the summer campaign to re-ignite the Independence Debate - don't hold your breath.

      Remain in EU you get TTiP . probably GM Crops(Monsanto) no chance of future Rail Nationalisation in Scotland, likely privatisation of Scottish Water and the SNHS.

      And if no brexit and our own Independence comes about we will be kicked out of EU anyway.

      Bella you are a vital link in the wider Indy Movement if we have to depend on the SNP alone Indy will never happen. I will donate on Monday.

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      • Douglas 4 months ago

        So, David Allan, you think we're not going to get TTIP outwith the EU? We're going to get much worse than TTIP, TTIP with a vengeance, with Boris as PM....huh? The question on the ballot paper is not "Do you like the EU"? Or "Would you rather live in a social democracy?". Ask yourself three questions: who has called the referendum? Why have they called it? And What will they do if they win it?

        If Leave wins, you guys are going to be drowned in a shit-tide of red white and blue. You'll be begging for boring Brussels within months....

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        • DavidAllan 4 months ago

          So you accept the inevitability of continued Tory rule . In or out of EU. SNP campaign to remain in EU the same EU that if an INDY 2 is won will kick us out! We can best challenge tory miss-rule within the Westminster system. Directives from EU will continue to benefit big business their lobbyists in Brussels ensure that isn't going to change. TTiP delivered by Westminster can be challenged in the UK election process you dont get that opportunity to reject something agreed by Brussels. Its about democracy. Surrendered to easily to Brussels Capitalist Ideology. Out of EU will enhance devolution with likely additional power over Fisheries and Agriculture. The SNP should continue the gradulist path. Remain in EU when we will be kicked out anyway on Indy is tacticaly flawed.

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      • Onwards 4 months ago

        Gaining independence after a Brexit would be far harder. The EU guarantees freedom of trade. Without that, a second Project Fear will be twice as bad.

        And Scotland exports more to the EU per person, and gains from EU redistribution to rural areas. Tourism would take a hit too. Do you think a right wing Tory UK government will deliver the same level of EU spending to Scotland?

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        • DavidAllan 4 months ago

          Your arguement surely would further strenghen the Independence case!

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    • David Allan 4 months ago

      I've supported Independence for 40 plus years , back in these early days the prospect of all but 3 MP's would have delivered Independence.

      Do you seriously believe that the SNP will do equally well next time round. Now we have a million plus votes for Holyrood , we have Westminster signalling to BAE that Frigate Build will be delayed we have PFI Schools Collapsing ( cancel Contracts ) and the Stronger for Scotland team are silent. The SNP no longer attempt to articulate the case for Independence.

      My believe that they alone will deliver Independence is diminishing fast.

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  • David Allan 4 months ago

    With all their new resources why havn't the SNP created their own Media Version of Bella ? Now that would indicate a recognition that they need to create a forum a voice not provided by the MSM.

    Will that ever occur why are the SNP "Happy Clappies" not presurising the SNP to do so, instead of voicing their frustration in Bella's direction.

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    • Davey M 4 months ago

      Perhaps because the SNP's job is to be a political party and not a media organisation.

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      • DavidAllan 4 months ago

        Its an Independence movement it masquarades as a political party. If its going to deliver independence and it's supporters need to be given every opportunity to promote the debate. The MSM are not going to help so create their own media . Its about marketing ! Look at America its all marketing.

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    • Crubag 4 months ago

      The SNP are a tightly controlled party - for MPs/MSPs this means maintaining discipline and voting the party line whatever your or your constituents views are on fracking, higher rate tax etc.

      It has its strengths - less biting one another, in public at least.

      At party member level, that means no direct input into policy making - this isn't the Green party.

      So an official party discussion forum isn't needed.

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  • Bibbit 4 months ago

    I've been tempted to give to Bella in last month many times but then I just have to see those 31 smug tory MSPs, like Prof Tomkins, and I get very angry at Bella. Prof Tomkins talks shite about the Named Person bill being 'intrusive' whilst his tory party instigates the Snooper's Charter without a raised eyebrow from him or his Scots Tories. I can't help feeling that Bella played right into Yoon hands by urging Scots that a second vote for the SNP was wasted and to use their 2nd vote for anyone to the left of the SNP, as the SNP were going to gain all constituency seats. Great plan, Bella. How did that work out again. Meanwhile you vilified 'Wings' & Rev Stu Campbell, who predicted precisely how many constituency seats would not got to the SNP and that every 2nd SNP vote was vital. You did the Yoons job for them.

    When I listened to Chris Grayling, Question Time, 9th June 2016, crowing (wrongly) that the SNP support had gone down in the last Scots election and therefore support for Indy had gone down in Scotland, I again thought about Bella, and how your site had helped to bring this false propaganda about. I think Bella has a lot more humble pie to eat before Scots who want independence can find it in them not to feel angry and forgive you for your naked self-interest. It wasn't a case of Scotland first, it was a case of 'me first'. Well, hell mend you, boy, hell mend you, as I have to listen to that deranged & poisonous Tomkins for the next 5 years!

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    • Monty 4 months ago

      think you are grossly over estimating the influence of Bella. In reality more the fault of the SNP talking up Indy ref 2 and getting a lot of unionists to vote Tory.

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      • Bibbit 4 months ago

        Er, it was the Ruth Davidson Party which never stopped banging on about a second Indyref.

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      • Crubag 4 months ago

        I think the SNP have calculated they have more to lose than gain by campaigning for a second referendum, for the moment at least.

        It wasn't a central plank of the manifesto, and the summer offensive seems to have been derailed by someone taking their bra off.

        As for BC giving space to Greens and RISE, it's Mike's site, but I don't think that has made any difference to the numbers. Weren't RISE buried by the Scottish Christian Party?

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    • DavidAllan 4 months ago

      So to censor Bella Caledonia is the way to broaden the Independence debate. The fact that you are able to express your opinion is the reason sites like Bella require to be supported. The Better Together Camp would love to see Bella fold.

      Think on that for a moment.

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  • Ronnie Morrison 4 months ago

    Interesting comments which illustrate that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. But surely that’s journalism – if you want a regular tunnel visioned party peon then read the National. I think the SNP is seriously flawed by its new practice of suppressing internal controversy instead of arguing it in a democratic forum. Such matters seldom reach the Conference agenda nowadays.
    The Party has a Members Page which invites policy input from members. Provided they are decent, clean and uncontroversial they get published. But when I suggested they had better get a sensible debate about the currency and pensions under independence well – as you might imagine, totally ignored. There is no point in another referendum until the flaws that were exposed the last time are well & truly sorted out. I fear that rather than face that reality the SNP prefers to enjoy their new life within the UK Political Establishment bubble.
    That can only be rectified by grassroots pressure stoked up by the same grass rooters who made them what they are – if not what they have become. The SNP is still our best vehicle to achieve independence but it is up to the YES Registry and the alternative media to prick the bubble.

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    • David Allan 4 months ago

      Alas I fear the SNP obsession with suppressing internal debate is in the DNA of the party many have tried to prick the bubble and found themselves alienated branded troublemakers.

      I would suggest the only way forward is the creation of a new Independence Party to serve up an alternative brand of Scottish Politics a party who will embrace the views and ideas of it's membership. Or the SNP needs to split driven by the grassroots those yessers whose effort influenced the 45.

      The SNP delivered the referendum there is a growing realisation they may not be capable of delivering Independence.

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      • Onwards 4 months ago

        It's for the Scottish people to deliver independence. I think the SNP is the best chance to get us another referendum.

        A 'pure' independence party on the list may well have picked up more tactical votes in Glasgow and the West. A lot of SNP supporters just didn't trust the Greens. Not just on independence, but on blocking every business-friendly policy in the Scottish parliament.

        The problem is that tactical list voting in certain regions only is a complicated message. In the recent Holyrood election there a pretty low turnout and widespread complacency - not helped by those repeatedly giving the message that SNP constituency seats were in the bag.

        I think many YES voters wanted the best of both worlds. An SNP majority and an increase in pro-indy politicians from the smaller parties. Unfortunately that was a big gamble to take, and a referendum within the next 5 years is now dependent on Patrick Harvie and a party for whom independence isn't their #1 aim.

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      • David Francis 4 months ago

        David, I honestly believe you need to get a better grip of reality in Scotland.
        There is, and will continue to be for many, many years ahead, only ONE Party which is capable of delivering Independence and that is the Party which garnered 50% of the popular vote in the GE and 47% in the Scottish Election - the SNP.

        Without the SNP, there is absolutely NO Independence Movement worth the name - no matter how much the Greens or the more Left Wing Parties are talked up.

        Those are merely incidental, fringe contributors up here.

        The vast majority of the Scottish Pro-Indy public only really recognise, listen to and follow the SNP and it is the perceived strength/weakness of that Party which will be the determinant factor in the strength/weakness of the Indy Movement as a whole.

        Westminster and their pet MSM/BBC etc....... are all too aware of that simple fact and have reacted to the slight reduction in that, in a very predictable way.

        Scots have just rejected all the nascent hard-left pretenders at the recent ballot box and given a very small 6.6% to the soft-Left Greens - that should give you a wee hint as to where the sympathies of those we still need to convince to change from No to Yes actually lie.

        In my opinion, it will be far more productive if the smaller Pro-Indy Parties just recognise the primacy of the SNP in the drive for Independence and get behind them, rather than doing what the Left seems pre-programmed to do historically and talk down, denigrate, pick to death anything they perceive as "Not Left Enough" - in this case Sturgeon &Co.

        Make no mistake about it.........the ONLY Party which will lead us to Independence, is the SNP.

        The others will merely help along the way.

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        • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

          Can you outline the SNP strategy for winning independence?

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          • David Francis 4 months ago

            No, but I am not privy to their innermost workings.

            One thing is certain, though - it WILL be the SNP which will determine that strategy and it WILL be the SNP which will carry it through................... with a little help from others.

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          • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

            Well obviously it will be the SNP and good luck to them. But if the point is that this site has done a terrible thing by not supporting 'both votes 1 and 2' cos that will lead to independence, but then if you ask "How will it lead to independence?" - and the response comes "I have no idea", then the whole thing sort of unfolds, doesn't it?

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          • Onwards 4 months ago

            I imagine there is a wide range of thinking and no easy options, but realistically we have to wait until the onshore economy picks up and makes up for losses offshore. The anti-business, anti-transport Greens don't help there. A few more years of younger voters joining will help, and everything has inevitably been on hold until the EU vote outcome.

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          • Broadbield 4 months ago

            What's Bella's strategy?

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          • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

            Bella's strategy is to create a critical high quality pro indy media. As we've stated many times we think we need to build movement not rely on a single party. We also think that any indyref 2 will be lost if we don't re-think the key issues we lost over. Most of the time just a stating this makes people get all defensive.

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          • Broadbield 4 months ago

            I agree we need a movement, we need a roadmap, we need policies for an independent Scotland, we need to examine what went wrong the first time and what went right. I've no problem with examining the "key issues" - it's fundamental and it would be stupid not to. It's what we should do all the time in everyday life. But it would help if the discussion was respectful of all sides of the indy movement.

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          • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

            Agree 100%

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  • Barbara McKenzie 4 months ago

    At least SNP isn't peddling the NATO line, and promoting illicit regime change in Syria.

    http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2015/11/26/what-is-to-be-done-about-syria/

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  • Tobes 4 months ago

    Without the the yes movement, the SNP and indyref 1 would have been an absolute basket case. I for one one am not interested in a one party state. Vote green. Support Bella and other critial yet separatist voices. ALWAYS question authority. Don't trust anybody. And don't whistle while you piss.

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  • DavidAllan 4 months ago

    The investor dispute mechanism within the TTIP deal will seal our fate . If we remain in EU and later win Independence we will be at mercy of every corporate body claiming against Scottish Government for potential losses. This element of TTiP will ensure no country will able to consider leaving the EU. Equally we will be trapped within the UK .

    We need to get out of EU or get ourselves kicked out before TTiP becomes the reality.

    David Francis . When the SNP show a grip on reality and their elected members start to individually articulate the indy case at every opportunity stop their dependence on Nicola to do so alone. Only then will I trust them as a PARTY to deliver. " the orchestra sounds better than a soloist " . No matter how good the soloist sounds.

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    • David Francis 4 months ago

      David Allan - The SNP has a very firm grip on reality - which is why they are now in their third term in office and why they have attracted more votes than any other Party in Britain.

      Whether YOU trust them, or not, is of no real concern to me.

      The fact that more Scots trust them than the next two major Parties combined, is far more relevant.

      Sturgeon is a massive asset to the SNP and to Scotland - her trust" ratings are way above any other politician on these islands.

      It is not the SNP who need to get a grip...............I think it is you.

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  • DavidAllan 4 months ago

    Reality Scots trust the SNP to run a devolved Scottish Parliament . Independence now thats another matter don't confuse the issues and relevent support for each . The SNP are happy with devolution and their electoral support is based on that reality.

    The Independence case and related issues has been kicked into the very tall grass!

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