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Torrance Response

Bella agreed to a right to reply for David Torrance to Alan Bissett’s article ‘Ethnic Cleanse’. It seems my use of the word ‘ethnic’ in the context of a column exploring the balance between civic and non-civic Nationalism in Scotland… Read More ›

Missing Inaction

By Jonathan Shafi Let me right at the outset define what I mean by alienation. It is the cry of men who feel themselves the victims of blind economic forces beyond their control. It’s the frustration of ordinary people excluded… Read More ›

Drone Warrior

Philip Hammond arrives in Glasgow today to visit a Drones factory and champion Weapons of Mass Destruction. En route he was keen to spread the usual selection of apocalyptic stories. Let’s not focus on the shambles of his negotiating message… Read More ›

Independent Women

By Hannah Wallace In the week we lost Margo MacDonald, the SNP finally, finally announced some breakthrough policies for women. Call it politics, call it one-upmanship (sic), I don’t care. I’m pretty proud that now 40% of the Scottish Cabinet… Read More ›

Dark Star Economics

By Jamie Maxwell Well, thank god that’s over. According to Olivier Blanchard, the IMF’s chief economist, the British economy is now clear of its longest and most severe crisis since the 1930s and can look forward to a period of… Read More ›

Red Road

News that the Red Road flats, which have been part of Glasgow’s skyline for almost 50 years will be blown up as part of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony was met by stunned confusion by people today. The event will… Read More ›

An Eye for an Aye?

If you were asked to design a poster that inspires a nation, what would it be? Bella, National Collective and Scottish Independence Convention today launch a national prize competition …

Dragons and Poodles

By David Black There seemed to be something uncannily familiar about the collapse of the unionist party line which followed the recent revelation in The Guardian about the unidentified cabinet minister who broke ranks with his Westminster ‘No’ troika. Their… Read More ›


By Mike Small This has been a huge week for the Yes campaign (an even better one is coming up*) and a disaster for Better Together. But let’s not dwell on the misfortune of others, even if Aperitivo! may just have… Read More ›


Journeys to Yes. This, by Ian Macdonald. My first memory of “democracy” was the 1979 devolution referendum. I was 8 years old at the time. Back in those days, when there was an election, every lamppost and railing in the… Read More ›

Grandpa Park

As the British State gets ready to celebrate the First World War, Bella welcomes this evocative family reflection by Daibhidh Rothach Pride is perhaps the most difficult of the human emotions to rationalise. Pride in our family, in the scientific… Read More ›

Sweet Moderation

By Gavin Falconer The motto of Fritz Lang’s German expressionist epic Metropolis was a simple but affecting one: “The mediator between head and hand must be heart.” Without such a humane and moderating influence, the film argued, the failures of… Read More ›

Our Man in Whitehall

As Bella was looking about for a nifty contribution to #IndyReasons up pops this. As an exercise in exposing the true relationship between Westminster and Holyrood, and the role of the British State, it’s unsurpassed. This is both funny and… Read More ›

True North

We’ve covered attempts to manipulate the democratic process before (‘The Shetland Card’). Here Malachy Tallack reports on the latest efforts to bring the Northern Isles into play. Earlier this week, a petition was launched on the Scottish parliament’s website that… Read More ›

Beer and Bingo

John Warren on the ‘Broad Shoulders’ disequilibrium.     David Cameron and Danny Alexander’s favourite metaphor is an appeal to the security offered by the UK’s “broad shoulders”, which is used inspirationally to inflate the Scottish electorate’s declining faith in the… Read More ›

The Numbers Game

By Mike Small Ever since Boo Radley came out from the shadows there’s been a steady stream of ‘more powers’ rhetoric. Well, maybe not a stream. Cameron fluffed his lines confusing ‘can’ with ‘will’ in an unfortunate slip-up in Edinburgh…. Read More ›

The Independence Lectures

“The Independence Lectures” is organised by RIC in collaboration with Pluto Press and Word Power books. This series of public events brings renowned academics, authors and thinkers to introduce radical arguments on a variety of topics related to Scotland’s constitutional… Read More ›

Headlines to be Axed

By Mike Small Listening to Angus McLeod, Scottish Editor of the Times, today cheerleading for Brian Wilson’s slur against Tony Benn the day after his death (‘Three politcal lives of Tony Benn’) and reflecting on the extraordinary evidence given by… Read More ›

Journeys to Yes

Continuing our ‘journeys to Yes’ series we hear from Paul Gillen with an unusual journey of his own, showing that Yes is a diverse and broad movement for change. Coming from a middle-class Protestant background, I was unlikely to be… Read More ›

The Near Abroad

By Gavin Falconer The trouble with an Ulster Unionist berating Scottish nationalism, as John Bew has done in the New Statesman,[1] is that it invites a rather obvious and unflattering comparison. Why, a reader might ask, should one favour a… Read More ›