Recent Posts - page 34

  • British State – Police State


    The British State has evolved into a surveillance society and a police state with the combination of digital technology, database culture and the use of  ‘the war on terror’ as a smokescreen for a full-on assault on civil liberties. From… Read More ›

  • The New 40% Rule


    They’re just making it up now…Gerry Hassan in today’s Scotsman outlines the recent attempts to re-awaken an old debate that somehow we would need TWO referendums to gain independence. The first, you see, to sort of see if we wanted… Read More ›

  • Britain & Freedom

    English Nazi Salute

    Our friend Tom Griffin argues that Anthony Barnett’s piece on the BNP and the BBC is the best he’s seen so far, and certainly Barnett is clear where some have been ambiguous: “It is necessary and important to stress that… Read More ›

  • We Are All Learners


    Two absolutely superb new  ventures have loomed into view recently. The first is the rather luverly looking This is Central Station, who say:  ‘this is a space for exploring art, film and design. Come in, join the community, share and… Read More ›

  • Carbon Futures


    As the SNP gathers in Inverness the slogan “It’s Scotland’s Oil” seems an awfully long time ago. We rightly celebrate the best climate change bill in the world, but this from Grist makes the mood seem a little less celebratory:… Read More ›

  • Edinburgh Claimants Solidarity


    The ever-delivering Variant has a new issue out, with loads of great stuff, including Tom Jennings on “war as the health of the State” and John Barker on “KPMG and the Accountancy Oligopoly”. Best of all is the full interview with… Read More ›

  • From Protest to Power


    This week Edinburgh University Press have just published this book The Modern SNP from Protest to Power. This launch essay from author Gerry Hassan was published in the Sunday Times Ecosse section, which isn’t published online, so the link for the… Read More ›

  • Piscator


    This from Alastair McIntosh: “In the forecourt of Euston station sits a tractor-sized sculpture called Piscator. “Silvery and enigmatic”, said the Telegraph in its obituary of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi. He’d crafted the piece in honour of Erwin Piscator, the German… Read More ›

  • Fade to Gray


    This from Open Democracy’s Our Kingdom website: “This is charitably the fifth policy position of Scottish Labour on the independence question in two years. First, they were against it. Then they were bounced into supporting it by Wendy Alexander with… Read More ›

  • Voting Rights of Young People


    This from the Guardian on the voting rights of young people: “The constitutional question of suffrage for young people is becoming important as the country faces big decisions This week saw the announcement that the Scottish government plans to give… Read More ›

  • Labours Nuclear Nightmare


    All of last week there was a big debate about the SNP Governments ‘anti-Glasgow’ agenda due to cutting the GARL (Glasgow airport link) in the face of oncoming economic cutbacks (we gave the banks are our money). While no-one mentioned… Read More ›

  • Compassion (Part One)


    This the first of a series of commissioned articles on the concept of ‘compassion’, by Alastair McIntosh… I got an email from the editors of Bella Caledonia asking if I’d write about compassion. I’m going to share with you the… Read More ›

  • The Long March


    This from Gerry Hassan on Our Kingdom: “The progressive story of Britain is in deep, deep crisis, perhaps mortally so; it has been battered by the onslaught of Thatcherism which killed off the gentlemanly, benign Tory unionism which understood intuitively… Read More ›

  • Dismantling the Empire State


    By Mike Small The SNP has begun its attempt to break up Great Britain by bringing forward a bill for a referendum on independence. First Minister Alex Salmond is due to make a statement to MSPs on Thursday, outlining plans… Read More ›

  • Browns Silence


    Why is Gordon Brown silent? Yesterday’s Herald newspaper, wrote: “Speaking from a hospital bed at his home in Tripoli, Megrahi talked extensively about his 10-year battle with the Scottish legal system and insisted he did not commit the worst terrorist… Read More ›

  • Megrahi Reflections

    It will be interesting to see just how desperate the opposition parties are today, and if they want to put the knife into Kenny MacAskill. More sober reflections were worth reading over the weekend. To see which way the wind… Read More ›

  • Scotland & the Lockerbie Ruling

    Kenny MacAskill

    It’s perhaps doubtful whether the Libyan people – and economy – will recover from the shock of the withdrawal of a trade visit from Prince Andrew, as reported in the Torygraph today. When other countries want to pressurise in foreign… Read More ›

  • Time Up for Trident & the Union


    ‘Nuclear weapons pervade our thinking. Control our behaviour. Administer our societies. Inform our dreams. They bury themselves like meathooks deep in the base of our brains…’ the peace activist Brian Quail is our guest columnist on Trident and the Union…. Read More ›

  • Book of Scotlands


    I don’t share Pat Kanes view of Momus (“for me, he’s one of the most challengingly brilliant Scottish minds of the last twenty years”) or his assessment of Alasdair Gray (“misogynist fantasies suffuse his writings”) but I do agree that… Read More ›

  • Bhundu Boys

    Today would have been Hugh MacDiarmid birthday. Norman MacCaig called for it to be celebrated with “two minutes pandemonium’. Enjoy the Bhundu Boys singing Hugh MacDiarmid’s My Foolish Heart…

  • Write Stuff


    I mentioned DestiNation as a sign of a now thriving alternative publishing movement  in Scotland, on and off line. There’s more evidence  over at the Scottish Left Review, where  Davie Philip describes The Village, a ground-breaking ecological community in Cloughjordan…. Read More ›

  • DestiNation

    The outline of a new media is discernible – even if only in outline form – online and in video, music file and performance. DestiNation is one such sprouting. As newspapers waver, and Lobster marks its last print publication, change… Read More ›

  • Homage to Caledonia


    As Stuart muses to himself during the ‘Council of War’ trying him : ‘How, in the name of the “wee man”, had I ended up here ?’”

  • Hold the Lions


    Guest columnist Ray Bell reflects on the political importance of sporting propaganda and asks: “What one thing does hold the Lions together?  A vague Victorian sense of Britishness. And if that’s too subtle for you – why do they play… Read More ›

  • Golden Oldie

    A classic cut from the vintage vault here from dear old BBC in 1975. From the anthropological approach to the faux-editorial balance its a classic of its era. Includes a look at George Reids take on the world in 1975…. Read More ›

  • Terra Madre


    The Terra Madre (Mother Earth) is a network of food communities, each committed to producing quality food in a  sustainable way. Terra Madre also refers to a major bi-annual conference held in Torino, Italy intended to foster discussion and introduce… Read More ›

  • Calman


    The Calman Report was either the biggest thing to happen to Scotland in thirty years or a complete non-event, depending on who you read and what you want to put across. Certainly the streets were hardly awash with ‘Calman Fever’…. Read More ›

  • It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back


    England will run out at Hampden Park representing ‘Britain’ in 2012. What a depressing end to Gordon Browns dreadful attempt to stoke up Britpop-New Labour and the Imperial End Game at the fag-end of Blighty. Thatcher, Blair and now Brown… Read More ›

  • Unions without the Union


    The British labour movement has traditionally been hostile to independence movements within these isles which are seen as a threat to the unity of the British working class. In this extract from Breaking up Britain, published as part of our series to mark… Read More ›

  • WMD, Jobs & the Union


    Last weeks announcement by the MoD that Scotland would now be the location for the entire nuclear submarine fleet couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Scottish people don’t want it, the military doesn’t want it, even the Tories… Read More ›

  • Re Joyce


    If your dog dies you can stuff it and keep it in the hall, but it’s no longer your dog. Labour supporters who believe in ‘Labour values’ know in themselves they are the stuffed-dog-brigade when they still remain part of… Read More ›

  • Systems Failure


    Why have the poor to take on the failure of capitalism? What’s going on? Is the system collapsing or morphing into something worse? Over stateside Counterpunch writer Saul Landau asks ‘We Bail Out the Banks, Why Shouldn’t We Own Them?’  while… Read More ›

  • Con Census


    Do you live in Edinburgh or Lewis and remember the horrors of Abu Ghraib? According to Indymedia Scotland the UK subsidiary of a company that provided interrogators at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq will be running the next Scottish census. … Read More ›

  • Labour Goes Nuclear


    In February Labour’s man in Scotland Jim Murphy announced Labours commitment to a new generation of nuclear power stations in Scotland. This morning Iain Gray - Scotland’s Homer – is broadcasting from Torness Power station. London Labour’s mind has been made… Read More ›

  • Let the People Decide


    Last nights Scottish Labour Party Political Broadcast was dressed with more saltires than the Tartan Army tour bus, and tried really really hard to convince you that Iain Gray was someone you could get inspired by, as he trundled about Edinburgh on… Read More ›

  • Dìomhair *


    This has been a packed month of intrigue and shifting sands in UK constitutional politics, starting with news that polls show support for Independence stiffening not collapsing in recession – and culminating in this weeks (conspicuously under-reported) visit of the… Read More ›

  • The Pedagogy of the Depressed


    A Critique and Riposte – The Edinburgh Papers 2008 The papers under the general title “Reclaiming Social Purpose in Community Education” were written by members of staff from three University Departments with a vested interest in the education of Community… Read More ›

  • I Murder Hate


    Happy 250th Birthday Robert Burns…Michael G (More Whisky Please)argues convincingly that our National Holiday should be Burns Day/Night and not the abstract and insipid St Andrews Day – which combines notions of corporate sanctioned Christianity with dodgy history. He’s completely… Read More ›

  • The Ambience of Empire

    George Orwell

    A remarkably coherent piece by Andrew O’Hagan appeared in the Guardian at the weekend. He writes about assimilation and sedation: “The Gordon Brown who wrote a biography of the Scottish socialist politician James Maxton would not be electable as British… Read More ›

  • 1960 – 2008


    This article was originally a talk given by Stuart Christie at the Aye Write festival in Glasgow. Stuart, “who tried to assassinate General Franco and was framed for being part of the Angry Brigade”, reflects on the 40 years since… Read More ›

  • Our Friends in the North


    One of Scotland’s largest neighbours has just voted for independence. I don’t mean England, or Ireland, or Scandinavia, but a country which is bigger than all of these combined. And I use the term “neighbour” loosely, because it is a… Read More ›

  • Growing Pains


    An interesting piece by Elaine C Smith, Convenor of the Scottish Independence Convention in the impressively re-designed (but oddly static?) online version of Red Pepper. For me the Convention is still too reactive (‘We are an umbrella grouping for supporters of Scottish… Read More ›

  • Team GB?


    Tom Gordon – the hack who presumably has been brought in to alter the dangerously-close-to-independent-balanced-reporting on ‘the National Question’ that the Sunday Herald has been dabbling in these past few years, must be pissed off with this eloquent article by Ian… Read More ›

  • Fear and Loathing


    What’s a more motivating force, fear or hope? Across the pond Obama has inspired a generation, re-inspired another and put 9 million people on the electoral register. Here a halving of the Labour Partys majority has been represented to as… Read More ›

  • G Day Looms

    Every now and then a really remarkable thing happens in the media. This week the Scotsman newspaper published a decent article. To mark the occasion we publish it in full (hat-tip to Joe Middleton for the scoop). MARC COLEMAN claims… Read More ›

  • From Glenrothes to EWNI


    Norman Dombey puts a geopolitical question over at the Guardians Comment is Free: “What will be the fate of “Britain’s” nuclear deterrent if Scotland becomes independent? If the result of the Glenrothes byelection on November 6 mirrors that of Glasgow… Read More ›

  • Ability and Needs


    The collapse of the financial markets, industries and associated ‘businesses’ presents us with a great opportunity as a world society. As the veil is lifted revealing the reality behind the fictional economy on which our lives depend, a number of… Read More ›

  • Interregnum

    Hey, sorry about the l  o  n  g  gap in service. We have been busy writing poetry, having babies, running festivals and on other projects (not necesarily in that order). But Bella #2 is coming out this Winter so if… Read More ›

  • Things Can Only Get Better


    The key fact that Scottish Labour seem to have missed is,that the SNP are now the Scottish Govt. This level of denial has led them to come up with a suicidal policy switch of now backing a referendum on independence…. Read More ›

  • The Case for Cornwall

    “Britain* is divided into four parts; whereof one is inhabited by Englishmen, the other by Scots, the third by Welshmen, and the fourth by Cornish people, which all differ among themselves, either in tongue, either in manners, or else in… Read More ›