2007 - 2021

Scotland Be Brave



Our day of reckoning finally arrives tomorrow.  Every hair on the back of my neck is standing on end just writing this.  This is big.  Perhaps the biggest day of our lives.  For 15 hours we’ll have the most incredible feeling of genuine transformational democratic power in our own hands.  The Unionist media, the British establishment, who’ve played such a despicable role in our public affairs during this campaign, can only scowl and wait.  The whole world will be watching.  But we – little us! the ordinary folk of Scotland – are the only ones who matter now, the only ones who can decide.

It’s been a long road for some, even longer for others.  Some cherished individuals are no longer here to see this day, except in spirit.  We know who they are and many of us will be thinking of them tomorrow.  But we’ve got there and we’re in with a shout.  Since this will be the last pre-referendum article I write there’s a couple of things I wanted to say before it all goes frenetic.

I’d especially like to thank Mike Small for what he’s done over the last seven years since the two of us set up Bella in 2007.  There’s so many everyday heroes in this campaign who’ve moved heaven and earth to get us where we’ll be tomorrow.  It would take forever to list them all.  But for my money few have been as inspirational as Mike.  What he has done here on Bella almost beggars belief. He’s a modest chap, happy to work away in the background most of the time, and his generosity of spirit, his ability to imagine and articulate, and crucially, assist so many people to connect with others – when the mainstream media have blocked their voices out of our wonderful national conversation – has been so important.  I’m so proud of him for what he has achieved with Bella, and of everyone who has contributed to and read Bella over the years.

I’m confident we’ll have a YES tomorrow. I’m convinced it is the best thing for Scotland and for our children in the long run.  It may be our only chance to break free from Tory Britain and build a popular social democracy fit for everyday heroes. This is why I believe the Scottish people will grasp this historic opportunity with both hands.

Yet it’s almost impossible to call in advance.  If it’s a NO vote I’ll accept it – because the people will have spoken and I’m a democrat – and continue to campaign towards making Scotland a better fairer more equal country.  But the democratic forces unleashed in this campaign have woken up to possibilities and I hope they will not be going back in their box regardless of the result.  Politicians of every hue should listen to them. They are here to stay and they’re the future.

Its important too to be gracious in defeat and conciliatory in victory, no matter how disappointed or elated you might feel. When you live here and intend to bring your kids up in this wonderful country of ours, full of fantastic people, there is no alternative. We’ve all got too many friends and family on both sides.  Think of them after the result.  They matter as much as those of us who have rallied around the banner of YES.

I adore the poster above, by Ciaran Murphy, which won the recent Bella/SIC competition.  It has been hung with pride on all my house windows.  It encapsulates,  in its essence, what many of us will be thinking when we wake up tomorrow and make our way to the polling booth, destiny in our hands.

Take a deep breath.  Be brave Scotland.  Be brave for yourselves and be brave for your children.  Be braver than you’ve ever been before. This is our moment as Alex Salmond rightly said.  Let’s take it, with a smile on our faces, a spring in our step, and love in our hearts.


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  1. Maggie Craig says:

    I too have the bonnie bagpiper on display. It’s a terrific image. Let’s be brave!

  2. Graeme says:

    Hear Hear! Let’s hope Bella continues to grow. Inspirational to me – a wholly new paradigm of possibility.

  3. smiling vulture says:

    blogs of Scotland won it,MSM has shocked me

  4. Brendan says:

    The world is watching, Scotland. We can be such an inspiration to so many people across this planet!

  5. macart763 says:

    Scotland is a nation.

    Its time to prove it.

    Be Brave Scotland and vote YES.

  6. George Gunn says:

    we will “rise like lions from slumber/ in unvanquishable number! Shake your chains to earth like dew/ which in sleep have fallen on you/ Ye are many – they are few!” PB Shelley

  7. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    You and Mike have been an inspriation to us all and Bella is now a well trusted friend which will continue to grow and prosper.
    I am proud of you all.
    All the Best for a big Yes on Friday

  8. Paddy S Hogg says:

    Great quote George! Used it quite a few times in the last year. Good piece by kevin. Well written. The message must go out that we need self belief, self confidence and faith in our own abilities to run our own country because that has been hammered to make us feel insecure and not up to it, by the No Camp of Kill Hope before Birth to Keep Oor Ain Jobs In Westminster: what a crew they are.

  9. JBS says:

    Iain McWhirter: ‘The Union finally lost it last week. I’m voting yes.’


  10. John Page says:

    A sincere Thank You! to Mike for all his hard work and inspiration. I look forward to Bella flourishing in the new Scotland

  11. muttley79 says:

    Thank you Kevin and Mike. Lets us hope for a Yes vote tomorrow.

  12. barakabe says:

    So many heroes must give us real hope for what is possible in a new independent Scotland- what interesting & exciting times we live in- this is history in the making. If there’s a YES vote then this referendum will be a landmark moment in democratic history & will be a key subject for academics from Political Scientists to Historians. Even if it’s a No, nothing will ever be the same again: the British/Scottish Media have signed their own death warrant rather than print anything approximating truth or even anything with even a pretence of balance; Scottish Labour have committed suicide by doing the same, unable as key figures are at speaking anything other than half truths & downright lies- but above all else we have half of the population embracing class consciousness: they have acquired a healthy cynicism for questioning authority/power & will no longer fit back in their old worn out boxes.This is a sort of revolution.

  13. David McCann says:

    Well said Kevin. Both you and Mike have not only done us proud on Bella, but took the reins of the Scottish Independence Convention just when wee needed you. Thanks also are due to all the contributors for the wealth of inspirational articles which have appeared.
    After over 40 years campaigning for Scottish Independence, I just know our time has come.
    Welcome to the early days of a better nation.

  14. David McCann says:

    Forget the ‘wee’!!

  15. Stephen Watson says:

    I live down south and would love to Vote YES tomorrow but I can’t.

    In my own political experience, people spend their lives voting to stop what they perceive to be the worst thing happening, never following their hearts because they are afraid to step out and take the chance of something different.

    I hope that tomorrow, you lovely Scots grab that fear by the scruff and throw it in the (recycling!) bin and then step out proudly and with a vision in your hearts and make your mark for a better Scotland that’s right within your reach.

    Love and hugs to you all.

  16. Wullie says:

    Many, Many Thanks Bella,

    You have nothing to lose but your chains folks!

  17. Iain Hill says:

    We need immediate planning for a continuing people’s movement (whether a party or an alliance of existing groups?) to harness and develop all the democratic energy generated in our communities in recent times.

    It should act as the conscience of our parliament, and as our political parties inevitably seek to renew – and in at least one case, rehabilitate – themselves, should ensure that the disconnect which has so undermined the WM parliament and left it prey to corporate interests, is avoided.

    I am personally too old to organise this, but my subscription is ready.

  18. Stephen Watson, thanks for your lovely message of encouragement!

  19. Bella is one of the big reasons we’re still in this at all. Without alternatives to the mainstream media and its dissemimation through social media, our esteemed Fourth Estate would have had us all tucked up back in our beds months ago. You, Mike and your supporters all deserve our deepest appreciation and thanks: You are oxygen in the lungs of this campaign. Take a bow, folks.

  20. Fed up with the lies and propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

    The Manchurian Candidate Gordon Brown said today ” I’m voting NO not for myself, but for my children !! ”

    In other words he IS voting for himself.

    1. Dean Richardson says:

      Is there any other person in his world?

      1. Fed up with the lies and propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

        Well, he did save the WORLD !! What hubris.

  21. alan webster says:

    Thank you for all the uplifting articles that have lifted my spirits since you started. The content of the newspapers and BBC has been shocking so Bella and National Collective have given me something to work on folk that wanted to be convinced.
    We all know that were on the side of a better fairer Scotland and I can only hope victory will be ours, it will be some party.
    Thanks Again
    PS the girl in the poster is the spitting image of my cousins daughter

  22. Sure Scot says:

    To all yes voters-
    How many job loses do you think is acceptable to achieve your dream of independence? 
    How many home repossessions do you think is acceptable to achieve your dream of independence? 
    Both will definitely happen to ordinary working class scots as a direct result of independence! 
    My answer to both questions is No.
    What is yours? 
    Think about it………VOTE NO!

  23. Sure Scot says:

    No is the progressive vote that will bring more devolution.
    Independence and seperation is a huge unnecessary gamble with our future our children and our grandchildren’s futures!
    VOTE NO!

    1. Sure Scot , yes I am and I even have a good Scottish name James Dow what’s yours ? Who knows if you are not ashamed to use your own name you might just receive some respect.

  24. Sure Scot says:

    To all yes voters-
    How many job loses do you think is acceptable to achieve your dream of independence? 
    How many home repossessions do you think is acceptable to achieve your dream of independence? 
    Both will definitely happen to ordinary working class scots as a direct result of independence! 
    My answer to both questions is None!
    What is yours? 
    Think about it………VOTE NO!

  25. Fed up with the lies and propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

    Project Fear / Apocalypse Trolls are out tonight I see.

  26. Ken MacColl says:

    Don’t feed the mindless Scotbut troll

    Bella has greatly helped to redress the appalling imbalance presented by our slavish metropolis owned printed and broadcast media and for that we should be eternally grateful. May we hope that the genie is now permanently out of the bottle.

  27. barbara cleaver says:

    A word of support from Santa Fe, New Mexico…
    I have been reading this excellent blog, and watching you marvelous Scots with awe.
    May tomorrow come in with a resounding YES!

  28. J.j. Lasne says:

    Is this available as a poster, for purchase? Be Brave Scotland. Say Yes.

  29. Thankyou Bella, for giving me a voice –

  30. jaxlek says:

    thanks Mike and Kevin for providing this forum, thanks to all who have contributed to this skin tingling debate.

  31. wanvote says:

    A big thank-you to Mike and Kevin for the hundreds of excellent articles and links. Ma heid’s burstin wi ideas since I got that laptop 2 years ago.

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