2007 - 2021

Bella Needs You #backingbella

13248363_10153860237158300_5201300335234801067_oWe’ve been asking people why they value Bella Caledonia and support our fundraising efforts to continue. Here’s some responses:

“Bella is a remarkable high quality magazine, full of stimulating writing, challenging ideas and provocative responses to the state of Scotland and the world. It’s always at the cutting edge, which makes it a must-read for anyone who cares about politics, culture and life in this nation”.
Lesley Orr, Women for Independence

“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.

“Bella Caledonia carries some of the most serious, culturally significant and incisive journalism in Scotland today. As we set about our task to make Scottish democracy deliver a better nation, Bella will continue to play a vital role in informing our movement. It’s time to make sure we support those who work so hard to provide this space for debate, education and movement building.”
– Peter McColl, former Rector Edinburgh University

“The need for a plurality of voices in Scottish politics and cultural life has arguably never been greater. At a time when traditional media is struggling just to standstill, new media such as Bella are more important than ever for new ideas, new writing and new ways of thinking about and reporting on Scotland in 2016.”
– Peter Geoghegan, writer, journalist and broadcaster based in Glasgow. His latest book ‘The People’s Referendum: Why Scotland Will Never Be the Same Again’ was published in 2015 and nominated for the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year Award

“Bella Caledonia plays a vital role in diversifying Scotland’s media, providing an accessible and progressive view on our nation, our politics and our culture.”
– Carolyn Scott @EyewitnessScot

“The value of Bella in a post indyref Scotland can’t be overstated.  More than ever, we need to hear dissenting, questioning, analytical voices coming from our new media, and Bella has been consistent in providing such a platform.  Long may it continue.”
– Jack Foster, writer, film-maker (make of the banned ‘Top 10 Unionist Myths – DEBUNKED’

“If you’re interested in the Scottish left and in the nationalist left in particular – everything from mainstream politics to culture – then Bella Caledonia is a place you have to get to know well. It’s lively, provocative and includes some really great writing.”
– Andrew Marr




Comments (14)

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  1. Juteman says:

    I would guess the quotes above were before Bella went mad before the past elections?

    1. No, they’re from the last few days.

  2. There’s even a wee clue from Joan McAlpine in her comments: “I warmly endorse the latest fundraiser. ”

  3. tartanpigsy says:

    It seems like the fallout from Bellas contribution to the election just past might be detrimental to your fundraiser this year.
    As someone who didn’t agree with your stance and who voted SNP 1 & 2 I just want to say that I will contribute again for one simple reason, whether we all agree or disagree on specifics we desperately need alternative media platforms. We need Bella, we need Wings, and we need someone to take on, assist, or fill the space previously occupied by Newsnet.
    I love the variety of topics covered on Bella, I don’t like the ‘we’re more Indy than you are’ vibe from some of the associated crew, so what.

  4. Rob Macdonald says:


    I really am torn on whether or not to donate this time around (I’ve donated around £100 and attended your summer reception). As an independence supporter I have found Bella et al a nice escape from the drivel on the BBC and MSM.

    However, I am a realist and cannot fathom why this site decided to promote two parties (green and RISE) and added to the misinformation about a guaranteed SNP majority. All this has served to do is lose the SNP their majority and cause conflict between independence campaigners. Being a realist, I believe they are the only way to get independence and the conflict has not helped. I would have much rathered the site didn’t get involved at all, you are making the mistakes the MSM have made.

    So given the I feel (at the moment, hopefully I’m wrong) Bella has caused some damage to the independence campaign, why should I donate again? (not a rhetorical question)

    1. First Rob, thanks very much for your support in the past.

      Bella has never supported any one single party in a decade and gave space to all pro-indy parties.

      I dont know if you saw our interview with Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson? But the idea that we only covered RISE is just a myth.

      You should donate because if we dont achieve our target we will close down.

      If you want an ‘alternative media’ that comprises largely of exclusively pro-SNP voices, who often dont consider any critical thinking or dissent then thats okay.

      We have a plan to develop and support new writers, an exciting events strategy and a strategy to work in new platforms.

      We are the oldest and widest read pro-indy web site who also has appeal beyond the already-committed.

      The political task is not slapping each other on the back and saying ”nailed it’ and talkin abut ‘Yoons’.

      The political task is to convince the unconvinced and create a basis for forward-thinking ideas and policies.

      We will close in three weeks time if we dont get the backing we require.

      1. Rob Macdonald says:


        Thanks for your response, although I am slightly offended by it and I think it has unveiled something about the writer.

        I do not look for a site that is “exclusively pro-SNP, without critical thinking or dissent”. I don’t think any of the sites I regularly read are that way inclined. However, if I want to read something that is critical of the SNP I can and do go elsewhere; I think that part of the market is saturated in all honesty! It would be the equivalent of a Tory voting Telegraph reader, reading the mirror for an alternative view point.

        Moreover, I don’t sit back and talk about how we “nailed it” or talk about “yoons”, I am fully aware of the need to convince others to come across to an Independence supporting mindset. However, I do not see how we achieve that by criticising the main vehicle to get us to Independence (there’s enough of that about, see previous paragraph), or feeding misinformation about how to vote to the public. Neither of these activities are something I think Bella has any need to get involved in, I don’t think the media should have power or influence over how people vote, at all. Do you understand what I’m getting at here?

        On another note, what exactly are you planning on doing with the £50K?

        1. Broadbield says:

          Yes, or attacking other well-respected bloggers.

          I wonder if this comment will be removed like my last two on the same point.

          1. Great Broadbield, thanks. Feel free to litter our appeal pages with comments denouncing us. I suspect you may get your way and the site will close within weeks. Good work. It represents a decades work, largely unpaid.

        2. Hi Rob
          I dont suggest that you say ‘nailed it’ or refer constantly to ‘Yoons’. But many do. What I’m arguing is that there’s a problem on some pro-indy forums that they have become self-confirming closed areas.

          Do you recognise this problem at all?

          Our position is to explore all ideas which help towards transforming Scotland and achieving independence.

          As we’ve laid out on our fundraiser page here’s some of what we need support for. We try and keep our costs and overheads as low as possible. But here’s some of the things we need to pay for:

          Monthly rent for a desk in a shared office space
          Server and hosting costs to allow our website to stand up to traffic
          Design costs for marketing material, posters and publications
          Payment for our freelance contributors
          Payment for a full-time editor
          Payment for illustrators, artwork and cartoonists like Lorna Miller, Greg Moodie and Chris Cairns
          Payment for photographers like Alan McRedie and Jannica Honey
          Payment for filmmakers like Alan McMaster from Phantom Power for interviews
          Payment for guest editors

          Thanks for your comment

          1. This list isn’t by any means exhaustive. I should have added things like a dongel for live events streaming (£70), tech support (we’ve been doing this by favours till now and that’s not really sustainable, difficult to put a cost on this right now but certainly shouldn’t be more than £2k), and I may need a new laptop.

            Basically the 50k covers the costs of running a daily online magazine with hundreds of contributors and some basic kit but some ambitious content.

  5. Wul says:

    For me it’s a very simple question; “Is our Scottish media better with Bella in it?” My answer is “Yes” and for that reason I will support you.

    I hope you continue to publish writing that I disagree with and which makes me consider an alternative view to my own, or one that I hadn’t previously considered. What’s the point in reading otherwise?

  6. Calum MacSween says:

    What concerns me about Bella has been its embrace and promotion of those who would do nothing but damage to Scotland”s independence.

    The SNP need to have an external conscious to keep it on the straight and narrow, the SNP is the only vehicle that will secure our freedom, once again. Yes others should seek to steer, but not steal votes. Once we have freedom, then we can shape our own future as we see it, without fear that division will jepordise that freedom.

    Bella continually chose to promote RISE as a credible electoral party, along with the greens and others, recommending the second vote goes to one of those parties. Look at the result of that, divide and rule and at its simplest you loose your majority and London smiles. You are now reliant upon a compliant Green Party, who may or may not help to strike for independence as conditions or timescales dictate.

    Also I wonder how may of those promoting RISE were labour stooges?

    I will think long and hard before donating to a blog that does not reassess its previous stance on splitting the independence vote and then communicate changes to its editorial stance to potential donators in advance.

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