2007 - 2022

Bella Recharge

Being a part of the deeper democracy movement, getting ready for the next referendum and for the coming general election, and facing the wider socio-ecological crisis, Bella is having a re-boot for the year ahead.

In the year ahead our energy will focus on the following:

  1. Campaigning for Scottish independence – because the British state is irredeemable and deteriorating fast. This will take the form of a series of campaigns including short films, posters, and artwork generated over the next year and disseminated through our channels.
  2. Giving space to emerging voices – creating a more plural and diverse media – because we need to ‘Know the Media, Be the Media, Change the Media’. This will take the form of an extension of our Guest Editor process and a series of public Citizen Media forums sharing key skills, work-shopping editorial pitches and investigations and promoting and inviting diversity and participation.
  3. Highlighting existing projects, communities, social enterprises, co-ops and groups that are creating alternatives as systems fail, these may be part of what we’d call a pre-figurative politics’. Based on the idea that the “the present world is built on assumptions we haven’t yet found names for” and for the need to act “outwith the current assumptions that constrain our existence; acting outwith the market – not only surviving but reconceptualising what thriving looks like” – we’ll be exploring the people and projects that do that right now. This will take the form of a weekly feature highlighting the project or group, what they’re doing and how you can get involved or support them. Focusing on social change in the here and now is essential to ground commentary and analysis in reality.
  4. Creating a policy forum. We are going to overhaul our coverage of social policy by creating a policy forum to support and question the third sector and those creating social policy at Holyrood. Important political changes are at play, flying blow the radar of Brexit mania and constitutional crisis, which are deserving of better media focus. In education, housing, environment, drugs policy, energy, transport and local democracy there are opportunities to make important changes right now. This will take the form of regular features and interviews as well as gatherings and public meetings. More details to follow.
  5. Responding to XR’s call for the media to “tell the truth” we’ll be detailing the extent of climate breakdown and the reality of what this will mean in coming years, exposing the corporate players and interest driving crisis. Alongside this we’ll be focusing on the solutions that are here right now – particularly ones that reflect the deeper systemic economic, cultural and political changes needed to avert the worst of climate breakdown.

All of this will take more resources than we currently hold – so we’ll be doing some fund-raising to make this possible. You can support us here.


If you want to respond and contribute to this agenda you can contact us here.



Comments (8)

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  1. Alexander Oattes says:

    Totally agree with your proposition and would like to help further financially, but committed to other Indy Groups also and on a Pension, please keep up the good work.

  2. Derek Henry says:

    “Campaigning for Scottish independence – because the British state is irredeemable and deteriorating fast. This will take the form of a series of campaigns including short films, posters, and artwork generated over the next year and disseminated through our channels.”

    Is this going to include why the Eurozone is irredeemable and deteriorating fast Mike ?

    a) Explain why the EEA and EFTA are free market institutions ?

    Not the solution most people think it is.

    b) Analyse the ” double out ” option in more detail ?

    To help voters make a better informed choice.

    This for example should be on your site instead of being kept in the Common Weal broom cupbord. Let Scottish voters make up their own mind.

    Dr Carl Baudenbacher is a Swiss lawyer who recently resigned as president of the EFTA Court in 2017. He presided over 234 cases and was the Judge Rapporteur in many of the EFTA Court’s landmark decisions. He has advised members of HM Government and HM Shadow Government, members of both Houses of Parliament, the First Ministers of Wales and Scotland, members of the Irish Government and of the Government of Northern Ireland. He has furthermore given evidence to the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee and to the House of Commons‘ Exiting the European Union Committee.


    Read it and weep Mike. It is no silver bullet the Common Weal thinks it is. It is free market central.

    Dr Carl Baudenbacher says so in this video and the question and answers at the end should send shivers done every left wing spine.


    So Mike the bottom line is this. If the only options available to an independent Scotland are

    1. Heart of Europe

    2. EEA and EFTA

    Then their rules will not allow us to implement the fantastic ideas you are about to write about. Only a ” double out” will. The ” double out ” is not in the table.

    I stopped giving money to MMT Scotland for the exact same reasons. I forced other people to put their hands in their pockets because of their love of Europe and to chase a fairy tale that does not exist in reality. If they wanted to chase a faux independence that is their choice. Not MMT’rs at all. It was polticised and broke my heart after all the hard work I done over the last decade.

    Are you going to start telling the truth about Europe Mike in this new venture ?

    Or if I give you some of my money. Will it just be going towards SNP propaganda ?

    1. Thanks Derek – our output certainly wont be “SNP propaganda” – I’m not a member of a political party and Bella has always been an independent non-party space. We have been critical of SNP policy when we felt it was wrong and supportive of it when it is right.

      On the issue of Europe we have published content highly critical of the EU project in the past as part of hosting a deeper conversation – but the wider point is we are not running a manifesto and are a forum for debate rather than a tightly ideological space.

    2. Wul says:

      Derek, could you give some simple, concrete examples of which EU membership rules prevent a fairer, more socially equitable country evolving within the EU.

      Please don’t just post some links. Three or four examples of the current EU barriers to social justice would be helpful to folk like me (who think the EU may have faults but is broadly a good thing for my family’s future).

      I can easily believe that the EU is being used by some as a vehicle for neo-liberalism, but I can also see other EU countries which appear have better, fairer systems for e.g. education, elderly care, pensions, state ownership of essential infrastructure, affordable state housing etc etc.

      1. Alistair Taylor says:

        Yeah, well said, Wul.
        My Danish friends can’t believe how awful the so-called “United” Kingdom is, in terms of government policies and mindset.

        A tenner of a contribution on it’s way, Mike, as soon as i can find my banking details. Heck, i might even be able to double up and make it 20. Your work is appreciated. Thought provoking articles and quality writing.

  3. SleepingDog says:

    Sounds like a plan. We live within many systems, not one. For example, some anarchists would say that anarchism is everywhere between the coercive joints of society, thriving in friendship groups and where peers meet and discuss. Yes to in-depth, open, wide-ranging policy discussions. And I agree that the more we practice collective decision-making/deliberative democracy, the better we should get at it.

  4. Douglas Scott says:

    And I will continue to support you with my monthly donation
    Good luck and best wishes
    You deserve all the success to come

    1. thanks Douglas, much appreciated!

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