It’s Time to Get Above Ourselves

ProtestsmudgeBella is a response to our rapidly changing political landscape. We think our new democracy needs a new media.

We think we’re at the beginning not the end of the movement to transform and reclaim Scotland, so we’re aiming higher and we’re being ambitious. We’re aiming to raise £50,000 to build on the platform we’ve created since 2007.

We need your help to make this work. Go here to support us.

Our key aims are:

* Strengthening and connecting the Scottish radical democratic movement
* Continue to explore fresh thinking and challenging ideas
* Creating a self-critical reflective space
* Bringing new and unheard voices to public debate and discussion
* Boosting new technology and social media innovation
* Training in media literacy and content creation
* Collaborating and partnering with other alternative media projects

If we are successful in raising the funds we need, the money will go towards: a full-time editor post, paying contributors, design and illustration, web site hosting, events, translation, marketing, legal costs.

Our political aims remain a commitment to independence. self-determination and autonomy, in Scotland and elsewhere – that means exploring where power lies in society and how we can help reclaim, decentralise and redistribute it.  Key to this is raising people’s hopes, expectations and aspirations away from the managed decline and dependency culture we have been encouraged to accept as the normal way of things. So ‘It’s time to get above ourselves’, both in terms of encouraging these higher aspirations and start redefining our place in the world.

Some of the key political challenges ahead are mapping post-nationalist ideas of self-determination, charting and shaping what is demanded off gender and social equality, exploring a post-oil economy for Scotland and encouraging a commitment to the politics of solidarity in a society predicated on greed and individualism.

With your support we want to expand our output and improve our content. We want to host an annual gathering which brings those with new ideas and the alternative media together to host training, workshops and talks to help build on the solid foundations that have already been put in place. Our supporters will help guide and shape the direction of the project. This would seek to accelerate the spawning of new creative output, from both writers and reporters – a new 5th Estate – with networks of knowledge and content distribution.

We want to be the best place for comment, analysis and opinion which combines polemic, essays and features with music, video and photography. The days of being passive subjects receiving wisdom and propaganda from an elite space on high are gone. So help us become a point of focus for creative thinking and a space for the democratic insurgency we’re witnessing and fully participating in.


Categories: Commentary

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8 replies

  1. Long term reader, first time poster. Thought this was a good time to start actively getting involved, not just in the discussion, but in contributing the tiny amount I can currently afford! Thank you Bella, for keeping me feel part of the loop down here in London.

  2. Glad to help you, but first; I seem to be unable to comment on any articles older than today. Is this a new policy? There is no longer a “Reply” button on the comments thread. Is it just me?

  3. Why was it not possible to leave comments on the two previous articles? Cyber attack?

  4. As long as the structure is not like that of the Trade unions.

    It should be one strong voice brought together to represent the voice of the people of Scotland. The unions divided themselves and look how that worked out. For any union to be effective there should just be one home.

    Wings over Scotland want funding.

    Newsnet Scotland and Derek Bateman wants funding and announced exactly what you are doing now last year.

    The Common Weal and all of us first want funding.

    We also have the National newspaper who needs funding to keep it going.

    It’s time to bring it all under one roof on a shared platform. It’s time to sit down and talk to each other and create a strategy moving forward. In the same way the Tories do with the CBI.

    I think the national has just about nailed it with their platform but there’s not enough different voices having their say it’s the same authors over and over again.

    Think of the BBC website with their tabs across the top of the page

    Home UK World Business Politics Tech Science Health Education etc etc.

    We could have the same tabs across the top of our platform but have it like this.

    Common Weal Wings Over Scotland Newsnet Scotland The National newspaper Bella Caledonia

    At the moment it feels as if we are all competing with each other and splitting the left and the strong voice gets diluted. Consumers just like voters like to go to one place which is why the compare websites have become so popular and the money saving expert website. They go there because they can get different choices all in one place.

    Then you only have to fund one place and those who want to give money know it is going to the right place. That represents a strong voice for Scotland and not a diluted one and something to really get behind. Whatever money is collected is then shared around. You can’t get more progressive / redistributive than that.

    The longer these platforms are seperate the more embedded they become just like the Unions. Then you are in danger of creating vested interests in each one who now have a little bit of power. As you know power is hard to give up once you have it and salaries within each platform become more important. Each platform still have kids to feed.

    These platforms have to come together to take on the might of the Establishment. You saw first hand what they threw at us during the Referendum. Otherwise it will be a group of small voices struggling to be heard.

    It’s time to open up all channels of communication with each other and just get it done and leave power and money at the door. Just like the unions if divided you are easily ruled.

    • As I said we are hosting regular conversations and actively pursuing collaborations but these are very different groups with different structures and I think the merger you suggest is unlikely. The National is owned by the Herald, Wings is one person, Common Weal is a think-tank. What you suggest isn’t going to happen, sorry.

  5. IMHO the financial side, which worked with the founding of the trustee savings banks (until they were expropriated), and seems to operate well among credit unions, is an important part of encouraging small businesses that naturally prefer not to have decisions made by and for big business, especially based in or beholden to London.

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