Scottish Culture

A Question of Sport

By Daibhidh Rothach Around a decade ago, still with the naive belief that a Scots-speaking ‘ned’ from the South West would be given any sort of opportunity amidst the rampant prejudice of Gaeldom and its cultural environs, I sat in… Read More ›

Whisky Galore

The exploits of the Buckfast Triangle has been in the news recently. But here, Alex Renton explores the other end of corporate booze culture.  The Scotch Whisky Association is back in court again this week pursuing the bizarre notion that a… Read More ›


By Mike Small What is Struileag? It’s a good question to kick-off discussion with Jim Sutherland, the giant and genial bubbling hulk behind the project as we meet in a cafe in Edinburgh to try and figure it out. ‘It’s… Read More ›

Who Carries The Carriers?

by Alan Bissett ‘There is no place more revolutionary and no time more exciting than right here and right now in Scotland,’ writes Andrew Redmond Barr of the National Collective, a congregation of artists in favour of Scottish independence.  The… Read More ›

Speakin oot for Scots

Lang syne acceptit as a ‘language’ by the Scottish an UK parliaments, oor heidmaist spoken minority leid aye has a want o status or e’en visability in education, the prent press (ootside o cartoons), in braidcastin, academia, science or in… Read More ›


This is the first of a series of extracts from Scotland’s Road to Socialism – Time to Choose, edited by Gregor Gall and published by Scottish Left Review Press. By Mike Small In the face of the austerity measures sweeping… Read More ›

On the Road

By Jamie Maxwell One of the favourite refrains of the Scottish right is that Scotland’s centre of political gravity does not, as socialists and nationalists like to insist, sit to the left of the rest of the United Kingdom’s. Citing… Read More ›

Sweet 16

By Michael Bartlet The Ministry of Defence wastes £94 million every year training minors for army roles which could be filled more cost-effectively by adult recruits, says a new report launched today by human rights groups Child Soldiers International and… Read More ›

Yes Minister

  First Minister Alex Salmond addressed the SNP conference in Inverness: A week is indeed a long time in politics. On Thursday we announced the date of the independence referendum – Scotland’s date with destiny. My advisers told me that… Read More ›

Break Up or Break Out?

Amicable Separation? Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not attempting old-style nation-statehood: they are (and indeed, can’t help being) in search of a new mode of distinctive development. Post-globalisation self-rule, liberated from the contortions of imperialism and warfare, and adapted to circumstances in which the scale of statehood is no longer so important…

Neu! Reekie! #23

    Aside from Bella Caledonia an arts project I’m heavily involved with is Neu! Reekie!  Neu! Reekie! is a monthly anti-cabaret now based at Edinburgh’s Summerhall arts complex.  The Neu! Reekie! ‘happenings’ on the last Friday of each month… Read More ›

Harpies & Quines

Women for Independence, the grassroots network to persuade more Scottish women to vote yes to independence, officially launches today (Sunday 30 September) with an informal cultural and political event in Stirling. The project is sure to further unsettle the No… Read More ›


By Mhairi McAlpine Feminists among Bella Caledonia readers will be familiar with the concept of “mansplaining”.  Its always gone on, but until recently we didn’t have an actual word for it.  For the uninitiated, mansplaining – a derivative of the… Read More ›

Candy Floss Unionism

Isobel Lindsay on behalf of the Scottish Independence Convention comments on UK Labour leader Ed Milliband’s speech today (Thursday) defending the union: “Ed Milliband’s candy floss message managed to avoid any real political and socio-economic content. When Scots, after decades… Read More ›

The Future’s Bright

What does a vote for Labour in Scotland mean today? A little over a week has passed since the council election results were announced, and Labour have already reversed policy to support more Orange Order marches in Glasgow, wilfully entered into local… Read More ›


Does the Butcher’s Apron do your head in? Are you already tired of the tat? Are your eyes wearied by Jubilee propaganda? Bored of Team GB? With the onslaught of the Olympics and the relentless march of tea-parties and renditions… Read More ›

Tainted League

By Mike Small A man born in Devon who’s been involved in Scottish football for three years has just decided the fate of  the game north of the border. What he’s decided is that one club can behave with complete… Read More ›

Back to the Future

By Mike Small Scotland on Sunday’s story about the loss to Scotland of the protective arm of M15 around our shoulder (Independent Scotland a ‘terror risk’) was revealing. This is, in part, just the latest in a long and wearying… Read More ›

EBT Phone Home

The Scottish Football Association have appointed Lord William Nimmo Smith to chair their inquiry into recent activities at Rangers. Here one well-informed caller nails it about problems with Campbell Ogilvie, Martin Bain and Rangers…the professional journalists listen closely as they… Read More ›

The Spin Room

By Mike Small So what just happened? Watching the body language, maneuvering and positioning is fascinating. Salmond welcomes Cameron, and hand on back ushers him into a room before sitting in front of a huge yellow map. The table was… Read More ›