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Bella Caledonia +BellaCaledonia
Republic of Leith
 Joined September 2015
4,394 Posts   381 Followers
Westminster today looks like a tableaux from Lewis Carroll or Cold War Steve: a grotesque hallucinogenic scene of mild debauchery and cold contempt. There are layers of revelry and sleaze with the icing on the proverbial cake being that they can waltz through the chaos with impunity. It was touching that it was the Northern […]
Review: Scottish Colonial Literature: Writing the Atlantic, 1603-1707 by Kirsten Sandrock On the face of it, Kirsten Sandrock’s Scottish Colonial Literature: Writing the Atlantic, 1603-1707 is an academic text of the highest calibre on an all but forgotten period of Scottish literature. However, as many now accept that climate chaos is a by-product of colonialism, […]
People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. – Thích Nhất Hạnh We might wonder what a Buddhist monk from Vietnam might have to say that can help us with the challenge of liberating Scotland. For those who may not […]
St Kilda is the rather fanciful name that has been accidentally acquired by a small volcanic archipelago in the North Atlantic, forty miles west of the Outer Hebrides. As anyone with a passing interest in the place will know already, there was no ‘Saint’ Kilda, although this does nothing to diminish the almost spiritual significance […]
As daytime light grows and the Omicron recedes, forgive me if I don’t share the optimistic mood that’s being cultivated as ‘restrictions’ are lifted. Freedom Day 2.0 anyone? The pandemic has both revealed and acted as cover for wider endemic social problems and the populism of rhetoric about ‘defeating’ it will act as a spur […]
The Scottish Poetry Library commissioned four women – Janette Ayachi, Victoria McNulty, Susi Briggs and Morag Anderson – to respond to the poetry and life of Burns and wrestle with the questions: why Scotland continues to celebrate the bard, and how the writers felt about his legacy. They all address Burns and the Burns cult […]
Watching the drama of Tory parties, the dishonesty about tremendous alcohol consumption and disrespect for the needs of others, reminds me of the painful experiences found in many homes.  When I was a young boy, I begged my mum to leave my dad and take us away somewhere safe. He was an alcoholic and I […]
A reappraisal of Marinell Ash’s 1980 book, The Strange Death of Scottish History, Ramsay Head Books. We’ve all heard this lament before: from legions of patriots in thousands of locations from the bus-stop to the pub, to the queue at the supermarket and, just now, fresh from the Hogmanay do. Rehearsal of this particular Jock’s […]
The inevitable has a habit of happening. Second week back at school after the winter break and it did, I tested positive for Covid for the first time. Amazing I’d avoided it for so long, spending my working day marinating in 20+ families, only adults and one pupil wearing a mask. I think I had […]
The period between the revelations about Johnson’s parties at No 10 and the report by Sue Gray is extending into an extraordinary time of morbid revelations and breakdown of the existing order. Having listened to GMS this morning with a queue of Scottish Tories giving car-crash interviews about their relationship to our disastrous Prime Minister […]
Next month we’ll be launching our anthology of some of the best writing we’ve published since 2007 including some key moments, viral blogs, and seminal essays. It feels important to take stock and reflect and collect – particularly at this time – and after a sort of frenetic and constant stream of publishing daily for […]
The ScotWind offshore auction has divided opinion across the Scottish left, green-left and wider independence movement exposing fissures of vision and understanding. On the one hand is the feeling of a corporate sell-out – how did Shell and BP get their hands on our wind energy? The ongoing travesty that there is no National Public […]
The world you live in is broken and bonkers. The sense of abandonment and collapse is palpable. The late R.D. Laing used to say that ‘breakdown is break-through but contemporary Britain doesn’t seem to ever reach that cathartic moment. Instead, it just seems to be stuck in perpetual crisis, spasms of ‘scandal’ and ‘revelation’ washing […]
The fallout from the Johnson debacle is unfolding hourly and one of the funniest outcomes is the Tory civil war. A recap. Even the Tories hate the Scottish Tories but not as much as the Scottish Tories hate the Tories that they voted for and urged us all to vote for. Their meta-message is this: […]
He’s got away with it, again, hasn’t he? Posturing as being open and honest and contrite the Prime Minister bluffed his way out of his latest crisis with little bother. He put his sad face and thanked everyone as they told him to resign. Sir Keir Starmer had a go. He was concise and brutal, […]
Last summer, the second of the coronavirus pandemic, Scotland’s national exam diet was cancelled. The same thing had happened in 2020 but the circumstances, and the official response, were different. So now, with the third Covid-era exam period looming over the horizon, how are things looking for students and their teachers? In March 2020, the […]
The past week has seen a steady stream of ink spilt by a tight coterie of Scottish journos promoting the idea of Devo Max and a new constitutional settlement. The exercise was more than worthy of the absurdist New Wave punk band whose classic 1978 album sadly didn’t reference Scottish referendum options, though a case […]
I came across Kurt’s account while scrolling through TikTok at four in the morning. Dance challenges, comedy sketches and cooking tutorials – yes, that’s what I was after, no shame about it. Recent times haven’t provided me with much fun after all, and with all due respect, the government advice to light the candles and […]
How we measure change and decay is important. Slow change can become almost unidentifiable. A measure of political change, in this case an ongoing lurch to the right, became apparent at the moment of silence to remember the events of 6 January 2021. The Republican Party were entirely absent from the ceremony – still indulging […]
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