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Bella Caledonia +BellaCaledonia
Republic of Leith
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In the latest wheeze of the Brexit debacle we’re told that foreign lorry drivers will now be able to make an unlimited number of pick-ups and drop-offs in a fixed period in the UK under changes to rules proposed by the government to prevent shortages of products in the run-up to Christmas and into the […]
This is an important document on the criminalisation of protest in the UK and in particular advice for activists for the upcoming COP in Glasgow. It covers the use of surveillance tactics including: facial recognition technology; mobile phone extraction; IMSI catchers; cloud extraction; social media monitoring; use of police drones; the use of “law enforcement […]
The Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2021 kicked off this weekend. Although it’s a welcome return to theatres and live audiences, to keep serving international audiences and to reach those who cannot attend in person, the team will also continue to develop the festival’s digital programme. A series of small-scale and safely distanced person-to-person events, including […]
It was a drab Autumn evening when my friend Joe picked up the phone for our interview. As we spoke he was sitting in a tent near Gloucester, enduring the rain and wind with a good portion of his clothes soaked, but happy to chat politics with a fellow socialist for a while. The weather […]
George Mackay Brown at 100. Jim Mackintosh and Paul S. Phillipou (eds), Beyond the Swelkie. A Collection of Poems and Writings Celebrating the Centenary of George Mackay Brown (1921 – 1996) Tippermuir Books. 260 pp., £12. Stromness, 1975: hazy summer recollections of a slight man with a warm nature who connected easily with children, as […]
“The Edinburgh Festivals have announced plans for how they will respond to the climate emergency and help Edinburgh achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.” So says, er, Edinburgh Festival City dot com. A new report called ‘Taking Action on Climate Change’ outlines how the festivals are “accelerating their own […]
Writing is like trusting language and going for a swim in it Alec Finlay is no ordinary poet. You wont find him hanging in pubs in cliques or poetry circles, you wont find him reading at “spoken word” evenings. Yet his work has a reach beyond most poets, turning up in places where poets dont […]
Class Rules: The Truth about Scottish Schools, by James McEnaney, Luath Press, 238 pp., £9.99. reviewed by Sue Palmer. James McEnaney – former secondary teacher, now college lecturer – wrote this book at breakneck speed between March and August 2021.  He couldn’t have chosen a better time.  Amid the chaos of COVID, those same six […]
  Andrew Bowie MSP has “edited” a “book” of essays; ‘Strength in Union: The Case for the United Kingdom’, under the auspices of the Centre of Policy Studies (CPS), a Conservative Party supporting operation founded by Sir Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher, that inflates its propagandist credentials into representing itself as a ‘centre right think-tank’ […]
The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity (allenlane) by David Graeber and David Wengrow launches at the LSE this Wednesday. The myth that there is no political alternative has been with us since European colonisation. Structural racism is built on white Europeans defining themselves as the apex of human progress, furthest away from […]
Live from the Bacchanalian mess that is the Tory party conference. It’s one of those strange annual spaces where their guard is down. The carnival grotesque that is the Conservative Party Conference in the middle of the harshest attacks on social welfare in living memory was an orgy of self-congratulation, back-slapping and feel-good factor frolics. […]
Why has hiphop been included in an international poetry festival? Or, more to the point, why has hiphop been included as an equal partner with page poetry and spoken word? Some folk may not see it as an issue. It’s too obvious. Hiphop is poetry and not only is hiphop poetry but arguably the most […]
A discussion with the Scottish Magazines Network about the state of independent media from the 1970s, 80s and 90s and how it has fed through – and changed – to today …
Strength in Union: The Case for the United Kingdom, edited by Andrew Bowie, Centre for Policy Studies. The Tory Party are seeking a coherent strategy to deal with Scotland and the threat of independence – one that twin-tracks between looking at iconic infrastructure projects they can fund and wrap a Union Jack around, and the […]
Since its establishment Bella Caledonia has provided a vibrant, vital platform for discussing politics, culture and ideas relevant to Scotland. It has over the period also taken time to review books and publications. As the new Books Editor of Bella I would like to build on Bella’s impressive work over the years, and provide a […]
Kermit via Bosch.
TY was born under the sound of the Bow Bells, London to Afrose and Olive. He was proud to be a cockney. He was as much an East End lad as he was the son of an Indo Guyanese muslim and a Lancashire lass. TY, with soft brown eyes and rich brown skin, hirsute, tattooed […]
Photo by Phil Reid on Unsplash Over the past few centuries – and particularly in recent decades, there has been a mass migration of populations from rural to urban areas. According to estimates by the UN World Urbanization Prospects, 4.1 billion people were living in urban areas in 2017, – 55% of the world population. […]
Do you remember the whiteout swirl, the wingbeats – the shrieking tirricks – and round us, on the ground two freckled eggs in every nest? We left them in peace after the photo. Do you remember six hundred foot cliffs – rocking swell – white wings – spin-drift – tystie chicks launching from ledges – […]
For any woman growing up under the dictatorship of General Francesco Franco, victor of the Spanish Civil War, they were made very aware that they were second class citizens denied basic rights, such as divorce or mixed education, rights granted by the Republic Franco overthrew. For a Catalan woman there was a double oppression. Catalonia […]
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