Fresh thinking for the new republic – Bella Caledonia

Fresh thinking for the new republic – Bella Caledonia
21.10.2007



A new news magazine Bella Caledonia* launches at the Radical Book Fair, Out of the Blue, Drill Hall, Edinburgh 27th October at 7.30 pm . Join a panel discussion with editors Mike Small and Kevin Williamson and others to celebrate and discuss the launch of a brand new paper for the emergent Scotland.


The paper aims at moving forward the debate about self-determination with a republican and libertarian agenda. As Andy Wightman addresses in his feature on land ownership and the Royals, the British State is an anachronism even by comparison to the other major states within the European Union who have moved forward from old colonial forms. The British state structure is archaic in its forms of prestige, patronage, power and privilege. Its rituals are arcane and obscure, masking authoritarian control operating behind a democratic facade.


Recent revelations about the election fiasco and Labour’s reaction to the independent report serve merely to reinforce the view that nothing has changed. Similarly the British State has recoiled in horror at the very notion of the Scottish people acting to reject Trident. As Eric Canning has recently written: ‘This structure persists into the 21st century by dint of its puerile subservience and attachment to North American Global Imperialism. Britain is for Europe what Israel is to the Middle East – the cats paw of United States monopoly capitalist control and the ‘Pax Americana’ bases for these regions. This relationship is tenuous in the extreme and ‘special’ only in so long as it fulfils the ruthless and reactionary interests of the U.S.A. It can, and will be, castaside at will.’


Bella Caledonia believes that the arguments for independence need to be transformed, enlarged and re-articulated and this can only be done in new forms. As Alex Bell wrote earlier this year:  ‘Where is there one Scottish newspaper furiously demanding a stronger parliament in line with public opinion? Where is there a newspaper that champions independence as favoured, we are told by pollsters, by a majority of Scots? There is none. Never has been. That is not only anti-democratic, it is a disgrace to journalism and an affront to free speech.’


Contributors to this issue include: Lesley Riddoch from Perthshire, Andy Wightman from Ethiopia, historian James Young, with Muhammad Idrees Ahmad’s and Brian Quail from Glasgow.


*Bella is named after Bella Baxter, a character in Alasdair Gray’s Poor Things.


**Bella Caledonia will have a print run of 10,000 and will be available throughout Scotland. It will operate largely online. There will be a separate launch of the online project before Christmas.