Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Newsnet Scotland growing in strength

Good to see the improved website for Newsnet Scotland

And by way of Newsfeeds it links to STV News and most importantly Bella Caledonia.

This is the media we need for the future. Publications that are pro-independence and allows Scottish written talent and sincere journalism to shine through.

This is as good as it gets on the web for a news information source.

This weblog welcomes the efforts of the folks behind the scenes of Newsnet Scotland that have produced this informative news source.

A great start to what will be a year that brings Scottish elections to the people in May.

I have had enough of the London centrists and narrow minded quislings in our culture. It is time for Scottish people to stand proud and be a nation once again.

The independent efforts and fresh thinking of Newsnet Scotland and Bella Caledonia are to be welcomed as a sign of the times that the alternative news mediums are here to stay.

This weblog is proud to be linked to Bella Caledonia also.

If you want to get involved in the Newsnet Scotland initiative then read below:

Get involved with Newsnet Scotland!

Newsnet Scotland is radically different from the mainstream Scottish media in two fundamental ways. Firstly we are pro-independence, that alone would make us distinctive and a unique voice in the Scottish media. But we are also different in another, perhaps even more important way, unlike the BBC and the print media in Scotland, we do not impose an agenda on our readership. We are not the haughty voice from on-high talking down to 'little' Scots who are too poor, too wee and too stupid to think for ourselves. We really are the voice of Scotland, the voices of ordinary Scots men and women who want our country back.

For the past few weeks a small group of us have been feverishly working behind the scenes in order to bring you the smart and professional looking new site you see today. We're doing this without pay, devoting our spare time and energies to a project we are all deeply committed to. We'll continue to work away in order to bring news and stories, many of which are ignored or marginalised by the pro-Unionist media, to the attention of the wider Scottish public. We'll continue to provide a platform for pro-Scottish voices. But in order for Newsnet to have long term success, we need you.

We are seeking volunteers to help out in all aspects of Newsnet Scotland's production and publication. Everyone is welcome and everyone can help, especially if there are areas where you might have some special skills or knowledge. It's all very well complaining about media bias and the anti-Scottish slant of the BBC, now you can do something about it. Remember what your mammy told you, "If you want something done you need to do it yourself." The BBC and the Scottish print media won't change just because we complain about them, we need to build an alternative.

Don't worry if you have no previous experience writing for publication. We will help you to ensure that your pieces are of a professional standard. We want Newsnet Scotland to be a great success, but we want you to look good too. But we're not just seeking people who can write for publication, there are lots of behind the scenes jobs that are vital to the success of a venture like Newsnet.

* News and current affairs correspondents. We always need more writers, especially those willing to contribute articles and stories on a regular basis.

* Local correspondents. We want local correspondents from all areas of Scotland so we can provide full coverage of the activities of our local authorities. The reason the Unionist parties get away with so much local malpractice is because our mainstream media will not publicise it.

* Overseas correspondents. Are you a diaspora Scot? You can still help and contribute. We need reporters who can tell us what's going on in their part of the world, especially if the story is relevant to Scotland. We'd also like to hear more from people living in other stateless nations where there is an active campaign for self determination.

* Health, education, environment, disabilities, energy, minority issues etc. If you have knowledge and expertise in any of these areas, get in touch! Your knowledge and skills can educate the Scottish public. We are looking for people who can contribute occasional or regular pieces devoted to specialised subjects which are of interest to the wider public and relevant to the campaign for Scottish self-determination.

* Photography and graphics. We need to build up our own image bank of photographs which can be used to illustrate articles. We don't just need photos of people in the news, we also need photos of places in the news. Any graphic artists out there would be an invaluable help in preparing graphs, maps, tables and other useful graphic information to accompany our pieces.

* Scots and Gaelic. We are keen to encourage the use of Scots and Gaelic. Contact us if you are willing to contribute regular or occasional articles in either language, or if you are interested in helping out with proof-reading and editing Scots and Gaelic articles.

* Behind the scenes. Websites require maintenance, publications require proof readers and fact checkers, media and legal advisors, book-keepers and accountants. If you have an interest in any of these areas please get involved. Without those of us who are willing to do the grunt work behind the scenes, nothing is possible.

* Mediawatch. The only way in which we can force a change to media regulation in Scotland is to document, quantify and log the bias present in our existing media, especially the BBC. This project is at a very early stage of development, if you are interested in getting involved from the very beginning get in touch now.

* Donations. Although we work for free, there are always costs involved. Servers must be paid for, and sometimes we need to pay for professional work or services in order to run the site properly. Donations are always welcome and can easily be made through our Paypal account using the "Donate" button.

Contact us at the following email address :

Please mention 'volunteering' in the subject field of your email.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Radio Scotland Celtic Zone on Burns

Eddi Reader presents a special edition of the Celtic Zone dedicated to the life and work of our treasured national bard, Robert Burns

Available until Feb 1st.

Sorry bbc iplayer is not available for US listeners but available in the disunited kingdom


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Joe Strummer: "The Future Is Unwritten"

The time passes quickly now eight years since the untimely death of Joe Strummer. He was an artist, a political lyricist, socialist and socialite and man for humanity.

His name lives on with Strummerville a registered charity that aims to create new opportunities for aspiring musicians.

I post here in remembrance what is written in Wikipedia about him

John Graham Mellor (21 August 1952 – 22 December 2002), best remembered by his stage name Joe Strummer, was the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of the critically acclaimed British rock band The Clash. His musical experience included his membership in The 101ers, Latino Rockabilly War, The Mescaleros and The Pogues, in addition to his own solo music career. Strummer's work as a musician allowed him to explore other interests, which included acting, creating film scores for television and movies, songwriting, radio broadcasting, and a position as a radio host.

Joe Strummer and The Clash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 2003. In his remembrance, Strummer's friends and family have established the Strummerville Foundation for the promotion of new music, and each year there are many festivals and both organized and spontaneous ceremonies worldwide to celebrate his memory.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Kevin at the helm of Bella Caledonia

Some developments are taking place over at Bella Caledonia. The need for an alternative unbiased press is greater than ever. Too often the press in Scotland promote the union and present the failing aspects of devolution as normal. We Scottish Republicans beg to differ. The situation of a lack of Scottish Democracy can never be acceptable to the people of this nation. Many foolishly think that to revolt against the London centralist government it is necessary to vote Labour. However faith in Labour throughout the years has failed Scotland. Instead we should vote and campaign for real change that is Independence.

Firstly here is a short article from inspirational and talented Scottish writer Kevin Williamson recently posted on Bella Caledonia. We should look forward to more of this in 2011. In order for this to happen I also post here a support appeal for Bella Caledonia.

2011 is a big year

Sometimes it takes a jolt to the system to realise that you can’t take someone’s consistent, innovative unsung work for granted. When Bella Caledonia was set up in 2007 myself and Mike tried to shoulder the workload evenly but more recently it’s mainly been Mike putting his shoulder to the wheel with regards to the important strategic planning, editing and regular writing. This was unsustainable. I think we all realise how important Mike is to this project. He deals in the most important currency we have: ideas.

2011 is a big year. The London government is hellbent on destroying our much-needed frontline public services as well as penalising those least able to defend themselves. We need to keep reminding people that the banking crisis and widening budget deficit was entirely of London’s making. It doesn’t need to be this way. Especially as we consider that the Scottish economy is currently operating in surplus not in deficit.

The Tory posh boys at Number 10 and their LibDem accomplices know the DisUnited Kingdom is on the road to economic ruin and instead or making those most able to stump up they’re using what Naomi Klein correctly described as opportunistic Shock Doctrine tactics to asset strip the poorest. This is a neo-liberal smash-and-grab operation and the barbarians really are at the gate. We know it. They know it. But the unionist/mainstream media sings from a very different song book.

Here in Scotland a crucial election looms large with Independence creeping back up the agenda following a rocky period of disorientation following the banking crisis and bail outs of 2008. There is everything to play for.

All of this is bringing home the need for what Pat Kane calls ‘Thoughtland’ to make its voice heard in a calm and considered manner. Bella Caledonia, along with the vitally important Newsnet Scotland, and the rest of pro-independence blogosphere, considers itself a small cog in the greater whole that is Thoughtland. Our objective is not just helping towards Scotland’s much-needed national independence but to engage and constantly re-evaluate ideas such as ‘democracy’, ‘progress’ ‘cultural engagement’ ‘fiscal autonomy’ ‘environmentalism’ and ‘economic growth’. Clear innovative ideas are vital to counter disillusionment, apathy or plain old confusion.

With that in mind I’m taking over the helm at Bella while Mike has a breather to recharge his batteries. He’ll be back soon enough. All the suggestions and offers of help have given us both a lot of heart and will be responded to. I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve too. The Vote Independence AV referendum campaign announced on St Andrew’s Day is right at the top of the agenda for May 2011.

Keep the suggestions coming and spread the word.

Kevin Williamson


Thanks to the great many of you who emailed us in support of an alternative press in Scotland. We’ve added a Support us page here with details of how you can donate and lend a hand. We are building a stronger base of contributors for the site and are setting a up a fund to help build and sustain the project.

If you – or anyone you know of wishes to support the project please send them this link.

At the moment we are looking for one-off donations to build up a fighting-fund. All donations gratefully received. Let us know if you would like to be acknowledged or would prefer to be anonymous. Thanks!
Bella Caledonia

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The end of the road for Bella Caledonia?

The following message has been posted on the Bella Caledonia website see below


"This project is now finished. Thanks to everyone for their support and interest over the last three years, particularly all the contributors. But it’s not possible to continue. All content will be available till the end of the month." Mike

Judging by the comments nobody wants to see it go least of all me. For the past three years Bella Caledonia has provided writers that are libertarian and have an insight into Scottish politics and culture. Also with alternative views and opinions but nevertheless pro-independence.

It comes at a time of collaboration by Bella Caledonia with Newsnet Scotland

Therefore the sudden news that it is going to end is sad and disappointing.

I am sure the Bella Caledonia writers can go onto other projects.

Their writers have a clear vision that is not idealistic or dogmatic.

The future must bring us hope to aspire for better things.