I am genuinely delighted that the Bella Caledonia website is continuing and my offer to take it over is not needed. We need all the resources arguing for independence that we currently have and more.
We are however entitled to be somewhat perplexed by their statement today that
“Bella is not in debt, there is no prospect of bankruptcy, and there is no immediate appeal planned for cash. Any new donations will be transferred into the new company.”
This appears completely incompatible with an entire series of desperate appeals for cash immediately prior to the apparent closure, which stated in terms that unless large and urgent amounts of cash were stumped up the website would have to close. Just three days ago they published:
“The Advisory Board of Bella Caledonia confirms we are going to have to make the decision to close, unless an urgent fundraising appeal can be met. Mike Small has advised that despite his commitment to Bella, he will have to step down as editor as the position is too financially precarious and he is actively seeking other work. The Board is looking at other funding models.”
These two statements do not match. One of them is untrue.
My friendly advice is this. Folk are extremely committed to Independence, and many folk in Scotland are extremely committed to radical politics. Committed to the extent they will put their hands in their pockets to support you. But if you give the impression you are not being entirely straight whilst asking them for money, you are in great danger of seeing future funds dry up, especially where the money is being asked to pay your own salary.
If the “other funding models” means a search for state or institutional sources of cash, you will soon find that he who pays the piper…
Anyway, best of luck to Bella and I hope it goes serenely on and from strength to strength. I also hope that this episode has taught a little humility and a little less antagonism in their attitude to other independence campaigners and independence websites who do not share their precise viewpoint. No fellow campaigner for Independence anywhere in the broad range – including Stuart Campbell, James Kelly, Tommy Sheridan, Angus Robertson or even just me – should be attacked until we have defeated our real enemies.