Alasdair Gray’s Bella Caledonia: Scotland’s Marianne?

Alasdair Gray Scholarship Trust

Bella Caledona

Bella Caledonia by Alasdair Gray (2007)

By Kevin Brown and Dominika Nasilowski

 Alasdair Gray as moral philosopher

The Glasgow based artist, writer and polymath Alasdair Gray is known for many things: for a plethora of landmark novels and other written works that bulk large in the cultural self awareness of modern day Scotland; for his breathtaking murals scattered across the land from Glasgow to Dunfermline; and for a unique and distinctive artistic style now avidly collected by both public galleries and private collectors. Google ‘Alasdair Gray art’ and the hundreds of striking images of paintings, drawings, prints and murals that will appear barely scratch the surface of Gray’s vast oeuvre.

I would argue that Gray’s gigantic range of creative accomplishments, while important, are really just bagatelles in terms of his cultural significance. His true importance to Scotland is in his life long praxis as a visionary moral philosopher…

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Wee Ginger Dugcast – 1 March 2019

Wee Ginger Dug

Welcome to the 1st of March edition of the Wee Ginger Dugcast, where Callum Baird (The National’s editor) and I manage to find things to talk about other than Brexit. Whoopee! In this edition we discuss Theresa May’s surprising revelation that she’s a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race and whether this is the most embarrassing attempt by a politician to show that they’re in touch with popular culture since Gordon Brown claimed he was a fan of the Arctic Monkeys.  We also discuss the McCrone Report and the reaction received by The National to its groundbreaking decision to publish it in full, the news that the Conservatives expect the Scottish Government to ask for a Section 30 order within a few weeks – but have already decided to say no because they want us all to hit the iceberg together – and the decision by the SNP to move forward…

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Brexit: Plan, Eh?

Wee Ginger Dug

The Prime Minister is like one of those antibiotic resistant bacteria. The closest thing that she has to a political principle is MSRA. It doesn’t matter what countermeasures you throw at it, it’s still there, giving you stomach cramps and nausea.

On Tuesday, Theresa May went to Northern Ireland to tell Irish people all about Ireland. Ireland is a big island, she told them. It’s got water around it. Blue water, the same colour as the Conservative party, which means that she really cares about it. Ireland has fields. It has roads and houses. It has hedges and trees. No one cares more about Northern Ireland than she does, which is why she’s only speaking to the DUP and no one else.

She told the audience of increasingly bewildered Irish people, because she was being very clear, that she will do whatever it takes to keep the border open apart…

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Student (mature) journalist Andrew Denholm’s undergraduate ‘research’ on Scottish teacher vacancies fails to discover…..anything much

Talking-up Scotland


In the student rag, Herald, today, we had another ill-founded report of a crisis:

‘Teacher recruitment crisis: Scottish schools facing nearly 700 vacancies. HUNDREDS of teaching posts across Scotland remain unfilled less than two weeks before pupils return after the summer break. Research by The Herald has revealed there are currently some 670 teacher vacancies at primaries and secondaries across Scotland.’


BAJ Yr 1           Student: Denholm, A.             Tutor: Prof Robertson             5/8/18

Dear Andrew,

  1. Your proposal re teacher shortages in Scotland is seriously short of evidence to back up your case or to contextualise your argument.
    1. How does the number of teachers per capita in Scotland compare with that in, say, England? A quick search finds: 51 513 teacher FTEs in Scotland and 457 300 thousand FTEs in England, Scotland has 10% of the population but 11.3% of the teachers.
    2. How do the pupil teacher ratios…

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The worst lies are the biggest- the BBC knows

Yes Scotland's Future - The Blogs

We note with some dismay that the BBC are still persisting with todays BIG LIE that services personnel will suffer under the new tax rules by the Scottish government . Heard it on the news this morning and again just now on News at Six so it must be true right? Yes we know, don’t listen to the BBC, don’t watch it, etc,. Trouble is a lot of people still do. So we must flush out lies like this every day we see them.

Why do you think the staff numbers at David Mundell’s ‘bunker’ are so large and the social media ( cough) budget is so massive? There is an orchestrated campaign going on to keep people unaware at least and critical at best of all things positive about Scotland.

Earlier this morning we posted an excellent ‘fact checking’ post from the Ferret which nailed this story as false…

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