Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Veterans For Scottish Independence 2.0: On matters to do with the Tory and Establishment: Ruth Davidson, do not be fooled into thinking that there is anything benign about this Tory, she is using Scotland as a stepping stone on...
Ruth Davidson, do not be fooled into thinking that there is anything benign about this Tory, she is using Scotland as a stepping stone on her own career. She over the space of her onward march to her hallowed halls of the westmonster has changed her mind more often than possibly any other politician in recent years. For the EU against the EU, Scots are scrounging, Scots are a valued part of the union. Always quoting the historical and financial benefit for the union of 1707 and that any break from it would bring hell, high water, fire and brimstone down onto us. And if, that was not enough to deter us from self-determination as a nation. Apparently as we sink into the 7th pit of hell and damnation, as described by the holly parchments of the conservative and unionist party, will be without currency, defence, trading partners, friends in general and the BBC. Although the last one sounds more of a blessing.
The financial argument for independence should be of interest this time round. All the fear, doom and gloom forecasted by George and his rancid buddies has actually been either brought on by or is waiting in the wings to make an entrance thanks to that Etonian playground spat between David and Boris commonly referred to as "Brexit"
With that in mind I would like to put forward the argument on historical grounds. The establishments description of our nation prior to the act of union, a union wanted by few and brought about by the corruption of the afore mentioned few. Scotlands guilds and local councils protested bitterly against the union and indeed for the first 50 years it had a negative effect on our nation.
Queen Anne got to pick the Scots negotiating team, the establishment bribed the nobles, there was also the threat of invasion from Malborough and his armies. This as you can see is not the meeting of equals around a table, no far from it. This is intimidation so that the establishment working out of London could secure their northern flank, harness extra resources (men and material) without the cost of a troublesome war. Aye Scotland could keep religion, education and domestic legal stuff but be under no misconception we were taken over and not as we now know to our benefit.
Of course, the other great date on the road to union was the unification of crowns in 1603. How quick James was to abandon Edinburgh to set up court in London and from that date on our independence was placed in jeopardy.
It is I think, even to the most casual of observers of the history of the union that Scotland was absorbed into a union provided by the nobles, not wanted by the majority and the history of has been so distorted by an educational system geared up to that task we have grown up believing the lies.
The Dress Act of 1746 (part of the Act of Proscription) made the wearing of highland dress illegal it reinforced the disarming act and the forced suppression of the Gaelic language. It was not until 1782 that the Dress act was repealed and by that time the damage to the clan distinction was done. We also had the aristocracy (those that got the gelt for the union) start the clearances the forced removal from their ancestral homes of the people, sheep where deemed to be more profitable. Today it would be called ethnic cleansing or genocide. Two phrases I do not use lightly for as a soldier I have seen it first hand in Bosnia 1993. Those forced removals coupled with the voluntary exodus stripped our country of its people, heritage and collective memory a memory that could have been used to challenge the establishments version of history. Alas it was not to be and for the best part of 300 years they that would deny us our culture have had the run of things. Remember it is still within living memory that children were subjected to punishments for speaking Gaelic at school. Those days are coming to an end, thankfully. We now live in an age of mass media and the lie of those that wish to retain power to feather their pockets is being seen through. The grip on the reins of knowledge is not so strong and as the line goes, with knowledge comes power. Most can now go online and research the past. For those that wish, the truth is out there, and it has nothing to do with UFOs. No indeed the only grey-men involved are those that prowl the corridors of Whitehall.
The case for union, that case that was built foundations so corrupt is not so sure. The truth about the immediate actions taken by a brutal regime in the years following that union is a matter of public record we can see that the actions taken where only to guarantee and preserve the nobles place in it.
We are not too small, we are not too dull and inept to run our own affairs. What we are is a nation suppressed and brought to heel by an uncaring system that wanted to go on a world domination phase and then as that system started to shrink and turn its back on its empire through want or internal pressure it now faces one of its last challenges. They will come at us with all their tried and tested means. Their lies and divisive methods. They have control of the propaganda machine but crucially not mass media or the streets. Nor this time can they dictate the narrative, for their lies of the last campaign are still in print. They find themselves preparing for a conflict on two fronts, ironically something that the union was supposed to prevent. This time we do not face the impending invasion of Malborough and his armies but instead face the haunting prospect of being subjected to the continual drip drip of the propaganda as spouted by fluffy and the mooth and sure enough individually we may be subjected to troll attacks. The later I no longer care about and if someone wants to call me a communist, fascist, traitor that has broken an oath. Then they can crack on and fill their boots. My focus will be on those that can be persuaded so please my bonny yoons save the oxygen. When the First Minister stands up and declares that a second referendum is called for because of and for no other reason the rank hypocrisy of the westmonster then it's game on. But not from a standing start this time.
The groups are there, we know who has our nations best interest at heart and who does not.
The only thing that the corrupt rancid establishment has on offer is austerity and nothing else.
Thank you and Alba gu Bràth
Monday, February 20, 2017
Our debut performance
There are some that wonder how I as a former soldier ended up being a voice and small wheel in the drive for Scottish independence. The answer, it did not happen overnight and there was no small measure of research involved. As most of my age (55) I was sold the story that Scotland through an ill-advised overseas expedition that due to very poor planning was skint, bankrupt, our wealth squandered by dreams that would be, to any sensible person, quite obviously out of the national reach. On the back of this cataclysm the nation was offered a saviour in the form of political union with the Westminster parliament. This was duly voted on and in 1707 the unification happened and Scotland saved.
Whilst growing up in Thurso I can't remember being taught anything about an independent Scotland in primary school. I do remember being taught about the English kings and queens but nothing about the Scots. This, I later found very strange as Scotland had as a unified country taken its place in early European history with active trade routes to and from the continent. To be honest the more I read into our history the more I felt let down by an education system that would seem to all appearances been geared to eradicate Scotlands past.
The story of the unification of parliaments is well documented as is the corruption involved in getting it. The lead up to it took the full weight of William the 3rd and his ministers.
The establishments feelings that Scotland was acting as a rogue nation contributed greatly to William’s willingness to sabotage the Darien Venture through which Scotland attempted to establish an entrepôt for the East and West Indies on the Panama Isthmus in the late 1690s.
The act of settlement 1701 brought the response from Scotland of the Act of Security 1704 which led to the alien act 1705.
Scotland relied on 50% of its exports going to England. In an act of blackmail in 1705, the English Parliament closed their market to Scottish cattle, coal and linen and declared that all Scots would be treated a aliens. It showed the vulnerability of Scotland to a trade war. In addition, Scotland was excluded from England's colonial territories.
The act of union 1707 was voted in by a gentry more worried about their own purse than a nations status. Very little mention is made of the riots that followed it or the pleas from the Scottish burhs that yes, the Darien Scheme had cost them but at least 75% of Scottish wealth was intact.
It was very quickly realised by the Members of this unified parliament that the union was only for one purpose and that was to peg the north flank of the empire.
In 1715 there was the first Jacobite rebellion the aftermath of which saw the whole of the Clan Gregor being excluded from the indemnity act 1717 theirs was to be the charge of treason.
A further attempt took place in 1719 using Spanish troops. But it was not until 1746 and the failure of the rebellion led by the Bonnie Prince that Scotlands heritage started to get whitewashed. 1746 act of Proscription that incorporated the Dress Act and lasted for 36 years when the Gaelic language was prohibited as was other symbols of the nation. The pipes, tartans and highland dress all banned. This coupled with the ethnic cleansing of the glens by a remote aristocracy more interested in the value of sheep than the people saw a depopulation of the Highlands and an end to centuries of tradition. Transgressors of the acts of that far away Parliament were often sold into slavery.
I think that it is little wonder that the drive for independence was almost eradicated until well into the late 1800s and early 1900s
Between 1889 and 1914 Scottish home rule was debated 15 times in Westmonster. Including the introduction of four bills. In 1913 a home rule bill passed its second reading. Then came along the First World War and the carnage that ensued decimating already depleted Scottish communities. As a former soldier, I am aware of the losses suffered by communities throughout the UK and, indeed, throughout the world in the “war to end all wars”.
Not long after the return from the conflict our troops some with their demob would have seen British Tanks deployed on the streets of Glasgow. Some 10000 non-native soldiers deployed all Scots forces confined to barracks in 1919.
From then to 1934 saw the creation of the Scottish National Movement then the creation of the Scottish National Party (a merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party).
More carnage followed with World War 2 and the retreat from empire that followed Scottish regiments heavily involved as where individuals in the other branches of the Forces.
The post war years was a period of fragmented support for home rule let alone full independence with various egos getting in the way of the aim. A lesson that needs to be remembered today. The 50s through to today has seen the clear rise in support for independence and with it the influence of the SNP. Anyone looking back on the Union can easily discover that it was only of true benefit for the aristocracy. Sure, a lucky few plebs made their fortune but that was the exception rather than the rule. Yet the Westminster would have us believe that they are the sole able provider for our country. On the one hand, they describe how important a part Scotland is within the union but are quick to point out just what a complete loss we would be as an Independent Nation.
So why did I entitle this “A Soldiers Tale from Thurso to Bearsden and beyond”. Well ‘twas in Thurso that I was born and raised. A soldier is how I have spent most of my working life 14 years with the Queens Own Highlanders and 10 years with the Royal Army Medical Corps, Bearsden seen the embryonic first public speaking for the Veterans for Scottish Independence 2.0 group screened by our good friends over at Independence Live. The group is still active and contactable on Facebook and that is the beyond part of the title.
We have many parties wanting independence and we have many voices not affiliated to any party that speak so eloquently and blog with passion on the subject. We honestly need to pull together for our country let us not give the unionists any sort of chink in our commitment for them to play on. The classic way that they will come at us will be to disrupt, divide, marginalise and in that way, they beat us. Mark my words a loss by the independence movement in a second referendum will kill the movement for decades. Not to mention consign our great Country and its people to years of Tory rule and austerity. So, let us please put our individual political opinions to one side for that is not going to be the question on the ballot paper. Let us learn from the mistakes of the last campaign and from bygone ages. United we shall win, divided we shall suffer abject failure and austerity beyond imagination.