What now?

As some might be aware, the results of the snap General Election here in the moldering carcass of the U.K, has brought about something of a wake-up call for both the dominant parties in Scotland and England, or those apt to have at least been considered ‘safe’; SNP and the Tories to be exact. Below are the results for Scotland. They aren’t catastrophic, by any means, and we can bounce back, but considering the previous voting trend up until now, it isn’t exactly encouraging in regards to the prospect of Scottish independence either.

The result

general election resultsgeneral election results2

And it got me thinking about a lot of things. It got me thinking about Scotland, Brexit, Unionism, Westminster and the English-run U.K wide media, in paper, internet, and broadcasting format; the triple-threat. It got me thinking about just how much of an uphill struggle it’s all been, only to reach this rut in the road, from the halcyon days of 2011-2015 and 2016; the sense of Scotland awakening and uniting, regardless of personal prejudice and the issue of Europe, to really come together, put aside our petty beliefs and strike out for a clear and concise goal; independence. I’ll readily admit, that of mass immigration, I’m no fan; select immigration of individuals that actually benefit the society into which they are placed; I’m fully on-board for. Yet, the SNP and their somewhat radical open-door approach to such things never sat all that well with me, but I continue to vote for them solely to advance the cause of independence. I thought that was the general consensus among the majority of my fellow Scots as well; deal with the background noise post-independence; vote for a different party afterwards, but just get to that point first and foremost. Independence. Apparently however, that wasn’t the case, and perhaps I was a tad too blinded by my own sense of mounting destiny to notice, or at least admit, that cracks were beginning to appear. The SNP are still the majority in Scotland, and that’s good; but I just can’t help noticing the cracks. I’m ever the optimist…

And now, we have Tories back in Scotland! Tories. 13 of them. And I sit here stunned, wondering just what in the blue fuck happened to my countrymen that I find a portion of them suddenly seeking out the nearest cliff, enmasse, from which to leap from. They may as well just go ahead and burn down their houses, after pushing their elderly down the stairs, because that’s what voting Tory means in Scotland, that’s exactly what voting for anything other than the SNP or Greens buys you; austerity; higher taxes; emptier pensions; less money in your pocket and an ever increasingly authoritative and uncaring government breathing down your neck!

And for what? Fear of another independence referendum? Then vote NO if and when it comes. You don’t have to get into bed with the actual Goddamn enemy just to spite the noses of your own people. You could have voted NO, without letting those who despise you drag your country to ruination and destitution. You could have voted NO, for Gods-sake, you could have simply voted NO. But instead, you let the enemy through the gate, and in doing so, turned your back on everything it means to be Scottish; you spat in the faces of all who have come before us, you’ve spat in the faces of our culture, and our heritage. You’ve spat in the faces of not only your children, but your Grandchildren as well; and all from cowardice and a weak heart. And so what’s left? Try and claw back seat after seat from the Tory and Labour scum; campaign unceasingly within every quisling constituency, after quisling constituency?

I’ve got a better idea folks; a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.


And let’s see them try and fucking stop us. I’ll tell you, this whole exercise in democracy, it isn’t working. It’s time to be Scotland again, be who we really are. We aren’t progressive and liberal; we’re bitter and hateful, aggressive and violent. That is our nature. Fuck all of these English immigrants within our storied borders; they don’t get a say in this. We declare Unilateral Independence, and then we meet those scum south of the border, beard to beard, because democracy isn’t working, and if we want independence, then instead of letting unionists make bomb-threats and send suspicious packages to pro-independence locations without so much as a glance in their corner; we fight back; an eye for an eye. They attack us; we attack them, brutally and swiftly, whilst giving no shits about what the rest of Europe thinks of us. When we march, as 20,000 did in Glasgow, we do so ready to fight; to counter aggressively, any Unionist scum we happen across (According to All Under One Banner, over 17,000 people had gathered, with almost 9,000 people confirming their attendance on the event’s Facebook page. Police estimate there were around 15,000-20,000 attendees). We then make it a law to teach all children Scottish Gaelic, from Galloway and the Borders, all the way up and to Orkney; reawaken it nation-wide, for it was spoken everywhere. It was our language, not just in the Highlands, but Scotland-wide. It belongs to us all. We then scrap the British history books, and replace them with the history of our own incredible, stunning, beautiful, magical, inspiring, glorious and ancient nation. We see any flag flying that isn’t the Saltire; rip it down. English-run businesses? Boycott them; refuse to buy anything not produced within Scotland; support our farmers and fishermen first and foremost. Holiday in the Hebrides and spend our money there; support and help revitalize those small businesses that call our ancient heart home. Shut out the rest of the world and worry about ourselves for a time, because we have few friends within our own country as it is, let alone out there in the wider world.

Sidenote: I’m aware the above paragraph will most likely never happen, and more’s the pity; but forgive me my rant, as I’m genuinely sickened to my stomach, and sometimes it’s nice to vent. Anyway:


The softly-softly approach of appeasing everyone just hasn’t been working. We’ve been too nice, and too eager to be seen as ‘progressive’; bending over backwards to make every single component within our society feel included and welcome, no matter how divisive or insignificant they actually are. And that is where the SNP have been going wrong; ignoring the pro-Brexit Scots, who despite wanting out of Europe, might still be YES voters. Instead of listening to the vocal minority; listen to the silent majority, or at the very least, acknowledge them. Again, I’ll admit I’m not pro-Europe, and would rather we have an agreement similar to that of Scandinavian countries; within the single market, but with enough leash to delay ever actually formalizing ties to Belgium. It works for them, and it would work for us. Yet I can understand why some would want to remain in Europe, and that’s fine, we can hold a referendum on that as well…but not without independence first, yet the more Tory and Labour quislings we let within our country; the less likely that either option will ever be a choice to begin with. You and your uninterested masters have robbed us of yet another national decision! Does that sound like hyperbole? An overreaction? That Westminster would ever be so underhanded, callous and subversive toward Scotland’s national interest and benefit, that such a thing could only have been dream’t up in the skewed head of an overzealous nationalist blaming every woe on the damned English? Tell me then; have you ever heard of the McCrone report; or, as I like to call it; The Darien Scheme 2.0?

The McCrone report

The McCrone report is an 18 page document about the effects of North Sea Oil on an independent Scotland, and which quite clearly shows that almost all of the profit from said North Sea Oil was taken from Scotland and spent on England, with projects such as upgrading the north and south circular road in London chief among them. The Channel Tunnel and M25 were also paid for from the ‘bonanza’ of North Sea Oil. Essentially it helps highlight; Economically, that Scotland has been continuously robbed and impoverished by subsequent Westminster governments; Westminster even having went so far as to have had the report classified as “secret“, so as to avoid fueling the independence sentiment within Scotland. It wasn’t until 2005 that the report was released to the public. Below are some excerpts:

The first part goes through most of the usual arguments which have been used against the Nationalists in the past with fairly convincing effect; the second part sets out the sort of economic strategy which an SNP Government might try to follow indicating both the dangers and the possibilities

used against the Nationalists in the past with fairly convincing effect


I was anxious to see whether a credible economic strategy could be put together which would appear to be more convincing in terms of solving Scotland’s traditional economic problems than the regional policies of the Unionist Governments have been up until now. I think the conclusion is that the most convincing way of taking the wind out of the SNP’s sails is by demonstrating that we now have policies which can make major in-roads into these problems. When my paper was written it was classified “secret” and given only a most restricted circulation in the Scottish Office because of the extreme sensitivity of the subject.”

the most convincing way of taking the wind out of the SNP’s sails


“It must be concluded therefore that revenues and large balance of payments gains would indeed accrue to a Scottish Government in the event of independence provided that steps were taken either by carried interest or by taxation to secure the Government ‘take’. Undoubtedly this would banish any anxieties the Government might have had about its budgetary position or its balance of payments. The country would tend to be in chronic surplus to a quite embarrassing degree and its currency would become the hardest in Europe with the exception perhaps of the Norwegian kroner. Just as deposed monarchs and African leaders have in the past used the Swiss franc as a haven of security, as now would the Scottish pound be seen as a good hedge against inflation and devaluation and the Scottish banks could expect to find themselves inundated with speculative inflow of foreign funds.”

“The country would tend to be in chronic surplus to a quite embarrassing degree”


Civil servants, in London, concluded that the report was accurate, and that the average income in Scotland would increase by up to 30% per head if Scotland became an independent country. They also stated that Scotland’s “economic problems would disappear”, and it would become the Kuwait of the Western world

“the Kuwait of the Western world”


In 2013, Denis Healey (who served in the Cabinet at the time the McCrone Report was submitted) stated: “I think we did underplay the value of the oil to the country because of the threat of (Scottish) nationalism… I think they (Westminster politicians) are concerned about Scotland taking the oil, I think they are worried stiff about it.

“I think we did underplay the value of the oil to the country because of the threat of (Scottish) nationalism…”

Conclusion

Is it not truly disgusting, to toy with the fate of an entire country, simply to line one’s own pocket? Yet that is Scotland’s abhorrent partner in this horrible union. And if that level of greed and vile deceit doesn’t turn your stomach, then join the other Lemmings lining up to leap of the cliff. At some point, I’m going to add a page which will include the report in its entirety, so that anyone interested can read it for themselves’, for there simply isn’t anything else I could add here, that would help to illustrate the reasons behind my mounting anger, and this rant, better than the report itself.

Cinead MacAlpin.

Scotland the…plebby peasant?

This is in response to a video I came across by a Scottish Youtuber. The video is around an hour long, and although I watched the whole thing through, and there are many points and statements made within that I would love to transcribe here so as to answer, that would simply be too much of a waste of time for you or I. So, I’m just going to include a few snippets of what was said, which will give you a reasonable idea of the content of the video, and then give my response. The first is below:

The fact is, I’ve never been very proud of being Scottish. In fact I’ve basically been quite embarrassed by it. In a way when I advocate that third world colonies should have been proud of being taken over by the English, in a sense I’m kinda talking about my, the Scots”


To that first part; fine, don’t be proud, there is nothing wrong with that, many people feel that way, that the country or culture you’re born into is a fluke; I understand that line of thought, yet don’t subscribe to it. But, to be embarrassed by being Scottish, I cannot understand. Whilst a colony implies expansion and settlement by a particular colonial nations people as with the ulster plantations. And so when did that happen within Scotland; castle garrisons/ invading armies? We were not, and are not, a colony. We entered into a union of monarchy’s, and then parliaments’. It really is that simple. Colonized/colony is, in this context, nothing more than an inflammatory word meant only to deride and belittle.

Touch his head, and he will bargain and argue with you to the last; touch his heart, and he falls upon your breast” Andrew Carnegie.


He then goes onto say: “They were civilized by the English and I don’t have any resentment about it, I don’t hate the English for it, I’m grateful to the English for it, I’m glad that they took us over”

England did not civilize Scotland, for Scotland did not need civilizing. So what does he mean then, that invasion is akin to the spreading of civilization; surely then, the founding of Christian places of worship, and that of universities would be seen as more of an intrinsic mark of civility within a society, than say, one whose hunger for power is matched only by its lust for conquest. Am I wrong? Macbeth brought in many sweeping reforms to Scottish society, such as making it easier for people to own their land, whilst campaigning for peace and civility among the countless warring factions of tenth century Scotland. Is that the mark of civility within a country; good land management and civic and monastic reforms towards peace? This guy has clearly never read a history book, and equates civilized society to the wearing of bowler hats, drinking tea, and fancy suits, whilst relegating the entirety of Scottish society to cave dwelling, fur-clad heathens.

Our Scottish theory…is that every country has need of Scotchmen, but that Scotland has no need of the citizens of any other country“ Arthur James Balfour.


This next part is a doozey: “But I think it was a necessary thing to bring a country up to date. I mean it was peasantry; now this, and you still see it now, I’ll get to that later. The long and the short of it is my heart is with England, I don’t feel the type of, I don’t feel I particularly belong to the Scots, um, I don’t admire them as a people, as a group, as a country, I think it’s, um, it’s just dwarfed, its overshadowed by England. England’s cultural and political and artistic achievements dwarf those of Scotland-”

Politically? Most definitely; we both agree on that. Culturally, and artistically though? Are you high? England has Shakespeare, whilst Scotland has Robert Burns (National poet of Russia and the toast of many North American burns nights) Sir Walter Scott’s creation of the Romantic Movement within literature; Charles Ronnie Mackintosh’s contribution to Art Nouveau? What’s not to admire; the medical breakthroughs of Scottish surgeons during the Victorian era; the industrial revolution, and Scotland’s incredible contribution to it? None of that makes you proud? That despite it all, you still feel inferior to the English; clinging to the colonial idea that all of Scotland was some backwater, whilst England was always in a shirt and tie; because pop culture paints them as all being civilized Richards, despite being plagued with alcoholism and violence just as much as Scotland is. No, your heart simply lies with an antiquated ideal of the suited Englishman; whilst wholly being out of touch of the far from perfect modern populace of that country. You are a pathetic, sniveling little wretch of a creature, projecting your own inferiority complex upon your countrymen.

The mark of a Scot of all classes is that he…remembers and cherishes the memory of his forebears, good or bad; and there burns alive in him a sense of identity with the dead even to the twentieth generation” Robert Louis Stevenson.


“-and how can, I just don’t know any way to deny that, or any reason to deny it, it’s the truth we have to face up to, um, now it might not be a permanent condition, it might just be an historical accident that that’s the way it happened, and given enough time, Scotland would be just as civilized as England. Personally i don’t think that would be the case because I, then I don’t know what the percentages are, I did know a year or two ago but I forgotten them know. But the, historically the working class has always been a much larger percentage of the Scottish population, than of the English population. Now, without wishing to disparage the working class, and I think most of us would agree that they don’t tend to be stalwarts at culture…and, I think you can see the effects of this, eh, I think you can see the effects of this in, in Scottish life in, specially in Scottish culture now with the, they are basically a peasant people even now, and it takes, eh, It’s a very unusual person like myself for example, who doesn’t fit into all, doesn’t fit into the pleby attitudes, the disgusting low-grade cultural tastes of the majority and I’m not saying that to pump, to puff myself up. It’s just; I’ve always felt like this. I despair of them, and, the iron brew; the terrible diction, the ridiculous…that, the crassness; the reliance on alcohol; the ignorance and the crudity, the lack of manners, and all of this stuff…it, it, I mean you could probably sense my frustration, I just, I can’t admire them”

Side note: According to alcoholconcern.org.uk , More than 9 million people in England (3 million more people than the entire Scottish population) drink more than the recommended daily limits, and 80,929 people started new alcohol treatment in England in 2013-2014.

To have such vehement contempt for your own people on account of some speaking in dialects, having a colorful vocabulary, or for simply producing a soft drink that outsells the likes of Coke and Pepsi in the home market, is a reflection of this man’s insecurities and self-loathing. But okay, you know what? I’m not even going to waste my breath trying to comprehend this one, or attempt to use logic either. Instead, I’m going to first point out the very real social classes of both Scotland and England prior to, and around the time of, the union, and then bring up a few crime statistics for regions of England.

Criminal (Ne’er do well peasants)

Cottagers and labourers (Hard working Peasants)

Husbandman and other tradesmen (Skilled Peasants)

Yeoman

Gentry/gentleman

Knight

Baronet (hereditary, non peer)

Peer (Noble/Archbishop)

Royal

Side note: The Union meant the Scottish Parliament and Scotland’s independence were forfeited, and as such, the parliamentarians, politicians, nobility then moved down to London. Yet lawyers and jurists remained behind in Edinburgh. The Church of Scotland also remained, as did the universities and the medical establishment. The lawyers and the clergy, along with the professors, intellectuals, doctors, scientists and architects then formed a new middle class elite within urban Scotland, and consequently facilitated the Scottish Enlightenment. These men it seemed, where already fairly civilized…


Anyway, to say that historically and culturally, every Englishman was somewhere between a gentleman and a royal, is simply not true. But to say that every Scot was/is a peasant is simply prejudice, for both Scotland and England have historically had industrial heartlands compromised of working class populations; Glasgow and the central belt in Scotland, and much of the northeast of England. This should not have to be explained. Regardless, he then equates crassness with being an intrinsic aspect of the Scottish psyche in an effort to belittle us; dragging on his cigarette between reflective, poignant pauses; educated and with an air of tired fatigue; attempting to give his own languished arrogance a sense of justification as though all who watch know fine well how unruly we canny Jocks are; acting as though crassness is to be encountered nowhere else in Britain, save for Scotland. So why don’t I just go ahead and pull up those aforementioned crime statistics for a couple parts of England then, eh? First, here is Manchester:

manchester crime stats

manchester crime stats2

Oh, nothing crass about burglary, robbery, shop lifting or general violence, eh? These must all be immigrants from Scotland, for surely no nation of cultured gentlemen of the privileged classes, such as whom form the entirety of the English nation, would do something so boorish as to stab someone, or steal their bike. And just so you don’t think I’m skewing things by referencing from a historically working class area of England, here is the homicide stats for London:

london homicide stats

And here’s the crimes involving guns and knives:

london crime stats

Whoa…what does it all mean then? Well, regardless of which country has historically had more of a working class population; both have, and had, a working class population; as well as a higher class within their social structure. To say that just because Scotland might have had more of a working class, rural and even pastoral society than England in the past, somehow makes the entirety of the country somehow less civilized than England, is utterly nonsensical; based purely on presumption, ignorance, misguided prejudice and a complete and utter lack of understanding of the histories and social structures inherent to both countries.

We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization” Voltaire.


Moving on; let’s take a look at academia and the arts, shall we; you know, that bit were England apparently “overshadows us”: The Scottish Enlightenment (That bit where we invented the entire Goddamn modern world) Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

The Scottish Enlightenment was the period in 18th and early 19th century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. By the eighteenth century, Scotland had a network of parish schools in the Lowlands and four universities*. The Enlightenment culture was based on close readings of new books, and intense discussions took place daily at such intellectual gathering places in Edinburgh as The Select Society and, later, The Poker Club as well as within Scotland’s ancient universities (St Andrews, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen).

Among the fields that rapidly advanced were philosophy, political economy, engineering, architecture, medicine*, geology, archaeology, law, agriculture, chemistry and sociology. Among the Scottish thinkers and scientists of the period were Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, Adam Smith, Dugald Stewart, Thomas Reid, Robert Burns, Adam Ferguson, John Playfair, Joseph Black and James Hutton.

The Scottish Enlightenment had effects far beyond Scotland, not only because of the esteem in which Scottish achievements were held outside Scotland, but also because its ideas and attitudes were carried across the Atlantic world as part of the Scottish diaspora, and by American students who studied in Scotland.

*England only had two universities.

*By the end of the century, the University of Edinburgh’s Medical School was arguably one of the leading centers of science in Europe, boasting such names as the anatomist Alexander Monro (secundus), the chemists William Cullen and Joseph Black, and the natural historian John Walker. Access to Scottish universities was probably more open than in contemporary England, Germany or France. In the eighteenth century, Scotland reaped the intellectual benefits of this system.


Now onto a few other examples of Scotland’s actual contribution to art, literature, culture, the Industrial revolution itself, and I dunno; the very advancement of human civilization (Probably wise just to scroll right past the long, long list. It’s simply to illustrate the scale of just a few of Scotland’s achievements. The post resumes beneath it)

Macadamised roads (the basis for, but not specifically, tarmac): John Loudon McAdam (1756–1836)

The pedal bicycle: Attributed to both Kirkpatrick Macmillan (1813–1878) and Thomas McCall (1834–1904)

The pneumatic tyre: Robert William Thomson and John Boyd Dunlop (1822–1873)

The overhead valve engine: David Dunbar Buick (1854–1929)

Tubular steel: Sir William Fairbairn (1789–1874)

The Falkirk wheel: Initial designs by Nicoll Russell Studios, Architects, RMJM, Architects and engineers Binnie Black and Veatch (Opened 2002)

The patent slip for docking vessels: Thomas Morton (1781–1832)

The Drummond Light: Thomas Drummond (1797–1840)

Canal design: Thomas Telford (1757–1834)

Dock design improvements: John Rennie (1761–1821)

Crane design improvements: James Bremner (1784–1856)

“Trac Rail Transposer”, a machine to lay rail track patented in 2005, used by Network Rail in the United Kingdom and the New York Subway in the United States.

Aircraft design: Frank Barnwell (1910) Establishing the fundamentals of aircraft design at the University of Glasgow.

Condensing steam engine improvements: James Watt (1736–1819)

Thermodynamic cycle: William John Macquorn Rankine (1820–1872)

Coal-gas lighting: William Murdoch (1754–1839)

The Stirling heat engine: Rev. Robert Stirling (1790–1878)

Carbon brushes for dynamos: George Forbes (1849–1936)

The Clerk cycle gas engine: Sir Dugald Clerk (1854–1932)

The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter (“red sea snake” wave energy device): Richard Yemm, 1998

Europe’s first passenger steamboat: Henry Bell (1767–1830)

The first iron–hulled steamship: Sir William Fairbairn (1789–1874)

The first practical screw propeller: Robert Wilson (1803–1882)

Marine engine innovations: James Howden (1832–1913)

John Elder & Charles Randolph (Marine Compound expansion engine)

Lieutenant-General Sir David Henderson two areas:

Field intelligence. Argued for the establishment of the Intelligence Corps. Wrote Field Intelligence: Its Principles and Practice (1904) and Reconnaissance (1907) on the tactical intelligence of modern warfare during World War I.

Special forces: Founded by Sir David Stirling, the SAS was created in World War II in the North Africa campaign to go behind enemy lines to destroy and disrupt the enemy. Since then it has been regarded as the most famous and influential special forces that has inspired other countries to form their own special forces too.

Intelligence: Allan Pinkerton developed the still relevant intelligence techniques of “shadowing” (surveillance) and “assuming a role” (undercover work) in his time as head of the Union Intelligence Service.

Coal mining extraction in the sea on an artificial island by Sir George Bruce of Carnock (1575). Regarded as one of the industrial wonders of the late medieval period.

Making cast steel from wrought iron: David Mushet (1772–1847)

Wrought iron sash bars for glass houses: John C. Loudon (1783–1865)

The hot blast oven: James Beaumont Neilson (1792–1865)

The steam hammer: James Nasmyth (1808–1890)

Wire rope: Robert Stirling Newall (1812–1889)

Steam engine improvements: William Mcnaught (1831–1881)

The Fairlie, a narrow gauge, double-bogie railway engine: Robert Francis Fairlie (1831–1885)

Cordite – Sir James Dewar, Sir Frederick Abel (1889)

Hollow pipe drainage: Sir Hew Dalrymple, Lord Drummore (1700–1753)

The Scotch plough: James Anderson of Hermiston (1739–1808)

Deanstonisation soil-drainage system: James Smith (1789–1850)

The mechanical reaping machine: Rev. Patrick Bell (1799–1869)

The Fresno scraper: James Porteous (1848–1922)

The Tuley tree shelter: Graham Tuley in 1979

Print stereotyping: William Ged (1690–1749)

Roller printing: Thomas Bell (patented 1783)

The adhesive postage stamp and the postmark: claimed by James Chalmers (1782–1853)

The Waverley pen nib innovations thereof: Duncan Cameron (1825–1901) The popular “Waverley” was unique in design with a narrow waist and an upturned tip designed to make the ink flow more smoothly on the paper.

Universal Standard Time: Sir Sandford Fleming (1827–1915)

Light signalling between ships: Admiral Philip H. Colomb (1831–1899)

The underlying principles of Radio – James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879)

The Kinetoscope, a motion picture camera: devised in 1889 by William Kennedy Dickson (1860-1935)

The teleprinter: Frederick G. Creed (1871–1957)

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC: John Reith, 1st Baron Reith (1922) its founder, first general manager and Director-general of the British Broadcasting Corporation

Radar: A significant contribution made by Robert Watson-Watt (1892–1973)

The automated teller machine and Personal Identification Number system – James Goodfellow (born 1937)

The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica; Edinburgh (1768–81)

The first English textbook on surgery(1597)

The first modern pharmacopaedia, William Cullen (1776). The book became ‘Europe’s principal text on the classification and treatment of disease’. His ideas survive in the terms nervous energy and neuroses (a word that Cullen coined).

The first postcards and picture postcards in the UK

The first eBook from a UK administration (March 2012). Scottish Government publishes ‘Your Scotland, Your Referendum’.

The educational foundation of Ophthalmology: Stewart Duke-Elder in his ground breaking work including ‘Textbook of Ophthalmology and fifteen volumes of System of Ophthalmology’

Logarithms: John Napier (1550–1617)

Modern Economics founded by Adam Smith (1776) ‘The father of modern economics’ with the publication of The Wealth of Nations.

Modern Sociology: Adam Ferguson (1767) ‘The Father of Modern Sociology’ with his work An Essay on the History of Civil Society

Hypnotism: James Braid (1795–1860) the Father of Hypnotherapy

Tropical medicine: Sir Patrick Manson known as the father of Tropical Medicine

Modern Geology: James Hutton ‘The Founder of Modern Geology’

The theory of Uniformitarianism: James Hutton (1788): a fundamental principle of Geology the features of the geologic time takes millions of years.

The theory of electromagnetism: James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879)

The discovery of the Composition of Saturn’s Rings James Clerk Maxwell (1859): determined the rings of Saturn were composed of numerous small particles, all independently orbiting the planet. At the time it was generally thought the rings were solid. The Maxwell Ringlet and Maxwell Gap were named in his honor.

The Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution by James Clerk Maxwell (1860): the basis of the kinetic theory of gases, that speeds of molecules in a gas will change at different temperatures. The original theory first hypothesised by Maxwell and confirmed later in conjunction with Ludwig Boltzmann.

Popularising the decimal point: John Napier (1550–1617)

The Gregorian telescope: James Gregory (1638–1675)

The discovery of Proxima Centauri, the closest known star to the Sun, by Robert Innes (1861–1933)

One of the earliest measurements of distance to the Alpha Centauri star system, the closest such system outside of the Solar System, by Thomas Henderson (1798–1844) The discovery of Centaurus A, a well-known starburst galaxy in the constellation of Centaurus, by James Dunlop (1793–1848)

The world’s first oil refinery and a process of extracting paraffin from coal laying the foundations for the modern oil industry: James Young (1811–1883)

The identification of the minerals yttrialite, thorogummite, aguilarite and nivenite: by William Niven

Discovering the properties of Carbon dioxide by French-born Joseph Black (1728–1799)

The concept of Heat capacity by French-born Joseph Black (1728–1799)

The pyroscope, atmometer and aethrioscope scientific instruments: Sir John Leslie (1766–1832)

Identifying the nucleus in living cells: Robert Brown (1773–1858)

An early form of the Incandescent light bulb: James Bowman Lindsay (1799-1862)

Colloid chemistry: Thomas Graham (1805–1869)

The kelvin SI unit of temperature by Irishman William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824–1907)Devising the diagramatic system of representing chemical bonds: Alexander Crum Brown (1838–1922)

Criminal fingerprinting: Henry Faulds (1843–1930)

The noble gases: Sir William Ramsay (1852–1916)

The cloud chamber recording of atoms: Charles Thomson Rees Wilson (1869–1959)

The discovery of the Wave of Translation, leading to the modern general theory of solitons by John Scott Russell (1808-1882)

Statistical graphics: William Playfair founder of the first statistical line charts, bar charts, and pie charts in (1786) and (1801) known as a scientific ‘milestone’ in statistical graphs and data visualization

The Arithmetic mean density of the Earth: Nevil Maskelyne conducted the Schiehallion experiment conducted at the Scottish mountain of Schiehallion, Perthshire 1774

The first isolation of methylated sugars, trimethyl and tetramethyl glucose: James Irvine

Discovery of the Japp–Klingemann reaction: to synthesize hydrazones from β-keto-acids (or β-keto-esters) and aryl diazonium salts 1887

Pioneering work on nutrition and poverty: John Boyd Orr (1880–1971)

Ferrocene synthetic substances: Peter Ludwig Pauson in 1955

The seismometer innovations thereof: James David Forbes

Metaflex fabric innovations thereof: University of St. Andrews (2010) application of the first manufacturing fabrics that manipulate light in bending it around a subject. Before this such light manipulating atoms were fixed on flat hard surfaces. The team at St Andrews are the first to develop the concept to fabric.

Tractor beam innovations thereof: St. Andrews University (2013) the world’s first to succeed in creating a functioning Tractor beam that pulls objects on a microscopic level

Macaulayite: Dr. Jeff Wilson of the Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen.

Discovery of Catacol whitebeam by Scottish Natural Heritage and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (1990s): a rare tree endemic and unique to the Isle of Arran in south west Scotland. The trees were confirmed as a distinct species by DNA testing.

Side note: The list above compromises only about half of Scotland’s inventions and achievements. There are a good 130-160 more I could add, but won’t for obvious reasons.


So, not bad for a bunch of crass, Irn Bru swilling, ignorant and crude farm dwelling peasant savages with bad diction; don’t you think? Though certainly none of the above listed achievements and inventions merit any sense of pride, right? That a vocabulary littered with swearwords is a barrier to education and intelligence; that simply for having a strong work ethic, we Scots are the uncivilized louts in need of a strong hand? That is the entirety of this apathetic, odious, quiet frankly overweight, self-hating Scotsman’s argument; one that boggles my mind in light of such a litany of wondrous Scottish minds and innovations, advancements and inventions. If a country is something you can be proud of, then why not be proud of Scotland.

But hey, don’t take my word for it, here’s what J.K Rowling has to say: “It is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in the world, the history is fascinating, the men are handsome and the Whisky is delicious. But don’t eat the macaroni pies

In conclusion

I’m well aware of England’s role in the industrial revolution, and I’m well aware of her great thinkers and innovators, and so would never say that Scotland is inherently better, simply for having just as apt minds within her own society. I acknowledge those English thinkers for what they were; gifted Englishmen. It doesn’t have to be one or the other in regards to deciding an entire country’s worth. Can’t both simply be proud of their own merits, without seeking to exclude those of the other? What makes England supposedly better than Scotland is exactly what makes Scotland better than England; all one needs to do is flip it on its head. Scotland and England have both suffered from unsavory types within their populations; dare I say, crass, elements, even. And yet, Scotland and England were also home to radical thinkers and great technological leaps forward among the sciences, and agriculture. To say that one is any better is simply down to an uneducated national bias.

God help England if she had no Scots to think for her” George Bernard Shaw.

I won’t bash England, and I’m not going to insult the country. Why? Because some of the artists I most admire, belonged to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; a group of English painters and poets. I still enjoy the works of Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns, but not to the exclusion of outside influences by otherwise wonderful minds. And I dare say that not a single English person alive today, could live without their television, or light bulbs, penicillin, or yes, even Football…

Of all the small nations of this earth, perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind” Winston Churchill.

If you’re Scottish, be proud of our country. If your English, Be happy we’re your neighbors. You could have done a lot worse, I mean, just look at the neighbors we’re stuck with…

Cinead MacAlpin.

 

 

 

 

 

Knock, knock…Whos there? Dead Scot’s on a slave ship

Below, was what was said by conservative MP Lucy Frazer, during the queen’s speech debate in the House of Commons:

It is the home of Oliver Cromwell, who defeated the Scots at Dunbar; incorporated Scotland into his Protectorate and transported the Scots as slaves, to the colonies

lucy frazer1

She remained standing there with a barely stifled, smug-laden grin, as the chortling, sycophantic sneering, and venomous contempt had petered off long enough for her to add “Now there, is an answer to the West Lothian question; but not one that of course I would recommend

lucy frazer2

lucy frazer3

What a disgusting wretch of a woman; hundreds of dead Scots being heaped into mass graves after succumbing to the conditions onboard those ‘Slave‘ ships; is that really something in which you find a perverse sort of joy; a conceited smirk playing on your thin English lips as you so flippantly disregard the agonizing suffering of women and children having starved to death within the cramped, suffocating squalor of those ‘Slave‘ ships?

lucy frazer4

How vastly would the tables be turned, say, if I were to make such an inflammatory and derogatory remark in regards to the recent Westminster terrorist attack? After all, what are the English to me; nothing; foreigners; so why wouldn’t I be able to mock and scoff at the loss of life in that attack, when its fine and dandy for a Goddamn fucking English MP to not only make light off, but seem almost pleased about, the horrendous deaths of hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of Scots? And all done with that repugnant contortion of the English snout that passes for the self-congratulatory smirk of a whimsical quip delivered.

Here is a better look at that horse-faced English scarecrow witch:

lucy frazer

But what sickens me the most, is that there will be many people in Scotland who will still vote for these horrible little rats; old people clinging to life seemingly just to make it harder for the rest of us through their selfish and bad choices; those old bastards who scuppered the first Independence referendum complaining about their pensions; fuck you! You’ll be dead in the ground long before now, so why not leave a better future for your grandchildren than a Scotland yet chained to its abuser! These Vile, contemptuous British puppets, grovelers, sniveling and prostrating, servile and subservient Brit nats; quisling Scots who don’t deserve the blood in their veins, pedaling the lies and misinformation drip feed to them by their English Tory overlords; too meek and blind to see through the bars of their own cage, and out into the world changing around it.

We’re part of some harmonious union? Dear god; we are nothing but a device, our presence assuring the hollow Englishman of his ‘British identity’ when in reality, no such identity exists out with the delusions of grandeur so many of their ilk possess. We are not simply a region of England, we are not north Britain; our country is older than England; we were Christian first, whilst they continued to wallow in mud and wattle dwellings like the Germanic savages they were! They are the scum in this pond; they are the beasts needing leashed; they are the broken leg needing amputated! We are better than them in every way, socially, medically, and educationally; remember they send their patients up to Scotland for a reason. And our universities consistently outperform theirs. We are smarter, more creative, more musical and more pleasant than they could ever hope to be; they are the parasite, not us!

It is time we removed ourselves from the English and their toxic presence, and just got on with our own self’s. Leave England to suck America’s teat; those two countries can jerk each other of all they want; they can rebuild the empire 2.0, with England acting as uncle Sam’s footstool; whatever! Both are as meaningless to me, as the apple is to the wolf. Let them fight Russia in Syria, and let England fight Spain; but let them do it alone, and without the scottish soldier; the only reason as to why England ever got itself an empire in the first place; let Englishmen die, and let English families weep and wonder why.

Scotland deserves to be free. If you can’t see that, then for you, what hope is their left? Surely it isn’t from fear of being cast adrift cultureless and without identity, without a sense of self and belonging; for that is the wheel of the hollow Englishman. What then? Scotland is too small to stand on its own? Whereas Ireland and Iceland do just fine; when tourism and Whisky, and yes; OIL; are as plentiful for our country as insecurity is for England! Is it the thought of unchecked mass immigration that plagues your mind? Well, vote for independence and then never vote for the SNP ever again; simple! Why vote Tory or Labour just to spite your own nose? What does that really achieve in the present, or the long run; more punishment and less freedom; English law in place of Scots? What dog is so whipped that it can’t even realize when it’s being beaten? What sorry excuse for a human being would rather accept the rule of one country, over the self determination of one’s own soil?

Cinead MacAlpin

 

 

Scottish independence: the sequel: my thoughts

As some of you may know, MSPs voted 69 to 59 for First Minister Sturgeon to be allowed to seek permission from Westminster so as to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence. Now, if it’s an in depth and analytical look at such things, then you have come to the wrong place, my fere’s, for that isn’t how your big pal Cinead rolls, no; for as all my paltry (Some might say ‘modest’) number of followers will know by now; I’m all heart on matters such as this, I can’t help it, never have been able to. So, I’m just going to go ahead and give you an honest and semi coherent glimpse into the storm of emotions currently swirling around my head; my thoughts; my feelings. It isn’t very lighthearted, nor is it all that humorous, but again; it will be honest.

Rant

And so, what I see before Scotland as of this moment in time; is a fight. Pure and simple. What I see is an increasingly vocal minority shouting over the moderate majority; Britnats and Yoons; rabid and chasing their tails; screeching that tired old rhetoric, doubling down on it, despite the knowledge to the contrary being widely known, or at least accessible to any who might seek it for themselves. I see politicians free of the noose decrying independence as they suck greedily at westminister’s rancid, putrid teats; offering no real alternative to a country wanting to stay in the EU; a country so vastly different to the ‘world’ they inhabit, that they seem content, or perhaps intent, on deluding themselves to the reality. I see a haggard old cunt; a witch of gristle sown together with the threads of a union jack, crudely molded into a pantomime of what could loosely be described as a ‘woman’; Theresa may. And then I hear her speak, and I hear the hypocrisy of her words in regards to democracy and the will of the ‘British’ people, which is in stark contrast to the tone that accompanies any mention of us Scots; an English person deciding what is best for the country of Scotland, once again; something that should have been relegated to before the age of the fucking steam engine. I cringe at the blatant disinterest, and sheer contemptuous dismissal she shows, not just to the Scottish parliament, but to the people of Scotland as well. I sometimes find myself marveling at how absurdly ridiculous it all is, and why nothing is done about it; why we continue to stand for it; why we are seemingly blind to it.

I read comment after comment, headline after headline; lies and deceit from every conceivable angle, and all of it focused without the merest hint of shame, toward my country, and towards me; serving only to compound my hatred for anything British, harder and harder. I wonder just how it is, that we patriots will ever get our message across to the masses, when there will be barely enough room to hear ourselves think; when the weight of the English establishment will require all constraint and effort to simply keep above, let alone allow room for our voices to reach the ears of those needing reached above its clamor. And then I wonder what will be the outcome from such a divisive smear campaign as will be launched by England? One which will have left no room for open debate and honest reporting and thus, no doubt result in, again, lies and dirty tricks winning the day.

Then the parade of disinterested and self-important celebrities will be trotted out to sign a great big letter to the people of Scotland; celebrities whom I wouldn’t sacrifice the steam of my piss for, and whose opinions on Scottish independence are just as vapid and fleeting. This faux outpouring of love will even persuade some of my simpler minded comrades, and as a result; my faith in humanity will weaken that little bit more. Soon after, a barrage of ‘Great British’ this, and ‘Great British’ that will be deployed across our television screens, even more so than in these past two years; their only purpose being to safeguard the fragility of this ‘precious union’ of ours. And all the while, I shall be cursing it all in my burgeoning Gaidhlig; drowning my rising anger with copious swallies of Whisky and bleach. The prospect of having my trachea melt and then collapse in my very throat, a more desirable fate than enduring the unceasing waves of BBC propaganda.

I sit, watching that loathsome, odious piers Morgan lose his shit after a call from a Scottish independence supporter; his self-serving outrage infecting the weak minds of the slack-jawed audience; further poisoning them against the very idea of such a thing, and without balanced arguments or countering of any kind necessary; just simple English indignation. And for what; because these Sassenach’s can’t imagine that Scottish independence could be about anything other than them; that it is about Scotland, and has nothing to do with England; that it isn’t a middle finger to their country, but an opportunity for us; that we really don’t care all that much for them; that we want to move on with our lives; that the union is toxic; that England is nothing to me; that ‘Britain’s heritage’ is meaningless to me; that England is, for all intents and purposes, foreign to me? And if that shatters your hollow sense of self-identity, you should perhaps spend some time soul searching just who you actually are; go for a walk; angrily dance in an old factory; skip stones across pond or whatever, but don’t wind up basing your entire sense of self on being ‘British’, for Britain exists only in the recesses of your deficient mind; it doesn’t exist.

And how long, I wonder; can you kick a dog before it starts to bite? How many times can you spit on someone before they lose control? How long can you push someone, before they snap, and then push back? Scotland’s destiny is at the end of a rope, and this will no doubt be the last chance at independence within my lifetime. And so, it falls to us to decide whether or not Scotland uses that rope to swing across the void; or hang herself. A point reached without violence, I might add; a fact of which, Westminster should be acutely aware of, when testing just how far it can push us in the future. After all that, we will have our answer, and the matter will have been settled, for better or for worse,

Now, I’m a young man, who has the rest of his life ahead of him, and the prospect of spending said life referred to as a ‘Brit’, and not a Scot, is a prospect that turns my stomach; sickens me. I don’t care where you come from, and I don’t care what race you are, or what religion you practice; but you better make sure you don’t stand in the way of Scotland’s independence, for like my mother says; if you aint got something nice to say, then shut the fuck up and keep quiet. If, as a newcomer, you aren’t going to vote for independence, then you don’t deserve a vote. Now, more importantly; if you are Scottish, then I ask you to grow a spine and put aside your cowardice, your whipped-dog fear and doubts, and vote YES, if and when the call is given to do so. Remember, you are not English, and you are not British. You are Scottish; that is your blood, and that is your heritage, and that should mean something; above all things; that should mean something. Otherwise, you are less than a traitor, a back-stabber, a quisling and a coward; you are a weakling, down-trodden and whipped; and you do not dare call yourself Scottish, for you will have lost that God-given privilege the moment you re-affix the English teat into your sniveling, whimpering, abhorrent little mouth.

Conclusion

This rant isn’t written to change your mind, nor is it written to garner support for independence. You’ll either do the right thing for Scotland, or you won’t. It’s written simply to let off a little steam, an exercise in venting pressure; it’s as simple as that. If any of the above lights a fire in your gut, well good. If not, then you and I would most assuredly not get along too well. Either way, let’s conclude this on an aptly patriotic, and somewhat prophetic note; shall we?

“‘Now’s the day, an now’s the hour:

See the front o battle lour,

See approach proud Edward’s power –

Chains and Slaverie

‘Wha will be a traitor knave?

Wha will fill a coward’s grave?

Wha sae base as be a slave?

Let him turn an flee.”

 

P.S. I’ll be on the right side of Scottish history, brothers and sisters. Can you say the same?

Cinead MacAlpin.

 

Picts: Alive and well today

My last few posts have been regarding such things as Scottish identity and the like, and for the most part I’ve been using language and culture to disprove the nonexistent divide among those Scots who have the Gaelic, and those who do not. But, after stumbling across the research below, but not ever having a use for it up until now, I thought I’d go ahead and share it with you all now, simply to help reinforce, and perhaps illustrate all that I have written about thus far. 

https://nuairathigairduinethigairuile.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/scottish-gaelic-gaelic-scotland/

https://nuairathigairduinethigairuile.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/concerning-nonsense/

Below are a few extracts taken from the website of the Telegraph newspaper, in regards to a genetic study of Scotland’s Y DNA (Inherited from the father) and it’s relation to the Picts and modern Scots, which had been conducted by a team of researchers including Dr. Jim Wilson, a lecturer at Edinburgh university. In quotations, are the extracts.


“TEN per cent of Scottish men are directly descended from the Picts, according to a new discovery by a DNA project”

“Dr Jim Wilson, chief scientist for the group, has found a new Y chromosome marker that arose among the direct ancestors of the Picts.

He tested the new “fatherline” in more than 3,000 British and Irish men and found an “amazing statistic” suggesting it was ten times more common in men with Scottish grandfathers, than in men with English grandfathers.

Ten per cent of the more than 1,000 Scottish men tested carry the R1b-S530 marker, while less than one per cent of Englishmen have it”

“Dr Wilson said the difference was “highly statistically signiflicant” and could be applied to the general population. About three per cent of men in Northern Ireland also carry the marker, but it was only seen once in more than 200 men from the Republic of Ireland.

The company, which maps ancestry for individuals by looking at their DNA, said it had so far found 170 men in Scotland carrying the Pictish marker.

Dr Wilson, a lecturer in genetics at Edinburgh University, said, “The finding just popped out of the analysis. While there have been hints of this from previous data, what was surprising was the really huge difference between England and Scotland”


Well, there we have it folks, genetic proof that we Scots, for the most part, are not the same as the English; straight from a geneticists mouth no less.

Picts1
Picts battling Anglo-Saxons at the battle of Nechtan

Now, I haven’t been tested, nor have anyone I know, and so far only around one thousand Scottish men have been; so, if we were to test every ethnic Scotsman, then that percentage could only go up, and we could find 2 out of 5, 3 out of 5, or even 4 out of 5 Scots having Pictish DNA. And, if we look at the distribution, it is Scotland wide; neither located solely in the Highlands, nor the Lowlands. So, even if you identify as a ‘Highlander’, or a ‘Lowlander’, this DNA testing goes someway to proving that you are no more ethnic nor “true” a Scotsman than any other, as 10% of those 1,000 or so Scottish men tested, carry the R1b-S530 marker, whilst indecently, only 0.8% of Englishmen have it. So much for us ‘Lowlanders’ being a bunch of Anglo-Saxons then, eh…

Picts at bannockburn2
Picts battling Anglo-Saxons at Bannockburn

Anyway, what does that tell you, that a marker that is both very common, and widespread throughout Scotland, implying that it has been in Scotland for an incredibly long time (the R1b-S530 marker is estimated to be about 3,000 years old) yet it is incredibly rare in England? Well, that tells me that many ancient Scots didn’t wander very far over the last couple of thousand years, nor did they receive a huge amount of outside influence; otherwise, this lineage would be more common in England, and so this strongly suggests that this DNA marker was common among the ancestors of the Picts (Caledonians), who were the original inhabitants of Scotland, and one half of the Scottish people’s ancestry.

Pict jacobites3
Jacobite Picts battling Anglo-Saxons

Now, in Ireland, roughly 3% of Ulstermen carry this marker, which suggests that the presence of it in that area is down to the plantation of, again, Lowland Scots in the 16th/17th centuries. Think about that for a moment; if we Lowland Scots are so un-Scottish, then why would our DNA be about as Scottish as it gets? Yet, the marker was only seen once in over 200 men from the rest of the island of Ireland. This strongly indicates that the markers is restricted to, and a product of, Scotland; regardless of whether or not you live in the north, or the south of said country. Now, as I have no idea what language my Pictish ancestors spoke, I will continue to learn Scottish Gaelic, because the Gaels are also my ancestors; MacDonalds of Clanranald and the like. I’ am a Gael, a Scotsman, and Wallace and Bruce willing, part Pictish also. Just because I currently speak English, does not make me a Sassenach, does not make me any less Scottish, and it certainly does not take my Scottish heritage away from me.

Pict ww1
Picts celebrating New year during the Great War

Cinead MacAlpin.

 

Scottish Gaelic: Gaelic Scotland

Continuing on from my post: Concerning nonsense; I’d like to expand further on the matter of Gaelic language and culture being a part of all of Scotland’s heritage, and not just that of the Highlands. So first, I’ll give you a brief rundown of the numbers of speakers.

Scottish Gaelic speakers

57,000 speakers in Scotland (2011 Census of Scotland, Table QS211SC) With 87,000 people aged three and over Scotland wide reported having some Gaelic language ability in 2011. (2011 Census of Scotland, Table QS211SC)

Now, would it surprise you to know that roughly half of those Gaelic speakers live in the Lowlands? Well, according to VisitScotland.com, its the truth. Anyway, the Highland region compromises roughly just over half of Scotland’s landmass and has a population of around 400,000; 7 % of which speak Gaelic. 7% of the Highlands speak Gaelic, and that’s just an estimate; with only half of those speakers being fluent. So with both regions speaking it to some extent today, and all of Scotland having spoken it predominantly for centuries before, should an imaginary line really divide an entire country, a country that is tiny in both size and population? Are Highlanders ethnically different to Lowlanders? No, it’s simply genetically impossible, otherwise, they would have degenerated into a homogeneous society of cave-dwelling fish folk; especially considering their population is absolutely infinitesimal. It is also worth noting that there a 100,000’s of English, welsh and Irish people living all over Scotland; in the Highlands and Lowlands. There are sizable populations of all of the above living in the Highlands alone, and who don’t speak Gaelic; yet are they more Scottish than Lowlanders? If your answer is yes, then there is no counter argument I can make to try and convince you otherwise; there simply isn’t. And if there were, then I fear I wouldn’t have the skills necessary to accomplish it on account of you being an absolute moron. Anyway, enough of my ranting. Below, are a few maps of the distribution of the Gaelic language throughout Scotland at various periods in time.

10th-12th century Scotland

gaelic-in-twelth-centuary-sctoland

The blue is Gaelic speakers. The purple is Norse speakers. The pink is English speakers. The green is an estimation of the extent of the Cumbric language in Scotland during this period. So, according to this map, the extent of Anglo-Saxon and Cumbric (with most asserting that it was more likely a mixture of both Cumbric and Gaelic) influence in 12th century Scotland was minimal at best; why, it seems like Norse had more of a foothold during that time than any other outside cultural influence. So, Scotland up and until around the 12th century, was wholly Gaelic. Let’s compare this map to some more recent ones shall we?

Side note: according to this map, Lewis isn’t even Gaelic at this point in time, whereas almost the entire Lowlands is. If that doesn’t make you see things a little differently in regards to Highland and Lowland Scotland, then just leave, because nothing I say will ever convince you otherwise. Also, just thought I’d point out that Cumbric speakers were Brythonic Celts; the optimal word here, being Celts. It’s also worth noting that the Anglo influence is barely worth registering, and is, again, lesser even than that of the Norse influence in Scotland’s far north. Lastly, it was actually during the 10-11th centuries that Gaelic became known as the lingua Scotia: The language of Scotland.

1400’S-1500’s Scotland

gaelic-in-scotland-1400-1500

These two maps show the estimated linguistic (See linguistic, not ETHNIC) divide in Scotland during the 1400’S, and then 1500’s. The blue represents Gaelic. The Yellow represents Scots. The orange represents Norn. This map, however, does not represent those bilingual speakers who could converse in either language, but does help to illustrate the extent of the language continuing in much of Galloway and the wider Aberdeen shire area. What this says to me is that Lowlanders opted to learn English so as to effectively trade with those south of the border. Industry and commerce of course would have fuelled this necessity further; but it by no means says to me that we suddenly became English. It’s worth noting that when a Highlander refers to a lowlander as a Sassenach, that term does not, at least originally, refer to one’s ethnicity, but rather to ones spoken tongue I.E; an English speaker; even the Irish referred to Scots as Foreign Gaels on account of us having spoken a slightly different dialect of Gaelic to them.

Side note: King Alexander III, coroneted in 1249, was addressed at his coronation in Scottish Gaelic; which he understood. King Alexander was not a ‘Highlander‘, though was descended from the old Celtic royal line of ancient Scotland. Like me*, he was a Gaelic speaking ‘Lowlander‘(*Learning), despite his ancient Scottish pedigree; he would be considered a Lowlander.

Also, did you know that the Outer Hebrides went from being Nordic in language and culture, to Gaelic in around the 12th century; even despite their Norse ancestry, regaining the language was enough to have them considered Gaels again. Let that sink in; half Norse, half Scottish people picking up the language used by a portion of their ancestors. Do you think any Highlanders balked at that? And now, Lewis (Outer Hebrides) is the last bastion of the language, despite having spoken it for far less time than the Lowlands did! But no, no; their still more Scottish than us ‘Lowlanders’………ridiculous.

1800’s Scotland

gaelic-in-scotland

This map shows the distribution of Scottish Gaelic in 1891. Notice that the only places in Scotland during 1891 that were 75-80% Gaelic fluency was two small fractions of Uist and Lewis, Arkeg, a small slither of southern Nairn, Southern Oban, Jura, the northern tip of Kintyre, and the area between Dumess and Ullapool; whilst only 5-30% of the Highland region was actually fluent.

Now, the Lowlands and the north east of Scotland had an average of 5-10% Gaelic speakers inhabiting it (In some areas that percentage rises to 25-75%; such as Ayr, Sanquhar, Girvan, Ballantrae, Peeples, sections of the Edinburgh region, Moffat and Selkirk; some even possessing at least 75-80% Gaelic language fluency)

Contrast that with today, were around only 7% of the Highlands speaks the language in any capacity; with 1% of Scotland’s total population speaking Gaelic both fluently and conversationally/intermediary. So, by today’s logic, this 1891 survey would be enough to make both the Lowlands and the east/*northeast of Scotland ethnically/culturally Gael (*From Elgin in the Northeast, down to Perth, there was roughly a 5-30% fluency)

Only a small fraction of the border region possessed no Gaelic language skills at this time however, and I stress, it is a small fraction considering how many people will tell you that no one in that region even spoke it at all. So, if there were no Gaels outside of the Highlands, then how could the language have been spoken Scotland wide from the 12th century, and then well into the 1800’s?

21st century Scotland

gaelic-in-scotland-2001

This map shows the distribution of Gaelic speakers in Scotland in 2001. Note that whilst the Lowlands has only some proficiency with the language, there are roughly only two regions that sit around the 4% threshold; whereas, in almost half of the Highland region the percentage of speakers falls below the 4% threshold as well. As I have said before, the only place in Scotland that seems to have retained a Gaelic day to day life is Lewis and the Outer Hebrides. In fact, the centre of the Highlands itself currently possess just about the same amount of Gaelic speakers as the lowlands once did only 126 years ago. Yet they are apparently more Scottish than me? They are apparently more culturally different? Well, I wear the Kilt, and I’ am learning the language. I also play the Bagpipes and am learning the fiddle to boot! So, it would seem that I, a Lowlander, am more of a Gael than half of today’s ‘Highlanders’.

Scotland today

scottish-gaelic-in-2011

SkateTier – Own work: Geographic Distribution of Gaelic speakers in Scotland (2011)

As it is quite hard to make out, I have circled all of those areas in Lowland and Northeastern Scotland that are up to 1-5% Gaelic speaking. Note, that despite this map, at first glance, misleading the eye into believing that Gaelic is all but dead in the Lowlands and Northeast; Scotland’s Lowland population is somewhere close to 5,500,000 or thereabouts, whereas the Highland population is around 400,000. So, 42 areas of the Lowlands with 1-5% of the population speaking Gaelic, is incredibly substantial compared to those who speak it in the vastly smaller Highland region.

Conclusion

But remember, being a Gael is for the most part linguistic, not ethnic; a Scot is a Scot, whether he is more Pictish, Celtic, or Gaelic than his neighbor, we all have a good mixture of the blood of each pumping through our veins regardless of what language we speak. I have ‘Highland’ ancestry as much as I do ‘Lowland’. Scottish Gaelic belongs to me. Scottish culture is my culture.

Cinead MacAlpin.

Concerning nonsense

I stumbled across a blog just now, wherein, the author made some incredibly outlandish and factually wrong assertions in regards to the differences between Lowland and Highland Scotland. I tried several times to post a comment, but found it unable to go through; why? I have no idea, though it was posted in 2010, there were comments as recent as this year. Regardless, I thought I’d go and address the matter here, perhaps in the vain hope that any mislead by that particular authors post will stumble across mine. Below is the comment I attempted to post; and because I’m like a dog with a bone; will continue to try and post.

My comment

“Wow, what utter nonsense. Firstly; Gaelic was spoken in Galloway well into the 1800’s, as the Gaels settled there in the 4th century; Dal Riata was established in around the 5th. Gaelic language and culture then went on to subsume that of the native Brythonic Celts (Picts). The Gaelic language was then spoken throughout Scotland in both the Lowlands and the Highlands. The great plaid was a component of both Lowland and Highland Scotland as attested to in countless historical accounts.

Secondly, any Anglo-Saxon heritage in Lowland Scotland, is comparable to that of Norman heritage in Ireland; the Normans having conquered much of eastern Ireland; pushing the native Gaelic Irish to the far west of the island; yet those Irish with Norman heritage are still considered Gaelic on account of possessing the Irish language, for you see; you can be both culturally, and linguistically Gaelic, regardless of ethnicity.

Many Scottish kings had Bagpipers in their court. Also, the Bagpipe wasnt invented in Scotland, neither in the Lowlands, nor the Highlands. As to Clans, even in the 1300-1400’s, the Lowland families of Scotland were reffered to as Clans. In regards to Tartan, both Highland and Lowland Tartans are all of the modern variety. Originally, the Great plaid was dyed with whatever herbs were local to the makers area, or those that were in season. A roman scribe, Tacticus I believe, commented that on the Caledonians, saying: “The Caledonians wore Kilts of primitive tartans” The Caledonians incidentally, were not Gaels, but rather, Brythonic precursors to the Picts.

I myself am descended from the MacDonalds of Clanranald, yet live in the Lowlands, and know many Highlanders with Lowland surnames, nearly as many as those among my Lowland friends who possess Highland surnames. For people move about; Lowlanders went north, Highlanders went south. Today, hardly anyone speaks Gaelic in the Highlands sadly, and all of them wear trousers.

Scotland was wholly Gaelic, then the south begun to wear trousers and speak in English (Regardless of whether or not they were ‘Highland’ or ‘Lowland’ most of them went along with it). The Highlands held onto the ancient Scottish culture a while longer. Then, they too lost it for the most part. Today, the Highlands are home to as many English folk, as the Lowlands are; with only the outer hebrides retaining anything close to a daily Gaelic culture.  In both the Lowlands and the Highlands, to some degree, Gaelic is still being spoken or learned, with many a Scot rediscovering the language that was spoken Scotland wide by our Gaelic, or Gaelic-speaking, ancestors well into the relatively modern period of Scotland’s 2000 or so years of existence.

Having a drop of anglo- saxon blood does not in anyway diminish a majority of Scottish blood; wether that blood is Pictish, Gaelic, or somewhere in the middle. A Scot is a Scot, regardless of geographical location. If you speak Gaelic, then you are a Gael; if you are English, but speak Gaelic, then you too, are a Gael. Clothing and language is cultural, not ethnic. Simply put ‘Highlanders’ are no different to ‘Lowlanders’not culturally, or ethnically.

Lastly, just to hammer home how insignificant location is; Douglas, a lowland Clan name, is an anglicised form of the Gaelic Dubhghlas; meaning: Dark stream”

Even had my comment went through, I doubt it would have gotten through, for some people just stay rooted in their own ignorance. Even I, the most patriotic Scotsman alive today, understands that not every Scotsman, Highland or Lowland, is fully ‘Scottish’. Many people will have some English/Irish/Welsh ancestory, yet those people will also have a good portion of Scottish ancestry in them also. To reiterate; no Scotsman, or Irishman, or Welshman, or Englishman alive today, whether he be Highland or Lowland, Northern or Southern is anything nearing 100 percent ‘Scottish’ ‘Irish’ ‘Welsh’ or ‘English’, regardless of whether or not he or she speaks Gaelic, or whether or not his or her ancestors were Gaels, Picts, Cumbric speaking Celts, Northumbrians, modern day Irish, Danish viking, or Anglo-Saxon. Culture and ethnicity do define people, but with such an intrepid and  tiny population as these islands possess; it stands to reason that someone’s Gaelic granny would have had it off with another’s German granddaddy at one time or another. After all; the Picts certainly got their rocks of with the Gaels, so much so, that they eventually ceased to be a separate people entirely.

Hint; they became Scottish…

Now, let’s take the whole concept of Kilt wearing and Bagpipes shall we, which are often touted as Highland dress; Highland Bagpipes; yet the Great plaid, or some such garment was worn by the Picts, as documented by many ancient scholars of that time. The Picts were not ethnically Gaels, so by the logic presented by the misinformed author, the Kilt is Lowland Brythonic culture, as it was our Brythonic (Pictish) ancestors who wore it first, and then the Gaels wore it, then all of Scotland wore it, then the lowlands stopped wearing it, whilst the Highlanders retained it, then they too stopped wearing it. Then it was shortened and worn by all; remember, the Kilt as we know it is a modern outfit that belongs to all Scotland; this is verifiable. The same can be said in regards to the spread, and then diminshing, of the Gaelic language.

A little evidence backed up by actual scholars

 In his authoritive “Clan Gregor‘, published in 1977; Forbes MacGregor stated; ‘The Dalriadic Scots and the Picts intermarried to the extent the blood lines of many families became blurred‘. This statement takes into consideration, the many Scottish Clans; Highland and Lowland; who claim Pictish descent, as well as those who claim Dalriadic Scottish descent; who are in fact, a blending of both the founding races of Scotland. For any Scottish clan to claim they are of a pure Dalriadic (Gaelic) or Pictish descent is utter arrogance.

Now, where historical records indicate a definite Pictish Clan origin, only those clans are listed as being of a Pict descent, with the Welsh-speaking (Cumbric speaking Brythonic Celts) Britons of the Celtic Kingdoms of Strathclyde, and Gododdin, who came to be known as, according to Forbes; the ‘Southern Picts‘ also being included in the ancestry of such Clans of Pictish descent regardless of geographical location. The historical fact that the Cumbric language subsequently subsumed the Pictish language by 300AD in the far south, and that Gaelic was slowly adopted in the middle and north of Scotland around this time also; coupled with the fact that all Celts within what is roughly modern Scotland often fought together to repel foreigners I.E; Anglo-Saxons, Romans etc; indicates that for the most part, these three Celtic societies/cultures were content to live in a semblance of normalized peace; whilst gradually intermixing, as stated above, so as to become one people under a somewhat uniform culture; first as the Albannach, and then the Scots.

This, incidentally, is way before Gaelic spread throughout the entirety of Scotland, but rather, when the Picts were still a distinct culture. I simply add it so as to get across the point that everything most people assume to be Highland Scottish culture, is in fact, Scottish culture via the Picts, who lived in both the north, and the south of Scotland, and who were Brythonic Celtic in origin. Why, as the Gaels begun to spread among southern and western Scotland, many Picts actually fled further north, which was ever their dominant stronghold; and wherein, Clan’s such as Gunn developed; a Highland Clan which is actually more Pictish in origin, than it is Gaelic. Do you see the point I’ am trying to get across here? Scotland’s baseline culture owes more to the Picts than it does the Gaels. It just so happens that the latter ultimately went on to dominate the former so completely, that the influence of the Picts is buried beneath labels such as Gaelic or Highland, when in reality; most Scots are a mixture of Brythonic Celtic, and Gaelic peoples, regardless of whether they originate above or below some imaginary line.

Conclusion 

I just want to point out that I have both Highland Clan (MacDonald of Clanranald, MacRae, MacGregor) and Lowland clan names in my family, so does that mean those Lowland Scottish names such as Douglas and Armstrong automatically make me a Saxon? Do they immediately negate my ‘Highland’ ancestry? My Scottish ancestry? Well, it seems by her logic, that the answer is yes. Let that sink in, the sheer absurdity of it…

Side note: According to VisitScotland.com “nearly half of all Gaelic speakers live in the Lowlands“. 

Cinead MacAlpin.

P.S. Here is a link to the aforementioned post: http://scottishdreamtours.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/scotland-difference-between-highlanders.html