DETERMINANTS OF INDEPENDENCE DEMOGRAPHICS

This is the third paper in the excellent series by Professor Alf Baird. This week the topic is demographics and as you read this paper you will come to realise what a huge and important issue it is…if we ever want to deliver Independence. I believe it makes the need for a fairer and less biased franchise an absolute necessity and priority. Please read and share this article. It is crucial people understand how important this is if we are ever to be successful.


3. Demographics

‘The colonizer is a privileged being and an illegitimately privileged one; that is, an usurper’

(Albert Memmi)

Over the last two centuries some 3-4 million Scots, mostly working class, were displaced from Scotland due to the chronic lack of economic opportunities provided for them in their own land, and often helped to exit their country of birth by UK state ‘incentives’ (e.g. Empire Settlement Acts). During this period Scotland proportionately ‘lost’ more of its people than any other north-western European country, which suggests the exodus was planned rather than accidental.

Historic census data confirms that, over much of the same period, Scotland imported a significant element of its meritocracy and professional and managerial class from rest-UK, primarily England. Higher level posts in Scotland, even today, and as a matter of course, are advertised primarily in the London metropolitan press and are therefore aimed at the far larger labour market in rest-UK. Hence Professor Michael Hechter’s findings that Scotland (and Wales, as the ‘Celtic periphery’) exhibits ‘an ethnic division of labour’ that reflects a dominant Anglophone meritocracy as a feature of what he termed ‘the UK internal colonialism model’.

During the last thirty years since 1991, an average of around 50,000 people per annum have moved from rest-UK, mainly England, to live in Scotland, according to the census. This is considerably more than the number of people moving to Scotland from all other nations combined. In total, approximately 1.5 million people have therefore moved to Scotland from rest-UK since 1991 alone. The census notes that: ‘migration between Scotland and the rest of the UK is estimated based on GP registrations’… therefore moves which were not registered with a GP may not have been counted’.  This implies that actual migration figures are likely to be even greater than stated. 

In 2001, Scotland’s population was 5.0 million and by 2020 this had increased to a record high of 5.5 million, an increase of 10 per cent. An important change over the two decades is that Scotland’s annual number of deaths (63,100 in 2020) now consistently exceeds the number of births (48,700). Scotland today has the lowest fertility rates in the UK, which means there is no natural population growth and it is therefore migration that is boosting (and replacing) the Scottish population year on year. National Records of Scotland state that: ‘Migration has been adding to Scotland’s population for the last 20 years’.

During the UK union the make-up and identity of Scotland’s population has therefore been substantially altered through in-migration mainly from rest-UK, and by the very substantial historic, and largely incentivised out-migration of Scots. Migration is an important aspect of national governance over which Scotland has no control, nor policy, immigration being reserved entirely to Westminster and the UK Government. In other words, Scotland’s population remains outwith Scotland’s control, much as it has been since the UK union began. This does not mean the population of Scotland is not being ‘managed’, of course.

Significant demographic change brings with it changes in a peoples’ culture, language, politics, beliefs, values and hence also a change in ‘national identity’ and ‘sense of belonging’ of much of the population. For example, the census indicates that ongoing demographic change means there are now only 1.6 million Scots speakers left in Scotland, which implies that most of the remaining 4.0 million of the population today are Anglophone. This is important in the context of independence because we know that ‘peoples’ in self-determination conflict are linguistically divided; it is after all our (Scots) language and culture which gives us our national identity and provides the basis of our (Scottish) national consciousness and the motivation for national independence. It therefore stands to reason that people holding to other cultures, languages and identities will tend not have the same ‘Scottish’ national consciousness nor desire for independence as indigenous Scots.

This was confirmed by post-2014 referendum research findings, as people from rest-UK coming to live in Scotland mostly voted against Scottish independence, reflecting a linguistic and cultural (and hence ethnic) divide between them and the Scots. This evidence suggests independence may therefore be undermined by prevailing uncontrolled immigration from rest-UK to Scotland. In addition, the independence challenge is made more difficult through the use of an irregular local government electoral franchise for national elections and referendums in Scotland which is based on residence, not nationality.

Scotland’s in-migration differs markedly from that occurring in many other countries in that it is predominantly people from Scotland’s ‘administrative Power’ (i.e. England) who consistently comprise the largest single ethnic migrant group to Scotland, and this has been the case for the past century and more. That this movement is also oriented towards theprofessional and managerial classes further reflects a rather colonial reality for Scots. To some people migration is basically about survival, however, this is not the rationale for migration insofar as inflows from England to Scotland are concerned. The import of a largely mobile managerial and professional (middle) class from a single country of origin, the latter also wielding political control over Scotland, cannot be described as migration for survival. Conversely, the loss of 3-4 million mostly working-class Scots over the past two centuries and more, reflecting high and sustained levels of poverty, deprivation, unemployment and lack of opportunity in Scotland (relative to England), coupled with UK state incentives to leave, may more realistically be described as migration for survival. 

There are clearly significant differences between Scotland’s historic out-migration, which has levelled off somewhat since 1980s deindustrialisation and 1990s Devolution (the latter giving Scots some hope for the future), and ongoing in-migration, and through this the major changes that we see in the culture, language, identity and ‘sense of belonging’ of Scotland’s s population today.

Neoliberal attitudes promoted by the SNP leadership maintains that all those living and working in Scotland are ‘Scots’ irrespective of their actual national identity, the argument being that anyone who lives here should have a national vote in a referendum on independence. A national identity, however, cannot be forced upon people who do not want it, as some two million voters, half or more holding to other national identities, demonstrated when they opted to reject and block Scottish independence (and Scottish citizenship) in 2014.  

It is important to understand why such significant numbers of people from rest-UK, primarily England, move to Scotland. Scotland has an attractive natural environment and more affordable property prices than many parts of England. Scotland is also one of few countries with no controls over its immigration, which effectively means Scotland’s population may be fundamentally changed over time, as appears to have occurred, given census data. The advertising of most of Scotland’s professional and top jobs primarily in a far larger populated neighbouring country is another factor, as is the absence of any indigenous language requirement (i.e. Gaelic or Scots) for immigrants taking jobs in Scotland. The absence of any indigenous language requirement differentiates Scotland from other countries such as Iceland, Norway, Finland, Estonia etc. in that an indigenous language requirement explains why elites in these and other nations tend to mostly comprise indigenous people/speakers whereas Scotland’s mainly Anglophone meritocratic elite seems for the most part not to be comprised of indigenous Scots, as reflecting an ‘ethnic division of labour’.

There is increasing research evidence of so-called ‘white flight’ from English cities and towns where middle-class (and now also working-class), mostly white English people have sought to move away from diverse multi-cultural areas. For this group, Scotland appeals as an attractive location given the population here is still predominantly white, mainly English spoken, and with what is perceived to be a broadly similar (i.e. ‘British’) culture, values and identity. Brexit is another factor which, according to property transaction evidence, appears to have led to an acceleration in movement of people from England to Scotland; Brexit (and then Covid) closed off options for UK citizens to easily move to EU countries, notably Spain and France, and Scotland appears to be an attractive alternative. People from England also have a tendency to move to countries which already have a significant English resident population.

Other significant factors include an attractive range of differentiated (from England) public policies introduced by the Devolved Scottish Government such as free care for the elderly, free higher education, free bus travel, free prescriptions, and a general view that public services may be better resourced and maintained in Scotland than in England. Hence there are numerous reasons why a large, mobile, relatively well-off English population move to Scotland. The general motivation for this population movement, however, appears to be that,immigrants from rest-UK coming to Scotland primarily do so in order to acquire personal economic rewards and social advantage for themselves or, as Albert Memmi put it, ‘for an easy life’ that is ‘based on privilege.

On the other side of what increasingly appears a colonial-like ‘balance sheet’, a number of concerns may be highlighted. Excessive demand for property and buyers bidding well over asking prices leads to inflated house prices and limited housing availability in Scotland. This means buying a house is beyond the means of many Scots, especially younger generations seeking to get on the property ladder, in addition to creating a shortage of housing. Significant inflows of older people/retirees increase pressure on public services, notably healthcare provision. The movement of a largely professional and managerial (middle) class from rest-UK to Scotland brings with it a desire for its offspring to partake in (free) higher education studies and this may serve to ‘crowd-out’ Scottish students from certain courses and institutions. And significant numbers of people from England taking many (perhaps most) of the best paid jobs in Scotland, and with no indigenous language requirement, means fewer higher level employment opportunities will exist for Scots.

A large and ever-increasing English population appears concentrated in specific areas of Scotland, creating ‘unionist’ enclaves as is reflected in tactical voting in favour of unionist MP’s and MSP’s. These are also the specific areas from which recent calls for ‘partition’ tend to emanate; partition is a continuing destabilising feature of British colonialism in numerous territories around the world, and in this context we know that an imperial power moving defined ethnic peoples around can create conditions for partition. In this regard the national integrity of the Scottish nation itself may be at serious risk through uncontrolled demographic change.

Limited availability of housing and restricted access to better paid jobs may also discourage and indeed prevent many young Scots from raising families. We now see a dwindling birth rate in Scotland and a population maintained and boosted primarily through immigration from rest-UK. Holyrood’s unwarranted ‘mystification’ policies in respect of GRA and school education more generally, it may be argued, also serve to confuse and in turn limit the number of young people having or intending to have families, as reflected in the reducing birth rate.

Ongoing population change clearly serves to alter the balance of indigenous peoples and their national cultures and identities, more especially when immigrants do not make an effort, or are not required to properly integrate into a community, such as learning the indigenous (Scots) language; in this instance the immigrant group is also imposing its culture and language (and hence its identity) on the indigenous community, which demonstrates a colonial reality. Communities may be fundamentally altered and indigenous peoples uprooted, eventually becoming a marginalised minority, as has now occurred in many of Scotland’s rural areas, islands, towns and in certain urban areas as well. Large scale uncontrolled migration from a much larger populated country into a smaller neighbouring country coupled with long-established Cultural/Linguistic Imperialism and Colonial domination policies runs the risk of totally altering and ultimately subsuming and even entirely removing the smaller nation and its main indigenous ethnic group. (Such an outcome may even perhaps be defined as a form of genocide, as arguably previously occurred with the Gaelic community, see: United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect).

The British State is ‘responsible’ for immigration in the UK but has no specific policy for Scotland, at least not overtly. However, it might be expected that a vehemently anti-Scottish Independence British State is more than happy to see a large and sustained influx of mostly ‘No’ voting Anglophone ‘unionists’ from rest-UK coming to live in Scotland. Whether or not there are covert policies in play to help facilitate such an influx, who knows, though some have suggested how this may be achieved (e.g. Andrew Scott’s book ‘Scotched Nation’), and there are clearly no efforts to limit movement and/or continued cultural and linguistic domination.

Given recent census trends as well as historic demographic data, it should not therefore be surprising that more than half of voters in Scotland today reject the offer of Scottish citizenship, Scottish nationality, and Scottish independence. National identity, as we have found, reflects and is determined by our culture and language and the clear evidence is that the large and increasing numbers of people moving from rest-UK (and their ‘extraction’) to live in Scotland will mostly tend to reject and vote to block Scottish independence; census and post referendum data suggests that half or more of the two million ‘No’ voters in 2014 was made up of people who do not primarily hold to a Scottish identity. This group reject Scottish identity (and hence any offer of Scottish citizenship through independence) primarily because it is not who they are or what they identify as, or wish to be, in terms of their own ethnicity; this further suggests that much of the anti-independence ‘No’ vote may be largely ethnically driven.

Independence is ultimately about a people having the power to deal with the fundamentals of their own country and this includes protecting its population, its culture and its sovereignty. No (sovereign) country would allow its population to be removed and/or boosted and replaced in such a blasé way as to threaten the existence of its own people, and their national identity, or ‘dilute’ their national sovereignty. Unrestricted colonial-driven demographic change coupled with Cultural and Linguistic Imperialism policies are well-established colonial techniques intended to undermine a people and thwart their desire for national sovereignty. Such factors inevitably influence a peoples’ culture, language, and identity and eventually call into question the very existence of their nation. In Scotland’s case, ongoing population change at current levels can only serve to seriously hinder prospects for self-determination and independence. 

All independent countries have an immigration policy for good reason and Scotland within the UK union is clearly lacking in this regard, resulting in what we see: a failure to secure self-government due to the constant dilution of sovereignty (through immigration) facilitating subsumption, cultural assimilation and continued marginalisation of the Scots as an ethnic group in their own nation. A second referendum by perhaps 2024 may therefore already be a lost cause due to the inflow of another half a million mainly ‘No’ voters since 2014, as reflected in recent opinion polls showing a fall in support for independence; this suggests independence minded Scots require a different strategy.

To believe that the historic mass displacement of indigenous Scots combined with ongoing selective replacement of Scotland’s population was not somehow ‘managed’ or intended would seem a rather naïve hypothesis; countries do not displace by accident 3-4 million of their people, half or more the population, and then partially replace them through importing a meritocracy reflecting the culture, language and identity of the colonial Power itself. This ‘process’ appears to still be in full flow much as it has been over the last 150 years or more, and now seems to be accelerating, perhaps reflecting renewed efforts by the British State to finally put an end to any possibility of Scottish independence via a covert plantation policy. National Governments naturally pay close attention to population change and there can be little doubt that the British State continues to monitor, control and indeed manipulate Scotland’s demographics, though not in the interests of Scots or Scotland, and certainly not in the interests of Scottish independence.

Demographics is therefore a key determinant of Scottish independence.

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EXTRA READING

Readers who may not have previously read this article below arguing for a new franchise may be interested in it after reading Professor Baird’s explanation of how the existing franchise is fraught with problems if we ever want to be successful in delivering Independence.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland.

75 thoughts on “DETERMINANTS OF INDEPENDENCE DEMOGRAPHICS

  1. This is similar to the Plantation of Ulster where the Irish became the deposed peasants in their own land.

    History repeats as is now being shown to be the case in colonised Scotland.

    And as a example of the enclaves near where I stay there is a house that makes a point of aggressively displaying the union jack flying a over his garage.

    The family is English and the husband works for the Royal Navy.

    His type are not alone.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. ‘His type are not alone.’ Aye Willie yir right, here on Skye thir aw ower the place, baith the flags an the wavers.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. There is a lot of that in areas surrounding the RNSB at Faslane, especially in the Helensburgh area. This is one of the relatively few parts of Scotland where you will see opposition to and sometimes, aggression, to the independence movement and its supporters. I have seen a stalwart of the SNP, a woman in her eighties, being spat upon during an election campaign. On another occasion, a woman in her seventies, an ex-GP, was assaulted in a SNP campaign HQ and hit on the head by a local unionist who ran a business close by. Assaulting elderly women? Brave guys these scummy military types. The should be sent back to the Middle East so that tey can see some real action rather than taking their anger out on OAP’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. And is places like Skype English immigrants are taking over, destroying the culture.

    Indeed some years ago English immigrants mounted legal action to restrict Gaidhlig teaching in Gaidhlig speaking areas.

    Like Covid, the pestilence English colonialism and influence has and continues to have huge influence in its attempts to destroy a nation.

    Make you realize why the Unionists in Northern Ireland are so viciously hateful of proposals for an Irish Language Act.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. In respect of your last sentence Willie, so much so the diehards are threatening to bring in illegal weapons to defend the pallet burners from the FORCES OF LAW AND ORDER in order that they might protect as they see it, their cultural heritage.

      The PSNI have declined to intervene in protecting contractors from dismantling bonfire constructions lest it cause unrest. UDA tactics rule supreme it might appear!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi Alf, I just read your latest and fully agree with all your points. I contributed to a previous post with similar points which I won’t repost on here as it was directed at a familiar ‘contributor’ who will be familiar with from W.O.S. No doubt he will show up here again!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Nothing is going to change until the Scots grasp the mettle of independence but demographically time is running out.

    If only we had a party that puts independence at the top of their agenda.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. After reading the article I had a look at the BBC website comparing the Scottish and English editions of the Sunday newspapers and quite an eye opener. Basically the Scottish editions are hiding what is going on in xenophobic England. Compare the front pages of the Mail (attacking the SNP) and Express in particular.

    What chance have we when their is complete silence from the SNP – what are all their MP’s and MSP’s doing? I believe their first duty is to the cause of independence but who would know it?

    Liked by 8 people

  6. There’s no question that the Southern incomers see Scotland as Little England or merely part of Greater England. But, as Alf points out, with all the benefits and none of the drawbacks.

    From the standpoint of the British government this social imperialism is highly convenient. It plays to their strengths: gerrymandering has always been and remains a British speciality.

    Liked by 10 people

  7. Interesting. But I don’t understand this section about ‘partition’:

    “A large and ever-increasing English population appears concentrated in specific areas of Scotland, creating ‘unionist’ enclaves [ … ] from which recent calls for ‘partition’ tend to emanate”.

    Perhaps it would help if we could have examples of unionist enclaves calling for ‘partition’. Clearly we’re not talking about NI-type walls separating communities (say, unionist Edinburgh Morningside from surrounding Scot nationalist areas (!)), so what kind of ‘partition’ is it that Alf is talking about here?

    Alf goes on to say: “partition is a continuing destabilising feature of British colonialism in numerous territories around the world, and in this context we know that an imperial power moving defined ethnic peoples around can create conditions for partition”.

    Maybe a couple of examples of ‘partition’ from abroad would make everything clear!

    (I’m not criticising the article, the thrust of which I agree with; just trying to understand this wee section.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Calls for partition have related to the Scottish Borders area and Northern Isles.

      Examples of the ‘policy’ and ongoing adverse impacts of it elsewhere include: India; Cyprus; Ireland; Palestine…..

      Liked by 10 people

  8. Gobsmacked to see all we subconsciously knew to be the case presented by Alf with such clarity. So, it’s independence or nihilation. Time to make a move towards re-taking our country.

    Many, many thanks to Alf and of course Iain for opening up his blog to all keen Scottish Independence people. I believe the above fact sheet will open a good many eyes. This information should be spread far and wide. Forget the present ScotGov which is obviously led by English/Brits and stir the Scottish people to take back our country…..again.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Of course, not all incoming English are opponents of independence. There are quite a number who are progressive and believe that we could do a lot better if we controlled our own affairs.

      Like

  9. It’s complicated. There is an overarching problem in Scotland – demographics – in short we have too many people over 55 and not enough younger. Historically many of our young and talented have left Scotland for better opportunities because they have been sparse in Scotland due to an Anglocentric economic policy. So how does a country/colony that has no control over immigration replenish its workplace. By immigration that technically isn’t. So English migration isn’t seen as immigration and is thus non quota controlled. But because it is uncontrolled we can’t use it to sort out the ageing demographic issue. We can’t stop retired English people moving here and taking advantage of our better social care policies. But they contribute nothing to our economic development and workforce.

    This was partially hidden when the UK was part of the EU because EU citizens had freedom of movement and technically weren’t immigrants either. However they were younger, working age and filling jobs that the English immigrants (in general) were too old or not willing to do eg hospitality, farming etc. So Brexit was a double whammy.

    I’ve long believed that Scotland and indeed Wales and NI, are at the very least quasi colonies. Internal colonies if you will. I’ve reminded of tv programmes on the Raj where the Anglos ruled but trained up some of the natives to form the Indian Civil Service administrating colonial policies. Of course the power jobs were never given to the natives.

    However this is a very unpopular view. To often even to articulate it is seen as “blut und boden” and anti English. However I suspect we are reaching a tipping point, if not surpassed it, whereby it’s now or never for Scottish independence. Given the inadequacy of the SNP leadership, I suspect the latter. Whether Nicola Sturgeon is just incompetent or has been “got at” via the alleged Kompromat is irrelevant, with her in charge the boat is being missed.

    The SNP’s current leadership lacking the ability or is it willingness to put the effort into creating a new country. As Jim Sillars stated in his Prism interview, where is the geopolitical thinking and strategy. It is far too easy to gather Stonewall points than to tackle the hard issues or look at the unpalatable truths in Alf’s piece above. Sloganeering is easy, educating the populace who have other concerns not least about their jobs is hard but necessary.

    Well that was a depressing write, never mind read. Sorry!

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Interesting in the Northern Ireland context that the nationalist community now outnumber unionists, as reflected in voting outcomes. This trend might also be expected to continue given so few people moving from Britain/England to NI, with birth rates another factor. The divide there is now better understood as also involving language (and hence culture, which incl religion) as a key influence of national identity, which is what I have found in the Scottish context, though our demographics remain quite different.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. If I lived in NI I would vote for the Alliance Party. They are non-sectarian and make that abundantly clear on every occasion. The rest are basically tribal.

        Like

  10. The observation that incomers from England grab the best jobs is no surprise. One thing I’d like to know is how many of them now pay Scottish Income Tax and how many manage to convince HMRC that, for tax purposes, their address remains elsewhere? I’d suggest, for any future referendum, the old adage of no taxation without representation should certainly be reversed in any such cases.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Well said Alf. Here in Dumfries and Galloway the indigenous Scot is becoming a rare breed, for all of the reasons given in your article. We also have a lot of farms and quite a few big estates most of which are generally Tory voters. Indeed, during 2014 indy ref, some were trying to propose that should we win our independence, Dumfries and Galloway should become part of England. We indigenous Scots would be given no say in the matter. AYE RIGHT.

    It is indeed a worry when the clique at Holyrood don’t seem to care or actually want independence. We need folk to begin to step up and fight for Scotland. I’ve done my bit in the past, leafleting and talking with folk, marching proudly with my fellow countryman. Meanwhile, that traitorous besom sits thonder and does precisely hee and indeed haw. We really do need a change of government. Come on ALBA, Scotland needs you.

    Thanks, I think Alf for an interesting, but somewhat depressing read.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Apologies Carol. I meant to quote your comment in my contribution further on, but unfortunately got your name wrong!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No apology need Lochside. I think the confusion arises because on WOS it always brought up my Sunday name which is Marie. Everywhere else it brings up Carol which is how I am known unless for officialdom,

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes, Carol, I live in the same airt and can confirm everything you say. The idea of D&G seceding from an independent Scotland has been raised many times since the referendum and it isn’t just the English incomers who heartily endorse this idea. Many of the native Scots here share the same political views as the English which is why there has been a welcoming attitude to them settling here. It seems hard to believe that D&G once had an SNP MP in George Thompson.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. Grim, but obviously well researched and accurate reading.

    I think the “game” is fast approaching “up”, a narrow window of opportunity is still open, but only just, and only as Alf says, if the Franchise is changed – however that is unlikely to happen. Otherwise only a complete economic and social collapse of the UK might produce the right circumstances, mind you that could lead to us being even more occupied!

    50,000 new NO voters every year – tick tock.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Not necessarily. As a teacher i have seen that my students have been overwhelmingly pro-independence, including those who have English parents, where their contemporaries often have more influence on the way they think than their parents. These pupils also become more Scottish, generally, the longer they live up here. So it isn’t all gloom and doom. Opinion polls also put independence support much greater amongst the young, who wills will be around when many in the 65 plus group have pepped their clogs.

      Like

  13. The Westminster government policy is to make it a cold place for immigrants. A hostile Environment in fact was the previous prime minister’s description for the policy.

    Perchance what’s good for the goose is good for the ..?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Perhaps if your intention is to immediately try and get on the “benefits” ladder, however if you’re young and fit and fully intend to get to work right away in the booming “black” (as in market) economy then the UK is by far the most welcoming state in Europe. You even get “rescued” and escorted in by the Royal Navy!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m sure this isn’t an original idea:

    Indyref 2:

    -1 vote for a resident
    -An extra vote for a resident who has been a resident more than half their life
    -An extra vote for being educated in Scotland
    -An extra vote for having been employed in Scotland for more than half your working life

    So a maximum of 4 votes.

    Complicated? No it’s not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m going to ask for clarification on a couple of those. What qualifies as educated in Scotland? Do you mean primary/secondary or would university alone be enough? Many educated elsewhere come to Scotland for tertiary education.

      Re the employment vote – do you mean at least half of your working life being in Scotland rather than elsewhere? Or do you mean you must have had a job for at least half of your post education life which is how it reads because the latter would discriminate against those with patchy work records eg disabled people who tend to have higher unemployment rates or those with caring responsibilities who aren’t able to work.

      Not trying to be picky, but there is a law of unintended consequences. Should a Hooray Henry at Edinburgh get an extra vote for education whereas someone caring for elderly parents/disabled children misses out on an extra vote because of an employment clause?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It was my first thought on the “idea”. It would obviously need much cleverer people than I am to think it through

        Like

  15. It is startling to have all this set out so clearly. If we want indy, we need to push hard for it now. If we don’t fancy the potential social and political division this may cause, the battle is lost? All rather depressing!

    Liked by 4 people

  16. I lived in an Argyll community that had about 30% English incomers even back in the 90’s. I knew nearly all of them very well. They used to attend the Burns Suppers etc. Some of the men wore kilts for the occasion. To say I was gobsmacked by the their universal hostility to Scottish Independence when discussed, is putting it mildly. I tried to get reasons from them as to why?. Mostly arrogance was the answer, the too poor etc. stock responses. The village steadily became more anglicised as time went on. My family had to move for work. The ‘incomers’ didn’t have to. They had sold their small houses for relative fortunes in comparison for what they could buy locally , leaving a tidy sum to retrain as a ferret catcher or wood turner or set up a re-wilding reserve. Someone remarked on a previous thread that it took a local to sell in the first place. This is true. But the reason is nearly always economic: no jobs locally.

    That was my reason. Now the village is 60-70% English retired and had ‘NO’ banners festooned all over it.
    There is no Burns Supper anymore. This is replicated all over. I grew up in the Borders and went to the ‘dancin’ in all the small toons round about my own. They had hundreds of young people at them. Now, they are full of ‘settlers’ and half -empty or closed schools. The rural tories in tied hooses that Marie Claire talks about are nearly all dead, yet scum like Mundell, his son and Alistair Jack can pull in 30-40,000 votes! I predict that the tories in the border areas will push for plebiscites to move them into English control. They will agitate and if Johnson’s crowd get a new Act of Union preventing Independence base on a UK wide vote, it might not come about but the damage done by SNP inaction may cause some kind of organised movement for boundary changes ( e.g. the nautical fiddle of 6000 sq miles ).

    Shetland and Orkney’s separate Indy movements have heavy incomer involvement and that demographic has been increasing steadily every decade until it will also be a problem for us to keep an integral Scottish state whole as it has been for hundreds of years. I believe that New Zealand had a problem with rich US citizens buying up property. Denmark similarly dealt with this by restricting big neighbour Germany’s rich doing similar. These are independent countries. A colony, with no recognised border controls e.g Scotland is helpless. The SNP defeated Andy Whiteman’s recent bill which would have limited Airn’B ownership which is hollowing out Edinburgh and rural areas. We need a party and leader who will stop outsiders buying up Scotland and driving out the young and poor.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I wasn’t getting at the tories in tied houses Lochside, aye some of them are a’ deid, but nowadays on most of the farms they don’t employ people who stay in tied hooses. The work is mainly done by contractors now, who can be in and out in about a day or two, depending on the size of the farm. If they employ the likes of a tractorman, they generally live in their own houses in a nearby town, or more likely a cooncil hoose. Naebody wants a tied hoose noo, for which I don’t blame them.

      Most of the farmers doon here a’ vote Tory, see the signs in the fields at election times. Any former tied cottages nowadays are sold off, and once again, guess who snaps them up. Yep, sooth o’ the borders folk wanting either a holiday hoose or one to retire into. Which usually means, more Tory voters. Your example of the village and no more Burns suppers etc, is spot on.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. This is only too recognisable in the D&G region too, Lochside. Your description of the Argyll community you lived in has been replicated here over and over again. The replacement of native people has resulted in enclaves of English incomers. Your point about different economic exigencies is crucial. Whereas young people are forced to move away for tertiary education and/or work, English people can move easily into the area, buy a house outright from the sale of their house in England and have surplus capital left over to fund their lifestyle, taking on what my husband calls ‘hobby’ businesses.

      To add insult to injury, they are commended for their entrepreneurial input in initiating the kind of ‘economic’ activity you describe and locals are criticised, by their own also, for not having imagination to do likewise. As if a young person could raise a family on what they could earn as a ferret trainer or an artisan herbalist or a dog walker! In other words, it is becoming the case, that only these English incomers can afford to live in these rural areas and enjoy the bucolic lifestyle that the young Scots have to forego. As young people they might prefer city life but what happens when they have a family of their own? Little chance then of being able to bring up their own children where they themselves grew up.

      I have to say, though, that exactly the same has happened to attractive rural areas in England in which the well-heeled of the SE of England have moved into places like Cumbria, Devon, Cornwall, displacing the young and having a similar demographic effect. The general impression given by these incomers is indifference to the plight of local communities which are being diminished and almost a Darwinian judgement that they – the incomers – deserve to inherent those tranquil and idyllic places. It’s all about economic disparities and the over-heated and over-indulged economy of the SE.

      Liked by 5 people

  17. It’s becoming more and more obvious that the SNP’s strategy (if they have a referendum at all) is to placate those who have recently moved here with a mini Britain style culture with the carrot of a link to the the EU. This might explain the recent appointments. Of course it will be to no avail since the vast majority of these folk have a much deeper attachment to elsewhere on these isles.

    Liked by 6 people

  18. I will share on Twitter & face book, but am disappointed that I have written two posts in reply to this very worrying post only to get the message My post is not allowed..

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m English (though very happy to know that a recent DNA test shows nearly 1/3 Scottish!) and moved here to Caithness because l love it. I am a person who believes in self-sufficiency and have no understanding of why we continue, after Thatcher, to accept and live by the distorted and misleading values of neo-liberalism, values which have invaded and spread worse than Covid across the thinking, administration and development of the whole world. One thing I love about the area in which I live is that being self-sufficient is still a major part of living and celebrated as such in the County Shows pre Covid. But the major media reportage always concentrates on our major industry being tourism or whisky: and what are the implications of that? With regard to being seen as a colony?

    I was overjoyed to encounter the SNP on arrival here just before the referendum, because of the democratic conduct of the party which allowed for the experience and aspirations as well as the needs of communities to inform and advise the managing body who could influence parliament. But it is true that people moving here often have not thought about their deep affiliations and those who move here simply for advantage are pulled towards the long-known loyalties to their English culture since it is that with which they are most familiar and if they have espoused it without personal disaster, they see no reason to change their loyalties. I agree that the voting should reflect the effects of this influx including myself. I thought 2 votes for indigenous Scots and 1 for residents of over x years might do the trick, but some electoral recognition of those who carry the culture should be of paramount importance. The cultures of England and Scotland are so different, I think based on the fact that Scottish people in the far past were ruled by the fittest, and the English were ruled by the cruellest and craftiest (huge generalisation).

    I think that the problems of Sturgeon governance goes even further than simply not grasping the nettle of independence. The SNP in government, with their centralist leanings, have been engaged in dividing the country demographically. I live in the far north, where we had pretty good facilities, simple but effective, which I researched carefully before coming here. Decent local training hospital; ok transport, fairly effective local council amenities etc. In five short years, the hospital has been downgraded, maternity services operate a 3 hour car drive away on often single-track roads, and very few dual carriageways. No amount of protest or reason could shift the very poor demographically decided decisions which were determined by numbers of population and the ways in which they make their living (population group) rather than the terrain which we inhabit, or our need. Our country is noticed though for the plunder of the land with lip service to our consent (very few of us helps), for wind-turbines of increasing size. The roads are now dreadful, the transport services dire. The new bus we were provided with was so badly designed that disabled people could barely board. Examples are so many but the general truth is that, open your eyes, and the SNP are a disaster for rural areas. They have cut the graqss roots, messed up the farming quotas, the education, the libraries, the sports facilities, the roads, the hospitals, and the countryside. They introduced the NC500 when the councils were shutting down the toilets and cutting down rubbish collection with really disastrous results. Foreign visitors go away seeing us as kindly, friendly and very very poor…..and powerless otherwise we would improve things.

    It isn’t just the incomers affecting the ideas for independence, it is hopelessness. Somehow we need to get a grip on our SMPs and keep bending their ears and their postboxes until we get some action from them that will either begin to dent the clean-cut image they present, so very brutally and cleverly boosted by the murder of Alex’s reputation, or win some change. The SNP works for a very few now, and in my view has many links with Westminster in ideology as well as practice. The improvements made are always ones which will buff the shine on Nicola’s image, sadly. Maybe she sees herself as queen of the Union, who knows? But governance of Independent Scotland? Nah.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. roscurwood, paragraph 3 of your comment succinctly encapsulates the state of affairs north of the Great Glen Fault line misrepresented at Holyrood by SNP group MSPs none of whom are working to promote Scottish Independence, nor for that matter challenging Sturgeons role in promoting the rights of transwomen to the absolute detriment of women,(her own sex).

      The SNP quite clearly under the present lack of leadership is not working in the interest of the Scottish Nation and quite simply put, No challenge, No change No Independence!

      Liked by 5 people

  20. I understand why you feel that way John. It must feel like we are getting at you. We aren’t, at least I’m not. One of the most effective Yes campaigners I met in 2014 was English and wanted indy. However, the reality is that of the people who move here from England, folk like you and he are in the minority. 70% of rUK people (mainly English) in 2014 voted no. Okay 30% didn’t but we have to look at the elephant in the room here. How can Scotland become independent if there is uncontrolled migration from the country we are in a union with and when 70% of these newcomers will vote against it?

    You are a new Scot and welcome here. You will be eligible for citizenship in iScotland. But as previous articles have raised, most countries don’t allow immigrants to vote in national elections or referenda. In one of the previous articles several of us, including myself stated we thought long term residents should get the vote too but should someone who moved here last year or has a second home be eligible? It’s a thorny question which risks upset. But we need to at least explore the issue, look at the pros and cons and then decide. These issues aren’t easy but we only need to look at international comparisons to see that the 2014 franchise was the anomaly and it did indeed prevent independence. Though I’d ashamed that only 53% of Scots voted for it.

    Anyway please don’t take these discussions personally. We are talking of populations, not individuals. You make a good point about the Bears (and indeed the OO). Based on what you’ve written I’d rather have you here than them!

    Liked by 6 people

  21. Excellent article Alf, if immigration from the rUK keeps on going the way its going now, by the time we actually get an indyref, the balance will have shifted towards the incomers and the chance of independence will be gone maybe forever.

    Westminster has kept Scotland’s population small and manageable, and investment has been on a small scale, realistically it wasn’t just the Highlands that saw a clearance, poverty and economic depressions saw our folk from cities head South or abroad never to return.

    We need a indyref soon and we need to set it up so that only Scots have the vote.

    Liked by 5 people

  22. Slightly o/t: I heard the ‘new’ Politics Show on Radio ‘Scotland’ this am. It is now helmed by the Ruth Davidson soundalike Fiona Stalker. She interviewed a Canadian artist Andrew Lochhead regarding the re-naming of Dundas street in Toronto. Mr Lochhead wants to get rid of the Dundas name due to Henry Dundas, who it was named after and who was recorded by posterity as an opponent of the abolition of the slave trade or at least a ‘gradualist’ at the very least.

    Fair enough you might say. Interestingly, he thanked Fiona and the BBC for ‘helping’ him ‘again’ in his campaign. Which suggested an ongoing agenda somewhere. What was further intriguing was that he went on to say that he wanted to ‘inform the settlers’ i.e. white Canadians, about how the ‘indigenous’ ( his words) people of Canada history and culture had been suppressed by these type of colonial names and icons.

    I thought how ironic: the BBC actively supporting indigenous culture across the Atlantic in a former colony!
    Oh she also had Billy Bragg on for ‘balance’ in case we were being too tribal about not supporting England in the Euros. ‘Your BBC’…NOT.

    Liked by 5 people

  23. I have been perplexed by the resilience of the Scottish Tories vote in Scotland over the last two Holyrood elections. This has widely been attributed to the clear anti -indy stance, concern about Green policies in the North East etc. However, the demographic analysis sheds further light on this. Ironically, the Holyrood voting system, which the Tories would never apply at Westminster also, helps the Tories and the No cause just as the weak residency rules for any indyref? How ironic that SNP robotic leadership team use the phrase ” one hand tied behind our back”! Looks like it is self-inflicted rope tricks?!

    Liked by 7 people

  24. So where are these “enclaves of English people”?

    Despite living in Edinburgh, I can’t say I’ve noticed such, but maybe that is because I don’t live in one of the “richer areas” of the city.

    Like

    1. Ever been anywhere near Helesnburgh, Fasland, Coulport peninsula JB.

      But I suspect you knew that fine well and were just trolling.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Since when were those western places part of Edinburgh?

        I’ve not been to any of them, but do know of Faslane and Coulport; so if you’re simply referring to the MoD establishments, and the fact that the personnel will probably be housed in the locale, it is a completely different matter. I don’t know if there are any military establishments in Helensburgh per-se, but given how close it is to the other two, I’d not be surprised if folks from the bases live there.

        Outwith of the various UK military bases, where do we have such enclaves English? Now not having been in the military, but with relative who were, I got the impression that the English and Scots tended to prefer posting within their own countries, or maybe that only only applies to the Army, given the regional regiments.

        No I was not trolling. I interpreted the “enclaves” as hyperbole, and so asked the question.

        I view pointing to the MoD, rather than non military towns overrun by English, as confirming that hyperbole.

        Like

    2. Highland Perthsire. The larger towns still have a local population the smaller settlements do not. They are almost exclusively English owned. The recent house building program was supposed to alleviate local housing shortages. Most of the houses were built for sale and not for rent and those houses built Aberfeldy, with the except of the fraction that were for social rent, went to the highest bidder. Guess where the highest bids came from? The locals are on a list with people from Perth and are not guaranteed to get the few houses available for rent.

      Local wages cannot compete in any way. Any houses coming up for sale with only a few exceptions are going to demand from England or occasionally from people retiring north with money from elsewhere in Scotland. The end result? Local people all over the Highlands are being replaced by people simply because they have more money than them. For the Highland exchange the Borders. or Dumfries and Galloway or Aberdeenshire or the Fife coast or The Scottish islands.

      How do you create a ghetto?

      Liked by 5 people

      1. It’s a huge problem Obair – it’s not like it’s cheap or easy to live in the countryside either. I’ll emphasise this part for you – much of the land & property is English OWNED. Depopulation is massive & I know my own glen native population has been whittled down to barely exist.

        That’s one of the things about language – there is no ONE scots language, and my own one will soon not exist (no point using it in Glasow).

        Liked by 3 people

  25. Meant to say this yesterday but slipped my mind. Iain, thank you so much for giving Alf Baird the space to present his very thought provoking articles. Can’t wait to read the other seven that are coming our way.

    Very well done Mr Lawson.

    Liked by 5 people

  26. Reblogged this on Angry Weegie and commented:
    This is essential reading for any supporter of independence. Let’s not kid ourselves about what’s happening and what the current SNP policy of gradualism verging towards neverism is taking us. I and others have warned about the dangers of delay, but here is a clear description of why it will be even more difficult to win a second IndyRef. The SNP leadership must be as aware of this as Prof. Alf Baird, so why are they not reacting to the danger. I just hope that this is not the reason for their absolute determination to stick to the 2014 franchise. We really need to start thinking of other ways of gaining our independence.

    Liked by 8 people

  27. Very glad to see this matter being discussed and thanks to Alf for raising it and Iain for publishing, It seems to be gaining publicity and while not all is positive, at least people are beginning to take note.
    I was struck by this argument when I first came across it in a chapter in Doun-Hauden but the implications of this change in the demographic of Scotland are both more widespread and the effects more devastating than I had realised, particularly the economic and social effects, rather than the cultural and linguistic, serious though these are.
    The effects on young people in particular, who cannot get housing in their area, cannot afford to start a family and too often have to move away either to the town or to England are disastrous for them and for their communities and mainly due to the actions of an English meritocracy. We are in danger of losing a generation of Scots and replacing them with monolingual Anglophone residents with no knowledge of our culture and ways of living in the Scottish environment.
    This makes depressing reading, though there is a little hope in the possibility of having the UN or the example of other countries, including in Europe, for not extnding the franchise to non-indigenous people unless they also fulfill a residence qualification and not allowing a vote to second home owners whether resident in Scotland or elsewhere. However this needs to happen soon and there is unlikely to be support from the current Holyrood government to promote such a policy.
    How can we make this come about before it is too late? Is it time for another vigil outside the Scottish Parliament, rather than Calton Hill, or a revival of Common Cause or the Coalition for Scottish Democracy?

    Liked by 6 people

  28. O/T Iain.

    The photo shoot king of Holyrood, and the Lib/Dems leader Willie Rennie has stepped down as the branch office leader.

    Maybe Rennie just couldn’t cope with not being able to ask unionist questions at FMQ’s.

    Like

  29. Alf Baird writes:

    “Over the last two centuries some 3-4 million Scots, mostly working class, were displaced from Scotland due to the chronic lack of economic opportunities provided for them in their own land, and often helped to exit their country of birth by UK state ‘incentives’ (e.g. Empire Settlement Acts). During this period Scotland proportionately ‘lost’ more of its people than any other north-western European country, which suggests the exodus was planned rather than accidental.[…] Scotland’s population remains outwith Scotland’s control, much as it has been since the UK union began.”
    ——————
    FMacF writes:

    To me the single most cataclysmic consequence of the 1707 Union with England was not even the massive economic emigration, but our unforgivable effectively handing over (“outwith Scotland’s control”) of generation upon generation of our manhood as canon-fodder under English command —

    “I should imagine that two or three independent highland companies might be of use; they are hardy, intrepid, accustomed to a rough country, and no great mischief if they fall” (Major-General James Wolfe, Heights of Abraham, Québec, 9 June 1751.) Wolfe had been present at Culloden in 1745.

    Three quotes from the excellent dual-language book: ‘Seanchaidh na Coille/ Memory-Keeper of the Forest: Anthology of Scottish Gaelic Literature of Canada’, Edited by Michael Newton, Cape Breton University Press, Sydney, Nova Scotia, 2015. —

    “The British Empire’s ability to expand the territories under its control from 1756 to 1815 owed much to the fact that it spent from 75 per cent to 85 per cent of its budget on military enterprises. Landowners sought to tap these vast financial resources and enhance their own social rank by selling their Highland tenantry as natural-born soldiers who could be recruited in large numbers by leveraging their hereditary clan relationships. Highlanders of many social ranks seemed to believe that they could gain favour with the London government and dispel any lingering suspicions of Jacobite sympathies by a conspicuous demonstration of their loyalty in military service. Thus, the economic-political interests of the land-owning elite and the military ambitions of the empire conspired in the Highlands’ specialization in military recruitment, a specialization justified by recourse to obsolete and ethnocentric myths about supposed Gaelic ‘savagery’. In 1756 the young chieftain Simon Fraser of Lovat—son of an executed Jacobite ‘rebel’—successfully petitioned to raise a regiment to fight against French forces in North America and within two months about 2,000 Highlanders were mobilized for action. Some 12,000 Highland soldiers in total were involved by the end of the Seven Years’ War in other regiments as well. Gaels perceived themselves to have proved their mettle and their loyalties prominently by their efforts, not least on the Plains of Abraham. […] Soldiers and sailors who had fought in the North American theatre of the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) were eligible for land grants in British North America as rewards for their military service.”

    “In perhaps no other domains of the immigrant experience are the ironies and contradictions of Gaelic history more manifest than those of military triumphalism and tartanism. The Highland soldier became an icon of British imperial supremacy and earned the accolades of the anglophone world so long as his energies and ambitions were directed toward imperial ends. Gaels proved in Canada and elsewhere that they were capable of attaining privilege and power by deferring to anglophone norms, but once they renounced the legitimacy of their own language and culture there was nothing left but a hollow shell of tartanism. Canadian Gaelic literary texts were beginning to embrace tartanistic clichés by the early decades of the 19th century, demonstrating that Highlanders were aware of these stereotypes and willing to conform to them to win approval. They thus could play the role of gallant, manly champions capable of conquering any country and yet were incapable of defending their rights on their own turf.”

    “[R]ecent research has revealed that Scottish Gaelic was the third-most spoken European language at the time of (Canadian) Confederation. And yet today, apart from scattered homesteads in Nova Scotia, not only has the language receded from the immigrant communities that once spoke it, but it has practically disappeared from public memory.”

    * * * *
    Here is a translation of a passage from a Gaelic biography of Sir Hector MacKenzie, Gaelic-speaker from the Black Isle near Dingwall (‘EACHANN NAN CATH: Eachdraidh-beatha An Ridire Eachann MacDhòmhnaill’, by Ailean Friseal, GAIRM, Glaschu, 1979, ISBN 901771 62 7) —

    “KABUL TO KANDAHAR 1880 – Who, then, had the victory in this war? The Afghans? The British? The Afghans were repulsed on the battlefields. No doubt about that. Many thousands of their best fighters were killed in the war over the two years. But, on the other hand, the only gain of the war was the replacement of one puppet-ruler with another. One thing for sure, though; it wasn’t the English who won it! Under a commander from Ireland, many battles were won by two Highland regiments, by Gurkhas, and by Sikhs. And without the Scots, the calamity might well have surpassed that of Maiwand. Indeed, throughout the war the Gordons and Seaforths were in competition with the Gurkhas and Sikhs as to who would be first to engage the enemy. But, in London, the triumphal boast was of the victory and advance of General Roberts and the ‘English’ Army!”

    * * * * *
    Scottish losses in WW1 were catastrophic. Sir Tom Devine (T.M.Devine) writes in his book ‘The Scottish Nation 1700-2000’ —

    “Of the 157 battalions which comprised the British Expeditionary Force, 22 were Scottish regiments […] The human losses were enormous and unprecedented. Of the 557,000 Scots who enlisted in all services, 26.4 percent lost their lives. This compares with an average death rate of 11.8 percent for the rest of the British army between 1914 and 1918. Of all the combatant nations, only the Serbs and the Turks had higher per capita mortality rates, but this was primarily because of disease in the trenches rather than a direct result of losses in battle. The main reason for the higher-than-average casualties among the Scottish soldiers was that they were regarded as excellent, aggressive shock troops who could be depended upon to lead the line in the first hours of battle.”

    And this from a BBC site: THE BATTLE OF LOOS —

    “The Battle of Loos started in September 1915. It was the first time Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, used armies of volunteers in a major attack – around 30,000 Scots took part in the Battle. It was also the first time the British army used poison gas as a weapon [wind changed and it blew back on British troops (FMF)]. The attacking British soldiers had almost no cover and were in full view of the German machine gunners who cut down soldiers in their thousands. Battalions from every Scottish regiment fought in the Battle of Loos and suffered huge numbers of casualties. Of the 21,000 killed, over 7,000 were Scottish soldiers. Almost every town and village in Scotland was affected by the losses at Loos.”

    And a quick translation from a Gaelic video in which Donald MacCormick recounts the devastating loss of Gaelic-speaking soldiers killed at Loos —

    “Worst blow 9th Scottish Division, 26th Brigade: On the right were the men of North Uist, Strathspey, and Lochaber. On the left were the men of South Uist, Benbecula, and Skye, under Major Arkshaw(?), who fell at the head of his men. The first two lines went forward and were absolutely wiped out. Line after line was mown down. Of the 760 men who went over the top, only 70 came back. And of the 700 who were killed, you could probably say that 90% of them were Gaelic-speakers. And I don’t think Gaeldom ever got over it.”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Scots always were a source of expendable military fodder.Fheargas.

      Your report of 7.000 out of the 21,000 killed at Loos being Scots reinforces that. But so to do the many other statistics of how the Scots were recruited for disproportionate deployment in the cause of the Great British empire.

      Slaughtered in their droves throughout England’s various wars the Scots hugely disproportionate death toll is a stark yardstick of the expendability of the indigenous Scot. Sepoys I think was the Indian equivalent.

      Of course in context, the disproportionate recruitment of Scots for military deployment could also be considered not dissimilar to the 17th and 18th century extraction of African labour for service on the farms and plantations of the ruling elites.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Colonialism, according to JP Sartre, ‘of course depends on over-exploitation’ of a territory and all its resources, and that includes its human resources. Such outcomes including not least the barbarity of it only shocks us if we do not yet fully understand our oppression as colonialism, which involves racism, prejudice and worse. Which in turn brings us to realise that independence is not simply a mere change of governance; independence is, as even the UN proclaims, about decolonization and removing ‘the scourge’ of colonial oppression in aw its mankit naitur.

      Liked by 6 people

    3. Excellent if not tragic article Alf, I recall the US film Private Ryan, and the loss of a family of brother all except on survived. However in WWI five Aberdeen brothers from the one family fell. Scots have been used as English canon fodder for centuries.

      Even today the MoD scours schools in poor areas of Scotland for cannon fodder, and the British army is one of only a few that sends sixteen-ear old troops into battle as they did in Afghanistan.

      “When World War One broke out in 1914, Peter and Elspeth Tocher from Aberdeen had five sons.

      Peter, George, James, John and Robert all served in the Gordon Highlanders regiment.

      All of them died.”

      Liked by 4 people

  30. I have a friend who lives in an estate near Inverness. The estate is new and is close to many walks through forests and isn’t a kick in the backside off of Loch Ness. A primary school, holding an incredible 800 pupils, is already over-subscribed. The local secondary school, the biggest in the Highlands, is full and in desperate need of extra buildings. More estates are being built in and around Culloden and Nairn. People are asking who has got the money to buy them. I think we all know, it is not the locals.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Unfortunately, this influx of those who can afford to buy up these new houses has resulted in most Scots having to live in the Central Belt towns and cities because of the necessity to find employment, while better-off incomers can afford to live in the beautiful scenic areas of Scotland.

      The time will come when, just like with the coming of the Industrial Revolution, ordinary Scots will simply be visitors to the more scenic places in their own country, once the dwelling places of their ancestors to which they are now strangers.

      Like others born in the Central Belt, previous generations of my family on both sides came from elsewhere in Scotland, mainly in my case Perthshire and the North East. Yet these connections have been lost and memories of these places have faded. I can visit where my grandfather skated on the river in severe winters but I am a stranger to the place where none of my extended family now live, scattered as they are throughout the UK and other parts of the world.

      Liked by 4 people

  31. I have been investigating Scottish losses, particularly in the First War for a number of years. It was prompted by the dishonesty of English academics lazily applying 10% of British losses to Scotland per ratio of population. The evidence of our War memorials contradicted that. What really prompted to dig into the stats was Michael Wood’s series in 2014, along with Dan Snow and Sir Hew Strachan, where they collectively tried to portray Scots deaths as unremarkable in comparison to the usual meme of North of England ‘pals’ battalions and ridiculously the Ulster Division at the Somme being foremost in the sacrifice. Not to diminish either, but to highlight the reality of Scottish disproportionate historical sacrifice for the Empire.

    The reality is that the number of dead in WW1 held at Edinburgh Castle in the rolls has been extensively researched by a senior British officer. The numbers are as follows: 148,354 killed all services; 116,117 killed with Scottish and ancillary services only; 17,821 Scots serving with English, Welsh and Irish regiments ; Scots born killed with Canadian, Anzac and Indian armies, 14,416. These are shocking statistics. The British lost 700,000 dead. Of these we can see that excluding the colonial numbers of Scots that our net losses account for 133.938. The equivalent of 19%
    .Of the Empire death toll of 1 million it is the equivalent of just under 15% out of a population of less than 5 million people in an empire of multiple millions.

    Of further concern is the fact that in the Second World war, Scots deaths were 55,550 (excluding 2281 civilian deaths via bomb raids) out of a total British of 383,770 ( 14.5%) despite conscription throughout supposedly ‘diluting’ concentrations of Scots in battle.

    Liked by 6 people

  32. A bit O/T folk forgive me, but I see that the polis are now investigating the missing £600 grand after looking into complaints received. Well well, I wonder if anything will come out of this as it should. or will we just get another whitewash.

    Liked by 4 people

  33. The real tragedy is that the deaths were attributable to a complete failure of leadership. The wars were fought on the premise of dogmatism rather than pragmatism.

    Having passed leadership to England in world war 1 and 2 we are entitled to ask what the consequences were.

    Complete and abject failure and disportionate fatalities were the answer and we are entitled to ask why.

    War in Iraq and Afghanistan failure and disproportionate fatalities we are entitled to ask why

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Hello Iain,

    It is hugely significant that the Police are now formally investigating the “missing” £667k funds at SNP HQ, previously raised and RING-FENCED for an Independence Referendum. Reason: pressure of complaints or a new Lord Advocate?

    When the relevant Finance and Audit Committee and a National Treasurer such as a decent man like Douglas Chapman CANNOT establish the current salary package (and history) of the Chief Executive, then surely THAT is a sign that something financial may be amiss!

    This investigation has finally reached the new reports of BBC, both London and its Glasgow-based subsidiary. Wow!

    I just hope that the accusations will be fully investigated but, based on recent legal actions, I am not holding my breath!

    Slainte

    WGW

    Liked by 4 people

    1. There were two fundraisers. One was for a referendum and the other was for a booklet to be sent to every house in Scotland.

      Both have been spent by the murrells. They are fraudsters, perjurers, conspirators, domestic abusers and traitors to Scotland. Probably other crimes too from the look of him.

      Liked by 3 people

  35. Most interesting that the politicised Police Scotland and their COPFS bedfellows are now formally investigating the disappearance of the £600k hypothecated funding disappeared from the SNP accounts.

    Maybe the murky forces that maliciously pursued Alex Salmond, Craig Murray et al have now had a Damascene conversion to pursuing criminality with impartiality and public interest at heart. Somehow I doubt it and mixed in with this announcement will undoubtedly be the thinking that the time for hitting Sturgeon and her ilk with the shit stick that they hit Salmond with is now due.

    Who knows. One thing that is for certain though is that Police Scotland and the COPFS are utterly corrupt in who they prosecute and who they don’t.

    And so, will the investigation lead to charges and court appearances. I hope so because we desperately need to destroy the SNP in its current form is desperately needed to get independence agenda back together.. Removing Sturgeon and her ilk is a prerequisite to that.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. Anger and worry in equal measure. Democracy within a colonial setting/franchise is not democracy nor constitutional but continued colonial rule masked by the illusion of freedom of choice/democracy. It is as fare as a game of poker playing against the house with their rules and stacked deck. The “house” always wins. Unless we find a political party or an alternative willing to change the rules nothing will change and Scotland will soon find itself “hogtied” subsumed and consumed. Remember, it is not Westminster that is denying independence as it is not theirs to grant. It is the First Minister of Scotland by denying all routes, including a referendum, to the people of Scotland. The dissolution of the Act of Union is within her power and that of the Scottish Parliament. She knows that wasting time will kill Scotland as a nation and she is playing a blinder. It has always been the “House Jock” that has killed off the aspirations of this nation. Described as the “Most dangerous woman in Britain” I agree. But not a danger to the UK State, but to an independent Scotland. She has sold the cause and half the cause haven’t even noticed. She will continue to run down the clock, killing Scot’s, with her British Covid strategy using it to deny democracy and open criticism. My fear in 2014 when I saw the stats, knowing that “Native Scot’s” voted for independence, was that all Westminster needed to do was flood Scotland with “NO” voters to deny Scotland’s constitutional right again. It was always just a matter of time. Seven years and no nearer independence that is a strategy not an accident. Meanwhile we are being subsumed and our resources consumed (not to the benefit of Scot’s), democracy and a written constitution is still an illusion. Nothing has changed but the date and the introduction of draconian laws to deny democracy. Time is fast running out. Democracy, that illusion, is finite as is patience. Anger and worry in equal measure.

    Liked by 3 people

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