October 1992: Daily Mail – Musings of a Scottish lady
Many of my English and European friends and acquaintances are landowners in Scotland. In recent times they have been able to buy and sell many Scottish estates at reasonable prices ensuring the continued growth of our society.
Lord Kimball left Altnaharra in Sutherland. Billy Whitbread sold Kinlochewe. Algie Cluff disposed of Clova. The Forsyth family put Ballathie in Perthshire on the market.
Amazingly Mark and Sandy Diks, the Dutch couple who bought Ben Alder, near Fort William, for £1.5m only a few months ago have decided to sell because Mrs Diks disliked the Scottish climate! Understandable if she was Australian or Italian, but the Dutch who shoot up the highlands are out in all weathers.
Peter de Savery, the English yachting enthusiast bought Glenborrodale Castle on Loch Sunart and now runs it as a hotel.
Derek Holt, the Ayrshire businessman, who built the Kip Marina, bought the Island of Gigha from the receivers of the financially beleaguered Malcolm Poitier.
Lord Laing, the biscuit tycoon, who lives at Dunphail, near Forres, resides virtually next door to his brother Fergus, at Relugas, in Morayshire (some locals call the county Laingshire). Hector Laing set his sons up in neighbouring estates. Anthony and his wife Fof, at Culmony. Robert and his wife Fiona, at Bantrach.
Then there are the Ivory and the Gammell families who have been leading lights in Glenisla in Angus for decades. James and Felicity Ivory at Hole of Ruthven at Kirriemuir. Ian and Johanna Ivory down the road at Ruthven House, near Meigle. Brian and Oonagh Ivory at Brewlands. and their Gammell cousins, Jamie and Jimmy, at Alrick and Craig. Between them, the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. the Keswicks. the Landales. and the Jardine Patersons all from the Jardine Matheson Hong Kong dynasty, account for a lot of Dumfriesshire.
Alistair and Elizabeth Salvesen bought the Whitburgh estate near Pathhead, in Midlothian. With brother Robin Salveson already in residence at Eaglescairnie in East Lothian. Evelyn Salverson, with husband Ian Crombie, at Rankeilour in Fife. Cousin Andrew Salveson at Findrack in Aberdeenshire and Nephew Jeremy at Cardrona, near Peebles. The Salveson’s further increased the family share of ownwership of Scotland.
And what of my own family?
When Torquil, The Master of Camperdown, has finally finished at Eton and Cirencester, we fully expect him to instal himself nearby, most likely in the dower house used by my mother-in-law before we packed her off on the world tour.
Last evening, I arranged for Fiona, our daughter who is at university in Glasgow, to take a party of her chums to the Childline Ball being held at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. I do wish I could have gone along myself since I used to simply adore waltzing under those magnificent chandeliers in the great ballroom. Mind you, that was in the days before the local council turned the old place into a multi-purpose community centre; as far as I know, there hasn’t been a really smart dance there for well over a decade. So maybe things are getting back to normal at last!
Anyway, the guest-of-honour last night was Esther Rantzen who presents that amusing television programme about life, and although I have not, as yet, heard from Fiona, with Mike D’Abo’s Band from London (he was the one who took over from the good-looking chap who sang Pretty Flamingo with that Manfred Mann pop group in the 60s), a jazz band, and Scottish country dancing into the bargain, it must have been just like the old days.
Sheriff Neil Gow has written in to chastise me about my bad spelling for which I feel suitably humbled. Alas, I am not a journalist, I am only a woman! I should say, however, that when Camperdown and I were stalking on Arran, we visited Sannox Lodge at the north-east end, not Strabane, where Lady Jean (as a Duke’s daughter, a lady in her own right) has done wonderful things to what I understand was formerly the old factor’s house, next to Brodick Castle. (Summarised from the original)
The English government’s Navigation Acts of 1660/61
The Navigation Acts, or more broadly the Acts of Trade and Navigation, were a long series of English laws that developed, promoted, and regulated English ships, shipping, trade, and commerce between other countries and with its own colonies
The laws prevented Scotland from trading with England’s colonies in India and the Caribbean and denied Scots the chance to profit from the trade opportunities that English merchants enjoyed cutting off sources of wealth for Scots. Unlike England and some other European countries, Scotland had no colonies of its own so it continued to fall behind in terms of trade.
The scope of the act was surreptitiously extended in 1689, to include France, the low countries and any colony of England or Holland and was enforced by English and Dutch warships patrolling, controlling the high seas, the North Sea and the English Channel.
Scottish ships carrying fish and or other cargo would be stopped and boarded, the cargo confiscated, ships sunk and the crews press-ganged into the English navy.
England effectively placed an embargo on Scotland and enforced it by blackmailing other countries dependent on England’s support at sea and in Europe and the new colonies.
What was particularly galling was that at a time when their families starved at home in Scotland (due to the adverse impact of the embargo) tens of thousands of Scots were forcibly conscripted into and died fighting for the recently formed United Kingdom in Europe under the command of incompetent English generals.
But the ever resilient Scots refused to give up their sovereignty and retained their freedom denying England’s attempts at colonising the country.
The English Alien Act of 1705
The continued resistance of Scots to colonial rule frustrated English politicians whose attentions were increasingly given over to developing its North American interests. Something need to be done to bring the Scots to heel.
The English Parliament’s Alien Act of 1705 speeded up the process of a Union with Scotland with the explicit threat to confiscate all Scottish held estates held in England by non-residents unless the Scottish Parliament entered into treaty negotiations by Christmas Day 1705.
An added threat was that an embargo would be placed on Scottish products being imported into England.
Darien – Money talks
At the time the Treaty of Union was signed in 1707 Scotland had no debt whilst England’s national debt was £18 million.
Article XV of the Treaty granted £398,085 and ten shillings sterling to Scotland – a sum known as “The Equivalent” – to offset future liability towards the English national debt.
But most of the money was used to compensate the investors in the Darien scheme, many of whom were in the Scottish Parliament and then persuaded to support the Union.
A “parcel of rogues” as described by Robert Burns.
It was hardly a voluntary union as it was opposed by all the churches and burghs in Scotland and widespread rioting followed news that the Treaty of Union had been signed.
Article XIX of the treaty contains the words “…that no causes in Scotland be cognizable by the Courts of Chancery… or any other Court in Westminster Hall”. Therefore, it can be argued that the UK Supreme Court breaches the Treaty of Union (Fraser Grant)
The 1707 Treaty of Union
The Union of Scotland and England was achieved by the signing of the Treaty of Union in which the members of the Scottish and English Parliaments (neither democratically elected) agreed to form a new “British” Parliament.
This did not happen as English politicians at Westminster decided that, contrary to the agreement, there would be no new joint Parliament but “the English Parliament continuing” which would incorporate (absorb) the Scottish Parliament.
Since it was the members of the Scottish Parliament that signed the Treaty it is they, now democratically elected who have the right to express the will of the people of Scotland about such matters as whether they wish to withdraw from a Treaty in which almost every clause has been broken. Self-determination is a right under all international laws.
It is of note that the people of Scotland were torn out of Europe despite their vote to remain, and their being told in the 2014 Independence Referendum campaign that only a no vote in 2014 would ensure their remaining in Europe (Susan FG Forde)
The end of Queen Victoria’s reign brought with it the slow but relentless and agonising dissolution and dismemberment of the British Empire since it was unable to sustain its existence being founded through the conquest of many formerly free independent nations.
It was also thinly spread across the world and this encouraged the regimes of the appointed governors to practice widespread institutional abuse on the populations of the colonies.
The Royal Navy, which had policed the Empire using gunboat diplomacy lost its power, influence and ability to control affairs and this encouraged the long suffering residents of many colonies to rebel and demand that the British leave.
In some instances the requested withdrawals were achieved peacefully but in many examples the British had to be thrown out of former colonies by force of arms.
In 2022 the Empire is a pale shadow of what it used to be and yet its leaders in Westminster continue to strut the world stage like a punch drunk fighter boasting of its continued influence on world affairs.
The Empire includes just two colonies (Scotland and Wales) attached to Westminster by oppression and abuse and held captive by force.
The weakness of their situations being attributed to the land attachment and the death and banishment of many millions of their residents who fought against overwhelming odds for many years.
It is time Westminster acknowledged the rights of Scotland and Wales and declared an end to the Empire.
Michelle Money & the Ups & Downs of her Business Life.
2014: Recurring threats by Mone to transfer her business to England should Scotland become independent are simply, “hot air” since she no longer has a controlling stake in her new company, (Ultimo Brands International) which incidentally is registered for business in London.
Her company, MJM International morphed into, “Ultimo Brands International” in January 2014 and is registered with Companies House in London.
It has Mone, Anthony Caplan, Poleg and Amalean as its directors.
Caplan is Mone’s lawyer with Poleg and Amalean both board directors at MAS Holdings a (Sri Lanka based company) which holds 51% ownership of UBI leaving Mone in control of 49%.
Poleg, chairman of UBI, said, “We are delighted that we will soon be operating under a new company name, “Ultimo Brands International” a name change reflecting the resurgence of the brand and our ambitions for growth beyond the UK.”
A spokeswoman for UBI said the Ultimo range was being overhauled and relaunched in early 2014 .
Mone, the new poster girl for British Airways
Boldly modelling a swimsuit of her own design, is yet another eye-catching twist in the career of one of Scotland’s best known business figures who said: “I have absolutely no problem with people expressing an opinion, but if you are going to be disrespectful, I don’t want to hear it. I’ve been called a “****”, a cow, a slut, as well as being told “I’m going to get it”, “we’ll come and get you” and they’re “going to throw me across the border”.
“I’m not a murderer, a thief or a rapist. I’m a good person who employs a lot of people in Scotland, both Yes and No supporters, and we all get on. We should all be able to live in a country where you can express views and not be vilified for it.”
Kate Hopkins, in her column for the, “Sun” labelled the Scottish lingerie tycoon an, “asylum seeker” after Mone pledged to move to England if Scotland became independent. Hopkins said, “If you are part of Scotland and have the opportunity to vote, you should remain in the country where you exercised your democratic right. “The last thing we need is more asylum seekers in England. She went on, “Even if they are wealthy and have norks like Marilyn Monroe.
Mone has revealed she suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder. In general, sufferers experience repetitive, intrusive and unwelcome thoughts, images, impulses and doubts which they find hard to ignore. The thoughts push them to perform repetitive acts as a way to alleviate the symptoms.
Mone got into another ruck with the press over claims that her business would be worth 100m when only months previously it had to be rescued from bankruptcy by entrepreneur Tom Hunter.
Having dispensed with Jordan’s services after a single day, firing Peaches Geldof for alleged drug taking and insisting she only hired Penny Lancaster because she was cheap, Mone has finally found a model she was able to work with: herself.
Mone clenched her fist and spat venom about lingerie models who refused to stalk the catwalk in her skimpy thongs.
“F***ing neurotics,” says Mone, creator of the Ultimo bra, which has boosted cleavages worldwide with its stitched-in sacs of silicone gel. “I think they’re bloody prima donnas. They’re getting paid fortunes, and they’re in there moaning their arse off. I feel like punching every one of them.”
Mone’s decision to drop his 34-year-old girlfriend, Penny Lancaster, deeming her not well enough known angered the 60-year-old rocker who said “I hope she [Mone] chokes on her profits.”
Mone, also received offensive e-mails over the move. But the real reason why Mone and Lancaster went their separate ways appeared to be the usual culprit: money.
It has since been revealed that Lancaster’s £200k contract to promote Ultimo was nearing its end and Mone had asked if she could continue using the model’s image for another five months for free. An ‘offer’ rejected as “ludicrous.
Mone has bought out Sir Tom Hunter and Ian Grabiner in a deal understood to be worth £800,000.
The Scots billionaire and the chief operating officer of fashion group Arcadia had invested in Mone’s lingerie company, Ultimo, when the business nearly collapsed after its launch in 1999. The firm has since prospered.
Mone considering moving to the United States to further her television career.
A regular guest on, “The Apprentice – You’re Fired” she revealed on social networking site, “Facebook” that she was torn between staying in Scotland and uprooting her children, to live in the US. “Decisions to make, offered a huge opportunity in LA but have to live there for a lot of the time,” she wrote. “Don’t think I can leave my home … wish I wasn’t such a home bird. “It would initially be for a year but huge decision as I would have to take kids out of school.”
Revealed: Tory peer Mone secretly received £29m from ‘VIP lane’ PPE firm
The Conservative peer and her children secretly received £29m originating from the profits of a PPE business that was awarded large government contracts after she recommended it to ministers.
Mone’ssupporthelped the company, PPE Medpro, secure a place in a “VIP lane” the government used during the coronavirus pandemic to prioritise companies that had political connections. It thensecured contracts worth more than £200m.
Document indicate tens of millions of pounds of PPE Medpro’s profits were later transferred to a secret offshore trust of which Mone and her adult children were the beneficiaries.
Asked why she did not include PPE Medpro in her House of Lords register of financial interests, her lawyer replied: “She did not declare any interest as she did not benefit financially and was not connected to PPE Medpro in any capacity.”
The leaked documents, which were produced by the bank HSBC, appear to contradictthat statement. They state that Mone’s husband, the Isle of Man-based financier Douglas Barrowman, was paid at least £65m in profits from PPE Medpro, and then distributed the funds through a series of offshore accounts, trusts and companies.
The ultimate recipients of the funds, the documents indicate, include the Isle of Man trust that was set up to benefit Mone, who was Barrowman’s fiancee at the time, and her children.
In October 2020, the documents add, Barrowman transferred to the trust £28.8m originating from PPE Medpro profits.
That was just five months after Mone helped PPE Medpro secure contracts to supply masks and sterile gowns for use in the NHS.
Contacted about the new disclosures, HSBC said it was unable to comment, even to confirm if the couple had been clients.
A lawyer for Mone said: “There are a number of reasons why our client cannot comment on these issues and she is under no duty to do so.”
A lawyer who represents both Barrowman and PPE Medpro said that a continuing investigation limited what his clients were able to say on these matters. He added: “For the time being we are also instructed to say that there is much inaccuracy in the portrayal of the alleged ‘facts’ and a number of them are completely wrong.”
Mone, 51, and Barrowman, 57, have over the last two years insisted they had no “involvement” in PPE Medpro, and “no role” in the process through which the company was awarded its government contracts.
PPE Medpro has repeatedly refused to identify its mystery backers, but denied it was awarded contracts because of “company or personal connections” to the UK government or Conservative party.
The leaked documents setting out HSBC’s understanding of the offshore distribution of PPE Medpro’s profits were produced by the bank, which held several accounts linked to the Tory peer, her husband and children.
HSBC launched its own investigation following media reports about Mone’s apparent links to PPE Medpro, which raised potential concerns for the bank.
A report produced by HSBC on the couple and their links to PPE Medpro stated that it did “not manage to corroborate” those concerns.
In the process of investigating the couple, however, HSBC pieced together a money trail showing that Barrowman had transferred tens of millions in PPE Medpro profits through a network of offshore entities. About £29m ended up in the trust benefiting Mone and her children, the report indicates.
The bank’s investigation noted that “large value inter-account transfers” originating from PPE Medpro were being routed through Barrowman’s offshore accounts, often crediting and debiting within minutes of each other.
The internal bank report described the money flowsas “unusual activity”, noting a concern that Barrowman “may be attempting to conceal the true origins of the funds through multiple layers of transactions creating a distance between the receipt of PPE funds and the final beneficiaries”.
Referring to Mone, it concluded that the transfers “suggest a UK peer in the House of Lords has benefited from a contract with the UK government”. Barrowman is understood to have told HSBC that his wife had “no involvement” in the business activities of PPE Medpro, and the onward transfer of its profits via his personal bank account had been made “in his personal capacity”.
HSBC was unable to corroborate any concerns of wrongdoing by the couple, but it did identify a number of “risks” related to retaining Barrowman and Mone as clients – including what it saw as potential reputational damage to the bank. Multiple sources have told the Guardian that HSBC then decided to drop the couple as clients.
Message and money trails
Mone and Barrowman have long denied any involvement in PPE Medpro, or any role in the process through which it was awarded government contracts. However, over the last two years the Guardian has ascertained multiple instances in which the couple appear to have been involved in the business.
The Tory peer first approached ministers in May 2020, before PPE Medpro had even been incorporated as a company. She contacted Michael Gove, who was then a Cabinet Office minister, and Theodore Agnew, then a minister for procurement, using their personal email addresses.
Cabinet Office officials then added PPE Medpro to the VIP lane, which was used by the government early in the pandemic to prioritise referrals from politically connected companies.
The government has consistently defended the VIP process; spokespeople have maintained that contracts were awarded “in line with procurement regulations and transparency guidelines, and there are robust rules and processes in place to prevent conflicts of interest”.
Within weeks of Mone’s referral, which led to PPE Medpro being added to the high-priority channel, the company had received two government contracts worth a total of £203m to supply millions of face masks and sterile surgical gowns.
Around that time, Mone and her then fiancé appear to have been secretly involved in PPE Medpro’s business, according to previously leaked documents. Barrowman appears to have been personally involved in setting up PPE Medpro’s deals with a supply chain partner, Loudwater Trade and Finance, in which PPE Medpro committed to using its “extensive network” to seek contracts with the UK government. Barrowman also participated in a meeting between the Cabinet Office, PPE Medpro and Loudwater.
Meanwhile, Mone appears to have sent a WhatsApp message from a private jet in which she discussed specific details relating to PPE Medpro’s contract for sterile gowns. The message was sent to a person in PPE Medpro’s supply chain who referred to her as “Lady Michelle”. The couple were also included in correspondence between PPE Medpro’s suppliers about the cost price of gowns.
When the Guardian reported on their apparent secret involvement in the company, Mone’s lawyers said its reporting was “grounded entirely on supposition and speculation and not based on accuracy”, while lawyers for Barrowman said the Guardian’s reporting amounted to “clutching at straws” and was “largely incorrect”.
In September 2020, Barrowman was paid at least £65m in “profits” from the PPE deal, the HSBC report states. It states that money was transferred in two instalments to the Warren Trust, one of Barrowman’s Isle of Man trusts, using the reference “Distribution”.
From there, transfers totalling £45.8m were made to Barrowman’s personal HSBC Isle of Man bank account. That account, in turn, transferred £28.8m in October 2020 to the Keristal Trust, the beneficiaries of which, bank records indicated, were Mone and her children, the report states.
The Keristal Trust’s “settlors” – a reference to the individuals who created or funded it – were Barrowman and another individual linked to PPE Medpro, the document indicates. The document adds that the Keristal Trust’s bank account was opened in May 2020. That was the same month Mone recommended PPE Medpro to Gove and Agnew.
The HSBC report states that smaller sums – ranging from £5,000 to £200,000 – originating from PPE Medpro profits were passed to some employees of the Knox Group, Barrowman’s financial services firm, who were involved in the PPE business. According to the report, one of those employees told the bank the transfers were “gifts”.
Like his wife, Barrowman has repeatedly distanced himself from PPE Medpro, although neither of them have explicitly denied that he benefited financially from it. Previously, his lawyers have also insisted that Barrowman was never an “investor” in PPE Medpro.
However the leaked HSBC report suggests that another Barrowman trust in the Isle of Man made an investment of £3m in PPE Medpro in June 2020, using the reference “PPE Transfer”. The £3m capital injection was later repaid into Barrowman’s trust by PPE Medpro, along with interest, the report states.
Contacted this week, PPE Medpro declined to comment about whether Barrowman had invested in the company, citing a continuing investigation. Barrowman also declined to offer further comment citing live investigations, but his lawyer said he disputes the Guardian’s “claims and accusations”.
Barrowman will now be under pressure to explain why he received at least £65m in PPE Medpro profits, and apparently passed on around half of that to his wife and her children, all via offshore payments.
Barrowman and Mone’s huge windfall from PPE Medpro’s profits appears to have landed at an auspicious time for the couple: a few weeks before their wedding in the Isle of Man and honeymoon in the Maldives.
Their extraordinary enrichment from the profits of PPE Medpro may explain why Mone continued to lobby the government for further business for the company, months after it had been awarded £203m in PPE contracts.
Around the time Mone’s trust received tens of millions in profits originating from PPE Medpro, she appears to have lobbied another then Tory minister, James Bethell, this time promoting the company’s sale of Covid-19 tests, leaked emails suggest.
PPE Medpro ultimately failed to persuade the government to buy its antigen tests, despite Mone’s continued efforts to pull strings with her political contacts.
In February 2021, back from her honeymoon, Mone appears to have been lobbying again, according to an email sent by Jacqui Rock, the chief commercial officer for NHS test and trace.
The senior civil servant told colleagues that Mone was angry at the treatment of PPE Medpro, whose products were being subjected to tests. The Tory peer believed PPE Medpro had been “fobbed off”, Rock told colleagues. “Baroness Mone is going to Michael Gove and Matt Hancock today as she is incandescent with rage.”
1972. The discovery of oil in the North Sea, stirred Prime Minister, Edward Heath’s concerns about the poor state of the Scottish economy and perceiving a need for change, he initiated a policy review.
His secretary wrote to Cabinet members;
“As you know, the point has recently been put to the Prime Minister that the benefits of oil production brought ashore in Scotland should accrue, and be seen to accrue, to the Scottish economy.
The Prime Minister sees considerable force in the arguments, believing it would be difficult to stress too highly the psychological gains which would come from the revival of the Scottish economy being seen to be something from which Scotland was achieving from its own resources, not just by the grace and favour of the Government at Westminster or of English industry.” Adding: “The Prime Minister understands that novel arrangements may be required to achieve this result.”
Heath’s proposals created alarm at Westminster and led to many “on and off the record” meetings and an outpouring of confidential minutes and memos between various factions within and outwith government and the civil service,
Primary contributors objectors were: Gordon Campbell, (later Baron Campbell of Croy) the Scottish Secretary of State and head of the Department of Trade and Industry and Anthony Barber, the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Baron Campbell of Croy
In stating their opposition to Heath’s proposals, the Westminster establishment voiced concerns about taking oil revenues away from the Treasury.
A senior official at the Scottish Office, in London, wrote in a memo to Downing Street:
“The oil discoveries have raised speculation in Scotland on the financial aspects and will continue to do so. But, the Secretary of State for Scotland, Mr Campbell, would not wish to see directpayments from the oil revenues, as these would be too late to be really useful and would raise a new principal causing difficulties if applied in other contexts.
On the general question of the financial relationship of central Government with Scotland, the present has been evolved over many years and the types and amounts of grants, for example to local authorities for housing and education…follow formulae which recognize special circumstances and needs where they exist. Mr Campbell considers that to dismantle this system, besides being a Herculean task, would resurrect innumerable issues now mercifully dormant.”
In a memo, Treasury officials said they too were looking at aspects of the Prime Minister’s request and argued against it strongly, saying that Scotland took a markedly larger share of public spending than she contributed to public revenue.”
The same Treasury officials later said there could be: “no question of hypothecation” of oil revenue to finance Scottish expenditure.
Other Unionists in opposition to Heath’s proposals presented a uniform front, unanimously suggesting that aims would be better met by investment in infrastructure and the fostering of fabrication yards and supply companies.
Their strident opposition to Heath’s proposal garnered support, and culminated in the submission of an alternative proposal, transferring all revenue gathered from the oil bonanza to the Treasury in Westminster.
The Unionist consensus was that, “any change in the financial relationship between Westminster and Scotland would resurrect innumerable issues, (a veiled reference to Scottish Independence) now mercifully dormant”.
Edward Heath, blindsided, and out-voted in cabinet, accepted their proposal. Scotland has been ripped off since.
17 January 1701 – An Address to King William in London from the Scottish Chancellor, Patrick, Earl of Marchmont, concerning events in Caledonia.
We your majesty’s most faithful and dutiful subjects, the noblemen, barons and burgesses of the Scottish parliament, do in all humility represent that we are of sound mind, and do and shall ever most heartily acknowledge, that God raised your majesty to be our great deliverer, by whom our religion, liberties, rights and laws were rescued and restored into the happy estate and condition within which we now enjoy them.
Not least amongst the blessings was that your majesty desired the Kingdom to introduce measures for raising and improving the trade of the nation, and you were pleased in the year 1693 to give the royal assent to an act of parliament authorizing societies and companies in general, and then by act of parliament in the year 1695, to elect and establish “The Company of Scotland, Trading to Africa and the Indies,” And, with the powers, privileges, liberties and immunities contained in the said act, by virtue and warrant whereof letters patent were also granted for the same effect under the great seal of this your ancient kingdom.
But though the act and patent contained nothing save what is agreeable to the law of nations and to the use and custom every where in like cases, yet no sooner were they expedited and the founders began to act than, to the great surprise of the said company and of this whole kingdom, the kingdom of England take offence and acting against the company place upon it great and grievous hardships.
First there was the address, made in December 1695 by both houses of the parliament in England wherein they complained to your majesty of our said act of parliament for granting to the said company the privileges and immunities therein mentioned, as likely to bring many prejudices and mischiefs to all your English subjects concerned in the trade or wealth of that nation
And at the same time the House of Commons ordered an inquiry to be made to establish who were the advisers and promoters of our said act of parliament and acting on the information so gathered did move and make several prosecutions, even against the subjects of this kingdom who did not so much as reside in England, and only were acting by virtue and warrant of our said act of parliament and your majesty’s patent, whereby our said company was also disappointed and frustrated at the loss of the subscriptions of our own country men and others in England to the value of about £300,000.
And further, the House of Lords, by another address to your majesty, upon the twelfth of February 1698, persisted with the opposition made against our company and their colony of Caledonia in Darien in the continent of America, on the grounds of it being prejudicial to their nation and detrimental to its trade.
They went on to use the aforementioned statement to justify certain proclamations emitted in the year 1699 by the governors of the English plantations against our said company and their colony as agreeable to the above mentioned address of both houses of parliament, alleging that the same did proceed upon the unanimous sense of that kingdom in relation to any settlement we might make in the West Indies, and gave forth their resolution that the settlement of our colony at Darien was inconsistent with the good of the plantation trade of England.
All which being laid before us by our said company, and having fully considered the same, we have unanimously concluded and passed the resolve that the votes and proceedings of the parliament of England and their address presented to your majesty in December 1695 in relation to our act of parliament establishing our Indian and African Company, and the address of the house of lords presented to your majesty in February last, were an unwarranted meddling in the affairs of Scotland and an invasion upon the sovereignty and independence of our king and parliament.
Secondly, when our company sent their deputies to the German City of Hamburg, about the month of April 1697, to establish a treaty with that city and its inhabitants establishing free commerce to join with them according to the warrant contained in our act of parliament and your majesty’s patent, these deputies were immediately upon their arrival opposed by Sir Paul Rycault, an Englishman resident in that city, and a Mr Cresset, your majesty’s English envoy at the court of Lunenburg.
Both made several addresses to the senate of that city in prejudice of our company, and at length gave to the senate a memorial in your majesty’s name as king of Great Britain, stating that they represented your majesty, and the said deputies endeavoured to open to England a commerce and trade with the City of Hamburg by making some convention or treaty with them and had commanded the City fathers to notify the Luneburg Senate that, if they should enter into any convention with Scottish men, your subjects, who had neither credential letters, nor were otherwise authorized by your majesty, you would regard such proceedings as an affront to your royal authority and would not fail to resent it.
And then, noting that the City of Hamburg, without regard to their remonstrations did offer to make conventions or treaties with the Scottish deputation, proceeding upon the supposition that they were vested with sufficient powers, they repeated their complaint beseeching the said Luneburg Senate, in your majesty’s name, to remedy the matter since the City of Hamburg were intent on proceeding to enter into a contract with said Scotsmen were not instructed with due credentials and also expressly invading their rights and privileges.
Your majesty was graciously pleased to signify to the company, once and again by your secretaries, that you had given orders to these ministers not to make use of your majesties’ name and authority to obstruct the company in the prosecution of their trade with the inhabitants of that city, which, nevertheless, the said English ministers altogether misrepresented.
Which being also complained of to us by the company and duly considered by us, we have unanimously concluded and passed another resolve that the memorial presented in your majesty’s name as King of Great Britain to the senate of Hamburg, upon the seventh of April 1697, by Sir Paul Rycault, then resident in that city, and Mr Cresset, your majesties’ envoy extraordinary at the Court of Lunenburg, were most unwarrantable, containing manifest falsehoods and contrary to the law of nations injurious to your majesty and an open encroachment upon the sovereignty and independence of this crown and kingdom, the occasions of great losses and disappointments to the said company and of most dangerous consequence for the trade of Scotland now and in the future.
Thirdly, your majesty’s favour of forming the company, having been very acceptable to the whole of Scotland and having the financial support of many subscribers of all degrees and from all parts, and having procured a greater advance of money for a venture then was ever made before, the council and directors of the company thought good to make some settlement for a plantation. And, having considered that by the for-said act of parliament they were limited in their planting of colony’s either to places not inhabited or to other places with consent of the natives and inhabitants, and not possessed by any European prince or state.
And having investigated available information understood that that part of Darien in America, where they thereafter fixed, was no European possession, they set forth well equipped with ships, men and provisions, which, arriving upon that coast in November 1698, the founders of the colony did not only find the place uninhabited, but also treated and agreed with the chief men of the natives near to the place, whom they found in an independent and absolute freedom, and, being very kindly and friendly by them admitted, our colony took possession and settled upon the most complete right of a place, void and unoccupied and with the consent of all the neighbouring natives that could have any pretence to it, and thus the company hoped they had made a good settlement and happily prevented others having designs for the same place in such manner as might tend to the advantage of all your majesty’s dominions.
But when they believed that their matters were thus in a hopeful and prosperous condition, they were exceedingly surprised to hear that proclamations had been published by the governors of the English plantations placing an embargo on the company as enemies, debarring them from all supplies, and that these proclamations had been executed against Darien with the utmost rigour, forbidding our men wood, water and anchorage, and all sorts of provisions, even for money, contrary to the very rules of common humanity: and, within some weeks after, the company was informed that their colony had deserted Darien to the great loss and regret of the whole of Scotland.
And though the Company sent out a very considerable second mission to repossess Darien, the same rigorous execution was still continued against them. Which proclamations proceeding, as we believe, and that from the very style and variations that may be observed in them, from the error of the governor’s mistaking, as it is like from some cautions given them for prevention and not from direct orders, we are persuaded were not emitted by your majesty’s warrant, beside that they were executed with an unheard of rigour.
And therefore, upon a further complaint from our company in this matter, we have most unanimously concluded and past a third resolve in these terms: that the proclamations in the English plantations in April, May, June and September 1699 against our Indian and African Company and colony in Caledonia were and are injurious and prejudicial to the rights and liberties of the company, and that the execution of these proclamations against the settlers sent out by the said company was inhumane, barbarous and contrary to the law of nations and a great occasion of the loss and ruin of our said colony and settlement of Caledonia.
And we taking to our further consideration the proceedings of our company in making the said settlement and how they punctiliously observed the condition of the for said act of parliament and patent in making their plantations in no European possession, with the greatest caution both to fix in a place void and uninhabited and also with consent of all the neighbouring natives that could have the least shadow of pretence thereto, and that yet on the other hand the said planters have been treated by the Spaniards, first at Carthagena and then in the very seat of our colony and like ways in old Spain, with all insolences and hostilities, not only as enemies but as pirates.
We thought it our duty, for vindicating and securing our said company and colony from all imputation or charge that has been or may be brought against them, to pass and conclude with the same unanimity a fourth resolve: that our Indian and African Company’s colony of Caledonia in Darien in the continent of America was and is legal and rightful, and that the settlement was made conform to the act of parliament and letters patent establishing the said company, and that the company, in making and prosecuting the said settlement, acted warrantable by virtue of the said act of parliament and patent.
We, having thus found the for said invasions to be manifest encroachments upon the undoubted independence and sovereignty of this your majesty’s ancient crown and Scotland and unanimously passed the above-mentioned resolves and votes for asserting the rights and privileges of our said company, and also for asserting our company’s right to their colony of Caledonia, we have further thought good to lay the same before your majesty by this our solemn address.
And, therefore, do with all humble duty and earnestness beseech your majesty to take this whole matter to your royal consideration and to prevent all encroachments for the future that may be made, either by your English ministers abroad or any other to the prejudice of this kingdom and our said company, or any project of trade that we may lawfully design, and to assure our said company of your majesty’s royal protection in all their just rights and privileges, and to grant them your countenance and concurrence for reparation of their losses, especially those great losses and damages that they and their colony have suffered by the injuries and violences of the Spaniards.
And further, we represent to your majesty that the press ganging of Scots by the English for their sea service is contrary to the natural right and freedom of the subjects of Scotland, ought to be absolutely discharged.
All which we represent to your majesty with the greater confidence, as being most assured that none of your kingdoms and subjects are or can be more dutifully and zealously affected to your majesty’s royal person and government than we and the good subjects of your ancient kingdom of Scotland are, and shall ever continue to testify by laying out our selves for your majesty’s service to the utmost of our power.
Signed in presence by warrant and in name of the estates of the Scottish parliament may it please your majesty, your majesty’s most humble, most obedient and most faithful subject and servant, Patrick, Earl of Marchmont, Lord High Chancellor to the Parliament of Scotland, 17 January 1701
King William of England was never crowned King of Great Britain, yet his two representatives insisted on referring to him as this in 1697, (10 years before the Treaty of Union was signed). This reveals the duplicity of William and his cronies in Westminster. He sold out Scotland, then fell off his horse and died before he could enjoy the fruits of his deceit.
The 1707 “Treaty of Union” contravenes the 1320 “Scottish Declaration of Independence” and is therefore illegal
The approval by Pope John XXII., created a precedence introducing the first ever “proto-declaration of independence” and established the principles of the “Unalienable Rights of Mankind.”
Recognition of these rights is not negotiable and any political governance explicitly devised to manufacture dependency on the state is universally deprecated and illegal.
The UK system of government formed in 1707, established political systems of control designed to systematically entice Scots to accept permanent dependency robbing them of their freedom, turning them into metaphorical “numpties”, clearly violating their unalienable right to liberty.
Every “numpty” answers to a master and the Westminster government manufactures servants of the state to support and impose its will on its “numpties” through the enforcement of involuntary servitude which is essentially slavery, and slaves are not free.
The Westminster government takes to itself all wealth generated by its “Scottish numpties” passing copious financial support to its appointed masters.
The “numpties” are are permitted, subject to whimsical changes, to retain only that which they need to survive. Westminster retains all power and authority.
The “Picture Post” (1938-1957) portrayal of Scotland perpetuated the themes of Empire and Identity.
Its depiction of Scottish history was scarce and comment was largely restricted to the institutional differences from England and coverage of pageantry.
The narrative it promoted conveyed the residual strengths of the British Empire, with increases in royal visits suggesting “concessions to combat the perception of Scotland’s diminishing nationhood.”
Because of the publications adherence to an overarching sense of Britishness, no coherent idea of Scottish national identity in or for itself emerged.
Instead, Scottish articles were conveniently subsumed under a handful of stock categories, each of which played a part in the representation of British culture, in a sense “the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.” The “we” here was an English one that looked at Scotland.
Much boiled down to the presentation of stereotypes: picture stories about the kilt, ships being built and launched, and miners coming from the “filth of the pit” to “the row of mean, sordid houses”, of “grey fishing villages.” In sharp contrast there is the scenic beauty of the landscape. And then there was Glasgow.
Scotland was imagined either as a place of “grave beauty” and “wild, infertile districts such as the Highland [deer] forests”; or the home of scandalous urban poverty, appalling housing and rickets.
Symbolism of Crown Authority
The symbolism is clear from depictions of George VI opening the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow and the richly ceremonial images of Queen Elizabeth’s 1952 trip to Edinburgh.
A photo-essay of her rain-sodden voyage in the Hebrides was rather less formal, although the opening line of text served to remind readers of the ritual aspect: “To go to Scotland in August has been a habit with the Royal Family since Queen Victoria’s time.”
“Bed Socks for a Queen” sought to make the link between everyday working life in Scotland and the wardrobes of the grand: “Through five generations, this factory in Edinburgh has been making quality footwear for monarch, soldier, sportsman and glamour girl.”
Meanwhile, the effort to convey an impression of Anglo-Scots unity led to some extraordinary tweaking of the historical record. A wartime propaganda piece juxtaposed photographs of Fort George with images of Culloden Moor where the names on the stones are the same names which label wooden crosses in the sands of the Egyptian desert now.
The men of the Highland Division – the men who stormed the Axis lines at El Alamein – are the kith and kin of the clansmen who rose for Bonnie Prince Charlie in the ’45 … neither the men nor the lands they live in have changed … they’re fighting for the same age-old Highland cause.
The saddest part about the Battle of Culloden is the fatalities on either side– nearly 2,000 Jacobites were killed. Only 50 died on the British side.
Scottish military stories were few, although articles about clan gatherings, Highland games, and the aforementioned kilt, in conflating “Highlander” with “Scot”, provided a spurious sense of national singularity.
Unsurprisingly, discussions of a separate national identity were few during the war years. However, an intermittent dialogue around nationalism was ongoing.
Some Scots blamed Westminster’s dismissal of independence claims for Scotland’s manufacturing industry falling into dereliction.
Yet, railed Compton Mackenzie embracing the Scots audience, “it is our own fault”; so long as “we” submit to London control, we can only blame ourselves for industrial decline, unemployment and rural depopulation.
His 1939 article stressed growing political support for the Nationalists, sporting a photograph of graffiti with the caption “few Englishmen have heard much of the discussion on Home Rule for Scotland – but a plea for it covers almost every bridge on the Edinburgh-Glasgow road.”
Mackenzie’s article unleashed a slew of correspondence. Some questioned the wisdom of publishing material suggesting British disunity in the face of impending world war, blithely adding that “Scotland sends its best to England and we are glad to have them”.
But political nationalism resurfaced very quickly in 1945.
Responding to a line in the King’s speech at the opening of the first post-war Parliament that “the special problem of Scotland” would gain ministerial attention, the Nationalist John Kinloch described how the country’s greater resources, output and manpower were accompanied by greater unemployment, poverty and death rates, a predicament he attributed to “Scotland’s subordinate governmental position.”
When subsequently the devolution minded Scottish National Assembly drew up a Covenant supported by thirty-six percent of the Scottish electorate, Fyfe Robertson remarked that “the English press can almost be accused of a conspiracy of silence” for ignoring important constitutional concerns.
His subsequent investigation asking “Are 2,000,000 Scots Silly?” reported “a new liveliness and confidence largely due to a new awareness of nationality.”
Despite Robertson’s claim of “massive” English indifference, the article sparked a rush of letters, an edited postbag being published under the heading “The Question That Has All Britain Talking.”
For all this, the next month, as “Queen Elizabeth of Scotland” rode in state up the Royal Mile, a decidedly unionist Picture Post praised the protective loyalty of the Royal Company of Archers, contending that “If the Scottish Republican Army were to start any trouble they would soon resemble a row of over-patriotic pin-cushions.”
Sport, Arts and Entertainment
Sports coverage as existed tended towards elitist pursuits – deer stalking and grouse shooting, yachting, rugby union, and – guaranteed to captivate visually – skiing.
Despite its mass popularity, and, indeed, its importance as a lighting-rod for the solidarity of skilled workers, football received scant coverage.
Until a 1955 initiative which saw the launch of “A Great Scottish Football Series” profiling all the major teams in successive issues, the only stories are a piece considering the precarious survival of amateurism, and two negative articles about fan behaviour. “The Football Ticket Stampede” (1952) attempted to explain an incident when 12,000 Glaswegians waiting for tickets for the England v. Scotland game ran amok.
An English sports journalist noted that the Rangers v. Celtic match was traditionally considered “an opportunity to get rid of your empty bottles and vent your religious bigotry.” His article drew indignant responses from many Scots, some accusing the author of being anti-Celtic, others anti-Rangers, others simply arguing that in highlighting the Old Firm’s routine rivalry he was promoting a caricature. “He airs, in true English fashion, the old lie that civil war is our national pastime.” Outside Glasgow, argued another, “people go to see a football match, not two teams representing different religions.”
Moral and Social Issues
For a country supposedly steeped in Presbyterian culture, discussion of religion was rather thin: a photo-essay on the parish kirk of Burntisland, showing “the whole history of the Reformation made permanent in stone”; a quirky tale about the Arbroath padre using ship-to-shore radio telephones to entertain fishermen; and a story about the activities of industrial chaplains questioning the contention that “the Church has lost touch with the workers.”
Nevertheless, complemented by articles on the Iona community’s mission “to bring Christianity to the workers of Glasgow”, this struck a tone very much in sympathy with the magazine’s visual ethos, where locals were pictured engaging in social activity.
Commentary on social issues ranged from health and education to youth crime and immigration. In a debate conducted via the letters page concerning the scourge of “young thugs”, a reader commented give one family a house with modern conveniences; another a room in which there are no sanitary arrangements, in which plaster is falling off the walls and people are forced to sleep four or five in one bed.
Which will be the readier to conform to social laws? Which will produce the delinquent children? This is glaringly obvious in Glasgow, where housing conditions are the worst in Scotland and criminal figures are the highest.
The problems of the “swarming tenement” were being dealt with, but “not always imaginatively” through re-housing schemes lacking in social amenities, as the image of the violence-prone slum continued to cling to the city.
Some Glaswegians protested that this was distortion, others that “slums are not an excuse for filth”, while “I’ve had it drummed into me that England is the most democratic country in the world. I find it hard to believe after seeing those slums…. Thank you for opening my eyes.”
Health and social welfare
When doctors attributed Scotland’s singular failure to improve tuberculosis mortality to “scandalous overcrowding in insanitary, badly-ventilated and sunless houses” and lack of hospital accommodation, the Picture Post showed people being encouraged to attend mobile X-ray units using incentives such as raffle tickets and images of futuristic infirmaries.
Holiday advertisements taken out by bus and ferry companies and holiday resorts portrayed yachting on the Clyde, the diverse delights of Arran, pony-trekking, and school adventure holidays. The escapism was further highlighted by photographs of spectacular mountain scenery, majestic sea cliffs and snowbound landscapes.
By 1945 readers were suggesting that the “private wilderness” be handed over to ex-servicemen to farm – “Why does the Government talk about emigration to the Dominions, when Scotland is almost vacant” – and, indeed, land settlement schemes were being developed. The question was posed: “Why can’t the Highlands … be opened up for the Gorbals dwellers?”
“I went on a tour in the Highlands and the conditions are awful”, added a correspondent, “deserted shielings and poverty-stricken crofts, next to mansions whose owners only come in the grouse season and take no interest in their poor tenants”, while another cited “appalling” unemployment figures and referred to “one long tale of misery” since 1745 with “huge areas denuded of people” to make way for sporting estates.
Reconstruction and Modernity
During the inter-war years the Labour Party “pushed the notion of a democratic and radical Scotland which had been under the heel of a corrupt aristocracy … The Scots were a democratic and egalitarian people.”
But the Party did not betray any lasting nationalist commitment and in the immediate post-war years Scottish developments were very much regarded as part-and-parcel of Britain’s wider economic renewal.
Picture Post published a “Plan for Britain” in January 1941. The modernizing vision of “rationally ordered sites and spaces” was embraced by Tom Johnston, appointed by Churchill in February 1941 as Secretary of State for Scotland.
A Labour stalwart, Johnston was “a giant figure …promised the powers of a benign dictator” went on to set up some thirty-two committees and developed planning perspectives in concert with the various socio-economic issues.
Johnston’s single most successful venture, the Hydro Board, was designed to alleviate a British fuel crisis while promoting industrial recovery, re-population and electrification in the Highlands.
Power generation carried much symbolic weight in the push for reconstruction. However, initial proposals were strongly opposed.
A graphic feature on the Glen Affric scheme set the alliance of “beauty lovers” fearing the loss of sanctuary, holiday resort and sporting preserve against the plight of local people.
While the text conveyed a good deal of technical detail, economic and political, regarding the progress of hydro-electrification, its human dialogue came from conversations with the local crofters.
Subsequently, a reader wrote in to re-iterate the stark contrast between the lovely landscape and the “abject poverty” and “backwardness” of its inhabitants.
“New hope for the Highlands” ran another article, as “Highland glens light Highland homes.” With dams “surprisingly hidden in the hills”, aqueducts and pylons were “a small price to pay for new prosperity” and relative national efficiency, the more so as a UK fuel crisis loomed.
Re-forestation and ranching added optimism, yet with “roads inadequate beyond belief”, “archaic farming methods” and “progressive deterioration of morale and opportunity” the Highland economy remained precarious, albeit that the sight of Highland cattle presented “A Highland Idyll.”
In January 1955, Picture Post released a special supplement. “Festival Scotland” which was both informative and promotional, a shop window of the nation’s attractions and advertisement of its successes.
It provided a potted inventory, incorporating articles on religion, the arts, nationalism, food, fishing, Highland games and Gaelic, but also shipbuilding, shopping, manufacturing, the Scottish joke, history and national identity.
In a foreword, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh noted that he regarded the Edinburgh Festival as “the focus of the post-war revival of Scotland.”
For the tourist, there was advice on “where to go and what to see” from the Secretary of the Scottish Tourist Board as well as guidance on “How to see Scotland”, each itinerary “a gateway to romance” in places “where the dolce far niente of the Mediterranean is matched by the quiet Celtic ways and gentle manners.”
Similarly, Nigel Tranter stressed the urgency of building a Forth river crossing, whether a bridge or a tunnel: “right in the heart of industrial Scotland, precious hours are wasted while cars, lorries and ambulances wait for overworked ferry boats.” Doubtless these writers added weight to debate – much nationalistic, much eccentric yet there is something of the feel of a patrician coterie pontificating from their shared literary quarter in New Town Edinburgh.
Nevertheless, a certain gritty realism remains apparent, for instance in a fine portrait of Dalmellington. Here much is redolent of the emerging community studies tradition in British sociology, with its analysis of social segmentation, gendered mores, statistics of religious observation, and anthropological, almost colonial distancing – “Even the “natives” can be sub-divided, for the men who have come down from the now abandoned hillside hamlets … still cling together. You can see at the local dances how much Dalmellington is a man’s world … the young men stood in large clusters talking to each other. There are 1,709 adult communicant members of the Church of Scotland.”
The daily dominance of the mining industry is evoked in the accompanying pictures and their captions, which highlight the day-shift waiting for the bus at 6 a.m., then leaving the pit at 2.30 in the afternoon; meanwhile, the text beside an image of the Saturday dance notes: “it was a grand evening – even for the back-shift who couldn’t get there till after eleven.” There is also a debunking of stereotypes – “curiously enough, Dalmellington does not look like a typical mining village… you do not find there the long, repetitive rows of houses … Instead you see a large country village built around a square … at the edges you find twentieth-century suburban-style houses.” Finally, we read: “There is the insularity of the villages, and, on the other hand, there are the young people’s July excursions to Blackpool.”
This is mid-1950s Scotland in the throes of modernization and a tension between cultural continuity and economic change. Subsequent readers’ letters endorse the “strong community spirit of Dalmellington’s citizens”, extending this sensibility to the city:
Although I have lived in Glasgow all my life I do not think of myself as a Glasgow man. When I was a child the word “home” as it was used by my parents meant not the city tenement, where we lived, but a croft on the Isle of Mull. There may be thousands of Glasgow citizens like me, and perhaps it is because to so many of us our real background is in the Highlands, or the country places, that Glasgow, despite its size, is … like an overgrown village.
Complaints over London dominance of the BBC were being addressed as the network sought to embrace regional broadcasting, they saw no cause for alarm, continuing to represent Scotland as resolutely provincial. (This was, after all, one area of the country where people were still getting their news stories from the press.)
In this imaginary of the nation “Edinburgh is a village where everybody meets everybody else” Characters abound in the Old Town, for it retains many of the qualities of a self-contained community. Neighbours are known to each other.” Glasgow’s “warm-hearted loyalty” draws much praise, while the nation becomes a cultural space in which each major city is given a defining character.
A story about Inverness strikes at the contradictions of capitalism: “Inverness is the great paradox of the Highlands today, the shining example of prosperity and growing population amid economic malaise and depopulation.”
These contradictions are played out in a number of articles concerning the Hebrides. “The Last of the Gaelic” bemoans the “hopeless stand” of a once-widespread language, the “wild, departed spirit” of a dying way of life on Eriskay. Once “peopled by enterprising fishermen”, but now “an island of the old and infirm, with a few horses laden with “creels” to act as transport”, Eriskay’s way of life is being rapidly dispersed by “the dramatic invasion of an air service from the mainland.”
Seaweed-processing came and went on South Uist, where, however, more obviously political concerns had emerged over the proposed siting of a guided missile range. A local wrote to warn that “the entire peace of the island, as well as its crofting and craftsman traditions are likely to be shattered … by the arrival of troops.”
He was not alone: “The Fighting Priest of Eochar” presents “the story of a courageous Hebridean and his fight to save the future of his parish”, the very place that had been so sympathetically photographed the previous year. Again, in the images, there are the expressive rugged faces, mirroring the wind-torn landscape; again, the odd juxtaposition of a precious living on the cusp of change: “On her croft, by the rocket site, a woman finds barbed wire – and wonders.”
Meanwhile, some Hardy images of figures silhouetted against a broad sky suggest a vanishing spiritual purity in a mechanistic industrial age: “the eternal bounty and struggle of life in its simplest, and at the same time, most profound form. I came away from the Crofters’ Isle cleansed and refreshed.”
This dialectic of tradition and modernity, development and dependency, finds broader resonance across the Highland region. “No Future for the Highlands?” asks: “What shall we do to arrest the process of decay … which threatens disaster in the North?” The inner malady of depopulation and ruined cottages. “Some townships will perish within a generation”;
A futuristic shot of Herculean engineering, carries the caption: “Due for completion in 1957, the Loch Shin hydro-electricity scheme employs 900 men, nearly 4/10 of them from the Highlands. But the permanent staff may total only 30.”
Against such brooding concern, “The Road to the Isles” is sanguine. A picture of a woman at a water pump might not suggest progress or engagement in the process post-war industrialization. But the caption suggests otherwise: “Where guidewives gossip in Gaelic, in the old village of Glencoe. Crofting has ceased, and most of then men are employed in the aluminium works at Kinlochleven.”
Vignettes of the triumph of the machine age find their crudest visualization in a photograph of fish being blown sky-high. The caption reads: “Depth charge in the loch. Seventy tons of gelignite are detonated to destroy pike and perch before this water is stocked with young salmon from the hatcheries.”
Dounreay: Radioactive waste was disposed down the Shaft from 1959 to 1977, when an explosion ended the practice
” As with the guided missiles on South Uist, the motives for scientific advancement concerned strategies other than the strictly socio-economic. They indicated the continuing role of Westminster government in the political management of change. External control of the Scottish economy was welcomed as inward investment.
Where Clydeside shipbuilding, like other heavy industries, had figured in the wartime propaganda effort and “men who build the ships that sail the seven seas” were still honoured reflecting the mood of post-war optimism in its embrace of manufacturing as the route to economic buoyancy.
Promotion of the “American Invasion” was accompanied by photos of the Queen visiting an adding machine factory, a “bonnie Scots lassie” checking clock mechanisms, more “Scots girls at work on assembling components of electronic devices”, rubber footwear, mechanics at an IBM plant.
Here were the newly “thriving towns” of the Central Belt, its oil refineries, rolling mills, and, indeed, fresh orders for the shipyards.
“Let Glasgow Flourish” brought characterful resilience to the fore: “Thrice within a couple of centuries, Glasgow has reeled from the impact of economic forces beyond its control.
Each time it has recovered. Now it faces the hazards and opportunities of a new industrial age…. Here is vitality, energy in abundance. Here is the Vulcan’s forge of the North.”
Cue pictures of busy quaysides, locomotive and tobacco production, golf club manufacturing, and “a pavement of biscuits” on the conveyor belt at the Glengarry Bakery, churning out “a quarter of the total chocolate biscuit output of Britain.”
In the “breath-taking panorama of Glasgow”, was an optimism underpinned by commitment to adaptation and diversity. And not just in the big conurbations. A social commentator said “Kilmarnock has been called “a planner’s delight, ready-made for prosperity.” Where else can one find such a remarkable variety of industry? With full employment, progressive businessmen, and a rigorous spirit of craftsmanship, its future seems secure.
“But is the town really slump-proof?” With images of tractor assembly lines, shoe patterns, distilleries, men at Glenfield and Kennedy, hydraulic engineers, “leading organisation of their kind in the British Commonwealth”, and sub-heads such as “Cushioned against depression”, the answer was a resounding Yes!
Mass production without tedium, in the highly modernised assembly department of British Olivetti, Ltd., at Queenslie Industrial Estate, a young lass from Airdrie, dexterously plays her part in the building of a portable typewriter. Many of these machines go to Australia and New Zealand; also to Africa.
“The Hospital of the Future” provided “an exclusive peep into the first complete new hospital to be built in Britain since the war” at Alexandria. Futuristic architectural images accompanied the “new design for living – for patients and hospital staff.”
The fight against urban health problems was still being conveyed by photo-journalists with characteristic vigour. In March 1957, a double-page feature showed long queues awaiting X-raying under the banner “Glasgow Blasts TB.”
TB Epidemic in Scotland. X-Ray Coaches deployed from all over the UK to Assist
Caused by overcrowded houses and poor diet.
While nationalization, new towns, engineering projects, tourism and Edinburgh Festival culture were promoted as the New Scotland, so the meaning of nationhood came under fresh scrutiny as unionist-nationalism declined.
Contradictions surfaced over the presentation of national identity, and, relatedly, land use and access, that are still important today. “An American in Scotland” opined “they have mountains like the Alps and roads like Burma”.
while the historical Scotland author, Nigel Tranter provocatively argued that a new road should be built through the Cairngorms. It was only, he said, “the remoteness of legislators, hunting, shooting and fishing interests, those benefiting from other roads and the sanctity-of-the-wild enthusiasts” that were preventing the construction of “a glorious, a darling road.
Likewise, when a reader responding to an article on the “strange collapse” of Scotland’s former aviation industry pleaded “Let us concentrate on our tourist industry and have more beaches, better roads and better hotels rather than more factories, with their dirt and smoke”, he was effectively arguing for the preservation of an invented tradition – romantic tourism – within a framework of modern industrial development. In grasping the horns of a dilemma first captured visually through the hydro-electric debate, both writers were perhaps more prescient than they imagined.
1955 was a pivotal point, for it was in this year that two significant events occurred:
A General Election on 26 May in which the Unionist party reached its zenith of 51% of the Scottish vote, never to be achieved again.
The promotion of British national identification through Tory anglicisation and the growth of Nationalism in Scotland.
Scotland’s Gaelic TV channel BBC Alba, attracts many more Scottish viewers than there are Gaelic speakers and the potential for growth is well recognized in the trade.
Independent programme makers in Scotland produce quality television for the station but in insufficient quantity to fully support the channel.
The channel broadcasts for around 7 hours daily and comprises a 70/30 split in favour of BBC content.
The BBC has a commitment to provide quality programmes and does this by raiding the extensive BBC archives searching for content from yesteryear which it broadcasts with increasing frequency.
The tactic allows the BBC to claim it is supporting the channel at great cost since it applies the current charge out rate for the old repeats.
Lack of finance has always been a major factor preventing expansion of programming, a historical consequence of the Westminster government’s resistance to the creation of the channel despite being a signatory to the (1998) European Declaration on Minority Languages which committed the Westminster government to supporting Gaelic, Doric and Scots through funding and support of broadcasting services.
The Westminster government accepted a commitment to have a new channel, (fully funded by a Westminster direct grant mirroring the Welsh SC4 model). To be up and running by 2003.
Alba first broadcast in 2008, soon after the minority SNP took up government at Holyrood.
The many years delay was attributed to resistance from the UK Treasury which refused to provide a £100m plus budget similar to that already in place in support of the Welsh language channel.
A breakthrough of sorts was achieved by the SNP government which applied pressure forcing the Westminster government to increase the block grant by £10m.
The BBC committed to supporting the new channel and formed a joint venture partnership with the Gaelic Broadcasting Agency. It also promised up to £4m of programming content.
Broadcasting on a shoestring the new channel proved to be a bit “hairy” in the first months, as it became evident it was hopelessly underfunded (SC4 the Welsh language channel had a Westminster financed operational budget of £110m).
The under-funding was partly corrected by the SNP government, which provided £10m.
This forced the BBC, to increase its programming support to £8m. Again charging current charge out rates for old programmes. Real value probably nearer £2m.
Financing the £110m SC4 Welsh channel was transferred by Westminster to the BBC regularizing broadcasting finance. Nice one £110m to Wales and £4m to Scotland. Hardly fair to Scotland
Many more Scots non-Gaelic speakers than the targeted audience view the channel regularly, which is attributed to the creative programming of the Gaelic Broadcasting Agency and the broadcasting of “live” rugby, soccer and other niche sports.
Scottish Government’s policy is:
“To encourage inward investment in film and television production in Scotland, and use our new overseas network to promote Scotland as a location for film and television production.
We plan to continue the existing fiscal incentives for such production, and, within the first term of an independent Scottish parliament, we propose to look at ways to encourage further development in the sector, through incentives, infrastructural investment and support for development, skills and training.”
The Westminster government can no longer claim to be supporting “Alba” and the BBC commitment to Scotland is pathetic in comparison with the £110m finance it provides to the SC4 channel.
The use of optional sub-titles is not yet a common feature, but increasing use of “streaming” programming coupled with additional funding, through the Scottish government should address the issue.
Programme content needs to be expanded and improved upon and can be achieved by the SNP government increasing financial support expanding the remit of the Gaelic Broadcasting Agency to include Scotch and Doric programming in compliance with the commitment to protect Scotland’s heritage from the dominance and current prevalence of the “Queens English” presentation of “live” news and current affairs programmes.
Phantom Power Films are one example. They produce excellent television standard films and these and others deserve to be viewed by a wider Scots audience.
The changes need to be put in place now to ensure Scots can be provided with information about their country free of the bias of the “Unionist” State media that has done so much harm to Scotland.
Englishman Angus was born in Wimbledon, London, in 1969. Educated at Broughton High School, Edinburgh, he completed his education at the University of Aberdeen, from where he graduated in 1991 with an MA Honours degree in politics and international relations.
After university, he embarked on a career with the BBC World Service as a foreign and diplomatic correspondent in Central Europe .
Robertson was first elected to the UK House of Commons in June 2001, representing the Moray constituency.
He was a member of the European Scrutiny Committee from 2001 to 2010 and served as the SNP’s spokesman on Defence and International Relations.
In May 2007, he became SNP Leader in the House of Commons.
Following the 2015 general election and the election of ex Party leader, Alex Salmond as MP for Gordon it was confirmed he would continue in his role as leader of the SNP in the Commons.
He was appointed to the Privy Council in 2015 and joined the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.
Ahead of the 2015 General Election, he had the SNP pass a controversial code of conduct that stated any MP must, “accept that no member shall within or out with the parliament publicly criticise a group decision, policy or another member of the group”. Rival parties labelled it a “Stalinist” crackdown on free speech and independent thought.
In a surprise reversal of fortune in the 2016 General election he lost his Westminster seat.
He was elected Deputy Leader of the SNP in October 2016, but resigned from the post in February 2018 and established a pro-independence think-tank, Progress Scotland.
In February 2020, he announced his intention to contest the Edinburgh Central constituency in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election. He won the seat and was appointed Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
His 16 years at an MP at Westminster provided Angus with a privileged and financially well rewarded pensionable lifestyle. In return he graced by his presence a number of influential Unionist dominated House of Commons committees.
2014: Robertson misses the Bedroom Tax vote
Robertson and three of his SNP colleagues missed a crucial vote on repealing the bedroom tax, despite the SNP announcing its opposition to the policy. Labour made capital from the blunder stating: “Far from standing up for Scotland, the SNP stayed at home and let Scotland down.” Not his finest moment.
Feb 2017: SNP Westminster leader Robertson dragged into a political lobbying row
The row raised questions about transparency and cronyism, after his wife Jennifer’s new PR company boasted it had “one of the best little black books in Scotland”.
The claim was made by Elgin-based communications firm Spey, which was set up by Robertson’s wife and former SNP councillor Alex MacLeod.
On the Inverness Chamber of Commerce website, Spey was described as a “progressive full-service communications agency”, adding: “Spey prides itself on having one of the best little black books in Scotland.”
Spey was the trading name of Baxter-Robertson of Speyside Ltd.
Jennifer, and MacLeod, were registered as 50-50 partners in the company, which was incorporated in September 2017.
MacLeod became a councillor in Caithness at 19 but later pled guilty to charges related to election expenses, after spending triple the campaign limit. He resigned from the SNP and was sentenced to 160 hours of community service.
Feb 2017: How the Israel lobby influences British politics
A now disgraced senior diplomat at the Israeli embassy in London spent several hours courting the Scottish National Party’s deputy leader ahead of his official trip to Israel, raising further questions over Israel’s interference in British politics.
In undercover footage recorded as part of Al Jazeera’s investigation “The Lobby”, Shai Masot, a senior political officer at the embassy who was forced to quit after the film exposed his attempts to manipulate British politics is seen boasting of his relationship with Angus Robertson to an undercover reporter “Robin Harrow” (alias).
Maria Strizzolo, a British civil servant was with Masot when he said to Robin “I spent many hours with Angus. I think nine hours in total, sitting around inside the embassy. We had a lot of meetings and he told us many stories. He feels really close to the Jewish people and he has a great trip to Israel lined up”.
Over dinner at a Kensington brasserie, Masot recounted a story told to him by Robertson about his German grandfather who was a politician in the Reichstag and was persecuted by the Nazis. Following his arrest, his grandfather’s birth certificate was changed identifying him as Jewish making him de facto an enemy of the state.
Masot went on to relate another Robertson story from Scotland’s history of a 14th-century manuscript that laid claim to the Scottish nation by declaring that the Scots were in fact one of the lost tribes of Israel. “Mmm … I love Angus,” Masot stated, apparently keen to let his companions know that Robertson was someone Israel could work with at a political level.
May 2017: Robertson breaks his promise to donate London house sale profit to charity
The SNP deputy chief, faced calls to return any profit to the public purse or to donate it to good causes as he originally pledged.
He bought a “small” flat in the London Borough of Lambeth in February 2006 for £227,500 and designated it as his second home under the former rules for MPs’ expenses and went on to claim almost £60,000 in mortgage interest, £4,000 in stamp duty and legal fees and around £16,000 for repairs and furnishings, including a £2,300 leather sofa bed, a £400 home cinema, an espresso maker, Sabatier knives and a £20 corkscrew.
When the expenses scandal broke in 2009, he was embarrassed by the revelations and responded by telling the Northern Scot newspaper in May 2009. “I will not personally profit from capital gains accrued while mortgage interest was paid for with taxpayers’ money. The public purse will be reimbursed through full capital gains tax payments, with any remaining capital gains returned to the parliamentary authorities or to good causes in my constituency.” with an undertaking to repay any profit he made from the sale of the flat.
In December 2013, the property was sold for £309,950, leaving Robertson with a gain of £82,450. After paying capital gains tax of approximately £17,000, he would have been left with a net profit of more than £60,000.
A spokesman for Robertson appeared to suggest the profit from the sale of the flat had been swallowed up by the costs of his divorce from his first wife, Carron. Last year he married Alex Salmond’s former aide Jennifer Dempsie, whose own career in politics was derailed by the row over a Scottish Government grant to the T In The Park music festival.
2019: Edinburgh Central Controversy
Ahead of the selection contest for the seat of Edinburgh Central, the SNP National Executive Committee announced that any MP chosen as a candidate for Holyrood would be obliged to resign from Westminster ahead of the election to the Scottish Parliament.
Some considered the rule change a deliberate “stitch-up” by Nicola Sturgeon to stop MP Joanna Cherry, a critic of the party leadership, from winning the party’s nomination for the seat and to boost Robertson’s candidacy. Cherry dropped out of the contest, citing an unwillingness to make her staff unemployed and Robertson won the party’s nomination and the seat.
2020: A Scottish Parliamentary inquiry
The inquiry was set up to: “To consider and report on the actions of the First Minister, Scottish Government officials and special advisers in dealing with complaints about Alex Salmond, former First Minister, considered under the Scottish Government’s “Handling of harassment complaints involving current or former ministers and procedure and actions in relation to the Scottish Ministerial Code.”
SNP inquiry convener Linda Fabiani wrote to Angus Robertson and said MSPs wanted to know:
“Whether, in your capacity as leader of the SNP group in the House of Commons, you had any interactions/ communications with the First Minister, Scottish Government officials or special advisers regarding any allegations or formal complaints against Alex Salmond about sexual harassment ?”
But there was no mention in the remit of SNP meetings or involvement of Westminster based SNP MP’s. She was out of line.
How “knowledge of allegations or formal complaints about sexual harassment against the former First Minister was shared within senior figures in the party of Government to inform its consideration of the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints”.
This request had absolutely no relevance to the unsubstantiated allegations made by two civil servants which was the matter the committee were remitted to investigate and report on.
“Is there any other information relevant to the committee’s remit of considering the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints about Mr Salmond?”
Weird one this!! A judge had already ruled that the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints against Alex Salmond had been tainted with prejudice and illegal. Anything offered up to the committee by Robertson would be irrelevant.
Robertson, an ally of Sturgeon who had steamrollered him into position to stand for Holyrood in the Edinburgh Central seat the next year told the committee he did not possess any information relevant to its remit. A fitting end to the response but!!!!! he continued:
Now you ask there was an incident: “In 2009 I was called by an Edinburgh Airport manager about Alex Salmond’s perceived ‘inappropriateness’ towards female staff at the airport. I was asked if I could informally broach the subject with Mr Salmond to make him aware of this perception. “I raised the matter directly with Mr Salmond, who denied he had acted inappropriately in any way. I communicated back to the Edinburgh Airport manager that a conversation had happened. The matter was resolved, and without a formal complaint having been made, it was not reported further.” A dart laden with poison!!!
20th Sep 2020: Angus Robertson slated for saying elderly deaths are a ‘gain’ for independence
Robertson said: “55,000 predominantly No supporting voters [were] passing away every year” ad when combined with more “Yes” supporting young people reaching voting age, that had produced a “gain of over 100,000 for independence” since the referendum of 2014. Critics said the comments were “disgraceful” given the recent loss of thousands of old people from coronavirus and the emergence of a potentially lethal winter surge. In response, Robertson called the criticism “politically motivated” and “manufactured outrage”.
Sep 2021: Robertson told to get on with the day job
Mike Russell, SNP President attacked AngusRobertson, Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture MSP for failing to concentrate on his day job after he plugged his new book online.
The spat came after Robertson took to Twitter to promote his new book, “Vienna The International Capital”. In a now-deleted response, Russell who previously held Robertson’s Cabinet position said: “Hmm – might be a breach of MSP code too. And legitimate for people to ask what he is doing in the day job”. Records show Robertson has contributed to just four parliamentary debates since being elected in May, including his oath of affirmation. The confrontation will be uncomfortable for Sturgeon, who is already under pressure from within her party over a lack of progress on an independence referendum.
An insider said: “Robertson entered Holyrood with the trumpets sounding and was feted as possessing the personality and acumen to push Westminster for a second referendum which is why he got the job.
But he has been virtually anonymous since his appointment and a group of MSP’s and party members are irate that he appears to be concentrating his time on his latest book rather than promoting independence. It is a public spat that didn’t occur previously within the Party and is indicative of a breakdown in discipline and increasing discontent over the lack of desire to push for independence. It will also encourage members to jump ship to Alex Salmond’s Alba.
Oct 2021: Angus Robertson cancels book promo at event paid for by his department
Angus Robertson, Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture cancelled his appearance at a literary festival funded by the Scottish government department he runs, after the press enquired about the prime speaking spot to promote his book “Vienna The International Capital”
The festival was awarded £30,000 in August from Creative Scotland a government-funded and accountable body falling under Robertson’s brief. He has now cancelled the lecture together with an advert describing the book, which costs £25 as a “beautifully written, rich and extraordinary story”.
Lib Dem culture spokesman Joe McCauley said: “At the same time as the SNP takes a scythe to cultural centres in Glasgow, the Culture Secretary is trying to plug his book at a taxpayer-funded literary event. Sadly, anyone who can’t afford the £25 recommended retail price will be out of luck because his council colleagues want to close the libraries too. Scottish arts and culture ought to be for everyone.”
Scottish Conservative Shadow Culture Secretary Donald Cameron added: “Angus Robertson should be focused on our recovery from the pandemic rather than promoting his own book. While everyone wishes the Borders Book Festival to be a major success, eyebrows will be raised over the fact that the Culture Secretary was given a slot at an event that was awarded a funding boost by an agency overseen by the Scottish Government just a few months ago.”
Scottish Labour culture spokeswoman Sarah Boyack MSP said: “It’s hard to believe patrons of the Borders Book Festival were ever banging down the door to hear from Angus about his book.”
A Creative Scotland spokeswoman admitted the festival received funding. She said: “Borders Book Festival received £30,000 National Lottery funding through Creative Scotland’s Open Fund.
17 Jan 2022: Angus Robertson defends the BBC
He praised the corporation writing: “Its journalists are free to hold decision-makers to account and programme-makers produce varied output which would often not be found from the commercial competition. Usually, public service broadcasters get it in the neck from people on all sides at some stage, but usually, they get the balance about right.”
Comment: This from an SNP activist!!!!
Robertson champions Nathan Starling (alter ego Nancy Clench)
Scotland, once neck-deep in whisky and machismo, a party that once supported anti-gay campaigner and businessman Brian Souter is now a leader, socially and politically, in LGBTO rights. with the largest proportion of LGBTQ parliamentarians in the world.