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.
Nicola Sturgeon and her small group of advisors are to be commended for their honesty in declaring to the Scottish public their full support of the agenda of the LGBTQ movement.
The mission of the SNP government will, when complete, turn Scottish society on its head so that it becomes fully integrated and modelled on the thinking of the LGBTQ movement.
But a successful outcome can only be achieved if the public are fully informed and are agreed upon the nature of changes and any implications attaching to them
In the event the electorate is denied a voice there will be unhappiness and strife and it is crucial that our political leaders give precedence to needs of the many and consideration to the needs of the few.
In pursuance of this the breakdown of the electorate in Scotland is: Heterosexual: 95%. LGBTQ/WOKE: 5% (0.5% of this group are transgender).
Implementation of the LGBTQ agenda needs to bring with it full transparency in public life and it should be a legal obligation for any person seeking public office to declare their sexuality so the electorate are fully informed before committing to their choice of candidate.
SNP representation at Westminster
Approx. 30% of SNP MP’s are LGBTQ/WOKE.
Approx. 5% of the Scottish electorate are LGBTQ.
Ofthis group just under 0.5% claim to be transgender. The imbalance is exceptional!!
Nearly all of the MP’s in the SNP Westminster Leaders’ Shadow Cabinet identify as LGBTQ.
The SNP are not the official opposition at Westminster and the appointment of a Shadow Cabinet is at odds with the stated aims of the Party which pledged to the Scottish public it would never take up such a role in the House of Commons.
The question of payment also raises its head. Shadow ministers are not normally remunerated for the duties additional to their MP commitments. But I am informed the the SNP group are provided with payments using £1.5m short money allocated to the party which if true would be a misuse of the finance and a motive explaining the methodology behind the group’s reluctance to fight for an independent Scotland.
The Westminster SNP group
Stuart McDonald: Shadow Home Secretary. Openly LGBTQ. Stewart McDonald: Shadow Defence Secretary. Openly LGBTQ. John Nicolson: Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Openly LGBTQ. Alyn Smith: Shadow Foreign Secretary. Openly LGBTQ. Martin Docherty-Hughes: Shadow Industries Future/Blockchain Spokesperson. Openly LGBTQ. Joanna Cherry: Openly LGBTQ. Angela Crawley: Shadow Attorney General. Openly LGBTQ. Hannah Bardell: Foreign Affairs Team. Openly LGBTQ. Mhairi Black: Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland. Openly LGBTQ.
Comment: Parallels to be drawn with the Alex Salmond vendetta. A rush to investigate and judge a man no longer in politics. Needs to be compared against the failure to investigate similar claims against Grady who remained at work, for years after. So “me too” applied only where it suited the SNP leadership. And Sturgeon’s team gave the finger of fate to the electorate and by appointing him to high office within the Party only months after he was forced to resign.
This is Jonny Kiehlmann, a researcher for Blackman at Westminster, who was suspended from the House for tweeting that armed protesters should “confront Terfs”. One of these “Terf’s” is of course Joanna Cherry who he has frequently attacked on twitter.
Stephen Flynn: Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Dave Doogan: Defence Team and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Team. Brendan O’Hara: Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office. Allan Dorans: Foreign Affairs Team. Steven Bonnar: Agriculture and Rural Affairs Team. Stewart Hosie: Independence campaigning co-ordinator. Chris Law: Shadow Secretary for International Development. Douglas Chapman: Shadow Small Business & Innovation Spokesperson. Tommy Sheppard: Shadow Cabinet Office Minister. John McNally: Shadow Environment Spokesperson. David Linden: Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Chris Stephens: Shadow Fair Work & Employment Spokesperson. Peter Grant: Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Richard Thomson: Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Wales and Shadow Financial Secretary. Ronnie Cowan: Shadow Infrastructure & Manufacturing Spokesperson. Drew Hendry: Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade. Alan Brown: Shadow Minister for the Energy and Climate Change. Martyn Day: Shadow Public Health & Primary Care Spokesperson. Owen Thompson: Chief Whip. Angus MacNeil: Gavin Newlands: Shadow Secretary of State for Transport and Shadow Sport Spokesperson. Pete Wishart: Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. Ian Blackford: Westminster Leader. Dr P. Whitford: Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Shadow Minister for Europe. Amy Callaghan: Shadow Pensions & Intergenerational Spokesperson. Dr Lisa Cameron: Shadow Mental Health Spokesperson. Deidre Brock: Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Alison Thewliss: Shadow Chancellor. Carol Monaghan: Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Shadow Minister for Armed Forces and Veterans. Marion Fellows: Deputy Whip and Shadow Disabilities Spokesperson. Patricia Gibson: Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Shadow Consumer Affairs Spokesperson.
Churchill fervently believed in markets free of restrictive practices. However, his beliefs were at odds with the Tory Party and increasingly disillusioned he offered his support to the Liberals, on condition he would be selected to stand for a seat in Manchester, at that time the centre of free trade in Britain.
His overtures to the powerful Jewish community in Manchester were eagerly embraced and he was willingly indoctrinated in the Zionist philosophy, many years before the movement expanded into positions of political power and influence.
Nathan Laski a cotton merchant, a Manchester magistrate, and a leader of the Liberal Party was also the most prominent Jewish leader in England.
In 1904 he pledged his support for the bid of Churchill (then a Liberal) to become MP for North West Manchester where the electorate was one third Jewish. Churchill won the election, and Laski became a life-long friend. It was at one of Laski’s dinners that Churchill and Chaim Weizmann first met.
In parliament, appalled by the persecution of Jews in Tsarist Russia, Churchill battled against legislation designed to curtail Jewish immigration to Britain.
Shortly after, he wrote in a letter: “I recognize the supreme attraction to a scattered and persecuted people of a safe and settled home under the flag of tolerance and freedom.”
Chaim Weizmann third left
Chaim Weizmann – Zionist World leader and First President of Israel
Weizmann was born in Belarus, then part of the Russian Empire, in 1874 and studied chemistry in Germany and Switzerland before lecturing in chemistry at the University of Geneva.
He emigrated to England in 1904, and six years later became a naturalized British citizen. Churchill signed his papers.
He was a reader in biochemistry at the University of Manchester, UK, when the first world war broke out in 1914.
His discovery, in 1912, of a way of making acetone from the starch in cereal grains may well have saved his adopted country from defeat in the War against Germany.
In the early years of world war one, Britain faced a severe shortage of acetone, a solvent traditionally obtained by treating acetic acid obtained by the destructive distillation of wood.
It took about 100 tons of wood to produce just one ton of acetone.
The solvent was required in increasing quantities during the war for the manufacture of cordite, the propellant used by the British Army and Royal Navy to fire its artillery shells.
It also had other uses, not least for the manufacture of fire-resistant lacquers that were used to waterproof and stiffen the canvas wings of military and naval aircraft.
This placed an increased demand on wood, but there was a greater problem: before the war, Britain imported most of the acetone it needed from Germany and Austria, both of whom were on the opposing side.
The Weizmann process changed everything. Instead, it relied on the use of the bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum (known as the Weizmann organism), to ferment maize, rice and other cereals.
The process yielded acetone, butanol and ethanol, and became known as ABE fermentation.
In 1915, Weizmann began work on the process for the British Admiralty and showed that it could potentially produce 12 tons of acetone from 100 tons of maize. (Chemistry World)
The Growth of Zionism and the Balfour Declaration
At the beginning of 1917 the War against Germany had reached a stalemate. The war in the Middle East, against the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany was being won and it was expected
Britain and France would be then be able to dismantle the regime and return democracy to a number of former States.
Enter: Chaim Weizmann, (President of the World Zionist Organization, later the first President of Israel).
In Manchester he had formed a friendship with ardent Zionist supporters Simon Marks and Israel Sieff who were in the process of turning Marks & Spencer from a family business into a nationwide retail giant. Once asked to describe their growing movement they said:
“It is a fellowship of friends brought together by a common cause and sharing a common approach”, giving themselves the rather grandiose title of the “Manchester School of Zionism.”
Weizmann’s single purpose, as a Zionist, was the lobbying of influential Westminster politicians (including Lloyd George, Arthur Balfour, Winston Churchill, and Herbert Samuel) to recognize and support the aims and aspirations of the Jewish Zionists in return for their assistance.
His requests were well received by a British government badly in need of Jewish finance and US military support and he was asked to submit his proposals in writing, to the Foreign Office.
Weizmann, together with with Leopold Amery, British Zionist and Colonial Secretary of State for India and Louis Brandeis, US Zionist Leader and Supreme Court Justice compiled and tabled a draft declaration.
“His majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing will be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
Foreign Secretary Balfour gained Cabinet approval and the declaration, as writ was circulated to eminent British Zionists formalizing British support for the establishment of a Jewish National Homeland in Palestine.
The following supported the declaration (with slight amendments):
1. The Rt. Hon. Herbert Samuel, M.P. 2. The Chief Rabbi. 3. Lord Rothschild. 4. Sir Stuart Samuel, Chairman of the British Board of Deputies. 5. Dr Weizmann. 6. Mr Nahura Sokolov.
The following did not support the draft and submitted major changes, some of which were included in the final declaration:
1. Sir Philip Magus, M.P. 2. C.G. Montifiore, President of the Anglo Jewish Association. 3 L.L. Cohen, Esq, Jewish Board of Guardians.
1918 King Hussein Expresses Concern
Emir Hussein was perplexed by the declaration and in 1918 the British government sent Commander Hogarth of the Arab Bureau to Cairo to assure him that the Jewish settlement of Palestine would be allowed only if it was compatible with the freedom of the existing population. He implored Hussein to accept the Zionists because, “the friendship of world Jewry to the Arab cause is equivalent to support in all states where Jews have political influence”. A joint Anglo-French proclamation promising Arab’s a government, “freely chosen by the population, gave Hussein the assurances he desired.
1918-1919: Arab Leader King Faisal Approves Balfour Declaration
Jerusalem was liberated from Turkish rule by General Allenby’s army on December 11 1917, when the last German troops left the city.
Accompanied by “Lawrence of Arabia”, Allenby walked through Jaffa Gate in a ceremony watched by rabbis, muftis, patriarchs, consuls and the Mayor of Jerusalem.
Lawrence called it “the supreme moment of the war, the one which for historical reasons made a greater appeal than anything on earth.”
The Zionists were seen by Britain as an engine for the revival of the Middle East. Western Palestine, in the McMahon-Hussein correspondence of 1915, had specifically been excluded from the Ottoman territories promised to the Hashemite Arabs.
In 1918, the Zionist Commission came to Palestine and Chaim Weizmann travelled over the desert with Lawrence to meet Emir Faisal, the Hashemite leader who started the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, near Aqaba.
Weizmann told Faisal that the Jews would develop the country under British protection.
Lawrence saw the Jews as “natural importers of Western leaven so necessary for countries in the Near East.”
Faisal “accepted the possibility of future Jewish claims to territory in Palestine.”
When the three men met later in London, Faisal agreed that Palestine could absorb “four to five million Jews without encroaching on the rights of the Arab peasantry.”
He approved a Jewish majority in Palestine provided he received the crown of Syria.
There followed a written document in Paris in January 1919, signed by Faisal and Weizmann, in which the Emir agreed to “the fullest guarantee for carrying into effect the British Government’s Declaration of the 2nd of November 1917″ and enforcing all necessary measures to “encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale.”
In a letter to the Zionists, Faisal wrote, “We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement” and that, “we will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through: we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.”
Faisal felt that “there exists room in Syria for us both and that neither can be a success without the other.”
King George V urged his foreign secretary to “find a reason to go to war with Germany” two days before outbreak of First World War
A secret letter has been unearthed documenting a private meeting between King George V and his Foreign Secretary Edward Grey, during which the King urged Grey to declare war on Germany.
The King, a constitutional monarch, had previously avoided making public declarations about Europe said it was “absolutely essential” Britain go to war in order to prevent Germany from achieving “complete domination of this country”
However when his Foreign Secretary Sir Edward, said that the cabinet hadn’t found a justifiable reason to enter the conflict, the King replied: “You have got to find a reason, Grey.”
Grey returned to his room in the Foreign Office and made the now famous remark as he watched the lamps being lit outside: ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.’
By August 4th, Britain was at war.
World War 1 was described as the war to end all wars being one of the most bitter and destructive conflicts in World history wiping out a generation of young Scotsmen.
A total of 147,609 Scots lost their lives in the four-year-long conflict between 1914 and 1918.
While Scotland had just a tenth of the UK’s population, its soldiers accounted for a fifth of Britain’s war dead. Or, to put it another way, twice as many Scots died per head of population than was the case south of the border.
On arrival in France, Scots found themselves having to ensure the horrors and privations of trench warfare, the constant threat of disease and worst of all the risk of death in near-suicide attacks ordered by the Generals.
The slaughter took place on an almost biblical scale. Scots soldiers, for instance, fought at the battle of Loos – the first significant British land action of the war in October 1915. The battle was a disaster.
Scots regiments were in the thick of the action. They were ordered over the top and marched towards the enemy lines, making themselves sitting ducks for German machine gunners. It was a turkey shoot. By the time the battle was over, the British had lost 50,000 men against the enemy’s 20,000 and had failed to make any strategic gains whatsoever.
The generals, however, did not learn their lesson. Trench warfare continued for the whole of the conflict, with attempts by troops on both sides to break out of their positions and press forwards leading to huge casualties.
Scots troops featured prominently in another of the most notorious engagements of the Great War – the notorious Battle of the Somme in June 1916.
The Edinburgh-born General Douglas Haig, who was Commander in Chief of the British Forces and a national hero, was convinced that a powerful attack could determine the outcome of the war.
Haig was to be proved tragically wrong. Soldiers of the Highland Light Infantry were among those to be butchered en masse in the carnage that followed. Once again, they were told to make their way out of the trenches and across No Man’s Land to try and take over the German positions.
To the skirl of the bagpipes, the men went over the top. Once again, however, the Germans had ensured their own lines were heavily defended. The heavy machine guns opened up, and the Scots soldiers, along with other allied troops, were mown down. In one day of fighting alone, 20,000 allied soldiers died. The 17th Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry alone lost 447 soldiers and 22 officers.
An £8 million investment will restore peatlands and help reduce carbon emissions, Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has revealed as she opened the funding for applications today.
Communities and land managers can apply for the Peatlands Action Fund which will help the Scottish Government deliver on its proposals to restore 250,000 hectares of peatlands by 2032.
Around 1.7 million hectares of Scotland is covered in peatlands and keeping them well-maintained mitigates against climate change by locking in carbon.
If left in a degraded condition they produce greenhouse gas emissions rather than act as a sink for soaking up carbon.
Andrew McBride, SNH Peatland Action Manager said: “This is wonderful news for our peatlands and our wildlife, as well as for tourism and rural jobs.
The extra investment will almost double the amount of peatlands we can restore, and also get more people aware and involved in taking care of this valuable natural resource.
Peatland Action is one of our key projects in the delivery of the 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity Peatland Action has worked closely with a wide range of land managers and communities.
From this working relationship, we’ve seen the importance of healthy peatlands, not only to wildlife but also to many industries, including tourism, fisheries and the water industry.
We look forward to continuing work with existing partners, and also meeting new faces interested in restoring our degraded peatlands.”
Lorna Slater, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity announces no support for fossil extraction
On the adoption of the policy position, she said: ”Right now, the UK Government is considering opening a major new coal mine in Cumbria. They have even issued a coal licence in South Scotland.
Make no mistake, this is Westminster climate denial. It would be the final nail in the coffin for the UK’s international reputation. It must be stopped.
She also challenged the UK Government to follow Scotland’s lead and rule out approval for any coal operations in England too. Adding: “Scotland – the country that helped bring the coal-fired industrial revolution to the world has drawn a line. The coal era is over. And I’m calling on the UK Government to follow us. To make the right call for once. To ban coal extraction for good.”
Further explaining the reasoning behind the position she said: “A transition is not just moving towards something, it’s also about moving away from something.
We have to leave fossil fuels in the ground. Fossil fuels in Scotland and the North Sea are no exception. That’s why the Scottish Government opposed Cambo. That’s why we will fight the UK Government’s reckless pursuit to extract every last drop of oil and gas. That is why Scotland stands strong against fracking.”
Powers over coal exploitation are reserved to the UK Government and the Coal Authority is responsible for licensing coal mining activity in Scotland. However, planning policy and determinations are devolved to the Scottish Government.
Midlothian Council approves extraction of millions of tonnes of peat from Auchencorth and Whim Moss
The Scottish Wildlife Trust and many climate change activists are greatly saddened that the extraction of thousands of tonnes of peat has been given the go-ahead at Auchencorth and Whim Moss, near Penicuik, over the next twenty years.
The peatlands are important carbon stores and wildlife habitats and also play an important part in reducing flood risk.
The decision is incredulous given the fossil free policies recently published by the SNP/Green government and a recent statement by Lorna Slater (Green Party leader and government minister confirming a hard-line no support approach for fossil extraction. And she is the constituency MSP.
The Scottish Green Party has joined with the SNP and formed the next government at Holyrood.
The establishment of a coalition government was a cynical move by Sturgeon and Harvie enabling them to make relatively unchallenged advances in their controversial social behaviour agendas.
Voters need to be alerted to excesses inherent in a number of these policies. Namely the implementation of the discredited Yogyakarta principles and other trans rights and GRA policies which will be forced onto statute by a government supported by gerrymandered consultation and with the active assistance and support of the all powerful “Equality Network”.
Voters concerned about plans to remove women’s rights and exposure of their families to regulatory imposition of oppressive social norms need to be alerted to the foregoing so that they will be better informed and able to give their vote to “ALBA” a party that fully intends to consult with and gain the support of the electorate before adding any new statute to the Laws of the Country.
23 Apr 2019: Green Party Leader accused of being a misogynist
The blog “A Thousand Flowers” posted a derogatory twitter article declaring Joan McAlpine SNP the winner of its weekly wanker accolade for airing her views about the rights of women and transgender people.
Patrick Harvie couldn’t resist commenting and shared it with his followers writing: “If the SNP wants to be a safe and supportive place for trans and gender non conforming people, they have to squarely take on those trying to prevent trans people having the same rights as anyone else“.
Twitter users were horrified. A spokeswomen for the Scottish Women’s blog tweeted “Good grief! I’m horrified that Harvie could ever retweet an abusive blog about another politician. Surely this goes against the code of conduct expected from our parliamentarians?” Her comments were echoed by other contributors.
But Harvie has form. In a previous twitter exchange he questioned the online abuse Joan had received when he said: “there is a serious debate to be had about such “abuse” but we can’t have it if people react with outrage to complaints from anti-trans campaigners but say nothing of the horrific wave of transphobic hostility, prejudice and violence that’s destroying people’s everyday lives”.
To which Joan responded: “My comments were in response to (male to female) trans activists who called me trash and justified violence against women who disagree with them. And the male leader of the Green Party in Scotland, pins his colours firmly to the she was asking for it mast.”
Harvie replied: “It’s disappointing that Joan McAlpine and a few others in the SNP have promoted anti-trans rhetoric in recent months, and apparently want to roll back trans people’s equality and human rights. Those attitudes and actions should be challenged, robustly but without abuse.”
Joan said: “Patrick Harvie should be ashamed of trying to justify the online abuse of women and indulging in it himself. Women are concerned their rights to privacy, fairness and dignity and safety are affected by proposals which means males can legally become women without surgery, medical diagnosis or gatekeeping. It is not “anti-trans” to question this proposal, but doing so has resulted in women being abused or threatened with violence. That Patrick Harvie seems to think they are asking for it is very worrying but bullies will not silence us.”
23 Jun 2019: Harvie stirs the sh*t at the Edinburgh Pride march
I met up with around a dozen like minded friends aged between 20-60. Some were wearing t-shirts proudly proclaiming “we are Lesbians”. We wanted to ensure lesbians would be visible yet despite an outward display of confidence we were alerted to an undercurrent of nervousness between the marchers and ourselves. Our apprehension was based on the negative attitude of other groups who did not approve of relationships that excluded men in our choice of partners. Acceptable? Yes!! but only if we conducted our chosen lifestyle in secret.
But we displayed our banners and sang our songs. Other lesbians came up to us and said they wished they had known we were marching and bemoaned the lack of Lesbian spaces and community in Scotland. They waved their hand-made purple and black placards, courageously yet quietly proclaiming their Lesbian existence and relieved to have support and solidarity of like minded people. There was an act of physical aggression against our group when an angry young person grabbed a placard and destroyed it screaming “TERF” but the stewards soon restored order.
But what was chilling and caused fear in our group was the content of speeches from MSPs who addressed the crowd at a pre-march rally, from the top of an open top bus. In particular the words of Patrick Harvie, Green MSP, where he said “I am sorry that this parliament very recently was used as a platform for transphobic hatred and bigotry”. And went on to say he felt compelled to apologise for the undemocratic workings of Parliament, and its decision to put a hold on GRA reform until it had been fully considered and deliberated by a broad range of groups who might be affected and, importantly, the conflation of sex and gender that has infested policy making in Scotland. His speech whipped the crowd into a frenzy, since they had already been warmed up by previous similar speeches. And whilst the promoted theme of the “Pride” was “Be Yourself”, the real focus was not about the right to be loved and to express love without prejudice, it was about “trans rights” and only that.
Thanks to the spittle infused rhetoric espoused by Harvie our group’s situation was upscaled from hostile to dangerous. We feared for our safety and attack from the mob, since immediately after, a number of people started shouting “get the TERF’s out” They meant us and we had already been blocked in by some very large people with “Trans” and “Non-Binary” flags draped over their shoulders cancelling out our groups “lesbian visibility” banners.
It later transpired that lesbians had abandoned the march after they had been harassed by “trans rights” activists who accused them of being bigots for standing up for female rights and forcing politicians to add their support. Lesbians were no longer welcomed at “Pride” marches.
Multiculturalism – The Labour Party – uncontrolled immigration – a trip down memory lane
Secret papers revealed that the Labour Party threw open the doors to mass migration in a deliberate policy to change the social make-up of the UK.
A draft report from the Cabinet Office showed that ministers wanted to ‘maximise the contribution’ of migrants to their ‘social objectives’.
The number of foreigners allowed in the UK increased by as much as 50 per cent in the wake of the report, written in 2000.
Melting pot: Labour’s diversity drive is exposed in secret papers Labour has always justified immigration on economic grounds and denied it was using it to foster multiculturalism.
But suspicions of a secret agenda rose when Andrew Neather, former government adviser and speech writer for Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett, said:
“the aim of Labour’s immigration strategy is to rub the rights’ nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date”.
Neather also said Labour’s relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to:
“open up the UK to mass migration” but ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss the move publicly for fear it would alienate the core working class vote.
As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants.”
Critics said the revelations showed a “conspiracy” within Government to impose mass immigration for “cynical” political reasons.
Some 2.3 million migrants were added to the population since then, according to Whitehall estimates quietly slipped out on a good day to release bad news..
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migration Watch think tank, said:
“Now at least the truth is out, and it’s dynamite. Many have long suspected that mass immigration under Labour was not just a cock up but also a conspiracy. They were right. This Government has admitted three million immigrants for cynical political reasons concealed by dodgy economic camouflage.”
The chairmen of the cross-party Group for Balanced Migration, MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, said:
“We welcome this statement by an ex-adviser, which the whole country knows to be true. “It is the first beam of truth that has officially been shone on the immigration issue in Britain.”
A Home Office spokesman said:
“Our new flexible points based system gives us greater control on those coming to work or study from outside Europe, ensuring that only those that Britain need can come.
Britain’s borders are stronger than ever before and we are rolling out ID cards to foreign nationals, we have introduced civil penalties for those employing illegal workers and from the end of next year our electronic border system will monitor 95 per cent of journeys in and out of the UK. The British people can be confident that immigration is under control. (This was a big big lie.)
A Decade Later – Multiculturalism Fails – 4 Million Immigrants – White Minority Areas Expanding
Demos, the Left-wing think-tank, said its analysis of Census data for England and Wales showed ethnic minorities are concentrating in particular areas and white people are moving out.
The findings echo a phenomenon first seen in the mid-20th century United States – where it was dubbed “white flight” – which saw racially-mixed urban areas become predominantly black as affluent whites moved to the suburbs.
The research is significant because Demos, which was once closely linked with the previous Labour government which increased immigration to record levels, suggested ethnic minorities are becoming more isolated in British life rather than becoming more integrated in a “multi-cultural” Britain.
It found 4.6 million ethnic minority Britons – about 45 per cent of the country’s black and Asian population – are now living in areas where whites are in a minority.
Ten years ago just 1 million black and Asian people, or 25 per cent of the country’s then total ethnic minority population, lived in such communities, said Demos.
Ed Miliband acknowledged that the last government made mistakes presiding over the most rapid expansion of our foreign-born population in history.
He conceded that wages were being depressed by the influx of immigrant labour and that British workers had found it more difficult to get a job as a result. Up to now, this has always been denied by the ministers responsible.