You think that all the news in Scotland is told; Read the truth here

End London Rule

Monday, 29 March 2010

"Yet english Justice lingers on"

The “Judicial Murder” of Seumas a Ghlinne (James of the Glen) was much more than a conspiracy but was the culmination of a period in Scotland’s History, which some describe as the end of the old ways. There are many aspects of the story which has to be taken on board if applying analysis to the events. Campbell incursions into Appin had been taking place long before the 1700’s. The Jacobite risings ending at Culloden in 1746 allowed the British establishment the excuse to once and for all put an end to a centuries old clan system. The fact that Seumas a Ghlinne was refused the legal assistance of the time prior to facing trial and a trial held in Inveraray presided over by the Hanoverian Duke of Argyll and including 11 men of the name Campbell all who probably knew Glenure personally ensured a show piece with 1 outcome. The hanging of Seumas a Ghlinne in 1752 at Cnap a Chaolais was nothing short of intimidation by the British Government determined to wipe out a culture and set an example. The body chained and left dangling from the gibbet for all passing to see and guarded night and day to prevent removal was left as a dangling skeleton for 50 months before the bones were finally gathered together for burial. As Scotland grasped the union with our neighbour started by James the VI our nobles and gentry fuelled by greed and wealth “enlightened” us by emptying glens and creating industrialised urban squalor. A proud nation’s history and culture pulled apart by this very greed as it became popular to be British rather than Scottish. The Appin murder was much more than a single event. James Hunter gave his excellent account of the Appin Murder the title, “Culloden and The Last Clansman” how very true that last line was.

The hanging place at Cnap a Chaolais
If you ever get the chance to visit the Appin area take a journey on the “Trail of The Last Clansman” starting in Glen Duror at the birthplace of Stewart of Acharn. It takes you to all the places associated with this piece of so called justice. The only missing link unbelievably is the chapel and burial ground of Keil (on private ground) where his bones are interred in a corner of the ruined chapel marked by a bronze plaque.

Birthplace of Stewart of Acharn (is that "Scottish Not British" stickers I see??)

Cairn marking the spot where Campbell of Glenure met his death at Lettermore

The chapel at Keil where the bones of Seumas a Ghlinne were finally interred

The bronze plaque marking the burial place

The irony of it all is the treatment of those of the local population of whom many had taken up arms in the Jacobite cause. Most were to be cleared or evicted by the descendants of the very Clan leaders that they followed. Those very same Clan leaders who had to quote from a well known song “donned their saxon coats”

The Sabhal mor Ostaig have done an excellent job in making available many of the old written studies from the late 1800's relating to the history of the Gael and here is a worthwhile link for future reference containing many excellent pieces of research.

"The Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness 1871-2004"

A week of much protest with photos coming in from all over Scotland. The Purcell saga and the Glasgow City Labour Councils part in its cover up were marked by a show of a large End London Rule banner in George Square.

The message can be seen all over Scotland....

Our friends at the Am Buidheann Dubh have also been busy and there is no age limit to Nationalism and standing for your Nation.

On Saturday EBC Scotland reported that the Labour Party’s spring pre-election conference at the SECC in Glasgow was graced by the banners of protest ; END LONDON RULE.

As the word spreads the height that Britain’s flag flies in Scotland is now on the way down…….END LONDON RULE……………..FREE SCOTLAND...........

If you have any images of protest send them to;

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Fight Continues......

We lead this week with the sad news of the death of Bill Wolfe another of Scotland’s Sons. Unfortunately Billy will not live to see finished business done but he can rest assured that the struggle will continue……

Billy was a true Nationalist and at the more radical end of the Scottish National Party. A quote from the SNP conference in 1970 is worth repeating “We are not just concerned with a solitary aim, although that aim of independence is over-riding and is fundamentally the greatest thing we can fight for- Freedom. We are part of a social movement as well, agitating for reforms”. 40 years on and we still agitate the corruption that is UK party politics.

Billy will be remembered for many things and some not even mentioned in his recent newspaper obituary like his involvement with Radio Free Scotland, or his opposition to nuclear weapons through his links to CND. The encouragement given to the 79 Group following the disaster of the rigged referendum was fundamental to the springboard to success that is today’s National Party. He was also a regular speaker at the debating Beith 1320 club. We must never forget the sacrifice in life made by the likes of Billy Wolfe and we must ensure that Scotland remembers him for what he certainly was, a true Patriot. RIP Billy Wolfe, 22/021924-18/03/2010, Alba gu Brath.....

We are now seeing on a regular occurrence on the streets of our nation the banners and signs of Protest. Lets hope in the coming election that the people of Scotland are also waking up to this and will put a cross where St. Andrew put his and vote to End London Rule….

Some light historical news now. A recent newspaper article reported on the channel 4 Time Teams recent dig on the Isle of Mull. Reported to contain the earliest Christian burial site in the country we will need to wait a bit longer until the secrets are revealed. Time Team were invited to the island by a local archaeologist to investigate a mysterious set of earthworks they had came across within an ancient forest near to Tobermory. The 3 day dig to quote from a Time Team spokeswomen “turned out to be the most rewarding in the programmes history”. It claims to shed new light on a lost period of Scotland’s history, discovers a previously unknown monastery and most extraordinary of all, uncovers the remains of a lost Saint.

A programme to look out for on Channel 4 once it’s scheduled. Our overseas readers may get this on Satellite but if not its well worth a recording sent to you from Scotland.

To end this week we bring to your attention the issues surrounding fuel prices in Scotland. With over 40 years of Oil and Gas production from Scotland’s waters you can pay over £1.25 a litre for diesel in the North of Scotland some 100 or so miles from where it hits our shores. You can travel to the Spanish Island of Tenerife where it has no Oil or Gas production and imports all its fuels. And guess what?? You pay 70 and 90 cents a litre. The currency difference is about 10%, or 10 euros for 9 quid, so 90 cents is 80p – or thereabouts, on a good day. Tenerife has no oil rigs, no oil at all, in fact, and oil is shipped in by tanker, for there is no other way. It is an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Scotland is an island in the middle of the North Sea. With the largest localised Oil reserves available yet we are forced to pay these prices by a UK government facing massive debts yet contemplating huge spending cuts on Scotland. Drive to the South of england and amaze yourself at the road building and infrastructure provision especially for that great british farce the london Olympics. Ask yourself why the people of Scotland are subjected to inflated fuel costs much higher than those in the South…..Is it Votes from a percentage mass of population…Yes.. It’s time to END LONDON RULE…..

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

And after all that; Land for Sheep; It was great to be british!!

And when all the fighting was over land became the commodity and clearance and evictions the price to pay. Of course Clearance and evictions were not a new thing. James VI the founder of great britishness started it all in the Border lands in the early 1600's. To solve a problem was to eradicate it for good, something like ethnic cleansing. This was not new either and an apt saying comes from the film Braveheart " The problem with Scotland is that its full of Scots"

Divide and Conquer........thats been the motto of the british state. More on that later..

Here is an eyewitness report of the Highland Clearances of the 1860's just before the making of the Crofters Act of 1886....Give it a read..

'How Much More Valuable is, not even a Sheep, but a Game Bird than a Man?'

Repeated evictions coupled with emigration continued to plague the Highlands. For those left at home, life became ever harder as those landlords who did not force the tenants off their lands entirely often forced them onto the worst lands on their estates, while charging them ever more heavily for the privilege. Game and sheep were now much more lucrative than people, and crofters suffered accordingly. They had no security of tenure and could be moved or evicted at the mere whim of a factor or landlord. Eventually, protest and agitation forced the government to appoint a Royal Commission to look into the problem. These extracts come from evidence presented to Lord Napier's commission. The result of the Commission's work was the Crofters Holdings Act of 1886 and the appointment of the Crofters Commission to oversee it.

'Statement of Grievances by Crofters and Cottars in the district of Morven, Argyllshire. Lochaline. - Our principal grievances are as follows: - 1st, That we have been removed from lands occupied by ourselves and our forefathers, and that we have been huddled together in this miserable village; and through that and several other causes we have been reduced to great poverty; and were it not for the kindness of the late Mr Smith, and of his son, the proprietor of the adjoining estates of Acharn and Ardtornish, who, for more than thirty years, gave work to as many of us as he could, we do not know how we could have existed. We consider it a great hardship that we cannot get any land to cultivate, although abundance of good land formerly under cultivation, is going waste at our very doors. This land from which some of us have been evicted about seventeen years ago, we are sorry to see going back again into a state of nature, and overgrown with heather and rushes. We feel very much the want of milk for our families. Many of us would be very glad if we could get a cow's grass even without arable land at a reasonable rent, which we could pay. The rent for a cow's grass, without any arable land, charged by the late proprietrix is £3 a year, which we consider an intentional discouragement against any one aspiring to the dignity of keeping a cow. We know that the want of good milk, such as most of us have been accustomed to in our younger days, has a deteriorating influence upon ourselves, and more especially upon our children. We are aware that a certain medical gentleman in another part, while being examined before the Commission, recommended cheap beer as a substitute for milk. The use and introduction of such a substitute for milk in rearing our offspring we, and we are sure all Highlanders, will repudiate with scorn. We look upon such a suggestion as an insult to us; and we cannot perceive why we should be deprived of the means of having a supply of good milk, so that the proprietor may obtain a few pounds more rent. 2nd, Our next grievance is in regard to fuel. Under former proprietors, the poorest of us had the privilege of cutting peats on the hill as near hand as we could find them; but now we are prevented from doing this, and compelled to go to the top of the hill to cut them. The poorest and most destitute of us dare not gather a few tufts of heather to keep up the fire in case the game be interfered with, or be put to the least inconvenience. Our Lord and Saviour said, "How much more valuable is a man than a sheep?" But our landlords say, "How much more valuable is, not even a sheep, but a game bird than a man?" In consequence of the above restrictions as to fuel, we are at all seasons of the year under the necessity of buying coal, and in this remote district, so far situated from the coal centres of the south, coal is a luxury which some of us can ill afford. As an instance of the petty tyranny exercised over us regarding these matters, we wish to refer to a case which happened about two years ago, when a man belonging to our village, who is both a cripple and in receipt of parochial aid, was found on the road with a bundle of heather for his fire, and was unmercifully deprived of his heather by one of the estate gamekeepers and shoved along the road. We therefore consider it a great grievance that we, being loyal subjects of Her Majesty, living under what we are taught to believe to be the glorious British Constitution, living in a country which is supposed to be the best governed country in the world, should be left so much to the mercy of landed proprietors, and, still worse, their factors, that we can scarcely call our souls our own. We cannot reconcile all the boasted freedom to be enjoyed by all Her Majesty's subjects alike with what we know to be the truth in our own case. From our experience, we are more inclined to believe with Lord Macaulay, that the country, and Scotland especially, has the worst constitution in Europe, at least so far as the land laws are concerned. We therefore trust that Her Majesty's Commissioners shall take our case into consideration. 3rd, Evictions. We specially beg to direct the attention of Her Majesty's Commissioners to the miserable condition of this district compared to what it was forty or fifty years ago. The population of the parish at that time was over 2,000. At last census it stood at 828. Fifty years ago, with such a large population, £11 sterling per annum from the collection at the church door was sufficient for the support of all the poor and destitute people within the district, and now, with a population of 828, the poor rates amount to over £600 a year. These facts we leave to the consideration and wisdom of the Commissioners, as we consider they require no comment from us beyond showing the benefits conferred upon this district by what the Duke of Argyll calls in scientific language 'economic conditions,' and that we are not to be bamboozled by his Grace's scientific conundrums. The first eviction which took place in this district happened between fifty and sixty years ago, when the late Miss Stewart evicted all the tenants in the township of Ferinish, Mangostell, Barr, and Innemore, numbering in all twenty-five families. The second eviction happened between forty and fifty years ago, when the tenants of several townships on the estates of Acharn and Ardtornish received summonses of removal from the proprietors before they sold the estates to Mr Patrick Sellar of Sutherlandshire. There were forty-eight families evicted at this time, so that the loss of population sustained by the parish must have been considerable. There was another cruel and very harsh eviction which took place in this district about seventeen years ago. When the late Mrs Paterson came into possession of the estate of Lochaline, there were in the townships of Achabeg and Knock a well-to-do crofter population, consisting of between twenty-five and thirty families. The families, owing to some whim of the proprietrix, were evicted wholesale, notwithstanding the oft-repeated remonstrances of the late Dr John M'Leod, then minister of the parish. The crowbar and faggot were here, let us hope for the last time in the history of the Highland peasant, brought into requisition to demolish the dwellings of men whose forefathers occupied the land long before Mrs Paterson came into the district, or had the means which gave her the power of buying the land and turning out the people. There was yet another eviction on the estate of the late Lady Gordon of Drimnin, and as this was a peculiarly hard case, which took place only about fifteen years ago, we feel in duty bound to refer to it as showing how completely the Highland crofter is in the power of his landlord, and however unscrupulous the landlord may be in the present circumstances there is no redress. The circumstances are as follows: - About forty years ago, when the sheep farming craze was at its height, some families were removed from the townships of Aulistan and Carrick on Lady Gordon's estate, as their places were to be added to the adjoining sheep farm. The people were removed on to the most barren spot on the whole estate, where there was no road or any possibility of making one. They had to carry all manure and sea ware on their backs, as the place was so rocky that a horse would be of no use. Notwithstanding all these disadvantages, they contrived through time to improve the place very much by draining and reclaiming mossy patches, and by carrying soil to be placed on rocky places where there was no soil. During the twenty-five years they occupied this place their rents were raised twice. Latterly, with the full confidence of their tenure being secure, they built better houses at their own expense, and two or three years afterwards they were turned out of their holdings on the usual six weeks' notice, without a farthing of compensation for land reclaimed. In justice to the present proprietor, Joseph Gordon, Esq., we wish to state our conviction that such an injustice would not have been permitted on the estate since he came into possession, as we regard him as a kind and considerate landlord to the few crofters on his estate. It has often been advanced by landlords, factors, and others that the Highland crofters are lazy and do not improve their holdings; but where is the inducement to improvements under such circumstances as we have here related? And as the Commissioners are well aware that this case is not a solitary instance, as it is quite common in every district throughout the Highlands, that if a crofter improves his holding he has to pay for it by having his rent raised, or his holding being given to the first man who offers more rent on account of such improvements. 4th, The remedy which we in this district would respectfully suggest for the improvement of our condition is, that the land which is lying waste on every side of us, this is to say, the townships of Achabeg, Keil, and Knock, at present in the hands of Mrs Paterson's trustees, and entirely out of cultivation, should be divided into suitable lots; that the trustees build suitable cottages on such lots. We consider they have a right to do so, seeing the proprietrix caused all the houses to be destroyed seventeen years ago; that these lots be let to us at a reasonable rent, such rent, in cases where the landlord and tenant cannot agree, to be fixed by arbitration, or such other arrangement as the wisdom of Parliament may see proper. While much preferring to have the State as our landlord, and while thoroughly convinced that the land question shall never be properly settled until it is settled on that basis, we should still be glad, in the meantime, to have matters settled on the lines indicated above; that is, a re-allotment of the land in suitable portions, security against arbitary evictions, compensation for improvement in case of removal, a fair rent and arbitration in case of disagreement between landlord and tenant. We have heard this statement read, and we agree with all it contains.'

And it was great to british........

We received an e-mail from our friends of the Am Buidheann Dubh

They have been busy and provided us with a look at one of their workshops. This is how easy the message of protest can be put together and well done to them for thier committment to the cause.

The banner is born

Some tools of the trade

Letters are prepared

The banner takes shape

The painting begins

The letters appear

The END is near

There can be only one outcome... END LONDON RULE...FREE SCOTLAND!!

Monday, 8 March 2010

The Highland Problem of the 17th Century; 21st Century View

Moving away from Glencoe we can take a step back to the early 17th Century and the seeds sown by those who perceived the Gaidhealtachd to be a problem to them.

The points raised in the lead up to the Glencoe massacre manifest themselves in the issues which can be traced to well before the 17th Century. But its at the beginning of this century that we start to get documentary evidence and can draw our own conclusions.

The part in this played by James VI and the union of the crowns is huge. Added to this we start to see the emergence of the name Britain and some of the kindreds of the Gaidhealtachd becoming British in attitude.

An excellent read on the subject is a paper written by Aonghas MacCoinnich for Glasgow University in 2002;

Conflict and identity in the Scottish Gaidhealtachd C. 1580 C. 1630

And leading on from this with April fast approaching it could be said that it all ended on the moor of Drumossie in 1746.

It has been said of the last Jacobite rising.....

". . . the Rising of 1745 was the natural reaction of the Jacobite clans and their sympathisers in the Highlands against what had been since the coming of William of Orange in 1690 a calculated official genocidal campaign against the religion of many and the language of all Highlanders......."

Our friends of the Bhuidheann Dubh have been busy.....

With a british general election fast approaching it has been stated by many unionsists that Scottish Politics is an irrelevance!! There seems to be a swell of opinion in Scotland that its Westminster that is the irrelevance.... What say you to that??


Monday, 1 March 2010

A Slaughter Under Trust

A Slaughter under Trust
The recent 318th anniversary of the Glencoe Massacre has come and gone. Good to see that in many eyes there are those among us who remember the evil doing of that fateful morning of February the 13th 1692. The myth makers that came in the days of the empire that gave us Clan names and Clan Tartans were quick to make this into a MacDonald vs. Campbell clan fight. Of course there were many fights between the sons of Donald and the “Na Duibhnich” There have been many other massacres, so why then does the Glencoe massacre evoke such sentiment?
A few points….
Campbell expansion through legal titles to land had brought about deep resentments in the Western Highlands and Islands?
The recent Montrose wars had allowed those resentments to be vented in fire and sword in the mid 1640’s with the Campbell lands wasted by MacColla and his followers in the name of Charles the 1st.
The birth of Jacobitism with those loyal to the deposed James VII in arms in 1689-90 with many from the Highland and Island regions expressing deep loyalty to the Stewart King.
The Gaidhealtachd was the thorn in the side of the Government of Scotland residing in Edinburgh. They, who so recently had offered the crowns of Scotland to William the Prince of Orange and his wife Mary.
The bigger European stage with the wars against the French and the fear of a Jacobite Scotland being used as a stepping stone for the invasion of England.
Personalities like Stair, Argyll, Tweedale, Breadalbane, Livingstone keen to show loyalty to the new King.
The professional soldiers of the Argyll Regiment of the Estates of Scotland and their commanders. Argyll, Glenlyon, Hamilton, Duncanson. Or Colonel John Hill a remnant of the English occupying army of the Commonwealth.
And the words by the “Kings Special Command”
The item of Trust and how that Trust was betrayed by billeting soldiers on those people of their own Nation.

Glencoe 1692

A few myths…..

Some even claimed that the massacre was carried out by those of the name MacDonald.

The muster role of Argyll’s regiment of foot in October 1691 contained 13 companies of 64 men including officers except Argyll’s own company which contained 72. Of that 840 the officers were as follows;
Colonel; the Earl of Argyll

Lieut Colonel; Jackson

Major; Robert Duncanson

Captains (Company Commanders)

David Bruce

Duncan Campbell of Kaimes

James Campbell Younger of Ardkinglass

John Campbell of Airds

John Campbell

Neill Campbell

Robert Campbell of Glenlyon

John Campbell

Aulay Macaulay
Of the whole regiment it was noted that there were 90 men of the name Campbell. There were 3 of the name MacDonald and two MacEacherns.
In the January 1692 muster role of Colonel John Hill’s regiment there were 10 companies of 88 men. Of the soldiers two were of the name Campbell and one MacDonald
The muster role of Glenlyons Company of Argyll’s regiment taken 23rd October 1691 contained 3 sections. Its Captain, Glenlyon and Ensign were of the name Campbell. Of the 60 men of the company 7 were called Campbell. 2 of the name MacKechirn.
The lullaby of the snow “Taladh an t-sneachda”
The night following the massacre soldiers out searching the hills of Glencoe for stray fugitives heard the sound of a bagpipe in the distance which they followed. On reaching the place where they thought it coming from it died away with nothing to be found. Battered by the winds in a rage the soldiers about turned only to hear in the distance the screaming of a child. The officer in command demanded of the nearest soldier that he put an end to screaming. On reaching the spot of the wailing the soldier hear the most beautiful singing he had ever heard as a young mother tried to lull her child to sleep. The soldier said to have remembered her whom he had left at home with a babe in her arms and the blood of Clan Donald in them both pared the women and her child giving her what food he had. On his way back to his comrades he chanced upon a wolf devouring the body of a dead women. He killed the wolf and showed the blood of the wolf on his sword to his officer. Descendents of this spared child are said to be living in Appin and Lochaber today.
There are many more and for a good read on the subject try this book by Donald J MacDonald published in 1965.

Cruel is the snow!