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End London Rule

Saturday, 31 July 2010


We have had a busy time during these days of political shenanigans, as the British attempt to stand side by side with those in the USA over the Lockerbie bombing and the Gulf oil spill. One tends to lose sight of the suffering of those involved when the Pan Am flight was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie all those years ago, especially when the British media look to a scapegoat in the Scottish Government to appease their standing in the USA. Cameron standing shoulder to shoulder with Obama and accusing the Scottish Government of wrong doing in the compassionate release of the only person convicted criminally in the Scottish Courts was laughable. We take nothing away from the despicable event that was Lockerbie. The unfortunate aspect is, that those in the bigger game of politics and International affairs know full well the truth of that night, yet deals can be done in the deserts of Libya by the British which smack of the underhandedness of those despised in Scotland for centuries. We remember the suffering of those families that lost loved ones that night and that’s what matters the most. Not political games and certainly not political games played in London.

From this small piece of cyber land, and no matter what is said in London or Washington, our hearts are with those who suffered in what was a tragic event in the history of our proud Nation.

Our proud Nation has had its fair share of suffering over the years and we remember this in many ways through reminders of many historical events. June and July, the heights of summer are well known in Scotland for this remembrance. The Battle of Bannockburn; 23rd/24th June 1314. The Battle of Falkirk 22nd July 1298, The Battle of Killiecrankie 27th of July 1689. We even have our own 9/11 in The Battle of Stirling Bridge, 11th of September 1297.

And there are many more. And what is the common theme?

english overlordship and London Rule!

You cannot hide fact from history and we can quote an english monarch, Edward IV here in a letter written to the Pope on the 20th May 1481 in response to his unavailability in leading a crusade against the Turks.

“We cannot abstain from asserting our primeval right (of overlordship), left dormant for a while for the sake of foreign affairs.....For these reasons, we lead in person to Scotland, in the course of this summer, our army lately raised and so immensely burdensome to ourselves and to our subjects”
The ending of english overlordship is the ending of British Rule in Scotland.......

Scotland is Not British!!

And if you’re thinking well where does that leave Killecrankie? the english invited William Prince of Orange to London. The english based in London used this King William to assert its overlordship once again by making all British. We wonder if Longshanks looked on with envy. A pity that we were left with only the nobility that was Jacobitism to keep the embers of Nationhood alive. If only we had heeded more of the vision of Fletcher of Saltoun we may have avoided the dressing up that was english overlordship in London Rule.

We leave you with some words from the Battle of Killiecrankie........

Hur skipt about, her lept about,

And flang amang them a’ man;

The english blades got broken heads,

There cowns were cleaved cleav’d in twa, then,

The dirk and door made their last hour.

And prov’dtheir final fa’, man;

They thought the devil had been there.

They play’d them sic and paw, then..........

And from John Graham of Claverhouse to his men before battle;

“Behave yourselves, therefore like true Scotchmen; and let us, by this action, redeem the credit of this Nation that is laid low by the treacheries and cowardice of some of our countrymen;”

“Oh for one hour of Dundee” (Glenbucket, shortly after the Battle of Sheriffmuir, 1715) 

And from the dying words of Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun in 1716 " Lord have mercy on my poor Countrey that is so barbarously oppressed" 

OH TO END LONDON RULE..............2010

Friday, 9 July 2010

If your after all the honey then don't go killing all the bees.....

Following on from the commemorations held to celebrate the anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn we left you with some words from our bard. “Bha Uiar Beo” There Once Lived, A’ toirt torradh don Ghaidheal Glas’ Giving a Funeral to the Grey Gael.

Last year in Edinburgh was held a Clan Gathering with many coming from all over the world. Lined up with all the “cock a hoop” of a gentry was the clamour of the chiefs for photographs with the royal patron a direct descendent of the House of Hanover and the European royalty of times gone by. If you were to ask any one of these so called Clan chiefs what they thought of the current Union that Scotland currently shares with the United Kingdom, 99.9% of them would support it. Yet the loudest cheer from the audience of onlookers on that day was when the huge “END LONDON RULE” banner appeared from above them on Salisbury Crags. Were these descendents of those who took their surnames and attached themselves to a kindred? Where are you now?...Was yours the funeral of the Grey Gael?

What is Clanship and why did those who supported it end up occupying the new world far away from home or press ganged to help build a British empire in foreign wars. The Clan system as a social and cultural entity destroyed and turned into a Diaspora of tartanism, clan badges and shortbread tins. And those that they looked to for leadership became members of the Whig society turning their back on the Gael to become supporters of a Hanoverian Britain.

An eminent Historian was to write on Clanship;

“ Clanship was partly a product of and partly a positive response to political upheaval and social dislocation in the high middle ages. Crown sponsored migration of Anglo-Normans from the twelfth century, the absorption of the Norse-Gaels into the Scottish Kingdom in the thirteenth and, above all, the ongoing Wars of Independence from england throughout the fourteenth centuries afforded opportunities for diverse kindreds to exert and establish a territorial influence. These emergent Clans were Anglian, Anglo-Norman, and Flemish as well as Celtic and Norse-Gaelic in origin. Clanship was by no means confined to the Highlands of Scotland, but its vitality was intimately bound up with Gaelic culture”

“A’Chlann/the Clan, literally the children, as a political, social and cultural entity was the collective product of feudalism, kinship and local association.

Alan I MacInnes; Clanship and Commerce and the House of Stuart, 1603-1788.

In Scotland conditions of landholding were/are specified by the feu contract as conveyed heritably by charter. As a political and cultural entity Clanship operated within the framework of Scots Law and provided a viable cultural concept right up to the 18th century. This despite the attempts to root out unwarranted tribalism by successive Whig governments in an attempt to stamp out Jacobitism.

The main value of clanship was protection the Chief and the Clan elite or “fine” as head of the kindred brought value to the social and cultural ethos of the clan. As well as protection hospitality was another of the traditional values of the chief and the “fine” Exemplified by the use of the bard, the vernacular poet. The political, social and economic structure of the kindred was held together by the Tacksmen the “daoine-uasile” or the lesser clan gentry. Holding tacks of land form the chief or “Baile” townships. The Tacksmen were to become the clearance factors or farm managers when townships were cleared and became single farm entities in the 18th century. Making up the rest of the clan were the individual small holdings or crofts and set aside for tradesmen, coopers, smiths, millers, weavers shoemakers and cottars.

The militarism of the kindreds cannot be overlooked and the use of the “Buannachan” or mercenary corps in many European theatres of war is well documented. From the many Irish wars to wars in Europe you will find the “Buannachan” the sword for hire. Up to the 17th century the Buannachan became the “Highland Problem” eventualy to become redundant due to the social dislocation caused by the Royalist wars of the 1640’s and the Cromwellian occupation of Scotland that followed. This was to give rise to the Cateran bands or bandits, broken men with no landed title who became the thorn in the side of the Edinburgh based establishment to be eventualy made an example of by the "slaughter under trust" at Glencoe.

The 17th century was a time of changing social and commercialism throughout Europe and leading the way in Scotland were the “fine” of the Clan Campbell. With Scotland’s monarchy now england's monarchy the die was cast for assimilation. The problem with kindreds and clanship stood in the way of a Great Britain. Lowland clearances started not long after James the VI rode South to rule. Many of the border family names can still be found in the areas of Ulster plantation. A century would pass before the Gaidhealtachd felt the same hand but by this time the world that was once Scotland had changed for good with the Act of Union. Jacobite risings were to prey heavily on the Clans and in the aftermath that followed the use of the kindreds and the Clan system as a social and cultural entity was smashed. Clan chiefs abandoned the traditional concepts of Clanship and followed the Campbell lead anglifying themselves in order to become part of the Whig political elite. Becoming members of the imperialistic state, as planters, slave traders, colonial officials, military commanders and merchant adventurers.

The aftermath of the Jacobite risings of the 17th and 18th centuries was the systematic slaughter of a culture, barbaric, each Jacobite failure brought varying degrees of reprisal that would finally be genocidal in the aftermath of the final conflict the “45”. The total eradication of Clanship as a political, cultural and social entity. The chiefs were now assimilated into Scottish landed society controlled by London, ordinary clansmen were now serviceable members of the British Empire.

So what of the bees?... The Scottish Gael became a prisoner of his own culture, demoralised and disorientated by the assimilation of its Clan elite into the British establishment. Whilst Irish Gaels were able to direct attacks against the alien english forces of government, landowning classes and the established church. The bards were still criticising the Clan elite late into the 18th century. Clan lands became estates, run by factors for sport or farmed for sheep. Trees were removed for english iron and most estates now have foreign title.

Scotland was left to the radicals, Clanship was dead but the bees are still making the honey!!!....

END LONDON RULE...........