View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Friday, 7 November 2008


Like I already said on Facebook, I may be gone a while. I'm sorry I haven't been round people's journals in recent weeks, and am not likely to do so immediately. I won't keep up the hypocrisy of getting you to call round to read my inane twitterings, without me reciprocating in kind.

Friday 7 November

In the world of politics, a by-election in Glenrothes (Fife, north of Edinburgh) has seen the seat retained by the Labour party. It had been fiercely contested by the Scottish National Party, who is currently in government in Edinburgh.

The SNP are committed to gain independence for Scotland, an aim I find unrealistic for economic reasons. It should be born in mind though that independence comes in varying grades and shades. The greater problem is caused by the SNPs confrontational stance towards the UK government in London, who are still their paymasters to the tune of some £30bn a year. Their credibility is not exactly enhanced by a myopic focus on anything bearing the name Scotland.

Two examples surfaced in the last few years. In August last year, a statue was unveiled in Helmsdale (Sutherland, the far north of Scotland) for the evicted Highlander. He is shown proudly marching off for a new life in the New World with his family in tow. Mr Salmond, the SNP leader and current First Minister, lauded the achievements of Scots overseas which (in his mind) this statue was in commemoration of. In doing so, he glossed over the inexecrable way the residents of Strath Kildonan, Strathnaver, Skye and many corners of the Western Isles (to name but a few) were treated in the 18th and 19th century. Thousands of people were forcibly evicted from their land and packed off to America, Canada, Australia. It is of course good that they made great achievements - but why weren't they allowed to make them at home?

Second example dates back only a few weeks, when Halifax / Bank of Scotland (HBOS) fell foul of the credit crunch and announced a merger with the Lloyds / TSB Bank. Mr Salmond cried blue murder over the take-over of the Bank of Scotland - forgetting that this institution started life as the British (sic) Linen Bank.