View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Friday, 25 January 2013

Friday 25 January

An overcast day with a cold southerly wind, but a bit milder than of late. Overnight, the wind reached force 7, but had abated a little by morning.

Crown Immunity

This concept precludes government agencies from criminal prosecution. It was used to prevent the Ministry of Defence from facing prosecution of the death of a 14-year old army cadet, Kayleigh Macintosh, at Loch Carnan, South Uist, in August 2007. It is an infamous case, and although the officer in charge has been penalised, Kayleigh's parents are embittered that no real further action looks set to be taken. Calls have been made to modify the concept of Crown Immunity, so that the MoD could be prosecuted over cases like Kayleigh's. I link to the article from the Stornoway Gazette for the full details.

Burns Night

Today is January 25th, so on the occasion of the birthday of Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns, I copy one of his poems in Scots:

A man's a man for a' that.
Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that:
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that;
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.