God Forbid that we should feel Scottish!

It has been one of the British Empires oldest and most consistent endeavours to keep us Scots in line, and they have done so sometimes to brutal effect in the past. We still have it implemented, or attempts at it to this day. What is it? Endeavouring to stop Scots feel like they are Scottish.
Unfortunately for them, their attempts have never quite succeeded, although some attempts have been more culturally destructive than others.
Lets have a brief history lesson here.

In 1746 after the Jacobite uprising, wearing of the tartan was banned.

Abolition and Proscription of the Highland Dress 19 George II, Chap. 39, Sec. 17, 1746

That from and after the first day of August, One thousand, seven hundred and forty-six, no man or boy within that part of Britain called Scotland, other than such as shall be employed as Officers and Soldiers in His Majesty’s Forces, shall, on any pretext whatever, wear or put on the clothes commonly called Highland clothes (that is to say) the Plaid, Philabeg, or little Kilt, Trowse, Shoulder-belts, or any part whatever of what peculiarly belongs to the Highland Garb; and that no tartan or party-coloured plaid of stuff shall be used for Great Coats or upper coats, and if any such person shall presume after the said first day of August, to wear or put on the aforesaid garment or any part of them, every such person so offending … For the first offence,shall be liable to be imprisoned for 6 months, and on the second offence, to be transported to any of His Majesty’s plantations beyond the seas, there to remain for the space of seven years.

The Act was repealed in 1782…but by then the damage had been done, and highland dress was no longer worn on a daily basis, but rather turned into being worn for special occasions.

But not only was the tartan proscribed, Gaelic was forbidden to be spoken,and the pipes were banned.
In truth, Gaelic had already been under attack by that traitorous king, James the sixth after the union of the crowns, but this Act put the boot in.
Gaelic which had been spoken in nearly all of Scotland,had been reduced to a mere 1.6% of the population by the time that I was in primary school in the 1960’s.
Indeed I received the belt for speaking Gaelic in class, we could only speak our language in the playground or at home.
It was only from the 1980’s that Gaelic started to make a comeback, and we have some Gaelic speaking primary schools today.
Despite these efforts, I still hear some of my fellow Scots complaining about resources being used for Gaelic, such as bilingual road and rail signs. I have also heard many disparage BBC Alba, and their output. Yet it, probably because it is not fully run by the BBC, has brought us more informative programmes for all Scots, than the main broadcaster provides. With programmes such as Diomhair/Secrets,Scottish Independence, and the McCrone Report. (now difficult to get a hold of, the BBC have slapped a copyrite ban on it…no idea why??) telling Scots some home truths about our history.

Find it here, but it is in sections..so you will have to bear with it.

The problem with some Scots intolerance for their own language, is because they have bought into the idea, that it doesn’t belong to them. So job done for the British State in these efforts.

What could be called a long term attempt at the Genocide of a Culture, also includes the Highland Clearances where assisted by Clan Chiefs who had gone English native, the people were brutally evicted from the land during the Highland Clearances,(up to 2000 families a day) which ran from the 1760’s up to around 1850,and also included the Highland potato famine, which was more devastating than the much more famous Irish counterpart, yet barely ever spoken about, never mind reported on.
As a result there are far more Highland descendants in the Americas and Australasia today, than exist in Scotland.

Highland Clearances

The much less brutal, but still pervasive attacks on Scottishness still carry on till this day.
The subject now is our flag, the Saltire.

The very use of this flag, has seen attempts at its banning.
During the Olympics this year, we saw the blatant attempts to deny its recognition, first in the torch run through the country(we saw attacks on other flags too, the Cornish Saint Pirin’s flag being ripped off a runner by the police) even old age pensioners in Scotland getting visits by the police, treating them as potential terrorists, for writing on the internet they intended leafleting.The attempt at banning the Saltire from being flown at our own national stadium,during the Olympics.

Even when Andy Murray, somehow managed to avoid the procession of Olympians in Glasgow, the press showed photographs with a few union jacks at his homecoming visit to Dunblane, yet wider pictures showed that the people had a mass amount of Saltires.
It has also subsequently been brought to my attention that the Olympians procession in Glasgow,had between a third and a half of all of them, including Chris Hoy,draped in Saltires. Yet the overriding impression given by the media and press,was of a union jack waving nature. Such is perfidy of our media in Scotland.

Today the news reports that the Grampian Fire Service,as part of the new Scottish Fire Service, has been forced into removing the Saltire from the two fire engines which displayed them, because of TWO complaints about their use!

Fire Chiefs remove offensive Saltires from engines.

It all may seem rather petty and unimportant in the grand scheme of things, and in our daily lives.
But it is not… These seemingly random and individual events, are part of a much greater whole.
The very identification,culture, and languages of the Scots, have been under threat of eradication for centuries,and the purge still goes on.
Eradicate Scottishness, and there is no desire to feel, or think, or believe differently than what the British State wants us to feel,think,behave or believe. Thus putting an end to our self identity, ends any thoughts of doing things differently, or wanting a different society, and country. It finally ends our desire for Independence. We will be Scots no more. We will all be British,and all that entails.
A nation and it’s peoples gone forever.

Or at least..so they hope!

About auldacquaintance

I am not a member of any political party. I am however a strong supporter of Scots Independence. Any views which I express in this Blog are purely my own. This Blog intends to be a place where I will be putting my views on Scots Independence. It will primarily concern itself with the upcoming Referendum In Scotland. However It will also be somewhat diverse in the range of day to day issues which are evident to me in modern day Scotland. Not all of it will be political, and indeed may take me off into avenues I am not even aware of yet. Please come and join in on this journey, and any comments are welcome provided they are not abusive! All the best from a new acquaintance! Rod
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39 Responses to God Forbid that we should feel Scottish!

  1. David McCann says:

    Great article. There is correspondence in the Oban Times regarding the money spent on Gaelic language, and by the local authority on road signs. Please send this piece to them. It says exactly what needs to be said.
    The Oban Times, PO box 1, Oban Argyll, PA344HB

  2. gedguy2 says:

    Do you have any links to the ‘Highland potato famine’? I can’t seem to find that.

    • Thank you for adding the links Andrew…I was about to post similar, but you saved me the bother 🙂
      There are also a number of books about the Highland Potato famine, but It has never really made it into mainstream conciousness.. It was pretty much suppressed.

  3. Macart says:

    Cracking article AA. I’ve heard it said on more than one occasion recently that the union of parliaments was bloodless, carried no casualties, in fact was just down right cuddly.

    Setting aside the mob’s hunting down of the signatories of the treaty on the day of signing, your abridged version of consequent events kind of underlines what a pile of utter bull that whole bloodless union version is. Ethnic cleansing, forced emigration, cultural destruction on a grand scale. Oh aye a bloodless and cuddly political union. 😦

  4. I have said for many years to people who I speak to that one brick is not that much but when you add up all the little bricks it makes a wall,and that is how we have had our culture removed from us,because a few people say “Och its only ,this or that” and that is how the wall got built Rod you said it much better than I ever could,thanks.

  5. gedguy2 says:

    Thanks Andrew. I’ve added them to my list

  6. Hazel Lewry says:

    You beat me to it. Excellent. Needs to aired more widely too. Shared.

  7. Margaret says:

    A poem about the clearances

    Let me tell ye a story, o’ cruelty an ‘ shame
    O’ a people doontrodden, an’ forced fae their hame
    It’s been telt doon the years, fae faither tae son
    O’ the cruelty inflicted, o’ the wrangs that were done

    The lairds held the pooer, their factors were cruel
    An’ they thocht mair o’ sheep, an’ they thocht mair o’ wool
    So the folk had tae go, they hadnae a choice
    Tae protest wis futile, for they hadnae a voice

    An’ the kirk didnae help, this wis payment for sin
    Noo that’s whit they telt, tae oor ain kith an’ kin
    So they emptied the straths, an’ they emptied the glen
    O’ the auld an’ the weans, the women an’ men

    Their hooses wir torched, they wir razed tae the grun
    Folk couldnae get oot, for they had naewhar tae turn
    So they burnt in their beds, an’ deid whar they lay
    There wis never nae justice, naebody tae pay

    Ower the hills thro the mire, in wind snaw an’ rain
    Awa’ fae their land, ne’er tae see it again
    Tae the coast they wir sent, tae fish or pick kelp
    Wi’ naebody tae care. nor naebody tae help

    Some taen tae the ships, an’ left oor fair shore
    Wi tears in their een, an’ herts that wir sore
    Hoo cruel men can be, an’ a’ for some sheep
    But the lairds needed sillar, their lifestyle tae keep

    As they sat in their castles, enjoying their fill
    Did they think o’ the clachans, noo silent an’ still
    Did they think o’ their tenants, as they supped oan their booze
    Naw they jist thocht o’ sheep, their tups an’ their ewes

    Mato 21

  8. Stevie says:

    Great article but it almost makes one cry.

  9. Gav says:

    Reminds me a bit of this – For that is the mark of the Scots of all classes:
    that he stands in an attitude towards the past
    unthinkable to Englishmen, and remembers and
    cherishes the memory of his forebears, good or
    bad; and there burns alive in him a sense of identity
    with the dead even to the twentieth generation.
    Robert Louis Stevenson

  10. Cath says:

    I remember my Grandad, long since gone now saying they used to be caned for using Gaelic in school, and I know it was the same with Doric. Unbelievable, and made him a lifelong nationalist, so I don’t think it worked the way it was intended to, at least not on those oppressed by it. Same with those eejits who now try to ban the Saltire. It doesn’t help their cause but makes me feel we need rid of them and their ilk totally. An independent Scotland, run as a country should be run: 300 years overdue.

  11. Jnr Hendo says:

    There are 6 parts to the video in this article. If the 60 minute documentary was shown (quashed by the BBC by the way) – there would be no doubt a Yes vote for Independence would happen tomorrow! The underhanded way Westminster has constantly tried to keep our wings clipped, is disgraceful, yet the media keeps it so well hidden. What passes for journalism these days is, at the very least, disappointing. These are the stories that should be brought to the fore, the McCrone report, the oil money funding the Channel Tunnel and M25, Gaelic dying a slow death and simply Scots slang…
    I only hope that the referendum and future debates reginites the fire in your belly, the spirit that each and every Scot has inside them. The only way to Vote can be Yes!!

  12. Dave says:

    So where is the Gaelic version of this post? Real die hard Scots who truly feel they have been deprived of their Scottishness should learn Gaelic in their spare time, should they not?

    • If my written Gaelic was good enough, I would be delighted to provide you with one. Unfortunately my knowledge of my own language is not as good as it should be. I can speak it fine, as can many Gaelic speakers, but many were deprived the opportunity to speak their languange in school, far less learn how to write it.
      It is better now, where there is a GAelic College in Skye, and better education for a few.
      I did actually learn to write my languange to an extent in senior secondary in the mid 70’s, when I was lucky enough to attend a school which taught the subject. However, I still don’t have full confidence in doing it justice.
      Not all Scots would want to learn Gaelic, but I am sure there are many who would like the opportunity.
      There are also more Scots again, who suffered similar disapproval when speaking Scots, or Doric.
      So it would be draconian to suggest that you have to be a Gaelic or Scots speaker, in order to be a scot.
      There are also many second and third generation new Scots, who have brought their own cultures with them, and mixed their culture with that of the indigenous population.
      Together, we all share the same Saltire,and we also share many Social Values, which is radically different to what years of Westminster rule has endeavoured to introduce to us.

  13. andrewnorrie@hotmail.com says:

    Ah , Doric the voice of my ancestors who farmed in Aberdeenshire . It seems strange to be pulled up for speaking the languauge of the farm yet another attempt to bring Scots into line by destroying individual rights . Regarding Gaelic long may it continue to be spoken , sorry to say I know very little about it , might be a good idea to offer it in all Schools in Scotland. wish I was offered to study it at school . I guess by trying to destroy anything that stands out as being Scottish it makes us fight harder to preserve our points of difference and diversity I for one will be voting YES in 2014 , time for us to rise up and be a nation once more !!, And let 1707 be the bogeynan tale to kids .

  14. John Mullis says:

    I am of Scots decent and proud of it as are many others who live in the United States we cherish the national flag of Scotland and the Confederate battle flag both of which bear the Saint Andrews cross.The south is made up of predomanitley celts and the northern part of the United States those of English deceint.This was the fundimentle reason for the division in the mid 19th century.

    The pity is that there are so few resources to learn gaelic and the english/gaelic dictionary is almost impossible to find.We are starved for our heritage.

  15. Juteman says:

    Superb article. A nice wee summing up to get the blood boiling. 🙂

  16. Wullie says:

    Superb article
    dont forget
    The lowland clearances
    Peter Aitchison and Andrew Cassel
    isbn 1-86232-277-5

  17. Tommy Cochrane says:

    Excellent post, Tapadh leibh

  18. lauraannham says:

    A lot of these things to stop us feeling Scottish are in the past. I went to a state primary and then a private high school in Edinburgh and apart from learning some Burns, they taught us feck all Scottish literature. It wasn’t until my third year at university in St Andrew – where I was studying English – when I took a Scottish culture class that I learned about modern Scottish literature. And as my friend from Yorkshire said, as I told her about the class I was taking; “What’s Scottish culture? Lulu?”
    We are not taught about our culture in school.

    • You are not taught about Scots culture in school, nor have you been taught any Scots history. I believe that is to change now..centuries late!

      • lauraannham says:

        Probably because no one values it. But I don’t know who is in charge of the school system in Scotland. But we need to change that! Mainly because it’s just embarrassing!

      • As I understand it, the SNP government have introduced Scottish Studies onto the curriculum now.
        I don’t know the content of it, but I imagine its purpose is to redress the discrepancy where generations of Scots were taught absolutely anything and everything apart from their own culture and history.
        The damage done by that previous lack of teaching is incalculable.
        Of course it was not in any previous government or administrations interests to promote it, prior to 2007.

      • lauraannham says:

        Really? Well it’s a start, but really – the idea of learning about Scotland shouldn’t be segregated to “Scottish studies”. When we learned about literature, it wasn’t “English studies” or “American studies” and when we learned about history – blah blah. Well I hope it snowballs!

      • I agree…but not knowing the content of this..I can’t say what it involves exactly? But at least it seems to be step in the right direction at first glance.

  19. Kate says:

    A minor point: There was NO “the procession of Union Jack wearing Olympians in Glasgow”. Every single athlete that draped him/herself in a flag on that day, including Chris Hoy, wore the Saltire. There were no Union Jacks (only saltires) flown from the buses with the Olympians on them, and when the Olympians were individually introduced on stage, between one-third and a half came on wearing the Saltire. The rest were flag-less.

    Funny how the media have somehow made it that we somehow believe differently, but look at any of the photos taken on that day and the only Union Jacks you’ll see are being waved by people in the crowd, perhaps because Unionist media and Better Together were handing them out.

    • Thanks for pointing this out Kate.
      Certainly that was not the impression the press and media gave…But …As in the Andy Murray event, they gave that a completely different slant too.
      Good for Chris Hoy and the rest !

    • You just gave me a bit of work there Kate. But I am glad of it. I don’t like giving false impressions,even by accident.
      So I have now edited that section accordingly.Thank You.

  20. Neil Ralley says:

    Excellent article. Most of it was very familiar to me but I will admit to 2 gaps in my knowledge. Firstly I was unaware of the mid-1800s potato famine and secondly, as I am presently living in the US and am relatively cut off from UK news, I had not realised that the Saltire was under attack.
    Frankly the more I reflect on it (and though I say it myself I usually have a well-attuned political ‘sixth sense’) the stronger my belief that there is only one way that the referendum can go and that is a definitive “Yes”. How could the Scottish people possibly decide that they could fare better under Westminster rule?
    I could just about believe in the possibility of a “no” vote if there was no EEC and if Scotland was destined to be as independent as, say, New Zealand or some Carribean Island, though even then I would “hae me doots”. However, in today’s world I just do not see even the remotest possibility that the vote could go against Independence. What are the opinion polls saying?

    I have coined my own slogan, based on Scotland’s long history of intelligence, solid education, inventiveness, creativity and engineering aptitude, to name but a few. It tries to underscore the fact that Scotland has spawned more major inventions than any other nation of it’s size with a population never more than a tad over 5m. My slogans are “Scotland the Bright” and “Do the Bright thing – Vote “Yes”. The link below is to a calendar I designed around this theme and if you dig around you will also find a few tee-shirts.

  21. deewal says:

    The Duke of Wellington during Britain’s war with France, when asked what he thought the effect these new Highlander Regiments would have upon the enemy replied:

    “I don’t know the effect they will have on the enemy, but they scare the hell out of me!”

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