A History of Violence

38 men were murdered in Glencoe on the 13th February 1692. Anther 40 women and children died of exposure after their homes were burned. By modern standards of human carnage this is, in truth, relatively minor. This approximately equals the daily toll of deaths in Iraq, an occurrence which now doesn’t even rate the headlines any more. At the time what was particularly horrific about the massacre was that it involved such a breach of the laws of hospitality. Under old Scots law there was a special category of murder known as “murder under trust” which was considered to be even more heinous than ordinary murder. The Glencoe event was a clear example. After the Second World War, the victorious allies put those Nazis who still survived, on trial at Nuremberg. Much importance was attributed to the so-called Nuremberg Principle which was established there – that it is illegal to carry out an illegal order.

This is “exactly the principle which emerged in the aftermath of the Glencoe massacre. Though the command of superior officers be very absolute, yet no command against the laws of nature is binding; so that a soldier, retaining his commission, ought to refuse to execute any barbarity, as if a soldier should be commanded to shoot a man passing by inoffensively, upon the street, no such command would exempt him from the punishment of murder.

The callous disregard for basic humanitarian law has always characterised the attitude of the British state towards Gaelic Scotland. Hence the sheer butchery after Culloden, and the proscribing of the highland dress, language and music. But how much has really changed over the centuries since Glencoe? Scotland is still a convenience to be exploited and abused in the interests of the British state. Hence the bizarre catalogue of superlatives Scotland can now claim – superlatives you will not find in the Guinness Book of Records.

  • We have the biggest dump of nuclear bombs in Europe, at Coulport. 25 miles from Glasgow
  • We have the longest runway in the world (now mothballed) at Machrihanish in the Mull of Kintyre, built to allow fully-loaded B52 bombers take of to incinerate Warsaw, Prague, Berlin, St Petersburg, Moscow, and dozens of other cities
  • We have largest dump of conventional high explosive in Europe at Glen Douglas near the not so-bonny-bonny banks of Loch Lomond.
  • We have Britain’s largest base for cluster-bomb carrying Tornado war planes, at Lossiemouth on the Moray Firth
  • We have the UKs only outdoor Depleted Uranium weapon range at Dundrennan on the Solway Firth
  • We have Europes largest live-firing range at Cape Wrath, the only place in Europe where NATO air-forces can drop live 1,000 Ib bombs on land.
  • We have virtually all the UKs Ultra Low Flying areas, where military jets can fly at roof top level.
  • We have the most radioactive polluted coastal waters of any nation in Europe thanks to Sellafield

The fact is that Scotland is a country that has been brutally militarised by the British State.

The amount of land the MoD currently controls in Scotland is four times greater than at any point during the Cold War. In 1980, the MoD owned or leased 24.8 thousand hectares in Scotland. Yet by 2003, land available to the MoD had risen over four times to 115.2 thousand hectares. This is the price we pay for being part of the Great British state.

The fact that we have all Britain’s nuclear weapons dumped on us is only to be expected. The Gare Loch is a fiord, a sea-loch surrounded by mountains. So any accident there would only affect the natives in the Clyde valley, or Central Scotland. It is not as if real people might get killed.

In the light of these facts I was horrified to read recently that 40% of the people in Scotland have not even made up their mind whether to vote or not in the elections in May. Do they not see what an historic opportunity we have?

An independent Scotland is a nuclear free Scotland. And a nuclear-free Scotland means freedom from nuclear weapons not only for Scotland but for England as well. Because Trident is not like a taxi; you cannt simply move it from Faslane to Portsmouth or Plymouth. It requires a massive support system, principally storage for 200 atom bombs. These are at present kept in a hollowed-out mountain at Coulport. There are no mountains near Plymouth or Portsmouth. There is nowhere to store 200 atom bombs nearby.

So our message to our friends south of the border is this: Our fight is for our freedom and yours. An independent nuclear-free Scotland will free our brothers and sisters in England from the delusions of Britishness, from the fantasies of great-power chauvinism.

An independent nuclear-free Scotland means a UK free of nuclear weapons. A nuclear-free UK is a hugely significant step in the international struggle to free humanity from nuclear terrorism. We would then be in a position to exert great moral pressure on France to abandon her nuclear weapons and thus make the whole European Union a nuclear free area. Europe would join the African Continent, the Pacific and South America as part of the growing global nuclear-free areas.

Clearly, people in Scotland do not yet see the potentially enormous outcome to the Scottish elections in May. My friends, let us redouble our efforts to open the eyes of our fellow countrymen to the moral and political significance of the truly historic opportunities that lie before us in the these elections.

The greatest and most honourable testimonial we can pay to the murdered victims of Glencoe is the creation of a nuclear-fee, independent Scotland.




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