Scotland the Dump

Share this poster we created in collaboration with graphic artist Andy Arthur (follow him @cocteautriplets).

This is an improved and updated version of our earlier map. It will be available in print form (A2 420×594) for cost and postage only from next week. Pay £5 (including p&p) Pay by Paypal here.

We will make this available in bulk if people want to order multiple copies for distribution. For bulk orders contact us here.

This updated version of our map is shared here under Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 [that means you can Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format – you can Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material – but you’ve got to attribute the creators and you can’t make money out of it. Also – If you “remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original”. The creators are Andy Arthur and Bella Caledonia].


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  1. Hamish100 says:

    Scotland the occupied country. All this dictated to by London. Isn’t all this a greater risk to life than Coronavirus… oops forgot about anthrax dispersed over Gruinard. That was alright.

  2. Alan Reid says:

    Hi Mike
    Is this really an “improved and updated version” of the original? It seems as bereft of historical context as the first.
    As I’m sure you know, the background is two World Wars, and the Cold War.
    And did Scots really have no agency in these decisions?
    An example of great graphic design, perhaps – but poor history.
    Kind regards

    1. Hamish100 says:

      Even if some Scots cooperated with LONDON do you really think they would care if we all said no?

      For some history of the British empire starts at WW1. What about the history of clearing SCOTS for sheep , gun ranges never mind the grouse moors. Fort George wasn’t built to be a tourist attraction it was to put the boot in on the Highlands and Islands.

      Maybe we need a map of the English Brit invasions and settlements with some Brit Scots acquiescence to allow this to happen.

      1. Alan Reid says:


        This is just silly; you are aware that Scots were leading (indeed enthusiastic) members of the British empire?

        Far from being a plucky underdog, Scotland is one of the most imperialist little countries in history.
        We’re not a nation of victims, Scots have dumped a lot of sh@it on other people!

        And if you really have to bring up our Jacobite past, you seem to have forgotten the large number of Lowland Scots in the British army.

        And no one is a “Brit Scot” – we’re all just fellow Scots, my friend.

        Kind regards

        1. Lorna Campbell says:

          No, AR, Scots were not empire builders. Some Scots were empire enabtvklers, just as some Scots benefited from taking part in the slave trade. Most Scots, and certainly 21st century Scots, have taken no part in either empire or slavery. We can make reparations for the actings of our less enlightened forebears by setting up educational trusts and bursaries, and by ensuring that these things never happen again, but the right-on self-indulgence of wearing a hair shirt is yours, and yours alone.

          1. Alan Reid says:


            On the subject of “self-indulgence” I must apologise, Hamish and yourself wish to revel in a feeling of bogus victimhood – and I’ve rather burst that bubble.
            But please try not to allow it to ruin the rest of your weekend.

            Best regards

        2. Josef Ó Luain says:

          “Scotland is one of the most imperialist little countries in the world.” For that assertion to stand, Scotland would surely have to be an independent State with at least a couple of hundred years of history, as such, in which to have built the Scottish empire; an empire, of course, which has never existed?

          Wherever there’s a buck to be made or a career to be built, those who can will come running to exploit the available opportunities; Scots were and remain no exception. To somehow suggest that our forbears were unique in this respect is to disregard the simple fact that all exploitative States needfully sent their subjects to foreign regions to exploit and consolidate their imperial gains. That Scottish based business interests would see the opportunities available in these frontier imperial lands, should surprise no one.

          Nowhere remotely close to all Scots were in a position to enrich or advantage themselves in the building of the British Empire, a life-time of cyclical poverty, disease and an early death might best describe the imperial legacy for many Scots. That a significant number soldiered around the Globe in the British army, signifies very little other than the fact that soldiering was viewed by the rank-and-file as a source of regular paid employment and undoubtedly, by some, as an opportunity for adventure.

          1. Alan Reid says:

            Well, Josef, some historians do call it the Scottish empire, so disproportionate were Scots in the imperial project!
            And not just soldiers …… administrators, colonial police officers, plantation owners – plus Scottish settlers drove indigenous people from their homelands.
            Scots were part of the imperial establishment, indeed, some have argued Scottish cooling towards a British identity has followed from the end of our empire.

            I’m afraid, “It Wiznae Us!”, was discredited years ago.
            How ironic for many who like to feel they’re “oppressed”, that Scots have a long history of suppressing people thousands of miles from these islands.

            By all means argue for separation, if that is your bag, but the victimhood narrative, as suggested in this article, is unconvincing and embarrassing.

            Best regards

    2. Coinneach says:

      In response to Alan Reid’s question “…did Scots really have no agency in these decisions?” and his assertion that “poor history” has been involved in creating the latest map, it would be interesting to learn what agency he thinks Scots might have had. The abominations portrayed in the map resulted in their entirety from decisions by the UK military, the UK War Department and Westminster governments. Scotland had no parliament of its own until 1999, long after these outrages were committed and to this day we have no agency over such matters as Defence is a matter wholly reserved to Westminster.

      To me the single greatest reason for Scottish Independence is to rid ourselves of the day-by-day nuclear threat that most of the Scottish population continues to live under – the biggest nuclear target in Western Europe: Faslane and Coulport. With Alasdair Gray’s injunction to “work as if you live in the early days of a better nation” in mind, I’d like to see the Scottish Government being more proactive in making life more difficult for Westminster and to show we mean business. As a first suggestion, let’s legislate at Holyrood (as New Zealand did) to make the presence of nuclear weapons in our waters and lands unlawful. Then follow it up by banning the transportation of radioactive and other highly toxic/dangerous materials without express permission from the Scottish Government. This could be used to inhibit/ prevent the regular nuclear convoys on our roads and exert counter-pressure on Westminster that will force it to negotiate over Scotland’s withdrawal from the UK.

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        Coinneach, New Zealand is a long way away; most of the former colonies are. We are just a hop, skip and jump across the border. We can certainly do this, I’m with you on that, but they would invade us and occupy us as a result. That is what so few Scots actually understand: that the England-as-the-UK government is utterly hostile to any opinion or action that does not reek of subservience. People with collaborationist ideas go down a treat, as they have always done throughout history because they make life for the potential occupiers/oppressors so much easier. Whenever I talk to Unionists, I remind them of Vichy France and how it also came under the direct rule of Berlin eventually, and how former collaborators were shot out of hand in reprisals just as the Maquis were, when caught. Collaborators have this universal habit of seeing themselves as reasonable and realistic when they are actually deluded and largely devoid of logical thought.

        1. Alan Reid says:


          I’ve read your posts before, and even independence supporters throw up their hands in horror!

          Describing fellow Scots as “collaborators”! Really?

          I doubt you’re going to gain many converts with that approach.
          But good luck with your campaign.

          Best regards

      2. Alan Reid says:


        During the 20th century, Scots have been leading members of the British government and the defence establishment.
        You write that since 1999, “Defence is a matter wholly reserved to Westminster” – yes, that might be true, but during that time Scottish MPs have occupied the posts of Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary; plus a Scot was Secretary General of NATO. And indeed, the recent head of the Royal Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, hails from Kilmarnock!
        You state the Faslane/Coulport complex is the “biggest nuclear target in Western Europe”; that is debateable – it is most likely London and Paris, with French nuclear establishments also high up on a Russian target-list.
        I look forward to Scots playing their part in multilateral nuclear disarmament talks to rid our world of these abominations. But regretfully, while Russia retains nuclear weapons, so must the UK and France. And I’m proud of the part Scotland has played in keeping the peace in western Europe since WW2.

        Best wishes

        1. Coinneach says:

          AR states “during the 20th century, Scots have been leading members of the British government and the defence establishment” in response to my points about the Scots’ agency in UK Gov policies and actions in the 20th century. Indeed, many individuals of Scottish origin have enhanced their prospects by acting for the UK Gov, but the overwhelming majority of Scots have been denied any effective democratic voice for 300 years now due to being a tiny minority of the UK’s voters and the FPTP voting system. To cite an occasional PM, Foreign Sec, Secretary General of Nato etc as somehow demonstrating that Scotland has not been exploited by the Union and to ignore the democratic deficit which Scotland has had to endure is a case of putting the telescope to a blind eye.

          Likewise the Scottish people had no say in the siting of the US Navy’s nuclear forces in the Holy Loch nor of the UK Gov to site its nuclear arsenal and subs at Faslane and Coulport. The human race has enough on its hands trying to keep the planet inhabitable without the threat of nuclear weapons. Indeed AR demonstrates that he speaks “with forked tongue” when he says he looks forward to Scots playing a part in ridding the world of these abominations, and then goes on to assert that “while Russia retains nuclear weapons, so must the UK and France.” That makes no sense: it’s universally accepted that the nuclear deterrent is pointless, as the instigator will be wiped out by immediate retaliation. I can’t imagine the Scots people being in favour of hosting nuclear weapons in our country if it were ever tested in a poll, and I certainly can’t imagine any rational person being proud to have his/her children and grandchildren put at increased existential risk by the actions of a government which gives them no say in the matter.

          1. Alan Reid says:


            Thanks for your reply, I don’t own a telescope – and my eyesight is fine.

            Scots are hardly occasional senior members of the UK government: in my lifetime ….
            Prime Ministers: Brown, Blair and Home (14 years)
            Chancellors: Brown, Darling, Lamont (17 years)
            Foreign Secretaries: Cook, Rifkind, Home (11 years)
            Defence Secretaries: Younger, Rifkind, Robertson, Browne, Reid, Fox (11 years)
            Plus Scotland has today a considerable degree of home rule.
            We are hardly oppressed as a nation!

            It is not universally accepted that the nuclear deterrent is “pointless”, not while a hostile state like Russia has over 6, 000 warheads! Indeed it’s an imbalance between opposing states that is dangerous. And the only occasion nuclear weapons have been used in anger is when the other side did not possess them.
            We live in the real world – and the current situation has to be managed in a pragmatic way, however unsatisfactory it may sometimes appear.

            Historically, in General Elections, Scots have nearly always voted in over-whelming numbers for parties that support the nuclear deterrent, even in 2019, when 53% of Scots who voted cast their support for Conservative, Labour or Liberal parties. Scots also play a significant part in maintaining the deterrent, both on operations – and in a maintenance role.

            I do forward to the day, however, when these devices will be unilaterally negotiated away. We’re all trying to get to the same place, and you don’t have to be quite so self-righteous about the subject – particularly when it’s only you and me left on this thread!

            Have a peaceful night

          2. Alan Reid says:

            ….sorry, multilaterally negotiated, it’s getting late!

      3. Josef Ó Luain says:

        @Alan Reid

        I’ve addressed, I think, most of your points, without any engagement or refutation on your part worthy of the name. As an Irish citizen, I’m hardly qualified, in a Scottish context, to argue that “It Wiznae Us”, favour “separation” or advance a “victimhood narrative”.

        Reread my post and kindly answer my first point regarding the impossibility of Scotland being “one of the most imperialist little countries in the world”. Without recourse to personal colouration or revisionist historiography, if you will.

        It might simply be the case, of course, that you’re lost to the habit of employing accusatory language in the advancement of your personal opinions, in which case we can end the conversation right here.

        1. Alan Reid says:


          Thanks for your comments, and I’m sorry an innocent bystander has been caught in the cross-fire (or banter) between myself and separatist friends!
          And I apologise for any offence my words may have inadvertently caused you.

          As regards, my original points that you contest:

          You state …… “Scotland is one of the most imperialist little countries in the world.” For that assertion to stand, Scotland would surely have to be an independent State with at least a couple of hundred years of history, as such, in which to have built the Scottish empire; an empire, of course, which has never existed?
          Without recourse to personal colouration or revisionist historiography, if you will. (End of quote).

          But I am revisionist – and I don’t feel that my refutation in this forum of Scottish victimhood is particularly controversial. Scottish historiography has moved well beyond the so-called “John Preeble School”. Scots have/had power and agency, and I believe bogus grievance fuels some of the more excitable elements of separatism in Scotland. (Indeed – see some comments in this thread as an example).

          Scotland was indeed one of the great imperial nations – a small country that exercised disproportionate influence, from South America to South-East Asia, over the largest empire the world has seen. And despite the assertions of nationalists, Scotland has never been an English colony – it was an independent state before 1707, and then following an incorporating union, became an increasingly influential partner in the new British state. (I hope that answers your query). Scots were deeply embedded in British imperial leadership. Some examples: Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville – Secretary of State for War during the Napoleonic conflict – largely forgotten today, although there remains in Edinburgh is a huge 100 foot column in his memory, and Lachlan Macquarie, the influential Governor of New South Wales in the early 19th century. That’s just two – but there are hundreds, as a trawl of the internet will illustrate – including a disproportionately large number of Scots in the East India Company, which essentially ran large parts of the sub-continent from the 1760s to 1857.

          As imperialists: some Scots were enlightened and kind, but others were greedy – and cruel.

          Recently, your President, Michael Higgins, a poet and a fine man, recognised during a speech in Australia the role the Irish had played in injustices against the Aboriginal people.

          It would be good if there was similar recognition by leading Scots. And as far as our independence debate is concerned, I feel it is completely inappropriate for some Scots to play the victimhood card. The offending map above is another unfortunate example.

          Very kind regards

          1. Josef Ó Luain says:

            Micheal D obviously couldn’t have made his apology in Australia without the Irish state’s acknowledgment that Irish people i.e. subjects of the then British empire, played an active role in colonization. So, in what respect(s) did Scottish colonizers, as subjects of that same empire, differ from their Irish counterparts in the turning of a quick-buck or in the advancement of their careers? Leaving constitutional differences aside, is it not simply the case that “opportunity” called, and was answered by those in a position to do so? Loath as I am to use the term “human nature” taking advantage of “opportunities” would appear to be what people have done throughout history, rarely, if ever, differentiated, in the case of Scots, by constitutional factors such as that of 1707. To extrapolate from what was essentially a universal, socio-economic phenomenon i.e. colonization, that the actions of a minority of Scots gives grounds to assert that Scotland is today an imperialist nation, truly is a revisionist perspective – on stilts. Since you’re probably not a bad old spud – please accept my congratulations for your dogged, revisionist single mindedness.

        2. Alan Reid says:

          Thanks for your warm comments.
          “So, in what respect(s) did Scottish colonizers, as subjects of that same empire, differ from their Irish counterparts in the turning of a quick-buck or in the advancement of their careers?” Differ? Because leading Scots were part of the British establishment – unlike most Irishmen.
          “Not a bad old spud” – a welcome change indeed from collaborator, Vichist, Scot Brit or British Nationalist! (Although they do made me chuckle).
          You can call again, old son.

          1. Josef Ó Luain says:

            Leading Scots were, indeed, part of the British establishment; thus by extension were in the front-rank of those fit and willing to take advantage of the “opportunities” offered by British imperialist expansionism. Revisionist readings aside: wasn’t 1707 largely about the economic rejuvenation of an impoverished Scottish leading class i.e. the very people who voted for the Union? Self interest, bereft of ideology or class distinction, inevitably spawned a concomitant subaltern class of administrators and general enablers from amongst those groups in Scotland and Ireland who were willing and able to perform such tasks in the consolidation of empire. Many a suburban granite or sandstone pile was built from the proceeds. Rather than an allegiance to the British empire and crown, it was an allegiance to the British shilling, in my view, which motivated that minority grouping of imperial subjects: our colonialist ancestors.

            Sorry if I’ve kept you up late, Alan. You and I, on this occasion, will just have to agree-to-differ – before Mike turns the lights off. Absolutely no hard-feelings on my part, old spud. Respect, and good luck to you.

        3. Alan Reid says:

          Hi Josef, Nice to hear from you again.
          I’ve once again read your comments with interest ………………….

          I’m not arguing that Scotland is an imperial nation today, only that it has an imperial past (like England, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands etc).
          That might surprise a few Scots, who prefer a national story of the plucky, downtrodden underdog, rather than one that once held agency and power over large tracts of the world.

          Scotland was not a colony, but it held colonies through its partnership in the British state.

          But I agree with much of this (and beautifully written too) …….
          ” …. 1707 largely about the economic rejuvenation of an impoverished Scottish leading class i.e. the very people who voted for the Union? Self interest, bereft of ideology or class distinction, inevitably spawned a concomitant subaltern class of administrators and general enablers from amongst those groups in Scotland and Ireland who were willing and able to perform such tasks in the consolidation of empire. Many a suburban granite or sandstone pile was built from the proceeds. Rather than an allegiance to the British empire and crown, it was an allegiance to the British shilling … ”
          Although from a Scottish perspective, perhaps some generals – as well as subalterns! And of course, the empire grew considerably from 1707, and Scots were very much in the vanguard. In an age of Mercantilism, where the world’s economy was thought fixed in size, almost like a cake, it was believed the way to get wealthier was to steal your neighbour’s share of the pie!

          The past should inform the present, but unfortunately, the history of the Highlands has morphed into the history of Scotland. But Scottish history is much more than
          bagpipes, tartan and haggis, it’s really about commerce, industry and empire. I believe understanding our past is important as we debate once again our future.

          I’ve very much enjoyed our debate, and it’s OK to agree to differ; I’ve enjoyed reading your perspective, and my own views are often somewhat different from other Scots on this site!

          Hopefully we will catch-up soon on another thread.

          I wish you a good evening, my friend.

          1. Alan it is alright to differ and in this space – I hope one of the strengths of this space is that we have room for discordant views which we hear patiently.

            I disagree with your analysis which i will unpack at some length but I just wanted to say that this important to hold a space that is not a silo or a dead space of consensus because we need to discuss difference openly. Thank you.

    3. Hi Alan
      did Scots have no agency in these decisions? Pre-devolution: No. Post-devolution: No.
      Defence is reserved isn’t it?
      Kind regards

      1. Alan Reid says:


        I’ve already answered your question above.

        And so desperate do some appear to create a sense of bogus victimhood that included in the map are things that didn’t even happen!
        (Like a nuclear weapons test off the Caithness coast!)

        And from what I’ve read, an independent Scotland would have an army, air-force and navy – and therefore the need for weapons ranges at places like Tain and Cape Wrath. You know, I’d wager a few Scots have used those facilities!

        Best Regards

        1. Wul says:

          Regardless of whether Scots were employed in various military operations which dumped and bombed in Scotland, surely the main issue is that today, as things stand, Scots have no power to stop any of these things happening again tomorrow?

          I take your point about us Scots not being averse to taking the Empire’s shilling and imposing colonialism on other clans in other countries. Many of us are happy to align ourselves with the powerful, gain a salary and status, and we always will be.

          If most Scots now feel that imperial adventuring and toxic militarism are bad things that we would rather not be part of, how do we change our society if we don’t have the powers to do so? How can I express my desire to live in a better way when my vote is meaningless at every UK election?

          1. Alan Reid says:


            Thanks for your thoughtful post.
            I understand your argument, but personally, I don’t see it like that.

            As a Scot, I feel blessed to live in a free society – and regularly take part in all kinds of elections.
            I don’t feel disenfranchised, nor do I think the rest of the people on this island have views distinctly divergent from mine.
            Brexit was not to my liking, but I know lots of Scots who voted for that outcome.

            In the UK, sometimes I get the government I want, sometimes I don’t – and that would be the same in an independent Scotland.
            Certainly, Ms Sturgeon in Holyrood doesn’t speak for me, however, I grin and bear it – and accept the democratic process.

            I found the map unconvincing, and for me, it had rather a too obvious agenda – and it did make me wonder what Scots had been doing for the last 300 years!

            I believe your views are very sincere, and deeply felt, but sometimes from other nationalists, I do sense a disturbing element of bogus gripe and grievance.

            Very kind regards

        2. Hamish100 says:

          Alan Reid
          “You know, I’d wager a few Scots have used those facilities!”

          How dare Scots using something in Scotland.

          What arrogance.

          Ain’t Scotland for the wealthy and the English establishment.

        3. Grafter says:

          There speaks a British nationalist with matching sophistry

          1. John says:

            Clear and true . Such a contrast to the obfuscation that British Nationalists depend on and are unable to work without .

          2. Alan Reid says:

            Thanks for damning me with faint praise, boys (I see what you did there!)
            And not a “British Nationalist” – just a Scot.

  3. SleepingDog says:

    I welcome your use of a creative commons licence for this work. However, if you want to encourage adaptations, then releasing it in an open, editable format (say, SVG, with editable text and graphic styles if possible) would be beneficial too. This would allow different language versions, high-contrast versions, large-type, interactive, localized, house-styled and all the crazy and useful modifications that a global audience might bring to bear. Plus, published in that form, it would also make it web-search-friendly.

    1. Thanks – we’ll look at this, thanks.

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