2007 - 2021

On Colonels, Lord-Lieutenants and Old Britain in Times of Crisis

It’s been a tough week for many, but some more than others. Semi-retired MSP, Colonel, Privy-Councillor and (remarkably) E-Politician of the year, Ruth Davidson blurted out the identity of the head of MI6.

We’ve all done it.

Now, with the country in crisis she is carrying out her important work, announcing to us all: “Delighted to see Sandy Manson appointed Lord-Lieutenant for Aberdeenshire. Such a warm, accomplished and thoroughly decent man. He’ll be superb in the role.”


Manson we’re told “… trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen in Edinburgh in 1985 and over the ensuing four years worked with the firm in London and Zurich before returning to Scotland. In 2007, he was appointed as Chief Executive of Johnston Carmichael. In August 2019, Sandy stepped down as Chief Executive and became Chairman of the firm. Sandy was appointed a member of the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland in 2011 and elected President 2018/19.”

“In addition to this, his roles as a Deputy Lieutenant and Honorary Consul for the Netherlands, Sandy sat on various local charity fundraising committees and has personally supported a number of good causes and speaks at many business and social events.”

He certainly sounds remarkable, but what IS a Lord-Lieutenant you ask from the ventilator queue?

Luckily the Colonel prods us towards this handy explainer which tells us: “The Lord-Lieutenant represents the Queen in Aberdeenshire and his prime duty is to uphold the dignity of the crown. The Lord-Lieutenant’s role is non-political. He seeks to encourage a spirit of co-operation in the voluntary services and benevolent organisations and takes an active interest in the business, industrial and social life of Aberdeenshire.”

“The office of Lord-Lieutenant is of military origin. Today, links are maintained by association with Volunteer Reserve Forces. They are also connected with other uniformed organisations such as the Fire, Police and Ambulance services and many local voluntary bodies, also The Cadet Forces and other youth organisations.”

But this workload can’t be achieved single-handedly. Luckily Sandy has a Vice Lord-Lieutenant for Aberdeenshire (who is The Most Hon the Marchioness of Aberdeen).

In addition the Lord-Lieutenant has NINETEEN Deputy Lieutenants (!):

The Most Hon the Marquess of Aberdeen DL
Mrs Nicola B Bradford DL
The Right Hon the Lord Forbes DL
Mr Douglas Fowlie DL
Mr Richard L O Fyffe DL
Mrs Jean Haslam DL
Rear Admiral Christopher Hockley CBE DL
Major Grenville Archer Irvine-Fortestcue DL
Mrs Fiona Kennedy Clark OBE DL
The Rev Kenneth MacKenzie DL
Miss Sarah Mackie DL
Mr Steven Mackison DL
Mr Alexander P Manson DL
Mrs Miranda McHardy DL
The Hon Mrs Katherine Nicolson DL
Mr Andrew Salvesen OBE DL
Mrs Clare Thorogood DL

Britain is riddled with this nonsense, filled with liggers, baubles and semi-feudal detritus. Most of it’s just background noise as the circuit of Viscounts, Rear Admirals and Major Generals do their stuff. Normally the activities of some puce-faced retired accountant would be of no consequence but in times of crisis the Ruritanian state of Britain is striking.

It’s also interesting to compare notes from the Scotland in Union data dump (2017) with the lists of the royal hangers-on and networks of patronage.

Ruth Davidson is surely just marking time before the inevitable brush of ermine, and nobody really minds if retired people want to play with hats and medals and swords from the British dressing-up box, but there is an actual state of emergency here. We could instead of this network have a genuinely useful contemporary network of people who’s prime duty would not be to “uphold the dignity of the crown” but to support people in times like these.


Image former Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, Mr James Ingleby


Comments (50)

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  1. Andrew Smith says:

    If only we were French !!

    1. Maxwell macleod says:

      French! You think they have better systems of civil management than we do? Beware drink it’s a terrible temptation.

      1. Andrew Smith says:

        I was referring to the fact France is a republic, and done away with royalty and all the crap associated with it .

  2. Maxwell macleod says:

    I don’t agree. Sure if I melted the phone for a few days I am sure I could unearth corruption and self aggrandisement amongst that list,and sure it’s a system that needs radical change just as the house of Lords does and indeed the honours system.
    But I could also easily unearth corruption amongst priests and politicians from all parties.The flesh is weak.
    But is all the arcane system we have inherited from our forebears coloured black and evil?
    Not in my direct experience.
    I have known several DLs who are pretty broke and busy and who put in the hour unpaid and unthanked.
    I spoke to one yesterday.Hes a ex stalker lives in an ex council house tells me has developed a loathing of killing anything,puts in a few dozen hours a month as a DL. Scared of the virus,personally unresolved, more than a little broken .Just a human.
    Like you Mike I don’t understand why one point nine billion people chose to watch Williams marriage,don’t understand why a royal head line sells papers. We are not rational beings,we are human beings.lets beware we don’t ditch the baby with the bathwater.

    1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      And I do not agree with you, Mr MacLeod, and tend toward’s Mr Small’s opinion.

      I agree with your view that we must recognise that we are fallible persons and should show compassion. I know a former Lord Lieutenant and, an eminently fine life he lived and continues to live. There are many who have come from comfortable backgrounds and who attended fee-payng schools and who went to Russell Group universities and comfortable ‘billets’ with companies, who were demonstrably humane and redistributive in their politics. You own family, for example. However, these few swallows do not make a summer.

      What Mr Small is pointing out is that the society in which we have lived our lives continues to be one where unearned privilege bestows power and wealth on a relatively few to the detriment of the majority of us.

      1. Maxwell macleod says:

        Mr MacDonald,
        Thank you for your comment.
        I agree with most of what you and Mike say,radical change is indeed needed in our society,people gain power unreasonably through inheritance patronage and corruption.
        But it’s how we reimagine the system that is the issue.Political democracy on its own doesn’t seem to work.
        I live at present a few hundred yards from the Scottish parliament a place where democracy has sent its supposed finest. A few hundred yards further up the hill is the city chamvers
        The corruption, patronage, old boy networks, backhanders,lies and centralised control I witness in both places are nothing less than nausiating.
        The suggestion that bad behaviour is more prevelant amongst the old systems than the ones we are replacing them with is at best suspect
        I have seen decent men and women bullied, exploited sexually,ostracised and lied about in both places.
        I need only mention a few names, Margo, Kenny, Robin H, Alex to remind folk who follow politics of foul hypocracy that was then laundered by the PR teams of all parties.Politics is indeed a dirty game.
        The suggestion that if we ditch all the old systems and replace them with centralised control from such institutions all will be well is utterly absurd. Good realignment must come from the grass roots of good family traditions and values and sometimes, though not always, these can be seen in the families that some seen so keen to castigate.

      2. its not about the individuals

      3. “The suggestion that if we ditch all the old systems and replace them with centralised control from such institutions all will be well is utterly absurd”
        I never suggested such a thing. No doubt our other institutions are broken as well. But this doesnt amount to a defence of our semi-feudal structures.

    2. Hi Max, I’m sure its not – in most part – a money spinner but the point is its a network and one that is created by patronage.

      That’s not a way for a contemporary country to operate.

      Not everything we inherit from our forebearers is evil, no. But the systems of power and hierarchy need to be replaced.

    3. SleepingDog says:

      @Maxwell macleod, you are still making personal character recommendations, I see. Whose personal character recommendations are worth anything? Is the royal seal of approval worth anything?
      Exposed: The Church’s Darkest Secret
      “The story of the individuals who brought Bishop Peter Ball to justice and the cover-up that went to the highest levels of the Church of England.”
      The highest levels including the son of the Defender of the Faith, among those who “who later rushed to support [Ball] when he was accused of sexual abuse”.

      At their heart, traditions may be about normalising practice and inculcating beliefs which otherwise may be non-intuitive, non-recent-evidence-based or irrational. It is interesting to compare personal recommendation systems like UK patronage with Google’s PageRank algorithm, where links from a popular/prestigious website convey value to a receiving website of previously-undetermined worth. Of course, aspects of Google’s algorithm are similarly secret.

  3. James Mills says:

    ”…his prime duty is to uphold the dignity of the Crown .” Don’t laugh at the back !

  4. Jell says:

    Aye, and here in Berwickshire and the Borders they pass the roles on to family members and their friends. The whole system is designed to support the PLU’s – ‘People Like Us’. Who pays for these people to parade about the place? When Holyrood is recalled, an investigation should be called into how and why any funding or housing support is necessary for any part of this self-serving system.

  5. Welsh Sion says:

    A lot of them look as if they’ve (semi-)escaped from some am-dram version of Gilbert and Sullivan.

    So …

    13. (of 21.)

    I am the very model of a modern Viceroy-General

    I am the very model of a modern Viceroy-General
    I only have information on matters Better Togetheral,
    I dunno the kings of Scotland, nor the battles historical
    Not Flodden nor C’loden, in any order categorical.
    I’m not at all acquainted with matters mathematical,
    I mis-understand equations, both the simple and quadratical
    About binominal theorem, I really have no news,
    With a doleful look about the square of the hypotenuse.
    I’m hopeless at integral and differential calculus;
    I dunno scientific names of beings animalculous:
    ‘Tis only in matters completely Better Togetheral,
    I am the very model of a modern Viceroy-General.

    [With acknowledgements]

    Songs for the New Politics

    1. Wullie says:

      “Men & women bullied, exploited sexually, ostracised & lied about!” Life with the Windsor’s, what?

  6. SJD says:

    Is that the same Sandy Manson who was runner up to Alex Salmond in Banff and Buchan in 1992?

  7. Stroller says:

    Of course, the irony is that so many of these things Mike mentions are part of what Eric Hobsbawn called “invetented tradition”.

    The whole royal paegantry box of tricks is mostly all quite of recent invention, created by a series of royal advisors, promoted by the BBC and passed off by the press with no scrutiny as being “ancient” and “time honoured”….

    Another example of England’s “invetented tradition” is Westminster Palace, which was built to look like from another – Gothic – age. It actually dates from the mid 19th century…

    The same with the royal carriages, public coronations, weddings etc…they’re all very recent creations. In short, British royalty has become much more a part of modern public life than it ever was in the past.

    Tom Nairn identified this retarded obsession with the British monarchy as the decisive factor in explaining why the UK did not follow the course of other European States and have a bourgeois revolution in 1848 and why, despite one of the essential thesis of Marxism, has never had anything close to a working class revolution…

    1. Stroller says:

      Sorry, I do not know what is wrong with my eyesight or my spellchecker: I meant “invented tradition” of course….

      Another contention of the same Hobsbawn / Ranger theory is that, the less actual power the British monarchy has, the more the need for pageantry… so, under the empress queen Victoria, when the monarch did have some real power, there was little or none of this bullshit we have to endure these days…

      1. I think that’s right Stroller, the UK has become 89% bunting as its gone down the pan, the Brexit fiasco has driven an upsurge in hilarious wrap-around pageantry …
        until it began to fall apart with Prince Andrew and then Harry and Megan running away …

        1. Wullie says:

          Omitted to mention the “men & women bullied & sexually exploited, ostracised & lied about!” & much else in the same vein, at the palace of Westminster!

        2. Stroller says:

          For the sole reason of the Royal Family and its importance as a myth for the British ruling class and its privelege – its ancientness, its moderateness, its democratic nature, its inherent decency and benevolence – they are never going to get rid of the BBC, for all the bluster of the Tory alt-right.

          The Royal Family might well founder without the BBC and the certainty that the myth can be reinforced every X number of years through a royal wedding or a marriage is why the BBC has to be run by the State in this country.

          One of the most important actors in the creation of the myth of the ancient British Royal Family was none other than Richard Dimbelby, the father of David and Jonathan. He provided the commentary of the coronoation of our current Head of State back in 53.

          You see, the BBC is also a vital source of patronage to keep some of the ´chaps” happy who come out of Oxbridge, a place vital to bestowing favours and positioning not just individuals but whole families with a job for life, paid for by the tax payer.

          It’s a fundamental part of the old boys’ network, and of course, a travesty of democracy… the same thing as the House of Lords, and in fact all the top jobs in the arts in England and – with the supine acqueisance the SNP govt – in Scotland too I’m afraid…

          It’s all just patronage by another name… patronage in disguise

        3. BSA says:

          But the power of the Crown remains. It’s just exercised now by the Prime Minister to whom it was delegated in 1689 and with precious few checks. We might get rid of the Sandy Mansons and the rest of the bullshit but a codified constitution in which power flows upwards from the people instead of downwards from the Crown is still a long way off.

          1. Stroller says:

            Again, according to David Cannadine’s essay in “The Invention of Tradition” (eds E Hobsbawm and T Ranger) which charts the changes in the British monarchy from 1820 to Queen Elizabeth, the “impartiality” of the British monarchy, the idea that it was “above politics” is just another invented tradition. In fact, the monarch only began to become so in the last hundred years…

            Likewise, by all accounts, the British upper class were notoriously bad at the ceremonials until about Queen Victoria came along and it was decided that her unpopularity had to be addressed by creating and reinventing or reintroducing some of the things which has been done in the ancient past:

            “In 1864, a notice was pinned to the rails of Buckingham Palace in the manner of an adevrtisement: ‘These premises to be let or sold, in consequence of the occupant’s declining business.’ Between 1871 and 1874, eighty-four republican clubs were founded…” (from Cannadine as referenced above)

    2. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      Well said, Stroller.

      You are right to highlight Tom Nairn. Books like his “The Enchanted Glass” are well worth revisiting, despite his rather opaque and elaborate writing style.

      Sir Walter Scott invented many ‘traditions’, both Scottish AND English, and there are some who think that Shakespeare’s Histories are actually history rather than bits of propaganda for the monarch of the time. He had seen what had happened to his contemporary and sometime co-writer, Christopher Marlowe.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Alasdair Macdonald, not really. Shakespeare’s plays (not just the histories) amount to a comprehensive and forensic critique of (especially hereditary) monarchy. I think Germaine Greer’s short article explains this (and the common misapprehension) with admirable clarity:
        Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears a Crown
        I find it interesting how even some anarchistic ideas were smuggled past the crown censors. Dramatists who are concerned with human agency are in a sense inclined towards anarchy, otherwise their plays would be full of dull people giving and obeying orders.

        Monarchist propaganda? Even the ‘best’ monarch, Henry V, has to be educated by low-life and common criminals away from the poisonous and corrupting court, and he still turns out to be a conniving and duplicitous war criminal who dies before he can really tarnish his reputation. Shakespeare’s plays show familiarity with political theorists and contemporary dissent, and are recognised as political analysis, without building towards any particular ideological alternative (which would not have been easily or safely publishable). Playwrights everywhere imagine they can outsmart censors to some extent, I would guess.

      2. Stroller says:

        Hi Alasdair

        No doubt there is some truth in Shakespeare the royal propagandist, he was a very shrewd man, but if he had only been that, we would never have heard of him, so ultimately that is of limited interest in my view.

        As for Tom Nairn, for such an influential book “The Break Up of Britain” is not so easy to come by as you might expect.

        Re Walter Scott, well ofcourse, we have our invented tradition in Scotland which Scott played such a fundamental part in, in fact, he almost single-handedly went about creating.

        But that is relatively widely known, and the Scots, or at least a good number of Scots, have always been a bit ambivalent about the kilt, some in fact openly see it as a symbol of cultural oppression and refuse to wear it.

        The invented traditions of the British monarchy, by contrast, are hardly known at all, or at least never mentioned, and they are far more deserving of analysis than Scotland’s invented traditions which all nations have by the way, and amount to very little at the end of the day, a ruse to sell some kitsch to gullible American tourists on the High Street.

        The invented traditions of the British monarchy, by contrast, are absolutely fundamental to maintaining the power structures of these isles, the cement which keeps the edifice from crumbling….

  8. SleepingDog says:

    But who is currently the Ra’s al Ghul of the League of Evil Accountants? By tradition, it would be someone who soul-sucked their way through the upper echelons of the Big Fish, currently Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG or PricewaterhouseCoopers. Of course, the top-down appointeeship of Crown pyramid-power is possibly the most corrupt political system yet devized, and these notional badges of respectability are commonly used to confer a shield of deference and lack of scrutiny. With lord-lieutenantships, the idea is presumably to convey the idea that current forms of UK royalty are 1) harmless 2) ineffective power structures 3) quaint/charming/only mildly nauseating. Yet of course fundamentally unaccountable, opaque, undemocratic and unmeritocratic. Rewards for sycophancy or dark deeds serving the masters? Keeping the underlings in this hierarchy of lawful evil quiescent? I don’t know.

    Oh, and what happened to Arthur Andersen LLP anyway? Enron, wasn’t it?

    1. Wul says:

      I was once dragged along by a well-meaning family member, to a consultation with an accountant at Johnston Carmichael. (This must have been around 2004).

      The meeting lasted about an hour and a half and was followed up with a short, written summary of information (most of which could be had from the internet). The bill came to £1,800 + VAT. Nice work if you can get it.

      I hope the Lord Lefty buys his own hats and swords.

  9. David McGill says:

    “…to uphold the dignity of the Crown” is surely too much to ask given the undignified state of the current monarchy. Whilst HM Queen Elizabeth herself may have led an exemplary public life she is also the mother of four married children, her heirs and successors, each of whom made a public vow to remain faithful to their spouses – ‘until death do us part’. Three of them broke that vow and yet might be expected to swear an oath to uphold the law and the Church upon coronation.
    Given that the first in line is a self-confessed adulterer and the eighth is accused of having sex with a minor there is little dignity to uphold. Time to end this Ruritarian nonsense.

  10. Jell says:

    Points very well made. Indeed, this “retarded invention” should be the subject of legal and fiscal scrutiny brought before Holyrood when it sits again.

  11. James Robertson says:

    “The Lord-Lieutenant represents the Queen in Aberdeenshire and his prime duty is to uphold the dignity of the crown. The Lord-Lieutenant’s role is non-political.”

    I love the irony, but is it unconscious?

  12. Iain MacKinnon says:

    Who does the appointing? Presumably the queen is advised by some people when these appointments are made? Who are they and why do they get to decide? What are the networks of patronage operating here?

    1. Its a bit vague. The blurb says that the Queen is advised by the Prime Minister and the First Minister.

      1. maxwell macleod says:

        I still find this exchange is unrealistically lacking in confronting the elephant in the room that there is still massive support, or should that just be fascination with the Royals. It’s easy to pick holes in the system and say you don’t like it, and even imply that its all the fault of this mysterious establishment which nobody will ever define for me, but infuriating though it may be one point nine billion people round the world ( unchecked figure from the internet ) watched William’s wedding and one billion his brothers. So that’s where we are at. No point in saying everyone is brain washed, that’s unrealistic, It’s just who we are as a people.
        I cant explain it, but we might as well work with what we have rather than what we wish we had.

        1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

          Some years ago the BBC devoted a night to a debate about the monarchy with a range of speakers. Andrew Neill, for example supported abolition. There was a UK wide vote and, while the rest of the UK voted royalist, the vote in Scotland was for abolition!

          This evoked a fair degree of apoplexy amongst the media.

          I doubt if the support for the monarchy/pageant is as strong as you seem to believe it to be, Mr. MacLeod.

          1. maxwell macleod says:

            With respect You have no idea the level that I believe the support for the monarchy is because I don’t know myself. What I know is that I read that there were these incredible numbers reported to be watching the weddings and that when there is a good Royal headline that numbers of papers sold do indeed soar.
            I am not convinced that Scotland would or would not vote to abolish the monarchy. whatever your own opinion is on the matter is we can only guess.
            It will be interesting to see the figures on HRH’s broadcast.

        2. Wul says:

          “.. its all the fault of this mysterious establishment which nobody will ever define for me,…”

          “The Establishment” : Those people ( and their offspring ) who will remain in positions of power and influence no matter what political, structural, economic or constitutional change happens in their country.

          I witnessed some excellent voluntary work by a Lord Lieutenant on Clydeside, helping disadvantaged young people to experience self-reliance through outdoor activities. A good person, as far as I could ascertain.

          However, should the said young people have been dependant on the charity of a wealthy, well-connected representative of Our Queen in order to experience their own country’s landscape?

          For me, it’s not about “good people” or “bad people”, its just a real embarrassment to live in a country, in the year 2020, that operates this ridiculous pantomime of privilege and patronage. It is a reminder of so much that is wrong with us.

          1. maxwell macleod says:

            Wull, I have been asking people to define for me what their definition of the establishment was for several years and you are the first to have the balls to even try. Thank you. You say its ” The people ( and their children ) who will remain in power and influence no matter what political, structural , economic or constitutional change happens in the country. ” Interesting . So you are saying that if Nicola wins the next ref, which I think she probably will, then the Establishment will remain in power in spite of the will of the people. That if the hard left wins the first election after Ref 2 and win a vote to abolish the monarchy and renationalise the utilities that it wont make much difference as these same people will remain in power. That if the Chinese make massive investment after ref two if we are short of cash ( as I think they will, I’ve personally seen it in The States, in Greece and in the Philippines ) that it wont make much difference as the Establishment will still remain in power. You seem to have a huge admiration for this Establishment. Any names who these political super people are.>They sound impressive. Try again Wull try again.

          2. Wul says:

            Maxwell, I didn’t say that they will remain in the same job. I said they will remain in positions of power. Sorry, I don’t have names for you. I’m not that interested or clued up on “whose who” type stuff.

            As an example, take the Bank Crisis or Credit Crunch of 2007-09. How many of those powerful people, high up in the banking world in the City of London, who caused the crisis, are now in jail? How many are working in low wage, low status jobs?

            Or, take the Royal Family. They have lived through decades of “turbulent times”, “wars to end all wars”, “economic upheaval”, “great political events”, “unprecedented technological change” etc. etc. They, and their entourage, remain wealthy, powerful and well connected and they probably always will, come what may.

            I don’t see these establishment figures as some kind of shadowy super-beings. They are just people, like everyone else, clinging onto what power and money they have and networking to ensure that their families will benefit into the future.

            The problem is that they get to write their own rules (and often laws) and the rest of us don’t.

            PS: Owen Jones wrote a book entitled “The Establishment (and how they get away with it)” if you want to better understand the concept as it is used in popular parlance.

    2. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      Some come with other positions. For example the Lord Provost of Glasgow is also the Lord Lieutenant, even when the Lord Provost wus a wumman!

  13. mr brian rooney says:

    all these titles and snobbery should be put in the dustbin of the old empire.now in Scotland its now time to leave englandshire.

  14. mr brian rooney says:

    now its time to put the old empire titles in the dustbin.Scotland now needs to leave old englandshire.

  15. Bob says:

    “It’s been a tough week for many” so when are you going to address the Alex Salmond question.

  16. grafter says:

    Yep it’s all rather depressing that we live under this toadying anachronism. We seem to be living in 1620 as opposed to 2020.

  17. James Mills says:

    Maxwell Macleod appears to conflate audience viewing figures with popularity ( I hope I am not misrepresenting your point ? ) because umpteen millions watched Royal weddings/events .
    To most people , I would suggest , these events have the same attraction as a movie ( Jurassic Park , ET , Avatar ….) , they are an entertainment , a distraction in our daily lives and do not necessarily suggest ”support” for this particular institution . The ”popularity” of Royal stories in the print media is in the same category as people gawking at at car crashes on the motorways .

    1. Wul says:

      Well, everyone loves a wedding don’t they? And the chance to have a peep in the church door whilst the ceremony is being done. Priceless. (Did you see her dress?)

      I reckon we could just nominate any old UK family as “Royal” and many people would instantly become interested in their domestic affairs. As long as we know its a “Thing” and that millions of others are watching, we will watch it too. It doesn’t in any way denote an approval of the feudal/monarchistic hierarchy.

  18. H Scott says:

    “The Lord-Lieutenant represents the Queen in Aberdeenshire and his prime duty is to uphold the dignity of the crown.”

    Good luck with that one after her son Charles Windsor flew with symptoms of the Coronavirus to a previously virus-free community in Aberdeenshire.

    “The Lord-Lieutenant’s role is non-political” – but – “his prime duty is to uphold the dignity of the crown.”

  19. Jell says:

    Aye, the …. of Birkhall after breaking all the rules, may even have thanked the Lord Lieutenant for paving the way for his access to NHS care. And so it goes on…..

  20. Graham Ennis says:

    Ok, in Ireland, immediatly after independence, even the execrable free state could not tolerate these creatures, they were officially abolished. some left hurriedly before independence day, as they were war criminals. Their estates wer burned, and left to revert to wilderness. it was not until 1948 however, that the republic was finally proclaimed. land reform really kicked in. Something similar needs to be done in Scotland. an immediate post independence “Foreign allegiance act ” needs an immediate bill in the parliament. basicly, it says that anybody in scotland that shows alligence to a foreign goverment, in any way, commits treason, is to be arrested and tried for it, sentenced to not less than five years imprisonment, and stripped of their rights of residence and citizenship, and expelled. they are also prohibted immigrants, liable to trial and imprisonment for illegal entry onto scottish territory. That should deal with it. any uk citizens content to live peacefully under scottish law would not be affected. but hey would automaticlly be able to apply for citizenship if resident on independence day.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Graham Ennis, so what happened to official secrecy in Ireland after independence? I gather that there were restrictions and concessions by treaty, and effectively assurances that Irish civil servants would not now blab the secrets of the British Empire (there were live precedents when Soviet Russian newspapers published documents from Western embassies). This is of considerable relevance to Scottish independence: would any arrangement maintain or repudiate the lifelong official secrets duty of British civil servants now Scottish citizens to keep shtum on matters of which suppression could now be treasonable under your definition (and I agree that there has to be some legal move along your lines)? And what goes for public officials would be even more directly treasonous for secret agents who did not immediately declare (with retrospective criminal prosecution if they were found to be in the service of a foreign power while taking part in independence negotiations on behalf of Scotland pre-independence: it would make no sense to offer an amnesty for that).

      1. BORDER POST says:

        As I understand it, ‘treason’ where Ireland is concerned, has been an on-going (rarely spoken-of) issue since the outcome of the general election of 1919. I haven’t got the figures to hand, but basically the Unionists were all-but wiped-out. The vast majority voted for parties and individuals standing on an all-Ireland independence platform. Therefore all who conspired or acted against that outcome in any way since, are guilty of treason.

        However, we live in strange times where principles and law can be cast-aside, and six of Ireland’s counties can be called ‘Ulster’, or more recently referred-to as a ‘state’. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so costly in lives and wellbeing.

        I also, by-the-way, see no legitimacy in any Republic of Ireland Government relinquishing Ireland’s claim on the ‘six counties’ ….. though I am looking forward to the other side of the deal, with England handing-over six of its counties to Ireland … that was in the deal …. right!

        As to Scotland, I can’t see anything in the letter of ‘SleepingDog’ to be objected-to; it makes perfect sense.

        I would also say it’s crucial at time of independence, that every head of service (and many of lesser rank) be subject to strenuous interview regarding their past role and future loyalty. Alongside the urgency of a well-funded and equipped counter terrorist force, an armed Border force (as in Ireland) and laws sufficient to prosecute, jail, and/or deport Unionist individuals or gangs involved in disrupting the state.


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