Victory or Death

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds are planning to have a staycation camping holiday in Scotland.

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  1. squigglypen says:

    Send in the midges.

    1. Iain Miller says:


  2. Alistair MacKichan says:

    The war cry of the MacDougals, Buaidh no Bas, used as their heraldic motto also. I have it knitted into a Beannie cap. That spirit has gone from a Scotland that continues to accommodate UK colonialism every day of the year. Shame on us if we have to rely on the midges.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Alistair MacKichan, maybe that spirit died out in internecine bloodshed. It doesn’t really allow ‘peaceful coexistence’ as an option. Anyway, even special forces mottoes seem to allow for the possibility that the brave will survive battle to lick their wounds and try, try, try again. Although there was one Tunisian unit that plumps for Victory or Martyrdom, apparently. I wouldn’t really want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with this lot:
      It’s almost as bad as Sandhurst’s old dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. Death cult, what death cult? And shouldn’t we oppose imperialism’s “dominate or die” “survival of the fascist” “better dead than red” nuclear armageddonry?

  3. squigglypen says:

    Ever taken on midges…?( obviously not)

    1. Charles L. Gallagher says:

      I’ll send you a couple of squadrons of ‘Shetland Midges’, they’re particularly vicious, LOL.

  4. Neill Simpson says:

    One of the initiatives taken by Tom Johnston when Secretary of State for Scotland was to commission research into the life cycle of the biting midge.
    Aware of improvements in preventing malaria through understanding the life-cycle of mosquitoes, he wanted to know whether a similar understanding of the life-cycle of midges could reduce the impact of midges from economically-important areas of Scotland. Occasional research on the subject has been published in the Scottish Medical Journal, most recently in 1996 (

    P.S. The dog is shown in the illustration, but where is the baby? I have heard it said that the midge is at the top of the food chain…

    1. Arboreal Agenda says:

      I have a book on the Scottish midge that details some attempts at eradication – all dismal failures. The one thing I did learn was that a dry spring is the best for a low midge year as they breed in water, oh, and only the females bite and they can go for literally months without a feed, the little bastards. I tend to avoid camping in the highlands June – August these days though one person I met on such a trip years back said the rain and the midges were the only things preventing the Highlands from being totally overrun with tourists. He had a point.

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