2007 - 2021

Should Donald Trump be expelled from the Clan Macleod?

Here’s an idea that I would welcome comments on. I here propose that we should perhaps set up a campaign to have Donald Trump expelled from the clan Macleod. Understand I’m far from convinced it would be a good idea, which is why I am posting this and asking for your thoughts.
This may sound a bit bizarre, childish even, but work with me. His Mother was a Macleod and he makes a great fuss of being part Scottish, even naming his golf club house The Macleod House. Watch him playing golf, he has Macleod tartan covers on his clubs, and has been known to visit his ancestral home in the outer isles. Have no delusions he sees himself as one of us. Should we let him get away with it?
Now if you are typical of the countless Scots I have pitched this idea to over the last couple of years you will be a keen supporter of the proposal . If the hundreds of folk I had pitched it to had just laughed a bit at my idea I would not be posting, but the response has been so extreme It has intrigued me and I have to make my mind up and either do something in the run up to his demitting of office or shelve it.
At this stage you should understand that I have a professional interest in evaluating the role that story telling and legend plays in the way we vote, indeed over the years I have spent four separate months at various American Universities lecturing on story telling and legends and indeed last year attended a conference in New Orleans where one of the main themes was the need to encourage story telling as a way of making students more creative.
It’s not always an easy subject to lecture students on , they often initially assume that you are going to waste their time and so to initially attract their attention I sometimes ask whether as a Scot, and I often wear a kilt at these lectures, I should be campaigning to have Trump expelled from my clan. And again it almost always works and creates a massive response from the benches and I have seen many a hidden smart phone being put away mid text as even the laziest student joins in.
I am genuinely amazed at the responses the notion elicits on both sides of the pond. I have even had audiences cheer, been kissed , had my back slapped and dozens have asked for the link to the web site so they can sign the petition. There isn’t one. It’s just a notion, and I’m too bone idle to set it up. It’s very good for the ego. Maybe that’s why I do it.
It’s also rather silly. After all there is no system for getting anybody expelled from any clan and what possible benefit would it be gained by humiliating an old guy who spends a good deal of his time playing golf and in any case seems to be a genius at turning criticism to his advantage, usually claiming he is being unfairly bullied by the forces of evil. You know there’s part of me that rather admires his sleekit cunning, maybe that’s why I hesitate.
No perhaps the only real advantage of that silly idea is to recognise the extent to which people support it and wonder at their motivations.
I write this on the day after Boxing Day, It’s been a week that I am sure students will one day write Phds about  Not only is Scotland in lockdown with a major pandemic , but the country is on the verge of the worst ever recession for decades, we have the prospect of the brilliantly organised pro Referendum campaign being about to be launched, we leave the European Union in a week and then the following week tens of thousands of Americans are expected to be marching on Washington claiming that the Presidential election was a farce.
In short we are in the midst of a cultural watershed in which many in Europe, America and Scotland are having to re-imagine who they are in totally new circumstances, and looking at their stories and legends for guidance, and with severe global warming now just round the corner our new ideas and ambitions will have to be pretty damn good.
Typically in this time of cultural confusion is the conundrum facing so many Scots over Trump. Most of those I have spoken to over the ludicrous notion of his expulsion from the clan see him as being very stupid, and a liar, they also usually see most Americans as being pretty bright and are completely bemused by why it was that given what many Scots see as Trumps proven stupidity over the four years when he was President that over seventy million of a supposedly bright and honest nation went on to vote for a man they suspected was both stupid and a liar. Here in Scotland the thing that seems to inflame the Scots is the suggestion that he claims to be a Macleod, one of us. Many Scots see ourselves as a nation that is primarily intelligent and honest. This is our legend and whilst we perhaps hesitate to criticise the Americans for voting for Trump as it’s none of our business, if he claims to be in any way Scots we protest that he is stepping into a realm that is most clearly our business. Hence the unbridled extent of the passion when I fly my silly kite. Indeed I would speculate that if he were to step off his aeroplane wearing a kilt I suspect that would be him stepping over a red line and the protests would be multiplied.
So let me go back to my first question. Should I, or indeed one of you, launch a campaign to have him expelled from the clan Macleod? Personally I’m not sure, but I do know that if anyone were to launch such a campaign they would get a great deal of support, and maybe even global media coverage.
As for me I am just a silly old bald man in a skirt that wanders around telling stories. It’s up to others to pick up this ball and run with it. I’m old and too busy thinking about the hereafter, frequently I wander upstairs look around and think, what the hell am I here after?
It’s up to you, the next generation to imagine our new stories and legends.
We are at a watershed. Maybe a campaign to say we Scots reject so much that Trump did might be a good way for Scotland to nail it’s tartan colours to the mast at this time of global re-imagining. Or maybe it would just be silly nonsense.
I am genuinely fascinated to find out what you think. Go for it.

Comments (111)

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  1. Michael Stuart Green says:

    Would that not show the clan to be as petty and as vindictive as Trump?

    1. maxwell macleod says:

      Fair point. There is a pretty reasonable chance that , on the assumption that we dislike Trump, that any such campaign would backfire. This is one of the reasons I didn’t launch the campaign before the election. If my campaign had been the deciding factor that saw Trump elected and it had brought about a global war it would have been on my conscience for weeks.

      1. Haley says:

        Fascism thrives when countries are made to look inwards and knowledge of the outside world is kept to a minimum. When Trump tells his supporters that he is loved in Scatlaind, it would be nice to be able to combat that narcissism with some hard facts. Expulsion from the clan would send a clear message that he is reviled by his own.

        1. mary says:

          you talk about facism – what are you in fact talking about … – have you any clue at all about the background of Joe and Hunter?

          have you any clue at all about Benghazi /Clinton?

          .. its sad to read these terrible and quite frankly shocking comments……

          1. Haley says:

            Mary, I refer to him as a fascist because that is what he is. I hate to break it to you but you will be seen by history in much the same way as supporters of national socialism in the 30s and 40s in places like Germany, Italy, Spain, Hungary. You just can’t see the woods for the propaganda. Sorry to have shocked you twice in one day.

          2. Tomas O Broin says:

            Clearly you’re a tRump supporter. I, as an Irish-American also of Scottish descent, find your Bengazi/Clinton conspiracy theorist nonsensical comments repulsive – as I do tRump and his supporters.

  2. Tom Ultuous says:

    The clan Sevco would welcome him with open arms.

    Is there a Brown, Darling or Galloway clan?

  3. David says:

    It would be wrong, Love him or hate him. Is it not his birth right? Are there rules to be a member of the Macleod Clan? Has he breached them?

    Of course maybe some of the Clan Macleod, may find the stigma of Trump too much, however rest assured that with the face coverings,I doubt anyone will recognize any relations , and besides if it’s down to the haircut ,that’s easily sorted

  4. Roland says:

    I rather think that clans as families kinda just have to own the lot, good and bad and deal with it. Doesn’t mean you have to like or support it. Indeed some of the most stinging criticism of trump has been from his cousin.

  5. Helen says:

    I think the best response to Trump would be to let him disappear without further fanfare. Trump, and his odious ideas thrive in the limelight.

  6. James Mills says:

    If anyone needs to be expelled then those with a Macleod name who voted for this awful man would be more apposite !

  7. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    When I read this, I checked the date to see if it was 1, April and that, perhaps, I had done a mini-Rip van Winkle and slept for 20 weeks.

    I was certainly yawning.

  8. Fionnghal says:

    Just let him fade away into insignificance. To chuck him out the clan – attractive though the idea might be (if indeed it would be possible) – would encourage more limelight bathing and oh dear, wouldn’t he just love that and it would drive the rest of us mad. We’ve had enough of him, we just want shot of him quietly and completely – if indeed that is possible. He is promising he’ll be back :-/

  9. Time, the Deer says:

    In medieval times the community would have tied him to a tidal rock overnight to see if the faeries took him. I personally would like to see this idea given more serious consideration in Dòmhnall’s case.

  10. Bill Low says:

    The Donald should be expelled from the human race, for crimes against humanity. Anything less seems pointless and would only allow him the oxygen of publicity. One can see the damage that was done by allowing Farage such air time. Let the boy child fade away and let us ignore him. Let us spend time and energy repairing the damage that he has done


    1. mary says:

      you speak nonsense.. and which Crimes against humanity are you referring to –

      1. Bill says:

        The Donald’s handling of the Covid epidemic. Drink bleach, take anti-malarial, beam UV or other light through the body. Separation of children from parents and holding them in inadequate conditions. Refusal to allow a payment to support people unemployed due to Covid.

        You could also go through the list of all the actions or lack of same regarding MAGA.


        1. “inadequate conditions”

        2. A Jackson says:

          And now you can add that he tries to start a revolution against the US constitution.

  11. Blair says:

    I admire your article, it is good to seek opinions of others. From one old bald man to another I have come to realize that their is more to folklore than the eye can see.

    I’m qualified to to judge but I can give you my opinion for what its worth & let you assess for yourself.

    Donald J. Trump is unique and loves to play around with the established systems we came to think of as normal before the Covid-19 virus was in circulation. He declared to the world that he would “drain the swamp” & He has also shown himself to be a man of God at a time when others questioned his actions!
    Donald J. Trump has been underestimated by everyone. He has access to resources beyond the reach others and not afraid to call out cheats. Christ he is unbelievably too good to be the president of the United States!

    The timing is perfect with BREXIT to establish a New World Order.

    The ending of the British Empire. Scotlands independence? A well established plan from centuries of planning by the elite and privileged coming to fruition? Colonisation of distant planet’s? The truth about aliens?

    God only knows what is going happen, but we do have historical information passed down through the ages which tells us a bit about the last days. There is nothing in the bible that suggests Scotland is going to independent of the Kingdom or that the “last Trump” is connected with any Scottish clan, let alone clan MacLeod. Perhaps now would be a good time to appoint Donald J. Trump as clan leader? Perhaps Scotland should embrace him as a potential First Minister if Boris is going to be difficult about giving Scotland another say what we want?

    Our children & their offspring are the generations to come are going see in the plan, their attitude, their ability, their world and yes their God or Goddess will will be with them irrespective of whatever sin befalls them naturally where ever they are.

    I, like you will no doubt are just a number in the statistics surplus to requirements, retired off to make way.

    I’m just glad to be at home in Scotland, theres not a better place to be locked down in in memory and in preparation for my eventual demise serving ‘Christ in a Project’.

    1. Mary says:

      thank you Blair – glad to hear at least someone in this paper, which I barely know, has understood in depth a little more of the real picture.

      I read some of the outrageous shocking comments on this page and I could only ask the obvious ‘why are these people so hateful’?

      It is a true tragedy because it shows such a lack of understanding of the real picture. Shame indeed on you who write in such a way….- and what gives you that right anyway?

      1. Blair says:

        Thanks Mary.

        After posting my article, I realized my brain was not processing my thoughts as I thought. That’s life for one who types with one finger on a smartphone. I meant to say I wasn’t qualified to say. For my generation, I have been fairly fortunate but realise that my children are teaching me more things than I could ever have imagined in ways that were totally alien to me.
        Technology is at the point I’m not sure whether children are being taught by AI or the AI is learning from them/us. I know what I’m trying to do, but haven’t got a clue what the computer or smartphone is doing in the background or if its been hacked: as far as I’m concerned it is monitoring me!

        That goes for everyone, including our politicians who appear to be oblivious to whatever is happening. I conclude it’s just spiritual warfare. Civilizations & Empires are created, & destroyed on Earth as in Heaven.

        BREXIT represents another real change on Earth reflecting God’s greater plan for His Kingdom as it battles against the spiritual entities that have befallen mankind ever since the Garden of Eden incident.

        Since Indyref1, I have <3 Bella Caledonia sharing my 3-phase political power sharing ideas, designed for the UK Government & now modified for an independent Scotland. You don't know me, neither I you. Just be reassuered I am not Tony Blair!

        Just a thought, We could create a new clan via Scottish Parliament for Donald J. TRUMP. I propose that we establish the McBrexit clan.

        Your brother in Christ,

  12. Axel Koehler says:

    I’m telling ye as much – my MacLeod friends and acquaintances between Berneray (sound of Harris, traditionally associated with Sìol Thormaid , nowadays with North Uist) and further up can’t stand him and regard him as a scunner. A lady in Berneray told me she might be a distant cousin of his, but if she ever met him she’d give him hell! And if that gentleman on the left behind him on the picture above is one of his kin in the Stornoway area, he doesn’t look to pleased and proud either – rather like as if a stinky marag beyond its date were passing by…

    Tha an ceart aig a’ bhodach sin, theirinns’ – with relatives like these in the US, who needs enemies? Dòmhnall Òrainds must be the cousin from hell…less pleasant even than Uncle Buck in the eponymous Hollwweird sequel to Home Alone.

  13. Hugh McLean says:

    As long as Trump is designated as being a persona non grata in Scotland, I would think that is sufficient.

    1. Dougie Harrison says:

      I was unaware that he qualifies as a Macleod. One of the less attractive aspects of Scots history is, apparently, that inheritance of names is strictly patrilineal? Or so I was told when I investigated whether I qualify to wear Urquhart tartan, when it’s clearly not my surname. But I wear Ancient Urquhart anyway.

      But given the ignorance of the trumpotus, he wouldnie know. And I’m sure he’d hate the idea that he’s rejected by ‘his’ clan. So aye, go for it!

  14. Alastair McIver says:

    If you don’t kick him out the clan, you’ll need to burn the Faerie Flag.

  15. Mary says:

    Absolutely not!
    I happened to have a great portion of my life in North America .. and mostly in Canada but had a lot to do with the US also because of family.

    For those who dont know and many on this side of the ocean dont seem to, but I put that down to poor unbalanced and oftentimes sadly fake news, President Trump is one of the best Presidents the US has ever had. I dont say that for no reason. I say it because there is the proof. He took over a broken and bad economy from Obama, unemployment, promises made that were never fulfilled, agriculture was in a disastrous state, Foreign Relations was at an all time low, the US soldiers were out there fighting so many wars and so many never coming back. There was no help for the Veterans. The Navy was crumbling. I could go on but if someone really wants the whole list the White House will willingly oblige. President Trump has worked with people from all backgrounds, religions and cultures. When he said he was going to do something, he did it. This is why he was voted in as President and we might be surprised to see what will happen come January 6th, and he was the man to be thanked for bringing about the fastest developed vaccine in history through his WARP speed program.

    So much to thank the President for, so for me, it is so sad to see and hear oftentimes the negativity being published and spoken in media in the UK.. it is sad because it is not the truth.
    I have written what I have written with respect and as someone who lived there, therefore yes I have a right to my opinion and since I am a Scot myself I have a double right to comment on this.

    I do hope that in return answers/objections/ are sent with the same respect.

    Thank you .

    1. Maxwell says:

      I am most grateful for your elegant and thoughtful reply. Having spent a good deal of time in mississippi you are not the first trump supporter I have met and they are like you often perfectly mannered and objective.
      Best wishes

    2. A Jackson says:

      Your perfect prevident have encouraged a riot against the very foundations of USA and THE constitution he swore to follow and protect.

      I would say he is one of the worst one ever. And that is actually facts, which your list isn’t.

  16. Foghorn Leghorn says:

    We’re always in the midst of a cultural watershed. As a trope, it’s as old and tired as ‘auld lang syne’. This whole meditation on Trump reeks of hogmanay.

  17. Craig Binns says:

    Mary, you tell us, and it is not surprising, that “if someone really wants the whole list [of Trump’s merits] the White House will willingly oblige.” I bet it will! By that measure Stalin was a great leader, as his virtues were willingly announced by the Kremlin.

    1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      Stalin was a great leader. He successfully defended the revolution in Russia and established the Eastern Bloc as a check on capitalism’s global hegemonic ambitions in the form of US imperialism. Unfortunately, it all went to hell in a handcart in 1991.

      1. Axel Koehler says:

        Stalin was a mass murderer as much as Hitler. I doubt you comparatively mollycoddled son of the Northwest European archipelago would have enjoyed living in Stalinist Russia, or the GRD for that matter – it is always safe to cling on to an ideology, and an authoritarian leader. But if you prefer totalitarianism, why don’t ye move to Putin’s Russia, Erdogan’s Turkey, Saudi Arabia or to China? Sad to see that people with your mindset still seem to (want to) rule the roost somehow in the world of online “debates”…

        1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

          This is true; millions of people perished in the revolution. But that doesn’t change the fact that objectively Stalin was a great leader: he successfully defended the revolution in Russia and established the Eastern Bloc as a check on capitalism’s global hegemonic ambitions in the form of US imperialism. He wasn’t just talking the talk like our make-believe leftists are so fond of doing; he was walking the walk.

          And I visited the GDR twice: the first time as an aide to a NUM delegation, which was there to ask FDGB members to help support British miners and their families during the 1984-85 strike; the second time to take part on the Nie-Wieder-Deutschland demonstrations in 1990. It was okay; reminded me a bit of the UK in the 1970s (grey and grim), except that in the GDR no-one had much but everyone had enough.

          1. Axel Koehler says:

            Can’t be helped, Stalinist! Scotland is the wrong place for you, as is any western democracy – if you so prefer leaders who throw dissenters into deadly labour camps and don’t give a docken on human rights! Reactionary ultra-leftists – not one iota better than your utter right-wing equivalents!!!

            But then, this world is round and extremes (and extremists) touch at the ends…like the snake that bites its own tail!

            So you did yer wee bit of ideological functionary tourism in the old GDR, etc.? Like all the blind fanatics and zealots who won’t accept the other side of the system you so crave – from afar, you cannot differentiate between visiting and actually living there!

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            No, I don’t prefer tyranny to liberty. Wherever did you get that idea? I just said that objectively Stalin was a great leader: he did what he had to do to safeguard the Soviet Union against counter-revolution; he successfully defended the revolution in Russia and established the Eastern Bloc as a check on capitalism’s global hegemonic ambitions in the form of US imperialism.

            It’s just a shame that check was removed in 1991. Still, history marches on and – as Lenin said – give capitalism enough rope and it’ll hang itself. It might well not survive the transition to the information age, despite the luddismo of the nostalgic left.

            I’m pretty confident that had I been around in Stalin’s day I’d have been living and dying in a gulag. (But, then again, had I been around in Stalin’s day I wouldn’t have been me, would I? I might have been an auld Stalinist.) That doesn’t alter the fact that Stalin was a great leader while Trump wasn’t. In fact, as leaders go, the two men aren’t even comparable. Trump’s never been anything more than a New York Stillsonesque shyster.

          3. Axel Koehler says:

            Firstly, I am definitely not Pro-Trump (see my first comment further above), unlike others here who’re still blind enough not to see through his Emperor’s New Clothes show or snake oil peddling, still “drinking his Kool-Aid” as they say across the pond.

            Secondly, I am not American, but I have lived and studied (and worked) in Scotland for a wee bit more than a decade, so I know a thing or two, and that someone like Stalin would definitely not be any better for Scotland than BoJo and his Brexiter show.

            Thirdly, when it comes to US presidents, I’d prefer someone like Bill Clinton – the ‘Murican right-wingers made a lot of argy-bargy about his philandering, but strangely they don’t care about DJT’s – where’s the Ken Starr that would take a sharp look at Donald’s troosers?
            Or gie’s back Jimmy Carter anytime, or someone like JFK!
            I hate to admit most of my relatives in Indiana back Trump and Pence’s blether and haiverin about a “rigged election”, and only one of my cousins (one out of five) is enlightened enough to back anyone but Trump, if only there were more of her! And naw, unlike others – self-professed oh so Christians – have poured out above, Trump is definitely no “man of God” – sit down, folks, fail! Go home and read yer New Testament, pronto!!! Never mind Paul, he was a bigot, too – it’s what Jesus really taught that counts – not what violence-backing, zealous trigger-happy biddies make of it, and according to the former, Trump is nowt but a sair failure of what really should make a Christian (and far too often in real life doesn’t)…

            I’m not one of the self-professed, self-appointed God squad, I’m a pantheist like Goethe and (without the racist bit) a science-oriented agnostic like Lovecraft, I’m not a white knight or a perfect person, but I am a caring, emphatic person – and Trump is a greedy, narcissist, arrogant, rude and anti-intellectual boor lacking empathy, respect and democratic virtues. He’s not a politician, but not a leader nor a statesman either. A true leader doesn’t play “divide and conquer”, that’s what tyrants and usurpers do! A true democratic leader doesn’t threaten to lock up opponents and dissenters! A true statesperson doesn’t brand dissenters “traitors”!

          4. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            No, I know you’re not a Trump supporter. But to compare Trump (a shyster) to Stalin (a great leader) is absurd and trivialises the latter’s ‘crimes’. (And I know you didn’t make the comparison, but I wasn’t commenting originally on what you said.)

            But doesn’t our spat illustrate the infantilism of the Great Man theory of historical development, the idea that personalities like Trump and Stalin matter in any more than an instrumental sense?

  18. SleepingDog says:

    Surely all this posturing achieves is to highlight how undemocratic Scottish clans are even compared to Donald Trump? Perhaps President Trump did not stoop so low as to sell some of his own people into slavery?
    Rather than vainly imagine modern clans to be some kind of moral arbiters, perhaps dismal, nepotistic, patriarchal clannishness should be rejected by modern society?

    1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      That said, there’s a lot we could learn as democrats from the clan system or syndicalism of the Icelandic Commonwealth of the early Middle Ages, as I argued in the paper I submitted to the Smith Commission on Devolution.

  19. Clan Hall says:

    It’s hard to fathom that someone with your educational background, could write such nonsense like this, it beggars belief! As long as I live, I will struggle to understand the vitriol aimed at Trump, whilst people like the Clinton’s and Biden’s get a free pass. I guess it’s a sign of the times, corruption reigns supreme! And people like you are a part of that corrupt system that. I personally hope that if anyone gets thrown out of your clan, it’s YOU!

    1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      I put it down to the pervasiveness, even among self-styled ‘radicals’, of the Great Man theory of historical development – as if the personalities of Trump, Johnson, et al mattered. It’s bourgeois infantilism.

    2. maxwell macleod says:

      Thanks for that. I am a story teller, I contrive dynamics in a jocular manner to facilitate debate, its something we in Scotland have been doing for thousands of years, we sometimes call it flichting. As I say many times in my piece the notion of expelling anyone is an absurdity, there is no system to make it happen, I was discussing the development or not of a cultural statement. However it is fascinating that associates in the States, Trumpites, are now engaging in these debates and how different their style is. I genuinely very much hope you will continue to contribute, as I say in my piece over here we are mystified by the whole Trump phenomenon and comments from over the pond, ideally respectful, would be very welcome. If I offended you, my apologies are sincere, my story telling is very much tongue in cheek.

      1. david black says:

        Maxwell, as I’m sure you know you will have to crave the indulgence of the most excellent Earl of Cromartie, who despite being a Mackenzie is also the designated chieftain of the Clan MacLeod as a result of some medieval prank in which all the MacLeod ladies were abducted to some tidal island, there to perish unless and until their menfolk agreed to the most reasonable Mackenzie terms, which included a transfer of overlordship of the MacLeod Duchas. Good chap – you two should get along chust fine. Which failing you could always just pour yourself a dram and settle down to enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08ISxSg7q8A

        1. Maxwell Macleod says:

          I have written several articles about who has the right to be the chief, although I find the one who owns Dunvegan intriguing. I recently came across a delightful young Macleod historian and asked him as a favour to give me a list of those who might have a claim to be chief. He sent me a twenty page document which he had sweetly spent weeks on. I couldn’t understand a word. My favourite contender is a guy living in the outback who is the Talisker chief. He informs me he has two tractors and a ute, but no kilt although he can ” Climb into a suit if necessary.” He was so charming that I got Talisker to send him a free bottle and his daughter came and stayed with her boyfriend. Sweet girl After I wrote about him ( In the Sunday Herald ) another claimant contacted me and said he lived in Inverness, I was straight in the car with my note pad and found him sitting on his backside outside the railway station asking for spare change, poor devil, His claim was based on a memory of going to Dunvegan and being told by his Dad that he was the real chief. I made my excuses and left . I have had little faith in the modern clan system ever since.

      2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        Well, Maxwell, I for one ‘get it’ and appreciate your conceit.

        I doubt we Scots can ever truly understand the Trump phenomenon. My impression from afar is that, for a wide variety of causes, there’s widespread visceral repugnance of the Establishment in the US, and Trump has provided US citizens of all makes and models with a means of expressing that repugnance, which is a kind of empowerment.

        If I was an American (which, thankfully, I’m not), I might have been tempted to vote for Trump as well, just to stick it in the eye of Washington. Though I’ve so far resisted the temptation to vote SNP just to stick it in the eye of Westminister; so, who knows?

      3. SleepingDog says:

        @maxwell macleod, “I am a story teller, I contrive dynamics in a jocular manner to facilitate debate”: so, it is posturing then? It does not seem that the Dictionary of the Scots Language has an entry for ‘flichtering’, except perhaps in the sense of “a flighty, vaunting person, a ‘high-flyer.'” It does have this interesting word, though, from the Gael:

        1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

          No, it’s not posturing. I’m sure Maxwell can answer for himself; but for me, he’s raising a serious issue about how we Scots are re-imagining ourselves in the midst of the cultural watershed he posits. He’s asking, in the context of our reception of the Trump phenomenon (the Trump conundrum), what new ideas and ambitions we’re coming up with, guided by the stories and legends of our inheritance, to meet the totally new circumstances of the 21st century and the challenges they pose us.

          He does this by means of a conceit: in view of the several existential challenges that face us, does a perhaps ludicrous proposal to expel the Donald from the Clan Macleod really cut the mustard?

          Basically, he’s asking us (rather cleverly, it has to be said) where we think the story of our identity goes from here.

          And basically, my only criticism is that his raising of the issue is a tired old cultural trope that’s particularly evident in Scotland around Hogmanay, when traditionally we backward cast our eye on prospects drear and forward to what we cannot see but only guess and fear.

          Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

        2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

          Your reference to ‘flichtering’ had me puzzled. Did you perhaps mean ‘flītan’, the traditional Scottish entertainment of the ritual exchange of poetic abuse?

          Interestingly (or not!) a contest between William Dunbar and Walter Kennedy, which was conducted before the court of James IV around 1500, includes the earliest recorded use of the word ‘shite’ as a personal insult.

          1. maxwell macleod says:

            Thank you all for your fantastic comments, the only one of which I felt insulted by was when I was called a typical Scot! Typical! I am a professional eccentric, how dare you call me typical, it’s like calling a Jew a pork butcher. Gies a break. If I might address a couple of points made in the round. Firstly regarding spelling. I relish what might be called traditional spelling ( the use for example of gaelic names ) for it’s romantic associations with the past, but if the average punter cannot translate that spelling into a relevant sound it surely has it’s drawbacks. If I was to use any of the the many gaelic spellings of flichting ninety nine percent of my readers wouldn’t have a clue how to voice it. Besides, many gaelic names have many spellings. Take my own, I am sometimes referred to by my gaelic name of Fuinary, and in gaelic literature it has at least eight spellings. I use the one that most people can decipher through phonetical clues., although I concede that it is to an extent an anglicisation. of my cultural roots. Which is why I will continue to use flichting. I would also seek an anglicised version of the word spagluinn- its a fantastic word describing a sin that I myself may have committed, but there’s no point in me using it until I can find a way of presenting it in a way that my readers can dismantle and reassemble it. I take the point that maybe we should teach the world how to decipher gaelic spellings, but it would be like pushing water up hill. Next I am accused of wandering the world in my kilt. I dont, but I have used it with students when lecturing . As to whether such vulgarisms, and vulgar techniques in lecturing are acceptable is arguable. I well remember the tale of the two students coming out of a philosophy lecture and saying that it cant have been much good as they had understood every word, but I dont buy it. ( Talking of which if you haven’t seen Michael Russell’s speech in Hollyrood yesterday for heavens sake google it, it’s the finest piece of straight talking political oratory I have witnessed since hearing Robin Cook in the Commons ) Finally one observer says that clans are no longer relevant in Scotland. Yes you are right there are a number of viagra Scots ( I have a house in the highlands but I dont get up nearly as much as I would like ) who claim to be chiefs and it’s all just balloon talk that deserves to be burst, but there are also millions of Scots round the world, and even in Scotland, who have a clan awareness, so I would respectfully dispute that clans are irrelevant, even if only as a tourist ploy to sell the story of our former culture . Enough and thanks for your contributions. For example when the late Dame Flora MacLeod once went to America she was greeted at the airport by seven thousand people and sat at dinner next to Ronald Regan. Slightly absurd? Sure, but irrelevant? I dont think so.

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            Hi Maxwell,

            We’ve clearly been talking at cross purposes. I’ve no idea what ‘flichting’ might render from the Gaelic. The practice as you describe it seems similar to flytin, however, which comes from the Middle English/Early Scots.

            I’ll leave you with an interesting wee etymological nugget: ‘Flitecræft’ was Old English for ‘dialectics’ – the art of quarrelling!

        3. Maxwell Macleod says:

          Flichting is well established. Story tellers used to often operate in pairs. Countless examples, many variations, Say, for example that there was a dispute over where a boundary lay between two farms. Two story tellers might arrive on the island and set up a verbal duel with one representing one farmer and the other the other. The islanders might gather round and laugh at their skill, perhaps even giving them a coin. Afterwards the event might break the feud. I tell stories in that tradition, I’m not sure I like the term posturing, though it serves it’s purpose. Hugh Macdermid is reported to have once met an old adversary who asked him how his poetry was going. ” I’m keeping the wolf from the door. ” replied Macdermid. ” Oh, are you reading your poems to the wolves? ” was the flichting response, much laughter and the pair moved on. I wont be organising a petition to have Mr Trump expelled from the clan Macleod. If I had received dozens of messages of support I might have, but it was largely a cheery way of providing a safe forum for debate, my family have been doing it for generations. One even used to say he had married Queen Victoria to John Brown, but that’s another story.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @Maxwell Macleod, thank you for your examples. I would guess that a rapport would have been established between your poets and they well understood each other. This contrasts, I think, with your example with a your example of using the question as an ice-breaker with students. I use ‘posturing’ in the sense of your deliberately adopting a false or misleading position; you yourself describe the question as silly. It is a provocation, of a kind not restricted to Scottish culture (you might find French philosophers doing something similar, perhaps). A problem I see is one of potentially confusing students, some of whom will be trying to second-guess your future statements, perhaps not taking some seriously, or trying to fathom your underlying meaning for a straightforward statement (students further along the autistic spectrum especially). Get the class talking, take some credit for the discussion, then experience diminishing returns. And this question would seem to lead backward in time to a cul-de-sac or sideways to unresolvable partisan disagreement.

            I had hoped that some of our Scottish Gaelic speakers would have thrown some light on the word ‘spagluinn’ from which the Dictionary of the Scots Language traces ‘spaghlin’ as used in two snippets by Walter Scott, which suggests that the outgoing USAmerican President may share some traits with clan chiefs and highland gentlemen. But again, I do not see this line of enquiry leading anywhere productive. Perhaps we would be better learning about the quasi-democratic/partially-nepotistic practices of the Iroquois League.

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            Thanks for that, Maxwell. I wasn’t aware of that use of the word, and it doesn’t appear in DSL. In quhit airts wis it sic ais’t?

  20. Foghorn Leghorn says:

    And surely the bottom line is that, unless the Associated Clan MacLeod Societies has registered the name and associated heritage symbols as trademarks, Trump International Scotland is perfectly entitled to use them as marketing devices. Donald’s notional membership of ‘the clan’ and his mother’s former identity as a ‘Scot’, of both of which he’s being deemed unworthy by the Little Scotlanders here, are chauvinistic irrelevancies.

    1. Axel Koehler says:

      “Little Scotlanders”? Reeks and smacks of Scots-cringing Unionist bigotry, and of Trumpist trolldom, much like your earlier contributions applaud Stalinism. What are you, a Russian troll bot? I’d rather and sooner have what you term “Little Scotlanders” around me any time, than your ilk!

      How typical and pathetic – an Unionist “Little Englander” in Scottish guise, in love with totalitarian government style. Makes me boak!

      1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        Get a grip, man!

  21. Rona Cooper says:

    No.he was born a MacLeod and we accept all kinds of personalities. That does not mean I agree with his policies.

  22. Gayle says:

    Oh Hell Yes! He is not deserving of being part of any clan! He has shamed the name MacLeod!

  23. Caryl T says:

    I vote no, he is a MacLeod on his mother’s side and who the hell are you to decide he isn’t good enough to be included in the MacLeod family. I’m sure there are far worse characters in the MacLeod family that we aren’t very proud of and aren’t being ousted out of the family. But being an American from MacLeod lineage, I say you can’t pick your family but you can pick your friends. If you don’t like him then just ignore him. I can say he has done more for us then any other president that I can remember. All I’ve ever heard from other presidents is a bunch of empty promises and excuses as to why they didn’t or couldn’t do what they promised. He did what he promised. He was watching out for us like he said he would. And I’m sure that he is not responsible for global warming. People who pollute are responsible. So what, he pats himself on the back for a lot of things. If you were under constant attack on a daily basis like he has been since he became our president. And apparently being bashed by your own clan now! You would want someone to pat you on the back. But no one does so he does that for himself as well. I’m not sure if anyone else could have done everything he managed to do while under investigation for some made up crap and more BS and now you think the family should stab him in the back and kick him out of the clan. Nice to know that’s how you roll. Quite frankly I’m amazed at his tenacity and stamina and ability to bring peace in the middle east, move the capital of Israel, get a vaccine for the COVID-19 with in a year and so much more. None of the others did anything close to that!

    1. A Jackson says:

      Sött, but that is all horse shite and bollocks.

      He prommised to build the wall and get Mexico to pay for it. No wall and No, Mexico will not pay.

      He encouraged supporters to stop the confirmation of the new president, as the constitution he swore on the Bible to protect states should be done. But ge was not there with them, the riot he conspired and got started. But one police officer died protecting the Ines elected to perform the duties of the constitution. Two of the rioteers, that Trump fired up in His rally, died while trying to Force their way thru a protected and closed door.

      Trump has not followed the oauth he swore, not the promice he made his followers he have hon att the rally.

      He is a traitors to the US constitution.
      He is a nuthin but an dreadful man that pie in wells and deserve anything he get…

      1. Blair says:

        He may be a traitor to the US constitution, but he is following his beliefs and he is acting in the service of Christ Jesus.
        From another perspective it is apparent that there are many people acting on their own will on Donald’s Q. They will be judged by God because they are not acting as required.
        After this coming BREXIT PASSOVER, GOD will correct matters, Donald J Trump may get a second term where all his promises will be fulfilled. Since God gives everyone freedom to choose, Donald J Trump may just choose leave Biden as president & he will be off to Scotland playing golf with Jesus on one off his real golf courses.
        Can you be as sure as he is?

  24. A Trump Deplorable says:

    I am a proud American and I think President Trump is a wonderful president. I cannot believe the bigotry and snobbish comments made about Trump. You claim Scots hate him but I bet you are not speaking for all Scots. Scotland’s meager population of about 5.5 million is minuscule to the 70+Million Americans who don’t give a rat’s a!! what you think of him. I have a McLeod heritage and have never heard Trump brag about being a McLeod. I think you must still be holding a grudge over the controversial golf course he built there.

    Trump was an outsider and not one of the elite of the political parties selecting who can run for president. He was their friend and contributed to both parties. Washington DC is full of elite politicians who forgot what everyday Americans face. The establishment did not believe he could win the presidency so they tried to get rid of him for the last four years. He kept the Democrat Hillary from getting “her turn” as president. He has a lot of amazing accomplishments. I won’t list them here since you are not open to learning facts. You should research for yourself and not listen to the media. Even you have probably gained something from his presidency. Look at your stock portfolio.

    So you want to kick Trump out of the clan. I don’t think you can change his heritage. The McLeod Clan Society is just a club. You can take away his membership but I doubt he is a member. Trump is like me and most of you who have a mixed heritage. My grandmother was a McLeod so maybe 25% of me is Scot. The rest is Irish, English, and Wales.

    1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      Yes, what is it about we Scots that makes us believe that the world and his dog gives a rat’s *rs* what we think? Perhaps it’s a hangover from the days of Empire.

    2. Niemand says:

      Trouble is seven more million Americans disagreed didn’t they?

      Bye bye single term president Trump.

      Worth reflecting on the fact that much of the world breathed a sigh of relief at his loss, not least because on the evidence of what he actually says (so not media spin or any other filter of interpretation) he is a nasty, vindictive bully and an habitual liar who lacks the basic empathy and integrity required of any decent politician. I for one will be glad simply not to have to hear is arrogant / needy voice again so my skin can stop crawling.

      1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        I think the real trouble for Americans is that they’re a divided nation, almost 50:50, for and against the Establishment – the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised in the US. Trump-against-the-world is just a manifestation of this.

        1. Niemand says:

          Maybe so though I think the bigger problem is this notion of ‘The Establishment’. What is it exactly? It is a lazy term used by all and sundry for those who stand in the way of what they want to do and in that sense has no other real meaning. In reality things are far more complex than that and those with more power can use it for good or ill and with in there there will be both happening – any established set of people and institutions can be got rid of and simply replaced with another lot, even when it is a total revolution. Better to look at the detail, policy, i.e. the boring stuff that actually matters than bang on about the establishment.

          1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            It’s, like I said, ‘the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised in the US’.

            I know that the devil’s in the moral detail of this or that policy. But however vague and nebulous ‘the Establishment’ is as a concept, it seems that around 50% of Americans are generally unhappy with it as it presently is. Which is at least potentially troublesome for the republic.

          2. maxwell macleod says:

            I could not agree more about the misuse of the term establishment. I have never been able to get a watertight definition. It’s often just a term used for an imaginary group of people who are supposed to run Scotland, an excuse for lack of engagement in struggle, there’s no point in trying as the establishment wont let go of their power. And it’s nonsense.

          3. Isn’t it just a recognition that there are people who have power and influence without having done anything to deserve it?

          4. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            The Establishment isn’t a group of people; it’s a structural feature – ‘the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised in a society’.

            If you want a watertight definition, try Henry Fairlie’s article on Political Commentary in the September 1955 edition of The Spectator, where he coined the term in the context of an argument to the effect that ‘The exercise of power in the United Kingdom (more specifically, in England) cannot be understood unless it is recognized that it is exercised socially’, which was a fairly radical idea in anglophone political science at the time. Basically, it’s the idea that real power is exercised more through informal networks rather than through formal institutions.

  25. Mona Waffle says:

    President Trump is one of the greatest presidents in our history. We true Americans LOVE our President.
    The radical left socialist are trying to destroy our great country. May God Bless our President Trump and I am proud to stand by him as a MacLeod!❤

    1. Maxwell says:

      Mona Waffle what a superb name!
      I used to write a cartoon strip and I wish I had thought of it.
      But Ms MacLeod please add more stuff about trump,not because I want to shoot you down but because I don’t understand.
      Key question Did Trump create a need for Trump or was there a need from America for Trump. Spare us the established rhetoric tell us what you really think.
      Very best keep safe.

    2. Niemand says:

      Enjoy the last 20 days!

      After that the non-true 51.6%, 7 million+ more of Americans (traitors?) will enjoy the communist take-over! Sad!

      1. Maxwell says:

        Fascinating. Do you seriously believe that Biden is a communist? Please please engage on this as many folk in Scotland are mystified as to the current mood in the US and it’s great to hear the other side of the tale

        1. Niemand says:

          I was being sarcastic.

          Many Americans clearly do not understand what socialism is but are very good at using the word as an insult or to scare people, not realising that there is virtually no socialism as such in Europe. What there is, is social democracy that gives things like universal health care, something that for reasons that are baffling, is seen as some terrible imposition, whilst the universal right to own a gun is seen as an inalienable right. This is such a gulf, even with a right wing country like the UK, that that side of American thinking is beyond rational explanation.

          1. babs nicgriogair says:

            “an old guy who spends a good deal of his time playing golf and in any case seems to be a genius at turning criticism to his advantage, usually claiming he is being unfairly bullied by the forces of evil. You know there’s part of me that rather admires his sleekit cunning, maybe that’s why I hesitate”
            Max, I wouldn’t. Hesitate, i mean.
            You’ve painted a rather benign picture of ” Dòmhnall Iain ” here.
            This is a guy that openly courts and supports institutional facism and racism in the US, lends it political legitimacy . Remember Charlottesville, Heather Heyer, and more recently Breonna Taylor, George Floyd. Just for starters!
            Plus Covid-19 . The US is a global leader in Covid deaths – nearly 300,000. So many preventable with more intelliget compassionate leadership. Qualities Trump lacks.
            I’m from Lewis myself. And if he was in my family, i’d defo kick him out!
            Just to spite him. That’s what your motion would effectively target. His ego. Go furit!
            And if in doubt, seek the counsel of the late great Colin Macleod, Birdman of Pollock.
            ” I burn but I am not consumed” – RIP Colin. Get tae….a Dhòmhnall Iain.

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            I don’t know about America, but in Europe one of the great liberal arguments against social democracy is that it creates dependency; it makes us and our real communities less self-reliant and more dependent on the state for our welfare.

            For minarchists of both ‘left’ and ‘right’, the state is a necessary evil, the sole function of which should be to protect each of us from the aggression of others (the so-called ‘non-aggression principle of government’) and to uphold only such laws as we, as autonomous individuals, voluntarily agree are required in order to maintain a peaceful and productive communal order. Anything more than this is tyranny (or ‘socialism’, in contrast to ‘individualism’). My understanding is that the US Constitution guarantees the citizens’ right to bear arms in order that they might defend themselves against such tyranny.

            If you find this baffling, can I suggest you read Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia, which popularised the idea of a minimal state as providing the framework for a political system that respects fundamental individual rights and therefore justifies, against outright anarchism, the existence of a state at all? The classic statement of minarchism is, of course, J.S. Mill’s 19th-century essay on Liberty.

          3. Maxwell Macleod says:

            In response to Babs comment that I should consult Colin Macleod the Birdman of Pollock be assured that I did so many times and even reported on his funeral. I wouldn’t dream of trying to imagine what Colin would have said about anything. I enjoyed your comments though, yes, Mr Trump has much to answer for , but having met him a few times ( On one occasion he asked who the FXXX I was, twice. )I cannot bring myself to dismiss him entirely. It is often said by Dean Christopher Snyder that we dont know whether King Arthur existed but that doesn’t really matter, What matters is that people needed him to exist. Over seventy million people voted for Trump at the last election. That’s the real issue, and its far more important than whether we expel him from the clan.

  26. MacNaughton says:

    Another story on Bella Caledonia which is liable to mislead people, especially Americans…

    The clans mean nothing today in Scotland, except as the toys and the hobbyhorse of a few very rich and decadent aristocrats who have nothing better to do with their time. Nobody knows the names of the clan chiefs or anything like that and they have no place or position in Scottish society… they are a total irrelevance… American readers shouldn’t think that the expulsion or not of the former POTUS means anything, it doesn’t because the clans don´t.

    Maxwell MacLeod is a typical enough kind of Scot. He wears the kilt, goes on about the clans, but supports the Union with England of 1707. Naturally enough too, he misspells “flyting”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flyting

    As for Donald Trump, he is about as welcome in Scotland as a fart in a spacesuit…

    1. MacNaughton says:

      Maxwell MacLeod is the kind of fellow countryman who makes money from being Scottish…
      He goes around in the kilt…
      He misinforms Americans about the status of the clans in Scotland today because he knows it tweaks .their interest and almost certainly because he holds a kind of pride or vanity about being a MacLeod….
      He goes on about storytelling, but anybody who knows even the broad outline of Scottish literature will have heard of The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie…
      Yet he talks of “flicchting”, something of his own invention…
      The Scots didn’t invent flyting, flyting found one of its fullest and richest veins of expression at the court of James IV at the beginning of the 16th century…
      Likewise, the Scots didn’t invent the bagpipe, but the bagpipe found perhaps its fullest and richest form of expression at the MacCrimmon School of piping on the Isle of Skye from the 16th century through until the 19th when generations of the same family fully explored its forms of artistic expression…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacCrimmon_(piping_family)
      The MacLeods were of course from Skye, but quite possibly Maxwell won’t have heard of the MacCrimmons either…
      He doesn’t have time.
      He’s too busy playing at being a Scot to seriously engage with Scottish culture… which is a culture like any other in any of Europe’s nations, which is to say, rich and varied…

      1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        Yes, I too suspect that ‘flichting’ is an Überscotticism, designed to make ‘flītan’ or ‘flytin’ sound more couthiely Scottish, on the model of ‘flight’. The public entertainments that Maxwell cites in his examples sound like flītan ti me. And MacDiarmid was indeed famed for his flytin if not his ‘flichting’.

        1. MacNaughton says:

          I’m no expert on Renaissance Scottish literature, but Edwin Morgan devotes an essay to Flyting, where it comes from, what it means, and its most celebrated example in Scottish literary history which took place between the Gaelic speaking poet Kennedie and the Lowlander poet Dunbar in his book of essays entitled “Crossing The Border”, available in any Scottish library I would think, at least that is certainly where I laid my hands on it…

          …any reading of the Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie would, by the way, add another nail in the coffin of the thesis of the American gentleman who wrote four essays here earlier about how the Scots and Gaels were actually different people. Dunbar’s joust with Kennedie proves beyond any doubt that this is simple not true. 16th Century Scotland was Gaelic-Inglis bilingual is really what it amounts to…

          1. MacNaughton says:

            By the way, as I recall it, Edwin Morgan makes a link between the poetic form of flyting and what is known in our time as a “Glasgow shericking”…

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            I think it would be truer to say that, at the time, the king of the Scots had Scottis-speaking subjects and Inglis-speaking subjects. By the early 16th century, Inglis had become the language of government, and its poets started to refer to it as ‘Scottis’ and to Scottish Gaelic, which had previously been titled ‘Scottis’, as ‘Erse’. This language shift mirrors a further power shift away from the Gaelic-speaking potentates in the perpetual dynastic struggles in medieval Scotland that inhibited the kingdom’s development as a nation.

          3. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            Aye, ‘sherrakin’ and its several variants derive (I believe) from the experience of being given a severe bollocking or reprimand by a Sherra (Sheriff). It used to be used in Edinburgh schools for a tongue-lashing from the Headmaster. I don’t think I’d go along with Edwin Morgan’s analogy with ‘flytin’ – the power-relationships involved are very different.

          4. MacNaughton says:

            Well, Edwin was doubtless being playful when he made the link between a shericking and flyting….he was almost always playful, mildly ironic….

          5. MacNaughton says:

            Maybe one day in Glasgow Edwin was on the receiving end of a shericking himself, or else, saw someone on the receiving end of a Glasgow shericking and it made him think of Dunbar and Kennedie, all those centuries ago…

            Poets can have unusual thoughts like that… they make the link…they see associations…

            Alex Ferguson, when he gave “the hairdryer” treatment to his players like David Beckham, was giving them all a good Glasgow shericking…. maybe even Fergie could get poetical in those moments with his insults and what not and his shericking or hairdryer treatment was something like a flyting…

            The Flyting of David Beckham!

            I can imagine Walter Smith being no slouch when it comes to administering Glasgow sherickings too as a matter of fact…

            Edwin’s point, as I recall it, is that the Scots are as often as not fiery by nature, prone to such outbursts…And if flyting saw a great poetic moment take place in Scotland all these centuries ago, between the Lowlander Dunbar and the Gaelic speaker Kennedie, it was for good reason…

          6. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            The thing is that this is all very auld lang syney. The most artful flytin I’ve heard was between the MCs of two rival gangs on a North London estate – I believe it’s a lifeform that young folk have for a long time now been calling ‘freestyle battle rap’. The poetry involved was sublime, the MCs deliciously ‘flichty’ and feisty (the wee lassie who performed on behalf of one of the gangs was particularly ‘bitchin’), and their verbal virtuosity and linguistic dexterity masterful. Like everything else, when it comes to flytin we should be seeking not traditions but precedents.

          7. Niemand says:

            This rap battle brings the idea of the teacher roasting the pupil and ‘flytin’ together. The teacher (Mark Grist) truly ‘sherriks’ the pupil with some devastating wordplay, though Blizzard, the pupil (Grist was his actual teacher at the time), makes a good effort too. It has had 5.5 million views since 2011 and once Grist starts up you can see why.


          8. MacNaughton says:

            Why is it Auld Lang Syneie to talk about one of Scotland’s rich poetic veins? No one is claiming an exclusive right to flyting for Scottish poets, nor is anyone prescribing flyting to the nation’s artists from some govt office.

            Rap artists elsewhere do it and that’s ok, but if a Scottish poet were to make a case for flyting you would no doubt right write it off as bourgeois nationalism…

            Like so many Marxists, you don’t actually bother thinking, you just repeat your wee list of sterile nostrums…

            Auld Lang Syne by the way is an old Jacobite song… The “old times past” the song refers to was the independent Scotland under the Stewart dynasty which existed for centuries before the Union with England…

            Like so much Jacobite propaganda back in the first half of the 18th century it was a kind of secret code used between those who wanted to see Scotland under the Stewart dynasty again, and with its own fully sovereign parliament restored… The code was necessary because lives were at stake….

            Maybe this year people will sing it with the same hopes the Jacobites had back in their day…. Which is to say, as a political song more than a sentimental ballad….

          9. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            It’s ‘auld lang syney’ because of the nostalgic sentimentalism with which we speak of it as ‘one of Scotland’s rich poetic veins’ rather than as ‘freestyle battle rap’, which latter it actually is from a more forward-looking contemporary, cosmopolitan, and less parochial point of view. In the same sense that all this Scott-talk of ‘clans’ and ‘tartans’ and ‘Jacobitism’ and pre-union ‘sovereign parliaments’ is ‘auld lang syney’.

            This backward-looking nostalgic sentimentalism is, unfortunately, a Scottish ‘greitin match’, which manifests itself particularly around Hogmanay. And it holds us back.

            And if gangs o younkers frae different estates and villages were to make a case for battle rappin as a ritualistic alternative to chibbin ane anither, I’d be the first ti pit ma haun in ma pocket.

          10. MacNaughton says:

            You talk of a “parochial point of view”, which is a loaded term.

            Do you accept that there is no neutral perspective, no point of view which doesn’t foreground some things to the detriment of other things?

            You continuously talk on these pages about a cultural perspective or point of view as if there was a universal one that existed which didn’t foreground some things at the expense of others. There is no such perspective or point of view available to human beings – maybe to God.

            Culture, as Cairns Craig puts it somewhere, TAKES PLACE…
            The very same can be said of history.
            History TAKES PLACE.

            Both culture and history arise in a geographic locality, in a specific place, involving people speaking a specific language which necessarily encloses a worldview. And a whole cultural world beyond just language which we all live in like a second skin. There is no human being out there who doesn’t live in a cultural skin.

            To be a human being, is to live in a cultural skin, to have a partial point of view, to not be able to see the whole picture, to be necessarily parochial if you like. The most a human can aspire to is venture forth into foreign lands and cultures and by doing so get a glimpse of how partial, how incomplete, how parochial our condition is.

            You fail to see the drama and the tragedy in fact of the human condition.

            Can you imagine if we discover a planet out there with life on it, and that all the aliens who live there speak different languages which are mutually incomprehensible to each other? And all have different religions and beliefs and moral codes of behaviour? Would you not just get back in the space ship and head for home?

            There is no “neutral space”. There is no “universal perspective”.

            Your “cosmopolitanism” is just another way of saying “the Anglo American Cultural Empire”…and that I have had my fill of.

            As for sentimentality, I am all for getting rid of it, and replacing it with political awareness and consciousness…

          11. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            I do wholeheartedly accept that there’s no universal perspective (this is part of what ‘the death of God’, which I’m always harping on about, means); all values are historical, none are absolute. You clearly haven’t been following my ‘historical materialism in a nutshell’ series, or the Žižekian corollary that there is no ‘neutral space’, that everything is ideology.

            And cosmopolitanism, unlike parochialism, doesn’t imply singularity but plurality. The example I keep giving of a cosmopolis is London, which is hardly an ‘Anglo-American cultural empire’. Rather, it’s almost perfectly pluricultural, in a way to which (in my opinion) Scotland should aspire. My vision is of Scotland as a similarly global society with a global heritage, mediated (as it only can be) by a minimal state.

          12. Blair says:

            “I do wholeheartedly accept that there’s no universal perspective (this is part of what ‘the death of God’, which I’m always harping on about, means)”

            Foghorn, can you please enlighten me further to your harps, I too believe in death/retirement of God, in a similar way that Popes can die/ retire.

            Civilizations/Empires come & go with a flighting change. From today’s language we could say that the ‘changeover time is’ e. g. 3 Nanoseconds. 2000 years ago the changeover time was around 3 days.

            The change is in spiritual power throughout the ages. We are all spiritual beings.

            Jesus provided us with the way to follow, today we can see it in technological upgrades ensuring backward compatibility.

            #BREXIT I believe represents the latest upgrade from/to root from the promised Kingdom.

            From Scriptures, we know that God changes from First Testament to the New Testament and Jesus. We also know that we can only reach God the Father through Jesus.

            The future for us appears to be happening before our eyes. We are now seeing the real end/breakup of the British Empire.

            We are seeing the Last trump (@RealDonaldTrump) clearing the Way.

            We will probably witness a New World Order made possible by small progressive upgrades.

            God knows, what we all know. It’s just a matter of time until we are all connected @?.

          13. Axel Koehler says:

            Amen, zealous bigot. Exactly what has Trump done that Jesus would condone?

            There is nothing about Dòmhnall Iain that would merit the term “Christian”, and the testimony of British and American Evangelicals doesn’t count. They are full of deceit, self-righteousness and inappropriate pride. They support authoritarianism, thus tyranny and are unworthy of democracy. They don’t respect the separation between church and state, and would erect a backward theocracy treading human rights with feet. Merely in the name of 2000 year and older texts full of prejudice and since obsolete claims and customs – except for the Commandments and the ethical teachings of Jesus. Those alone should concern us, not prejudice from the OT or from Paul, that mysogynist zealot, or judgement and holy begrudgery from the Book of Revelation!
            And DJT hasn’t done anything ethical. Herewith I disacknowledge all militant and extremist religious right-wingers as fellow Christians!
            “Where the (self-)righteous believers are, fascism and totalitarianism is never too far!” That’s what my religious education teacher, a modern and open-minded theologist, taught us. She was right!

          14. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            Sorry, that should read:

            ‘…that everything – you, me, the worlds we respectively inhabit – is ideology.’

          15. Foghorn Leghorn says:


            For me ‘the death of God’ is a metaphor Nietzsche uses in some of his stories (e.g. ‘New Struggles’, ‘The Madman’, and ‘The Meaning of our Cheerfulness’, which you’ll find in his 1882 collection The Joyful Pursuit of Knowledge and Understanding) and most famously in his 1887 novel, Thus Said Zarathustra. You’ll find the enlightenment you’re looking for there.

          16. Blair says:

            Foghorn, Thanks for the reply.

            I will certainly take a look. In these days of lockdown & retirement I’m always looking for something to do. I just wish I had all this time when I was younger, working, bringing upa family and studying with the Open University.
            Learning new things and developing new skills. I’m more into the technical aspects of systems and can’t believe everything that I have previously been taught,
            Thank God for Bella Caledonia, I have come to change my mind. At #Indyref I voted YES, believing that Scotland should be independent, but I also knew that the UK could be much better from a systems perspective. Today I realise that I was mistaken: Scotland must become independent for us all to be free. Scotland’s resources are built on knowledge, information /time. Solid foundations on which to build our future.
            For Boris & his mates their future is built on the back of the stupid economy where wealth is power!
            Who said “Every Man has a number”?

      2. maxwell macleod says:

        I normally resist rising to the bait, but such a fliting, flyting, flickting, flichting cannot go entirely unanswered. I shall be direct, though please dont mistake my brevity for rudeness. I enjoy your points, even although I think that a couple of them cross the nastiness line as you have little idea what I do. By the way the term flichting was the pronunciation given top me by the late and great story teller Attie Mackechnie of Cnoc, I recognise it as a variation, but still think it has a role.
        You ask if I have heard of the Maccrimmons? Well yes, indeed I have been visiting the site of their college for over fifty years. You say I am the sort of person who makes money from being a Scot. Well I have never returned from the States without being poorer than when I arrived. My main interest in America is in how they treat their homeless and poor, particularly those with Scottish ancestors who seem to take up a disproportionate part of the pavements. It’s hardly a short cut to wealth
        That I misinform Americans about the clans. Well in truth I have never lectured about the clans and when I attend highland events there I usually learn more about the clans from my hosts than I teach them . Do I hold a kind of vanity about being a Macleod? Well I am impressed by some of our clan societies so yes, I am not very impressed by the record of some of our chiefs, so no. Sir, my obviously slightly tongue in cheek essay has given you many opportunities to attack me on many controversial statements I have made. Fine , bring it on, and let us joust, but your sting of insults regarding assumptions about me doesn’t show you at your finest. But Happy New Year when it comes and I look forward to hearing from you again.

        1. MacNaughton says:

          Maxwell, sorry, you are probably right. In such a few words as space allows, it probably sounds nasty. I didn’t mean it to be. Apologies for

          1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            MacNaughton, it beggars belief that you’re oblivious to the nastiness of your ad hominem tirades. That said, such nastiness is not entirely out of place in a flytin.

          2. Maxwell Macleod says:

            Absolutely no need for apologies, I learn a lot from your stuff, you have a lot to teach me, and look forward to it.
            Best MM

          3. MacNaughton says:

            Maxwell, it is perfectly legitimate and entirely honest to go lecturing about the clans in American dressed in a kilt.
            I didn’t mean to suggest otherwise.
            Most probably, if you dug much deeper into Scottish culture than such tittle-tattle, your student numbers would drop off.
            The tartans and the clans are an easy way for many Americans to get a handle on their Scottish identity and heritage.
            There’s nothing wrong with that either of course.
            All the best.

  27. maxwell macleod says:

    Actually Mr Macnaughton this is all a diversion, before this thread dies I want to know from Trump supporters what the thinking is behind their beliefs in the man. Many that I met in Mississippi, Washington and New York seemed to be strong christians and I couldn’t understand how they could match their own beliefs with Mr Trump’s/
    He’ll be gone in three weeks, it would be great to have some real outpourings before he is off the scene.

  28. Neil Macleod says:

    I believe his Grandmother Mary Macleod had some influence on Donald John, or DJ as he might have been called if he had stayed the small village of Tong, near Stornoway. She left at 17 and 7 years later married Fred, DJ’s father, to start a new life. Her husband claimed to be from Sweden where in fact the family were from Germany. Indeed Friedrich Trump, DJ’s grandfather was born in Germany and was the second cousin of Henry Heinz, the founder of Heinz. Friedrich married Elisabeth Christ from Kallstadt in Germany.

    This story makes me think that if we start with removing the yellow coloured kilted from the Macleod’s of Stornoway, should we ask the families of Heinz and Christ to do the same?

    (Source of story comments Wikipedia)

  29. J Cloyd says:

    In reading the comments, especially those of you from the UK, I now can see how our ancient clansmen could fight against each other in battle, choosing to ‘hold fast’ to ideology, personal gain, personal beliefs and opinions over blood and clan. I guess blood is not thicker than water, especially when it is diluted by time and the Atlantic Ocean. You can disown and shun a family member, but you can’t deny that he has MacLeod blood in his veins and loves his Scottish heritage. No wonder his mother left!

  30. Scott MacLeod says:

    Who are we to deny ones kinsmanship, just because you disagree with someone or what reason have you why take his namesake

  31. Campbell Campbell says:

    No, you idiot Mac not MC or Hollywood’s MICK

  32. James McLeod says:

    On what grounds do you see him as a liar or stupid? I live here in the states and he supported our constitution, military/ veterans and ALL the people of our country. He had unemployment at an all time low. I am a veteran of the US Army, I experienced what he did for all of us veterans and military personnel first hand. If you watch mainstream media from the states, they have painted this elaborate picture that he is a racist and bigot. He is actually for immigration to this county if it is done in the correct manner.
    But everyone loves the actual racist that was “elected”. If you did any kind of research you would know more of what you are talking about and would not be speaking of this blasphemy. But if you believe the lies, then you can give me, James David McLeod, the boot as well. I was raised Macleods are not quitters nor do we turn our back on our own especially the ones trying to fix a very broken country. You wouldn’t understand as you do not live it first hand. The new president, with the stroke of a pen, cost the jobs of 60,000 oil workers in America and 30,000 in Canada. Thanks CNN for making the one fixing us look like Hitler.

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