The Real Honours of Scotland; from the Province of the Cat

THE REAL HOUNOURS OF SCOTLAND; From The Province Of The Cat by George Gunn

Dunbeath Estate in Caithness, some 28,500 acres, is currently on the market for offers over £25 million. The Dunbeath nursery school, within Dunbeath primary school, is being threatened with closure as Highland Council seek to save money. Between these two events falls the reality of the modern Highlands and the frustration of modern Scotland.  

The movement from suggestion to presence is the story of the contemporary Scottish reality, or identity, or nation, on its way to completion. There are many obstacles in the way to this completion, this presence in the world. For example, to be forced into a political Union and held there against the wishes of the people is not freedom it is slavery. In the 18th century, the Speaker of the House of Commons stated that England has “catch’d Scotland and we will bind her fast”. We are catch’d and it will take a wheen of resolve and action for us to be uncatch’d. 

In the 20th century, on page 993 of the Daily Record’s Modern English Illustrated Dictionary (that same Daily Record which describes itself as Scotland’s national daily). Under a list of countries “How acquired by England”, you will find: Wales by conquest – 1282, Ireland by conquest – 1173, Scotland by union – 1603.

The English aristocrats, and their Scottish vassal lords, stole our freedom from us by using swords, spears, arrows, muskets and cannons, and when that failed they used blackmail and dishonesty.

On this Wednesday (5th of July) King Charles the Third will receive the “Honours of Scotland” in St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh and parade down the “Royal Mile” which is the High Street and the people of Scotland are invited to issue up cries of joy and weep tears of gratitude; what BBC Radio 3, who will be broadcasting the music, calls a “festival of celebration and thanksgiving.”

Allan Armstrong of Our Republic (Scotland) and the Radical Independence Conference, who are organising a demonstration against this pantomime, takes a different view,

“We have to pay for all this pomp and ceremony and have our streets and lives disrupted yet again. We are still not citizens but live under a constitutional monarchy where sovereignty lies with the Crown-in-Westminster… The ceremony at St. Giles reinforces state-backed sectarianism, with its recognition of the privileged position of the Church of Scotland. And we have seen another deeply anti-democratic Crown institution, the Supreme Court deny our right to have IndyRef2, voted for by the Scottish people in the 2021 Holyrood election.  But the (UK) government has gone further and is now rolling back the powers of Scottish parliament voted for by 74% in 1998.”

The painter, poet, and writer John Berger (1926 – 2017) once wrote that “Much of what happens to us in life is nameless because our vocabulary is too poor.” Events such as an unpopular king receiving “honours” from a politically thwarted nation, denied a meaningful democracy, requires us to enrich our vocabulary and to make what happens to us not nameless, but named. The Edinburgh event is a sham, a manifestation of ceremony over substance to disguise a dysfunctional state and a crumbling economy and an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor. The real “Honours of Scotland” , our real jewels, are our children, our culture, our society and our economic potential, so far unrealised. 

Despite the anachronistic attempt through the royal circus to convince us we have an unchanging tradition the reality is that the world is changing politically and in Europe we see it close at hand with the rise of the right, as George Kerevan has pointed out (The National, July 3rd). Scotland simply cannot afford to be shackled to the isolationist and increasingly reactionary UK any longer. Our children will not forgive us if we continue in this vein. Kerevan writes,

“Unfortunately for the intense navel contemplating that constitutes British liberal political dialogue, Europe has moved on. Everywhere the political right is on the rise – a nasty, illiberal, bellicose, economically autarkic, racist, anti-immigrant, xenophobic, antisemitic, protectionist right. And there are no US liberals – no Franklin Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy – riding to the rescue.”

Scotland does not need “rescuing”. What she needs is a working democracy and that is something we do not have. What we do have is a Scotland rich in natural resources. In Caithness we produce far more renewable energy than we ever could possible use, so it is sold off to the south of Scotland and to England and we have to buy it back at ridiculous prices. In the Pentland Firth alone we have the potential to harness the tidal stream energy, which you can set your clock by, and which many other countries would give their eye-teeth for. But as energy is a reserved matter the UK government continually under invest in MayGen, the company who have installed the turbines south of Stroma. Of the massive wind farm of our east coast – and others elsewhere in Scotland – we easily produce the 6 gigawatts Scotland requires. We currently produce 35 terawatts – one terawatt is 1,000 gigawatts or 1 billion kilowatts. You can do the arithmetic yourself but the financial result for Scotland is next to nothing. The wind turbines off shore are not owned by Scots but by French, Danish, German and Irish companies. These resources are being stolen from us.

As the sale of Dunbeath estate with its castle and other assets illuminates, our land will go to the highest bidder, starting at £25 million. Any bids? If so Savills, the selling agent, would be glad to hear from you. On their glossy website they highlight some of the “assets” on offer: Walked-up grouse moor and deer forest; driven pheasant shoot; 12.5 miles of double bank fishing. They go on to say, “In all weathers Dunbeath is a paradise of moorland, riverside and coastline; a place to relish the absolute personal remoteness…” The only reference to the invisible local population is as “employees”. 

What all this highlights is that there is no such thing as land reform in Scotland, there is only a cosmetic exercise designed to appear to implement “reform”, but in reality all it does is stabilise the status quo. Things appear to be reformed but nothing changes. Landownership is poverty for the many and riches for the few. At the weekend of the very same week as the Dunbeath estate went on the market Scotland’s largest private landowner and wealthiest man Anders Holch Povlsen (worth £8.5 billion) threw a multi-million pound birthday bash at his Highland castle. This even included flying in superstar Lionel Richie via Inverness Airport, to perform. The ASOS boss put on the glitzy party at his £15 million Aldourie Castle on the banks of Loch Ness. The 300 guests who attended were also treated to a fly past by a Spitfire. Povlsen owns 221,000 acres of our country. Royalty makes this theft respectable. What Scotland needs is not land reform but a land revolution. 

As the Scottish philosopher John Macmurray wrote in “Reason & Emotion” (1935), “We ourselves are events in history. Things do not merely happen to us, they happen through us.” In other words we must stop being passive receivers and become historic activators. 

The media constantly refers to the King’s visit to Edinburgh as his Scottish “coronation”. It is not. To be a coronation Charles the Third would have to take the Oath of the Monarchs of Scotland in order to become King of Scots, not of Scotland. There is also the small business of the Claim of Right which states that sovereignty rests with the people, not the monarch. Unlike in Westminster where sovereignty is the Crown-in-Parliament. A completely different thing. One is power from the bottom up the other is power from the top down. Charles Saxe Coburg Gotha is so vain he would never accept the Claim of Right. 

In the Savills ad for the sale of the Dunbeath estate they have the effrontery to quote from Dunbeath’s most famous literary figure, the novelist Neil Gunn. It is a passage from his 1941 essay ‘My Bit of Britain’. It would have been more informative if they used this quote from his essay “Scotland a Nation”, which appeared in Left Review in 1936. Gunn writes,

“”Scotland (was) not a primitive society as that phrase is usually understood. It had, for example a highly developed literature – an art-poetry as well as a folk-poetry. It had different orders of poets. When this Gaelic polity was converted to Christianity, it sent its scholars over Europe… Out of it came a social consciousness that can be traced in all distinctly Scottish institutions to this day. For instance, in this Gaelic commonwealth the land was communally held and the responsibility of rulers and officials was downwards to the people: in direct contrast to the feudal system where the responsibility of the rulers was upwards to the king. The feudal system came in with English influence an vitiated the native system; yet the native system was so inbred that as late a late as 1886 the crofters, fighting on the old idea that the land belonged to the people of the clan, by a remarkable agitation forced the Westminster government to pass the Act conceding security of tenure and the fixing of an economic rent by an imperial tribunal.” 

Our historical surrender of this “social consciousness” and “Gaelic commonwealth” can be seen most vividly in the mess that is Scottish local government and most especially in the Highland Council which is possibly one of the worst local authorities in the country. Its sheer size renders it impossible to manage just as the devolution settlement renders real Scottish development impossible. All that happens is a continual holding operation and short term fixes. Money is cut from Inverness by Edinburgh and from Edinburgh by London. At the bottom of this pyramid of unnecessary scarcity is the threatened closure of the Dunbeath nursery. The Highland Council think by closing this nursery they will save money. They will not. It will cost them money as even more young people leave the far north and we face increased depopulation. It is so short sighted it is cruel.

When King Charles comes to Caithness he is forever both a tourist and a relic from a by-gone and alien age. If you want to protest about this madness then come to Edinburgh on Wednesday and join Our Republic (Scotland) in expressing our right to be citizens not subjects and that we demand democracy not monarchy.

Details can be obtained here

Let us show the King and the world that it is in her people where the real honours of Scotland reside.

©George Gunn 2023


Comments (37)

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  1. Antoine Bisset says:

    Jolly good. Now let’s turn over and go back to sleep. If I had £5 (It is inflation, I know) for every article, comment, TV programme, post, tweet or conversation that said the same, I could buy Dunbeath with my pocket money.
    We know what needs to be done. We persist in electing politicians who are somewhere between barking mad, and merely useless. How many politicians have had a paying job outside of politics or commentating?
    I apologise if this seems rude. It is not intended to be. The above is a pertinent and well written article. I am frustrated that it will change nothing. Not a jot. Not a tittle.

    1. Jean Urquhart says:

      Well. It will change me. I didn’t realise there was a demo which I intend to join. And I believe, absolutely, that by not rolling over and going back to sleep, but by getting up and taking part in the march towards independence, the people of Scotland can win their self-determination. The power of the ordinary people is what scares the UK establishment (this isn’t just about elected politicians). Rolling over and going back to sleep isn’t an option if we are to come anywhere near dealing with all of the issues in George Gunn’s excellent article.
      Distance will mean it may be 11.30am before I can get there; lets meet up Antoine Bisset………….

  2. Dougie Blackwood says:

    Are there any plans to disrupt the goings on In Edinburgh? If that were likely we would probably find those with saltires be shepherded into a kettle somewhere out of the way. Will the actions of protesters reach either the London or Scottish news.

    If there was the likelyhood of enough people coming to an Edinburgh protest our “Boys in Blue” would be on the job and only those carrying the butchers apron would get anywhere near England’s King.

    1. Derek says:

      No need to carry anything; just turn your back on them. Simple and effective.

      1. Dougie Blackwood says:

        Sorry. I really cannot see the point in doing that. Any protest needs to be noticeable.

  3. Graeme McCormick says:

    Thank God that there are folk who know land reform is a sham. It’s just a shame that our elected politicians are so consumed by fancy terms like “local empowerment” and ” community buyouts” , that they don’t see that the only way to democratise land ownership is to impose a tax or rent on every bit of it including the huge areas owned by the public sector . Government could do it now and raise so much for public funds that our country would be transformed very quickly and this charade of a kingdom could be kicked into oblivion

    1. MacGilleRuadh says:

      Again you hit the nail on the head, Graeme. Why is no-one listening?

      1. Lesley says:

        It’s not taught in schools…our education system propels all of it

  4. Alan C says:

    He, Charles Windsor should be treated no different to any other tourist and I’ll wager he’ll be wearing a kilt which was once banned by the English.

    1. John Learmonth says:

      Actually the English invented the kilt.
      Nothing Scottish about it…

  5. Stephen Senn says:

    Without sense of irony and having evoked in a quote the date of the Union of Crowns rather than the Union of Parliaments, the author writes.
    “The English aristocrats, and their Scottish vassal lords, stole our freedom from us by using swords, spears, arrows, muskets and cannons, and when that failed they used blackmail and dishonesty.” But, first, the Lords were vassals to a Scottish king, of whom, many of the English lords who were to become his vassals were very mistrustful {1}and second, if one wants an example of stolen freedom, one need look no further than across the Pentland Firth to Orkney. The Norwegian King pledged the islands, vassals and all, to the Scottish King in 1468 in a dowry contract. The swords and spears came later, in 1529, with the Battle of Summerdale The Orcadians didn’t seem to be benefitting much from, “a social consciousness that can be traced in all distinctly Scottish institutions to this day”.

    Two separate issues are conflated. 1) Whether Scotland and England should go their separate ways. 2) Whether the separate (or joint) entities should be a republic. The author repeats a common nationalist claim: the monarchy is an English imposition on Scotland. But it was a Scottish king who united the crowns and English republicans who decapitated his Scottish-born son.
    [1]Judith M Richards, The English Accession of James VI: ‘National’ Identity, Gender and the Personal Monarchy of England. The English Historical Review , Jun., 2002, Vol. 117, No. 472 (Jun., 2002), pp. 513-535

  6. Roland says:

    isn’t it ooh, isn’t it ahhh, isn’t it absolutely wheee?

  7. Time, the Deer says:

    O mo chreach, that Savills ad. It’s bad enough that they advertise conservation and peatland restoration as ‘exciting opportunities for income generation and capital growth’. But ‘one of Scotland’s great coastal wildernesses’ – a castle, with a large farm attached, surrounded by crofts, with the village of Dunbeath just a mile up the road? These people are fantasists.

  8. Robbie says:

    They just can’t ever be Wrong the English ,if the Rules go against them and they lose they then introduce the Spirit of the game be it sport or life ,to Shame you.
    just “ not The Cricket old Chap “ so just shut up and do as you’re told wee man.

  9. John Marshall Bryden says:

    Excellent and potent article!

  10. Stuart Swanston says:

    It seems that taxpayers have paid some £22,000 so that Charles, one of the richest men in Europe, might have a brand new sword to wear, if not wield, at his ceremonial event in Edinburgh when he might have been given the len of one of the scores of ancient swords which are displayed on the walls of the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle. The man is taking a len o us.

  11. mark says:

    Terrible poverty in parts of Inverness & towns such as Aviemore that never seems to get much coverage, you’re left wondering how bad things have to get before something happens. I feel like we were conned in 2014 with the SNP voting to remain in NATO 2 years previously. To my mind the Scottish government simply represents the Scottish branch of the British state, pretty much a Tony Bliar fan club, why can’t they get back to their radical roots & insist on kicking these warmongers out? Great article btw.

  12. Paul Packham says:

    This is useful George. Well written and joins up the dots. The demo called in Edinburgh may well be small but that is not because the public are in favour of the royal family but because they are indifferent towards them.
    The ‘supporters’ will mainly be tourists gaping at the ridiculous spectacle.
    William Morris called Victoria’s golden jubilee procession a ‘vulgar upholstery royal procession’. He was right then, George is right today. We have to keep going!

  13. Raymond Reid says:

    Why isn’t our Scottish government, voted into power by the people of Scotland,doing something to stop this blatant land grabbing by the rich,surely they have the powers to end it?

  14. Douglas says:

    More huffing and puffing from the country where the pages of the paper are full of eloquent prose, but no one does anything…

    SOMEONE HAS TO DO SOMETHING… Enough poeticizing about 300 years of colonialization…


    1. ruth says:

      I agree wi you Douglas, but nay jist bombs, it is tanks we need, abdy enjoys a tank & thi mair wi capture frae thi Anglaise thi better!

  15. Douglas says:

    It took the Republicans in the north of Ireland about 40 years of terrible bloodshed to get more or less the Sunningdale Agreement of 74 -power sharing in the North between the two communities – before it was wrecked at the time by a massive UDA bomb in Dublin, the most deadly bomb in the whole history of the Troubles, with the collusion, of the British Security Services with 99% certainty, and with the specific aim of destroying the kind of deal which would later, in the 90s, be fleshed out in the Good Friday Agreement, the essence fo which was in Sunningdale…

    That’s who we’re up against…

    40 years of bloodshed to get the most basic political and social conditions according to any basic idea of justice in the North of Ireland, and George Gunn and the indie movement thinks we’re just going to get independence handed on a plate. If only… I don’t think so…

    Enough of this bollocks…. Stop saying it and just fckn do it…

    1. Douglas says:

      PS: if you want to understand the Unionist mentality, and the total incompetence not to say wickedness of the British State, you have to read a history of the Troubles. I have only read “Making Sense of the Troubles” by McKittrick and McVea, so I’m hardly an expert, but the impression I have is that the whole sorry story was entirely avoidable with a different policy and approach from London.

      As for George Gunn, he is right to put the boot into our English overlords, but what about the Scottish bourgeoisie? Are they not worthy of a mention? They have to be the most spineless and supine bourgeoisie in the history of modern times. I mean, you would think Brexit where their wallets are involved would have snapped them out of it. Not a chance!!! They just carry on like automatons….

    2. Niemand says:

      Do what? Start 40 years of bloodshed by, like you suggested the other day, starting to ‘blow things up’? Gonna put your money where your mouth is then? Should we keep an eye on the news?

      Cos that will be justified, moral and will surely work to bring people on board to the cause of independence.

      1. Douglas says:

        No, just trying to illustrate just how utterly ruthless the British have been in Ireland, which is just over the water after all…

        And elsewhere too, there is a story in The Guardian this week about the SAS killing numerous young Afghan men with no justification at all, as many as 80… I mean, Britain is a kind of rouge state… I just can’t imagine them agreeing to a fully independent Scotland…

        Try and watch “The Secret History of the Troubles” on Youtube, a BBC documentary which reveals the collusion of British intelligence with the Protestant paramilitaries over many years. I find it very odd no one in the UK seems particularly bothered by this. Scores of entirely innocent people gunned down because they had some distant relation in the Republican movement… by the end of the Troubles, the protestant paramilitaries were killing more people than the IRA…

        I confess I probably suggested “blowing stuff up” in too flippant a way and in any case, with no clear idea. I was thinking of something symbolic, like statues, but you’re probably right that it wouldn’t actually help much…

        1. Niemand says:

          Thanks for the reply Douglas and fair enough, I do understand the frustration.

          What I don’t see is the drawing of a parallel with NI as very helpful as the history and situation is so different to Scotland. So whilst it is tempting to pick out the similarities that are there, overall I just don’t think the comparison stacks up.

          As for violence, I think people forget what the legacy of such violence can be (and after all you justly cite the violence of the British state and its consequences) so as a basis for furthering the cause of independence it could set up not just short-term (internal) strife, but much longer term problems. These things leave a nasty stain for centuries.

          1. Douglas says:

            Niemand, you are right. The trauma of violence has effects which ring down through the decades, and violent conflict always brings out the psychopaths to the fore….we.must rise above it…

            I still remember the day ETA murdered Spanish jurist Tomas y Valiente in his office in the Complutense University of Madrid – just shocking – or the day ETA gunmen walked into a restaurant in the centre of San Sebastian and shot PP MP Gregorio Ordonez in the back of the head when he was eating lunch, or the simply horrific murder of the very young Miguel Angel Blanco, just a regular PP councillor who was kidnapped and shot by ETA, and which mobilized the whole of Spain, that was the beginning of the end of ETA,.literally millions of Spaniards poured out onto the streets to protest…. I was one of them…

            Sometimes in my local bar I see Eduardo Medina, the PSOE politician who lost a leg in an ETA bomb and who is a shining example of the spirit of forgiveness and tolerance required to heal the wounds of violence in the wonderful Basque Country… If you are interested, look for PATRIA(Homeland) the best selling novel by Fernando Aramburu and HBO TV series which does a decent job at charting the Basque tragedy….

            There must be a way of being assertive without being violent…

          2. Niemand says:

            Douglas, I once knew a couple Basque folk who were staunch supporters of ETA. They were very nice in fact but when it came to the topic of ETA’s violence they always deflected it, as if somehow ETA were not *really* responsible as they were ‘forced’ into it. I can see how one might argue for violent action in some circumstances but deliberately murdering innocents in cold blood? Never.

            Call me naive but I think there really is room for negotiation with Westminster. It is readily dismissed here and in many nationalist circles as pointless but as far as I can tell, it hasn’t actually happened! What has happened is demands for another referendum, with the answer ‘no’. That isn’t negotiation, it is grand standing with the sole intent of being able to say, ‘look they ignore us, again, nasty Westminster, nasty BritNats’. It is the easiest thing in the world for Westminster to say no to such public demands because it is obvious the demands are empty and in fact, it is blindingly obvious that any powerful body will say no to a pointed public demand that they don’t want to do and would make them look utterly weak so say ‘yes, okay then’. It is really childish stuff designed only to bolster support for the asker (SNP) not for furthering the cause.

            However when the court case was decided about no legal route to a unilateral referendum (a foregone conclusion) the obvious question was okay then so under what circumstances can there be another referendum (timescale, opinion polls, voting patterns etc)? That question is far more difficult to dodge and also much easier to negotiate, yet I don’t remember ever hearing it asked which is incredible. And such negotiations should be going on behind closed doors and not in the spirit of confrontation but using the quiet but simple logic that a voluntary union must have a mutual recognition that it *is* voluntary and thus how that voluntary status is upheld in the future. This requires skilful and canny negotiation, something that for all his faults, Salmond was capable of. Sturgeon is totally incapable of it due to her love of ego-driven grandstanding and Yousaf is simply incapable.

      2. Douglas says:

        PS: What I said the other day, I stick by, namely, that some kind of low level violence oughtn’t to be ruled out, because the situation we are in is a violent one. To strip millions of Scots of their European rights, which the Scots have been paying into for decades, is an act of violence. Since when are citizens stripped of their rights in Western democracies in the 21st century? And with no possible redress…

        Zizek in “Violence: Six Sideways Reflections” argues very cogently that we all live under a certain level of violence under capitalism and the State, and in our own case, the Union of 1707… It’s just hypocritical to say that violence is always wrong, for example, to defeat the Nazis it was absolutely necessary…. But anybody in Scotland who suggests any kind of activity which threatens the good standing of the independence movement is derided… The very existence of Scotland through the centuries was based on violence… We live in an age which is supposed to have left violence behind in exchange for the ballot box, but what happens when the ballot box is withdrawn indefinitely and arbitrarily by a country which has the longest track record of violence conquest in our era?

        1. Douglas says:

          PPD. What the English have done to the Scottish people in the case of Brexit is an absolute insult and a affront to the Scottish nation…

          So in Ni they get to stay in the single market, basically because the IRA and others spent 40 years engaged in violence, whereas the Scots who have never done so get dragged out? Who the f+ck do these people think they are? I mean, where is your limit?

          1. Douglas says:

            By the way, in case anyone is interested as good citizens, about the British State being complicit in the murder of dozens, possibly even hundreds of its own citizens in Norther Ireland, without anybody being held responsible at all, and with the Tories seeking to pass a general amnesty law for the Troubles which has achieved the hitherto unachievable by uniting ALL of the political parties in Northern Ireland in opposition, well, in Spain, when democracy came, there were State sponsored death squads in the Basque Country which were continued by the first right wing UCD government and then inherited by Felipe Gonzalez’s PSOE government when it came to power with a massive majority in 1982….

            The PSOE government continued to fund the GAL (Grupos Armados de Liberacion) with slush funds right through the 80s as they went about kidnapping, shooting and bombing willy-nilly against perceived ETA targets, until finally in the mid 90s, they completely fcked up by kidnapping the wrong guy, a retired French Basque called Segundo Maray who was out in his garden one fine afternoon watering his tomato plants or something like that when all of a sudden he was manhandled, blindfolded and shoved into the back of a van… I can’t recall who the GAL thugs mistook him for…. some ETA honcho…

            Basically the operations of the GAL unravelled with the Segundo Maray case, the cat was out the bag (fortunately, no harm came to Segundo Maray) and investigating judge Garzon started proceedings and ended up processing the Spanish Home Minister at the time of the botched kidnapping, Barrionuevo, and his second in command, Rafael Vera…

            Both the Home Minister of Spain, Barrionuevo, and his undersecretary, Rafael Vera, were found guilty of state sponsored terrorism and being the intellectual authors of the kidnapping of Segundo Maray , for which they were both imprisoned with lengthy sentences, albeit Aznar’s government soon pardoned them…

            Now, can anyone even begin to imagine a British Home Secretary being processed for the numerous State sponsored crimes in Northern Ireland?

            See, Spain, for all its faults is a much better democracy than the UK,in the UK we have one of the worst democracies anywhere in the West…

          2. SleepingDog says:

            @Douglas, this article may be of relevance:
            King Charles: Patron of a Disgraced Regiment
            “As Charles accedes to the throne, his role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment for 46 years is not forgotten in Northern Ireland where Paras have committed a shocking number of killings, some still being revealed in court.”

  16. Allan Armstrong says:

    A small correction in George’s excellent article. I am not a member of Our Republic, but as a member of theRadical Independence Campaign have worked closely with Our Republic over the protests against the platinum jubilee, the royal proclamation at St.Giles and at the Calton Hill Rally on the day of the coronation. RIC though does have members in Our Republic.

  17. Allan Armstrong says:

    A small correction to George’s excellent article. I am not a member of Our Republic but, as a member of the Radical Independence Campaign, have worked closely with them mover the protests at the platinum jubilee, the royal proclamation at St. Giles and the protest against the coronation o on Calton Hill. But thee are members of RIC who are also in Our Republic.

  18. SleepingDog says:

    The point about the limitations of vocabulary is valid, but should also extend to difficulties in describing necessary and desirable changes, and into the related realm of limited imagination to envisage these. Any reasonable and informed view would see necessary and responsible government operating in emergency mode for the foreseeable future to cope with our polycrisis of climate change, environmental degradation, ecocidal war (and so on). Democracy is insufficient for permacrisis, and would allow a significant reactionary minority to block progress towards solutions. We must upgrade the best features of democracy with new and effective components, encoding and baking in the goals of serving life on our planet. Our task is to develop (and name) the new kind of governance and political system we need for this great and unprecedented challenge.

  19. Bill McDermott says:

    Do you know that If a Scottish millionaire tried to buy land in Denmark, he(she) would not be allowed. This is the tragedy of our feudal system of rights. Anybody, even Russian oligarchs can trade in Scottish land. I agree with all of what George Gunn lays out in his article. We are even in a worse state than right wing America, where the Federal and State governments can still observe the common good.

  20. Elias Holm says:

    “Povlsen owns 221,000 acres of our country. Royalty makes this theft respectable.” Now I assume that you have checked with the Land Registry and found that Mr. Povlsen in fact stole the land, and did not pay another party for it. Or is your argument that someone in the distant past stole the land of the forefathers, and that should be corrected today by nationalization of land (and would that be with or without compensation) and proportional redistribution to the people of Scotland? Seems the best (legal) course of action for us here is to focus on earning some income and buy our own plot of land with a nice cottage in the countryside to enjoy.

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