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Wings Over Scotland


Bureaucrats in the saddle

Posted on January 07, 2014 by

Chapter 5 of “The Claim Of Scotland”.

claim5

Quote Of The Chapter:

“Even in their most depressed state, few Scotsmen can believe that they would manage their own affairs less economically and efficiently than is done by the present system of remote control.”

Few, perhaps, but sadly not none.

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  1. 07 01 14 19:01

    Bureaucrats in the saddle - Speymouth

  2. 07 01 14 19:57

    Scotlands Date With Destiny ¦ 18/09/2014 ¦ Bureaucrats in the saddle

34 to “Bureaucrats in the saddle”

  1. Hetty says:

    O/T
    Bonb scare at Edinburgh airport this afternoon, sounds quite chaotic, I predicted this sort of thing, could be complete coincidence of course, hope so. 

  2. donald mavor says:

    hi rev did you not like my post are you using it yourself?

  3. Caroline Corfield says:

    I recall being in Heathrow airport during a ‘security’ scare, while the “troubles” were still ongoing but pre-9/11. There were armed police clearing the area away from the restaurant where a bag had been left, but while they wouldn’t let people who were not checked in leave on their flights, they did not empty the airport or hold everything. Likewise, I very recently (post 9/11) had occasion to point out an unattended bag at the Greggs concession in the international check-in and arrival area at Newcastle airport. The security guy just shrugged. I can’t help but feel a wee spot of overkill may be going on. And further, since the bag was with someone according to the bbc article I was reading, and not actually unattended, surely the need to evacuate the man and not the rest of airport was the correct solution?

  4. Murray McCallum says:

    Seems clear from this chapter that dysfunctionality and an inability to listen has been designed into the Westminster machine. It all helps towards centralised control and to ‘morph’ the northern territory.
     
    Laughable that dog licenses in England were paid to your local authority, but in Scotland they went to London. There was never any hope for oil and gas revenues!

  5. Murray McCallum says:

    I saw this article on WOS twitter feed.
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/03/rory-stewart-interview
     
    While I might not share much of Rory Stewart’s politics, some of the issues he raises about getting things done (in fact achieving anything) in Westminster reminds me of this chapter.

  6. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “hi rev did you not like my post are you using it yourself?”

    Rule 4: http://wingsoverscotland.com/about/

  7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “While I might not share much of Rory Stewart’s politics, some of the issues he raises about getting things done (in fact achieving anything) in Westminster reminds me of this chapter.”

    Sadly he didn’t respond to my interview request…

  8. Elliot Bulmer says:

    Take a long hard look at that last paragraph:
     
    “[T]he opponents of self-government have sometimes contrived to give the impression that it is all a matter of pounds, shillings and pence. As a result we had to listen to tedious and inclusive arguments showing that if a change were made, a sixpence might be lost here but would be gained there, and so on indefinitely. This reduces the whole subject to a farce. Even in their most depressed state few Scotsmen can believe that they would manage their own affairs less economically and efficiently than is done by the present system of remote control; but the question is one that goes much deeper. The fundamental complaint is that Scotland is being insidiously deprived of all control over her own destiny. The spiritual effects of this may be more disastrous than the economic ones.”

    That’s what it’s about folks; it’s about having the self-respect and the self-confidence to stand up and take charge of our own affairs, and to do a better job of governing ourselves in a democratic and humane manner – rather than being governed as some sort of colony. Scotland, as this chapter points out, has always been governed by Scots. The question is which Scots – those who are elected by and accountable to the people of Scotland, or those who have learned how to make their way in the system of patronage and placemanship?

  9. Andrew Parrott says:

    Well said Elliot!

  10. Ken500 says:

    ‘to do a better job of governing ourselves in a democratic and humane manner’

    That wouldn’t be hard!

  11. Hetty says:

    Caroline I think you are right. I too experienced a scare during the Irish ‘troubles’ ie war, but nothing of the magnitude of todays scenario. Expect more, and in a peaceful small country, bizarre. I do wonder if this is just the start. Hope not likes. 

  12. naebd says:

    Only a few days ago a plane had to emergency land at Kansas City airport due to a bomb scare. Cui Bono? Better Together’s tentacles are long indeed! Keep the faith comrades, and Hail Alba!

  13. Murray McCallum says:

    “As a result we had to listen to tedious and inclusive arguments showing that if a change were made, a sixpence might be lost here but would be gained there, and so on indefinitely.”
     
    Apart from decimalisation nothing has changed, eh?
     
    How can anyone seriously consider talk of additional powers following a ‘No’ vote. How much proof do folks need that nothing will change without full independence?

  14. scaredy cat. says:

    Looking forward to reading this but right now I’m involved in a facebook debate re foreigners claiming benefits etc. Can anyone provide a good link to an article about reciprocal agreements. I’m getting fed up with all the anti-foreigner stuff.

  15. Hetty says:

    ok, following a serious incident and Edinburgh airport being shut down for the afternoon, the story has completely and entirely disappeared from the bbc news online site…is this still the 7th and 2014? Crikey is this still Scotland on planet earth? Hell’s sake. 

  16. naebd says:

    As you read through this description of how Scotland used to be governed, you are amazed at the fact that Alastair Darling campaigned  against a Scottish assembly in 1979. I am, certainly. It’s a massive black mark on the man’s  judgement.

  17. handclapping says:

    Whereas The fundamental complaint is that Scotland is being insidiously deprived of all control over her own destiny is a Westminster problem, their organisation of Cabinet Government and the departments that support Ministers is also seriously deficient. I got “The Blunders of our Governments”, King + Crewe for Christmas and it is an interesting expose of the Whitehall apparatus that gives / gave us everything from the Poll Tax to the Dome.

     
    The blunders of our Scottish system? The trams, Calman and the 2010 Referendum Bill, political attempts to derail a minority Government. The Parly building? More a deception by St Donald Dewar to get an iconic building for his Parliament. Does any body have other items that might be classed as blunders by our Scottish system?
     
    I find it very depressing that people could consider, by voting No, that they are better off exchanging a system that works for one that doesn’t.

  18. david says:

    How can anyone seriously consider talk of additional powers following a ‘No’ vote. How much proof do folks need that nothing will change without full independence?
     
    why would a westminister govt even consider anything for a region that voted no to independence. a region that showed fear, a lack of confidence, lack of self respect, a willingness to be dependant  and a refusal to stand on our own. not only westminister but the whole world will look upon scotland with the contempt we would deserve. can you imagine the thousands of businesses queing up to invest in a region that has no confidence in itself. of course this situation wont arise as the yes campaign will overwhelmingly win our referendum and our country will soar with confidence.

  19. Jamie Arriere says:

    “As a result we had to listen to tedious and inclusive arguments showing that if a change were made, a sixpence might be lost here but would be gained there, and so on indefinitely.”
     
    Apart from decimalisation nothing has changed, eh?
    _____________
    Except now, the sixpences here and there have grown exponentially to multi-billion pound black holes and possible fractures to the time-space continuum. At least then, they had a reasonable perspective on the marginal consequences of self-rule.

  20. Murray McCallum says:

    Ha, you are right (black hole, Black Hole, BLACK HOLE) there Jamie.
     
    I was thinking the £1.00 Treasury calculation. Imagine the discussions they had. It’s came out at 85p when we double some costs for uncertainty. Round it up to a pound – keep it simple!

  21. Boorach says:

    @ Scaredy cat
     
    Sorry no references but someone on the news on radio 4 at 6PM did say that welfare payments are not EU regulated but are ‘devolved’ matters. This was in relation to Boris and Farage’s attempting to outbid each other on payments to immigrants. Sorry can’t help otherwise.

  22. Jamie Arriere says:

    I apologise for going way off-topic, but busy listing books, I came across the works of Robert Fergusson, the 18th century Edinburgh poet. If I leave it to tomorrow, it will be shelved and gone. The first poem in the book is entitled “Ode to Hope”, a remarkably upbeat work for a guy who died aged 24 – thought I’d share it :
     
    Hope! lively cheerer of the mind,
    In lieu of real bless design’d,
    Come from thy ever verdant bow’r
    To chase the dull and lingering hour :
    O! bring, attending on thy reign,
    All thy ideal fairy train,
    To animate the lifeless clay,
    And bear my sorrows hence away.
     
    Hence, gloomy-featur’d black Despair,
    With all thy frantic furies, fly,
    Nor rend my breast, with gnawing care,
    For Hope in lively garb is nigh,
    Let pining Discontentment mourn,
    Let dull-ey’d Melancholy grieve ;
    Since pleasing Hope must reign by turn,
    And every bitter thought relieve.
     
    O smiling Hope! in adverse hour,
    I feel thy influencing pow’r,
    Tho’ frowning Fortune fix my lot
    In some defenceless lonely cot,
    Where Poverty, with empty hands,
    In pallid meagre aspect stands ;
    Thou canst enrobe me ‘midst the great,
    With all the crimson pomp of state,
    Where Luxury invites his guests
    To pall them with his lavish feasts,
    What cave so dark, what gloom so drear,
    So black with horror, dead with fear,
    But thou canst dart thy streaming ray,
    And change close night to open day?
     
    Health is attendant in thy radiant train ;
    Round her the whispering zephyrs gently play ;
    Behold her gladly tripping o’er the plain,
    Bedeck’d with rural sweets and garlands gay!
     
    When vital spirits are deprest,
    And heavy languor clogs the breast,
    With more than Esculapian power
    Endu’d, bless’d Hope! ’tis thine to cure
    For oft thy friendly aid avails,
    When all the strength of physic fails.
     
    Nay, ev’n tho’ death should aim his dart,
    I know he lifts his arm in vain,
    Since thou this lesson canst impart,
    Mankind but die to live again
     
    Depriv’d of thee must banners fail ;
    But where a living Hope is found,
    The legions shout at danger’s call,
    And victors are triumphant crown’d
     
    Come then, bright Hope! in smiles array’d
    Revive us by thy quickening breath ;
    Then shall we never be afraid
    To walk thro’ danger and thro’ death.
     
    Whaur’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo!

  23. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Surely this book has to be put into reprint and produced as an accessible and affordable paper back

  24. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Jamie  Arriere –
     
    Great stuff mister. Cheers aplenty.

  25. Hamish Burgess says:

    I’ve done Heathrow practice screening when stationed in South England in the early 70s. Army cordons stretched out for several miles. In those days we had Arab terrorists of various types, especially Palestinian, we had IRA and various Soviet inspired groups.

    I was involved in dozens of alerts, real and false, in Northern Ireland. One that stuck in my mind was in 1977 (or there-abouts): The law did not allow cars to park in certain areas unless someone sat in it. An American came into Belfast, hired a car on Leeson Street (just off the Falls) drove for two minutes, parked up and went looking for a shop to get some cigarettes. Somebody saw the car, called out Felix (The Bomb Team) and they blew it up. The American returned to find a burning wreck, military forces and police, a crowd and TV crews from half the world. His face was a picture. He’d been in the Province for about an hour.

  26. Les Wilson says:

    The book is an astounding expose of just what Westminster thinks of all things Scottish, their brief is simply that Scots MUST, in all ways be stomped into the ground. Destroy everything they value even themselves. Do not allow them to have any respect, keep them as low as we can, only then will they come into our fold, when they obey.!
     
    That is what all this really means and it is beyond shameful.

  27. Hamish Burgess says:

    How the hell did I miss this book all these years ago. I see it had some mentions in the Scots Independent as well. Search engine shows it and HJP are known in several countries and in several languages. Thanks for bringing it to light. Now, I’m going to dig deeper.
     

  28. Andrew Morton says:

    This is painful reading. It reminds me all too clearly of how I felt about Scotland’s place in the union back in the 1960s. It also explains Winnie Ewing’s stunning success in the Hamilton by-election in 1967.

  29. thejourneyman says:

    What a captivating read and how little has changed but so much is explained.

    “the spiritual effects of this may be more disastrous than the economic ones.”

    Never a truer word spoken when you consider where the spirit of the Scottish people is today towards self governance.

  30. benarmine says:

    Reading this makes me feel ashamed for my country, that it had become so emasculated and powerless. Let’s get this thing done in September and start to make amends.

  31. dadsarmy says:

    “Scotsmsn … have been charged, for example, on the B.B.C. with what was elegantly called ‘griping'”
     
    Nothing’s changed there then in 46 years, except auntie was more dotty back then.

  32. K1 says:

    I’m struck by the detail of the examples provided by this wonderful writer in conveying the essence of the sheer determination of our ancestors in making the case for Scotalnd in the face of such overwhelming disregard by the estrablishment. There has been a consistent light that has shone through the centuries and it’s this that I take heart from. 
     
    It has never been extinguished, and I feel not having been taught Scottish history, much of what I have learned over these past months has created within me a profound sense of justifiable anger combined with an immense sadness. It places my life experiences within a context that until now I never fully understood. That light, will not be extinguished and at this point in our history the intensity has never been so luminious and so focused on the case for Scotland.
     
    We are the manisfestation of hope, that our ancestors worked so hard for on our behalf. The historical wrong…is about to be righted.

  33. Stuart Clark says:

    As I head towards the old retirement age I have unfortunately long forgotten the detail of the politics as I struggled to bring up a family, probably because it all seemed pretty pointless in comparison to everyday life.  

    However, I can quite easily summon up recollection of the sense of powerlessness back then and was ever conscious of a perpetual background feeling in Scotland that “we wiz robbed”.  

    Devolution gave this nation back some of its pride and whatever you think of politicians generally or Eck specifically, the SNP have done a fantastic job of helping to get us to where we are now.  

    I have never felt so excited and hopeful!

  34. SquareHaggis says:

    Here’s another interesting document – a speech by Lord Belhaven in 1706.
     
    http://www.cranntara.org.uk/belhave.htm
     
    A lone voice in the wilderness, but a voice of foreboding none-the-less.
     
    It appears not everyone was for the union.



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