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Wings Over Scotland


When you have no culture

Posted on October 10, 2013 by

Particularly alert readers will have noticed that this site isn’t called Wings Over Wales. Which is a shame in one sense, because “WOW” would be a great acronym to have.

kingsway

But we’re going to make an exception to our normally all-Scottish, all the time agenda today, because of something that happened in the smaller of mainland UK’s sub-states about which we happen to have some personal experience, and which ties in to Labour peer Lord George Robertson’s extraordinary assertion in a debate last month that Scotland has “no language or culture or any of that”.

Back in December 2009, I wrote a piece for my old personal website about a trip to the South Wales town of Newport. (You’ll have to forgive some of the literary mannerisms, for such was the WoS style of the time.) Some of it centred around the Kingsway Centre, an expensive new shopping development opened only the year before, but which was almost entirely empty of shops.

Newport was a grim post-recession scene of boarded-up windows, charity and pound shops at the time, and had changed little by the last time I was there, earlier this summer. But one of the few relatively cheering aspects was a piece of culture just a stone’s throw from the main entrance to the Kingsway.

ntunnel

An underpass leading to the square the mall sits on hosted an intricate tile mosaic mural, around 40 yards long, depicting the Newport Rising of 1839, an event Wikipedia calls “the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in mainland Britain”.

The Rising was in the name of the Chartists, a democratic movement which called (among other things) for votes for all men over 21, for an end to the requirement to own property to be an MP, and for MPs to be paid a salary – the last two being intended to open up political representation to the ordinary public, not just the wealthy.

The uprising was crushed in the short term and its leaders transported to Australia (originally being sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, which we must admit we’d thought had ceased to be a British judicial punishment long before that – as it turned out, the Chartists were the last recipients of the sentence), but attentive viewers will have noticed that almost all of the movement’s aims were eventually achieved.

But we digress. Because this story is about the mural commemorating the events, which we were absolutely staggered to learn this morning was recently smashed to pieces, by order of Newport’s Labour-controlled council, with no advance warning and just days before a planned protest demonstration.

The demolition, incredibly, was done to make way for another new shopping development, situated directly beside the existing empty one and streets full of derelict stores. Apparently the good burghers of the council believe that what’ll really put spending money back in the people of Newport’s pockets is hundreds of millions of pounds worth of additional unused retail space.

But whether Friar’s Walk is a good idea or not, the notion that the mural couldn’t have been saved, and either placed elsewhere in the city or incorporated into the fabric of the new development is an insult to the intelligence in a country that can find £50m (almost £12m of it provided by Lottery funding) to restore the Cutty Sark from ashes.

The Chartist Mural was in the keeping of Cadw (a heritage organisation under the auspices of the Labour-run devolved Welsh Government), which disgracefully failed to save it, and the demolition order was signed by the Labour council, perhaps – who knows? – because the memory of a popular movement that championed greater democracy is a little bit uncomfortable for them.

Either that or because there’s no place for “foreign” culture in One Nation, of course. It’s lucky Scotland doesn’t have any to lose, eh?

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83 to “When you have no culture”

  1. cath says:

    That’s truly tragic. And people were semi-joking about the statues of Wallace and Burns in Stirling…

  2. Les Wilson says:

    Britishness being ramped up nationwide? Milliband’s one nation being put into action?

  3. Da Viking says:

    Unbelievable!

  4. Dcanmore says:

    Wow (surprise), an utter disgrace. Everyday that goes past the more I fear the consequences of a NO vote. Just read this nonsense from the council in the local paper …
     
    http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/gwentnews/10723535.NEWPORT_CHARTIST_MURAL___No_link_between_demolition_and_demo_/
     
    http://www.bigissue.com/mix/news/3095/newport-councils-demolition-chartist-mural-draws-protest
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-24400028
     
    the council laughably said (or just plain lied) that protesters weren’t there because of the mural, yet the stories and pictures prove otherwise. This is Britain folks whether it’s under the control of Labour or the Tories.

  5. E Thomson says:

    Didn’t the Taliban do something similar in Afghanistan with the 1700 year old Buddhas of Bamiyan monument?  I believe people in the UK were wringing their hands about that.  Hmm.. seems some political parties have been looking elsewhere for lessons.

  6. Walter Burt says:

    What the hell is Labour up to? Hope the good people of Wales see the light and start asking for independence too.

  7. kininvie says:

    The BBC appears to have run several stories on it. But that’s not a problem – there’s no referendum scheduled…

  8. Cymru Rydd says:

    The philistine destruction of this iconic mural ( a few days before a large scale demonstration was planned on the site) says everything about how the Labour Party views Wales and its history. Seen through the prism of their world-view which still considers Westminster as the focal point of everything, Welsh history is merely an inconvenience, to be ruthlessly swept aside for  political and commercial considerations.

    The irony is that the Chartist uprising in Newport in 1839 was not a particularly nationalistic event, although local Chartist leaders such as John Frost were Welsh-speakers,and most of the participants would have been Welsh speakers in a period where around 80% of the people of Wales were Welsh-speaking. The Chartists were very much bound up with other Chartist groups in England, and saw it as a working class revolt for the rights of ordinary people. You know- the people that the Welsh Labour Party are supposed to represent and whose history they are supposed to revere?!!

    The fact that this beautiful mural has been demolished to make way for a soulless retail development is just beyond belief. It encapsulates everything that is wrong under the one-party state that is run by Welsh Labour here in Wales.

    We don’t need any history. We don’t need any radicalism. All we need is more opportunities to be mindless consumers.

    I just hope to God that our friends in Scotland choose freedom next year and that this can encourage people here in Wales to shake off the dead hand of Labour and find a new resolve to create our own national future.

  9. RodneySofa says:

    A disgrace. Shame on Labour.

  10. Iain says:

    What’s most distressing is that it looks like a really well thought out, substantial piece of civic art, commemorating a real piece of history. When you compare it to some of the cheesy abominations* despoiling the landscape, it’s enough to make you greet.

    * Tesco Dalmarnock, this means you.

  11. seoc says:

    Civic barbarism – the new philosophy?

  12. E Thomson says:

    @ Da Viking
    Actually, perfectly believable.  You’ve got quite a lot of physical reminders of culture in your neck of the woods to remind you of the past, haven’t you?  Watch out that some politician or other doesn’t try to re-write your past, present and future.  Homogenisation alert.

    Some councils are trying to stamp on “Scottishness” – keep an eye on Stirling who don’t seem to like the saltire.  They probably agree with Lord Robertson that Scotland doesn’t have any culture or language. 

  13. cath says:

    “We don’t need any history. We don’t need any radicalism. All we need is more opportunities to be mindless consumers.”
     
    Yup. It’s more and more redolent of Huxley’s Brave New World.

  14. Jimbo says:

    I think from here on in they’ll ramp up their efforts to eradicate our culture.
     
    (originally being sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, which we must admit we’d thought had ceased to be a British judicial punishment long before that)

    Sorry to be pedantic Stu, but hanged, drawn and quartered was a strictly an  English judicial punishment. It was a punishment that was never used by the Scots. Our miscreants, if they weren’t accidently killed while being apprehended, were humanely hung or beheaded.

  15. ianbrotherhood says:

    Now that Stirling Council have kindly ‘flagged-up’ their intentions, who’s going to make it along tonight?
     
    Good opportunity for some local Wingers to meet, perhaps?
     
    In any event, will be with you in spirit – if anyone does go, please take photies!

  16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Sorry to be pedantic Stu, but hanged, drawn and quartered was a strictly an English judicial punishment.”

    A fair point, but of course anything that happens in England also happens in Britain, so I’m afraid you’re hoist by your own petard and lose on a semantic technicality 😀

  17. Jason F says:

    There’s something reminiscent here about Glasgow council’s neglect of the city’s old buildings.

  18. MajorBloodnok says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:  I’m afraid you’re hoist by your own petard and lose on a semantic technicality.

    A particularly painful way to go.  Particularly the unhygienic treatment of one’s semantic technicalities.

  19. Eva Bolander says:

    Must be something with labour councils that they don’t want to know about the past..
    Glasgow City Council have just recently approved demolition of one of the very few early Victorian buildings in Partick, an old church school house from 1847 situated on Anderston Street. What is interesting to note is that this has been approved by the council BEFORE the planning representation date is up tomorrow.  🙁

  20. Craig M says:

    My step father is Welsh. He told me that the story of Owain Glynd?r was suppressed in Wales and not taught at school. A very similar experience to my own education in Scotland, where my history teacher in secondary school slipped in segments of Scottish history in his classes when he actually shouldn’t have been doing this. 

  21. chalks says:

    The last SNP council in Aberdeen commissioned a statue of the Bruce, it sits outside the new council building….now I hate aristocracy, but it is pretty smart. They since got deposed though……by a Labour/tory led council…..who then went against the wishes of the public by scrapping the UTG project which would have transformed the city centre and from the sky a giant lit up saltire would have been on view….recent graffiti against the labour/tory led council has been blamed on nationalists…..anyways

    The one of Wallace opposite ‘her majesty’s theatre’ yes really, is alot more fetching though, it’s huge and is about to get a Yes placard placed in it’s hand.
     

  22. Perfidious Albion says:

    WOE: Wings Over England.

  23. Ally says:

    Slightly o/t (sorry Rev) but, you did mention Newport!
    The Gwent tourist board released a promo video (not!)
    ENJOY: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eijc2tGe-zM

  24. Desimond says:

    Its a shame Banksy didnt draw that mural, would have had South Bankers piled up high to preserve it

  25. The Man in the Jar says:

    What is all of this coming to? Next it will be compulsory cricket and morris dancing. To me it seems more like Anglicising more than Britification. If Britain was all that the unionists pretend that it is cracked up to be then culture would be a two way street which it plainly is not.

  26. John Lyons says:

    Surely you’ve got this wrong Rev. Those Unionists love history and point to three hundred years of it as being a good enough reason to vote for the continuation of this sort of thing…. it must have been those nasty SNP people …somehow….

  27. Doug Daniel says:

    Reminds me of the way the London Astoria was destroyed to make way for that Crossrail project that they don’t even need. My favourite venue in the whole of the UK (surpassing even Barrowlands and King Tuts), an absolutely fantastic place where I saw one of the best gigs ever (Fantomas playing the whole of The Directors Cut), and they just rip it down to give London ANOTHER public transport system.
     
    Other countries seem to understand the importance of embracing the past to retain the character of a town or city – Vienna was an amazing place to just walk around the past few days, and Heidelberg a few weeks back was incredible. If either of these places had been in the UK, they’d have been torn apart by the cultural vandals in the UK parties, to be replaced by offensively characterless shopping centres and concrete carbuncles.
     
    Urgh.

  28. Andy-B says:

    Was this just a case of urban vandalism by the Labour run council, or was it a case of crushing the Welsh identity a wee bit more, I wonder?
     
    Owain Glyndower will be turning in his grave.

  29. Luigi says:

    What I have noticed about a number of Labour councils is that, once elected, they pay very little heed to the public that elected them (as far as they think they will get away with it).  Once they get a sniff of power, they ride rough shod over everything and anything that stands in the way of their hideous, tasteless vanity projects.

  30. Andy-B says:

    O/T Rev, I do apologise.
     
    Could we nationalise energy in an independent Scotland, as this scenario is carried out with impunity at least twiced a year.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24465979

  31. Oneironaut says:

    Rule 1 of “Imperialist Methods of Conquest” – Make your targets feel worthless and inferior by destroying all their monuments and any records of their heroes and greatest achievements, overwriting them with your own.
     
    I’d guess a concern for Westminster is that if the Scots manage to break free to rule themselves, then the Welsh will be only too eager to follow our example, as another culture that’s been scorned by the Westminster Silver Spoon Brigade over the years.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if this was followed by more examples of cultural icons being dismantled or destroyed.  I wonder how many are hushed-up and never even reported on?

  32. jim mitchell says:

    All to true, and isn’t it something that as the British Government gets more and more reactionary with any one who wishes to disagree with the establishment it’s the Labour party who are acting as it’s shock troops. you would think there was a British general election in the wind!

  33. cath says:

    ” If Britain was all that the unionists pretend that it is cracked up to be then culture would be a two way street which it plainly is not.”
     
    Exactly this. If you’re a unionist surely “British culture” encompasses Scottish, Welsh and NI culture, history and language as much as anything else. Not to mention the myriad colourful histories, cultures and languages of the English regions.
     
    Britain, as an island, is a fantastic place with tonnes of great and very varied history and culture. If that’s what we were celebrating and loving I’d be very happy with Britain and “Britishness”. It isn’t though, “Britain” is being summed up simply as the political union of 1707 and whatever the right wing media and political bubble at Westminster thinks “culture” is. It’s vacuous, stifling and horrible dull.

  34. handclapping says:

    @Rev
    A fair point, but of course anything that happens in England also happens in Britain, so I’m afraid you’re hoist by your own petard and lose on a semantic technicality
     
    So you’re a supporter of the BBC’s British riots then?

  35. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Cath
    Thanks for agreeing. To take my point further I wonder just how many school kids in England are taught about for example Robert Burns a poet and social commentator of world renown held in the highest esteem in numerous countries.

  36. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “So you’re a supporter of the BBC’s British riots then?”

    It’s factually correct.

  37. muttley79 says:

    @cath
     
    It is a very complex issue regarding culture.  In a sense culture is universal.  It cuts across national boundaries, even continents.  However, given that the British state is essentially made up of two countries, a province, and a principality, then British culture is always going to be somewhat artificial.  It has to be a collection of the different component parts of the state.  In Scotland there is many different cultures, as people from so many countries have settled here, whether it be Italians, Poles, Chinese, Asians etc(particularly from India, Pakistan).  I think there is a distinctively Scottish culture, although it is hard to define, and has been in constant state of change because of the influence of new cultures.  Robertson’s remarks show that Unionism has a political motivation to stop people here from identifying with Scottish culture, in whichever forms it takes.    

  38. chalks says:

    Anyone else noticed the torrent of ‘Best of British’ crap that is on TV?
    Jesus, it’s even made it into adverts…..I’d love to see how many times Britain/British is mentioned on BBC1 and ITV1

  39. HandandShrimp says:

    I think this is probably less cultural and more who stands to benefit. Follow the money. Business has little time for the cultural heritage of the people and politicians currying favour with said businessmen are easily swayed in their favour.
     
    Cultural cleasning or something more prosaic and grubbier?

  40. handclapping says:

    It’s factually correct.  
     
    🙂
    If the answer’s no, Sepp Blatter’s got a job for you!

  41. DMyers says:

    Apparently the two cooncilliors in Stirling have withdrawn their motion…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-24463256

  42. Nkosi says:

    British Culture? Chicken Tikka Masala? Mince and Tatties mair like.

    I am partial to a nice vindaloo myself though

  43. Sunshine on Crieff says:

    Apparently the two cooncilliors in Stirling have withdrawn their motion…
     
    Excellent. I am sure they have been ‘leaned upon’ by more senior Bitters worried about the negative publicity. It has even been on Radio Scotland news today and, for once, there was no obvious sympathy for the denigration of Scotland.

    Well done Wings and all who pursued this issue.

  44. The Man in the Jar says:

    @DMyers
    Have they seen sense or will it be blamed on all these cybernats again. More likely that they could see votes flying out the window. A victory for people power all the same. They must have seen the resistance to the motion building.
     
    I hope that those who were going to attend the meeting still do and get an opportunity to question the motives of the two councilors that proposed this in the first place.

  45. NorthBrit says:

    @The Man in the Jar
    Everything you said in your first paragraph to some extent:
    http://archive.is/62n4B
    Definitely hasn’t gone well for them.

  46. Triangular Ears says:

    This is absolutely appalling vandalism.  Anybody found defacing such a work would be prosecuted, but wholesale destruction in this manner is OK?
     
    It’s clear that government and authority are the worst vandals around.  Glasgow, for example, has been routinely destroyed, sometimes with astonishing haste by the council.  Take for example the Elgin Place Congregational Church (formerly Trash and Shack nightclubs) which was demolished nearly 9 years ago after a fire.  I remember witnessing the demolition crew crush the stone columns to bits rather than keep it for salvage.  The front of that building would have withstood Krakatoa it was so strong.
     
    If I remember correctly there was a protestor who chained himself to the building or the railings in an effort to prevent the vandalism.  He probably got prosecuted while the criminals in the council rubbed their hands with glee at the thought of backhanders from developers.
     
    Absolutely disgusting.

  47. Albalha says:

    Re Labour and their hammers, Dundee and its destruction over decades, bloody scandalous. Anyway at least the, no longer led by Labour, council are trying to do what they can to restore some of its former glory.

  48. Bubbles says:

    Have you seen what they’ve done to the old Tay Hotel? Gorgeous!

  49. Albalha says:

    @Bubbles
    Well quite, getting there.

  50. Albalha says:

    Well O/T having to listen to D Miliband in his new role as Head of the International Rescue Committee on Channel 4, it’s like shuffle the Blairite deck of cards. How do these people have any right to pontificate about the lives of people in the Middle East.
     
    No idea how cross it makes me. Iraq fallout anyone.

  51. reginald says:

    On the subject of hanging, drawing and quartering, Judge Jeffries (‘ I can smell a Presbyterian forty miles off) IN 1685 sentenced 251 supporters of the Duke of Monmouth to death. Many of them to be hung ,draw and quartered.

  52. Tîm Criced i Gymru says:

    Don’t worry too much about us – your result on Sept.14th., 2014, could well be a massive boost and kick up the proverbial for us here in Cymru, your Celtic cousin land. We’ve got all (too) used to ‘Welsh’ Labore riding rough-shod with their Red(+white+blue) flags over the last decades. I was going to say that you’ve no idea what they’re like and how excrutiatingly frustrating it makes us (but you know all too well dont’ you 😉 )to see the antics of the elected Labore representatives and their Imperial/British/LandofHopeandGlory/There’llalwaysbeanEngland/IslandNation mindset.

    We call people that cow-tow like this ‘taeog/taeogion’ … serfs and vassals, doing England’s dirty work with a smirk. Many Welsh Labore led councils have … and the odd one still does… turn a blind eye to the massive increase in demand for Welsh-medium education. The clamour is reaching epidemic proportions in some anglicised areas (yipee!) that Labore-led councils have had to give way, ever so reluctantly.You see, to them, it’s an ill wind, that’ll only make people realise all the more that they are a Nation (Once again ??) and, as is happening in Alba, people are waking up to their history/heritage – will someone please give Robertson an alarm-call ??

    Maybe not… hope he sleeps on – he might find himself in a Celtic mythological dream one night and realise what he’s missed out on being brought up on the English colonial island of Islay! Language/culture/history? what obstacles to a crumbling Empire. No, don’t worry, we Cymry as still here and we still believe – we might be a few light years behind Alba (apart from the language 😉 ), but we’re with you in spirit and we’re inching forward ever so slowly! Maybe be metres from Sept.15th, 2014?!

  53. Helpmaboab says:

    I worry about Wales. It never existed as a unified state. (Although the reign of Llywelyn came close). It has spent much longer under the rule of London than Scotland and that rule was much more direct and oppressive.
     
    Nevertheless the Welsh preserve a sense of national identity and they clearly value their language highly. If Gaelic and Scots were treated so well our culture would be much richer.
     
    But where is the Welsh national movement? Who is prepared to stand up for Welsh self-government? Plaid Cymru seem to be a very insipid lot just now.

  54. muttley79 says:

    @Albalha
     
    Re Labour and their hammers, Dundee and its destruction over decades, bloody scandalous. Anyway at least the, no longer led by Labour, council are trying to do what they can to restore some of its former glory.
     
    While being very careful not to open up the old Dundee-Aberdeen rivalry as we all strive for independence, I thought that Dundee Council had been good for quite of a number of years?

  55. Taranaich says:

    @Oneironaut: Rule 1 of “Imperialist Methods of Conquest” – Make your targets feel worthless and inferior by destroying all their monuments and any records of their heroes and greatest achievements, overwriting them with your own.

    No-one knew that better than our old pal, Edward I. In his conquest of Wales, he took several Welsh treasures such as the “crown of Arthur” back to Westminster, as he did with Scottish artifacts like the Black Rod and the Stone of Destiny. He took great pride in following Henry II’s undermining of Welsh Arthurian legend by having the remains of “Arthur” and “Guinevere” interred in a marble tomb, where he styled himself as a “modern Arthur” whose justification for the conquest of the British Isles was based on a supposition that Arthur conquered Scotland.  And in later years, Welsh, just like Gaelic, was forbidden in many schools in Wales: if you spoke Welsh, you were punished.
     
    If anyone questions the idea that the Wars of Independence were “just” wars between two “Norman barons” and little would change for the ordinary folk, just look at what happened with the Welsh. We’d be seeing new towns & castles (or repurposed Scottish ones) declared “English boroughs” forbidding Scots from even living within their walls – treated quite literally as foreigners on English soil. The later suppression of Gaelic culture we saw in history would’ve been brought forward and intensified. The Scottish people would have been conscripted to fight in England’s wars in the continent, they would be denied the right to own land or hold office in church or state, and even be called up to kill their own countrymen in the likely event of civil uprisings (as happened in Wales and Cornwall in the 15th and 16th centuries). It goes without saying you’d say goodbye to Scottish law, as English law would be imposed.

    Just saying.

  56. Albalha says:

    @Muttley79
    My post referred to decades so out of all those years the current council’s tenure is miniscule in relative terms. The overall SNP majority only dates back to 2012. So a good number of years of being good, no.

    And have no idea what Aberdeen has to do with my post.

  57. muttley79 says:

    It was a joke! 

  58. Firestarter says:

    @Albalha
    David Milliband is now Head of International Rescue? …………. would have loved to be a fly on the wall when Jeff Tracy had THAT bombshell dropped on him!

  59. Albalha says:

    @muttley79
    Clearly well above my humour head.

  60. Tîm Criced i Gymru says:

    @Helpmaboab
    You are right to a fair extent – after all, we are Eng’s closest neighbours – very convenient for holidays, second homes, retirement, takeovers… However, we have never faded entirely off the map, and incredible to think we survive in the shadow of the one of the (once) most powerful presences and languages on earth. Plaid Cymru are fighting back at the moment, under the resourceful and gutsy leadership of Leanne Wood and PC won a striking victory in a by-election on Ynys Môn for a Welsh Assembly Government seat in August, taking a 58% share of the vote! Jog-walking in the right direction, but not breaking into running yet! 

  61. Albalha says:

    @firestarter
    Do you think he could tell Lady P how much a manicure costs these days, actually he’s probably more au fait with the cost of hand beauty than the crap an average Syrian is dealing with. Oddly I have had a manicure in Damascus.
     
    I’m getting too weird even for myself. That’s chancer Blairites for you.

  62. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    “a manicure in Damascus”
    One off the wrist?

  63. Helpmaboab says:

    Tim Criced i Gymru,
    You wrote about the recent Ynys Mon by-election.
     
    Yes I remember it. Mainly because of the BBC’s sour, terse and grudging admission of a Plaid victory. It sounded so familiar.

  64. Albalha says:

    @ConantheLibrarian
    Not getting that, I’m afraid.

  65. CR says:

    I’m from Newport, a town which has been run-down, ignored and almost distroyed by successive Labour councils.  So this latest act of distruction is not a surprise, though it is very sad.  For many, many years Welsh identity, certainly in this part of Wales, has been eroded and undermined. 

    When I was a small child I remember one of my teachers bringing her daughter to school in National Welsh dress on St David’s day.  She was suspended for the ‘blatent Nationalism that she forced on small children’ and made to apologise, in assembly, in front of the whole school. 

    That was my first personal experience of such a thing.  I haven’t lived in Newport for a long time, but I do know, thanks to family connections, that there is definitely an increasing interest in Welsh language and culture and a lot of Welsh people look at developments in Scotland with interest and in some cases, not a little envy. 

    I have now lived in Scotland for almost twenty-five years.  I will be voting yes in 2014. I really hope that the yes vote is huge and decisive, the time is right for a sea change and the need for such a change seems to be becoming more obvious to a growing number of people.  If Scotland votes yes, it will not only make things better for us, but will inspire parts of England and Wales, who feel as dissatisfied and disenfranchised as we do.

    I have been reading the archives of Wings Over Scotland for the last few days and have been heartened and inspired by the articles and personal stories here.  Thank you for all your hard work and committment.

  66. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    What you get for thieving under Sharia Law…

  67. The Rough Bounds says:

    This reminds me of the time in 1974 that Labour demolished the 17th century house in Elderslie that was built on the site of Wallace’s house. When they demolished it they badly damaged the foundations that were firmly believed to be the foundations of his actual home.

    Labour. What a bunch of shites.

  68. Albalha says:

    Eh Conan come on, no I had a manicure, a person buffing and cutting my nails. Not keen on cheap shots at the ME, sorry but nerve hit.

    However we’re all grown ups here, in the main, and can move on, no hard feelings and all that.

  69. Helpmaboab says:

    Taranaich,
    You proposed an alternative history in which Scotland had been defeated in the first war of independence.
    “New towns & castles (or repurposed Scottish ones) declared “English boroughs” forbidding Scots from even living within their walls”.
     
    Quite. Imagine an elaborate British citadel on top of Edinburgh’s castle rock. It would accommodate the British army and fly the British flag. Those few Scots who dared enter would feel themselves to be confused and unwelcome outsiders.
     
    Umm. My mind seems to be wandering…..

  70. john king says:

    major bloodknok says
    “Particularly the unhygienic treatment of one’s semantic technicalities.”
    How does wan hygienically treat semantically the technicalities  of being hoist by your own petard
    fur us uninitiated ye unnerstan?
    wid that no be a bit of a scunner?
    especially as ones arse would have been turned inside oot ?
      

  71. CR says:

    Sorry about the typo – Hail Alba!

  72. john king says:

    FIRESTARTER SAYS
    “David Milliband is now Head of International Rescue? ”
    Thats were I’ve seen Alistair Darling before 🙂

  73. Albalha says:

    @CR
    Croeso

  74. Oh MacOo says:

    I hope our Welsh cousins can escape the clutches of the unionists along with us, I saw a few Welsh folk at the march, but it was a pity there weren’t more, maybe next year, and maybe the Scots should take part in a Welsh march?

  75. Colin Duffy says:

    It`s pretty clear that British fundamentalism is alive and well in these islands and there`s no place for ideas different in nature. The way the BBC likes to give us Scottish history lessons but through a British prism is sickening.
    A sickening act done by people with no sense of morals, they are mere drones to one of the most corrupt political establishments in the world.

  76. Taranaich says:

    @Helpmaboab: Quite. Imagine an elaborate British citadel on top of Edinburgh’s castle rock. It would accommodate the British army and fly the British flag. Those few Scots who dared enter would feel themselves to be confused and unwelcome outsiders.
     
    Umm. My mind seems to be wandering…..
     
    I wasn’t going to make any comments in that vein, but as you deduce, the notion of comparing conquered Wales to “united” Scotland and England is hard to miss.

  77. Paula Rose says:

    I think more and more that what I regard as British – The NHS, social security, free education,  arts investment etc are now the preserve of the Welsh and Scots, it is the English as represented at Westminster that want to take a step into the unknown.

  78. Frazer Allan Whyte says:

    Why is anyone even surprised by what Labour do – either in Stirling or Newport. These pseudo-socialists have a stake in maintaining the colonialist status quo – they have completely bought into the system – else how to explain all those “Lords” and “Ladies”  that seem to sleaze out of the party of Keir Hardy? They have – consciously or unconsciously- been bribed into maintaining the wretched British class system. The LabourTory rats gang up to dispossess two-bedroom proles because the Bankers gambled away “paper” wealth and both species of rodent is now trying to out-compete each other in making sure no one “unworthy” feeds at the public trough unless they own a BMW and a second home in a scenic part of Britain where the locals can’t afford to.Then there’s T Mays recent loony ravings… The referendum is not just an opportunity – it may be a last chance and not for just a generation only.
     

  79. Craig says:

    Labour not much different from the Taliban who destroyed ancient Buddhist statues in Afganistan.

  80. Weedeochandorris says:

    Eye watering as it would have been to see the UJ atop the building in Stirling it certainly would have boosted the Yes ranks tremendously.  We actually need more of the same to push the dont knows over the edge?  I’m sure there are colonialists who come onto here and other sites to spy, well I would if I were them.  Hard to sit and smile while somebody’s trashing your treasures but i think thats what Gandhi would’ve done knowing where it would lead.  We missed a huge opportunity for allowing them to blast their own foot off.  Gotta know when to hold em!  Or, from that movie hold, hold, hold then up wi the jaggy things.  We need to box clever when opportunities present themselves.  How to do it collectively I dont know, need to have runners between the camps?

  81. Dramfineday says:

    Now I’m sure the labour group, who presided over the destruction of the mural, are all contrite so much so that they will order the building of a new one and pay for it out of their own pockets……………….[insert well known Scottish expression of disbelief here].

  82. Mister Tee says:

    Although living in Pontypridd these days, i myself hail from Newport and intend to move back there in the future. I never had any particular interest in the late mural, but a lot of people did and indeed still do, and i do have a great capacity to be peed off when the wishes of the elctorate are dumped on from a great height, especially when it’s the equality in misery dealers that are currently holding Newport and much of Wales in an iron stranglehold.

    As far as these dictators are concerned, history is history, and i believe that the reason people keep voting Labour in is because their fathers did before them and their fathers before that, but when Labour started out they were a force for the working man, but they have been infiltrated by a socialist agenda to create some kind of dystopia where nothing matters but what they say and do. I am really shaking my head in despair at what has happened there recently and all the lies and spin being pushed out to cover their butts.

    I really hope you folks up North get your independance and manage to stick your collective two fingers up at the established order and maybe, just maybe Wales will do the same and be truly independant, not this wishy-washy one party state we are right now… i would rather still be dependant on central government than this joke of an Assembly. By the way…what’s a Saltire?



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