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Seeing it from here

Posted on July 25, 2017 by

I went to “Dunkirk” at the cinema today. If you want to know what it’s like, just watch this trailer 40 times in a row and save yourself the £12.

It’s a poor movie, disjointed and aimless and curiously lacking in tension or narrative given the real-life subject matter. (It’s remarkably short on dialogue, which is lucky because you can barely make out any of what little script or story there is from behind the endlessly howling one-note airhorn of the soundtrack. It’s a bit like someone filmed an IKEA assembly manual in live action during a Formula 1 race.)

But I couldn’t help thinking that part of the reason it was so unengaging was because it felt akin to watching a boxing match between two fighters you don’t like. If Mike Tyson took on Tyson Fury, would you cheer for the rapist or the anti-Semitic homophobe?

Dunkirk – the reality, not the film – is a story of a near-miraculous feat, snatched from the jaws of a truly evil enemy (although you don’t see a single German face in the movie until a passing half-glimpse in the final moments). But I watched it with no sense at all of good guys and bad guys, because for the last five years Britishness has been so aggressively weaponised against the Yes movement that neither side felt like mine.

(Particularly so in a military context, with Govan shipyard jobs used as a blackmail tool and – most transparently – in the deliberate and openly-political scheduling of Armed Forces Day against the Bannockburn anniversary in 2014. Indeed, the very concept of Scotland has been actively and forcefully ejected from the idea of Britishness.)

A dog-food salesman with whom Wings readers may be familiar was praised this week by honorary Army colonel Ruth Davidson – what was that we were saying? – for a blog post about making “the emotional case for the Union”.

(The emotional case for the Union, you may not be entirely astounded to hear, turned out to be “SNP BAD, too wee too poor too stupid”.)

But to coin a Dunkirk-appropriate phrase, that ship has sailed. The aforementioned cynical weaponisation by the No campaign of anything that might once have been a source of shared British pride; the grotesque, vicious triumphalism of 19 September 2014 in George Square; the open return to hardline sectarianism and bigotry – all of it wrapped in the Union Jack – has for huge numbers of Scots permanently extinguished whatever part of them they may have considered British.

In significant part because of what happened at Dunkirk, WW2 ended in victory for the Allies. But the UK’s official goal in declaring war was the liberation of Poland, and it wasn’t until 50 years after the German invasion that the Poles were actually free. In 1945 the people of Eastern Europe simply traded the jackboot of the Nazis for the iron fist of Stalin, and the latter was barely less bloody.

Scotland’s position is – obviously – not materially analogous to that of Poland. But a great many Scots now hold the Union in no more esteem than the Poles held its Soviet counterpart, and no amount of appealing to their emotions from those who’ve spent the last six years sneering, threatening and belittling them is going to change that.

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    1. 25 07 17 18:56

      Seeing it from here | speymouth

    186 to “Seeing it from here”

    1. Peter says:

      Dunkirk is hailed as a masterpiece by Nolan fanboys. I found it to be insipid drivel in which only ENGLISH boats came to the rescue , no mention of the Scottish ones. And guess who the cowardly soldiers in the grounded boat forcing others outside to face the guns were? A small band of the highland regiment!

    2. Muscleguy says:

      Was the ordered sacrificial stand of the 51st Highland Division acting as the rearguard shown at all Rev?

      Those not killed or mortally wounded wound up spending the war in German PoW camps, far from their families.

    3. mike cassidy says:

      From an interview with Christopher Nolan

      “I feel like Dunkirk is such a universal event and it involves so many people that to try to encapsulate the specific detail of the human experience wasn’t the way to go. What we decided to do was to really try and live in the moment of the experience … the very immediate and human desire to survive. It’s the most human movie I’ve ever made because it’s about the desire for survival. We wanted to tackle that and make what I refer to as a very present tense narrative where you’re in the moment with the characters. You’re not necessarily spending too much time discussing who they were before or who they will be after.”

    4. Andy says:

      I was surprised that you got through this post without mentioning the thousands of Scots abandoned to the Nazis after Dunkirk. See Saul David, “After Dunkirk, Churchill’s Sacrifice of the Highland Division”

    5. peekay says:

      It’s also been lied about over the years. The reality is it was English and French troops rescued from Dunkirk. The Scots were detached to French command and told to hold out at St Valery en Caux with the promise they would be evacuated next. They did, they weren’t, and were finally forced to surrender 12th June by which point they were pretty much chucking rocks at Rommells Panzers. Needless to say the whole saga has been removed from the history books and we’re constantly told of the heroic evacuation of ‘British’ troops when it was nothing of the sort. Churchill abandoned the Scots for political nicities with de Gaulle

    6. Ian McCubbin says:

      Good to see FM noe out meeting wider yes with also an ideas gathering website.
      So hopefully we will have a way to finally see of the continuous trail of yoon prolaganda like you highlight so well.

    7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “And guess who the cowardly soldiers in the grounded boat forcing others outside to face the guns were? A small band of the highland regiment!”

      Don’t forget the cowardly Frenchman and the cowardly Irishman!

    8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Was the ordered sacrificial stand of the 51st Highland Division acting as the rearguard shown at all Rev?”

      No, didn’t get a mention.

    9. Al Skinner says:

      I’d make a distinction between British, which I view as a bit like Scandinavian, i.e. a Norwegian can be Scandinavian without in any way wishing to be ruled from Stockholm. I guess that’s an essentially cultural designation. When I notice my obsession with drinking tea in many other countries I feel quite British! Scottish and British and above all human, a citizen of the world who wants Scotland to govern Scotland.
      Then there’s UK-ish. I think that’s the target of this article and I agree – I have no loyalty to the UK state and want to see it replaced by something better

    10. Easyblues says:

      I have friends who are die hard unionist. I don’t know what makes them tick. I would like to know.
      What makes people aggressively support the union?

    11. Dan Huil says:

      Empire2.0 and now WWII2.0

    12. Tam the Bam. says:


      90% passenger satisfaction …watch the broadcast boo-boys turn it into an SNP bad news story.

    13. Tam the Bam. says:

      …lol….and right on cue…up pops ‘thicko’ Jamie Green Tory MSP….ye couldnae make it up!

    14. Graemeo Rab says:

      Not likely to go see this. I feel that like most things involving Project Britain it will only end up leaving a nasty taste in the mouth if you swallow what they tell you.
      51 HD anyone.

    15. Ken500 says:

      26Million Russians died saving the West in Europe. 1 in 6
      1in 4 Germans
      8Million Poles
      6Million Jews
      2Million Americans
      1/2Million French
      1/2Million British

      Fallon wants to start a 111WW with the Russians.

    16. donald anderson says:

      Whatever happened to Hugh Grant’s promised film of St Valerie?

      My Faither served in the Royal Navy; in the Baltic, Atlantic, Far East, etc and was wounded and sunk several times. He told me of English officers boarding his ship at Dunkirk and handing him trunkloads of booty. He tool great delight in accepting their bags and flinging the ower the side.

      He also told me that they were ordered to machine gun sunken Italian sailors in the water and cruising though them, chopping them up with their propellers.

    17. Grouse Beater says:

      For the life of me I can’t see a reason for making the film, even as an auteur’s personal project.

      Mind you, Hollywood loves subjects where it enacts a hundred different ways a man can die. And yet the death of a single man or woman holds greater universal symbolism than the wipe-out of thousands.

      As Stalin reportedly said, “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of a million is a statistic.”

      The film offers no new light on the event, or individual camaraderie, acts of heroism, or self-preservation with which we’re not already familiar.

      What it does do is throw into sharp focus the sheer folly of England turning its back on Europe, betraying Scotland, NI, and Gibraltar, only to go back begging for scraps while purporting to be stronger by being weaker, a message I’m sure the writer-director did not intend.

      I agree with Wing’s editorial. The film makes clear the Union is dead, the people in it await a better model of society.

      My review here:

    18. PaulinE says:

      ‘But to coin a Dunkirk-appropriate phrase, that ship has long since sailed. The aforementioned cynical weaponisation of anything that might once have been a source of shared British pride; the grotesque, vicious triumphalism of 19 September 2014 in George Square; the open return to ugly hardline sectarianism and bigotry – all of it wrapped in the Union Jack – has for huge numbers of Scots permanently extinguished whatever part of them they may have considered British.’
      Yup, but it’s not just that it’s also the daily propaganda (‘Britishisation’) from the BBC (which seems taken from the rulebook 101 of colonial administration) and the constant belittlement of anything Scottish or that the Scotgov does by the Unionist press and BBC. On a daily basis…….when is it going to stop?!

    19. galamcennalath says:

      The Rev says

      Britishness has been so aggressively weaponised against the Yes movement that neither side felt like mine

      That is now definitely the reality for many of us.

      At some point over the last few years, I have more recently realised, I changed the way I refer to the UK. It wasn’t intentional, it just reflects my innermost feelings.

      I now never ever use ‘we’ or ‘our’ when talking about the UK. And that extends to history, the present, and the future.

      I talk about Brexit as something which is happening because of them, by them, to them, for them. It’s just not mine or ours. Westminster is their parliament ruling their Union, I want nothing to do with the institution. The UK military escapades in the Middle East are not in my name. If I’m talking about UK history, I treat it as a state/empire among many others and feel no longer personal attachment to it.

      Although a lifelong SNP voter, I didn’t always feel this total detachment.

      I want to live out my life is a small Northern European democracy where people come first. What’s wrong with that?

    20. Shazy says:

      Spent the entire film thinking about my Grandpa, captured at St Valery who spent 5 years in labour camps, left behind…and not one mention…not surprised, but angry none the less.

    21. Brian Powell says:

      Some discussion above about the Scottish regiments at St Valery. As they were under the command of the French they depended on French transport to be moved to the evacuation point at Dunkirk.

      Most the French transport available was in short supply and in poor shape, the troops were too long delayed in being moved and were cut off by German heavy artillery and tanks, they had none of their own as foot soldiers.

      When they first arrived they had expected the Maginot Line to be a protection but found a lot of it was little more than rotting wood structures and spent around 6 weeks making it stronger, but against the heavy armaments of the Germans it didn’t hold, so they retreated to the coast.

      When their evacuation didn’t happen they were left facing the Germans with little more than rifles and machine guns. When they surrendered their treatment when being marched to prison camps was severe.

    22. RedStarTrout says:

      Was the ordered sacrificial stand of the 51st Highland Division acting as the rearguard shown at all Rev?
      That would be difficult to mention since it did not happen.
      British Divisions were posted, in rotation, to work alongside the French army, often in the Maginot line. It just happened that when the Germans attacked, the 51st was the one posted to this duty.
      The German attack cut through to the coast between the 51st Division and the rest of the BEF. A large part of the German army was between the 51st Division and Dunkirk. They were never part of any rearguard. It was just luck that they were the last British troops left in France.
      After Dunkirk, when the Germans turned south against the rest of the French army, the 51st were forced back with the French and retreated to St Valery. The plan was to evacuate them to the UK. Some got away, most didn’t.
      At no time were they ‘ordered to sacrifice’ themselves, at no point were they, or could they have been, a rearguard for Dunkirk.

      There is much to be angry about with both British and French policy in the 1930’s and in 1940, but we need to avoid creating myths. There are plenty of good reasons for Scottish Independence, we don’t need to base it on lies.

    23. Sunniva says:

      Here’s a link to what happened to the 51st Highland division. Their toils obscured an’ a’ that.

    24. Morag says:

      My cousin was in the 51st and spent the next five years in a PoW camp in Poland. It’s a touchy subject.

    25. Capella says:

      A letter in the P&J dated 20th June 1990 – among my father’s memorabilia from St Valery. He was captured soon after and spent 5 years in a prisoner of war camp in Poland.

      St Valery: A memory

      Sir, In May, 1940 the 51st Highland Division, who had been granted by the French, the privelege of manning the northmost section of the Maginot line and a considerable area of unfortified territory in front of the Maginot, thus incurring quite substantial casualties, were flitted across France to take up a position facing the Somme at Abbeville, from where the Germans had already established a bridgehead.

      The 5th Gordons, with whom I had the honour to serve, had their headquarters in a village called Behen. On the forenoon of June 3rd, I and several other officers were listening to the radio. The announcer stated very cheerfully that the last British troops had now been successfully evacuated from France.

      The listeners’ reactions to this announcement were two-fold: relief that Dunkirk had gone reasonably well and forcible, and rather unprintable, surprise that the 51st had now apparently been forgotten.

      Next day at dawn, the 51st, supported not too efficiently by French armour, launched the planned attack to knock out the German bridgehead. The attack was carried out with great gallantry… but proved a complete and costly failure.
      In the evening, the Germans counter-attacked from their bridgehead, and so began the fighting withdrawal by the 51st which came to its sad conclusion on June 12th at St Valery.

      G. F. Raeburn

    26. Street Andrew says:

      There’s a very nicely made sequence in ‘Atonement’ set in the Dunkirk debacle.

      A whole film of Dunkirk evacuation has little to recommend it even as an idea let alone having to sit through it.

      It doesn’t really cost £12 to watch a film in a cinema these days does it? I’ll wait for the book to come out in my local charity shop.

    27. Ian McCubbin says:

      The website for ideas on independence fron SNP under mobilse Scot. FM will met with the key people in is Scottish Independence Convention which hopefully is going the way of giving the wider Yes movement an opportunity to influence independence route.

    28. crisiscult says:

      I’m sad when I think I used to support GB in It’s a Knockout

    29. scottieDog says:

      Sadly kevin still believes the neoliberal mantra of economies being like households.
      He should check out the disappearing deficit in iceland and ample growth

    30. Joemcg says:

      Totally agree Stu. Any sense of feeling or being British (not that it’s ever been strong) has been completely obliterated in the past few years. I wonder why?

    31. Highland Wifie says:

      – “has for huge numbers of Scots permanently extinguished whatever part of them they may have considered British.”

      Couldn’t agree more. I often wonder what happened to the 8 year old who was happy to wave a Union Jack as the queen passed through our village. Started to question after I saw The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil during the 70s but even up until a few years ago had no truck with the BBC and just put up with what seemed the usual.
      Now I can hardly look at a union flag without feeling revulsion and constantly question when I see one why it is there if it seems inappropriate. Wings has opened my eyes to so much.
      I think I’m a normal upstanding citizen (well I’ll let others judge!)
      What the hell happened?

    32. Robert Graham says:

      I havent seen this movie so dont feel able to comment on it , however having watched British movies for donkeys years , i presume it follows the same line , england fights england wins , no one else is involved , a one nation island , occasionally sprinkled with some of the other inhabitants just to make up the numbers ,

      I am long past being annoyed at how little Scots are regarded and involved in any references in the media in this country , just an afterthought even if we do get any mention .

      We get english News ,English programmes , and most of the old movies you get the usual the king or queen of england etc , everything from the perspective of England , we dont figure or count , this is why it baffles me why fellow scots cling to this delusion that they are involved , that they actually matter ,

      if they opened their eyes would discover they are viewed with the same disregard and disdain as the most fervourant YES supporter , there is no distinction we are all grumbling Jocks .

      Should we tell them ? , or wait till the penny finally drops.

      There will be tears before bedtime .

    33. Hamish100 says:

      read the book by Joshua Levine– in fact don’t.

      It mentions the brexit effect– it mentions ulster pg 41 -get the drift (protestantism) and the term England is used often used in place of UK. For someone who knows supposed to know something of the UK he appears to be particularly ignorant. There is more about the USA than Wales NI and Scotland combined which probably shows you who the book and film is designed for.

      But wait pg 82 the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders are mentioned about their dress –I quote”…With their prominent frontal pouches, they gave the wearer the air of a khaki kangaroo.”


      tccc tcc tcc tcc –Skippy!!

    34. mogabee says:

      Not the kind of film I’d be attracted to.

      The problem with this British thing is the fact that successive UK govs have sold off all that was British and left us all with the Great British Bake off!

      Never felt the need to watch that either. 😀 😀

    35. Tam the Bam. says:

      Capella 7.06pm..Shazy 6.52pm

      We all have compelling stories of our nearest and dearest’s exploits in war to tell.
      I think there is a compelling NEED for the story of the
      51st Division @ St VALERY to be told.

      Cant think of a better Director/Advisor partnership than Bill Forsyth and Steven Spielberg. (p.s. This may entail a crowdfunder…lol).

    36. Dr Jim says:

      Wars Yaay! They rewrite the history of them change all the facts, make films, write books then celebrate the lies while they pretend to commemorate the dead at the same time

      Brits, do their eyes swivel in different directions like chameleons, yes they do said the chameleon who just crept up on me unseen and drank my cooking oil

      Oooh! Oil…..

    37. Helpmaboab says:

      Every artificial state attempts to create artificial myths which, it hopes, will inspire its people to be loyal and dutiful.

      In doing so, they hope to emulate the genuine myths of genuine nations.

      Greece had the Iliad. Rome had Romulus and Remus. Britain has to make do with the endless, sentimentalised regurgitation of the Second World War.

      We’re taught to remember the occasional victories and glories while forgetting the many defeats and disgraces.

      For the state, this makes sense: 1939-1945 saw Britain on the ethical side of history. It hasn’t been on that side very often since 1707…

      The hope is that we’ll be so blinded by Spitfires, powdered eggs and cockney knees-ups in Piccadilly Square that we’ll forget about the British Empire, three centuries of misgovernment in Scotland and the very, very sorry state of the modern United Kingdom.

      We in Scotland need to abandon the World World Two mythos. It may have a been a comforting white lie in the past. Today it’s just a crutch for reactionary British nationalism.

    38. cearc says:


      ‘It’s a Knockout’.

      Devised in Europe as a fun way to get people travelling, meeting and getting to know each other each other around the new look Europe.

      Originally called ‘Jeux sans Frontieres’ (Games without Frontiers) and translated into something similar throughout Europe. Except, of course, in GB.

      That alone shows good ole blighty’s attitude to Europe.

    39. Street Andrew @7,15 pm
      Worry not, Andrew, the BBC will be showing it on the eve of Indyref 2, probably in October 2018, which will also be the centenary of some WWI battle too.
      Like others on here, I recognise no ownership of WM Brexit.
      We voted Remain in Scotland.
      Brexit is something being forced upon us by a ‘foreign’ English parliament.
      You missed a trick, Stu.
      Davidson in uniform astride the cock and balls of her tank sums it all up for me. Colonel Gaddafidson in khaki selling the Fighting Forces.
      England has morphed into a Warrior State, or so the Elite and the Iron Hell Oligarchy would have us believe.’Punch above weight’, ‘seat on the Security Council’, pointless big aircraft carriers with nae ‘planes.Jeez.
      Bomb Syria, applause in the HoC.
      Form a coalition with the DUP, and embrace racism, sectarianism, bigotry, and violent paramilitary groups.
      I am already a Free Man of Scotland. There is no turning back now.
      I simply refuse to accept the political construct ‘the United Kingdom’ any more.
      Grouse Beater’s review sums up this pointless waste of celluloid.

    40. starlaw says:

      Heard a story about Men from Stonyburn taken prisoner at St Valerie. Ended up working in a Polish coal mine and went on strike down the mine.
      Successfully got better conditions for themselves and their Polish workmates.

    41. Tam the Bam. says:


      Very well put Boab.

    42. cearc says:

      The heroic Brits or Yanks winning the war was the staple sunday afternoon film on tv for most of my childhood. (Possibly why I rarely watched tv and haven’t at all for over a decade).

      I was 13 when I found out that the Russians were allies!

    43. Robert Peffers says:

      @Tam the Bam. says: 25 July, 2017 at 6:31 pm:

      90% passenger satisfaction …watch the broadcast boo-boys turn it into an SNP bad news story.”

      ’tis my belief they have quite a different motive, Tam.

      Here is some of the news from where they are :-

      Electric Mini to be built in Oxford – However the electric Motors to drive them will be built in Germany.

      More than 86,000 English NHS posts vacant between January 2017 and March 2017: –

      The number of vacancies rose by 8,000 compared to the same period in 2016. There were 11,400 nurse & Midwives posts vacant in March 2017. Yet the English Electorate were conned into a hate campaign against immigration – do they still think England doesn’t need these immigrants that have propped up the ENHS for many, many years.

      Road Deaths involving English & Welsh Police have increased threefold in the past year. Fatalities in such road traffic incidence increased by 11 to a total of 32, the largest total in eight years.

      28 of the road deaths were related to police pursuits of vehicles and there were six fatal police shootings between April 2016 to March 2017. There were only three between 2015 to 2016.

      UK & EU Still split on Citizen’s Rights.

      English Jobseekers being conned out of hundreds of pounds by Scammers charging them for fake security checks and training. Around 10% of jobseekers are falling victim to the scams with an average loss of £500.

      England is overwhelmingly reliant upon immigrant EU workers to enforce animal welfare & food hygiene standards in abattoirs. 90% of slaughterhouse veterinary surgeons were EU Nationals. So what will happen after UKExit? So much for Westminster’s bitter campaign against Johnny Foreigner?

      Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, said there is widespread anger at the Westminster decision to back a new railway line that will run through London while after scrapping projects in the North of England and in Wales.

      A sharp rise in personal loans will prove a great danger to the UK economy a Bank of England official has warned. Outstanding car loans, credit card balance transfers and personal loans have gone up by 10% in a year but household incomes have only increased by 1.5%.

      Liam Fox is playing down US-UK disagreements on USA chlorinated chicken imports after Brexit.

      Things sure are not all serene in the British/English Brexit negotiations and last week we learned that the Westminster borrowing had increased yet again.

      So that’s just some of the bad news from where they are.

    44. crisiscult says:


      Thanks for that. Actually GB were always crap as far as I recall so from a young age I had no delusions of empire or British exceptionalism unless it was that Britain was exceptionally crap. People talk about the Scottish cringe but I’ve mostly had a British cringe and feel much better about myself since 2014 🙂

    45. dandy dons 1903 says:

      Dont worry England you will soon get the chance to stand alone by yourself, just like you claim you did in 1940.

    46. Tam the Bam. says:

      Robert Peffers @ 7-53pm

      So you’re adopting a Brexit viewpoint Robert.

    47. Capella says:

      @ Tam the Bam – agree. Pity the generation that suffered directly are now almost all dead. But the offspring are still here. We are all trying to piece together our own lived experience with no public broadcasting service available.

      Being subjected to British nationalist propaganda which hides the truth is an insult. Am I angry ? – you bet. I feel I’m living in an occupied country. If there are film producers out there who will dramatise our history then I would be delighted.

    48. Andrew Morton says:

      When I worked on an office in Kirkcaldy in the late 1970s my manager was getting towards retirement. One day he told me that he’d been in the 51st Highland Division in 1940 and was one of those who ended up at St Valery. He told me that he and a number of other Scottish troops were on the beach and were so enraged about what they saw as the incompetence and cowardice of the French that they were taking pot shots with their rifles at French troops on the cliffs. He and a few other squaddies found a rowing boat and they commandeered it and rowed across the Channel to the English coast.

    49. Dan Huil says:

      @dandy dons 1903 7:59pm

      Well said.

    50. Bob p says:

      Easy blues at 6.28pm. ‘What makes unionists aggressively support the union ” .how’s about,ignorance,bigotry,self interest,Stockholm syndrome,.I always wonder why these “people “even want to live in a country they so clearly loathe and despise.

    51. yesindyref2 says:

      Read a fair bit about Dunkirk, saw bits about this film, enough to make me not want to watch it.

      Sometimes it’s better to stick with well-researched and honest books, than a fantasy made up historical drama with ersatz people who never actually existed, and events sometimes just basically twee.

      Kind of like that American version of Enigma and the U boat one. Unreal, never happened that way, insulting to the actual people.

      So thanks Rev, saves me wondering if I got it wrong.

    52. David Munro says:

      When you write well, you do write well. Can’t agree more. Puts my feelings into words that I’d be unable to find.

    53. Ken500 says:

      Davidson is complaining about being called a fat, useless, lesbian. Would she rather be called an average size, incompetent person. Or average size, incompetent ignoramus norm.

      They like all their own rights but don’t support the rights of others. Tory/DUP coalition. They DUP call people lots of things. So do the Tories, ‘Even women drive trains’. The ‘N’ word. Johnston ‘Glasgow’ ref. Penny spent in Croydon as opposed to Strathclyde. Thatcher, ‘We the English people are generous to you Scots’. As she illegally and secretly left the equivalent of £300Billion off the balance sheet. Tory A. Neil reports about ‘workshy, drunken Scots’ during the 1970/80 when ‘loads of money bankers were taking all the loot. The lying Vow. Etc. Sanctioning people and starving them to death. The unionist way. Causing misery to millions of people.

    54. Golfnut says:

      Didn’t the ‘ Waverley ‘ take part in evacuation. Might be wrong, anybody know.

    55. colin alexander says:

      I knew an auld sodjer of the HLI. He said he was caught in France during the war. (Parts of the HLI were involved in the retreat to Dunkirk and Cherbourg.)

      He escaped from the Germans and was helped by the French Resistance and “The Tartan Pimpernel”. He loaned me a paperback book about this Scotsman, Rev.Donald Caskie.

      He wouldn’t say much more about it, except the French got him out of France and into Spain, ruled by Fascist General Franco, but officially neutral in WW2.

      He wouldn’t say anymore. He just said the Spanish locked him up and treated him a lot worse than the Germans had.

    56. HandandShrimp says:

      I tend to think of Britishness and seeing the Union Flag everywhere as a 60s thing. Very Austen Powers. I have no emotional commitment to the concept although possibly I did back in the 60s and 70s when it still seemed like it meant something. I don’t actually dislike Britishness per se but it is like Victoriana – it has its place in history but I have no desire to resurrect it.

      We need to look forward not backwards.

    57. Ken500 says:

      Davidson looking for sympathy. The ratings must be low. Imagine the in-box.

      Peter Chapman worth £2Million. Income £300,000. Gets £100,000? CAP payments. Plus MSP salary + expenses. = £1/2Million a year? Says farmers average income is £12K.

      The Tories in the NE voted not to put up Council tax slightly for the wealthier but wanted to cut Education £Millions. Have cut the bases, additional needs/specialist teachers and plan to cut rural (farming) schools. Causing misery for families.

    58. Lenny Hartley says:

      Golfnut the current Waverley was built in 1946, based on a pre war design , either to save time or for access to Craigendoran Pier, have been told both. It replaced the previous paddlesteamer Waverley which was built in 1899 and served as a minesweeper in WW2 and was sunk at Dunkirk.

    59. Dave MacIntyre says:

      As is the case with many others on this site, I no longer feel any affinity with anything classed as British, whether it be the army or the British Lions. The Union flag is one that symbolises oppression.

      Like David Munro at 8.48, I think you write so well and it definitely helps whilst discussing Independence with no voting friends..

    60. Jack Docherty says:

      Capella at 7:06pm posts about the tactical action at Abbeville on the Somme – his father’s recollection. It’s an episode that would not feature in the Dunkirk saga. The 51st Highland Division were not at Dunkirk. They were to be evacuated from Le Havre, but as we all know that went belly up. The Division did not in fact surrender until eight days after the Dunkirk operation ceased on 12 June. Thankfully, 154 Bde were able to get back to the UK and form the nucleus of the reformed division that then fought in North Africa, Sicily and from D-day onward, however 152 and 153 Bdes fell into German hands. More than 330,000 Brits and French were evacuated from Dunkirk, however what is less well known is that over 190,00 Brits and French were also evacuated from ports further to the west. I have not seen the film yet, but the family have. They raved about it, but they were not considering it that critically.

    61. Golfnut says:

      This kind of crap normally only gets churned out in wartime, bolster moral, all in it together, stiff upper lip, etc, ad nauseam.
      So just who’s moral needs bolstered, presumably it’s not aimed at we separatists, what’s their private polling showing, that they need this kind of propaganda.

    62. colin alexander says:

      I know someone that remembers some of the “young boys” that never came hame from France during the retreat to Dunkirk.

      Aye, a lot were rescued, but for others it cost them their liberty or their lives.

      Aye, right now with all the anti-Scottish propaganda, it seems the UK is not our ally.

      But I’ve no doubt indy Scotland would be side by side with rUK or England if we faced another Hitler or threat like Nazi Germany.

      But hopefully we would not be involved in illegal wars like the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    63. Colin says:

      I highly recommend for an excellent narrative of world history based on the base for wealth and resources, WWs I and II are pivotal.

    64. Betty Boop says:

      In a nutshell! I will never, ever refer to myself as British, even if the term is geographically correct. The UK State is a shameful and shameless, unapologetic aggressor, not only to other states, but, its own people. They don’t care, at all.

    65. Thepnr says:

      Don’t think I’ll bother with this film, doesn’t sound like it it will be much good.

      As an 17 year old apprentice in the shipyards in the early 70’s my old journeyman had a story or two to tell of those days. Back in 1940 when he himself was just 17 he signed up for the 51st.

      He didn’t have to as his trade in shipbuilding was a reserved occupation being seen as essential to the war effort.

      Doesn’t matter really as he joined the Blackwatch and was part of the medical corp, he told me of running onto the battlefield and how it difficult it was to decide who to pick up and carry back as some were “obviously” not going to make it.

      One story that sticks in the mind is of the guy lying in the dirt after having been shot with his entire guts hanging outside his belly. My journeyman and his partner left him as he had no chance. They got the guy they did pick up back to their lines but the other guy with the spilt guts kept screaming for help.

      They went back for him and brought him to the medical tent, there they just popped his guts right back in his belly and stitched him up. There had been no damage to any organs and two weeks later he was right as rain, so I was told.

      Anyway, he was 18 then and they surrendered to the Germans after being abandoned by the rest of the British army, he didn’t like saying that, captured was his preferred word.

      The next couple of months were horrific, they were marched from France to Poland which was to be his home for the next 4 years. I was just a young boy listening to these stories and thought a prisoner of war camp was like the TV programme Colditz.

      He put right though, there were no Officers in his camp other than Warrant Officers or Sgt. Majors in other words. They had football leagues, Motherwell would play Hamilton while Dundee played Falkirk and it was all pretty serious. He said he wasn’t mistreated by the German guards, that they always got any Red Cross parcels meant for them.

      Admitted it wasn’t always a barrel of laughs, they had to work on building the railway lines in Poland for the Germans, so too were Polish women forced to work alongside them. No Polish men though.

      Last thing, he got back home in 1944. A prisinior exchange was agreed with the UK and some Germans were sent from here and he was released from there. They went by train to Sweden which was neutral and that was that. After a debrief back in the UK he went home for a couple of weeks, some rest and spend time with the family you have so much missed.

      Then he found himself back in France with the 51st fighting to end the war, no rest for the wicked. He’s passed away now but I have great respect for that man and will never forget him.

      He could keep the chill away with his stories when the wind was blowing beneath the keel of the boat and you were freezing.

    66. Fred says:

      Had an uncle got away at Dunkirk, he was either in the KOSB before & Seaforths afterwords or vice-versa. My grannie gave me his Iron Cross!

    67. colin alexander says:


      Interesting story.

      For me the most inspiring tales of courage are the ones where someone risked their life to save someone else.

    68. Cuilean says:

      Totally agree Stu. I look on the notion of ‘Britishness’ now as a completely alien notion.

      Since the SNP honoured its election manifesto by announcing in 2012, an Indyref, for these past 5 years, the British state has waged a propaganda war against Scotland.

      I can’t see a union jack now, without my heart sinking as it reminds me of the Chris Cairns candle flame being snuffed out by the hand, wearing union jack cufflinks, the union jack colours of the red, white and blue Glasgow Commonwealth Games red arrows fly past, the Orange Order thugs rioting and assaulting people desperate to get away from their violence in George Square, the union jacked uniforms on soldiers illegally invading and subjugating Iraq and Afghanistan, the union jack on the RAF planes bombing Syria & Libya, the union jacks behind May etc. as they make fools of themselves to the world, the union jacks on the white ensigns of the nuclear subs sailing in Scottish waters, the union jack flying on the Balmoral residence of a monarch forgetting her place and telling me to think very carefully.

      The unsurprising consequence of all of the foregoing and more. is that Scots no longer can feel much kinship with a much larger entity which seeks only to belittle, sneer and repress all notions of Scottishness. What currency, defence, pensions, jobs, taxes, culture etc. etc.

    69. Thepnr says:

      Just reading again that link I posted about Reserved Occupations during the second world war as they were seen as being essential to the UK.

      Here’s a quote “Examples of reserved occupations in the Second World War included coal mining, ship building, and many engineering-related trades.”

      It’s not funny is it really to think that the Tories starting in Thatchers time basically destroyed these “essential” industries.

      Disgraceful and in no way funny in my view. Scotland will chose to do things differently. We have the people and the skills.

      Next time.

    70. galamcennalath says:

      Perhaps the whole Brexit fiasco is the perfect symbol of what ‘Britain’ has become, and what ‘British’ now means to the world.

      Not so much punching above its weight, as completely out of its depth. Displaying a mix of entitlement and exceptionalism for which there has been no justification within living memory. Led by hard right xenophobic nationalists whipped on by an out of control media. Wreaking mayhem to society and economy in some perverse quest to turn the clock back to past glories of Empire.

      Seen by the rest of the world as a laughing stock … and here’s the sad bit … failing to recognise the pathetic spectacle they are making of themselves.

    71. Stephane Sechaud says:

      For perspective see this –

    72. Rock says:

      “because for the last five years Britishness has been so aggressively weaponised against the Yes movement that neither side felt like mine.”

      “all of it wrapped in the Union Jack – has for huge numbers of Scots permanently extinguished whatever part of them they may have considered British.”

      Robert Peffers, do you still insist on your right to be “British” after Scotland becomes independent?

      Robert Peffers (4th February – The Sirens),

      “The Irish, whether they like it or not, live in the British Isles and are thus British. If they choose to claim not to be British then, like you, they have conceded their right to be British to the United Kingdom.”



      They escaped from being “British” after a long and bloody struggle.

      Who in their right mind in an independent Scotland would want to be called “British”?”

    73. Effijy says:

      Have no doubt that the Scottish Soldiers were sacrificed
      in order to save the English Soldiers.

      This has been the norm throughout history.

      At the battle of Waterloo, the two main “British” Actions
      involved sending in the Scots to soak up the enemy bullets and cannons.

      The Instruction to the Scottish Generals was “Send in your Bastar*s”.

      In World War 1, over 25% of “British” Soldiers who dies were Scottish, even though we were on record as being smaller and more slight than the English Soldiers.
      (Smaller Targets)

      Anyone recall a period in History when Scotland had more than 25% of the UK population? Didn’t think so!

    74. crazycat says:

      @ Cuilean at 10.22

      I can’t see a union jack now, without my heart sinking

      Me too. But I also find it really ugly – and always have done. It’s angular, bitty, fussy and a colour combination I dislike unless one of the colours is heavily dominant. The Norwegian and Icelandic flags are ok, for instance, but the Stars and Stripes is also aesthetically unpleasing to my eye.

      That’s before I even start to consider the history of it.

    75. Cuilean says:

      This is a riveting read by a Dunkirk 51st survivor

    76. Rock says:


      “Have no doubt that the Scottish Soldiers were sacrificed in order to save the English Soldiers.

      This has been the norm throughout history.:

      Rock (14th November 2016 – In remembrance),

      “The “plebs” are pure cannon fodder, exploited because of their poverty to serve the interests of the elite who control this rotten to the core imperialist state.

      If it was the likes of the children of Blair, Cameron and Straw who had to go and fight, there would have been no illegal wars.”

      Truth Always.

    77. Rock says:


      “Perhaps the whole Brexit fiasco is the perfect symbol of what ‘Britain’ has become, and what ‘British’ now means to the world.”

      The whole world has known for a very long time what “British” means.

      If only a majority of the Scottish population could see through through it.

      Truth Always.

    78. Cuilean says:

      The Beaches Of St Valéry

      It was in 1940 the last days of Spring
      We were sent to the Maginot line
      A fortress in France
      built to halt the advance
      of an army from a different time

      For we were soon overrun out-fought and outgunned
      Pushed further back every day
      But we never believed high command would leave us
      So we fought every inch of the way
      Till the 51st Highlanders found themselves on the banks of the Somme one more time
      It still bore the scars of that war to end wars
      The old soldiers scars deep in their minds

      But we couldn’t stay long for the Panzers rolled on
      And the battle raged west towards the sea
      Then on June the 10th when sapped of all strength
      I entered St Valéry

      And all I recall was the last boat leavin!
      My brother on board waving and calling to me
      And the Jocks stranded there wi’ their hands in the air
      On the beaches of St Valéry

      So I huddled all night in a hammered old house
      As the shells and the bullets rained down
      Next morning at dawn my hope was still strong
      For we moved to the beach from the town
      But the boat that had left on the day we arrived
      Was the only one we’d ever see
      And with no ammo or food we had done all we could
      So we surrendered at St Valéry

      When I returned at the end of the war
      From the stalag where I’d been confined
      I read of the battles the allies had fought
      Stalingrad, Alamein, and the Rhine
      Wi’ pride in their hearts people spoke of Dunkirk where defeat had become victory
      But nobody mentioned the Highland Division
      They’d never heard of St Valéry

      No stories no statues for those that were killed
      No honours for those that were caught
      Just a deep sense of shame as though we were to blame
      Though I knew in my heart we were not.

      So I’ve moved to a country I’ve come to call home
      But my homeland is far o’er the sea
      I will never return while my memories still burn
      On the beaches of St Valéry

    79. colin alexander says:

      This reminded me of Gordon Brown, I was reminded of something he said that bothered me more than all The Vow pish.

      Do youse remember his “Churchill” speech?

      When he said people should vote NO because Scots died alongside English, Welsh, Irish etc in World Wars.

      Using the immense sacrifice and suffering of Scots as justification for continuing WM domination and subjugation of Scotland just sickened me.

      I’m told one of my ancestors after returning from the army after WW1 said: “The big mistake we made was handing our rifles back at the end of the war”, when they returned to the “land fit for heroes” to face grinding poverty and slum housing.

      No, I’m not advocating armed insurrection, but I can understand the sentiment.

    80. velofello says:

      galamcennalath; Brexit is not a fiasco for the wealthy, Brexit is a benefit to them to consolidate their wealth over the less wealthy population. EU regulations are not helpful to the wealthy, UK independent austerity policies provides them with control over the “grateful”poor.

      The UK debt, or in fact any country’s debt. Debt to who? Debt inter-country, or to what organisation?

      Cuilean – well expressed.

    81. Street Andrew says:

      Easyblues asks

      “What makes people aggressively support the union?”

      I think, my dear chap, (chapess perhaps) that the sentiment, mindset or characteristic that explains this phenomenon is what is commonly referred to as “stupidity”. Aggravated by infantilism and deficiency of imagination.

    82. Sunniva says:

      That’s a great poem Cuillean. Did you write it? Should be required reading.

    83. Cal says:

      Looking back the idea of being British died for me on 13/02/2014. That was the date of the Semon On The Pound in Edinburgh. All three of the main parties in Westminster spoke as one to destroy any prospect of cooperation in a future fiscal agreement with an independent Scotland. That effectively killed off the proposal in the white paper and put Yes Scotland on the back foot for the rest of the campaign. It was a bold move because for me (and I’m sure many others) it was a cathartic moment when I suddenly realised that I had been an utter fool all my life in believing that the establishment in London had any kind of respect for Scotland or concern for her future wellbeing. It was like you had held out your hand to someone in friendship and their response had been to spit in your face! Worse still, almost no one in England (a land I believed to have been populated with people with an innate sense of “fair play”) spoke out in defence of Scotland’s aspirations. Instead, we were subjected to a stream of sugar coated pleas from prominant people in the anglophone media and arts for us to “stay” because we were so “valued”. They spit in your face and then tell you how special you are to them. Yeuch! The thought of it even now makes my skin crawl.

      And now I sincerely hope the EU does the same to the British bastards when they in turn extend the hand of friendship to the continentals and ask for cooperation, understanding and assistance. Let them now experience what it is like to be humiliated in your moment of weakness. Let the British nationalists now feel as Yes supporters felt on that February day in 2014. I and my family and friends will no doubt suffer the effects of their rejection because we are thirled to the Brits against our will but the satisfaction I will feel will go some way towards easing the pain.

    84. Thepnr says:

      @Stephane Sechaud

      I think you’ve surprised me, well you did really. That video was worth watching. Thanks.

    85. Still Positive says:

      I must have been 9 or 10 at the 20th anniversary of Dunkirk and I didn’t see it as a victory. I remember asking my father, who served mainly in Burma and India in General Slim’s “Forgotten Army” about it. He didn’t give me an answer about why it was portrayed as a victory. Probably recognised a rebellious daughter and didn’t want to encourage me.

      I have always thought of myself as Scottish, more down to my mother who had an Irish background although her father was born
      in Scotland to Irish parents – one of whom was born in Scotland.

      My mother was a fiercely proud Scot and when she died in 2012, aged 92, I had her funeral on St. Andrew’s Day when we played ‘Flower of Scotland’ as her coffin went into the crematorium.

    86. Petra says:

      @ Stephane at 10:48pm ….” video.”

      Thanks for that Stephane. Getting everything into perspective right enough! If ever there was ONE reason only for remaining in the EU that’s got to be it. In fact this video should have been shown right across the UK prior to the EU referendum.

    87. Cuilean says:


      It’s a song by Davie Steel (The Battlefield Band) to his 51st veteran uncle, who lived through all the song depicts.

    88. Still Positive says:

      Stephane Sechaud @ 10.48

      I enjoyed that video. If you are French Bienvenue et merci.

    89. Meg merrilees says:

      Some powerful remarks tonight.

      Reading them, I find I’m in agreement with many of the sentiments expressed e.g. re the Butcher’s Apron. My heart sinks when I see that flag and yet the Saltire always makes me smile – especially the massive one that flies over the Bannockburn Rotunda;
      Armed Forces Day 2014 – what a fiasco;
      DUP/Orange marches and having a tory MP.

      Scotland does not feel like a free country should.

      My sister is in her mid-60’s yet she told me only about a week ago of her memory as a schoolchild of their class being allowed to stand at Stirling castle to welcome the Queen and how excited she was about it. BUT, before the Queen arrived, someone came along and took away all the little Lion Rampant flags they were waving and she still remembers today how that made her feel and the disappointment she had experienced.

      Imagine being the person who came and took those flags away from excited schoolchildren.
      What a horrible thing to do.

      They’ve been doing it to us for a long time and now the crassness of this stupid iron ring in Wales!!!

      They’ll be putting up bronze statues of sheep in the Highlands next to commemorate 250 years of successful sheep rearing and monuments to the potato in Ireland.

      Bring on independence.

    90. Fireproofjim says:

      I visited the D-Day beaches and St Valery a few years ago. The French have not forgotten the 51st Division. There is a very moving memorial there and when I was there there was a fresh wreath laid in front of it.
      One thing which was obvious to me is that any evacuation of a large number of men from such a tiny fishing boat harbour would be impossible if the Germans controlled the heights on each side, as they did.
      The navy did try, and lost ships to German artillery but it was a mission impossible.
      The 51st had been attached to the French Army And joined them in the defence of St Valery, but when the French were ordered to surrender the Scots had no chance against the German tanks and artillery so had to follow suit.
      They were nothing to do with Dunkirk.

    91. Thepnr says:


      Very good poem so thanks. I once posted a poem here on Wings and got absolute pelters. I didn’t think it was that bad else I wouldn’t have posted it.

      You’ve escaped that fate but considering the article was CLASS. Ta.

    92. Sunniva says:

      Meg Merrilees. It’s crazy if they took away the Lion Rampants as they didn’t know their own history. The Lion Rampant is the flag of the Royal Stewart kings from whom Elizabeth I and II is descended. It’s not the Scottish national flag.

    93. Phronesis says:

      Brexit. There are no good choices – and Scotland ( the country) did not vote for this act of self harm;

      ‘With rare exceptions, advocates of Brexit during the referendum campaign last year presented the situation of the United Kingdom outside the European Union as being unambiguously better, both economically and politically, than the damaging vassalage of membership in the Union..

      Far from improving the United Kingdom’s position in the world, Brexit can only diminish it…Whatever the details of the negotiations in Brussels, the British government is confronted with three basic options…It would make no political sense to leave the European Union simply to enter into a similar, but less empowering arrangement along the lines of the EEA; it would make no economic sense to substitute in less than two years time for the sophisticated and well-established legal framework of the European Union the sketchy general principles of the WTO; and an uneasy compromise between these two extremes would almost certainly take many years to negotiate and would be neither economically nor politically persuasive. In reality, its commitment to the Brexit option leaves the British government with no attractive strategy in its negotiations with the rest of the European Union…

      It might have been hoped that in a mature Parliamentary democracy such as the United Kingdom, the toxicity of Conservative divisions over Europe would have provoked within the party or among the parties of opposition some elements of self-healing resistance. .. As the negative consequences of Brexit become daily clearer over the coming months, the Labour Party will undoubtedly wish to exploit the growing embarrassment of the Conservative government in this area. But the hostility of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell to the European Union is long-standing and well-documented. Their reinforced position at the head of the Labour Party will act as a major barrier to the emergence of a Labour European policy fundamentally opposed to Brexit rather than looking simply to mitigate its perceived worst effects…A united front of Parliamentarians finally willing to fulfil their traditional role as guardians of the national interest by declaring that “enough is enough” on Brexit is an entirely conceivable next twist of the kaleidoscope’

      An expert view from Harvard (Mr Farage will not be pleased);

      ‘I wondered if it might be too soon for companies to act. I found it hard to imagine that a worldly commonwealth like the UK, with such a well-regarded civil service, would fail to be adequately prepared to embark on negotiations critical to its economic future. But given the shambolic nature of the Brexit process to date, I no longer take it for granted that an agreement will prevent large British industries such as automobiles or financial services from being locked out of the Continent. In other words, although we don’t know yet exactly what’s going to happen, so far the process does not inspire confidence…

      As a result, many companies in sectors most likely to be affected are starting to move. By early May, more than one-quarter of the 222 UK financial services firms monitored by the EY Brexit Tracker had announced that they are moving some activities out of the UK, or that they are reviewing their domicile as a result of Brexit — up significantly from January. And the Bank of England has written to the CEOs and branch managers of all firms with cross-border activities between the UK and the rest of the EU to ask for contingency plans by July 14’

      And yet there can be such a thing as responsible government, anticipating a positive future, working alongside its citizens not against them;

      ‘One of the overall principles of Norway’s management of its petroleum resources is that exploration, development and production must result in maximum value creation for society, and that revenues must accrue to the Norwegian state and thus benefit society as a whole. The main reason for this is the extraordinary returns that can be obtained by producing petroleum resources. Since these resources belong to society as a whole, the Norwegian state secures a large share of the value creation through taxation and the system known as the State’s Direct Financial Interest (SDFI) in the petroleum industry…

      The government’s total net cash flow in 2016, including the dividend from Statoil and various fees, was NOK 127,9 billion, or about 13 % of total government revenues in the National Budget. By comparison, the net government cash flow from petroleum activities was in 2015 NOK 232 billion. The net government cash flow is expected to be around NOK 179 billion in 2017

    94. Don McKillop says:

      I rarely post comments here or other places as I have lived in Australia the past 53 years. Born and bred in Glasgow, and will die a Glasgow boy. My grandfather went over the top twice and my father told me that when my Granddad died at an early age it was because of the WWI. As a young boy I remember my father a few times had to be taken to hospital because of blood pouring from his mouth because of a duodenal ulcer. It wasn’t to many years later that he took me to see the first Dunkirk film that I realized he had been there. As we left the cinema he said it was rubbish, and the only reality was the actual film shot at the time. He said the English officers just called him and his companion sappers as just jocks, and were never given any assistance at all. My father never said he was British, and could not understand his friends who were. This was one of the great motivators for our family emigrating to Australia where we were called 10 quid pommies. My father died at an early age too, which I , rightly or wrongly, put down to his experiences at Dunkirk. Never understand why my ain folk still want to be ruled by the English. Scots have always been just colonial fodder.

    95. Cuilean says:


      absolutely spot on.

      Oh yes. W

      What goes around, effin comes around.

    96. Dr Ew says:

      So, noo thon Barry Norman’s deid ye’re a film critic?

      Well, why not?

    97. Thepnr says:

      Talking of pelters the bigger you can give me the more I’ll appreciate them. This was the poem.

      Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
      Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
      Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
      Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
      Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
      Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
      The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

      That you are here—that life exists and identity,
      That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

    98. Anne Graham says:

      Thepnr, such a sad and terrible story. And all too common. Everybody absolutely everybody has family who died in horrible ways in bad wars.

      It’s never the boss men that die in their wars.

      How can we stop this?

    99. Still Positive says:

      Agree the Scots, and others, were used as cannon fodder.

      Some years ago I had a girl in my English class in a poor area of Glasgow who applied to join the army because she believed what they told her about seeing the world. I didn’t know her very well as she was absent more often than when she turned up at school.

      Often wonder how she got on.

    100. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:


    101. Thepnr says:

      By the way Poet was Walt Whitman an American Leaves of Grass (1892).

      Think he would have liked Wings 🙂

    102. Thepnr says:

      Then again maybe not?

    103. Capella says:

      In the North East, the British Legion kept loyalty to the British State alive. Don’t know if it is so active in other parts of Scotland.

    104. Artyhetty says:

      Re;Stephane Sechaud@10.48

      Hmm, completely blank space there far as I can see.

      Good to read comments here, many who still have memories of what family members went through in the world wars. Shocked even still to hear how Scottish soldiers were treated, disgusting. My own grandad was imprisoned in Germany/Poland for 5 years. It split the family up and my dad never got over it, being when he basically lost his dad.

      Rich peoples’ wars ruin lives and they leave people living in poverty, even those who fight in these wars. People needs to stop fighting rich peoples’ wars. Simplistic view I know.

      Oh, and when someone I knew told me he was in Malayia in the army, in the jungle, post ww2, the sergeants did not allow the officers to treat people like dirt, which they were inclined to do, or else. A very dangerous, or else.

    105. Artyhetty says:

      Lol, Rev getting het up about the poetry!

      I have a hand written poem found in the back of a book at a charity shop, about the Black Watch at Magersfontaine, 1899. The soldier who wrote it is commerorated on the statue at the mound, Boer war. Very sad. Black Watch museum have a copy of it.

      All war is madness. Simple really, especially in the 21st century.

      I definitely could not sit through that Dunkirk film, sounds like a glorification. Lives were lost, and many ruined, no glory in war.

    106. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      That observation of Stu’s about there no longer being room within the UK for being distinctively Scottish rang so true.

      I had always seen it from the other side, that I felt less and less “British” (as in a citizen of the UK, RP), but turning that around was a new perspective.

      We are being subjected to a sustained attack on our cultural heritage. That’s what lies behind the oft-repeated BritNat accusation of “divisiveness”, and what it really signifies.

      I just wish that more of those sorry PSBs would wake up and equally realise that they are being taken for chumps.

    107. Ghillie says:

      Oh Rev. Those few words,

      ‘neither side felt like mine’

      Are heartbreakingly poignent.

      Know the feeling well. The unionists have done terrible terrible damage. They just can’t help themselves.

    108. yesindyref2 says:

      Whatever you do don’t start singing FoS.

    109. Malky says:

      I won’t be going to see this, of course. Nonetheless, this is a neat, pertinent and bold piece of critical writing which draws relevant parallels between recent British history and very recent Scottish history.

    110. Ken500 says:

      The EU has helped stop wars in Europe for the over 70 years. Now Brexit. The US/UK has been bombing the world to bits for over 70 years. Westminster warmongering unionists parasites. Costing £Trns. Sanctioning and starving the vulnerable to death. Killing and maiming millions of innocent people.

      They have been bombing the Middle East to bits for years causing the worst migration crisis in Europe since 11WW. Costing £Trns and ruining the world economy. They are despicable.

    111. Ken500 says:

      Minimum pricing.

      Aidan (Mole) O’Neil argues why ‘not tax’. Knowing the Scottish Gov does not have the power. Some whisky companies evade tax and pay no tax at all on vast profits which pay Mr O’Neil’s lucrative salary and donations to the Tory Party. Mr O’Neil’s avowed speculation that Scotland should be denied an IndyRef. People in Scotland should be denied their ‘human rights’ to life and liberty, as set out in the ECHR. Round and round it goes, The Scottish Parliament’s decision should be superseded by googlegook.

      2017 Scotland is a lot different to Thatcher’s Britain, A different place. Minimum pricing will cut deaths from alcohol poisoning. More people are getting ‘total abstinence’ proper rehab treatment, There would be even more but some unionist councils prevent it. Spending money on grotesque projects of no value instead of proper essential public services. Alcohol services should stop telling addicts they can be ‘social drinkers’. They can’t.

    112. Ken500 says:

      The British army was made up of 80% people from Scotland because of higher unemployment in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK, Thatcher’s policy etc. Secretly and illegally taking resources from Scotland. Lies and fraud. Still taking £20Billion from Scotland in mismanaged unionist policies.

      With the Defence cuts to personnel and lower unemployment. There are recruiting problems? Considered to be covered by a reserve TA force? Honorary Colonels etc. Average sized ladies. Not fat, useless lesbians. Student’s on jolly’s. Squint Trident etc. Fallon, next heir apparent, wants to start a war with Russia. Or anyone will do. Brexit will mean more will have to be spent on Defence. No shared manoveres. Out in the cold.

    113. Giving Goose says:

      The book Yeoman Soldier Prussian Farmer, out of print but worth reading if you come across it, tells the story of an English POW captured near Dunkirk.

      The camp was in East Prussia, where the writer mentions meeting a soldier from Invergordon who was captured at St Valery.

      I knew the man from Invergordon, he took a bullet and had his kidney removed by a French doctor. He spent 5 years as a POW.

      Strangely he was a very embittered man towards the SNP. It was almost as if he was very overly anti-SNP because of his experiences. I believe that he saw his own personal sacrifice as being for very little. Nothing really changed for individual’s circumstances when they returned; Britain was still a place of grinding poverty and then the Empire disintegrated post war. It was a confusing time for those brought up with the myth of Britannia.

      This movie is being rammed down people’s throats as some sort of jingoistic Brexit medicine. It is what it is; a shallow flag waver for the massed ranks of Britnats to cheer to.

      Regarding the coming months – be patient and let Brexit take it’s course. There is a lot bubbling under the surface that we are not aware of. Let it come to the surface and allow people to experience the end result. It’ll be an eye opener for many.

      Keep the faith!

    114. Fred says:

      Thanks for the lynx Nana, Calum Cashley worth a read & the last Northern Ireland piece is a shocker! Sorry nae coffee, Smallaxe AWOL still.

    115. Macjim says:

      After Dunkirk, Churchill’s Sacrifice of the Highland Division
      Currently 99p at amazon for the kindle
      I wasn’t impressed with the new Dunkirk.

    116. Fred says:

      @ Giving Goose, anent the Invergordon guy who hated the SNP, this former naval base had tumbleweed blowing doon the street until the smelter was built, some locals believed they were discriminated against & industrial workers were probably favoured. The local British Legion kept union-jackery alive, as in many other small towns & as none of my own uncles would have been seen dead in a military beret, far less talking about the war, I found this very alien. Nowadays this attracts guys/GALS who have never fired a shot so roll on 2018 & the last of this endless war commemoration.

    117. tom kane says:

      Superb, rev. And what a phenomenonal response… I had no idea, and don’t think it was a rota coincidence that saw the 51st Highlanders isolated and lost.

      But, revere the poets rev. It’s 100 years of the anniversary of the meeting between Sigfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, two English soldiers and poets who met at Craiglockart in Edinburgh. The Brit nats weren’t sure what to do with Sassoon when he called them out on prolonging the war on purpose. For his soldier’s manifesto, the should have court-martialled and shot him. Instead, they hospitalised him. Owen and Sassoon are the true response to Colonel Davidson… Dulce et decorum est… And the soldier’s manifesto… Got to love the poets rev…

      You’ve a bit of that about you too…

    118. Nana says:

      You’re welcome Fred, make sure you keep the lynx on a short leash.

      I’m hoping Smallaxe will be back when he’s better, I’m missing him for sure.

    119. Ken5000 says:

      1945 brought a landslide Labour victory, Home for heroes etc. Massive house building programme. 1948 Education Act. Etc, What happened. ‘Winter of discontent’. Three day week. Dead unburied. IMF bail out. Brought Thatcher in. Over 3 million unemployed, interest rates at 15% ‘Loads of money’ bankers funding the Tories. Scotland left to rot. Thatcher illegally and secretly took resources from Scotland to fund London S/E Canary Wharf, Tilbury Docks. Labour morophed into a right wing warmongering Party. A Brexit shambles.

      Tory MSP NE farmers. Worth £2Million £1/2Million income a year. MSP salary + expenses. Getting subsidised £100,000 of freebe subsidies. Claims farmers make £12K a year. Greedy, nasty, little man. Blames the SNP for Tory fishing policies for the last 40 years. When fishermen threw back more dead fish than they caught. Leading to the need for conservation measures. Tories in the NE want to cut £Millions from education rather than the wealthiest pay slightly more on Council tax, because some wealthy farmers are getting so many freebees. They have already cut additional needs/specialists teachers, bases, the one stop shop and caused misery for families, Now they plan to cut the rural (farming) schools. Nasty, greedy people.

    120. heedtracker says:

      Nothing really changed for individual’s circumstances when they returned; Britain was still a place of grinding poverty and then the Empire disintegrated post war. It was a confusing time for those brought up with the myth of Britannia.

      NHS was founded, Homes for Heroes, an actual taxation system that the filthy rich couldnt dodge, death duties.

      That’s just the post war big issues I know off hand. You can see what happened post war in social housing, large, well built council houses with actual gardens, all built to far higher standards and sizes than spivy developers throw up today.

      These kinds of socialism ofcourse had massive expansion of public health care but all of it was fought against very hard by you guessed it, scumbag toryboy’s.

      Keep in mind that as soon as WW2 ended, the Cold War kicked off. UK spends about 2-3% GDP on the military, under the Snatcher Thatcher Cold War era, it was 7+%.

      Look at the money a socialist worker like Crash Gordon has pissed away on Labour’s lust for modern war, from Iraq, Trident, those two £12+bn carriers in Fife, all to deliver death and destruction to foreign climes, as Scots heavy industry was all closed down.

      Your man in Invergordon isn’t wrong.

    121. heedtracker says:

      BBC r4 vote tory Today show ends with lovely boost for Dunkirk, all kinds of barking beeb gimp madness, from “its Britain stands alone” to, heroic tory Nigel Farage “urges all young people to go and see it.”

      Also, beeb gimp’s give blanket coverage to their Battle of Britain hero Mike Gove, who says tory 2040 ban on the combustion car engine, makes “Britain a world leader in technology.”

      Thats enough tory beeb gimp stuff, til lunchtime:D

    122. Macart says:

      Definitions and identity… labels if you will. A tricky business right enough.

      No. No I don’t feel or want to feel ‘British’ as defined by the state. Nor can I look on the union flag and feel even the smallest pride in it anymore. Association you see. To feel anything for a piece of coloured cloth, you need to associate that imagery with something good. Something positive. Something you can be proud of. For that piece of cloth to bring people together in fellow feeling, unity. It has to mean the same thing to all of them and they have to hold a set of particular values dear and in common.

      The treatment of our population and the independence movement in particular, over the past five years has pretty much put an end to any pride or sympathy that remained for the political construct that is UK government, or the union of parliaments.

      Technical definitions and popularly perceived definitions can be two entirely differing animals you know. Technical Britishness as defined by historic geography and Britishness as defined by the state for instance. The Britishness sold to the masses as a marketing tool, a political tool, a manipulative tool. The Britishness of Blair, Brown, Cameron, May and so, so many others before them. A shallow identity. A surface only identity. One of bunting and fleg wavy events. Royal perties, cool Britannia, war glorification and didn’t we do well at the ‘lympics Britishness, which when even mildly scraped, revealed a rot which went straight down to the bone. You don’t have to dig deep to feel shame and anger at what they’ve done in our name and with our votes.

      A Britishness that gave so little with one hand and took so very much with the other.

      You can’t unsee what you’ve seen. You can’t unlearn what you’ve learnt. You can’t unhear what you’ve heard for yourself. THAT is the bottom line.

      The social union on these islands is the ONLY union that is worth a damn and IMO to save it, the political union needs to end. The parliament, system of government and practice of politics which has caused so much catastrophic damage to the populations of these islands, has to be brought to an end.

      As for definitions and associations? On the first count, I define who I am, not the state and certainly not some metrosplaining twonk in the meeja with a second in social sciences and a first in fuckwittery. On the second count, personally I don’t do doffing my cap to folk with a sense of entitlement. Nor do they warrant my respect or deference because of where they were born, where they are in the social order or what school they went to.

      I reserve that respect and that deference for people who actually give a damn and there are plenty of those to be found on this site and others just like it every day. I’m pretty chuffed to be associated with them too. 🙂

    123. Robert Peffers says:

      Some more of the news from where they are.

      Pre-crash debt problems re-emerging:-

      Debt problems seen in the run up to the financial crisis are, “Rearing their ugly heads again”, the new head of the Business Select Committee has warned.

      Northern Cities pressing for more money:-

      Mayors and council leaders from cities in Northern England will hold a summit with business leaders next month to press ministers for more investment. They are worried that Westminster is less committed to the, “Northern England Powerhouse”, since Cameron & Osborne departed.

      The cities are Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds.

      Labour Warning on Unqualified Teachers:-

      There are 24,000 unqualified teachers in English state schools. A 60% increase in in four years. That means over 5% of teachers are not qualified to teach. Head teacher’s leader, Malcolm Trobe, said the use of unqualified teachers reflects a far wider teacher shortage.

      Yet BBC Jockland streams SNP BAAD into our homes 24/7/365 while the truth is Scotland is head and shoulders above anything Westminster controls. While the SNP SG is subjected to Westminster’s bitter restraints while Westminster is ripping the Scottish Economy off in so many, many ways it is difficult to keep track of the devious robbing schemes they have in place and the lies Westminster tells.

    124. D in NL says:

      “has for huge numbers of Scots permanently extinguished whatever part of them they may have considered British”

      I completely agree with this.

      I used to feel Scottish first and British second, European third but for a long time now, the British part has disappeared. Have just applied for Dutch citizenship (because of Brexit). First thing any British (English) people ask is “can you keep your British passport?” and are shocked when I say no. This made me realise that I give not a ha’penny for my British passport. If it was my Scottish passport, it would be a different kettle of herring.

      Westminster was always a place I disdained but now I am disgusted by what they are doing in the face of Brexit. I am ashamed to be called British. Roll on my Naturalisation Ceremony!

    125. galamcennalath says:

      Nana says:

      Reality bites: the Brexit negotiations seen from the other side of the Channel

      Those two links make interesting reading. In particular Guy Verhofstadt’s statement highlights the apparent wide gulf between the UK and EU on the issue of citizen’s rights. Not looking good.

      The other article makes the good point that now it may be too late to cancel Brexit. The UK is too deeply split and could probably never return to being a full contributing member. And would the EU27 want such an unstable partner anyway?

      It touched on the view that to cancel or go soft, the UK government would need to break promises to voters. Shock horror, break promises.

      My immediate reaction to this was …. so, it’s OK to break promises made to Scots during a referendum campaign, but not OK to break promises made to English voters. Welcome to the reality of the Union.

    126. TheWasp says:

      O/T but pertinent

      The Victoria Darbyshire show on ebc have run a piece this morning on abuse of politicians. This ridiculously poor article was all about momentum V’s the tories and the far right V’s labour. Not a single mention of the SNP or of the abuse towards the First Minister, so that must be ok then.

    127. Undeadshuan says:

      Off Topic

      Seeing UK government announced decarbonisation of cars today.
      Scottish government got there first in 2013.

    128. Meg merrilees says:

      Sunniva @11.57 pm.

      Exactly – how stupid to take away the Lion Rampant!!!
      I checked with my sister, when she told me and it definitely was the Lion Rampant flag that they had taken away – the very flag that denotes ER in Scotland.
      My sister thinks of that every time she sees that flag.

      How’s that for a powerful way to imprint your message of dominance on people?
      53 years later it still has an impact.

      Have to say – do we really have to put up with all this media indulgent coverage of Diana for another 5 weeks -her anniversary is 31st August. It was tragedy when it happened and some people lost their wife/sister/parents but this happens to people every day, including my family.

      Can we please move on,or are the newspaper sales so low?

      If they’re not careful, the people will turn against Charles and Camilla and he will never be King – oops! maybe that’s what they really want out of this…

      Tired of hearing Michael Gove on the radio and it seems that there is a spat developing between him and Liam Fox over chlorine-washed chicken. Foxes usually win when chickens are concerned – be careful peeps. Buy organic!

    129. galamcennalath says:

      Dunkirk and the ‘Battle of France’.

      The UKOK focus on Dunkirk fails to do justice to the sacrifice the French made in their own defence. Wiki puts casually levels at …

      Axis forces ~168k dead or wounded
      Allied forces ~360k dead or wounded

      France suffered ~92k killed, Germany ~27k killed, UK ~11k killed.

      The two sides were equally matched in men. The French had more tanks, the Germans more aircraft. My understanding of why the French failed was due largely to lack of radio communications. Every German tank had a radio, and ground troops had radio coordination with aircraft. The French relied on telephone lines and dispatch riders on motorcycles!

      The defeat was not due to lack of courage.

      One other little known fact was that 10,000s of African French troops fought defending ‘the motherland’. Black soldiers in French uniform were shot if captured. The Nazis gave them no quarter.

    130. Molly says:

      Heedtracker at the end of Ken Loaches film ’45’ there is an old man sitting in a pub talking to someone off camera.

      He talks of the grinding poverty, he grew up with in ? Liverpool. He talks about all sleeping in the one bed with lice while at the same time Britain of course had an Empire.

      At the very end he says, ‘if only the people realised- they hold the power’.

      That’s always stuck with me because somewhere between Shakespeare’s version of history and today – this has been one of the biggest con tricks pulled on the people of GB that others know best what is in all of our interests.

      Just listen to the opportunists like Liam Fox or Michael Gove and tell me otherwise

    131. Ottomanboi says:

      Until the majority of Scots cut British out of their indentity independence will never happen. Sentimental, psychological attachment to this blood stained piece of mythology and its cultural trappings is simply incompatible with our country’s renewal.

    132. Macart says:

      Bollox! I must have tripped a word filter.

      Tried a couple of times to post some thoughts on this thread and its gone south both times.

      Apologies Rev.

    133. shug says:

      the more of this stuff they produce the less British I feel. Strangely it will reinforce the britishness for unionist/rangers types.#

      I want a car sticker that says – don’t blame me I voted yes

    134. Fred says:

      @ Meg, the problem with the US trade deal & chlorinated chicken is that Ireland will not accept this junk & as NI is a big poultry producer a border will become a necessity. A Fox in the henhouse is never a good idea!

    135. J Galt says:

      British Establishment myth making of the highest order.

      The British Army was in action against the Enemy Main Force for only 3.5 weeks out of the entire 6 years of the War and most of that time they were on the run.

      After June 1940 the German Army starting moving East and from then on all that mattered was the Eastern Front – “Operation Sealion” the mythical German invasion threat, a strategic deception aimed at Stalin but which served the British Establishment well for their “Standing Alone” myth making shite.

      After the Dunkirk Retreat the British Army was only involved in sideshows – some big like D-Day, some relatively small like North Africa.

    136. gus1940 says:

      Try to imagine the headlines in the Mail, Express, Telegraph, Sun etc. if somebody in front of cameras threw a large Butcher’s Apron on the ground, poured petrol on it and applied a match.

      I sincerely hope that nobody would be so ill-advised as to embark on such a provocative action.

    137. ScottishPsyche says:

      Apparently, a film review that references the tsunami of British Nationalism engulfing us in every area of our lives is another area that we are not allowed to comment on.

      The ‘The Young Ones’ from Leith are up in arms. I guess they like the Farage review better. Anyone else getting really sick fed up of being told how to react to the current political climate?

    138. mike cassidy says:

      Is it safe to say I’m looking forward to seeing ‘Dunkirk’ this week?

      However, if you are of a sceptical inclination when it comes to film, this newly posted article will not be good for your blood pressure.

    139. BILL A says:

      As war movies go it was action packed. I thought the minimalistic dialogue worked well as it allowed the horror and shambles to speak for itself.

      The movie left the fact that the “Great & The Good” had caused the catastrophic defeat wasn’t mentioned. London declared war on Germany – not the other way around. The UK military was a 2nd Division mob with many part-timers up against a top-form Bundesliga team that had a three-year “pre-season work-out” in 1936-1939 during the Spanish Civil War.

      As a war movie fan I enjoyed it but could feel the climatic end veer away from saving hundreds of thousands of guys from Nazi captivity to a distinct Brexit/leaving Europe feel good factor of BNP spitfire symbolism. The ending was distinctly nauseating Brexit propaganda.

    140. Alex Waugh says:

      It’s funny that someone should mention the Tartan Pimpernel. Donald Caskie married my Scottish father to my French mother in a wee French village in 1955. I am Scottish and French and have never been so happy not to be British. I didn’t used to feel like that but, as Stu says, decades of WM predation on the poor, laying waste to everything of worth in the UK and recent years’ vile outpourings have made the ‘British’ brand vomit-inducing. Even my socialist sympathies for the struggles of my brothers and sisters in England and Wales have waned. In electing the Tories (of whatever colour) again and again they are the authors of their own misery and, more sadly than I can say, I increasingly find it hard to care about their self-inflicted injuries. They made their bed but thank god Scotland doesn’t have to share it with them much longer. We’ll soon be getting a room of our own.

    141. Thanks Stuart, having read a great deal about events leading up to and beyond World War, I’ll give this film a miss.

    142. galamcennalath says:

      shug says:

      the more of this stuff they produce the less British I feel. Strangely it will reinforce the britishness for unionist/rangers types.

      Yes, it’s polarising. If, instead of of all the twisted mind games the Yoon establishment rely upon, they could have tried to make a positive case for their Union. But they didn’t. To my mind, that says any case would be weak.

      When challenged by NO voters, I always turn it around and ask them to ‘sell’ their Union to me. They almost always come back with Empire mythology and nostalgia.

    143. Big Jock says:

      In truth I have always viewed the Union flag and Britishness as my enemy. Not because I don’t like the English or the concept of such a thing as Britain. It’s simply because my own identity is continually subverted and crushed under the weight of red , white and blue.

      All my life I have had to try and maintain my Scottish identity rather than just existing as a normal nationality. It’s like a wife who loses her maiden name when they get married , but the husband also takes away her original identity. In other words they try and erase her childhood and upbringing.

      Our culture is not the same as England’s , it never was. We had people who pretended it was for the sake of a union and empire. But we are two very different cultures and will never be one nation.

    144. Whenever unionists talk about how we would all speaking be speaking German and learning about the Nazi version of German history if Hitler had won the war.

      The unionists lack self awareness, because that’s what the peoples’ of Wales and Scotland has endured under the British establishment.

      For it’s always been the British establishment’s agenda to eradicate our identity, history, language, culture and laws and make us believe that we are one country and one British people.

    145. Nana says:


      Breaking news: Brian quail and Angie Zelter have been granted standard bail conditions and released from Jail!

    146. gus1940 says:


      The latest edition of Private Eye has just popped through my letter box.

      Commenting on the news that Russia has concluded a deal to sell Turkey the latest Russian S400 Missile Defence System it reports speculation by senior NATO officers that Turkey’s membership of NATO may be approaching its end.

      If this is true where does it put the plans for Turkey to maintain the engines of our F35Bs assuming Trump doesn’t cancel them in favour of F18s which of course could not operate from our white elephants as they require cat and trap.

    147. Fred says:

      Nana, the sheriff who jailed these desperate criminals should be ashamed of him/herself!

    148. starlaw says:

      Peter McCulloch… 11-22
      Never a truer word spoken many a belting I got for speaking Scots. One language for the classroom another for the playground, Gaels suffered the same.
      On a School Holiday camp form I had to give my nationality as English as it was the only nationality on the form.

    149. galamcennalath says:

      This is three years old, but still gives an idea of how the majority of the UK think, and perhaps even why Brexit Leave won ….

      ” By three to one, British people think the British Empire is something to be proud of rather than ashamed of – they also tend to think it left its colonies better off, and a third would like it to still exist “

      Personally, I completely and totally disagree!

      It also, by extrapolation, explains why the idea of Scottish Indpendence is incomprehensible to many/most across these Isles.

    150. Fred says:

      The “Standing alone!” myth is surely an insult to Australian, Canadian, Indian, Russian & New Zealand armed forces?

    151. Fred says:

      Delete Russia! 🙂

    152. Lenny Hartley says:

      I can here it already “you cannot survive on your own without the broad shoulders etc etc ad nausea. The oil price will collapse now that nobody will use Petrol or Diesel anymore etc etc etc

      They really are getting desperate.

    153. @starlaw says:
      26 July, 2017 at 11:59 am

      Thankfully I never got the belt at primary for using scots words.

      Though I was taught English history which passed off as British, The Battle of Hastings, Drake, the black death, great fire of London, defeat of the Spanish armada etc and of course world history

      The only scots history I remember, was being told of Bonnie prince Charlie fleeing across the heather after Culloden.

      Being very interested in history,it was only after I left school, that I found books telling the real history of my country and its peoples.

    154. Proud Cybernat says:

      Let it come to the surface and allow people to experience the end result. It’ll be an eye opener for many.

      Okay–just a very small thing. On my way to work each morning I buy a couple of Morton’s roll for my lunch. In January this year they were priced at 25p each. As of today they are 35p. That’s a 29% increase since January. Imagine that kind of % hike in food prices right across the spectrum. And it’s all a result of Brexit induced lower £ exchange rates.

      BREXIT will be a complete and utter economic catastrophe for the UK. Scotland has a chance to avoid much of that fast approaching disaster.

      You YES yet?

    155. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Re the position of the 51st in 1940. They did not happen to be on the Maginot Line by some mere administrative rota arrangement. They were deliberately assigned there, as part of the French Army, specifically because the Division had such a high reputation with the French and had maintained excellent relations with them during WW1.

      For example, it’s a little known fact that for a short but very critical period in the summer of 1918 the Highlanders, along with the 62nd (Yorkshire) Division, fought alongside the French Army in Champagne, well away from the usual trenches, and in so doing restored the confidence of the French high command that had been lost in the disastrous retreats of the British Army in the spring of that year.

      Their move westwards in June of 1940 was part of a French Army re-alignment to try to stem the breakthrough that was taking place there where there was no protection from the Maginot Line. The French Army had some of the best tanks of their day (Somua 35), and had they had more of them at the time to help plug the gap, the story of 1940 away from Dunkirk might well have been very different.

    156. Charles de Gaulle said,

      `the comradeship in arms experienced on the battlefield of Abbeville May/June 1940 between the French armoured division which I had the honour to command and the valiant Scottish 51st Highland Division played its part in my decision to continue fighting unto the end, no matter what the course of events`

    157. Legerwood says:

      galamcennalath says:
      26 July, 2017 at 12:02 pm
      This is three years old, but still gives an idea of how the majority of the UK think, and perhaps even why Brexit Leave won ….

      ” By three to one, British people think the British Empire is something to be proud of rather than ashamed of – they also tend to think it left its colonies better off, and a third would like it to still exist “

      Personally, I completely and totally disagree!

      It also, by extrapolation, explains why the idea of Scottish Indpendence is incomprehensible to many/most across these Isles.

      There was a programme on BBC 4 earlier this week about statistics. A Swedish professor presents the programme which is really very good and not at all dry.

      How is that relevant to former colonies?

      Well at one point in the programme he goes through the improvement in longevity etc from the early 19th century until the present day.

      What was shown overtime the improvement in the poorest countries overtime and how they are catching up on the developed countries.

      One thing stood out and he mentioned it quite specifically: for former poor colonies their health etc improved markedly AFTER independence. Not overnight but it improved.

      Programme is worth watching. Lots of info well presented.

    158. Meg merrilees says:

      Fantastic that Brian Quail and Angela Zelter have been bailed from jail. Scandalous that peaceful protestors should have been arrested and jailed anyway – it’s a free, democratic country.

      Fred_ as far as I remember it was a magistrate ‘wot jailed them’ not Sheriff.

    159. Golfnut says:

      The other great myth was the Battle of Britain, the RAF was never in any danger of losing the battle, but it did make a good story. Statistically, the war of attrition, which is what it was, could not be won by the Luftwaffe. That doesn’t take anything away from the pilots courage and ground crews round the clock efforts.

    160. crazycat says:

      @ TheWasp at 9.49

      Be careful what you wish for! This article – – on the same subject as the show you mention, includes two paragraphs about Scotland in 2014.

      These could be entirely omitted without affecting the point the article is trying to make. So why are they there? The only possible reason is to reinforce the false perception that all the abuse came from our side.

    161. galamcennalath says:

      Golfnut says:

      The other great myth was the Battle of Britain, the RAF was never in any danger of losing the battle

      That is my understanding too.

      The UK and allies, won the Battle of Britain in part because of superior communications, radar, plus command and control. Also, German aircraft had shorter time over the UK.

      Similarly, the Germans won the Battle of France in part because French communications were very poor.

      When it comes to propaganda, simple myths make better storylines than complex technical reality.

    162. Foonurt says:

      Ken500 – whit aboot awe yoan Gypsies/Roma, homosexuals and disaebullt.

      Sunniva – wiz thoan Lion Rampant, no afore thae Stewarts, ett King William’s tum (12th Century). Mine ye, thae yins nivurr telt iz buggurr awe Scoattish history, ett schull.

      Aye, in ah bluidy awfah recurrt, fae 1945.

      Dunkirk, file wae Platoon and …… .

    163. Lenny Hartley says:

      Re Battle of Britain, I believe it as only a bit of rough wooing, Hitler thought or was led to believe that an arrangement could be made with the British Establishment that he would take Europe and the Brits could keep their overseas colonies.

      He was not interested in invading dear old England, Russia being his number one goal.

    164. Andy-B says:

      Yeah, I’m pretty sick to the back teeth of all these “feel good” British jingoistic, flicks that have been foisted on us of late.

      Plus all the British sporting events that have clogged up my tv recently, and two sporting twins who shall remain nameless in adverts between the sports events.

      We’ve also had the commemorating of the beginning of a war (WWI) which in my opinion is unheard of, unless Scots are voting for independence.

      Come next year we’ll have a big bash to celebrate the end of WWI.

      Broadcasting needs to be devolved immediately.

    165. Rock says:



      Very good poem so thanks.”

      Rev. Stuart Campbell,


      The usual suspects have turned the comments section into a cosy chatting place.

      Why don’t they do it on Robert Peffers’ website?

      Truth Always.

    166. Les Wilson says:

      Seeing that we are on the subject, my father lied about his age and joined up at 15 years old, taken at St Valery at 16.
      He was interned under machine guns in a large field, with thousands of others.

      However he escaped, and went across France and Spain, he had many escapades after that, he was caught many times but escaped them all, until the internment camp in North Africa. Strangely the let prisoners out at the weekend! So he did not try.

      Eventually he was released by an allied force sweeping through North Africa. By that time he was fluent (self taught) in French and became a translator for the Americans.

      The war was all over for him when he got back home, getting the Military Medal from the King at Buckingham palace, the King said to him, oh your the chap who escaped 10 times, no, my father replied 12 times sir!

      He was only 20 years old at that time. He considered himself very lucky, to have managed getting away in St Valery or he would have been forced worked in a German factory until the end of the war like so many of the Scots who were left there by Churchill.

    167. J Galt says:

      Goffnut and Lenny Hartley – Good points.

      Remember the USSR had invaded and annexed Bukovina-Bessarabia from Romania in June 1940 and immediately started to build up enormous offensive formations within striking distance of the Ploesti Oilfields.

      These barely defended oilfields were the Third Reich’s beating heart and Hitler, outwitted by Stalin, had allowed the Soviets the upper hand.

      A takeover or even a disruption of these oilfields would finish the Third Reich in weeks.

      From June 1940 German forces moved East(whatever the Battle of Britain was it was no preparation for invasion) resulting eventually in the desperate pre-emptive scratch operation “Barbarossa”.

      The best research on this was by soviet defector and historian Victor Suvorov. Read his book “Icebreaker” – it’s very difficult to get hold of for a book that sold 11 million copies in Russia – that says it all!

    168. Lochside says:

      I for one will not be watching this BRITNAT propaganda. The Highland Division was sacrificed to placate the French. Losing 10,000 English troops a week after the evacuation of the bulk of the BEF would never have been acceptable to the Greater English public…no matter the pish about the ‘nobility’ of an ignoble retreat. Remember, its Churchill we are talking about here.

      In the first War a quarter of Scotland’s enlisted men were killed…147,000 out of 700,000,most of them volunteers. At the battle of Loos in 1915, a quarter of all the regiments were Scots and at least a quarter of all battle casualities of the British forces were Scots. It has been estimated that Scotland’s losses per ratio were only exceeded by the Serbs.

      Our proud martial history has been steadily been written out by English historians and their lackeys. From the absurd narrative that has been fabricated that Hadrian’s wall was purely a customs boundary and that Caledonia was not ‘worth having’ to the eclipsing of Scotland’s fighting men winning crucial battle and wars in the creation of the ‘British’ Empire….the conquest of Canada by the highlanders at the Heights of Abraham; the conquest of India e.g relief of Lucknow; the Gordon’s and Scots Greys at Waterloo; the 92nd Higlanders, the ‘thin red line’ at Balaclava…none of these have been made into a film…I wonder why?

      I am proud of that spirit. I am not proud that those men nearly all died, with the exception of the war against the Nazis, for a rotten imperial cause that was not their own. But their sacrifice deserves to be remembered for the courage it represents and the disgrace that existsof deliberately of obscuring and deletion of their glorious and misplaced sacrifice. Despite being misguided, they are not the ones to blame.

      The British film industry and Hollywood have never done our country’s service people justice…caricatured as ‘jocks’..dafties with pipes and even dafter accents…the drip drip effect is there for all to see: the Scottish cringe.

      No doubt there will be those of the ilk that burned their own country’s flag that day in September in George Square three years ago..that will be squrming at those of us who disdain this pathetic paean to British glorification of failure. But they are the fools..the cringing self loathing ignoramuses that aren’t fit to lace the boots of our war dead.

    169. Capella says:

      @ Lochside – well said. Living in an occupied country, we have no normal access to the means of communication. TV, radio, press and cinema are all strictly controlled. This might be a crime in terms of human rights.

    170. William Wallace says:

      To that grumpy auld bastard called Stu
      Eh’ve written a poem just for you…
      don’t be a chat fascist
      ya grumpy auld bastirt
      an rule 8 can get tae fuck too 🙂

      Just a joke eh. Lighten up grumps. Peace. 😉

    171. Tinto Chiel says:

      Re Scotland’s war losses: I normally post a link to Electric Scotland’s web version of Duff’s work on the subject but I can’t find it at the moment via the search box.

      Strangely Hew Strachan’s claim that disproportionate Scottish losses are a nationalist myth came up first in my Google search.

      The union never sleeps.

    172. Lochside says:

      Tinto Chiel…I attended Hew Strachan’s ‘lecture’ at an ‘Aye Write’ event. He and some mouthpiece from the Royal College Sandhurst gave the most disgraceful piece of propaganda that I have ever had the misfortune to witness on the ‘misrepresentation’ of the Great War.

      Apparently, ‘only’ 11,000 men died of gassing( what about all the men who died subsequently and prematurely,because of this terrible weapon?) and ‘Blackadder'( the tv prog) was responsible for a ‘romantic’ and ‘distorted’ image of the actual war. He claimed that ‘only’ 1 in 10 of British troops died… a horrendous percentage in any military calculation. I challenged him on this, in regard to Scotland’s sacrifice. He and his crony demurred but could not prove I was wrong. There are 147,000 names in Edinburgh castle laid out by regiments. Some examples: Aberdeen lost 5400 men; Dunoon 350; Dumfriesshire 4500. I have quoted these as examples. Glasgow’s official memorial in George Square is woefully short with a claimed 20,000.

      Hew Strachan is a prime example of the type of ‘historian’ employed by the BBC, to lie and distort about the wars. They can’t allow the extent of our losses to be common knowledge. It should be political dynamite, it was the reason returning men raised the Red flag in George Square and challenged the British Empire and its tanks 5 months after the war ended. No work, high rents and unbelievable’s just a pity that socialism was allowed to divert the men away from fighting to take back their country first…and I say that as a socialist, but nationalist first.

      As a postscript… a woman came up to me at the end and thanked me for speaking up for ‘her late father’ and expressed disgust at the sychophantic audience lapping up Unionist lies.

    173. JaceF says:

      My Grandad was deafened in one ear whilst evacuating Dunkirk. I’ll take no lecturing of “Britishness” or national (Brit) pride from the likes of Farage or any BritNat.

    174. My family had a history of military service, from fighting in the UKs colonial wars to Korea.

      I never got to know my maternal great grand father, who listed into the Royal Scots in 1914, he fought on the Western front in battles such as the Somme,he survived the war, and died in 1935.

      It makes me angry that so many men, women and children died in a war which should have never have been fought, Imaybe the world would have been a better place if King George V, the Kaiser, Tsar Nicholas 111 and Archduke Franz Josef had went out onto a field and killed each other off.

    175. Tinto Chiel says:

      Well done for speaking up, Lochside.

      These are the only types allowed on the BBC to spout their insulting nonsense, as you say. It enrages me beyond belief.

      So many people on Wings have family memories which contradict the official line.

      My wee great aunties lost their husbands within a few days of each other at Loos, which is strangely rarely mentioned in the great roll of battles. They never remarried and died in the late 70s.

      After independence, it’s a toss-up for me between Mary Barbour or John MacLean Square for George Square in Glasgow.

      I’ll settle for Freedom Square, though.

    176. Vambomarbeleye says:

      Did it show the medics performing mercy killings on the mortally wounded. I have that first hand from medics that were on the beach.

    177. Ann says:

      My great grandad died at Loos. Only volunteered in the July.
      Two months later. Missing presumed dead. Never ever found like thousands of others. Left my great grannie with a toddler and an unborn daughter.
      The Great War almost destroyed whole communities and changed the course of families thereafter. If not for that war we the next generations would not be here.

    178. Dcanmore says:

      Okay, a bit late to this thread, however I did see the movie on an IMAX screen and wanted to comment after I saw it.


      It is a strange movie, the way it was filmed, or how the story unfolded is not linear. Basically it is seen through the eyes of three main characters, on sea, in the air and on land. Honestly there is much to enjoy if you’re a movie and history buff, but there is annoyance too.

      Technically the film is brilliant and I would say the photography, editing and sound will be up for a few award nominations. The attention to detail is impressive and that is where much of the budget went, little CGI was used and mostly confined to the background.

      Before I continue I want to say I have enjoyed Nolan’s movies beforehand, Momento and Inception are both great, the Batman films are a bit overlong and sometimes narratively confusing, I’ve never seen the magician one.

      A lot of us know the actual story of Dunkirk, how it came to be and the sacrifices involved, this movie is only about a part of that story, seen through the eyes of three main characters, the soldier, the civilian sailor and the pilot.

      It is a cold movie, designed to give you the feeling of terror and helplessness without much dialogue, a tale of survival and human instinct even though that may lead to questionable acts. It begins with a street fire fight in the town and the scramble for the beach. Nothing is shown or described about before this, then it is a case of getting off the beach and onto a boat home and the difficulty facing thousands of men trying to do the same. After shipping losses the call goes out for the small boats to help. In the skies above dog fighting of Spitfires and Messerschmitts and the desperate prevention of bombers targeting ships and the beaches.

      Where Nolan falls down is in the storytelling, we are being immersed in a documentary-like construction rather than a movie where we need to be emotionally involved. But above all there is much mythologising rather than fact on display. It felt like he read a comic about Dunkirk rather than a history book for research.

      The annoying things: The little boats did not come to the rescue of all the soldiers because the larger ships were too few. They rescued about 5% of the total. The French are paid lip service in only two scenes, no Belgians and no sacrificial Scottish regiments. Pre-cannon Spitfires seem to have endless ammunition where in reality they had around 15 seconds of continuous fire. There wasn’t enough wrecks and abandonment on the beaches and too few ships were seen (CGI here would have helped). One fishing boat represented Dutch involvement but in reality 40 Dutch vessels came.

      So I’m a bit confused as to what Nolan wanted from this film. It is not about jingoism or flag waving nor is it a straightforward matter-of-fact historical document. Although well acted by all there is no heart. But what we do see is a realistic depiction of fear, survival, sacrifice and a call of duty. But as with all battles, I believe the whole story needs to be told and not just a part of it.

      A strange flawed war movie with spectacular set pieces and photography. 7/10

    179. K1 says:

      Thanks Dcanmore, good review, in line with Rev’s and Grouse Beater’s….ah had no interest in seeing the film, this merely confirms ma instincts, I like a good story and whilst it’s all fine and well with good production and photography et al, unless it has a compelling human aspect, these types of ‘artistic’ interpretations usually leave me a bit…meh. ‘Cold’ seems to be the operative criticism of this offering by all accounts.

      Thanks again.

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