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Wings Over Scotland

The Ballad Of Naughty Jim 37

Posted on October 20, 2013 by

(with apologies to the author of The Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens, and with thanks to Johann Lamont for the virus)  


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Reinventing the right 102

Posted on October 20, 2013 by

In the 1979 general election, the Scottish Conservatives received 916,000 votes. In 1984, only a few years later, the US historian Barbara Tuchman wrote The March of Folly which explored the bizarre fact that governments sometimes act directly against their own interest, and lose the American colonies or the Vietnam war as a result.


She identifies the chief folly as ‘wooden-headedness’ – sticking blindly to a policy despite all evidence that it is failing. Since 1976, the Scottish Tories have been doing just that. Too stupid to realise that they had to act differently or suffer for it. Too poor in imagination to reach for alternatives. And rapidly becoming too wee to be relevant.

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The long way around 175

Posted on October 03, 2013 by

My journey to Yes is probably a rather unconventional one. I’m from an establishment background: military family, English public school, Oxford. I’ve spent a lot of my life abroad and in England. My ancestors came from Hungary in the train of Saint Margaret of Scotland, who fled here from the Norman invasion and married Malcolm Canmore to become Queen Consort, way back.


When they weren’t involved in Scotland, my family were mercenary soldiers all over Europe, as were so many others. I tracked down a pair of boots in the Schottenstift in Vienna which one of my forebears left in exchange for masses to be said for his soul.

Another was granted lands and a castle in what is now Moravia, and when I visited, before the Iron Curtain was raised, there was a notice saying that he had oppressed the peasants mightily. Maybe that was just Communist propaganda. Maybe not.

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