Monday, December 1, 2008

The Declaration of Arbroath

The Declaration of Arbroath

The Declaration of Arbroath is probably the most famous document issued from Scotland during the Medieval period. Even today the words of the Declaration echo down through history as a rallying call for Scottish Nationalists. The Declaration was issued in April 1320 and was written by Bernard de Linton, Abbot at the Tironesian Abbey at Arbroath. The Declaration is a letter, drafted at the behest of the Scottish Nobility in an attempt to justify the Kingship of Robert I. At the time, Robert was Excommunicate as he had murdered his rival for the throne John Comyn in a church. The Declaration states that Robert has freed Scotland from English rule but if he should be negligent in keeping the English out or even invites them in then he will be replaced. The text of the Declaration is reproduced below.

To the most Holy Father and Lord in Christ, the Lord John, by divine providence Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman and Universal Church, his humble and devout sons Duncan, Earl of Fife, Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, Lord of Man and of Annandale, Patrick Dunbar, Earl of March, Malise, Earl of Strathearn, Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, William, Earl of Ross, Magnus, Earl of Caithness and Orkney, and William, Earl of Sutherland; Walter, Steward of Scotland, William Soules, Butler of Scotland, James, Lord of Douglas, Roger Mowbray, David, Lord of Brechin, David Graham, Ingram Umfraville, John Menteith, guardian of the earldom of Menteith, Alexander Fraser, Gilbert Hay, Constable of Scotland, Robert Keith, Marischal of Scotland, Henry St Clair, John Graham, David Lindsay, William Oliphant, Patrick Graham, John Fenton, William Abernethy, David Wemyss, William Mushet, Fergus of Ardrossan, Eustace Maxwell, William Ramsay, William Mowat, Alan Murray, Donald Campbell, John Cameron, Reginald CheyneAlexander Seton, Andrew Leslie, and Alexander Straiton, and the other barons and freeholders and the whole community of the realm of Scotland send all manner of filial reverence, with devout kisses of his blessed feet.

Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous. Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today. The Britons they first drove out, the Picts they utterly destroyed, and, even though very often assailed by the Norwegians, the Danes and the English, they took possession of that home with many victories and untold efforts; and, as the historians of old time bear witness, they have held it free of all bondage ever since. In their kingdom there have reigned one hundred and thirteen kings of their own royal stock, the line unbroken a single foreigner.

The high qualities and deserts of these people, were they not otherwise manifest, gain glory enough from this: that the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Lord Jesus Christ, after His Passion and Resurrection, called them, even though settled in the uttermost parts of the earth, almost the first to His most holy faith. Nor would He have them confirmed in that faith by merely anyone but by the first of His Apostles -- by calling, though second or third in rank -- the most gentle Saint Andrew, the Blessed Peter's brother, and desired him to keep them under his protection as their patron forever.

The Most Holy Fathers your predecessors gave careful heed to these things and bestowed many favours and numerous privileges on this same kingdom and people, as being the special charge of the Blessed Peter's brother. Thus our nation under their protection did indeed live in freedom and peace up to the time when that mighty prince the King of the English, Edward, the father of the one who reigns today, when our kingdom had no head and our people harboured no malice or treachery and were then unused to wars or invasions, came in the guise of a friend and ally to harass them as an enemy. The deeds of cruelty, massacre, violence, pillage, arson, imprisoning prelates, burning down monasteries, robbing and killing monks and nuns, and yet other outrages without number which he committed against our people, sparing neither age nor sex, religion nor rank, no one could describe nor fully imagine unless he had seen them with his own eyes.

But from these countless evils we have been set free, by the help of Him Who though He afflicts yet heals and restores, by our most tireless Prince, King and Lord, the Lord Robert. He, that his people and his heritage might be delivered out of the hands of our enemies, met toil and fatigue, hunger and peril, like another Macabaeus or Joshua and bore them cheerfully. Him, too, divine providence, his right of succession according to or laws and customs which we shall maintain to the death, and the due consent and assent of us all have made our Prince and King. To him, as to the man by whom salvation has been wrought unto our people, we are bound both by law and by his merits that our freedom may be still maintained, and by him, come what may, we mean to stand.

Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

Therefore it is, Reverend Father and Lord, that we beseech your Holiness with our most earnest prayers and suppliant hearts, inasmuch as you will in your sincerity and goodness consider all this, that, since with Him Whose vice-gerent on earth you are there is neither weighing nor distinction of Jew and Greek, Scotsman or Englishman, you will look with the eyes of a father on the troubles and privation brought by the English upon us and upon the Church of God. May it please you to admonish and exhort the King of the English, who ought to be satisfied with what belongs to him since England used once to be enough for seven kings or more, to leave us Scots in peace, who live in this poor little Scotland, beyond which there is no dwelling-place at all, and covet nothing but our own. We are sincerely willing to do anything for him, having regard to our condition, that we can, to win peace for ourselves.

This truly concerns you, Holy Father, since you see the savagery of the heathen raging against the Christians, as the sins of Christians have indeed deserved, and the frontiers of Christendom being pressed inward every day; and how much it will tarnish your Holiness's memory if (which God forbid) the Church suffers eclipse or scandal in any branch of it during your time, you must perceive. Then rouse the Christian princes who for false reasons pretend that they cannot go to help of the Holy Land because of wars they have on hand with their neighbours. The real reason that prevents them is that in making war on their smaller neighbours they find quicker profit and weaker resistance. But how cheerfully our Lord the King and we too would go there if the King of the English would leave us in peace, He from Whom nothing is hidden well knows; and we profess and declare it to you as the Vicar of Christ and to all Christendom.

But if your Holiness puts too much faith in the tales the English tell and will not give sincere belief to all this, nor refrain from favouring them to our prejudice, then the slaughter of bodies, the perdition of souls, and all the other misfortunes that will follow, inflicted by them on us and by us on them, will, we believe, be surely laid by the Most High to your charge.

To conclude, we are and shall ever be, as far as duty calls us, ready to do your will in all things, as obedient sons to you as His Vicar; and to Him as the Supreme King and Judge we commit the maintenance of our cause, csating our cares upon Him and firmly trusting that He will inspire us with courage and bring our enemies to nought.

May the Most High preserve you to his Holy Church in holiness and health and grant you length of days.

Given at the monastery of Arbroath in Scotland on the sixth day of the month of April in the year of grace thirteen hundred and twenty and the fifteenth year of the reign of our King aforesaid.

Additional names written on some of the seal tags: Alexander Lamberton, Edward Keith, John Inchmartin, Thomas Menzies, John Durrant, Thomas Morham (and one illegible).

Endorsed: Letter directed to our Lord the Supreme Pontiff by the community of Scotland.

History of Gaelic

History of Gaelic

Gaelic Scotland: a brief history

Gaelic is one of Scotland’s national languages. This status is marked on the map as much as on the mind. There are very few regions of Scotland that do not boast at least a smattering of places originally named by Gaelic speakers, from Balerno (baile airneach ‘hawthorn farm’) in Midlothian to Baile Màrtainn in South Uist, from Craigentinny (creag an t-sionnaich ‘fox craig’) in Edinburgh to Aultivullin (allt a’ mhuilinn ‘mill burn’) in the far north of Sutherland; from Drummore (druim mòr ‘big ridge’) on the Mull of Galloway to Cairnbulg (càrn builg ‘gap cairn’) near Fraserburgh. In many places where Gaelic is no longer spoken as a native tongue, such as Galloway, Fife, or Aberdeenshire, the landscape is still predominantly one named by Gaelic speakers. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the high point of the expansion of Gaelic as a language in Scotland, one could traverse the whole mainland of Scotland and find speakers of Gaelic in most corners, whether it be the Gaelic landowners of the Lothians like Colmán and Gille Mhuire who gave their names to Comiston and Gilmerton, or the Clydesdale serf belonging to Glasgow Cathedral, named Gille Mochaoi; or the serfs of the upper Tweed valley called Mac Cormaig and Maol Mhuire; or the men of Norse lineage but Gaelic speech who were becoming the political hard-men of the western coast and the Hebrides, men with names like Raghnall and Somhairle.

In thinking about Gaelic in Scotland, we often think of it as in terminal decline from the time of Queen Maragret and her sons. Yet studies indicate that the 12th century was the time when the most ubiquitous Gaelic place-names, those employing the words baile ‘farm, settlement’, and achadh ‘field’, were coined. How did Gaelic become so dominant, and how did it lose sway; how did it become associated so closely with the highlands, and now with the Western Isles? When did it first reach here, and how did it change once it was here? When did various regions last have native speakers of Gaelic? This introduction tries to answer these questions and more.

Scottish Gaelic is a language of the Celtic family - it is a close relative of Welsh, Cornish and Breton, but shares a more intimate relationship with Irish and Manx Gaelic. These three Gaelic or Goidelic languages descend from a common ancestor, spoken in Ireland in the late first millennium BC and early first millennium AD. Writers in Latin referred to the inhabitants of Ireland, and thus the speakers of this ancestor language, as Scoti, and to Ireland as Scotia, but early in the middle ages, they adopted a name for themselves from their British cousins - Goídil, Gaels. Gaelic had spread to north-western Britain, to Argyll, by the 6th century AD at the very latest. It presumably arrived through the migration of Gaels, of Scoti across the Sea of Moyle, though this has been hotly debated in recent years, and the possibility that Gaelic evolved as a language simultaneously in Argyll and in Ireland has been advanced. Whatever the truth of the matter, by the sixth century it was the language of the rulers of Argyll, and of their kingdom of Dál Riada, which still included parts of County Antrim in the north of Ireland. It was the language also of its churchmen, who still had close kinship and political ties to Ireland.

Gaelic settlement was limited at this time. North of Ardnamurchan, east of the mountains, south of the Clyde, lay speakers of other Celtic languages - Pictish and British - and beyond them to the south, speakers of the ancestor of lowland Scots, northern Old English. In the subsequent centuries, although their numbers and territory continued to expand, Gaels were one people among many in northern Britain, and far from the most powerful in political terms. In the church though, they were highly influential - Gaelic churchmen played a large part in converting many parts of Scotland to Christianity, and right through the 9h century (and beyond) men from eastern Scotland would travel to Ireland for their church education.

In the 9th century, during a time of great upheaval caused by Viking invaders all around Britain’s shores, Gaels took power in eastern, as in western Scotland. By 900 the old name of Pictland was no more, and a new Gaelic name for that kingdom - Alba - and with it a new identity as Fir Alban (‘the Men of Alba’) was being promoted. The Scoti thus became the major players in the kingdom which would bear their name in English as Scotland. The kings of Alba boasted Gaelic names like Domhnall, Maolcholaim, Aodh, and Donnchadh, and one dynasty ruled that kingdom right through to the 12th century and beyond. North of the Forth, Gaelic speech supplanted Pictish entirely. South of it, the kings of Alba made conquest as far as the Tweed by 1018, and in their wake came nobles from the north and their retainers, bringing Gaelic speech into south-east Scotland.

This was not the only way in which Gaelic was expanding in Scotland at this time. The Vikings who had destabilised Britain so greatly in the 9th century settled in great numbers along the northern and western seaboard. In many places they, and their Scandinavian language, were in the minority. Self-consciously hybrid communities sprang up, such as the Gall-Ghàidhil, ‘Scandinavian Gaelic-speakers’, who went on to colonise the south-west of Scotland, giving it its name, Galloway (later confined to one portion of the south-west), and peppering the landscape with Gaelic place-names. By the 12th century, too, Scandinavian noblemen in the west had Gaelic nicknames, and could speak Gaelic, from Dublin to the Outer Hebrides. These men, with their Viking names like Oláfr, Ljodr, Ívarr, Thorketill were the new Gaels of the central middle ages. Their descendants, as MacAmhlaibh, MacLeòid, MacÌomhair, MacCorcadail, and many others, would be the lordly families of the later middle ages and early modern period. During the course of the 12th and 13th centuries, the western isles that had been most thoroughly settled by Scandinavians - Skye, Barra, the Uists, Harris and Lewis - began to become Gaelic-speaking communities, both through the increasing use of Gaelic by the ruling elite, and through less perceptible changes further down the social scale as well.

This period - the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries - was one in which the great Gaelic families were founded and began to make their fortunes. Families like Clann Dòmhnaill, descendants of Scandinavian Gaels, who ruled as lords of the Isles for 200 years; but also like the Frasers (na Frisealaich), who drew their descent from Anglo-Norman settlers from south of the Forth; or the earls of the Lennox, whose ancestor bore the Old English name Ælwine. The Campbells saw themselves as descendants of northern Britons (indeed, of Arthur!) and of Normans, as well as of Gaels. To be a Gael, in the middle ages, then, was to be a speaker of Gaelic - it was not a racial or ethnic tag. Gaelic clans looked to multiple lands for their ancestry, not just the Highlands.

For at this time, prior to the 14th century, the Highlands did not exist as a concept. But this very same period saw the circumstances which would bring in the Highland-Lowland divide now so familiar to us, and restrict and then reduce the sway of Gaelic speech. For although the kings of Alba, the kings of the Scots, still boasted of their Gaelic and Irish ancestry, they were progressive Europeans as well, bringing in new religious structures and monastic orders from England and the Continent; opening up the central belt and east coast to trade through the establishment of urban enterprise zones - the burghs - and changing fundamentally the way land and lordship operated. The personnel who effected these changes in many areas - Clydesdale, for instance, or Fife - were largely drawn from furth of Scotland. In burghs and in the church, the majority language came to be, over the course of the 13th and 14th centuries, the language we now know as lowland Scots, but which was then simply Inglis, English. Though burghs like Perth or Elgin must have had many Gaels working and living in them, most burghs did not. So too the great monasteries like Lindores or Arbroath were staffed largely by people who spoke the language which gave rise to Scots.

A map of burghs and new monasteries founded during this period is a telling one: the borders, the central belt, the east coast are dotted with new foundations, the western seaboard and the highlands on the whole are bare. Divergent cultures, as well as divergent speech zones, were emerging. From the 14th and 15th century, too, Inglis - Scots - was becoming an increasingly official language, and especially a language of law. By the 16th century, even those great Gaelic magnates who patronised, and indeed composed, Gaelic poetry used Scots for their correspondence, and for their tombstones. Not only in regional and in economic terms, but now in terms of domain of use, Gaelic was receding. As a token of this, take the printing press - the maker of early modernity. A few religious books were printed in Gaelic in the 16th and 17th centuries, but it would not be until the end of the 18th century before Gaelic culture as a whole embraced the Gaelic printed word.

None the less, the divide between Gael and lowlander was never a chasm. Throughout the early modern period, individuals and families moved between both zones and both cultures. Towns like Perth, Stirling, Aberdeen had long-standing relationships with Gaelic-speaking hinterlands which were close at hand. In the 15th century the lords of the isles were as often in their seats in Inverness and Dingwall as in Islay. The family whose hands scribed the most important manuscript of the Gaelic middle ages, the 16th century Book of the Dean of Lismore, boasted notary publics; in this manuscript, Gaelic poems are rendered in the spelling conventions of lowland Scots. Noble families highland and lowland married within their class as much as their culture. Political alliances such as those which wracked Scotland during the Covenanting Wars and the Jacobite Risings were made across the divisions of speech and community. It is important, too, that for these communities, Gaelic remained a high register language associated with culture and learning. Even in a place like Aberdeen Grammar School in the 16th century, Gaelic (though not Scots) was an accepted medium of conversation, alongside Latin and French.

Later, successive defeats of movements and individuals who seemed tied to Gaelic culture produced a sense of unease for Gaels, and of disenfranchisement within the Scottish and British nations. The 18th century saw matters change in several dramatic ways at once. The defeat of Charles Edward Stuart at Culloden led to the targeting of images of Gaelic culture - the pipes, the tartan cloth - and thus their closer identification with that culture. The ‘discovery’ of Ossian led to the elevation of Gaelic imagery within Scottish culture, and to the opening up of the highlands to tourism and the infection of the Scottish imagination with the fading relics of the Gaelic past. Gaelic culture became in the late 18th and through the 19th century ever more closely bound in to a wider Scottish identity, but it did so as a culture of the past, and through images more than through words.

At the very same time, modern Gaels were on the move, changing their locations and their horizons, and in the process modernising their culture. Gaels from the Highlands became mainstays of the British Army, helping to forge the British Empire, whilst other Gaels were thrown by economic downturn, famine and rapacious landlordism onto the ebb-tide of emigration. Some of these émigrés made for other lands: North America, Australia, New Zealand. More migrated to Scotland’s emergent industrial cities in search of work. Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and also London, became hosts to large Gaelic communities. These communities were of the highlands yet modern too. Their songs and Gaelic Societies were often nostalgic for the homeland, but could also be feverishly patriotic or enthusiastic for the new, whether it be steamboats or electoral reform. They were increasingly literate, and fuelled a burgeoning Gaelic publishing industry of books and periodicals. If the twelfth century saw the greatest extent of Gaelic in Scotland, the 19th century saw the greatest numbers of speakers, and many of them, increasingly, lived in the lowlands, in towns and in cities.

But a language needs more than sheer numbers to survive. The final decades of the 19th century saw successful struggles by Gaels for land rights in the wake of savage clearances and brutal landlordism, but it also saw the end of the fragile experiments in Gaelic-medium education, as the Education Act of 1872 brought in English as the sole medium of teaching. Subsequent reforms to allow Gaelic as a subject did not address the fundamental problem. Excluded as a language of law, and now of education, Gaelic was increasingly confined to the family, the croft and the kirk. Gaels who might have become literate in the 19th century would have less opportunity to do so in the 20th. The Gaels who populated the regiments would also take their disproportionate toll on the killing fields of the Great War.

Against a sombre backdrop of decline, the past four decades have seen increasingly significant attempts to change the status of Gaelic and its fate. Migration, exclusion (partial or full) from education and legal usage, the decline in established religion, and the rise of English literacy and the media all continued to take their toll on Gaelic and its communities through the 20th century, to say nothing of the globalisation that affects all local communities in the 21st. Regions which entered the 20th century with solid Gaelic-speaking neighbourhoods, such as the Lennox, Arran, Easter Ross, Perthshire, Southern Argyll, left it with at best a rare, aged speaker still remaining. More and more, the mainland has ceded Gaelic to English speech, and the Hebrides have become the stronghold of Gaelic. And yet a slow but steady change in fortunes has marked the last half-century. Struggles to secure a modicum of Gaelic presence in the media (especially radio and television), to increase and consolidate Gaelic-medium education, and to secure Gaelic’s status in law, have been partially successful. Gaelic signs now mark the offices of the Scottish parliament, along the High Street to the castle, where once Gaelic-speaking kings reigned, and along the streets the Perthshire poet and Edinburgh resident Donnchadh Bàn Mac an t-Saoir walked two centuries ago. In Glasgow’s west end, not far from the Broomielaw where countless Gaels once alighted from ships from the west, the first full Gaelic-medium school has been established. There have never been more or better opportunities for those without Gaelic to learn it. Not for many decades have there been so many good and often gainful opportunities for those with Gaelic to use it.

Professor Thomas Owen Clancy
Chair of Celtic
Head of Department of Celtic
Head of the Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies
University of Glasgow


Another Great Scottish Nationalist Anthem


The primary aim of the SNP is to take Scotland forward to independence.

Independence means the Scottish Parliament having full control over Scottish affairs and the right to decide when to share power with others. Independence would give Scotland the same rights and the same responsibilities as other modern nations. It would give us a voice on the world stage and a say in international bodies like the UN and EU. With an SNP government, independence would also bring greater freedom for individuals, families and communities within a society built on common interests.


The SNP wants Scotland to have what other countries take for granted – the freedom to decide what kind of society we want to live in and how we want to interact with the world around us. In other words, normality.

As individuals, we value our own independence. We accept that it is entirely natural to make our own decisions, to earn and spend our own money, and to take responsibility for our own lives. Why should we settle for anything less for our country?

As a nation, we accept the independence of other countries as normal. We do not think it strange that the people of Norway and Denmark run their own affairs. We would not expect the people of Ireland or Sweden to ask another nation to take decisions for them because they didn’t feel up to the job. Why should the people of Scotland be any different?

Most of us also want our communities to have more independence. We want to have a greater say in deciding how our public services should be funded and delivered, we want to participate in decisions which affect the environment around us and we want to contribute more to the communities we live in. That too is normal - but it won't happen unless we start by taking control of our country and taking decisions for ourselves.


The SNP campaigned for devolution because it was a move in the right direction. Devolution has improved the way that Scotland is governed but it is not the same as independence.

The Scottish Parliament has brought a new level of democracy to our country but under devolution its powers are limited - so there is a limit to how much it can achieve.

With devolution, Westminster has kept control of crucial areas like the economy, taxation, benefits, pensions, immigration and asylum, broadcasting, defence and international affairs.

The SNP wants to see the Scottish Parliament, rather than Westminster, having these powers. This would give us equality with other nations. With independence the Scottish Parliament would be able to take decisions on all matters which affect Scotland, not just some of them.

The 300-year old Union is no longer fit for purpose. It was never designed for the 21st century world. It is well past its sell by date and is holding Scotland back.

The SNP believe Scotland and England should be equal nations – friends and partners - both free to make our own choices.


Independence would enable Scotland to become more successful. Other small European countries have higher levels of economic growth and living standards than Scotland. Independence gives those nations the powers to shape their country for the better. Scotland could have this too.

Off our east coast lies Norway, the second most prosperous country in the world. Off our west coast lies Ireland, the fourth most prosperous country in the world. Off our north coast lies Iceland, the sixth most prosperous country in the world.

These independent countries represent an arc of prosperity - and Scotland has every bit as much potential as any of them. We have abundant natural resources, an educated and skilled workforce and a globally recognised identity and reputation for quality and integrity.

With independence, Scotland could join this arc of prosperity. We could pursue economic policies designed specifically for our circumstances, to give us a stronger economy, better public services and a fairer society.

Why our economy needs independence

There is no question that the Scottish economy has been underperforming under devolution. The Scottish Parliament does not have the economic powers that our competitors have, powers which are necessary to tackle Scotland’s cycle of low economic growth.

Rather than accept this state of affairs, the SNP wants to implement an economic policy that moves our country forward. Independence would give the Scottish Parliament the powers to transform Scotland into a high growth economy and a prosperous society.

With the right policies in place we could make Scotland a much more competitive place to do business. Policies such as cutting corporation tax to 20 per cent, reducing business red tape and implementing a distinctive immigration policy to target migrants with the skills we need.

As part of a wider economic strategy, these measures would boost economic growth and produce more wealth to invest in the public services we value in Scotland, without any need to increase taxes. This approach has worked in other countries – there is no reason why it should not work in Scotland too.

Making the most of our natural resources

Independence would give us full control of energy policy – and bring home Scotland’s share of North Sea oil and gas revenues.

More than 90 per cent of the UK’s oil revenues come from the Scottish sector of the Continental Shelf. So it really is Scotland’s oil

Over the past thirty years over 35 billion barrels have been extracted from the UK sector of the North Sea, producing a cash windfall for the UK government of over £200 billion. There is plenty of potential left in the North Sea, with as much as half of the oil yet to come and new opportunities opening up for the oil industry to the north and west of Scotland.

As an independent country Scotland could follow the example of Norway and invest a share of our future oil revenues in a fund to benefit future generations. By investing just part of our oil wealth, Scotland could have an Oil Fund worth billions within a decade.

In addition to oil, we have vast renewable energy potential. Scotland has 25 per cent of Europe’s wind and tidal capacity and 10 per cent of its wave power. There are huge, untapped opportunities for offshore energy production and for clean carbon technologies like carbon capture. The SNP is determined to harness this potential and turn it into a successful and sustainable industry.

Oil and renewables - along with a set of pro-Scottish business policies – can help transform Scottish prospects over the next 30 years. They are far too important to be left to London. It is time to move on so Scotland’s precious natural resources can help fuel our nation’s future prosperity.

Why Scotland needs a voice in Europe

For too long Scotland has been forced to look on while other nations gather to discuss and tackle global issues.

As part of the UK, Scotland has had no direct role in shaping the decisions of the European Union, decisions that directly affect us and have a crucial impact on key industries like fishing and agriculture.

To become part of the decision-making process in Europe, and gain the power to stand up for our vital national interests, Scotland needs to become a member state. To become a member state, Scotland has to become independent.

We will be in good company. More than half of the new EU member states have populations similar to or smaller than Scotland. If Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania can have a seat at the top table of Europe, then why not Scotland?

Scotland in the world

Independence would give Scotland a voice on the international stage; a voice we can use to promote peace, reconciliation and fairness.

The SNP will always uphold the rule of international law. An SNP government in an independent Scotland would never send Scottish soldiers into an illegal conflict, like the Iraq war.

Independence would also enable us to honour our commitments to international development aid. With independence, an SNP government would meet the UN recommended aid contributions level of 0.7 per cent of national income as well as supporting reform of international trade bodies like the World Trade Organisation to create a more level playing field between developed and less developed nations.

How will Scotland gain her independence?

Scotland will become independent when the people of Scotland vote for it in a democratic referendum.

If a majority of those who vote in the referendum vote for independence, representatives of the Scottish government will then begin negotiations with Westminster to agree an independence settlement. While negotiations are under way, a written constitution for an independent Scotland will be drafted, which will guarantee rights for Scotland’s citizens and set out how Scotland will be governed.


On the Trail of William Wallace

The first book in the series, On the Trail of William Wallace published in 1999, is a refreshing insight into the life and times of Scotland’s greatest hero William Wallace. Ross skillfully traces Wallace’s footsteps from his birth to his lasting legacy in modern times revealing the location and state of many Wallace sites today. Injected with new Wallace information, this engaging narrative demonstrates why David R. Ross was voted International Convener of the Wallace society, a position he currently holds. This publication includes: 74 Wallace-related sites in Scotland and England, one general map and three location maps, the Stirling Bridge and Falkirk battle plans, the route Wallace was dragged through London to his torturous death, as well as numerous reproductions and illustrations. William Wallace lit the torch of Scottish independence and paid the ultimate price for his selflessness. William Wallace isn’t just a legend but a “flesh and blood man” that people looked up to then as they do today. Courage and the ultimate sense of manifest destiny exemplified Wallace’s life and times. It is true, “all men die, but few men really live.” Wallace’s sacrifices and actions set the stage for Scotland’s self realization, a step that has taken 700 years to realize with the opening of Scottish parliament in 1999. Ross marked the 700th anniversary of Wallace’s death in 2005 ,by retracing the 500 miles of Wallace’s footsteps, from capture to his torture, and eventual death. Wallace remains as important in death as in life. David, R. Ross’ On The Trail of William Wallace is one best selling book well worth the read.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

That Great Scottish Patriot and Tartan Army Stalwart Ted Christopher Sings I AM Coming Home a Song Ted Wrote in Memory OF William Wallace and when ever your hear it you feel yourself Bursting with Pride but also Close to Tears this song is destined to be Another Scottish Anthem