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Newsletter for 29th January 2021

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  • Newsletter for 29th January 2021

    For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

    Electric Scotland News

    Got the upgrade done on the Community but there are issues still to resolve which might take some time to fix. Like email doesn't seem to be working and am having problems in identifying what the issue is.

    Also I note there is not a link to see if there are any new messages so will need to check that as well.

    I have been able to post messages ok and I added an Article and a Blog so those seem to be working ok. I was able to add last weeks newsletter so should be able to add this one as well.


    Have been getting some emails in asking why I am against Scottish Independence so thought I'd just summarise the issues I've got with it...

    It is to do with the SNP Government. In my view democracy under them is worse and getting worse. First, there was the Named Persons Scheme where in my view they wanted to take away control of the child from their Parents and appoint a named person that would oversee their life and was always available for the child to contact. I saw this as undermining parents and I didn't agree with that. Also on their trial scheme they actually provided a pedophile as a named person which in my view undermined their whole approach. Also the named person would likely be a teacher or doctor or social worker who are already under extreme pressure on hours of work, etc. In any event it was against the European Human Rights legislation which is why it was taken down by the Supreme Court of the UK while it had been passed by the Supreme court of Scotland. So this also told me that the legal system in Scotland was unable to judge this legislation properly and obviously hadn't taken this into account. So that's also a problem against our legal system.

    Then I was reading the reports by Kenneth Roy, the past editor of the Scottish Review, where he was discussing the double suicide of two girls in Glasgow. It was a total mess the way the social workers and the Scottish Justice system looked after them and to think this actually happened in Scotland really sickened me.

    Second, the SNP are looking for central control over everything in Scottish life. They have already taken away a lot of money from our Councils meaning that local control is much less that it used to be in Scotland which hits democracy. They also took the decision to turn the Scottish police into one large organisation so again any local accountability was damaged and we already see costs have spiraled out of control. They also make poor decisions and seem to have no idea how to handle large projects. Like the two new hospitals and the new Forth Bridge continue to have major problems meaning projects delayed and costs spiraling upwards. Then the BioFad company in Fife being closed was down to them and thus was a major disincentive to any other private organisation from coming in to help Scotland out meaning in this case that all Scotland's Wind Turbines would continue to be made outside Scotland instead of inside Scotland.

    Third, the SNP don't seem to have any plans in place to build up a financial base for Scottish exports and investment in future projects. All they seem to want is to be controlled by the EU which is not independence to my mind. We are already noting the major issues the EU is having with vaccine role out and their budget. Now we have several countries with growing populations turning against the EU. Also the future is in Asia but Scotland seems to want to put investment into Europe which is in decline in the world. In other words we seem to be working with the declining part of the world which is not in our long term interest.

    Fourth, the SNP is in control of our NHS and Education and both are suffering under SNP control as is our Justice system. In other words the SNP are not using the talents in Scotland outside SNP backers whereas they need all of Scotland to work for them. Going on current polling this means they are not working with at least 45% of Scottish talent.

    In other words I believe that the SNP would be a disaster for Scotland if we got independence.

    Now I will say that I personally recommended voting yes for Independence but that was only because I allowed myself to be persuaded that if Scotland got independence we would have the chance to vote in a new political system which would then remove the SNP from power but that now looks very unlikely.

    Over all while the financial system is dire with none of our banks under Scottish control I do believe that it is possible to overcome these issues but it's going to take very clever people to do this and I don't see the SNP having the talent to do that.

    So it's not that I don't support Independence bur rather that I think under the SNP we couldn't be independent unless we were outside the EU and had people that could make a real difference. Also I am concerned about the lack of transparency with the SNP as if they don't like a report they stop doing them. We need good reporting as if there is a problem we need to know about it so it can be fixed.

    And I should finish by saying that in my opinion Sturgeon sees her views as being the only possible views. Like taking away the ambassador role from Donald Trump who became the most powerful man in the world even if you didn't like him personally. That's probably why we have US tariffs on whisky. When your personal views harm Scotland then you need to do something about that.

    So note that I am against Independence because of the SNP mishandling of Scottish matters in all areas of Scottish life.

    I would he happy to hear back from anyone that can counter these points with decent facts to back there argument.

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

    National Post
    An interesting group of articles about things in Canada

    You can read these at:

    Sensationalist headlines spread Covid panic and lead to bad decisions
    Irresponsible media coverage of coronavirus has a lot to answer for

    Read more at:

    World sees Brexit UK's Union Jack as what it means to be great again - An American writes
    BRITAIN entered the European Economic Community in 1973 not because it wanted to, but because it believed it had no alternative. Today Brexit represents not just Britain's rediscovery of an alternative but, above all, the return of the confidence to choose that alternative.

    Read more at:

    Boris FIRST European leader called by Joe Biden to sort trade deal as soon as possible
    JOE BIDEN and Boris Johnson held a call this evening as the Prime Minister expressed his intent to resolve any issues in pursuit of a free trade agreement

    Read more at:

    Significant jump in school students learning Scots language
    Figures show that 418 pupils achieved the Scots Language Award (SCQF) in 2020 compared to 100 in 2019. A ‘leap’ in those signing up for the qualification in 2021 has been noted although official figures for this year have yet to be published.

    Read more at:

    Also do read our own Scots Language section at:

    Healthy life expectancy in Scotland drops to just 61 years old for men and women
    The average number of years Scots can expect to live in good health has dropped across every council area.

    Read more at:

    Why your face could be set to replace your bank card
    Sara Stewart strolls into a small Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles and orders a torta, a type of sandwich. To pay she simply looks at her reflection in a small LCD screen attached to the cashier's counter.

    Read more at:

    Letter from Africa: The continent no longer needs lectures from the US
    In our series of letters from African journalists, Waihiga Mwaura looks at what the continent could expect from new US President Joe Biden.

    Read more at:

    Conrad Black: Trump's incomparable presidency
    Many readers have asked that I comment on the American political scene and President Trump.

    Read more at:

    Angela Merkel delivers blow to Joe Biden as she sides with China against EU-US alliance
    Speaking at the virtual Davos World Economic Forum on Tuesday, the German Chancellor downplayed the US President's call for Europe to pick sides between the US and China.

    Read more at:

    Tam Dalyell: The man they couldn't gag
    By Tom Chidwick in the Scottish Review

    Read more at:

    Coronavirus comparison: How Scotland and England have done things differently
    By Peter Swindon in the Sunday Post

    Read more at:

    Crisp-loving Norfolk parrot flies again after diet
    A crisp-loving parrot - who was so overweight she could not fly - has slimmed down after being put on a diet.

    Read more at:

    Trump impeachment: Why convicting him just got a lot harder
    In the first on-the-record test of support for conviction on impeachment charges that Trump incited his supporters to mount an insurrection at the US Capitol, 45 out of 50 Senate Republicans voted to consider stopping the trial before it even starts.

    Read more at:

    The flailing EU blames Big Pharma for its own failings
    Europe’s vaccination catastrophe is not a story of bad luck, but of political and bureaucratic ineptitude

    Read more at:

    White working class kids are being left behind - we need to be honest about why
    Too many white working class areas are not just materially deprived, but socially disconnected

    Read more at:

    How post-Brexit Britain can trade its way to net zero
    42% - Proportion of UK electricity that comes from renewables last year, overtaking fossil fuels as the main source of energy for the first time.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Political Annals of Canada
    A Condensed Record of Governments from the time of Samuel de Champlain in 1608 down to the time of Earl Grey in 1905 with Appendices containing a copy of the British North America Act, establishing the Dominion in 1867; also a list of the First Members of the Dominion and Provincial Parliaments under Confederation, and a table of Important Canadian Historical Events by A. P. Cockburn Ex-Member of the first parliament of Ontario and the second, third, fourth and fifth parliaments of the Dominion (1905) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Free Grant Lands of Canada
    From practical experience of bush farming in the free grant districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound by Thos. McMurray, J.P. (1871) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday morning - 24th January 2021
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe.

    You can view this at:

    By Canoe and Dog-Train Among the Cree and Salteaux Indians
    By Egerton Ryerson Young (1808) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Your Section A for February is attached here. There are lots of things I think you will enjoy in its pages.

    Dr. Pete Hylton sent us photos of the "Burns Night in a Box" that some creative person thought of in Scotland. What a fantastic idea!

    There's a super article to help us all be less of a dude when we go to Scotland. It's Scottish Slang and Sayings: How to talk like a local. I'll bet you'll get a kick out of that one.

    Little Finlay, the Scottish wildcat kitten being cared for by the Wildcat Haven team is going back to the wild before long. His story will touch your heart. I hope these folks can make Finlay (and others to follow) a really nice half-way house and grounds so he will be prepared to be on his own. I seldom wish to be rich, but now is one of those times as I would like to ensure Finlay's good start at living his life wild.

    My Tom asked to write my Letters from the Editor page this time. He made me cry as his letter is so lovely. Thank you, Tom dah'lin.

    We have sadness too. One of my dearest friends in the world has died. Horace Loftin, who was so important in the formation of the Clan Henderson Society at Stone Mountain 33 years ago and my friend for all of those years has left us too soon.

    Please everyone, be safe. We've had our first Covid shots with the others to follow February 18. We won't be protected for two more weeks after that. We all will have to continue to be patient.

    Let me know about changes in your email. Be sure and send me your Flowers of the Forest and your genealogical queries and just notes. It's


    You can get this at:

    Three Celtic Earldoms
    Atholl, Strathearn, Menteith by Samuel Cowan, J. P. (1909) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Dundonald Family
    Added a 1 hour 17 min video documentary of Thomas Cochrane and also a link to a book Narrative of a Pedestrian Journey through Russia and Siberian Tartary, from the frontiers of China to the Frozen Sea and Kamschatka by Captain John Dundas Cochrane.

    You can view this video and read the book at:

    Letters of Two Centuries
    Chiefly connected with Inverness and the Highlands from 1616 to 1815. Edited and each introduced with explanatory and illustrative remarks by Charles Fraser-Mackintosh of Drummond. M.P., FSA Scot.

    You can read this at:

    Added photographs of the Napier stained glass windows
    In St Mary's Cathedral in Limerick to our Napier page.

    You can view these at:


    Reasons for Scots Moving to England

    I emailed Kirsty at the National Records of Scotland to see if she could provide any information on why so many Scots went to England and I got this reply...

    You asked if we had any figures on why so many Scots moved to England. The attached table taken from the NOMIS website gives some information about the characteristics of people born in Scotland who were living in England at the time of the 2011 Census.

    It shows that there were 709,000 usual residents of England who were born in Scotland. They represented 1% of the total population of England.

    (The figures are for England only. There were 24,346 usual residents of Wales who were born in Scotland – giving a total of 733,218 for E&W,)

    The figures show that this group of the population of England were:

    mostly adults – 4% aged under 16, 71% aged 16 to 64 and 25% aged 65 and over
    predominately white (98%)
    mainly reported their national identity to be “Scottish identity only (53%), ‘British identity only’ (27%) or ‘Scottish and British identities only’ (10%)
    mostly living in England one year before the census - 5.5% were living in Scotland one year before the census, with this proportion being highest for those aged 1 to 4 (34%), aged 18 to 19 (24%), aged 20 to 24 (34%) and aged 25 to 29 (21%). These older age groups are likely to relate to people who moved south for reasons of work or study.
    Of the 680,000 aged 16 and over residents of England who were born in Scotland, 390,000 (58%) were in employment, 23,000 (3%) were unemployed and 264,000 (39%) were economically inactive (mainly retired)

    In 2011, there 459,000 Scottish residents who were born in England, 9% of the total population of Scotland. Of these people,

    the proportions aged under 16, 16 to 64 and 65 and over were 8%, 74% and 18% respectively
    mostly identified as ‘British identity only’ (33%) , ‘English identity only’ (25%) , ‘Other combinations of UK identities’ (15%) or ‘Scottish identity only (14%)
    mostly living in Scotland one year before the census – 8% were living in England one year before the census, with this proportion being 30% for those aged 18 to 19, likely to reflect people coming to Scotland for reasons of study.

    You may also be interested in the chapter entitled ‘Migrants in Scotland’s population histories since 1850’ at the following link -

    It describes historical reasons for people moving between Scotland and England, many of which were work related.


    And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend.


  • #2
    Hi Al,
    good to see that you have got this up and working again, even if format slightly different.
    A comment re your views on Scottish Independence:-
    The SNP has not delivered anything of real significance and seem to be incapable of delivering anything in terms of Education, Health, meaningful Infrastructure, and the total mismanagement of projects such as Ferries and BiFab.
    Their puppets "the Greens" (who only have MSP's because of the ludicrous voting system we have) bob up and down and are probably not happy with the most recent budget delivered yesterrday. However, there is NO meaningful opposition to them and so they continue this 'myth' of 'speaking for Scotland".
    It cannot be ignored that they have never been able to produce anything that shows a proper business plan and route to independence, On top of that how can they cling to the desire to be part of the EU. That most certainly does not deliver ANY Independence.
    COVID has just shown how important the UK as a whole.
    And on and on...


    • #3
      Totally agree Sandy. I have noticed that the Daily Express carries SNP related news daily which you never see in the Scottish media. I note also Kevin Hague of Chocca Blog fame has an interesting article today. I put a link to it in our NewsFeed.

      I am trying to figure out how to collapse the views of the channels (forms) as it's a long list to work through. I also new "New Topics" also reveals new messages so that's good as I was looking for "New Posts" but not finding it.