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Newsletter for 22nd April 2022

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  • Newsletter for 22nd April 2022

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

    Electric Scotland News

    I’m delighted to tell you that between 20 April and 26 April 2022 (inclusive), MyHeritage is offering free access to our collections of 95 million records from Australia and New Zealand.

    MyHeritage is home to several important historical record collections from Australia and New Zealand, including a number of military collections such as the Anzac Memorial records, the Australian World War II Nominal Roll, 1939–1945, and more. Additional records, such as vital records, newspapers, and government records can help fill in more details to paint a full picture of your relatives’ lives.

    For more information see their Blog post at:


    I noted a headline about how Scottish Rail is offering a 50% discount on rail fares as a special promotion BUT 1 day after it was announced in England.

    This was clearly a put down on the SNP but to my way of thinking if England comes up with an interesting new idea then why should Scotland not want to emulate it? My point is that a good idea is a good idea no matter who comes up with it so why should Scotland not want to take it onboard?

    That's why I am disgusted with the SNP for not taking up ideas that come from non SNP members. Why should all the top jobs go to SNP members despite a lot of them having no knowledge of the remit they have been given.

    Far too much power is in the hands of the SNP but half of Scots don't support the SNP. It's clear that the SNP is in many cases incompetent just because they want independence and thus won't give any decision making to non SNP supporters. This is why I believe Scotland is doomed as a country as they only pick from half of the population. All the plumb appointments go to SNP members and if you are against them then don't look to them for any support.

    As I said in a previous article I don't really care if the SNP government gets it wrong as long as they did their best. And when their best didn't work then find a way to correct the issue by any means possible. And if that means using non SNP members then that's the price of doing your best for all of Scotland.

    I also believe the continual snipping at Westminster is simply doing down Scotland and I already see evidence that Scotland is losing out on important contracts as Westminster is considering how that might affect England if Scotland went independent.

    Right now Scotland is an expensive place to do business with and will be even more expensive under Independence. Deliveries will be more expensive as the major chains will no longer need to subsidise delivery costs. The postal rates will go up as it's clearly more expensive to deliver to the remoter parts of Scotland and with us ordering more products online then our costs for them will increase. That's why I think the ferry issue is far more important than the SNP think it is.

    There must be a way for Scotland to be independent but at the same time retaining good relations with England. To me that's the real challenge for Scottish Independence and one that is not being addressed.

    I would further say that lots of Scots have non Scottish DNA and most have some English and Irish DNA. I worked in England for some 5 years and would have been perfectly happy to continue living and working there had it not been for my parents needing help with health issues meaning I returned to Scotland to help out. I never suffered any discrimination in England apart from a light teasing when the England/Scotland football match came around but even then it was a non issue.

    I now live in Canada which is probably the most diverse country in the world. And there are over 1 million Ukrainians living in Canada and of course some 15% of Canadians claim Scottish ancestry. That's not to say everything is perfect in Canada as we do have some issues but on the whole Canadians do pretty well and rank highly in the world. When Quebec wanted independence they lost by just 1% but everyone accepted the result and we've moved on. That's way different to how Scotland reacted with a 10% difference.

    I also note that the First Nations in Quebec said if Quebec went Independent then they would support joining Canada. Just like Orkney & Shetland and the Western Isles have said they would look to joining the UK if Scotland went independent.

    I wasn't in Canada when the referendum was voted on but I feel this is something I should research for the web site. I have placed a link to the 1995 referendum from Wikipedia to be going on with. See our Electric Canadian section below.

    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.

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 17th day of April 2022 - Easter Sunday
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe who reminds folk why Canada is a great place to live.

    View this at:

    What Easter should mean, by the Archbishop of York
    I'M OFTEN asked hard questions. The most direct are usually from schoolchildren. What exactly do you do? I'm the Vicar for the vicars. I'm a voice for the Christian faith.

    Read more at:

    Sexual harassment complaints against two SNP MPs upheld
    Patrick Grady and Patricia Gibsonare believed to have received the findings of an independent probe and asked to respond after claims that first emerged in the Daily Record.

    Read more at:

    Pensioners lose 8,000 of state pension as expats see sums froze
    Pensioners living in popular retirement destinations such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand do not get a yearly state pension increase.

    Read more at:

    Scottish A&E waiting times match worst level on record
    Waiting times across Scottish A&E departments have matched their worst level on record, figures show.

    Read more at:

    The Bargain Pt2: how the union gives Scotland more, not less, control over the affairs that affect it
    IN the second of a series of four articles on the Union and how to save it, Tom Miers argues the political settlement Scotland enjoys gives it more say, not less, over the key domestic and international affairs that affect the country.

    Read more at:

    Brexit wins
    It is good news that Jacob Rees Mogg has been appointed minister for ensuring we take advantage of the freedoms and opportunities of Brexit.

    Read more at:

    New bridges installed on Skye to improve access to iconic Fairy Pools
    The two new steel and timber clad bridges will help transform access to the popular tourist site.

    Read more at:

    Fife Tories launch manifesto with 50 specific proposals
    Fife’s Conservatives have published their manifesto packed with 50 specific proposals ahead of next month’s local council elections.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Jacques Cartier's First Voyage
    By W. F. Ganong, A. M. (pdf)

    You can read this article at:

    The Petroleum Field of Ontario .
    By Robert Bell, B. A. Sc., M. D., LL. D. (pdf)

    Another article which you can read at:
    I note this article is about the situation before the use of petroleum was used to power engines.

    Leftover Questions
    Ali isn’t a big fan of, you know, those less-than-perfect things in the fridge. But where she sees wilted celery, her grandma sees a way to stop wasting food.

    You can read this article at:
    Given the cost of food these days this is a timely reminder not to waste it.

    Letters Sent Home
    Out and Home Again by way of Canada and the United States or what a summer's trip told me of the people and the country of the Great West by William Morris (1875) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    The Correspondence of Hon. William Morris
    With the Colonial Office, as the Delegate from the Presbyterian Body of Canada (April, 1837) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    1995 Quebec Independence referendum
    A good summary from Wikipedia which you can read at:

    Electric Scotland
    Beth's Video Talks

    April 20th 2022 - Celtic and Bluegrass music

    You can watch this at:

    The Life of Thomas Ruddiman, A.M.
    The Keeper for almost fifty years of the Library belonging to the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh to which is subjoined new anecdotes of Buchanan by George Chalmers (1794)

    You can read this at:

    Gordon, George Maxwell
    The Pilgrim Missionary of the Punjab. A history of his life and work

    You can read this at:

    Video of Cairnpapple Hill, Scotland, 4,000 Year Old Burial Mound, Henge & Ritual Site, West Lothian, Scotland

    You can watch this at:

    Folk Tales and Fairy Lore
    In Gaelic and English collected from Oral Tradition by Rev. James MacDougall, sometime Minister of Duror, Edited with Introduction and Notes by Rev. George Calder, B.D. Minister of Strathfillan (1910) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Human Nature in its Fourfold State
    Of Primitive Integrity, Entire Depravity, Begun Recovery, and Consumate Happiness or Misery subsisting in the Parents of Mankind in Paradise, the Unregenerate, the Regenerate, and all Mankind in the future state in several practical discourses by the Rev. Thomas Boston, late Minister of the Gospel at Ettrick (1841) (pdf)

    You can read this at:


    A Scottish Song

    We print a song which appeared lately in an Edinburgh newspaper. We also give extracts from a letter which accompanied it over the initials ‘ W. G. R.’ The writer is well qualified to speak on such matters. In the same paper a letter appeared, signed ‘A. Cairns, junr.' in which it was stated that ‘Mr. Arthur Cairns, 110 Victoria Road, Dundee,’ was the author of the song. W. G. R. received the following information from Provost Peattie of Crail (a hale and hearty octogenarian), which disproves this assertion. Speaking of the version of the song as supplied to the newspaper by W. G. R.. Mr. Peattie states it is the first time he ever saw it in print, and proceeds, ‘ Mr. Cairns could never be the author when he was born in 1840. I had it 18 years before that time'. W. G. R.’s introductory remarks are as follows: ‘It is sung with great gusto and effect by my worthy friend Provosl Peattie of Crail. I have never heard any one else sing it, and I believe “The Land o’ the Thistle and the Brose” has never been in print. The tune is majestic, and the chorus stirring; but I cannot give you its name. To hear and see the Provost sing it is a treat never to be forgotten, and luckily his kindly neighbour, Mrs. Lilley, has rescued the air by noting it down. A copy of her music is before me now. The Provost informed me that he took down the words, and learned the tune, from the singing of an old soldier called Tom Cameron, in Perth, about the year 1822, but he does not know the name of the tune, and never saw the words in print. Probably it was Cameron’s own composition. Provost Peattie is satisfied that the word “malapaloons,” occurring in the third verse, is exactly as Tom Cameron sang it, but he has never met any one who could translate it. I have made a hunt after it at the Advocates’ Library without success, and can only conjecture that it must be Arabic, and picked up by old Cameron when in Egypt with his regiment early in the century. “Malalampoons” hardly meets it, and the only other word at all like it is “malapairs”—i.e. mischances or misfortunes. I ought to add that the verse about Tel-el-Kebir is the Provost’s own composition. Many years may he be spared to sing his songs to the delight of his friends.’


    May the sons o’ the mountain ever be free,
    And slavery and tyranny oppose, man;
    And lang may we boast o' oor ain liberty,
    That sprang frae the sons o’ the brose, man.

    Then hey for the plaidie and ho for the meal,
    Hey for the bonnets and ho for the steel,
    Hey for the whisky, the hearts that are leal,
    The land o’ the Thistle and the Brose, man!

    The Southern chiels they are aye for the beef,
    When oor country they try to oppose, man;
    But the only gude thing gies oor callants relief
    Is their favourite bumper o’ brose, man.

    In Egypt they played me sic malapaloons,
    And gae me sic terrible blows, man;
    But now I can hear by the sound o’ their drums,
    The wretches are hungry for brose, man.

    At grand Waterloo, where Napoleon the Great
    Nae langer oor clans could oppose, man,
    He cried out ‘My heroes, come let us retreat,
    ‘Don’t ye see they’re the sons o' the brose,’ man.

    At Tebel-Kebir, where Arabi flew
    At the sight o’ oor Highland Brigade, man,
    They followed him up to his hold in Cairo,
    And led him captive to Wolseley the Great, man.

    Lang, lang may we live, ever happy to sing
    The dangers oor lads could oppose, man,
    And aye let oor toast be the favourite thing—
    ‘Oor sons an’ a bumper o’ brose,’ man.

    Oatmeal Brose

    The inspiration for this new column came from the historic canoe journey made by Oliver Brown Award winners, Sir Alastair M Dunnett and James (Seumas) Adam, from Bowling on the Clyde to Skye in 1934. The expedition led to them being known as The Canoe Boys and the foodstuff which provided the back-bone of their diet, a foodstuff which had sustained Scots for centuries, was oatmeal. They preferred to have it, at least twice a day, in the form of oatmeal brose rather than as porridge. An account of how they made their brose was provided by Sir Alastair M Dunnett in 'Quest By Canoe', the story of their adventure published in 1950 and reprinted in 1995.

    Oatmeal brose was the true foundation of the expedition, and the correct method of making it must be put on record. A quantity of coarse oatmeal - with salt 'to taste' as they say - is placed in a bowl and boiling water poured over it. The water must be boiling hard as it pours and there should be enough of it to just cover the oatmeal. A plate is immediately placed over the bowl like a lid. You now sit by for a few minutes, gloating. This is your brose cooking in its own steam. During this pause, slip a nut of butter under the plate and into the brose. In four or five minutes whip off the lid, stir the mass violently together, splash in some milk and eat. You will never again be happy with the wersh and fushionless silky slop which passes for porridge. This was the food whose devotees staggered the legions of Rome; broke the Norsemen; held the Border for five hundred years; and are standing fast on borders still. It is a dish for men. It also happens to taste superbly. We ate it twice a day, frequently without milk, although such a simplification demands what an Ayrshire farmer once described to me as a 'guid-gaun stomach'. He is a happy traveller who has with him a bag of oatmeal and a poke of salt. He will travel fast and far.'


    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you and Happy "Earth Day".


  • #2
    During the 1995 Quebec referendum there was a "My Canada includes Quebec" movement in, at least Ontario. I don't see any such sentiments emanating from other parts of the UK. Perhaps that is something the Union Supporters should be looking to encourage.


    • Alastair
      Alastair commented
      Editing a comment
      Good idea Sandy.... I put a link to the Wikipedia page about the Canadian referendum in 1995 which I thought was pretty good.