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Newsletter for 17th March 2023

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  • Newsletter for 17th March 2023

    Electric Scotland News

    Proportion of 18-24 year-olds in the UK who are economically inactive - 31.3%.
    Up from 28.8% pre-pandemic.

    Helen Gray, Chief Economist at Learning and Work Institute, said:

    ‘Although there have been recent signs that cost-of-living pressures have reached their peak, pay fell by an average of 2.6 per cent in real terms in the most recent quarter, one of the largest reductions in pay growth since comparable records began in 2001. Public sector workers continue to be hardest hit, with nominal total pay 3.9 percentage points lower in the public sector compared with the private sector in the quarter to November 2022.

    The number of days lost to industrial action continues to rise, reaching nearly half-a-million days in November. Whilst this has not yet exceeded the levels seen in Nov 2011, at the height of disputes about public sector pension reforms, the figures do not currently include the wave of strikes seen across the public sector in December and January. In the context of ongoing cuts to the standard of living, industrial unrest is likely to continue for some time to come.

    More welcome news is the small drop in the rate of economic inactivity, continuing the downward trend seen in last month's figures. In the quarter to November this change was largely due to increased participation in the labour market by 18-24 and 50-64 year olds. However, the rate of economic inactivity remains 1.3 percentage points higher than before the pandemic. More must be done to return employment levels to those seen in February 2020 if there is to be any hope of employers filling nearly 1.2 million vacancies.’


    Religion in Scotland

    A report said there was a 34% drop in church membership between 2011 and 2021, with no sign of the trend changing.

    Mass attendance as having nearly halved across the board.

    The study found that in 2011 53% of people in Scotland identified as Christian - by 2022 that has dropped to 33%.

    Some 70% of young people aged 18-34 stated they had no religion, compared to 50% surveyed in 2011.

    It's clear that religion is on the slide but a lot of the old ministers did a lot of good work with the production of many histories that we can still enjoy today.

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    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.

    $100 billion: The total consumer credit-card balance threshold that Canadians surpassed for the first time in 2022.
    That's up 15.3 per cent from the same period in 2021. That's unlikely to drop, as 1.4 million new credit cards were issued in the final three months of 2022 alone. All of these numbers have debt analysts a little concerned.

    Read more at:

    Persistent Credit Card Debt from Advice Scotland

    First Minister candidates go head-to-head in STV debate
    The candidates vying to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland’s First Minister traded bruising blows as they clashed in their first televised debate.

    Watch this at:

    SNP Leadership Debate on Channel 4
    Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan - the three people vying to replace the dominant figure in Scottish politics Nicola Sturgeon.

    Watch this at:

    Charity demands urgent salmon farming summit with Scottish ministers after 16.5m deaths
    Leading animal welfare group calls for 'emergency' meeting amid concerns over sky hig' mortality rates in fish pens.

    Read more at:

    Young man, pick yourself off the ground
    Ahead of the Budget much focus has been how to lure older people back into the workforce but evidence suggests that affluence and lifestyle choices are by far the biggest driver of 'the great retirement'. A more pressing problem is the rise in economic inactivity in young people, especially men

    Read more at:

    Tinned foods better for planet
    Zero Waste Scotland said 'misconceptions' about canned goods had led shoppers to spend more on fresh food which they end up throwing away.

    Read more at:

    A skilled trade can be the path to success and wealth
    How are we going to train all the skilled tradespeople Canada needs? Who is going to do the plumbing and electrical work on your next home renovation? And who will repair your dishwasher or furnace a few years from now?

    Read more at:

    Ainslie Thin, bookseller who devoted his life to James Thin Ltd
    Ainslie Thin, bookseller. Born: 9 July, 1933 in Edinburgh. Died: 24 February, 2023 in Edinburgh aged 89

    Read more at:

    SNP Leadership Hustings - Johnstone
    A 2+ hour debate on YouTube

    Watch this at:

    A balanced Budget
    After years of hyperactive policymaking, today's was a refreshingly calm Budget, with welcome measures on business taxes (corporation tax aside), pensions, medicines regulations, nuclear power and childcare. If there's cause for disappointment, it's where the Chancellor hasn't gone far enough.

    Read more at:

    UK to finally harness full power of green energy with new Great British Nuclear scheme
    Nuclear power will be classed as "environmentally sustainable" and "Great British Nuclear" will be launched in a bid to bring down costs.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Cornwall, Ontario
    A video and an interesting book in the French and English languages.

    You can learn more on this town at:

    Alexandria, Ontario
    A video and other information on this town and also included Glengarry, Ontario Highland Games Documentary 1963.

    You can see all this at:

    British America
    In two volumes by John M'Gregor, Esq. (second edition) (1833)

    You can read these volumes at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 12th day of March 2023
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    The Story of the Old Time Communion Service and Worship
    Also The Metallic Communion Token of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1772 by Rev. George A. MacLennan, B. A., Montreal, Que. (1924) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    A Journal kept during the siege of Fort William Henry, August 1757
    By I. Minis Hays, M.D. (pdf)

    You can read this wee book at:

    Electric Scotland

    Kenneth S. MacDonald, M.A., D.D.
    Missionary of the Free Church of Scotland in Calcutta by James M. MacPhail, M.A., M.D.Glas (1905) (pdf)

    This book includes an excellent account of an old Highland wedding and can be read at:

    The Scottish Constitutional from the Claim of Right
    Was emailed about this and they thought it should be included on the site and I agreed so here it is for you to read at:

    Clan Ramsay
    Got a copy of their June 2018 newsletter which you can read at:

    The Earnest Student
    Memorials of John MacKintosh by the Rev. Norman MacLeod (pdf)

    You can read about this minister at:

    Extracts from Writers to the Rev. Dr. M'Leod
    Regarding the Famine and Destitution in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland (1847) (pdf)

    A truly excellent read which you can get to at:

    The Christian Guest
    A Family Magazine for Leisure Hours and Sundays, revised by the Rev. Norman MacLeod, D.D. (1859) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Cameron, George Poulett
    (1805-1882), colonel, an Indian officer, a short biography which you can read at:

    Cameron, Hugh
    Millwright, a short biography which you can read at:

    Caraid nan Gdheal
    reamh taghta de sgrbhaidhnean an ollaimh urramaich Tormoid Macled, a bha 'n a ministeir 'an sgireachd Chaluim-Chille ann an Glascho : agus cunntas air a bheatha le 'mhac, an t-ollamh urramach Tormoid Macled : mar an ceudna dealbh an ughdair by Macleodd, Norman (1867) (pdf) [includes a brief biography of Norman MacLeod by his son in the English Language.]

    You can read this at:

    Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry to the Jews from the Church of Scotland in 1839
    (Second Edition), Vol.1 | Vol. 2 by The Church of Scotland. Added this to the foot of our Scottish Jews page at:

    ScotsInUs Podcasts from The American Scottish Foundation
    Listen to a collection of many podcasts produced by the Scottish American Foundation. [external link]

    You can get to these at:

    Callum Beaumont - Piobaireachd Winner
    Glenfiddich Solo Piping Competition 2022. Added this video to the foot of the page.

    You can watch this at:

    A concise bibliography of the history, topography, and institutions of the shires of Aberdeen, Banff, and Kincardine
    by James Fowler Kellas Johnstone (1914) (pdf)

    You can study this at:


    Colonel Francis Grant

    Sir James Grant wrote from “MareBone Street,” N.D., to the Earl of Bute, desiring that Sir Harry Innes may Be appoInted Inspector of the Seizures in Scotland, and that Colonel Francis Grant, of the 90th Regiment. may have the pay of Colonel by warrant. He says (add MSS., 5726 D., p. 54): — “Allow me at the same time to recommend my Uncle, Colonel Francis Grant, of the 90th Regiment, to your Lordships countenance and favour; an old soldier who has been all his Life constantly with his Regiment, made all the Campaigns in the Late and present war, and had the honour of commanding the Royal Highlanders over since they have been in North America, who are now reduced from two complcat Battalions to about five hundred men.

    “In the last promotions he was made Colonel by Brevet, But may be said at present to be in a worse situation than at the beginning of the war, having exchanged the Lieutenant Colonelcy of an old Regiment for that of a young one. My Lord, upon the death of Colonel Morgan, it was offered to my Uncle, and he would not refuse, I would humbly therefore intreat that he may either have full pay as Colonel, for which there are presidents, or if more agreeable to his Majesty, a promise of being appointed to the first Vacant Regiment.”

    Cook-Books of Many Lands

    Mrs Pennell, the author of “My Cookery Book." has a philosophy of her own. The “ingriddiments” may be inferior, or may even fail altogether, but the cook-books themselves always retain the quaint flavour of their century and their nationality; and so she has devoted herself in the intervals of travel and in the interstices of art criticism to the collecting of the culinary manuals of all countries and of all ages.

    No one who has not undertaken a kindred accumulation can guess the keen pleasure to be derived from an eager search for the less frequently found volumes in any special field. Indeed, seeking is perhaps a more acute joy than having. And there is no danger of satiety, because there is no possibility of completing a collection of such things. The seeker is for ever discovering treatises hitherto unknown even to fellow-collectors; and he is also finding out that certain longed-for items are finally unprocurable because of their intangible rarity.

    In the exhilarating introduction to the catalogue of her precious possessions Mrs Pennell asserts that "everybody eats and everybody should enjoy eating." since the old asceticism “that hold pleasure in food to be gluttony, and consequently one of the seven deadly sins, has all but disappeared.” She thinks that even if eating were not one of the fine arts, the books she has gathered would still be amusing. And to her readers she has succeeded in making even a catalogue of them amusing. Here, for example, is one seventeenth-century title-page:

    “The Queen’s Closet Opened. Incomparable Secrets in Physick; Chirurgery, Preserving. Candying, and Cookery; as they were presented to the Queen by the most Experienced Persons of our times, many whereof were honoured with her own practice, when she pleased to descend to these more private Recreations. Never before published. Transcribed from the true Copies of her Majesties own Receipt-Books by W. M., one of her late servants. Printed for Nathaniel Brook at the Angel in Cornhill, 1655.”

    Who would not desire to possess so precious a tome not only for its own sake, but also to be taken privily into “her majesty’s closet”? Who would not like to glance through the pages of the manual by Edward Kidder, pastry-maker, with his superbly unsimplified spelling of “sauceages”? And who will not long for the privilege of perusing “Adam’s Luxury and Eve’s Cookery: or the Kitchen-Garden Display’d" a book printed for Dodsley in 1744?

    As for "The English House-Wife, Containing the Inward and Outward Vertnes Which Ought to Be in a Compleate Woman” — well, it seems a pity that this noble work is not widely distributed among the militant suffragettes, especially as the edition of 1631 declared itself to be “now the fourth time much augmented, purged, and made most profitable and necessary for all men, and the generall good of the Kingdome.” — Brandor Matthews in “Munsey’s Magazine” for July.

    Toasts and Graces

    A Legal Toast.

    Duncan Forbes of Culloden, when Lord President of the Court of Session, gave every day as a toast at his table—

    “Here’s to every Lord of Session who does not deserve to be hanged!"

    A Scottish Toast

    Peace and plenty, and nae killing;
    Beef at a groat, and meat at a shilling:
    Whisky for naething. yill at the same.
    A canty bit wife, and a cosie wee hame.

    Wind Wisdom

    When the wind’s in the north,
    Hail comes forth;
    When the wind’s in the wast.
    Look for a wat blast;
    When the wind’s in the coud.
    The weather will be fresh and good;
    When the wind’s in the east,
    Cauld and snaw comes neist.

    An East Lothian Grace

    In "Satan's Invisible World Discovered.” written for the purpose of confounding Atheists, the following is given as an East Lothian grace, in the time of ignorance and superstition:—

    Lord be bless’d for all His gifts,
    Defy the devil and all his shifts.
    God send me mair siller. Amen.

    A Highland Grace

    The constant petition at grace of the old Highland chieftain was delivered with great fervour in these terms:—

    Lord turn the world upside down, that Christians may make bread of it.” — Pennant.

    R. Murdoch-Lawrance.


    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you and hope you enjoy your St. Patrick's Day celebrations and note that Monday is the first day of Spring!!!