No announcement yet.

Newsletter for 12th May 2023

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Newsletter for 12th May 2023

    Electric Scotland News

    King Charles III

    I have added links to the Coronation which you can view at: where the final video is the one to watch.

    However I have taken the opportunity to add a number of videos from the Queen's passing and also other videos of some of the work done by Prince Charles including the restoration of Dumfries House.

    I would just like to say that while for many years I was ambivalent to Royalty I had an occasion to do some research on the then Prince of Wales and I came out of the research with a healthy respect for what he has achieved. He has in fact created more jobs and wealth for the UK and Commonwealth than anyone else and a better world along with it. Whining anti-royalists have done almost nothing in comparison and too many are trying to run us down whereas he's clearly proud of us and has great ambition for us all. I just wish others would try to emulate his work ethic and success.


    I've never understood the anti-Brexit views.

    It's a fact that the EU is on the decline in world trade terms. Most of the world economy is going to Asia and the longer term future is in Africa.

    With the UK in the Commonwealth and now in the CPTPP we're well set to do major export deals on services and goods. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam and now also the UK. They are only interested in free trade and have no political agenda.

    2.5 billion citizens live in Commonwealth countries, with more than 60 per cent aged 29 or under. You can learn more about the countries in the Commonwealth at: but it includes India, the second most populous country in the world.

    Food security is with those countries and we need to do more trade with them and open up our markets to them. Our supermarkets need to develop better trade with those countries as this will give them security of supply and better prices.

    What we need to do is focus on trade and use the free trade deals we now have with the CPTPP and use our contacts in the Commonwealth to boost business with Africa.

    Let us remember that the UK wants to be independent of the EU and so an independent minded Scot should also want that as well. I'm really fed up with the many Scots that want to be independent yet also want to give away that independence to the EU. We never voted to be politically controlled by the EU, we voted for free trade and that's not what we ended up with but it seems anti-Brexit folk don't see that.

    The Auld Alliance was not a benefit to Scotland and an interesting talk in Montreal on a history course didn't blame the Scots for defeating the French in Canada as they said "We let Scotland down so it's no wonder the Scots fought so hard against us".

    I've just watched a YouTube talk about the state of Germany and Austria where the commentator (an Austrian) gave her view of their National Health Service, their food poverty, their house prices, all of which mirrors what is happening in the UK. And please note that the EU is not a democracy.

    The only way to right the ship is by exporting more and that is where our focus should be, not on Independence. By exporting more we can earn a lot more money and thus raise more tax revenue which in turn can then support more money to the poor.

    Let us remember that the Barnett formula provides around 12 billion extra money to Scotland. With Independence you lose that. North Sea Oil & Gas has likely 20 years of income left after which it's worth almost nothing. And let us also note that Scotland has gained little from all this Wind Power as it makes none of the infrastructure which is made by companies outside Scotland.

    So my call is for people to work hard to export more and for the people of Scotland to wake up and decide that what we need is exports to compensate for the loss of 12 billion and to make sure they export to every country in the world.

    I can assure you that if Scotland goes independent then a percentage of the English will no longer want to trade with Scotland and as 60% of our exports go to England that is more billions Scotland is going to need to earn to balance the books. And you should also be aware that many people coming to Scotland for a holiday do so as part of a UK holiday so how many will now avoid Scotland as part of that UK holiday?

    Have you ever read about Robert Dollar? A man born in Falkirk who became the father of the China/Japan trade in the USA. Then the many Scottish companies who did great work through their base in Hong Kong. It was enterprising Scots that went into the world and did so much to bring wealth back to Scotland.

    Carnegie built most of our libraries and Lord Strathcona headed the giant Hundson's Bay Company and was in part responsible for building the countries rail network coast to coast and that opened up the trade to Asia. He was also President of our top three universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. John A MacDonald was a long serving Prime minister of Canada and some 15% of Canadians claim Scottish ancestry and more people in Canada speak Gaelic than there are Gaelic speakers in Scotland.

    Then look at the British Empire which no matter what anyone says made a huge global impact. We were once able to do business all over the world but it seems that our political class today have no idea what to do business wise to even approach the fantastic work that Scots did all over the world.

    We don't need more free university places we need more apprenticeships so we need more technical colleges as that's where many young people will made good paying careers.

    We fought many wars with Germany, France, Italy, Spain and won them all so why should Scotland want to be under them in peace? Sturgeon did say that she would not have a referendum on rejoining the EU and note that no political party in Scotland backed Brexit and almost all commentary in the press was anti Brexit. No wonder Scots voted to remain.

    I can say I am currently disgusted with all politicians no matter what party they belong to as it seems when voted in they lose whatever common sense they may have once had.

    In fact in the period 1790-1820 a staggering 130 Scots were MPs representing seats in England and Wales. Also in 2014 it has been recorded "There are more Scots in England than any city in Scotland". It might sound surprising, but according to the latest census figures, there are about 750,000 people born in Scotland who live south of the border. That's more than the population of Edinburgh or Glasgow.

    While I ran a business in Scotland I also spent 5 years in England and enjoyed those years very much indeed. I now live in Canada.

    So my plea is for Scots to wake up and take the great opportunities there are in the world by trading with the CPTPP and Commonwealth countries. That's where we need to focus our efforts if we're to be a success and an independent country. That's where our future lies and not in the "Old Countries of Europe".

    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.

    The economics oligopoly
    Economists familiar with the concept of an 'oligopoly' appear not to have noticed that one exists at the heart of their own profession. Almost every powerful economist in America went to one of just six universities. The dominance of a handful of elite institutions is squashing competition where it matters most: ideas.

    Read more at:

    Does prison work?
    In a well-publicised speech, Sir John Major has claimed that prison doesn't work for minor offenders which will be news to his former Home Secretary, Michael Howard, who memorably said the opposite. But neither ex-Tory leader is quite right. The problem isn't short jail sentences, it's that we do them so badly.

    Read more at:

    World Health Organisation says Covid no longer a global health emergency
    The announcement marks a symbolic end to the devastating coronavirus pandemic that triggered once-unthinkable lockdowns, upended economies worldwide and killed at least seven million people worldwide

    Read more at:

    Note: I just received an email from Health Canada reminding me that I need to get my Covid booster shot!

    Spring Fellowship Election and Lecture 2023
    This recording features the Spring Election results of new Fellows to the Society, followed by a short 20-minute presentation given by Dr Ralph St Clair Wade FSAScot on their research linked to Scotland’s past.

    View this at:

    Message from the Governor General on the occasion of the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III
    It is my great honour and pleasure to congratulate His Majesty King Charles III, King of Canada, on the historic occasion of his Coronation.

    Read more at:

    Extraordinary photos from the King’s coronation
    King Charles III and Queen Camilla have been crowned, with large crowds in London and elsewhere across the country celebrating the historic moment.

    View these at:

    That's a cheese and pickle sandwich, First Lady!
    Jill Biden inspects sarnie at Rishi Sunak's big lunch - as PM throws lavish Downing Street banquet with 3,000 worth of crockery to celebrate King's Coronation.

    Read more at:

    The strange optical illusion road in Scotland where cars appear to roll uphill
    There is a very unique stretch of road in Scotland where cars appear to roll uphill due to an optical illusion and many Scots have called the spot a "childhood" favourite.

    Read more at:

    Note: Been there and I agree it's an amzing experience.

    A multicultural monarch
    The coronation was a glorious celebration of both our country’s Christian traditions and our proud status as a confident multi-faith democracy. With his inclusive style, the King has once again proved that the monarchy is one of our most progressive and agile institutions - we must not take it for granted.

    Read more at:

    Monarchy helps the UK avoid difficult decisions
    King Charles III is likely to be a careful, dedicated, and successful monarch, but the value of his role extends far beyond the performance of one individual

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    An Rubha: The Highland Village Gaelic Folklife Magazine
    Got in a copy of their excellent publication from 2014 which I added to the foot of our page about them. Also note the link to their web site was no longer working so have now updated the link where you can read other copies.

    Read this at:

    The Life and Adventures of James Beckwourth
    Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians written from his own dictation by T. D. Bonner (1856)

    This a mostly an American story but I felt is would be of interest to our Canadian audience.

    You can read this at:

    Vancouver Island
    The Land of Opportunity (pdf)

    A short document promoting Vancouver in the old days which you can read at:

    Bonds of Empire
    India and Canada share the marks of Europe’s colonial past Written by Madhuparna Gupta — Posted April 27, 2023 [external link]

    You can read this at:

    Ulster Scots settlement of Nova Scotia
    By Brian McConnell (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Coronation covered by CTV
    Thought it might be interesting to see how Canadian TV covered the event and you can watch this one hour coverage at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 7th day of May 2023 - The Coronation
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe and note that Nola is an ardent Royalist!!!

    You can watch this at:

    My Canadian Experience
    Report for Jan through April 2023 which you can read at:

    Report of a Mission to the Ottahwahs and Ojibwas on Lake Huron
    By the Rev. F. O'Meara (1846) (pdf)

    You can read this report at:

    Electric Scotland

    James Thomson
    By William Bayne (Famous Scots Series) (1898) (pdf)

    A friend of the site emailed me asking if I knew about this person and in fact we have a page about him in our Famous Scots section but I took advantage of the links she sent to acquire a fuller biography of him and have added that which you can get to at:

    Perthshire in Bygone Days
    One Hundred Biographical Essays by P. R. Drummond, F.S.A., Hon. Member of the Literary and Antiquarian Society of Perth (1879)

    I was particularly impressed with his introduction and thought I'd share it here for you to read...

    Gentlemen,—I think it right to explain to you, at some length, the reasons that have led me to dedicate the following Essays to your esteemed associations.

    Perthshire men must form the primary link of the chain which attaches you to your native county. Its mountains are picturesque, and its valleys fertile, but in its men dwells the first principle of that inner life which leads all that are of a common stock to associate. Perthshire men are the lights that sparkle on the picture which you so fondly cherish. When Sir Walter Scott returned from his final continental tour, and was driven down the vale of Gala, he was uneasy and listless, but when he saw the countenance and grasped the hand of his friend Laidlaw, he exclaimed, “Now I know that I am at Abbotsford.”

    “The proper study of mankind is man.” His steps are tremulous when he essays to go higher; at that beach his proud waves are stayed. All his visions of angels and gods are mere reflexes of himself in a condition of physical refinement. The spiritual life, so congenial to his nature, and so solacing to his dread of annihilation, he is incapable of realising. The endless existence is beyond his grasp. He finds these more objects of primary belief than of assiduous research, nay of death itself he is utterly ignorant, although it meets him in the street and in his own chamber. The abode in the grave he cannot comprehend. He calls it “ the cold grave,” because in his devious imaginings he is Dot able to realise a cold corpse placed in it, but himself with his hot, bounding blood. He knows the grave is only cold when viewed in combination with life, and he shuts his eyes, like a school-boy, to realise the darkness, and compresses his nostrils to brave the terrible mools.

    Hence, “The proper study of mankind is man.” Himself and his utmost known destiny, all that is characteristic of the age in which he is moving. How the divine has preached ; how the soldier has fought; how the politician has gone down to the house; how the poet has sung, gladdened the ear and starved; how the painter has delighted the eye and fattened on chiaro-oscuro, are all matters of deep interest, and no less so is the man who is born to affluence, an exalted rank, and a countless following, or the poor man who, in his coat of hodden gray, holds his own in the battle of life, if his doing so has been marked by traits of character, that render him the type of a class. “The working man” is a mere pseudonym. He who does not work, either with head or hammer, is of no account. The distinctive talent is often lost in the rich man by lack of motive, and driven out of the poor man by lack of bread. Lord Byron was an erratic legislator, but his love of letters and facility of pen sent him to his study, and he became the very greatest poet of modern times. The brightest jewels in the coronets of Winchilsea and Derby, are their studyings of Milton and Homer, and the present, and the late premier have both been prominent contributors to our literature, although their voices are rarely heard through the tocsin of politics which never ceases sounding.

    In these essays there are no strainings after literary skill or superior knowledge of human life, but an earnest attempt to embody the character of a whole people by very restricted personal incidents in the history of a few. The princely hospitality of Lord Breadalbane, the gallant soldiering of Baron Lynedoch, the refined tastes of Sir William Stirling Maxwell the sculpturing of Lawrence Macdonald, the painting of Thomas Duncan, the poetry of Lady Nairne and Robert Nicoll, the love stories of Bonnie Margaret Drummond, and Bessie Bell and Mary Gray, together with the quaint eccentricities of John Scott and William Glendinning, are interesting themes, however dull I may have been in unfolding them, and amply justify you in the partiality you have formed for the land of your birth, and me in inscribing to such bodies of men my impressions of their interest and value.

    The people of Perthshire take pride in the unions you have formed, not merely as demonstrations of local partiality, but because love of country is a normal condition in man, and the lack of it indicates a turning aside. Lord Byron has written,

    England, with all thy faults I love thee still.

    Robert Burns in the fulness of his heart says,

    Auld Ayr whom ne’er a toun surpasses,
    For honest men and honnie lasses.

    And in Sir Walter Scott’s famous passage on love of country, he denounces in indignant terms the character of the man in whom it is found wanting,

    Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
    Who never to himself hath said,
    This is my own, my native land!

    But in every movement of your societies its presence is manifest, not only as a primary condition, but as a vital, kindred impulse. The bird of passage returns year by year and perches under his native eaves, but the lord of creation goes out for life. He struggles for a name, and a position, and a family carriage, and to the scene of that struggle he becomes partially naturalised, but still retains in its pristine force the love of his birth-place, and of the companions of his youthful days. It is highly gratifying to all who remain as fixed denizens of our interesting county, to hear from day to day that groups of intellectual citizens are being formed in the more important business communities of our immediate country for social and generous purposes connected with it, and that their sentiments have been echoed from every land to which a Perthshire man has found his way, and that embraces a wide area.

    The county of Perth has little under-ground value. Neither coal, nor iron, nor lime has been found within its boundaries; no mines of gold or silver, only one of lead; but it is self-supporting beyond any other Scottish county. It contains thriving homesteads and well-tilled lands, parks covered with cattle, and carses waving with corn, hills clad with sheep, moors fruitful of grouse, and rivers swarming with fish. It is studded with palatial residences, and abbeys grey with age and full of historical interest. Its scenery is unrivalled, its rivers and lakes limpid as crystal, and its cities, towns and villages alluring to the welcome stranger. Besides these enviable possessions, Perthshire has a thousand well-educated young men, eager as hounds in the slips, to go out into the world and work for their places at the counter, at the desk, or at the bar, at the bench or on the bench, in the pulpit or the senate, on the ocean or the tented field. “ And many respected houses in Perthshire, and many individuals distinguished in arts and arms, record with pride their descent from the Gow Ghrom and the Pair Maid of Perth.”

    With this explanation, Gentlemen, I inscribe these papers to you, confident that when you read them you will feel encouraged in the preference which your societies have hitherto shown for the land of your birth.

    I have the honour to be,

    With the utmost respect,
    Your humble servant and countryman,

    Ellengowen, Almond-valley,
    Perthshire, August 1879.

    You can read this book at:

    Migrants in Scotland’s population histories since 1850
    An interesting document showing the many Scots born people now resident in England and Wales. (pdf)

    I found that a link I'd provided on this no longer worked so I emailed the folk concerned and they kindly provided me with this pdf file containing what I'd asked for and you can view this at:

    Essays on Miscellaneous Subjects
    By Sir John Sinclair Bart (1802)

    Mostly covers Scottish content and I found it very interesting and you can read this book at:

    The Making of Scotland
    Lectures on the war of independence delivered in the University of Glasgow by the Right Hon. Sir Herbert Maxwell, Bt. F.R.S., LL.D. (Glasgow), D.C.L. (Durham), Pres. Soc. Ant. Scot. (1911)

    You can read these lectures at:

    Replaced some videos of the Royal Family
    As usual some of the videos I had posted are no longer available but have found them again so now make them available for viewing once again.

    You can view them at:

    The Life of Sir Robert Cochran
    Prime-Minister to King James III of Scotland by Robert Cochran (1734) (pdf)

    An old book where the letter S is written as the letter F and you can read this at:

    King Charles III Coronation
    Provided two videos one on "The Scottish Coronation of Charles II & III" and the other, "The Coronation of The King and Queen Camilla" from the BBC. Both have been added to the foot of the page at:

    The Lord Chancellors of Scotland
    From the Institution of the Office to the Treaty of Union by Samuel Cowan, J.P. in two volumes (1911)

    You can read about them at:

    Got in a copy of their Spring 2023 newsletter featuring the Stone of Destiny, the Coronation and the Tartan Day parade in NYC which you can get to at:


    As there is a lot for you to read in this issue I decided to bring you an extract from The Quarterly report from "The Quarterly Journal of Agriculture" Volume 10 June 1839 to March 1840.

    The article is entitled "On the improvement in the State of Scotland since the end of the Seventeenth century" and makes an excellent read. It's some 15 pages in length so won't take you long to read but you should enjoy it, I hope.

    You can download this at:

    I might add that in the above article there is mention of Mr John Dudgeon, Spyelaw, Roxburghshire who won the prize article in that year and I managed to find a copy which is entitled "On British Agricultural Statistics and Resources in Reference to the Corn Question" which you can read at:


    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you.


  • #2
    Hi Al, liked the wee item about the Electric Brae. We used to travel that road a lot when we were kids and always insister that we experienced it. I also believe there is a smiliar experience in Nova Scotai (/) calledd Magnetic Hill (?)


    • #3
      That's interesting Sandy... didn't know about the Nova Scotia one.