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Newsletter for 1st September 2023

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  • Newsletter for 1st September 2023

    Electric Scotland News

    Scotland's economy is showing just one of the consequences of climate change - when the wind drops, so does Gross Domestic Product.

    That vital sign of economic health - some would say it's a virility symbol - has taken a knock with the latest GDP estimate from the Scottish government.

    It shows the second quarter of the year saw total output - across manufacturing, production, onshore energy, construction and the public sector - dropped by 0.3%. That's a steep drop by most standards.

    That gives some context to another set of figures today, about business and the Scottish government. For ministers, they make chastening reading. Faced with a prolonged period of difficult economic circumstances and very slow growth, it seems business does not think it is being well served by Holyrood policy.

    Fewer than one in ten businesses in a well-established survey of around 400 firms said the Scottish government understands the business environment and a similar number said ministers would engage with their business sector if changes were planned that would affect it.

    This comes from the Fraser of Allander Institute, working with legal firm Addleshaw Goddard, which this summer extended its quarterly business survey to find out how business perceives the Scottish government.


    Sorry for the incorrect link to the last pdf newsletter. If you didn't manage to figure it out you can view it at:

    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 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. Here is what caught my eye this week...

    Xi’s Age of Stagnation
    The Great Walling-Off of China

    Read more at:

    Germany now sick man of Europe while Brexit Britain outstrips EU giant in growth
    Europe's largest economy has regained the unfavourable title while post-Brexit Britain continues to show economic growth.

    Read more at:

    Alcohol deaths rise to highest level in 14 years
    The number of people in Scotland whose death was caused by alcohol has risen again to the highest level in 14 years. The latest figures from National Records of Scotland (NRS) show 1,276 people died from conditions caused by alcohol in 2022.

    Read more at:

    The indiscriminate devastation of Canada's raging wildfires
    Most alarmingly, Chief Brolund wonders about how his relatively small department can cope with an ever-expanding fire season. Normally the team would be dealing with a relatively small number of blazes in July and August. Now, he says, they can be fighting wildfires from March to November.

    Read more at:

    Flax: Bringing back the historic crop which could make fashion greener
    A crop which was once a staple of Scottish farming is being revived as the fashion industry looks for ways to cut its carbon footprint.

    Read more at:

    Scotland's economy
    Becalmed and misunderstood

    Read more at:

    Why India's soaring food inflation is a global problem
    Erratic climate conditions - including the driest August in more than a century - have sent food prices spiralling above 11% in India, which is a major player in global agri-trade.

    Read more at:

    Britain should not be nervous of India
    For a disconcertingly large constituency in Britain, Indian history ends in 1947.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    The Bystander
    1883 Edition (pdf)

    You can read this edition at:

    The Watchers of the Trails
    A Book of Animal Life by Charles C. D. Roberts (1904) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Mornng - the 27th day of August 2023 - Responsibility
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    JBP Reacts to Court Decision
    Interesting statements by Jordon Peterson which I've added to the foot of our page about him.

    You can watch this at:

    Electric Scotland

    Sketch of a Tour in the Highlands of Scotland
    Through Perthshire, Argyleshire and Inverness-shire in September and October, 1818 with some account of the Caledonian Canal by Larkin (1819) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Slave Trade in the New Hebrides
    Edited by the Rev. John Kay, Coatbridge (1872) (pdf)

    You can read this report at:

    The Rev. Robert Douglas, A.M., 1594-1674
    By the Rev. John Kilpatrick, B.D., Ph.D., FSAScot (pdf)

    You can read about him at:

    St Kilda Story
    A film by Chris Mylne, telling the story of St Kilda, from the accounts of early visitors through to its preservation by the National Trust for Scotland and a Royal visit. Added this video as the third video on the page.

    You can watch this at:

    The Scottish Open Road — colour footage of life in Scotland in the 1920s
    Added this video to our Lifestyle page around half way down the page.

    You can watch this at:

    Select Works of Robert Rollock
    Principal of the University of Edinburgh, reprinted from the original editions, edited by William M. Gunn, Esq., in two volumes (1849)

    You can read these volumes at:

    Hylton Newsletter
    Got in a final newsletter for August 2023 which you can read at:

    A Sense of Community
    The Scottish islanders trying to preserve their vanishing population. Added this YouTube video to the foot of our Crofting page.

    You can watch this at:

    By Sir Walter Scott, Bart. with a supplementary chapter of recent events by Mayp W. Hazeltine in two volumes

    You can read these volumes at:


    Greenville minister in South Carolina gets mystery email, preaches for King Charles, Queen Camilla in Scotland

    Dr. Richard Gibbons of Greenville's First Presbyterian Church had to keep a Royal secret this summer.

    In early July, while writing in his prayer journal at Barnes and Nobles on Haywood Road, Gibbons said he received a mysterious email.

    It was an invitation asking him to be a guest of King Charles III, HM Queen Camilla and the British Royal Family at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on Sunday, Aug. 20.

    It took Gibbons 45 minutes to process what he read.

    "Of course, you read it, and you read it again and you read it again," he said. "It's like, this must be a mistake. It can't be to me."

    But it was no hoax.

    When Gibbons got home, he told his wife, Ruth, "You're going to have to buy a new hat."

    When she smiled and asked "Why?" he told her about the surprise invitation. She was stunned. However, the excited couple could not share the confidential news.

    "I couldn't tell my family or my congregation," Gibbons said. "And as you can imagine, when you get an invitation like that, you want to tell everyone, but of course you can't. I'm great at keeping other people's secrets, but I'm pretty useless at keeping my own, quite honestly."

    How the Greenville minister was selected for this 'special moment'

    The current Domestic Chaplain to Queen Camilla is Rev. Ken Mackenzie. When Gibbons previously lived in Inverness, Scotland, he knew Mackenzie through events and email exchanges.

    Gibbons, a native of the Scottish Highlands, said the last time he saw Mackenzie was over 30 years ago. However, Mackenzie remembered his friend, who had long-moved across the pond.

    He issued the invitation for Gibbons to guest preach at Crathie Kirk Parish Church, which went through King Charles' approval.

    On Sunday morning, he finished his sermon with a message about his 2005 heart attack, the moment that eventually led to the Gibbons' move to Greenville in 2007.

    "It was pretty dramatic. I had collapsed in the street in Inverness, Scotland in September 2005. I laid in the street with no pulse, and I was unable to breathe," Gibbons said.

    When the paramedics arrived, they had to cut Gibbons' shirt and jacket to use a defibrillator.

    "On the fourth attempt, they brought me back, but while I was lying there, for all intents and purposes, unable to breathe with no pulse, a congregation here in Greenville were praying for their new pastor. And a year later, we made the move here (to Greenville)," he said.

    For Gibbons, who was also recently the Guest Chaplain to the US Senate, preaching at Crathie Kirk Parish Church was a unique experience.

    Typically, he preaches in front of 1,500 congregants at First Presbyterian. He is among six pastors at a church with a growing membership of 2,700. Earlier this year, First Presbyterian opened a $34 million new facility and extension to their campus. The historic church now has a new worship and arts center, a gymnasium and a coffee shop.

    The rural, Crathie Kirk Parish Church only seats 85 visitors.

    "The big thing we're looking for, I think, in any preacher is, to show a measure of authenticity and credibility. As a pastor, you can never be six feet above contradiction because you happen to stand in the pulpit," Gibbons said. "They must see you just like them. They must be able to identify with you."

    The Gibbons' meet the Royal Family

    After the morning service, Gibbons and his wife drove to Balmoral Castle, where they had drinks at a brief reception with the Royal Family.

    For their four-day trip, the couple stayed in the minister and his family's home adjacent to the castle.

    Gibbons called the vast Balmoral Castle and Estate "overwhelming and spectacular." Constructed in 1856 during the reign of Queen Victoria, Balmoral now covers an area of approximately 50,000 acres. The 100-room estate is surrounded by moors, forestry and farmland.

    However, what really struck Gibbons was King Charles' deep interest in Gibbons' life and Greenville's growth.

    Gibbons said King Charles asked about his heart health. He also wanted to know why South Carolina is one of the fastest growing US states.

    "He was warm and personable," Gibbons said.

    Gibbons also talked to King Charles about his summer vacation and coronation.

    He realizes that not every pastor can say they have led a worship service in the presence of the Royal Family. It is a moment he will always cherish.

    "I will never be able to do that again." he said. "So there's special moments when the Lord allows you opportunities that you look back on with great thankfulness."

    This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Greenville minister gets mystery email, preaches for King Charles, Queen Camilla in Scotland

    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you. Canada has a long weekend with the Labour Day holiday on Monday.