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Newsletter for 4th of July 2024

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  • Newsletter for 4th of July 2024

    Electric Scotland News

    By the time you read this the voting in the UK elections will be mostly over but given that there are elections in the USA and France coming up I thought I'd include this article from the editor of CapX which I found interesting...

    So here it is. Against all odds, an election where your vote really matters. It doesn’t feel that way, of course. If Labour fail to secure victory on Thursday, pundits across the political spectrum will be dining on roast crow, stuffed with their hats. If Keir Starmer is not standing outside Number 10 on Friday, the nation’s pollsters will have to be driven into the wilderness in disgrace, wailing over their discredited MRP models.

    Yet precisely because things now look so apocalyptic for the Conservative Party, how you vote really can affect the look of the Opposition benches. It is a quirk of our first-past-the-post system that once a party’s support falls below 25% the number of seats that party can hold starts to drop sharply.

    The Conservatives are now at risk of tumbling all the way down that voting cliff to their doom. A quite small decline in vote share could leave the parliamentary party so diminished that Ed Davey ends up as leader of the Opposition.

    Yet consider the counterfactual. This also means that even a small increase in Conservative turnout on July 4, especially if it happens in key marginals, could significantly boost the number of Tory MPs left standing at the end of the night, even if the best they can hope for is a 1997-style wipeout. The pollster James Kanagasooriam puts the number of seats the Tories could still win at between 60–160: an astonishing range.

    Unfortunately for Rishi Sunak, there are many voters – including disaffected Tories – who will be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of pushing his party over a cliff. The polls make clear that this election is not about embracing Labour’s vision for the country. Instead, it has the quality of something much more primal: the expulsion of a scapegoat.

    The philosopher René Girard best explained what the Conservatives are facing. There is a timeless human urge in societies suffering from crisis to focus collective anger on a particular target. We heap the victims with blame and expel them from our midst. Then we breathe a sigh of relief at the feeling that order has been restored.

    It is hardly surprising that Brexit divisions, Covid lockdowns, the cost of living crisis and years of economic stagnation have left Britain desperate for someone to blame. Yet scapegoats always get more blame than they deserve. Those who are looking to hurl the Conservatives to their destruction should draw breath and ask themselves if they are in the grip of a fury that risks leaving the country even worse off.

    Whichever party is in power, CapX will continue to share the free-market solutions Britain needs. Yet if the Conservatives are routed, who will be left to champion those ideas in the face of Labour’s more statist inclinations?

    There is another curious property of scapegoats worth bearing in mind. It is one that even offers the Conservative Party a glimmer of hope. According to Girard, the scapegoats we drive out in disgust can quickly turn around and become our heroes. Could the Tories pull off something similar?

    If, as seems inevitable, Labour form our next government, the country’s sense that order has been restored will be short-lived. As CapX has pointed out this week, Labour’s contradictions on immigration and public sector pay will soon start to pull apart their claims to moderation and unity. On growth and house building, Starmer’s party sees the importance of both, but it is not clear that they will do what it takes to get there. Never mind the question of how Starmer will fare on the international stage in the face of a potential Trump presidency or the rise of the hard right in France.

    Sooner than many now expect, the Conservatives will be looked to again to resolve the intractable problems set to bedevil Starmer’s administration. When that happens, they will need enough MPs to mount a fightback.

    Those who want to see an effective opposition should put down their pitchforks and consider if the villain they want to drive out could soon be the hero they need on their side.

    Marc Sidwell
    Editor, CapX


    Did a bit of research on the name of Kidd and found several interesting books which I've added to our page for the name. See the links to these and also their new clan crest in our Electric Scotland section below.

    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...

    The Wayback Machine, a time machine for the web
    By David Pogue

    Read more at:

    Can the Republic Survive Corrupt Presidents?
    In October 1800, on his first night in the Executive Mansion in Washington, DC, John Adams wrote home to Abigail that he hoped none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof. That statement now adorns the State Dining Room in the White House..

    Read more at:

    Scotland's most and least dangerous areas named by government
    The Scottish Government has released its yearly report on crimes and offences recorded and cleared up by the police across the country, revealing the areas with the highest and lowest crime rates.

    Read more at:

    Conrad Black: Britain's Conservatives deserve to lose
    But Labour hardly deserves to win

    Read more at:

    Bullying cases triple in many Scottish council areas as charities fear devastating impact on victims
    Scotland’s schools have suffered a massive increase in serious bullying, with reported incidents more than tripling in many areas

    Read more at:

    Sale of £4.2m farms marks end of an era on Orkney island
    How Farm in Sanday has been home to seven generations of the Sinclair family.

    Read more at:

    Greetings from ASF on the 4th of July: Remarks from Charles, Lord Bruce at the Tartan Day Observance
    As we look to celebrate this Fourth of July weekend, #ScotsinUs reflects on the relationship between Britain and United States. We take a look back at the ASF's Tartan Day Observance held at Bryant Park, and share with you closing remarks from Charles, Lord Bruce, direct descendant of Robert the Bruce. His remarks were a great reflection of the long-standing relationship between the two countries.

    Watch this at:

    Electric Canadian

    Anti-Gallic Letters
    Addressed to His Excellency, The Earl of Gosford, Governor-in-Chief of the Canadas by Camillus (1836) (pdf)

    You can read these at:

    Review of the Pastoral Letter of the Clergy
    Of the Church of Scotland in the Canadas (1828) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Art & War - Canadian War Memorials
    A selection of the works executed for the Canadian War Memorials Fund to form a record of Canada's Part in the Great War and a Memorial to those Canadians who have made the Great Sacrifice. With an article "On War Memorials" by P. G. Konody (1919) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Royal Military College of Canada
    Added the June, 1955 edition

    You can read this edition at:

    Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa – July 1, 2024
    You can watch this video at:

    For King & Country: Newfoundland's Sacrifice
    Added three videos to the foot of our Newfoundland page at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - 2024 June 30 - Canada Day
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    Travels Through the Canadas
    Containg a description of the picturesque scenery on some of the rivers and lands with an account of the productions, commernce,and inhabitants of those Provinces to which is subjoined a comparitive view of the manners and customs of several of the Indian nations of north and south America by George Heriot, Deputy Post Master of British North America (1807)

    You can read this book at:

    The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs
    Added the 1934 edition

    You can read this edition at:

    Electric Scotland

    The Sin-Eater
    The Washer of the Ford and Other Legendary Moralities by "Fiona MacLeod” (William Sharp) (1911) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Pharais and The Mountain Lovers
    By "Fiona MacLeod", (William Sharp) (1911) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    William Dow
    Monifieth/St Louis/Miami

    You can read about him at:

    Kidd on Foreign Trade
    By Howard C. Kidd, Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial Economics, Carnegie Institute of Technology (second edition) (1921) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Holocaust of The Highlands
    Found this poem in my archives which you can read at:

    The History of the Factory Movement
    From the year 1802 to the enactment of the Ten Hours' Bill in 1847 by Alfred Kydd in two volumes (1857) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Clan Kidd
    Added a copy of the new clan crest and some other publications to do with the name.

    You can see the new crest and read the other publications at:

    Scots child protection institute and Interpol in novel link-up to fight cybercrime
    Scotland's Childlight Global Child Safety Institute, hosted by the University of Edinburgh, is supporting Interpol in a seven-year £30 milion ($38m) deal to fight to end online child sexual exploitation online. An article by Bill Magee.

    You can read this article at:

    Annals of Ulster
    A Chronicle of Irish Affairs edited by William M. Hennessy, M.R.I.A., The Assistant Deputy Keeper of the Records also edited with translations and notes by B. MacCarthy, D.D., M.R.I.A. Published by the authority of the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, Under the direction of the Council of the Royal Irish Academy from 1887 to 1901 in 4 volumes which has been added to the foot of our Ulster page.

    You can read these volumes at:

    A History of the Order of the Scottish Samurai
    By Charles Gene Abel & Albert Adams Thomson (2019-2021) (pdf)

    You can read about them at:

    State Banquet For Emperor and Empress of Japan at Buckingham Palace
    Added a video of this event to our Japan page.

    You can watch this at:


    A. STIRLING MACKAY, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

    Almost a century has elapsed since the ancestor of the subject of our sketch this month left Sutherland shire and settled in that picturesque part of Canada known as Prince Edward Island. At that period the North of Scotland promised soon to be a desolation, so great was the flow of emigration to Canada and America. Whole districts were swept of their inhabitants. It was then that the infamous Burnings of Strathnaver and Kildonari took place, and shiploads of emigrants, the victims of this brutal policy of the House of Sutherland, left the land of their ancestors to seek a home in the back-woods of the far North West, or in Nova Scotia and other parts of the great Dominion of Canada and the Southern States of America. It was the exiles of Kildonan Strath who were the pioneer settlers on the banks of the Red River, and planted the now populous town of Winnipeg, to which so many of our countrymen are annually attracted. Hundreds never reached the Land of Promise, hardships on sea and land making sad encroachments in their numbers. The history of this dark episode in the annals of the Highland people has never been written, and in the hands of a competent author should prove one of sad and exciting interest. The late Alex. Mackenzie, in his “Highland Clearances,” and Donald M‘Leod, in his “Gloomy Memories of Sutherland,” have given us a graphic insight into the melancholy story of the evictions in the Highlands and Islands, but the historian of Highland emigration, except in so far as it relates to the early Highland settlers in America, has not yet appeared, although rich and varied material lie to his hand.

    In 1815 Mr. William M‘Kay emigrated from the parish of Durness, Sutherland, and settled in the green woods of the South West River, where before his death he had the satisfaction of seeing all his family settled comfortably on well-cleared farms. His son, Mr. A. Stirling Mackay, who was born at Clifton, New London, Prince Edward Island, on October 2, 1871, moved to Summerside in 1887, where he entered the employment of Messrs. Sinclair & Stewart, remaining there for two years, after which he took service with Messrs. Brace, M(Kay & Co., one of the largest general merchants on the Island. In 1889, on the death of the senior, Mr. Donald M‘Leod, he was admitted a partner. Two years later the firm was formed into a Joint Stock Company, of which our esteemed clansman has since acted as Secretary and Treasurer.

    In Fraternal Societies he is a Past Master of Mount Lebanon Masonic Lodge, and a Member of Prince Edward Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, also Past Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Prince Edward Island. He is also an enthusiastic Member of the Caledonian Club, the only Scottish Society in the Province. Mr. Mackay takes an active interest in church work, and is a Member of the Presbyterian body. In 1896 Mr. Mackay married Bessie Waugh, of Summerside, and has one son, Albert, three years old.

    The Rev. Wm. Findlater, of Durness, was a famous minister in the North Highlands in his day, and the following certificate granted to the ancestor of our friend, on the occasion of his leaving Sutherland, will interest many of our readers in the far North:—

    “This is to certify that the bearer hereof William Mackay with Barbara Mackenzie his spouse are both natives of this Parish of Durness, have resided amongst us mostly from their infancy always behaving themselves soberly, honestly ana industriously, free from all Public Scandal or ground of Church Censure known to us and are hereby recommended accordingly. Given by an appointment of the Kirk Session of Durness, dounty of Sutherland, North Britain at Eriball the 25th day of July a.d. 1815. By William Findlater, Minister. John McIntyre, Session Clerk.” (True copy of original Certificate).


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