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Electric Scotland News

I'm embarking on a new publication this week with the lunch of "The Home Preacher or Church in the House" which is edited by the Rev. Norman MacLeod.

The Rev. Norman MacLeod is a rare talent in Scottish History and he was one of the Queen's Chaplains. We have a full biography about him which can be viewed at:

My purpose in producing this work is first because I got an email in from a Patricia who told me about the book and asked if I had an electronic copy of it. As it happens I didn't have a digital copy and in further discussions with her not only did she have a hard copy of it but she was prepared to type it in for us.

Now you'll likely note I have a lot of content up about religion in Scotland (and for that matter Canada as well) as religion was very important to Scots who then took it all over the world. This is why it has a strong feature on Electric Scotland. As you also know I was in the Knights Templar for some years before I got kicked out and one of my complaints was that I didn't think the order was that religious. I have been critical of many ministers in not giving very inspiring sermons and when you see the major decline in numbers of Christians in the world and the extensive persecution of Christians around the world I just think it's time to do something to try and address this issue.

And so for folk that no longer go to church this would be a way to have a reading in your own home and is why I've decided to publish this book. I intend to put up a week at a time so you'll be able to have these available for every week of the year.
I also intend to ask any ministers if they'd like to contribute a similar work on the same lines and if any of you know of a minister who might also consider contributing one please ask them on my behalf to get in touch.

You can read this work at: where week 1 is now available and week 2 will go up on Saturday.


You can view a video introduction to this newsletter at:

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 as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in newspapers such as the Guardian, Scotsman, Courier, etc. 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.

Johnson bypasses the broadcasters to talk directly to voters
Yesterday’s announcement of a relaxation of the immigration rules for scientists from around the world was noteworthy for two reasons. First, because it’s a good idea, long overdue and likely to be popular. Second, because of how the message was delivered.

Read more and view his broadcast at:

Why a no-deal Brexit would weaken the case for Scottish independence
A clean break would give the Scots the hard choice between Britain’s internal market and that of the EU

Read more at:

U.S. overtakes Germany as UK's biggest source of imports
The United States overtook Germany as the biggest supplier of imports into Britain for the first time since the early 2000s in the last financial year, the UK government said on Friday

Read more at:

Why are shops in Iraq stocking up on Scottish sweets?
In northern Iraq, shops are rushing to fill their shelves with sweets. The Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, or Festival of the Sacrifice, is approaching - and it is an important part of the year for confectionery businesses.

Read more at:

How some unionists are abetting the nationalist cause
Nevertheless, let’s examine the facts about ‘no deal.’ Would no deal really be a disaster for Scotland as some claim?

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The UK economy has not been damaged by Brexit, but by our failure to deliver it
"Negative growth in the second quarter has been hailed by the continuity Remain camp as evidence of Brexit damage to the economy. It is instead evidence of a Brexit ‘failure bounce’. The first quarter bounced up with a lot of pre-Brexit stocking-up. When Brexit failed to happen, it duly bounced down again. To get a reading on the underlying growth rate, it is best to average the two quarters and compare them with a year ago; this gives an annual growth of 1.3%. This tells us the economy has slowed down recently. But so has the world economy and this has had a negative impact on the euro-zone too, as it has on China and many others. Year-on-year growth in the first quarter- all we have for others- was 0.7% for Germany, -0.1% for Italy, 1.2% for France and the same for the eurozone. The story is simple enough: the world has slowed and so have we."

Read more at:

Majority of Britons support Brexit by any means
A majority of Britons believe Prime Minister Boris Johnson must take Britain out of the European Union by any means, even if that involves suspending parliament

Read more at:

Germany must up defence spending, relying on U.S. offensive - U.S. envoy
U.S. complaints about Germany’s defence spending pre-date Trump but relations with the United States have deteriorated since he became president.

Read more at:

How some unionists are abetting the nationalist cause
Nicola Sturgeon’s case that a so-called no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for Scotland is not a surprise.

Read more at:

UK wage growth picks up to 11-year high
Wage growth in the UK reached an 11-year high in the year to June, and the employment rate was its joint highest since 1971, official figures show.

Read more at:

Scottish life expectancy improvements stall
Life expectancy improvements have stalled, according to a report from the National Records of Scotland.

Read more at:

Canada's Trudeau accepts he broke ethics rules
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday accepted a watchdog’s report that he breached ethics rules by trying to influence a corporate legal case but refused to apologize, saying he had been trying to defend jobs.

Read more at:

Juncker replacement Ursula von der Leyen REJECTED in shock survey
JEAN-CLAUDE Juncker’s replacement Ursula von der Leyen has been sensationally rejected in a shock German poll just weeks before taking the top job in Brussels.

Read more at:

Beware Brits bringing gifts
Discussion of a Wings Party standing for regional seats in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election is, of course, entirely an academic exercise. And a bit of a distraction.

Read more at:

Oil starts flowing from huge North Sea development
Oil has begun to flow from the biggest development project in the North Sea in a decade.

Read more at:

Electric Canadian

The Canadian Horticulturist

Volume 39 (1916) can be read at:

An Epoch in Canadian Shipping
By Randolph Carlyle (1907) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Canadian Stories
By George Iles (1918) (pdf)
You can read this at:

Canadian Trails Hither and Thither in the Great Dominion
By Eldred G. F. Walker (1912) (pdf)
You can read this at:

Canadian Wild Flowers
Selections from the writings of Miss Helen P. Q. Johnson of Magog, P.Q. Canada with a sketch of her life by the Rev. J. M. Orrock (1884) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Canadian Wonder Tales
By Cyrus MacMillan with illustrations in colour by George Shering (1920) (pdf}

You can read this at:

Electric Scotland

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Hi Everyone.

Here is the newest section of Beth's Newfangled Family Tree. I really hope you all enjoy the there are lots of interesting things enclosed.

I know everyone will enjoy Dr. Pete Hylton's travelogue from Iceland! I think everyone will enjoy the photos and wee story about the Langholm Common Riding. There's even an opportunity, if you can get to the museum in Washington, DC before September 15, to enjoy fragrances from ancient Egypt!

Don't forget, please, to let me know if and when you change your email address.

Don't forget that Grandparents Day is this month. I would have such joy if my grandmother were here and I could be with her just one more minute!


You can read this issue at:

The Funny Story and Humorous Jest Book
A Scottish Chap Book

You can read this at:

Great Landowners of Great Britain and Ireland
A list of all owners of three thousand acres and upwards worth 3,000 a year, also one thousand three hundred of two thousand acres and upwards in England, Scotland, Ireland & Wales culled from the modern Domesday book also their colleges, clubs and services by John Bateman, F.R.G.S. (4th edition) (1883) (pdf)

You can examine this at:

Scotland: Owners of Lands and Heritages
1872-73 Presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty (1874) (pdf)

You can examine this at:

Children's right to play
An examination of the importance of play in the lives of children worldwide By Stuart Lester and Wendy Russell (2010) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Avoiding the Trap
How to Move on from the Withdrawal Agreement

You can read this at:

The Political Works of Andrew Fletcher (1732) (pdf)
Added this book to the foot of our page about him at:

The River Clyde and the Clyde Burghs
The City of Glasgow and its old relations with Rutherglen, Renfrew, Paisley, Dumbarton, Port Glasgow, Greenock, Rothsey and Irvine by the late Sir James D. Marwick, LL.D. (1909) (pdf)

You can read this at:

An Historical Summary of the Post Office in Scotland
By T. B. Lang (1856) (pdf). Also included The Royal Mail Its Curiosities and Romance by James Wilson Hyde, Superintendent in the General Post Office, Edinburgh (second edition) (1885) (pdf)

You can get to these books at:

The Scottish Paraphrases
Being the translations and paraphrases in verse of several passages of sacred scriptures collected and prepared by a committee of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in order to be sung in Churches. An Account of their History, Authors, and Sources; together with the Minutes of the General Assembly and Extracts from Presbytery Records relative thereto; Reprints of the Editions of 1745, 1751, and 1781; Information regarding Hymns contemporary with the Paraphrases ; and some Account of the Scripture Songsvof 1706. By Douglas J. MacLagan (1889) (pdf)

You can red this at:

The Scottish Psalm and Tune Book (1854) (pdf)
With sheet music and can be read at:

Thomas Gordon
Co-author of the "Independent Whig" and translator of Tacitus; but few readers have any idea of the prolificness and popularity of this obscure Scotsman, who was writing constantly for a period of over thirty years (1716-1750), and whose work was being reprinted as recently as the year 1886 by J. M. Bulloch (1918)

Added a link to this book from our page about him at;

The Story

I would like to explain my own reasons for being a supporter of Brexit and why I'm against Scottish Independence. And I'd be very happy for anyone to get back to me with counter arguments.

First I see that Scots want Independence because they don't like the direction Westminster is taking them. For pro Brexit supporters we don't like they way Brussels is taking us and is why we want out. BUT I note Scotland still wants to be tied to some relationship whereas the UK want to be free to chose what relationships it wants.

At this time EU law is superior to UK law and thus we really have very little say on what the EU is forcing us to accept. We want to change that and is one of the reasons we want to be out of the EU and out from under the ECJ. (European Court of Justice).

Right now there is almost no debate in the House of Commons about any new EU legislation and so it's just rubber stamped into our laws whether it is in our interest or not.

The last referendum we had on the EU was when we voted to join the Common Market. However like all entities it has evolved into what we have today which is an increasingly political entity. This is an entity where France and Germany rule the roost and is where Germany can get away with only paying 1% of GDP to NATO whereas the UK Pays 2% as is required under the NATO treaty. So Germany which is by far the richest member of the EU can save billions is not right in my view.

When it comes to trade we have a huge trade deficit with the EU and we are paying high tariffs on goods coming in from without the EU so we can support farmers in other EU countries. I want us to be able to trade with other countries of the world but inside the EU it's not possible as they hold all the cards legally.

I have always felt that we should have done better by our Commonwealth friends than we did when we joined the EU and I note there is a great willingness in the Commonwealth countries to do free trade deals with us.

Like the CANZUK (Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the UK) are so similar we can easily have free movement between us. We all have similar parliaments, laws, health services, etc. Then there is a lot of talk abut how Africa is starting to get its act together, Most of the large African economies are in the Commonwealth so there is huge scope for deals to be done but not if we're in the EU.

Then of course there is India where it's forecast to become the second largest trading country by 2050 and it's also in the Commonwealth.

Then in history we fought the Germans, Italians, French and Spaniards all over the world and defeated them all. You can bet they remember all that no matter what they say. Of course Scotland has the Auld Alliance with France but if you look at the history of this alliance we kept England from conquering France but when we really needed their help where were they? And don't forget that the major reason for the UK getting together was because we were protestants in a Catholic world. We united for mutual protection.

Donald Trump is keen to do a free trade deal with the UK and that's great but there is so much rubbish being spouted about this. For example we see stories today that US farmers insist the UK must take their chicken. I have no problem with that as UK citizens can then decide whether to purchase it or not. It's our choice so all we need do is allow it in and what's wrong with that? After all if Americans are willing to eat it why won't we? BUT we still have a choice.

I just don't like being told what I can and can't do. I don't trust Germany or France to deal honestly with the UK as they both want pay back for the World Wars and remember Vichy France supported Germany.

I just happen to believe in the UK as a force for good but we need better MP's in our Parliament to work for the country as a whole. While I'm sure there will be issues I can't for the life of me see how we can't be much better of outside the EU control. And like I've mentioned before once we're out just watch Trump start to impose major tariffs on the EU and with us being out they won't affect us.

Now as to Scottish Independence. I just don't see how with the current raft of politicians we can be a successful country. If we become Independent we lose the 10 billion a year that we get under the Barnett formula. We will likely be under EU control and I'm betting all that anger we currently have under Westminster control will be swapped to Brussels. In the EU Scotland will represent just 1% whereas we currently represent 10% of the UK government and we actually have some Scottish MP's in the cabinet.

Then we think we'll get into the EU no problem but we don't really have much to bargain with so we'll be forced to accept joining the Euro, accepting the 3% of GDP meaning big changes to our laws and we divorce ourselves from Scotland's largest export market which is England. We'll have a hard border so all that just complicates things for most Scottish businesses. Those that already export outside the UK will be fine but most do not and so they will be the ones that will hit problems. And we have no trade envoys and no plans to acquire them so we'll be greatly reliant on the EU to do our trade deals for us.

Scotland has retained a great reputation around the world but as part of the UK but as an Independent country we just don't have the scope to do better. The UK is currently the fifth largest trading country with vast soft power around the world. This is why we're listened to and is why we got so much support for the Russian poisoning which of course is why Russia was so surprised by the reprisals.

Right now the Independence fight in Scotland is sucking up all the energy from Scots which is part of the reason we're not doing as well as we might. Our political class in Scotland are gradually taking central control of everything in Scotland and doing a very bad job of things. Our Justice system is a joke. Our Education system keeps getting worse and that won't change because a more intelligent population won't vote SNP. Our Health service is struggling as is our police service all because we continue to insist on centralisation of everything and all our major IT projects keep costing a lot mote than budgeted and fail anyway. And the equality gap keeps getting bigger. And despite all that you think Scotland should be Independent? Frankly it would be in England's best interest to become independent from Scotland. And if you think the English will continue to purchase Scottish goods and services to the same degree after Independence then think again as it just won't happen.

See the recent stats on how the US is now where we import most of our goods from whereas that was Germany but no longer since the Brexit vote and Germany looks to be going into official recession soon. Also I note Scottish exports grew to the US and declined in the rEU. So an Independent Scotland in the EU is a real conundrum.

And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend.