For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

Electric Scotland News

Looks like the west coast of the USA and Canada are getting hit with some large bush fires. California and BC in particular. Hope any of our folks living there are safe.

The GERS figures are out this week and so the annual event showing Scotland's finances will get the usual coverage. My preferred take is to check with Kevin Hague and I'll bring you his take next week.

Lost my mobile phone this week. As I rarely use it and I keep it in my trouser packet it's was only when I changed my trousers I noticed it had gone. So now looking for a replacement and if you have any suggestions on what might be the best phone to get and the best plan do feel free to suggest one. I only use it for emergencies so it's usually switched of.

All kinds of stories in the news this week so a bit longer list of stories than usual.

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 world news stories that can affect Scotland and all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. 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.

Trudeau's autocratic proclivities a clear and present danger to Canadian democracy
Be warned. This is what autocrats and oligarchies do. They capture the state, then distribute its funds to advance their own interests

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California fires: Governor asks Australia for help
California is struggling to contain huge wildfires burning forests and homes, warned Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday as more than 12,000 fire-fighters battled blazes that have killed six people.

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The Scottish lottery of Covid lockdown easing
A DEAR FRIEND of mine died recently, a very active man who was in so many committees and had so many hobbies that under normal circumstance, the church would have been packed. I, along with a handful of others, lined the road when his hearse left his home. The church service was attended by 20 of the family.

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Coronavirus: Letter raises fresh questions about Scottish care home transfers
A leaked letter has raised fresh questions about the Scottish Government’s role in the transfer of hospital patients to care homes during the pandemic.

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Curvy Scots model takes fashion world by storm and urges women to embrace bumps and lumps
Holli Anderson, 22, from Hamilton, has lifted the lid on modelling in the plus-sized fashion industry.

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How EU subsidies benefit big farms and underfund smaller, greener plots
Misspent subsidies are destroying the very environment upon which farming depends worldwide

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Is Scotland a civilisational state?
The EU is no port in a storm for an independent Scotland

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Time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK needs to stop its cringing embarrassment about its history.

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Erin O’Toole reaches out to Liberal, NDP supporters after True Blue campaign wins CPC leadership
Strong organization in Quebec, an effective digital campaign and a message that won the later ballot support of social conservatives are widely viewed as key elements of the Ontario MP’s success

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GERS report a hammer blow to SNP plans for Scottish independence, say pro-Union campaigners
Finance secretary Kate Forbes said the figures emphasised how the pandemic had fundamentally changed Scotland's fiscal landscape.

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These BBC Bourbons who have learned nothing and forgotten nothing risk precipitating their own downfall
The upper reaches of BBC management suffer from an unfortunate inability to comprehend any opinion which happens not to coincide with what they themselves think.

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We need to talk about sexism in Scotland
Last week, one story gripped part of Scotland. It wasn't COVID-19 or the independence majority in two polls. Rather, it was the fallout from the Kirsty Wark programme on the Alex Salmond trial.

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Working from home, criticism of Kirsty Wark and The Trial of Alex Salmond, and more
Well, well, well! What a remarkable stooshie has erupted over the BBC Two documentary, The Trial of Alex Salmond, broadcast on 17 August and fronted by Newsnight presenter, Kirsty Wark.

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Cutting to the very heart of what it means to be Scottish
Historically, Scotland's education system has prided itself on two key principles: maintaining fair access and equality of opportunity.

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Ex-Australian PM Tony Abbott to be unveiled as Britain’s new trade deal supremo
EX-AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Tony Abbott is to be unveiled as Britain’s new trade deal supremo, The Sun can reveal.

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What to do with Scottish Education
I enjoyed Tom Chidwick's article on the failure of our education system to live up to long-established Scottish educational principles of equal opportunity and fair access for all.

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Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) 2019-2020
Full Report

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Nicola Sturgeon: a dud who sparkles in fraudulent times
ONE OF THE CURRENT TRUISMS is that Nicola Sturgeon is supremely good at politics.

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Scotland's Sugar Daddy
Scotland is dining out on English taxpayers money - and the meals are getting ever more lavish. Stat of the Day: 1941 Scotland's 'Union Dividend' per person - a rise of 30% since the 2014 independence referendum.

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Tensions are rising between two NATO members Greece and Turkey. Britain is well placed to broker a solution.
Only Washington has the clout to bring such a process to a successful conclusion, but this is an area in which Brexit has enhanced Britain’s diplomatic position. No longer an EU member, the UK is now in a position to act as an honest broker between Greece, Turkey and the other interested regional powers, and begin to forge a mechanism to regulate gas exploration in this increasingly volatile region. What better initiative for a part-Turkish Prime Minister whose father has a house in Greece?

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Electric Canadian

The Trapper's Guide
And Manual of Instructions for capturing all kinds of fur-bearing animals, amd curing their skins; with observations on the Fur-Trade, hints on Life in the Woods and narratives of trapping and hunting excursions by S. Newhouse, and other Trappers and Sportsmen. (Ninth edition) (1894) (pdf)

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The Great Fur Land
Sketches of Life in the Hudson's Bay Territory by H. M. Robinson (1879) (pdf)

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Custos Borealis
The Military in the Canadian North, 1898-1975 by Kenneth C. Eyre (2020) (pdf)

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Canadian Folk-Lore Society, First Annual Report 1911
Includes a brief Bio of David Boyle, LL.D., F.F.S.C., the well known Canadian archaeologist and Honorary President of this Society, who died February 14, 1911, aged sixty-nine years, was born in Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland, in 1842, and came to Canada in 1856. (pdf)

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Electric Scotland

See a BBC Alba documentary on Highland Dancing
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Scottish Food, Traditions and Customs.
Just noticed that I hadn't provided a link to this page from our Food & Drink page so have now fixed that.

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Introduction to the Scots Language.
Added a YouTube video on this topic and a link to another 8 full length videos on the series.

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Alexander Whyte
Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland in 1898.

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Musings of a real Tank Commander By Stuart Crawford.
Added Part 16 which can be read at:

Got in the September 2020 issue of the Scottish Banner in which is a tribute to Valerie Cairney, the long time editor, who past away.

You can read this and previous issues at:

The Kirkpatrick Medallion by Chip Kirkpatrick.
Also added a few other books and some videos on the Kirkpatrick family. These can be got to at:

Drew McIntyre, WWE champion
You can read about him at:

The Fragrance of Christian Ideals
By Malcolm James (MacLeod) McLeod, Minister of Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas, New York City (1912)

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Also added a link to the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland is the constitutional heir of the historic Church of Scotland. We descend directly from that church first established through the God-owned labours of John Knox and others in 1560. They have lots of online books and articles for you to read at:

Created a new index page for our History of Golf in Scotland which you can get to at:


Fragrance of the Sabbath -- Its Sanctity - Golf
THERE is a question in our Westminster Catechism, “How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?” And the answer given is, “The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days, and spending the whole time in the public and private exercise of God’s worship except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.”

The answer, it will be observed, begins in a negative strain. Because to sanctify a thing was originally the opposite of profaning it, and that was a familiar warning in the early history of the race. Profane ground was ground outside sacred enclosures. It was ground in front of the fane or temple. Within was holy; without was profane. And the profane man was the man who treated the consecrated interior with disrespect. The sin was not primarily a sin of the tongue; it was an attitude. It consisted in regarding things as if they were common, in rubbing away the polish, in stealing away the perfume.

Perhaps we would not be far afield if we were to say that this is the cardinal sin of our time. We are tearing down fences. The line between the sacred and the secular is becoming blurred. The theatre is just as venerable, we are being told, as the temple, and Shakespeare as much inspired as Jeremiah. Some say the age is scientific, some that it is sceptical, but it would seem that those come nearer the truth who claim that it is irreverent.

And by way of illustration look, for instance, at the noble game of golf. I am not much of a golfer, although I golf “at it” a little, but I am very fond of the game, and it is because I am so fond of it that I am sorry to see it being pressed so insistently and so successfully into the service of sin. The game is a fascinating one, as everybody who has given himself to it with any degree of devotion will readily confess. It stirs the blood, grips the hearts, and makes fools indeed of not a few who seem to think that the chief end of man is to play golf -- by a sinful overindulgence. Yes, and it taxes the patience, and challenges the honour, tests the self-control. What a splendid moral gymnasium the links are! I sometimes think that the man who can challenge a Colonel Bogey to a match some fine afternoon and play the game dead square, never advantaging his lie by the good colonel’s absence, and never losing his poise or his calm when things do not connect, and dubs and tops and bunkers and boomerangs are all the go -- I sometimes think that that man must be in, or at least “not far from,” the kingdom.

Then what a fine physical elixir! It calls one out into the open with a few odd-looking sticks -- and by the way, the fewer the better: five are better than fifteen for the average player -- and a ball; and it says, “Hit that little ball into that hole over there. Do not touch it with your hand or your foot or your finger; address it not in any unchaste language with your tongue. Do not push it or shove it or tickle it in any way, just hit it with one of these clubs in that bag. Hit it clean. Watch it. Keep your eye on the little rascal -- marvellous how it will elude you! Do not press; do not crouch; do not jump at it. Use your wrists. Follow through. Keep in mind about sixteen things at once just before the moment of impact.”

The point is plain. It rivets attention. No man can play golf and play stocks at one and the same time. He cannot drive a ball and drive a bargain. Everything else must be forgotten, absolutely forgotten -- business, care, joy, sorrow, disappointment, friction -- all forgotten. It is the greatest system for forgetting things ever invented. So it heals headaches; it drives dull care away; it relaxes tension; it slays worry; it carries off surplus activity. It makes the poor pilgrim forget the things that are behind and press forward to that little rubber bulb before.

And the beauty about it all is that one does not need to be a first sixteen player or even a second sixteen player to get wholesome pleasure out of the noble game. The third sixteen foozler enjoys it full as much -- sometimes I am tempted to think more. For golf has a happy greeting for everybody. No matter in what mood we approach her, she breathes a benediction. She is the ideal queen of sport.

Another reason, I think, why so many people are taking to this outdoor form of amusement, is that it is a supremely thoughtful game. I suppose more books have been written on the science of golf and the subtlety of golf and the psychology of golf than any regarding any other outdoor game. For half the mischief one gets into is purely mental. Every expert player tells us this. The best golfer is a sort of Christian Scientist. One can imagine more trouble in golf than in any other game, and the moment one does that it becomes terribly real. He is in distress for sure!

That is why the thinker takes to it. It is a slow, studious, reasoning game. One does not have to make up his mind what to do in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, as in tennis, or baseball, or cricket; and save the very long drive, which only a few master, there is little that is spectacular or cheer-evoking. I suppose the putter would be conceded to be the most important club in the bag, but what a shy, sensitive little fairy she is! Even a whisper disturbs her, a passing bird, a breeze, a call from a far-off caddie. Who has not felt that solemn, death-like stillness when the little putter is meditating and about to proceed! So, I repeat, it is a game for the thinker, the student; a quiet game, a philosophical game, subjective, introspective -- the Hamlet of sports.

And it has had a most honourable history. It has been associated with less objectionableness than any other American form of athletics. It has small attraction for the gambler, little or none for him whose hand is unsteady with anything fermented, none whatever for the man of unclean life. It is a sport pure as the Highland rills whence it had its rise.

It was my fortune recently to be on an automobile trip through the northern part of the State of New York. We arrived Sunday [contributor’s NOTE:- The author means Saturday morning -- a typographical error or one in the writing of the manuscript itself, and overlooked in its publishing.] morning at a country club located about five miles outside the limits of a city. We played around the course in the afternoon; and as there were rooms in connection with the club, we decided to remain and rest there over Sabbath. What was my regret in the morning about eight o’clock to hear underneath my window the crack of a golf ball! Up to ten o’clock I counted some seventy-five players starting out. In the afternoon there was no lull. Possibly one hundred or one hundred and fifty caddies were engaged during the day. No tournament could have been more full of excitement and bustle.

And the question kept swimming into thought, What is all this going to mean to the future of the church? Let it be borne in mind that there are about a thousand organized clubs in the United States to-day, with a membership of more than a quarter of a million, and the number increasing every week. What does it mean that 100,000 caddies are being kept away from Sunday-school every Sunday morning? It is a well-known fact that in most places the links are more crowded on Saturdays and Sundays than any other days. Indeed, in some instances guests are not permitted Sunday privileges, there being no room. In some a double charge is made. I can count just now, without any warning, from twelve to twenty members of churches who up to two years ago would have been shocked at the idea of Sunday golfing, but who to-day are spending every Sunday morning on the links.

We chanced at dinner on the occasion just cited to be seated by a certain gentleman, who remarked:

“Well, did you have a good game to-day?”

“I never golf on Sunday,” I answered; “I always go to church.”

He laughed. “My family were there, I guess, but I confess I haven’t been around very much this summer. To tell the truth, I find that this does me more good.”

“Then I suppose you would be ready to make that a position of universal law,” I ventured. “Would you advise it for everybody? Do you approve of it for the caddies?”

But just then the gentleman across the table chimed in that it looked a little like rain, and the discussion was dropped.

I think there can be little doubt that this matter is fast becoming the most serious Sunday desecrating question before the church. Because the man who takes to golf is a man of a religious tint of mind. He is not the noisy shouter of the diamond or the turf. The game draws its devotees largely from business and professional life. It is a keen blade thrust into the very life of the church, and dangerous -- much more dangerous than the coarser weapons. The foe that is to be feared most is the polished foe.

We are losing our Sabbath day by leaps and bounds and flashes. It is running away with us at breakneck speed. The man who denies it knows not the facts. Our condition to-day is little better than continental. The automobile and the links are doing more to-day to empty our churches than any other lure of the evil one. They are the response of a worldly Chrisitanity to the irreverent challenge of the age.

The breath of the Lord’s Day is its sanctity.
No man can make of it a common holiday and long retain the aroma.
from: The Fragrance of Christian Ideals

Malcolm James (MacLeod) McLeod
Minister of Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas,
New York City

Fleming H. Revell Company
New York, Chicago, Toronto,
London and Edinburgh

And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend and mind and keep your distance, wash your hands and stay safe. Don't be stupid or selfish and instead be considerate of others and wear a mask if going shopping or into a crowded place and consider whether you should indeed go into a crowded space in the first place.