Siol nan Gaidheal


A relationship such as that which obtains between Scotland and England displays a range of quite universal phenomena. That is to say that when one people is locked into an unfavourably balanced power relationship with a larger or a stronger people there are unavoidable consequences for the lesser partner. Equally inevitably, the "senior" partner will seek to have these effective disadvantages explained to, and accepted by, the weaker partner in terms which will allow their peaceful acquiescence. Ideally the larger partner will remain free to impinge upon the smaller in perpetuity and without ever having to resort to that final unpleasant constraint-the real bond which acts to maintain such relationships -the threat of the ultimate use of force. In all their dealings, the dominant partner will be served by collaborators, eager for the apparent prestige and tawdry material rewards of their calling.

Thus the dismantling of our indigenous social structure is misrepresented as an advance, even by the "spokespersons" who frequently emerge from among our own ranks. The condensing of our population into the Central Industrial "Ghetto" Belt by means of deliberately contrived famine, forced eviction from the rural areas, and the lure of urban consumerism, has been explained away as if it were an inevitable stage of economic progression. When our language was systematically eradicated during 400 years, it was purportedly not to sever us from a tangible perception of our own unique culturality but - according to propaganda - simply to open up ease of communication to the wider world. The Union itself was simply the conclusion of a prolonged series of elaborate stock manoevres devised by our external enemies, though largely implemented through the agency of our cadre of quislings. These collaborators and their succeeding generations, of every social stratum, securely rooted in their sinister "imperialist" aspect of Scottish tradition, have hailed this obscene union, from its inception, as a triumph of sound Scottish reasoning.

This imperialist tradition is the result of Scotland's specific position as a small nation with a large, powerful and aggressive neighbour, though all small nations in this same plight manifest the self same symptoms. There have always been Scots, as there have always been Finns, Greeks, Basques, Poles and even Swiss who will naturally tend to orientate themselves, sycophantically, in the direction of larger and apparently stronger adjacent countries. This theme has run continually through Scottish history and informs the dynamic behind such as the switch from the Celtic forms of worship to the English-favoured Roman usages. It explains the handing over of William Wallace to the English King Edward by the Earl of Menteith, John Knox's importation of the Calvinist doctrine, and the sudden departure of James VI for England.

It offers some means of unravelling the complexities of The Solemn League and Covenant and the devastating inter-denominational wars of that era with both the Calvinists and the Episcopalians oriented in the direction of their respective English inspirations. This theme of sycophancy is carried on to this day with the Calvinists reflected by the Labour Party and the Episcopalians represented, now as then, by the Tory Party. Siol nan Gaidheal identifies these two Anglocentric sects as fundamentally imperialist in their cause and in their effect. To understand this, it is necessary to realise that imperialism is a different phenomenon in terms of the Imperial Motherland and of the Colony. Raw power resides in the Imperial Motherland and imperialists here are those unashamedly wielding unassailable power over subject peoples. Bolstered by an arrogant assumption of racial or cultural superiority, the imperialist of the imperial centre traffics in aggressive self-confidence, limitless expectation and inflated ambition. A markedly different situation pertains for the native imperialist within the colony, the agent through whom imperialism is effectively applied. An imperialist "on the shop floor" as it were, is an essentially perverse creature who must legitimise his/her own lack of confidence in his/her country and culture by seeking to render this handicap general. The imperialist "on the ground" in the colonial context mongers diminished self-esteem, lowered expectation, lack of confidence, uncertainty and dependency, all of which tend to perpetuate that sense of inferiority necessary to keep the colony which is his/her native land in its subject state-"The Gunga Din Syndrome".

At all times, empires have been recognised as describing similar patterns in their initial establishment, their development and their preservation. Thus "Imperialism" can be better understood and consequently more effectively opposed in terms of previous global human experience, rather than by a self-indulgent fascination with our own apparently unique condition. Siol nan Gaidheal assumes that the relationship between England and our nation and people may best be conceptualised in these terms and that our resultant complex psychosis may be the more realistically addressed.

Whenever an imperial power has brought another country under its sway, that other country is properly called a colony. Thus Scotland is a colony of England. Only by facing this stark and unpalatable reality may we begin the task of restoring ourselves to a state conducive to a deserved, realistic and sober self-esteem.

There is a school of "thought" which would have us believe that Scotland is an equal partner and not a colony. However, it must be recognised that a typical ruse which an imperial power will employ in order to stabilise its hegemony is the nurturing of just such a sense of partnership on the part of the colony. That is to say that the colony will be encouraged to perceive itself as a respected consort in the relationship and to feel that it shares the warm glow of imperial glory - the "Scotland the Brave" syndrome.

Nor need any of this be fully demonstrated solely through an introverted amplification of our own Scottish experience. For example, The Austro-Hungarian empire (its very name a clumsy sop to the sensitivity of a colonised Hungary) was never defended more enthusiastically than by its highly expendable front line, ferociously brave Croat regiments-"and little mischief should they fall". SAVE OUR CROAT REGIMENTS, indeed.

Croats no longer die to satisfy Austrian imperial ambition. Sadly, however, most Scots have yet to awaken to the moral certainty that the single and only legitimate military function for a Scot is that performed in the defence of The People, the Land, and the Cultural Integrity of Scotland.

When an imperial power annexes a smaller or a weaker satellite - that is to say a colony - the ultimate act of absorption is performed not by the soldier but by "The Settler". By settling the colony with its own people - those who are tied by ethnic, cultural and the resultant emotional bonds of loyalty to the Imperial Motherland - the Empire may secure its hold over the land of the colony and effectively smother the former nation's very existence for ever. Thus English settlers were once allowed, and strongly encouraged in a few instances, to remove themselves to desirable land in Kenya, North America, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean and in the most classic instance of all, within "The Pale" of a brutally colonised Ireland. Thus, the British Government is well placed to understand what is really at stake in its current diplomatic struggle with the Chinese Authorities over their policy of settling masses of ethnic Chinese in Tibet.

Some time ago, when the flood of English incomers into our rural areas was yet only a trickle, these intruders were humorously nicknamed "White Settlers". This was largely as a result of their general haughty disregard for local culture, specifically language and social convention. It was noticed that they were behaving as if they were in Kenya or some Indian hill station with the inscrutable Scotch natives, just another genre of contemptible tribesmen - "The Rudyard Kipling Syndrome". Now many a true word is spoken in jest, and since the humorous epithet "White Settler" was first coined the trickle has become a deluge of alarming proportions. Due to the emotive nature of the word "Settler", they have been re-termed "White Settlers", as often they claim to be fleeing some imagined take-over of their own native land. The White Settler issue is a live and crucial contention in which Siol nan Gaidheal presents an established and constructive agenda pertaining to the essential survival of our people as an ethnic and cultural community.

It is time to define exactly what we mean by the term "White Settler". Since there is now a hotly contested debate in progress around this theme it is clear that it would be in the interest of the settlers to have us divided and uncertain on this issue in order to deflect attention from themselves by focussing our concern, upon our own collective navel.

It must be made clear at the outset that those being considered under the heading "white settler" are primarily those English advancing en masse into the rural areas. However, the related movements of English decision-makers into the commercial centres, of English administrators into every area of our national life, and of English students into our universities also form elements of the same overwhelming colonialist thrust, and demand our concerned attention.

First, it is perfectly reasonable to describe these English as "white", since in light the of recent global experience of racism and its applied aspect, imperialism, influential opinion in the matter identifies the word "white" as the best term by which to convey the power of the dominant partner in the racist or imperialist dichotomy. Thus also, by implication, we embrace identification with other dispossessed and disempowered peoples throughout the world and with the great leaders of the worldwide anti-racist and anti-imperialist tendency such as Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King. Ergo, we are Scots, we are "black", and we are beautiful.

Further - that the English incomers to our rural areas are "settlers" as were their precursors in Kenya cannot be disputed. Most pointedly, they arrive empowered by their membership of the ethnic group which has ultimate authority over every aspect of Scotland's national life - it is this aspect of an English settler in Scotland which most clearly marks him/her out from the indigenous population and from any other foreign arrivals into the country. Thus an Asian family arriving into Wester Ross cannot be categorised as white settlers - not because of the darkness of their skins but because they do not come essentially empowered by membership of that ethnic group which owns Scotland as a colony. Only the English have this enormous psychological advantage. Further, the English arrive with a financial strength which enables them individually to purchase the best of everything, homes, land, cars and educational opportunities for their issue. Arising from all this power is their famed overconfidence manifested in their notoriously pushy and overwhelming social manner. They shortly run all the community facilities in their adopted locale and initiate fresh projects more familiar and more appropriate to their homeland. Thus a plethora of quite impertinent "Little Theatres", amateur operatic societies, Gilbert and Sullivan appreciation societies, Drama Circles, Neighbourhood Watches, Pug Dog Retirement Homes, Meditation Centres and English Churches have sprung up where 20 short years before, a Gaelic-speaking community enjoyed unchallenged sway. Ludicrously, these English are employed in the management of folk museums, folk festivals, tourist information centres and even of Gaelic Arts Projects and will aggressively defend their rights to all of this if challenged.

If genuinely 'community' orientated, how can these English migrants - dispassionately - abandon their natural homes, family and friends? Do they truly value family ties, as we do? Did they have any friends? Is it not the case that they are merely going through the motions of what they imagine to be 'community spirit' in a mechanistic fashion, contriving a typically English pretentious display of being a 'good neighbour'? At any rate, by virtue of our inter-ethnic power dichotomy, English participation in Scottish social affairs presents simply as condescension.

In rural areas where Gaelic has earlier ceased to be the community vernacular (and this encompasses every area in Scotland where it is not the current colloquial medium) the arrival and spread of an ethnic-English population will simply complete the process of destruction of our people as an identifiable ethnic group, for which our gradual linguistic compromise has already furnished a foretaste.

Siol nan Gaidheal would identify a number of typical scenarios present within any "white settler" situation, gleaned from other places where a people has been thus dispossessed. Pointedly, these would seem to describe causes and effects which remain remarkably constant in reflection of the broader issues of imperialism and colonialism. This is to say that there may be a third 'ism' in the equation and that this 'settlerism' may be an essential and constant complement to 'imperialism' and 'colonialism'. Consequently, it would follow that 'settlerism' is manifestly an aspect of 'racism' which is the basis of all three. Therefore, to oppose 'settlerism' is to oppose racism and to advance 'settlerism' is to advance and advocate nothing less than racism.

It would seem to be a standard reflex to the individual 'white settler' or to the single family of 'white settlers' that natural human response will secure them a welcoming enough initial reception. There will be a natural tendency for the 'white settlers' to be encouraged to feel at total ease with their new neighbours and quite possibly there will be a complete lack of tension. There is apparently no limit to the amount of time during which this happy stability might last. It seems to be not so much a matter of time as a matter of demography. The 'white settler' may even begin to pick up the language of the new home, the everyday use of which will not be stifled by such small numbers of incomers. Early English Settlements in Ireland were different in just this fashion, going native to the extent where they could not be recognised by later arrivals. North America enjoyed two centuries of corresponding experience. The danger presently posed to Scotland lies in the vast quantity of incomers during a single generation. Alarming examples of this are only too readily available from Ireland and America.

The settler will often claim an identity with the locality using the indigenous name for the place - The "I've lived up here for years now and that makes me as Scottish as the next chap" Syndrome. In several celebrated cases the original population has been eventually completely replaced by the settlers so that the ethnic group represented by the name has totally changed - thus Prussians, erstwhile Bohemians, Dakotans, Hawaiians and Taranakians. Note how often the assumption of a local identity in this fashion involves an oblique harking back to a displaced or annihilated people, after whom the land had been named in the first instance.

Thus, should we be completely replaced by Anglo-Saxons in due course, they may spuriously claim to be 'Scottish' or, with more justification, to be "Scotlanders" but they will never qualify simply as Scots (the proper noun), which is an ethnic rather than geographic term.

Alternatively, the settler will name the land after the one of their own who first 'discovered' the place, such as in the case of Tasmania, Vancouver, or Rhodesia to mention but a blood-stained few. The settler may name the 'new' country after the person who financed or authorised the settling of the colony. Such affrontery finds a durable monument in the names of Virginia, Maryland, Adelaide, Melbourne, Pennsylvania, Queensland, Victoria or even Snowdonia. Finally, the settler may use a favoured place name from home and impose this upon a land and people whose own indigenous nomenclature was considered to be patently absurd, quite unpronounceable and obviously of an inferior order - thus London in Ontario, New Hampshire in New England and New Zealand with its several subdivisions named after a panoply of English Warlords: Wellington, Hawke and Nelson.

The question of Scottish place names as a marker of Scottish settlement in the former British overseas possessions must be addressed. This warped cause for misplaced satisfaction on the part of some of our fellow Scots, ranks alongside that other illfounded conceit: pride in Scottish military prowess in the service of England's Empire. The only legitimate place for the settlement of communities of Scots, forced emigration notwithstanding, is Scotland. While expressing our due concern at the settling of these English interlopers on the graves of our ancestors how could we endorse, simultaneously, the settling of Scots over the corpses of the murdered native people of America? How could we approve of Scots settling in Australia where the indigenous people of fifty thousand years were hunted as animals, within living memory, so that further European settlement might be accommodated? How can there be a proper pride in Scots farming in so-called 'New Zealand' where the original inhabitants have been scraped from their ancestral lands into the same type of urban hell which features so strongly in our own folk memory? - those of us, similarly cleared, who did not emigrate simply to pass on the misery to another place and another people. We want not pride, but shame, that there is a Glasgow in Montana, a Perth in Australia, or a Saltcoats in South Africa - shame at the humiliation of our people, men, women and children evicted by force from their own sacred places, the roofs burned over their heads, and shame that we have, in turn, built homes upon the ruination of other slain and dispossessed peoples.

It must not be allowed to be obscured that each 'white settler' is essentially a civilian representative of an ambitious and acquisitive alien nation; nor must it be forgotten that the same foreign source of authority will have already assumed ultimate control over the indigenous population by one means or another. Thus the 'white settler' has real power over the native, and while this may not be immediately apparent it will inevitably impinge upon the relationship between the Settler and the Native. It seems to be a matter of demographic pressure which ultimately pushes the subtle tension over the brink into open confrontation. The moment that the proportion of 'white settlers' in the community reaches a certain level, there will be a crisis of identity among the earlier settler arrivals. They will almost always to a man, instinctively switch their allegiance to the newly blossoming structures and networks of the burgeoning 'white settler' society, which at any rate, is simply an extension and a reflection of the white settlers' own familiar culture.

Overnight the indigenous people will be marginalised. They will become an ineffectual and powerless minority in their own land. Their language will be a liability and the primary means to their effective exclusion. Some pathetic 'realists' will seek as quickly as possible to ingratiate themselves to their newly empowered neighbours and to integrate themselves in the hope of individual survival. Some will move on, unable to understand what the process has been. There are those who will resist, and they will find that the earliest arrivals with whom they once shared their homeland but with whom they now find themselves in conflict will be, ironically, their most wounding and consummate opponents. For these first arrivals will know the place best and from an almost native perspective. This is the sad story of 'white settlers' in North America, Australia, New Zealand, vast swarthes of Africa, India, Malaya, The Caribbean and of course in Ireland and Wales. Scotland will be next unless we act. In our acting let us seek to offend none who do not deserve to be offended and to hurt no one to a greater degree than they have earned by their own conscious actions. But let us feel no stifling obligation to spare, for an instant, the delicate sensitivities of the white settler community. For ultimately, wilfully or otherwise, they will not spare so much as our existence.

It has been suggested by defensive ethnic-English spokespersons that non-Gaelic speaking Scots who move from the central industrial areas or other parts of Scotland into the Gaidhealtachd are similarly 'white settlers'. Imagine the 'Cheshire Cat' smirk with which this 'bombshell' would be delivered! Let Siol nan Gaidheal make it quite clear that following on from the patent existence of a Scottish Ethnicity from the English Border to the Pentland Firth and from Harris to Buchan no Scot is anything other than a Scot wherever in Scotland he/she lives.

As we are all painfully aware, many ethnic-Scots are not committed to the concept of Scotland. There are Scots who plainly lack the body of knowledge which would render them favourably disposed towards their country. There are Scots who have their political priorities askew but who are not essentially bad. There are Scots who are dismissive of their own heritage out of a feverish sycophancy to their English role models. There are even Scots who must be regarded as overtly hostile, articulate and effective traitors and who will willingly and consciously side with the English Interest in Scotland in any circumstance. However, any Scot living anywhere in Scotland is at home and no matter how much of a fool, a rogue, a sycophant or a traitor, he/she may be, that Scot by definition cannot be a 'white settler'.

A further defence mechanism employed by English spokespersons and the indigenous imperialists who are their creatures is the notion that England has a large Scottish Minority which reflects the English presence in Scotland-"plenty of us go down there to live and work, and we are not made to feel unwelcome". The argument is charged with the implication that we must be as gracious and hospitable with our guests as they are and in addition, suggests that in the event of English immigrants into Scotland being made to feel pressured, the English might understandably respond by harassing Scots living in England-"if we throw out our English, what if the English deport their Scottish immigrants"?.

To this, Siol nan Gaidheal would answer that the initial and qualifying task of any Scot moving into England will be wholesale adaptation to the English culture and way of life. Eventually such a Scot will be expected to adopt an English mode of speech and will of necessity, come to interpret the world through an English perspective. And since England is a classic imperial motherland it has a long experience of neutralising useful incoming minorities from its possessions and moulding them into pseudo-Englishmen. At any rate, England, with its fifty million souls would not be changed in nature should all five million Scots remove themselves there en masse. In stark contrast the English immigrant into Scotland will happily continue to see things from an English perspective (note the use of "UP HERE"), since a fundamental part of that perspective involves viewing Scotland as an adjunct of Greater England. The English immigrant into Scotland will continue to speak with an English accent-imbued as this is with an intrinsic power and enjoying as it does high level social endorsement - and even the offspring of such, placed in the appropriate school, will maintain English speech in perpetuity.

In short, English settlers are capable of effecting change in the essential nature of Scotland, firstly by their huge numbers and secondly because they own us and - intuitively - we know it. Scots moving to England are totally incapable of making any difference to the English way of life, firstly because of their relative shortfall in numbers and secondly because the English own us - and they know it.

Anyway, should we swap our English for their Scots it would offer the exciting and interesting prospect of so many Scots returnees, qualified primarily by their nationality, having to manage and administer a thousand projects formerly run by English settlers who were themselves qualified for their jobs essentially by their ethnicity. Meanwhile, the displaced English, more used to being snivelled after in lofty positions in "Scotlandshire", would return home to lesser situations albeit more realistically reflecting their true abilities and talents. For, another standard aspect of the relationship between imperial motherland and colony involves the squeezing down or out of the most talented of the indigenous population of the colony so that they are denied the opportunity to develop their full potential, while generally only the second rate will be found moving out from the imperial motherland to displace them. Thus Scotland's finest have long been recognised as leaving to find success furth of their homeland, while Scotland is plagued for the greater part by inept administrators from England who would never have been entertained thus in their own country.

A further absurdity peddled by apologists of white settlerism has been the notion that English Incomers are bringing land into use which was lying fallow. It must be made clear that no benefit accrues to land through its settlement. Land does not benefit from having settlers: settlers benefit from having land. If Anglo-Saxons settle our land, their manifest benefit is to our immediate loss. Their acquisition of our land serves no purpose other than to limit our future land use options. At any rate, Siol nan Gaidheal refutes the myth that land is essentially wasted simply because no one is making money out of it.

Related to this idea is the equally spurious concept that white settlers are capable of bringing 'dying' communities 'back to life'. A bustling English Settlement located within Scotland is not a healthy viable community at all. It is simply an intrusive English violation of our National Territory. "It is 'life' Jim, but not as we know it!"

Regardless of constant demands for us to show sympathetic consideration for the feelings of those English settlers who have acquired formerly Scottish homes, the vital concern of Siol nan Gaidheal will remain securely focussed upon the welfare and future of those Scots thus rendered homeless. Never forget that for every English resident of Scotland, there is a Scot currently in exile.

And never imagine that people across Scotland are simply selling their homes for the motive of a quick profit. Some of the most outrageous examples of white settlerism concern transference of tenure of tied or leased houses on estates and 'trust' properties, by English factors, to English occupancy. The so-called National Trust for Scotland fulfilled a programme throughout the 1980's tantamount to 'Ethnic Cleansing'.

Finally, it has been intimated that people of other cultures will enrich our lives by their varied input into our community. While this can be true, the spirit of this concept is invoked disingenuously when and if that other people is in the dominant position of an inter-ethnic power relationship. This multi-cultural theme also loses its innate integrity when the numbers arriving are sufficient to swamp and suffocate the host culture. It is not then properly called multi-culturism, but rather conquest. Could Anglo-Saxon Culture truly be said to have complemented and enhanced that of the Cherokee Nation?

In balance, it might be that a self-motivated ordinary person of English ethnicity who arrives in Scotland, and who embraces the notion of Scottish Culture and Nationality, and who does not make contact with the ethnic-English network for his/her employment and accommodation; but who approaches the indigenous structures to secure a job and a home; could reasonably refute the charge of 'white settlerism'. However, it would be foolishness to fail to take cognisance of the power which is always available to such an individual English arrival, through his/her subsequent identification of, and inclusion in, the English Network. Sadly, every English incomer at present is suspect, the good along with the bad.

In all this, it may be anticipated that the relationship between England and Scotland may yet be partially normalised by the impending return of limited Scottish home-rule. This positive (though finite) change in our national condition might offer the possibility, even within the parameters of the freedom of movement espoused by the E.U., of allowing reasonable restrictions to be placed upon outsiders purchasing real estate in our country, in keeping with the democratically expressed priorities of The Scottish People. However, for Siol nan Gaidheal there can be no such thing as a sufficient level of self-determination and our objective will remain the eventual realisation of absolute sovereignty for The Scottish Ethnic and Cultural Community, free of any impingements and repudiating all and any obligations or agreements which allow, or even seem to imply, the preeminence of non-Scots over Scots, within Scotland.

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