If 1997 marked the beginning of a new chapter in Scottish political history with the go-ahead for the auspicious though largely limited autonomy afforded by the restoration of a Scottish Parliament, the last half-century has been characterised by a pitiful succession of false dawns and colonialist manoeuvres which no informed patriot should dismiss as somehow irrelevant to our current standing. Siol nan Gaidheal points to our recent past as a warning of perennial tendencies within the squalid party-political circles of Union, positing instead the visionary combativity of incorruptible moral and intellectual strength embodied in an unwavering philosophy.
It is estimated that two million people endorsed John MacCormick’s 1949 Covenant in favour of Scottish self-determination. This was an event without precedent. No recorded demonstration of such magnitude had occurred in Scotland before, and the question at once arose how best to cope with such a phenomenon.
Alas, wise counsel deserted the field, and in the first of two ill-advised decisions, Scots representatives bore their tidings in innocent triumph to London. By doing so, they lost their high-ground stance, implying by their actions the supremacy of that hub of the Empire. How predictable was their reception and the advice given: "Your two million signatures count for nothing....the only road to real power lies in electing Scottish members to the British parliament".
The second ill-advised decision was the acceptance of this British advice. Ill-advised because it perpetuated the ludicrous situation which had prevailed since 1707 wherein Scottish MPs were so greatly outnumbered that they were deprived of any vestige of sovereignty and found themselves in fact representing a zone of Greater England.
This was a truth which, although accepted and understood throughout England and the rest of the world, was fiercely denied by the Scots with flat-earth zeal and matching logic. Too many of our compatriots have indulged in a fantasy-world in which Scotland and England are seen as equal partners. Just how far this fantasy differed from the truth soon became apparent to all except those who opted to blindfold themselves.
In a word, London could now declare war without approval of the Scots and then conscript Scots to fight in that war. Some Scots began to suspect that Westminster was what it always had been: the English parliament.
Naturally, the on-site Administrator of Scotland could not be of Scottish choice, and was seldom of Scottish character. He was an appointee of London and cynical terms like Gauleiter or Colonial Governor have been used to describe his role. He is burdened with dual loyalties, firstly to England’s Prime Minister who appointed him and secondly to the Scottish people who live in the unjustifiably sanguine hope that his decisions will match their needs.
The British political parties, who thirst for Scottish votes, have a similar conflict of loyalties, this accounts, in some instances, for an apparent contradiction in public utterances dependent on which side of the Tweed they are made. These parties—Labour, Tory and Liberal—must of course have a Scottish branch-office to cope with the "Scotch" factor. The SNP and other smaller parties, seeking a future through the machinery of Westminster, have had little chance of success. Their self-imposed burden has always been too heavy to carry.
To any Scottish voter contemplating which of the two major British parties deserves his/her loyalty, one could paraphrase the words of Pundit Nehru and enquire "would a herring prefer to be fried in butter or margarine?" Obviously, the end result, using either recipe, is equally disastrous from the point of view of the herring.
While the humble citizen strives to weigh the relative merits of party-political Left, Centre, Right or any combination of each, he may share the musing of W.S.Gilbert’s sentry, that all children seem predestined to belong to one or other of the two parties. The patent absurdity of such a limitation was surely in Gilbert’s mind, but his message was rejected. Who, indeed, is a prophet in his own country?
Brains are like thumbprints—similar but not identical. And people must not be required to think alike under party banners. This however is precisely what is expected of them. If an idea seems good and desirable, it should not be opposed simply because the other party thought of it first. Unfortunately such absurd practices are the norm in party political circles, the "control freak" tendency being what it is - a mechanism of self-preservation.
Ask most party politicians for a view on the future of mankind and he will likely give you a purposefully arid lecture on economics. He is tutored in the art of circumlocution, and those two simple words "yes" and "no" he apparently sees as the ultimate in obscenity, and to be avoided at all times. A truly loyal party politician should be the very last person on earth to be entrusted with the government of his fellows. As do his colleagues in the irredeemably acquiescent media, he oozes with smarm and the patronising self-importance of those who never consult but always impose. Democratically of course.
The more "comprehensive" a party manifesto becomes, the narrower will be its appeal and acceptance. This point was eloquently made by the late Oliver Brown when he regretted the day he compromised his own political party by allowing a second member to join.
It is little wonder then that the young people of Scotland, in the face of such fundamentally disenfranchising chaos, have largely opted out of any involvement in their country's affairs, and it is partly to rectify these problems that each manifestation of Siol nan Gaidheal has flourished and has had success after success in creating a new awareness in the youth of Scotland. Information, Education and Dedication, are the tools that have been employed in order that the people of Scotland at last open their eyes to what is really going on in their country. "Don't believe the hype" as has been said by the figureheads of trendier cultural conflicts.
If Siol nan Gaidheal were not utterly different in character from a political party, it would not merit our interest, far less our support. SnG however, do deserve our full support for the very valuable and unique work they do on behalf of our people.
IN PLACE OF DRY DOGMA AND DISINGENUOUS UNFULFILLED MANIFESTOS, Siol nan Gaidheal has in relation to the ongoing predicament of our country a simple allegiance to Truth, Integrity and Compassion, a complete dedication to the well-being of Scotland and our people, and the unique ability to cut through all the ideological, economic, social and media-inspired barriers that have kept our people divided in the past.
WE CONSIDER OUR THREE-FOLD PHILOSOPHY to be acceptable to a wide range of Scottish citizens—unaffected by colour or creed or social standing. Its acceptance is a prerequisite of membership of Siol nan Gaidheal. It follows that any individual who then renounces this "Siol" philosophy thereby cancels his/her membership automatically.
WHEN ASKED WHAT OUR POLICY IS on any particular subject, if the answer is not clear in terms of our three-fold philosophy, our answer must be "OUR PRESENT MAJORITY VIEW IS.......", followed by the current view of the Executive Committee.
OUR ACTIVITIES ARE SCOTTISH-ORIENTATED BECAUSE self-evidently we are from and live in Scotland, but our views, we believe, are acceptable to most dispassionate observers and indeed echo those of other ethno-national groups in the world engaged in the struggle for cultural and institutional survival.
Siol nan Gaidheal recognises a unionist activity in our country which has come to be called THE ENGLISHING OF SCOTLAND. This is a deliberate policy to suppress Scottish awareness of all aspects of our history, culture, languages, and, even, identity. This unionist activity is well established if not wholly acknowledged and it will thus be successful if it is not countered by every means possible. SIOL NAN GAIDHEAL IS DOING PRECISELY THAT!!
Above all, the priority of the SnG movement is to offer the people of Scotland a vision of a regenerated country, one at ease with itself, home to a nation which knows exactly where it stands in the world. We must however avoid the many pitfalls that lie before us, not least the oily, empty promises made by careerist politicians backed up by a dispicably dishonest media whose main concerns are patently and despite sound-bites to the contrary, self-interest and a determination to wield power whatever party they choose, cosmetically, to represent. Recent evidence shows just how they represent their country. When questioned about whether or not they would be sitting in a new Scottish Parliament, some luminaries of Unionism wriggled out of a straight answer by saying that there are many new young politicians who would be glad to sit in a Scottish Parliament. It was clear that they do not see any parliament that they create in Scotland as being a seat of power, NO, they know perfectly well that the real power lies in ENGLAND'S parliament at WESTMINSTER.
The lessons of the past are all too obvious, the road to full national independence, a rocky one yet. Siol nan Gaidheal is marching with the Scottish people and will continue to expose and oppose the malevolent and obstructive manoeuverings of all the agents of Union in our country in whatever guise they come; politicians, journalists, administrators or colonists. No longer will the mantra of Union go unchallenged:
"That seeing they may not see, and not perceive;
and hearing they may not hear, and not understand......"
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