Politician, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Lawyer
little recognition in Scotland of the histories, journeys and
achievements of the Scots Diaspora.
MacCaig (1910-1996): Poet and Teacher
who writes doesn’t like to be misunderstood.
Some are spoken
not by me, but
by a man in my position.
(A Man in
My Position 1969)
Is six feet high
And whether I love it or not
For its independence.
that the bombs he had thrown
acid he had sprayed
had painfully opened
the eyes of the blind.
from the water he had polluted.
enjoying the shads
of the vicious words he had planted.
government decreed that
on the anniversary of his birth
the people should observe
two minutes pandemonium.
Death – for Hugh MacDiarmid 1973)
a Schiehallion anywhere you go.
The thing is, climb it.
And I 1974)
teaches that it doesn’t.
That Spider – The Truth 1983)
McCain: American Politician: US Senator
particularly honoured to do so now, [commemorate America’s longstanding
relationship with Scotland] during the first official Scotland Week in
the US. Marking April 6 as national Tartan Day helps raise awareness
among all Americans of the great contributions made by their fellow
countrymen of Scottish descent.
Poet, Political Activist and Health Administrator
we worship wershlie
For Scots can aye scent failure
Find pleisur in the pain.
McClelland: Football Club Chairman
millionaire came in to try and invest in our club, he would be shown the
roads north, south, east and west out of Annan. We would be lynched by
the people of Annan if we sold the club to a millionaire.
that his club Annan Athletic would not go down the Gretna route on being
admitted to the Scottish Football League following the demise of
neighbouring Gretna FC 3 July 2008)\
(Liz) McColgan; Athlete and Coach: World and Commonwealth 10,000 m Gold
ability – a combination of speed and endurance – and the right attitude.
Determination and hard work got me to where I wanted to be. I wasn’t the
best runner when I was growing up but I did work the hardest.
World October 2007)
In 1986, I
went into the [Commonwealth] Games as a nobody but it catapulted me to
understanding what it meant to be Scottish and a Scottish athlete.
10 November 2007)
Wilson McConnell: Politician, 3rd First Minister of
Scotland and Teacher
recent cabinet discussion every single Minister was not only
enthusiastic about our cultural development but thoughtful and helpful
about how it could be applied to their own area of responsibility. And
each made the commitment to use the power and creativity of culture and
the arts to help them in their work. To entrench cultural development in
their portfolio – because for our country’s future it can be neither
peripheral nor an add-on.
Andrew’s Day, 30 November 2003)
MacDonald MacCormick ‘King John’ (1904-1961): Political Activist, Lord
Rector of Glasgow University (1950-19530 and Lawyer
as well as straws show the way the wind is blowing. Movements of the
spirit, springing from the most deeply rooted sentiments of the people,
can never be denied their goal.
in the Wind 1955)
Hugh MacDiarmid (born Christopher
Murray Grieve) (1892-1978): Poet
decision to make the Scottish cause, cultural and political, my life
work dates from that moment.
Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, early 1920s)
His mither sings to the bairnie Christ
Wi the tune o’ Baw lu la law.
The bonnie wee craturie lauchs in His crib
An’ a’ the starnies an’ he are sib.
Baw, baw, my loonikie, baw, balloo
(O Jesu Parvule 1925)
we ha’e faith in Scotland’s hidden poo’ers,
The present’s theirs, but a’ the past and future’s oors.
Penny Wheep 1926)
Its functions fit
While still to thee, O Burns,
The punctual stomach of thy people turns.
Is of no earthly use
Save thine – which yields at least this Annual Excuse!
Immortal Memory, Burns! 1926)
they’ve to say was aften said afore
A lad was born in Kyle to blaw aboot. [Robert Burns]
What unco fate mak’s him the dumpin’-grun’
For a’ the sloppy rubbish they jaw oot?
nonsense has been uttered in his name
Than in ony’s barrin’ liberty and Christ.
If this keeps spreedin’ as the drink declines,
Syne turns to tea, wae’s me for the Zeitgeist!
wad’st thou wert here – the warld hath need,
And Scotland mair sae, o’ the likes o’ thee!
Man Looks at the Thistle 1926)
A Scottish poet maun assume
The burden o' his people's doom
And dee to brak' their livin' tomb.
Mony ha'e tried, but a' ha'e
Their sacrifice has nocht availed
Upon the thistle they're impailed.
(A Drunk Man Looks at the
ha’e nae hauf-way hoose, but aye be whaur
Extremes meet – it’s the only way I ken
To dodge the curst conceit o’ bein’ richt
That damns the vast majority o’ men.
Drunk man Looks at the Thistle 1926)
And let us
(The Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle 1926)
a sword-like sang
That can cut Scotland clear
O’ a’ the warld beside
Rax me the hilt o’t here,
there’s nae jewel till
Frae the rest o’ earth it’s free,
Wi’ the starry separateness
I’d fain to Scotland gie….
(To Circumjack Cencrastus) 1930)
steel tempered wi’ Irish fire
Is the weapon that I desire.
(The Weapon, To Circumjack Cencrastus 1930)
The rose of all the world is
not for me.
I want for my part
Only the little white rose of Scotland
That smells sharp and sweet - and breaks the heart.
(The Little White Rose:
Stony Limits and Other Poems 1934)
Scotland is not wholly surrounded
by the sea - unfortunately.
Scottish Scene 1934)
plenty of ruined buildings in the world but no ruined stones.
(On a Raised
small? Our multiform, our infinite Scotland small?
Only as a patch of hillside may be a cliché corner
To a fool who cries ‘Nothing but heather!’…
Now, I am
not a misogynist by any means. I simply believe there is a time and a
place for everything – yes, literally, everything. And like a
high proportion of my country’s regular and purposive drinkers I greatly
prefer a complete absence of women on occasions of libation. I also
prefer a complete absence of music and very little illumination. I am
therefore a strong supporter of the lower – or lowest – type of ‘dive’
when drinking is the principal purpose and no one wants to be distracted
from that absorbing business by music, women, glaring lights, chromium
fittings, too many mirrors, unless sufficiently fly-spotted and
mildewed, or least of all, any fiddling trivialities of l’art noveau.
Drinkers of Glasgow 1952)
principal writers have nearly all been fortunate in escaping regular
yesterday, and to-day, and forever
The bagpipes commit to the winds of Heaven
The deepest emotions of the Scotsman’s heart
In joy and sorrow, in war and peace.
for the Great Music)
Only one occasion
Would I have loved to witness – after Inverurie
When Lord Louis Gordon’s pipers kept silence
Since Duncan Ban MacCrimmon was his prisoner.
No Scottish Army or English, no army in the world,
Would do that today – nor ever again –
For they do not know and there is no means of telling them
That Kings and Generals are only shadows of time
But time has no dominion over genius.
for the Great Music)
Flagnote: Lord Lewis Gordon was appointed a member of the Prince’s
Council at Edinburgh where he joined the Jacobite army in October 1745.
Prince Charles sent him north to recruit in the counties of Aberdeen and
Banff and collect arms and money. By drastic methods he raised a
regiment of two battalions. He completely defeated Hanoverian troops
under MacLeod of MacLeod and Munro of Culcairn at the Battle of
Inverurie on 23 December 1745. Among the prisoners taken by the
Jacobites was the greatest of all Highland Pipers - Duncan Ban
MacCrimmon, Hereditory Piper to the MacLeods of Dunvegan. The silence of
the Jacobite pipers ensured his release. Duncan Ban rejoined the
Hanoverians and was the only casualty at the Rout of Moy on 16 February
1746. Hugh MacDiarmid further wrote that ‘the silent bagpipes on the
morning after the battle of Inverurie was the greatest tribute ever paid
It is time
we in Scotland put England in its proper place and instead of leaning on
England and taking inspiration from her, we should lean and turn to
Europe, for it is there our future prosperity lies.
known all the storms that roll.
I have been a singer after the fashion
of my people – a poet of passion.
All that is past.
Quiet has come into my soul.
Life’s tempest is done.
I lie at last
A bird cliff under the midnight sun.
1934 – this poem is engraved on the caird beside the Hugh MacDiarmid
Memorial, Langholm, unveiled on 11 August by his widow Valda Trevelyn
My aim all
along has been (in Ezra Pound’s term) the most drastic desuelization of
Scottish life and letters, and in particular, the de-Tibetanization of
the Highlands and Islands, and getting rid of the whole gang of high
mucky-mucks, famous fatheads, old wives of both sexes, stuffed shirts,
hollow men with headpieces stuffed with straw, bird-wits,
lookers-under-beds, trained seals, creeping Jesuses, Scot Wha Ha’evers,
village idiots, policemen, leaders of white-mouse factions and noted
connoisseurs of bread and butter, glorified gangsters, and what ‘Billy’
Phelps calls Medlar Novelists (the medlar being a fruit that becomes
rotten before it is ripe), Commercial Calvinists, makers of ‘noises like
a turnip’, and all the touts and toadies and lickspittals of the English
Ascendancy, and their infernal womenfolk, and all their skunkoil
skulduggery, (I have said a good deal about the submersion, under
inferior types of the true Scotsmen. Having mentioned womenfolk, I must
say here that the race of true Scotswomen, iron women, hardy,
indomitable, humorous, gay shrewd women with an amazing sense of values,
seems to be facing extinction too in today’s Scotland.
It requires great
love of it deeply to read
The configuration of a land,
Gradually grow conscious of fine shadings,
Of great meanings in slight symbols.
(Scotland – from Lucky
England, the United States, or the haill
British Empire even at its apogee
Has ha’en like Scotland at the yae time
A Burns and a Scott to croon its poetry.
I am a Scotsman and proud of it.
Never call me British. I’ll tell you why.
It’s too near brutish, having only
The difference between U and I.
Scant difference, you think? Yet
Hell-deep and Heavenhigh!
One of the
aims of my ‘Contemporary Scottish Studies’ has now been realised – the
recognition that anything that purports to be a contribution to Scottish
literature must be judged by the standards applied to literature in all
other civilised countries.
Scottish Educational Journal republishing CMG’s Contemporary Scottish
Claire MacDonald: English Culinary Expert and Food Writer
is food (lucky me) and I am passionate about Scottish food, believing
with all my heart that what is grown, raised, produced here in Scotland
is better than anywhere else in the world. I consider food to be the
most important aspect in luring visitors to this fantastic country.
Lady MacDonald was one of the many prominent people who backed Alex Salmond
as First Minister in the 2007 Scottish Parliament Election.
best food in the world comes from Scotland, in part at least, because
Scotland is the last wilderness area in Europe; therefore the land,
fresh water rivers and lochs and seawaters around the country are clean
MacDonald (1767-1840): Piper, Soldier, Bagpipe Maker and Publisher
Strangers may sneer at the pains taken to preserve this wild instrument,
because their ears have only been accustomed to the gay measures of the
violin and ‘lascivious pleasing of the lute’; but it has claims and
recommendations that may silence even their prejudices. The Bag-pipe is,
perhaps, the only national instrument in Europe. Every other is peculiar
to many countries, but the Bag-pipe to Scotland alone. There in the
banquet-hall and in the house of mourning it has alike prevailed. It has
animated her warriors in battle, and welcomed them back after their
toils, to the homes of their love, and the hills of their nativity. Its
strains were the first sounded on the ears of infancy, and they are the
last to be forgotten in the wanderings of age.
Collection of the Ancient Martial Music of Caledonia called Piobaireachd
Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937): Prime Minister
have all taken risks in the making of war. Isn’t it time that we
should take risks to make peace?
McDonald: Journalist and Broadcaster
Scotland is first and foremost home in wherever in the world I am
working. What I treasure is the light, the space, the rain, and above
all, the unsentimental friendship of the people.
Gordon (AG) Macdonell (1896-1941): Writer, Journalist and Broadcaster
now convinced that Scotsman must decide in the near future whether they
wish to be citizens of a free country or citizens of a rather stale
music-hall joke. And I am quite certain that no middle course is
possible. The English are so strong in their powers of assimilation that
sooner or later an equal partnership, assuming that such a thing had
ever existed, must become impossible. It was against these powers that
the Irish fought so long and in the end so successfully. It was against
them that the Lowlands of Scotland fought until 1707. Either we must
resume the fight where it was left off or else we must gracefully accept
assimilation. To those who agree with my arguments and conclusions I
offer my hand, to those who do not, my condolences.
Scotland – Foreword – 1937)
year ago, the SNP was heading for a narrow election victory. The
one-seat margin over Labour was so tight that hardly anyone thought Mr
Salmond could form a government, let alone survive for a year. That he
has done both, and done so with decisiveness is a credit to the way the
SNP has gone about its business in government.
29 April 2008)
If we are
what we eat, then Scots are a sickly mix of sugar, salt and alcohol… But
maybe it is time to ditch all the healthy eating initiatives for adults
– those who are going to pay any notice to them have already done so –
and instead start pouring all the resources we have into saving the next
generation. That way they could inherit something a little more
worthwhile from us than hardened arteries and an immunity to the
all-pervading smell of chip fat.
3 June 2008)
McGinn (1928-1973): Singer, Songwriter, Actor, Writer and Teacher
born in dear old Glasgow, in a Gallowgate tenement,
When people spoke of my bonny land I didn’t know what they meant.
But then I took: to travel, I moved far and wide,
Now when I speak of my native land I speak with loving pride
For I hae seen the Hieland’s, I hae seen the Low,
And I will brag o’ my native land wherever I may go.
(I hae Seen
Weaver, Actor and Poet (renowned as one of the worst poets in the English
demon Drink, thou fell destroyer;
Thou curse of society, and its greatest annoyer.
What hast thou done to society, let me think?
I answer thou has caused the most of ills, thou demon Drink.
causeth the mother to neglect her child,
Also the father to act as he werer wild,
So that he neglects his loving wife and family dear,
By spending his earnings foolishly on whisky, rum, and beer.
Some sources give the date of William McGonagall’s birth as 1825. Although
born in Edinburgh of Irish parentage, he is traditionally associated with
lies need a leavening of truth to make them palatable.
Macintyre, Donnachadh Ban Màc an t-Saoir (1724-1812): Gaelic Poet
phìob ùr seo thàinig do ‘n bhaile
A dh’ fhaotainn urram,
‘S i ceann inneal-ciùil an fhearainn,
‘S na dùthch’ uile.
new bagpipe that came to town to get honour, is the chief musical
instrument of the land, and of the whole country.
Douglas McIntyre (1913-1998): Chest Consultant and Politician
It is idle to blame the English
for the state of affairs in Scotland; for Scotland is our
responsibility. Scotland has never been slow to cooperate with
other countries in international affairs where her voice is for
freedom and independence. If you want to build a better world
you must first build a better Scotland.
(Election address, Motherwell
and Wishaw by-election 1945)
I come with no intention of
interfering in the affairs of this country or of reforming any of
the legislation or changing any of the customs of this House.
The SNP comes with the intention of returning as soon as possible to
our own country where we may under democratic government achieve the
long needed reconstruction of Scotland. In the meantime it is
necessary for us to do everything in our power to safeguard the
position of Scotland from further deterioration.
(Maiden speech 'English' House
of Commons, April 1945)
If it is good
for Scotland, it is good.
Only a Scottish
Government can achieve the material changes we need and make use of
Scotland’s present favourable economic position. If the Scottish people
want their affairs run by others, if they refuse their own proper
responsibilities, they have only themselves to blame when things go
wrong. I am tired of hearing on all hands of Scottish grievances and of
the many and various complaints every day of petty mismanagement and
gross blunders made by the Whitehall administration of Scotland. This is
a very unhealthy state of affairs. The Scottish people are in a real
danger of becoming a nation or sub-nation of grousers and greeting
sycophants. As such Scotland would become an ulcer in the European body
politic and also an economic liability.
There is a job to be
done. The Scottish people must do it and take full responsibility for
their actions. Pride in the past is a vain and even dangerous thing if
it is not mirrored in confidence and worthy action in the present.
Scotland is only half alive. Get off your knees.
(THE FREE SCOT –
Magazine of the Glasgow University Nationalists October 1949)
Montagu Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972):
Soldier, Spy, Novelist, Playwright and Political Activist
have seen the phenomenon of conversion among those who have wakened to a
sudden comprehension of what true nationalism is. They are changed by
some mystical experience, and in loving their country they love their
fellow-countrymen. It is such love which alone can justify the reformer.
Too many attempts at reformation have been made either in a spirit of
hate and destructiveness or what is ultimately more deadly, in a spirit
of constructive utility. Desire the good of your fellow men, but desire
it because you love them, not because a well-fed, well-clad, well-housed
creature will be an economic asset to the state. Many of you present are
filled with ambition to re-create a nation; but your immediate and
predominant duty is to re-create yourselves, for only in re-creating
yourselves will you re-create that nation.
Address at Glasgow University 29 January 1932)
Compton Mackenzie was a founder-member of the National Party of Scotland in
1928. His election on 24 October 1931 as the first-ever Scottish nationalist
Lord Rector of Glasgow University was seen as a major achievement and boost
to the fledgling political party which stood for Scottish Independence.
standing up in the west like a huge grape-dark hand, miles away above the
desolate moorland. What were the mountains of Switzerland compared with that
shape of stone solitary as a mammoth upon the edge of the landscape?
(The East Wind
of Love 1937)
not find it difficult nowadays to behave like men; but they often find
it extremely difficult to behave like gentlemen.
do not find it difficult nowadays to behave like men, but they often
find it extremely difficult to behave like gentlemen.
MacKenzie: English Media Executive, Broadcaster and Journalist
believes not in entrepreneurialism like London and the south east [of
England]…The reality is that the Scots enjoy spending it, they don’t
enjoy creating it which is the opposite of down in the south.
Question Time 11 October 2007)
only ever really like other Scotsmen.
Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928): Architect, Designer and Artist
artist cannot attain to mastery in his art unless he is endowed in
the highest degree with the faculty of invention.
Dougie MacLean: Folksinger and Songwriter
let me tell you that I love you
That I think about you all the time
Caledonia you’re calling me and I’m going home
If I should become a stranger
You know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia’s been everything I’ve ever had.
Political Activist, Socialist Revolutionary and Teacher
human being on the face of the earth, no government, is going to take
from me my right to speak, my right to protest against wrong, my right
to do anything that is for the benefit of mankind. I am not here as the
accused; I am here as the accuser of capitalism dripping with blood from
head to foot.
at his trial for sedition 9 May 1918)
Scotland must again
have Independence, but not to be ruled by traitor kings and chiefs,
lawyers and politicians. The communism of the clans must be
re-established on a modern basis . . . The country must have one
clan, as it were - a united people working in co-operation and
co-operatively using the wealth that is created.
(All Hail! The Scottish
Communist Republic (pamphlet 1920)
MacLean (Somhairle MacGill-Eain) (1911-1996):
Poet and Teacher
fhathast ann a Hallaig,
Clann Ghill-Eain ‘s Clann MhicLeoid,
Na bh’ ann ri linn Mhic Ghille-Chaluim;
Chunnacas na mairbh béo.
still in Hallaig,
MacLeans and MacLeods,
All who were there in the time of MacGille Chaluim;
The dead have been seen alive.
lochan fala clan nan daoine,
breòiteachd blàir is stri an aonaich,
bochdainn, caithimh, fiabhrais, àmghair,
anacothrom, eucoir, ainneart, ànraidh,
truaige, eu-dàchas, gamhlas, cuilbheart,
is truaillidheachd; gu furachair,
treunmhor chithear an Cuilithionn
èirigh air taobh eile duilghr.
lochs of the blood of the children of men,
frailty of the plain and the labour of the mountain,
poverty, consumption, fever, agony,
hardship, wrong, tyranny, distress, beyond misery, despair hatred,
guilt and defilement; watchful, heroic, the Cuillin is seen
the other side of sorrow.
Cuilithionn, Cuillin 1936)
McLeish: Politician, 2nd First Minister of Scotland (2000-2001),
Town Planner and Footballer
country is looking ahead and it’s important that all political parties
do too. We need an open and inclusive conversation to discuss our
future, one in which all the positive options are included – the current
devolution settlement, more powers, independence and also a form of
federalism. The key thing is these ideas are debated in terms of how
they will deliver a better quality of life for everyone who lives in
Scotland – better health, housing, economic performance and education.
The constitutional debate is vitally important for every Scot and
fundamental for the future of our nation. And of course, we should never
forget that a confident Scotland should have a bigger role on the world
ahead of the launch of the second phase of the Scottish Government’s
‘National Conversation’ on Scotland’s constitutional future, Sunday Post, 23
No sport in Scotland
cuts through the emotions of the people more deeply than football.
(On being appointed
Chairman of a Scottish Football Association think-tank 25 February 2009)
The Very Rev
Dr George Fielden MacLeod, Baron of Fuinary MC DD (1896-1991): Soldier,
Clergyman and Founder of the Iona Community (1938)
truth wherever you find it.
McMillan: Theatre Critic and Columnist
Burns is an asset of which most nations could only dream, not only a
powerful and passionate lover of the Scottish people and their culture,
but also a mighty lyric poet, and one of the great freedom-loving
spirits of the age of enlightenment into which he was born. It’s small
wonder that Burns is still celebrated across the globe, from Russia and
Japan to Africa and America, and all the more baffling that here at
home, Scots often seem lukewarm about their national bard, or even
Folksinger, songwriter, Book-Dealer and Teacher
is the Glasgow that I used to know,
Big Willie, wee Shooey. The Steamie, the Co.,
The shilpet wee bauchle, the glaiket big dreep,
The ba’ on the slates, an’ yer gas in a peep?
If ye scrape the veneer aff, are these things still there?
(Where is the
Marian McNeill (1885-1973):
one doesn’t deliberately set about being a Scot, or an Englishman, or
any other national. That would simply lead to eccentricity. If one is
content to be oneself, one’s nationality will make itself felt
unobtrusively, like the scent of a flower. Just as a flower draws its
sustenance both from the soil from which it has sprung and from the sun
and air in which it unfolds, so the human being in relation to the
civilization and traditions of his own country and those of the wider
world that gradually opens up to him.
Cellar – Its Traditions and Lore 1956)
proverbial Scot has been reared on porridge and the Shorter catechism, a
rigorous diet, but highly beneficial to those possessed of sound
McNish: Racing Driver
what my racing life is all about, winning the world’s biggest races and
knowing there’s always another Scot watching. It’s brilliant.
his second Le Mans 24 Hour Race and seeing a Saltire being waved in the
crowd 15 June 2008)
MacPherson: Sports Broadcaster
Park against Forfar – you can’t get more romantic than that.
Macpherson: Lawyer and Chairman of the Council and Board of the
National Trust for Scotland
life and his works are just as relevant today as they were when he lived
and it is crucial that we make sure none of what he gave us is lost.
Journalist and Broadcaster
[Scottish National Party] is not a party that has come from the left. It
doesn’t have the same memory of industrial politics. But somehow it has
managed to promote a political agenda closer to the social democratic
soul of Scotland than the party of the new plutocracy that calls itself
Labour. Thatcherite it ain’t.
herald 30 March 2008)
Edinburgh is a cross between Copenhagen and Barcelona, except in
Copenhagen they speak more understandable English.
The Scotsman during filming in 1994)
Andrew Marr: Political Presenter and Commentator
For some of us, the real joy of
Christmas is proving yourself such a curmudgeon that you make Scrooge
Politician and Accountant
weeks ago the Scottish National Party predicted a political earthquake.
This SNP victory is not just a political earthquake, it is off the
Richter scale. It is an epic win and the tremors will be felt all the
way to Downing Street.
dramatic win in the Glasgow East By-Election, overturning a 13,000 Labour
majority to secure the seat for the Scottish National Party, 27 July 2008)
Allan Massie: Author
History is written from then to
now but understood back to front.
are like priests, confessions part of the daily round; surprise is
beyond them, often even interest.
(One Night in
Masters (1914-1983): Culcutta-born English Soldier and Author
‘Join a Highland
regiment, me boy. The kilt is an unrivalled garment for fornication and
(Bugle and a
Tiger, a personal adventure 1956)
I do not
share the fear of [Scottish] independence which is currently being
fostered by those who have most to lose by a change in the status quo
and those who see Scotland as a source of safe seats, thus guaranteeing
their role over the United Kingdom.
(Letter, The Scotsman 16
Somerset Maugham (1874-1965): English Author and Playwright
Scotchmen seem to think it’s a
credit to them to be taken to be Scotch.
(A Winter’s Notebook 1949)
Maxton (1885-1946): Politician
This is our land, this is our
Scotland, these are our people, these are our men, our works, our
women and children: can you beat it?
All I say
is, if you cannot ride two horses you have no right in the circus.
(Daily Herald 1932)
of high moral standing with any soul in them would submit to the
domination of an English Parliament.
(Speech at meeting of the Scottish Home Rule Association reported in The
Scots Independent June 1929)
duty (of a politician) is to analyse discontent, to find the causes of
discontent, to express discontent and then to establish a world order
that is more in keeping with the intelligence and the ethics of the men
and women who live in the great age in which we are living.
Italian Nationalist and Soldier of the Risorgimento
stands forth from the dim twilight of the past as one of the High
Prophets of Nationality to us all. Honour him; worship his memory; teach
his name and deeds to your children.
American Journalist, Columnist, Editor, Critic and Author
United States ever become genuinely civilized? Certainly it is possible.
Even Scotland has made enormous progress since the Eighteenth Century,
when, according to Macaulay, most of it was on the cultural level of
Menzies: Folksinger and Songwriter
Schiehallion, Schiehallion, I hear your voice calling,
Across the Great glen to the coast of Argyll.
The Lowlands, The Highlands, The Borders, The Islands,
I’ll drink to the back of Schiehallion.
A cold wind
blows and nothing grows
sways bluid red.
Prince tae France has flown
And a’ his
lads are dead, dead
And a’ his
lads are dead.
is a role model to me because he was a jobbing writer who worried about
making a living to support his family. He didn’t sit in a dusty room,
churning out dry, emotionless allegories about empires or politics. He
produced. Some of it’s great, some isn’t but he wasn’t precious and he
couldn’t be cowed. Fearless. A hard thing for a writer to be.
Mail 18 January 2009)
William (Willie) Ferguson Miller:
Professional Footballer, Scottish Internationalist, Director of Football
(Aberdeen FC) and broadcaster
a good place to be.
after Scotland’s 3-1 victory over Ukraine (Euro 2008 Qualifying game) Radio
Scotland 13 October 2007)
Margaret Mitchison, Lady Mitchison (1897-1999): Writer and Poet
to write intelligibly for the ordinary men and women in Scotland, to
shake them out of their bad dream of respectability.
always a bore being ahead of one’s time.
Entry January 1942)
Moffat: Author and Arts Director
Within a generation of Culloden
the great emigration to the New World had begun to convert the
Highlands from a working landscape into mere scenery, and with them
the departure of memory and understanding began to convert the
Highlanders' stories into riddles or pastiche, as a drowsy nostalgia
was substituted for a badly understood past.
(The Sea Kingdoms - The History
of Celtic Britain and Ireland 2001)
Professor Edwin Morgan:
Poet and Academic
to write in the way that’s true to you. I leave pessimism to the others.
21 June 2008)
Vollam (HV) Morton (1892-1979): English Journalist and Travel Writer
the best place in which to take an appetite.
of Scotland 1929)
queer compromise between fairyland and battleground which is the
of Scotland 1929)
Harry Lauder] small, sturdy and smooth of face. He wore hexagonal
glasses and smoked a six-inch briar pipe. His Glengarry was worn at a
jaunty angle and, as he walked, the almost ankle length Inverness cape
which he wore exposed a bit of MacLeod kilt. The superior person will
perhaps sniff if I suggest that no man since Sir Walter Scott has warmed
the world’s heart to Scotland more surely than Sir Harry Lauder. His
genius is a thing apart.
Sir Harry Lauder in an Aberdeen hotel 1928)
Muir (1887-1959): Poet, Writer, Critic and Translator
drink spasmodically and intensely, for the sake of a momentary but
complete release, whereas the English like to bathe and paddle about
bucolically in a mild puddle of beer.
(Scottish Journey 1935
I should like to put
here my main impression, and it is that Scotland is gradually being
emptied of its population, its spirit, its wealth, industry, art,
intellect and innate character.
(Scottish Journey 1935)
organic literature poetry is always influencing prose and prose poetry;
and their interaction energies them both. Scottish poetry exists in a
vacuum; it neither acts on the rest of literature nor reacts to it; and
consequently it has shrunk to the level of anonymous folk-song.
The publication of ‘Scott and Scotland’ led to a major fall-out between
Edwin Muir and the man who set the Scottish Literary Revival in motion Hugh
Crosshill was a respectable [Glasgow] suburb, but there were vacant
lots scattered about it. Chance scraps of waste ground where the
last blade of grass had died, so that in dry weather they were as
hard as lava, and in wet weather a welter of mud. On these lots
teams from the slum quarters of the south side played every Saturday
afternoon with great skill and savage ferocity. Fouls were a matter
of course, and each game turned into a complicated feud in which the
ball itself was merely a means to an end which had no connexion with
the game. Some of the teams had boxers among their supporters; these
men stood bristling on the touchline and shouted intimidations at
the opposing players.
John Muir (1838-1914):
Pioneering Conservationist and Naturalist
battle for conservation will go on endlessly. It is part of the
universal battle between right and wrong.
lonely walks, I have often thought how fine it would be to have the
company of Burns. And indeed he was always with me, for I had him by
heart. On my first long walk from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico I
carried a copy of Burns’ poems and sung them all the way. The whole
country and the people, beasts and birds, seemed to like them…
Wherever a Scotsman goes, there goes Burns. His grand whole, catholic soul
squares with the good of all; therefore we find him in everything
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
loves man, beetles and birds with the same love.
Longest is the life
that contains the largest amount of time-effacing enjoyment – of work
that is a steady delight. Such a life may really comprise an eternity
Thomas Muir (1765-1799):
Advocate and Campaigner for Parliamentary Reform
Gentlemen, from my infancy to
this moment I have devoted myself to the cause of the people.
It is a good cause - it shall ultimately prevail - it shall finally
(Speech at his trial 30 August
Neil Munro (Hugh Foulis) (1863-1930): Novelist, Poet and Journalist
make of a piper go seven years of his own learning and seven
generations before. If it is in, it will out, as the Gaelic old-word
says; if not, let him take to the net or sword.
(The Lost Pibroch 1896)
most of all the strange cantrips of the human heart.
(Andy) Murray: Tennis Player
you’re training and wondering why you do the work and feeling sorry for
yourself, and you kind of push through and keep working, then when you
have moments like that on court, you feel it’s all worth it.
his third round win in five sets over Jurgen Melzer of Austria in the US
Open 30 August 2008)
The 21-year-old Scot went on to reach his first-ever Grand Slam final only
to lose to one of the worlds greatest-ever tennis players and defending US
Open champion Roger Federer, Switzerland. Federer created a new record by
becoming the first player to win the US Open five times in succession.
care what happens throughout the course of a match, as long as I win.
rather look scruffy and win matches than look good and lose. I don’t
care about my image.
Murray (1864-1941): Civil Engineer and Poet
mither’s psalms may be forgot,
But never Burns.
nicht auld Scotland, dry your tears,
An’ let nae sough o’ grief come near’s;
We’ll speak o’ Rab’s gin he could hear’s;
Life’s but a fivver,
And he’s been healed this hundred years
To live for ever.
Centenary (death) 1896)
braver mountains ower the sea
An’ fairer haughs I’ve kent, but still
The Vale o’ Alford! Bennachie!
Yon is the Howe, an’ this the hill!
G Murray (1877-1960): Suffragette, Political Activist, Historian and
have a two-fold calling, for not only are we as wives and mothers
the guardians of the future, but we are also the custodians of the
(Scottish Homespun 1947)
Lord George Murray (1694-1760): Jacobite General
life, my fortune, my expectations, the happiness of my wife and children
are all at stake (and the chances are against me), and yet my duty to
king and country, outweighs everything.
Was out in both the 15 and 19 Jacobite Ridings and after a few
years fighting abroad he was pardoned and returned to Scotland in the
late 1720s. In spite of many reservations he joined Prince Charles
Edward Stewart in Perth during the 45 Rising. His relationship with the
Prince was always fragile, In spite of the comment by Fitzroy Maclean
that Lord George was “the military genius of the 45”, the Prince
listened to others!. He proved his military skill at Prestonpans, the
retreat from Derby and Clifton, and the last major Jacobite victory at
Falkirk, Murray didn’t want to fight at Culloden, but the right wing, under
his command, was the only section to leave the field in reasonably good
order and he proceeded to Ruthven. On receiving the order to disband he went
to France and died in exile in 1760.
What motivated me was that I wanted to hear the
Scottish anthem, I wanted to see the Scottish flag flying and I
wanted to up there on the rostrum. When it happened, it was
the most special moment of my career so far.
(After winning Gold Medal in the 10,000 metres on
24 August 1994 at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada.)
I was inspired
to take up athletics watching the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and watching Allan
Wells winning his [100m] gold medal. Children today get that same connection
and that’s what I think is absolutely fantastic. Yes, we will have
regeneration of the east end [Glasgow], yes we will have new infrastructure
in place. But it is getting kids into sport and letting them experience what
sport is all about.
10 November 2007)
Author, Journalist, TV Researcher, and Professor of Nationalism and Cultural
Diversity, Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
As far as
the United Kingdom is concerned, the Scots have at least some
consciousness of their ‘Kailyard’ as a problem; the English are still
largely unaware of having arrived there.
Nationalism and New Nationalism in The Red Paper on Scotland 1975)
Was ever lavish
Sutherland (AS) Neill (1883-1973):
Teacher, Educator, Founder of Summerhill School and Author
in a system that depended on the tawse, as we called the belt in
Scotland. My father used it and I followed suit, without ever thinking
about the rights and wrongs of it – until the day when I myself as a
headmaster, belted a boy for insolence. A new, sudden thought came to
me. Why am I hitting someone not my own size? I put my tawse in the fire
and never hit a child again.
Orange Peel! 1973)
ready for the kirk [in Forfar] was hateful to us. We struggled with
clumsy cufflinks: we resentfully stood to have olive oil rubbed into our
hair. We were all dressed up with nowhere to go – nowhere, at any rate,
that we wanted to go. We knew there lay before us an hour and a half of
extreme boredom, of sitting on a hard pew with upright back – only the
rich had cushions – of listening to dull psalms and hymns and a
seemingly interminable sermon by Dr Caie.
Neill! Orange Peel! 1973)
(Pat) Kevin Francis Michael Nevin: Footballer, Scottish Internationalist (28
caps) and Broadcaster
abiding memories of the year  will include watching the Scottish
fans blast out the national anthem before the home game against Ukraine,
It was a physical experience as well as an emotional one and it had a
huge impact on the opposition.
on Sunday 30 December 2007)
Scotland won the Euro 2008 qualifying game 3-1 in front of 50,589 fans at
Hampden 13 October 2007.
regularly told that football clubs are only ‘business’, but they are in
fact much more than that. They are part of our history and our culture.
The clubs are often at the centre of our communities and engender a
sense of belonging and shared desire. They can be beacons of national
pride, as well as acute embarrassment on occasion if truth be told.
on Sunday 6 April 2008)
Harold George Nicholson (1886-1968): English Diplomat, Author and
man of the name of McIntyre has been elected as Scottish nationalist for
Motherwell [and Wishaw]. He refused to be introduced by any sponsor,
since he does not recognise the Mother of Parliaments and wishes to
advertise himself. He advanced to the Bar without sponsors and the
Speaker told him that he could not take his oath, as it was contrary to
standing orders. At which many members rose offering to sponsor the cub
and put an end to the shaming incident, but he refused. He was therefore
told to go away and think it over, which he did, shrugging vain
shoulders. Next day he thought better of it and accepted sponsors; but
even then, as he reached the box, he said, ‘I do this under protest’,
which was not liked at all. He is going to be a sad nuisance and pose as
and Letters 1966)
Nicholson was an English establishment figure – for a more balanced view of
Dr Robert D McIntyre’s time in the House of Commons see quotation by
Professor Richard J Finlay.
Hussein Obama: American Politician: US Senator
millions of Americans of Scottish descent living throughout the country,
it’s important to celebrate the historic relationship between the US and
Scotland, and the great contributions Scottish Americans have made.
Keith O'Brien: Third Resident Cardinal in Scotland since The
In his time William Wallace was
the true leader of a family, which is our nation of Scotland.
(Speech 23 August 2005 - 700th
anniversary of the judicial murder of Sir William Wallace)
While any event that commemorates
St Andrew is to be welcome, a ceilidh however prominent, falls far short
of the full public holiday which our patron saint deserves.
(Commenting on the Scottish
Executive open-air sponsored ceilidh in the Lawnmarket, Edinburgh on 30
not get too involved in the politics of independence, but I am happy
that, if it is the wish of the people, Scotland becomes an independent
country. There is currently some frustration among the Scots about the
say they have over what happens here, and that is what is pushing the
independence movement. I can see this coming, perhaps not in the next
few years, but before too long.
Herald October 2006)
Enormous attention has been given to football, parades and marches and
much progress has been made in these areas. But most instances of
sectarianism do not involve any of these and I think we should now begin
to look at the wider social causes of sectarian animosity.
(At meeting to tackle sectarianism 12 December 2006)
Ogilvie (18?? – 19??): Songwriter
give me the land of the heather and the kilt,
The mountain and the river,
For the blood leaps in my viens
When I hear the bagpipe’s strains
Scotland, dear old Scotland forever!
Caroline Oliphant, Lady Nairne (Mrs Bogan of Bogan) (1766-1845): Poet and Songwriter
hundred pipers an’ a’, an’ a’
Wi’ a hundred pipers an’ a’, an’ a’
We’ll up an’ them a blaw, a blaw
Wi’ a hundred pipers an’ a’, an’ a’.
(The Hundred Pipers)
Then here’s a
health to Charlie’s cause,
An’ be it
complete an’ early;
His very name
and heart’s blood warms
To arms for
King But Charlie?)
Caroline Oliphant, Lady Nairne, came from the fervent Jacobite family of
Gask in Perthshire, Bonnie Prince Charlie visited the family during the
American Journalist and Writer
stingy, depressing beggars who parade around in schoolgirls’ skirts with
nothing on underneath.
Characterists, “Foreigners Around the World”. National Lampoon 1976)
John Boyd Orr, 1st Baron Boyd Orr of Brechin Mearns
Doctor, Biologist, Politician, Nobel Peace Prize Winner (19490,
Chancellor of the University of Glasgow (1946-1971)
Scottish people had the power to develop the national resources of
our country for the benefit of our own people, we could put Scotland
in the very forefront of the nations.
English Poet and Soldier
Holyrood [Palace] on Sunday afternoon being alone on Salisbury Crags, a
floating mirage in gold mist.
Revd Dr Ian Kyle Paisley: Irish Politician, First Minister Northern
Ireland Assembly and Founder and Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church
that the prime minister [Gordon Brown] is afraid of Scotland, because
Scotland has been the backbone of the labour movement and the bowl is
broken… for the first time Labour is no longer in charge of affairs in
Poet, Playwright, Short Story Writer and Author
I’m not a
party member. I like to be free to change my mind and my mind can change
quite quickly. But in my heart, Scotland is a separate nation from
the right to be an independent, grown-up person and to relate to the
rest of the world as someone who stands on their own two feet and looks
the world straight in the eyes. Scotland doesn’t do that and hasn’t been
able to do it since the Union. It’s always had another nation to do that
for it, it has chosen and keeps choosing to be this cowering wee child
bride who’s afraid to speak out.
24 June 2007)
Comedienne, Raconteur, Singer and Author
I just had
to sit down.
that she had won the Scottish BAFTA Light Entertainment Award 1993)
I learned early to
appreciate the beauties of Scotland through being part of a terrific
[cycling] club. I have had a love affair with Scotland all my life and I
have never seen a place yet that can match it. We may not get the
weather, but one day of good weather in Scotland is worth seven on any
continental beach. Whenever I’ve had enough of the city, the work, the
stress, I take to the hills to restore my spirit. It is a true saying
that you may be depressed but if you walk up a big hill you will come
down feeling a hundred times better. Some of my favourite lines by Sir
Walter Scott sum up my feelings.
the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
There is my own, my native land.’
(Dorothy – Revelations
of a Rejected Soprano 1997)
Paxman: English Broadcaster and Author
tremendously good fun winding up the Scots. It is terribly easy,
particularly Scottish politicians. They can take things far too
Henry Pearson (1830-1894): English Historian and Colonial
He (Wallace) was the first man who fought, not to support a
dynasty, but to free Scotland, and the first general who showed that
citizens could be an over-match for trained soldiers. No reproach of
cruelty or self-seeking attaches to his term of Government, and the
enemy of his country selected him as its first martyr.
(History of England During Early and Middle Ages 1867)
Pitt (the Elder), 1st Earl of Chatham
(1707-1778): English Prime Minister
I sought for merit wherever
it could be found. It is my boast that I was the first minister who looked
for it, and found it, in the mountains of the north. I called it forth, and
drew into your service a hardy and intrepid race of men; men who, when left
by your jealousy, became a prey to the artifices of your enemies, and had
gone nigh to have overturned the State, in the war before last. These men,
in the last war, were brought to combat on your side; they served with
fidelity, as they fought with valour, and conquered for you in every quarter
of the world.
(From his famous eulogy on
the Highland Regiments, delivered in Westminster
Powell (1905-2000): English Writer
this Race whose Pride so rudely burgeons?
Second-rate Engineers and obscure Surgeons,
Pedant-Philosophers and Fleet Street hacks,
With evr’y Quality that Genius lacks:
Such Mediocracy was ne’er on view,
Bolster’d by tireless Scottish Ballyhoo –
Nay! In two Qualities they stand supreme;
Their Self-advertisement and Self-esteem.
John Prebble (1915-2001):
English Writer and Historian
Darien is now a
scar on the memory of the Scots, and the pain of the wound is still
felt even where the cause is dimly understood.
(The Darien Disaster 1968)
the chiefs lost their powers, many of them lost also any parental
interest in their clansmen. During the next hundred years they continued
the work of Cumberland’s battalions. Land which they had once held on
behalf of their tribe now became theirs in fact and law. They wore the
tartan and kept a piper to play at their board, but profit and
land-rents replaced a genuine pride in race. So that they might lease
their glens and braes to sheep-farmers from the Lowlands and England
they cleared the crofts of men, women and children, using police and
soldiers where necessary. The descendants of those who had fought for
the Prince, or against him, were sent in thousands to Canada. It was a
new transportation, but this time the laird was responsible not the
the green saucer of Glenaladale, dipping down to Loch Sheil, Alexander
Macdonald had taken one hundred and fifty men to serve in Clanranald’s
regiment. Within a century there was nothing there but the lone shieling
of the song.
Presley, ‘The King’ (1935-1977): American Singer, ‘The King of Rock
‘n’ Roll’, and Film Actor
of like the idea of Scotland. Ah’m going to do a European tour and it
would be nice to come back here.
with Ian Nelson at Prestwick 3 March 1960)
Elvis never did a European tour or returned to Scotland (land of his
fore-bears) – his only non-US concert was in Vancouver, Canada.)