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Scottish Review

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Oliver Brown
Politics and Advice to Politicians


A party should have a left wing and a right wing provided that, like a bird, it has a brain to coordinate their movements.


My own favourites in politics are those failures Guy Aldred, Thomas Muir and John MacLean. Their struggle was never vulgarised by success because they ignored the essential of politics - the art of compromise. What they lost in their own time they gained by their influence on the future.

The only man to be pitied is the politician who finds his ideals eroded by concessions and is left with nothing but a career.


Scotland will be freed not because of our wisdom, but because of the folly of its alien rulers. Our own folly can merely postpone the date of liberation. Our wisdom may hasten it.


To induce people to think is more valuable than to convert them to your own point of view.


It will not be long before the Continental Europeans learn that it was they who made the mistake - by admitting England. It was always the policy of the English to prey on European divisions. (That was called the doctrine of "The Balance of Power"). They have not given it up.


A General Election is intended primarily for those who do not treat politics seriously.


If you do not carry about with you a wee book in which to enter note of the most interesting points concerning Scotland, you are not fit for your job. 

There is nothing so painful as to hear a good cause discredited by spokesmen unworthy of it.


The best way to defend freedom is to practise it.


The proportion of genuine Tories in the Conservative Party must equal the proportion of genuine Christians in the Churches — not more than 5%. The proportion of genuine Socialists in the Labour Party may be estimated at .0001%. He must feel lonely, the poor man!


If you are going to lead a revolution, make sure you die immediately after it like Lenin and Gandhi, who were thus spared the sad years of disillusionment and self-corruption experienced by such as Oliver Cromwell and Stalin.

The only revolution of value is that which people undergo unconsciously. I can see all the signs that that kind of mental change has occurred in Scotland over the past forty years.


The weakness of a ruling class is that it comes to believe that its power is permanent. (Our ruling class is the Harold Wilson-Edward Heath faction.)

They never learn the truth because their position blinds them to it.

Here is an example from Austria’s history (Wein by Josef Wechsherg): "When in 1914 Count Berchtold, the Austrian Foreign Minister, was warned that war might to lead to a Revolution in Russia he refused to believe it.

"'And please,’ he asked, tell me who will lead this Revolution, I suppose Herr Bronstein from the central café!’"

And all the other Ministers laughed just as when Heath described Scottish Nationalism as "FLOWER POWER".

Herr Bronstein left Vienna for Switzerland with a false passport on which he had written his future name LEON TROTSKY.


It is a strange experience to find yourself cheered for saying the same things as those which 40 years ago were greeted with catcalls and jeers. That means that the unthinking mob have caught up with you and that you are in danger of joining them.


Parliament has always been grossly overrated. The most influential political body in the last century was that of the Chartists, who had no Parliamentary success. Exactly the same thing can be said of the Fabian Society in this century. It was an act of folly to give that Socialist body such a name since Fabius was a Roman Consul before whom the fasces were carried. Nonetheless it changed the political thought of this country.


An MP no more changes the nature of our politics than a thermometer changes the temperature of the air. He, she or it is merely an indicator, which is not without value.


The National Movement has two purposes — to secure self-government for Scotland and to raise the moral and intellectual level of our national life. The second is the more important of the two.


I have never yet heard a speech which would not have gained in force had it been condensed into five minutes.


Depression and elation are always signs of the immature politician. They are equally exhausting.


The SNP is accused by poison-spitters of being separatist, greedy and narrow-minded, and no amount of denial will offset the damage done to its image. A positive policy is the only answer, and the best is the active advocacy of an Anglo-Scottish alliance which will follow the era of English domination.


The "Fall of Eagles" depresses me. The Romanovs, the Hohenzollerns and the Hapsburgs were decent people who did not deserve their fate, while monsters like Tsar Peter the Great and Tsar Joseph the Steelman died in their beds in the possession of their evil power.

Why should stupidity be punished more than vice? The "Eagles" had so many warnings to which they were blind because they had the illusion of power.


Political thinkers are now stressing the important truth that no political scheme is satisfactory unless it satisfies environmental and psychological tests which the Victorian industrialists tended to disregard because they took into account only economic factors. The only people who still maintain the faulty Victorian scale of values are the anti-nationalists who consider that the question of Self-Government is to be determined by an England-Scotland balance of payments. 23 January 1971.


 

 


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