The Lord Chancellor sits
on the woolsack because wool was in the 16th century the symbol and
source of Englandís wealth. In the 18th century he should have sat on
a coalsack. Now he should sit on an electric chair.
When the House of Commons and Lords were burned down
in the 19th century, the fire was caused by overheating the furnaces by
tallies, wooden sticks on which the Customs and Excise officers counted
the national finances, being determined not to use new-fangled ideas
like paper and pens.
When leaving the House an
MP bows towards the Speaker, not as a sign of respect to the Chairman of
the House, but to the blank space on the wall behind the Speaker where
before the Reformation a Crucifix used to hang. If it were put back most
MPs would stop bowing.
Absurd, isnít it? Not at all! It is a subtle
process whereby the mentality of the new MP is conditioned to lose touch
In the House of Commons
everyone is an honourable member except a privy councillor who is a
right honourable. A QC is a learned gentleman and every officer is a
gallant gentleman. How much further can you travel from the bounds of
James Maxton once said
that the only man who went to the House of Commons with honourahle
intentions was Guy Fawkes.
autobiography is as pathetic a document as that of any other egoist.
There is, however, one significant passage which every Scottish
Nationalist should know and use as propaganda. It is about Tom Johnston.
Here it is (p.199):
"One of the most
able men in the technique of getting his own way at Cabinet committee
meetings. He would impress on the committee that there was a strong
nationalist movement in Scotland and that it could be a potential danger
if it grew through lack of attention to Scottish
But by dint of cajoling, persuasion
plus some slight exaggeration of the grievances fertilising the Scottish
National Movement, he got schemes through after three or so committee
meetings. Time has proved that his energetic enthusiasm, even in
wartime, was amply justified."
What does that prove? That even the
most justifiable measures are not accepted by the English unless there
is a national threat to back them up. Let us increase that threat!
The Scots are continually being
exhorted to show initiative and energy by a Government which has neither
and is determined to frustrate both.
It is interesting to note how the word
"Scotch" which was so common in the 19th century has
practically disappeared to be replaced by "Scottish" which
seems to be much more dignified. "Scotch" is now reserved for
things that are bought and sold like Scotch tomatoes, Scotch whisky,
Scotch potatoes and Scotch MPs.
Politicians never tell the truth
except when they call one another liars.
A revolutionary is a man who wants to
live in a state in which he can become a conservative. He then becomes
the most stubborn of reactionaries (e.g. the Most Noble and Honourable
Lord, Emmanuel Shinwell).
The enemy of the revolutionary is the
Has anyone turned so complete a
somersault as Tom Taylor. Once the rising hope of the Independent Labour
Party and now Lord Taylor of Grvffe? He is one of those whom the
Socialists denounced at one time as
"those who have sold themselves to the Capitalist System".
This is too simple an explanation. Capitalism when seen from the inside
is a much more complicated system than the disorganised mess as seen by
an unemployed engineer. I must confess, as one of its critics, that it
has some virtues which are not obvious from the outside. So I am not
prepared to condemn "turncoats" like Taylor without a
To me the real tragedy in politics is
the man who reaches power by preaching doctrines which his ultimate
position proves to him to be beyond all hope of application. Ramsay
MacDonald is a classic example. He was, however, sufficiently in touch
with his beginnings never to become Lord MacDonald. (Lord Taylor left
the Labour Party for the SDP; more recently he rejoined the Labour Party
One of the sturdiest of Scottish Nationalists was
Sandy Scrymgeour who stood so often for Dundee that he was finally
elected along with E. D. March, putting out Churchill who bore a grudge
against Dundee ever afterwards.
Scrymgeour was elected as a Prohibitionist.
The day after his election several people appeared in
Dundee Sheriff Court for being drunk and disorderly.
They explained that they had been celebrating his
The Lord Privy Seal is so called because he is
neither a Lord, a privy nor a seal.
A responsible person is a man whose position prevents
him from telling the truth.