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Oliver Brown
U.K. Parliament


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 with reality.


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 reality?


James Maxton once said that the only man who went to the House of Commons with honourahle intentions was Guy Fawkes.


Herbert Morrisonís 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 interestsÖ

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 reformer.


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 psychological investigation.

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 - Ed).


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 victory.


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.


 

 


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