Tag Archives: Scotland

John Grierson, father of the documentary film

Grierson’s emphasis on realism had a profound long-term influence on Canadian film. “Art is not a mirror,” he said, “but a hammer. It is a weapon in our hands to see and say what is good and right and beautiful.”

John Grierson, considered the father of the documentary film, was the first Commissioner of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and wrote the bill that went before Parliament creating the then National Film Commission in 1939.

By 1939, when he arrived in Canada, Grierson was a well-known filmmaker and considered the founder of the British documentary movement. It was John Grierson who coined the phrase ‘the documentary film.’

The French had been using the word documentary to describe travel or exploratory films. Grierson said, “Documentary is the creative interpretation of actuality.”

Prime Minister Mackenzie King was in favour of developing Canadian film and supported the founding of this new board and the invitation to bring Grierson to Canada.

The National Film Board of Canada was born.

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English ‘civilization’ and Braveheart

National Wallace Monument and Ochil Hills in autumn | Ray Mann, Wikipedia

710 years ago on August 23, 1305, the English overlords executed the great Scottish patriot, William Wallace (Uilleam Uallas).

Although vastly outnumbered, especially in cavalry, Wallace and Andrew Moray’s Scottish army had historically defeated a much larger English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge on September 11, 1297.

After the victory, Wallace styled himself as “Commander of the Army of the Kingdom of Scotland” and the Guardian of the Kingdom of Scotland. Although he utilized the term kingdom instead of nation, Wallace was not simply protecting a throne for an absentee ruler, he was protecting the independence of Scotland. As historian J.M. Reid observes, “Wallace [was] the champion of a rising of a people in its own defence.” [1]

After eight more years of skirmishing and battling with the English forces, on August 5, 1305, Wallace was betrayed and captured near Glasgow. He was handed over to King Edward I of England, who charged him with high treason. Wallace’s reply to the charge was, “I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject.”

In a ceremony fit for barbarians, Wallace was dragged naked through the streets of London, then hanged, drawn, and quartered, and his body parts sent to various parts of the kingdom as a warning to other “rebels.”

In 1869 the National Wallace Monument was erected, very close to the site of his army’s glorious victory at Stirling Bridge.

Note

1.W. Croft Dickinson, Scotland from the Earliest Times to 1603, 3rd ed., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977, 155-59; J.M. Reid, Scotland’s Progress: The Survival of a Nation, London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1971, 64.)

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Today is Robbie Burns Day

Today (January 25) is Robbie Burns Day. 25 January 2021 marks 261 years to the day since Scotland’s national poet (1759-1796) was born. His polemics against the exploitation, injustice and oppression of his time enraged the establishment and won him enduring love from the peoples of all lands.

burns_statue_Halifax.600x840 The statue of Robert Burns in Halifax’s Victoria Park Square is the centre of innumerable political rallies., as this one in October 2006 against the apartheid wall in Occupied Palestine | Photo courtesy of and copyright 2006, Howard Harawitz, All rights reserved. Continue reading

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The name’s Connery … Sean Connery.

Sean Connery died today at the age of 90. Much is being written on behalf of Hollywood with little reference to the famed actor’s ardent support for the just cause of democratic renewal, the right to self-determination, and Scottish independence. Reflecting his Scottish working class roots, he put his sentiments into action.

In 1992 he read the now-famous “Democracy Declaration of Scotland” before the massive ‘Scotland Demands Democracy’ demonstration held in Edinburgh, December 11 and 12, 1992 (pictured below). More than 30,000 people participated and endorsed the Declaration by acclamation. The Democracy Declaration united the new movement for a Scottish Parliament in the 1990s. Continue reading

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Research notes: The militarized Atlantic – From Norfolk and Halifax to the Irish and Baltic seas

Work in progress by Tony Seed

A report conducted by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) – published in July – found that the two vessels came within 50-100 metres of each other during the horrific incident on November 6, 2018. The investigation revealed that it was the third time in four years that a submerged Royal Navy submarine had narrowly missed a calamitous collision with another vessel. Continue reading

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Scotland is turning the corner

borderprotestscot.jpg

A group of Scottish nationalists created a controversy this week when they symbolically ‘closed the border’ with England in a protest aimed at the coronavirus crisis. It signifies a new exhaustion in Scotland with a visibly collapsing England. An analysis of the increasingly popular idea of Scottish independence by Paul Kavanagh (weegingerdug). We’ve turned the corner. Continue reading

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100th Anniversary of the Battle of George Square

1919.01.31.Crowd red flag

Battle of George Square, Glasgow

The “Battle of George Square” was a confrontation in Glasgow, in which the Glasgow City Police sought to violently suppress striking Glasgow workers, centred around George Square. The confrontation, also known as “Bloody Friday”, took place on Friday, January 31, 1919, 82 days after the end of the First World War. Continue reading

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Political upheaval as Britain votes to quit European Union of the monopolies

May Day 2016

May Day 2016

Amid profound political and constitutional crisis and financial upheaval, British Prime Minister David Cameron has fallen on his own sword and announced his resignation – although not until the Conservative Party conference in October. Results from the referendum on EU membership initiated by Cameron show it pulling Britain and the north of Ireland out of the European Union by a total vote of an estimated 51.7 per cent to 48.3 per cent. Continue reading

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The Scots were right (#1 and 2 in a long series)

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Devo Max = Let’s Stick It To Them Continue reading

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‘Yes’ to an Independent Scotland is a vote for the alternative!

A great attempt has been made to spread confusion about the movement for democratic renewal in Scotland and what is and is not possible, what an independent Scotland would and would not be able to do. The allegation by some “leftists” that a Yes vote would split the working class is a chauvinist position, as though the working class does not support the right to self-determination. For the information of readers, we are posting the Call of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist–Leninist) issued on September 18, 2014. 

Scotland assembly

Our Party gives the call, on behalf of the whole of the working class of England, Wales and Scotland, for the Scottish people to affirm their right to sovereignty and vote “Yes” on September 18.

This is an historic day for the working people of Scotland. It provides a very practical and decisive opportunity to open the door to progress and affirm the right of the Scottish people to determine their own future. Continue reading

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Sighting. Say Yes posters for everyone

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This poster by Ciaran Murphy is the winner of a national poster competition organized by the Scottish independence forces. He wpn £1000 and 10,000 copies of his poster were distributed throughout the country. Continue reading

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Sottish independence: Security lies in sovereignty and peace

NATO intervenes in Scottish Referendum

NATO too is afraid of Scottish sovereignty. In an unprecedented, warmongering open letter intervening in the referendum on Scottish independence, 14 former chiefs of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force arrogantly warned that a vote for independence would undermine defence in both Scotland and the United Kingdom. “The division of the UK may or may not be politically or economically sensible, but in military terms we are clear: it will weaken us all,” they threatened, a message echoed by Obama and Harper. The Scottish people increasingly see that collective security lies in the defence of the rights of all and not subjugation to NATO and US nuclear bases in Scotland. 

We are reprinting below a pertinent article by Finian Cunningham, originally published by Press TV on September 13.

NATO? NO TA

There’s one good reason for why Scotland should vote yes for independence: the breaking up of the United Kingdom would be an imminently good thing for the sake of world peace.

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Economic, social and cultural rights in a future Scotland

– Professor Alan Miller, Chair, Scottish Human Rights Commission, February 10, 2013 –

Scotland.18 September 2014

[On February 5, 2013] the Scottish Government published a discussion paper on its vision for a transition process towards independence, should Scotland vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum in October 2014.

There has already been a huge amount of debate around the publication. One criticism from the ‘Better Together’ campaign is that a timeframe of around 15 months would not be sufficient to carry out all of the detailed negotiations required. The ‘Yes Scotland’ campaign and the Scottish Government, of course, rebut this. Politicians, academics, the media and the Twitterati have all drawn attention to the myriad of complex points raised in the paper on currency, the monarchy, infrastructure and share of national debt. Continue reading

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Academic study reveals BBC Scotland favouring No campaign

BBC WHo do we trust(May 23) – Results from a Scottish academic study into referendum output on the BBC’s flagship morning news programme Good Morning Scotland has revealed news headlines and interviews skewed in favour of the No campaign.

According to the month long study, referendum coverage was more likely to lead with a story favouring the No campaign than one favouring Yes.  The study also found a tendency on the part of interviewers to adopt a more aggressive stance with Yes figures than when interviewing their No campaign counterparts. Continue reading

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Scottish independence: The courage to grasp the future?

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By TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY

Does Scotland have the courage to grasp its own future, to be master of its destiny, and to make decisions for Scots taken by Scots, or are Governments in Westminster, for which the majority of the Scottish people didn’t vote, going to continue to rule Scotland repeatedly? Are Scots going to bow to the manipulation of fear? If the Scottish people largely didn’t vote for the Government in Westminster, then, why is it making decisions that shape the livelihoods and futures of the Scottish people and their children? Let’s look at the opportunities that an independent Scotland could take advantage of.

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Scottish independence: Keep the initiative! All out for a “Yes” vote!

Editorial of Workers’ Weekly,* September 13, 2014

britain-scotland-independenceTHE PAST WEEK has seen a significant closing of the gap in the Scottish referendum polls to the extent that it is now widely recognised as too close to call. Alongside this, it has seen the official No campaign fall completely into tatters. The now very real prospect of a Yes vote has sent the entire British establishment into panic. They are increasingly turning away from any reasoned campaigning and to other means. The result has been that this final pre-referendum period has taken on the character of the pro-Scottish sovereignty camp on one side versus on the Westminster cartel on the other, the latter further exposing its true nature with every new attempt to drum up support and cajole the population into voting No.

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Scottish independence: On the movement for Scottish self-determination

BY SIDDHARTH VARADARAJAN*, Economic Times, September 13, 2014

glasgow

Mass demonstration for independence, Glasgow, Sunday, September 14, 2014

[…]

[T]here are seven reasons why India, and the rest of the world, should stop worrying about Scottish independence.

First, unlike the ethnic nationalism that propelled the violent break-up of the former Yugoslavia, the movement for Scottish dependence embraces the modern view that everyone in Scotland is a Scot regardless of ethnicity, religion, language (or accent). Continue reading

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Scottish independence: The Democracy Declaration of Scotland (1992)

The massive ‘Scotland Demands Democracy’ demonstration at the European Summit held in Edinburgh, December 11 and 12, 1992. Over 25,000 people participated and endorsed the Democracy Declaration of Scotland, read by the actor Sean Connery | Photo courtesy of Alan Miller (Click to enlarge)

The massive ‘Scotland Demands Democracy’ demonstration at the European Summit held in Edinburgh, December 11 and 12, 1992 | Photo courtesy of Alan Miller (Click to enlarge)

We are providing information on the background of the movement for Scottish independence, its background and the issues involved. Common Cause wrote this Declaration on behalf of the Organising Committee for the massive ‘Scotland Demands Democracy’ demonstration at the European Summit at Edinburgh, December 11 and 12, 1992. Over 25,000 Scottish citizens accepted the Declaration, read by famed actor Sean Connery, by acclamation. It was also endorsed by civic organisations, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Scottish National Party. The Democracy Declaration united the new movement for a Scottish Parliament in the 1990s.

* * *

A warm welcome to Scotland, one of Europe’s oldest nations. The Edinburgh Summit is the latest event in a long history binding Scotland to its European neighbors.

Today we share with you a commitment to Europe’s democratic future. Scotland’s ancient Parliament was adjourned in 1707, before the birth of modern European democracy. Since that time Scotland has remained a nation with its own separate legal system and national institutions. Today the majority in Scotland demand the recall of our own Parliament as a modern and democratic body empowering all our citizens. Continue reading

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Scottish independence: ‘Scotland Demands Democracy’ (2002)

We are providing information on the background of the movement for Scottish independence, its background and the issues involved. This article by Tony Seed was published in Mac-talla, the annual Gaelic edition of Shunpiking, Nova Scotia’s discovery magazine, May, 2002, No. 42, and is slightly revised by the author for this publication.

The massive ‘Scotland Demands Democracy’ demonstration at the European Summit held in Edinburgh, December 11 and 12, 1992. Over 25,000 people participated and endorsed the Democracy Declaration of Scotland, read by the actor Sean Connery | Photo courtesy of Alan Miller (Click to enlarge)

The massive ‘Scotland Demands Democracy’ demonstration at the European Summit held in Edinburgh, December 11 and 12, 1992. Over 25,000 people participated and endorsed the Democracy Declaration of Scotland, read by the actor Sean Connery | Photo courtesy of Alan Miller (Click to enlarge)

IN accordance with the September 1997 referendum, Scotland now has home rule. Nearly three hundred years after the abolition of the last Scottish parliament, the country again has its own elected legislative authority. But there is no knowing if this stage will be Scotland’s last.

Debating chamber of the Socttish parliament

Debating chamber of the Socttish parliament

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON reckoned that Calton Hill was the best place to view Edinburgh, “since you can see the Castle, which you lose from the Castle, and Arthur’s Seat, which you cannot see from Arthur’s Seat.” Here, below the hill in one of the city’s greatest buildings, the Grecian Old Royal High School, it was assumed for many years Scotland’s new Parliament would sit. Less than a year before the first elections, the Scottish Office unexpectedly announced that a new building would be commissioned. Empty docklands were proposed. Ultimately the ideal location chosen was a disused brewery – in Holyrood, at the foot of the Royal Mile, neighbour to the royal palace – a site that satisfied no-one except the land owners and the royals. The parliament, which has been sitting in the Church of Scotland Assembly Hall, will move into this £200 million home soon. Continue reading

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Scottish independence: BBC denounced

Yes campaigners demonstrate outside the BBC building in Glasgow ahead of the Scottish referendum | Andrew Milligan/PA

Over 1,000 Scots demonstrate outside the BBC building in Glasgow ahead of the Scottish referendum | Andrew Milligan/PA

‘British Biased Coverage’

Campaigning in Scotland‘s referendum reached a new intensity on the final Sunday before the referendum, with thousands of canvassers and people manning hundreds of street stalls fighting for the final few hundred thousand votes either side needs to clinch victory. In Glasgow, a large section of the 2,000-strong rally marched on the BBC’s Scottish headquarters on the Clyde to denounce its coverage of the referendum as bias and lies.

Along with minimizing the size of the demonstration (the BBC and the Herald at 350), newspapers such as the London Guardian misrepresented the protest rally and personalized the issue as being one of the rally “furiously accus(ing) the BBC’s political editor (Nick Robinson) of being a biased liar who deserved to be sacked. Indeed, Alex Salmond had levelled accusations in the Sunday Herald of an “unconscious bias” by the “metropolitan” BBC against the yes campaign. Continue reading

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Scottish independence: ‘We are not amused.’

Steve Bell in The Guardian, 16 Sep 2014

Steve Bell in The Guardian, 16 Sep 2014

15 September 2014: The British Queen Elizabeth II warned voters to “think very carefully about the future” before the Scottish independence referendum. House of Windsor soft-speak for “don’t dare vote Yes.” The Windsor family has holiday homes at Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire and Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh. The royal injunction issued as part of the fear-mongering “Better Together” campaign reminds us that the fiction that the “constitutional monarch has no power” and that the Queen of England is just a “titular head of state” and not involved in politics – a romantic institution of another supposedly “shared” British institution that is not of much relevance – is a fraud.

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Glasgow flies Palestinian flag

Scotland’s Glasgow City Council has raised the Palestinian flag over the city chambers in a move to express its solidarity with the people of the Gaza Strip. 

Palestinian flag flies over Glasgow City Council to show solidarity with the people of Palestine on August 8, 2014.

Palestinian flag flies over Glasgow City Council to show solidarity with the people of Palestine on August 8, 2014.

Sadie Docherty, Lord Provost or civic head of Scotland’s largest city, said Friday that the flag is an expression of solidarity with Palestinians. Docherty wrote a letter to Vera Baboun, the mayor of Bethlehem in Palestine’s West Bank, to inform her of this mark of support. Docherty also offered her “heartfelt sympathy” to the residents in Gaza and said people of Glasgow “are united by a common desire to support the Palestinian people. I would like to convey my most sincere condolences to the many in your city and throughout Palestine who have been affected by this conflict.” Residents of Glasgow welcomed the move, saying on their Twitter accounts that the city made them “proud to be Glaswegian.” Fife Council has also announced its plans to fly the Palestinian flag over Fife House in Glenrothes for a week in protest at the suffering of Gazans. The support for Palestinians came on the same day as Israel resumed its military offensive in the besieged Gaza Strip after the expiry of a 72-hour truce between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas. About 1,900 Palestinians, including more than 400 children, have been killed and over 9,500 others wounded since the Israeli military first launched its brutal military aggression against Gaza on July 8. A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country will take place on Thursday 18 September 2014. (With a file from PressTV)

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Scottish sovereignty: Official No campaign attempts to organise a counter-coup by wrecking public opinion

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IT IS NOTICEABLE how the official No campaign in the lead-up to the Scottish independence referendum has had to change its tactics since the belligerent stand taken by the British government over the currency issue. In general, the stridency of the anti-independence campaign has been proving counter-productive, and has not been having the effect desired by the establishment. On the contrary, it seems that the Yes campaign has been picking up momentum, with a recent poll by Panelbase producing the narrowest gap so far. The No side has been seen to shift, with campaign leader Alistair Darling suggesting that a Sterling zone might be put to a referendum in the rest of Britain. Continue reading

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Establishment forces are standing as one to oppose Scottish independence and sovereignty

Scottish Independence – A Workers’ Weekly Commentary

FEBRUARY saw the campaign over Scottish independence hotting up. A conspicuous feature of the lead-up to the September referendum is how a concerted effort is being made from all quarters to ensure a defeat for the “Yes” campaign. The three big parties stand together as one over the issue, while both the EU and US are making interventions in an attempt to bolster the “No” campaign. Continue reading

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Sighting. Best Halloween outfit so far

Scotland.Best Halloween outfit so far

Don’t mess with the Scottish!

Courtesy of Bet I can Get 1,000,000 People Who Love Scotland

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bet-I-can-Get-1000000-People-Who-Love-Scotland/215230815174273

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