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UK government rejects Scottish independence referendum: “now is not the time”

Friday, March 17th 2017 - 06:27 UTC
Full article 70 comments

The UK government is to reject calls for a Scottish independence referendum before Brexit after Theresa May said “now is not the time”. The prime minister said the focus should be on getting the best Brexit deal for the whole of the UK. Read full article


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  • Roger Lorton

    May will be saying “no” until the next General Election. (You read it here first)

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 08:03 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I have to say I think May is right on this. Why hold the referendum before anyone knows what the options are? Plus, having the referendum during the Brexit negotiations is NOT going to help the UK get a good deal. Leaving is one thing, but screwing up the deal for the rest of us is quite another. I already assumed that Sturgeon doesn't give a **** what happens to the rest of the UK, but May has to.

    Is it too cynical to wonder if Sturgeon planned it for that time on purpose, knowing that May would almost certainly refuse?

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 08:23 am - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Clyde15

    I think you are right on the button. May's refusal has given Sturgeon a chance to go on stage at the SNP party conference and say, look how we are treated by the leader of a party that has only one MP in Scotland.

    The Scottish Parliament will take a vote on this and win. Then a formal request will be made to the UK parliament where it will be refused.

    Then we can expect a statement saying that Westminster is blocking a democratic vote passed by the Scottish parliament which is embarrassing for Mrs.May.

    On TV last night Mrs.May was asked repeatedly if she would endorse a referendum.
    This she refused to do and used the usual politicians ploy of ignoring the question.

    We can now expect interminable interviews with Mrs. May asking her if she WILL grant a referendum. The press and TV will keep the pot stirring and Ms. sturgeon will adopt the pose of the reasonable injured party only asking that“ the will of the Scottish people be recognised”.

    I wonder why I don't trust politicians.....could it be that they are self-seeking ,lying devious
    b******s !

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 10:54 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • The Voice

    I hear that the SNP's latest wheeze is an unofficial 'advisory referendum' . No doubt the SNP supporters will turn out in spades to vote leave. Wee Jimmy can then claim our Government is defying the will of the Scottish people! This will annoy a lot of folk both sides of the border which is exactly what the SNP want.

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 11:16 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    Ugh, this whole thing sucks. May is one of the worst for dodging questions, why doesn't she just say straight out 'no referendum until Brexit is complete, but we'll agree to one after”?

    And an advisory referendum? All the division and insults, campaigning and annoyance, but no actual point to it? Wonderful.

    Do you think it will work, will people in Scotland be angry if (when) Westminster refuse the request? I think I read that more people want a referendum after the Brexit than before, but who should make the decision?

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 01:16 pm - Link - Report abuse -4
  • Voice

    They really shouldn't be putting it before the Scottish Parliament judging by their manifesto...
    Interesting quote...

    “Nicola Sturgeon regularly points to her manifesto and repeats a line about a material change in circumstances.

    ”What she rarely does is read the line in the manifesto that precedes that, which says there would have to be evidence of the majority of people in Scotland wanting to revisit that independence question before she would call that second independence referendum.”

    I've seen no evidence of a majority wanting a second independence referendum...

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 03:42 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • The Voice

    Extract of email from one of my pals North of the border...

    ,”Absolutely sick to death of the whole thing. 6 o'clock mealtimes now have E4 episodes of The Big Bang Theory (or similar) on in the background instead of the local news.

    If fact my only real news intake over the last couple of weeks has been via the BBC news website where I can pick the stories I want to avoid (i.e Sturgeon bleating about something or other)

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 04:02 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • EscoSesDoidao

    May is saying 'now is not the time' repeatedly. She of course is not saying no.
    The main point with her bizarre 'answers' is that the closest possible date this coming referendum will be held (clearly stated) is a year and a half away, when we will all know what the Brexit 'deal' will be. Oh and Voice, - Best possible thing your pal could do is switch of the BBC.

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 06:08 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Clyde15

    Sturgeon would say that a large majority of the Scottish voters voted to stay in the EU.
    The UK is leaving so the material difference is covered by that.

    How about a referendum to see if Scotland wants a referendum That should settle it!

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 06:22 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Voice


    Good idea...a no pressure referendum to see if we want another one...


    The Voice is not Voice...
    Also Now is not the time could mean not in this generation which is what we were promised...
    I reckon SNP are going to lose a lot in the local Gov elections in May...
    A 15 Billion deficit and and one track Droning worse than my Pipes...
    They should spend more time Governing rather than whinging at Westminster about Independence...
    They had a golden opportunity to prove their worth...
    They've proved they ain't worth shit...

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 06:56 pm - Link - Report abuse +6
  • Briton

    I wonder why I don't trust politicians.....could it be that they are self-seeking ,lying devious
    b******s !

    nothing changes with them.

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 08:19 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • ElaineB

    And Sturgeon doesn't seem to care about the cost to the taxpayer of her faux referendum. Couldn't the money be better spent?

    Not incidentally 60% of Londoners voted to remain. London is where the majority of the wealth is so why not ditch the rest of the country to Brexit and stay in? Of course it is a nonsense but so is the idea of Scotland holding another 'once in a lifetime' referendum 2 1/2 years after the last one.

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 10:10 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • AustrOllOpithecus

    “It would be unfair to the people of Scotland that they would be being asked to make a crucial decision without the information they need to make that decision.”

    Well if this is the criterion then when they voted in 2014 they clearly DID NOT have the necessary information to make a decision.

    Under this guideline the validity of that referendum has been gutted in spirit, and should in law too.

    Mar 18th, 2017 - 05:00 am - Link - Report abuse -1
  • ElaineB

    @ TTT

    “Well if this is the criterion then when they voted in 2014 they clearly DID NOT have the necessary information to make a decision.”

    Not true at all. The Scottish people were well aware of the referendum promise made by Cameron and the possibility of Brexit was discussed in depth prior to the referendum. The Scottish people voted to stay part go the U.K. and the U.K. voted for Brexit.

    Mar 18th, 2017 - 09:59 am - Link - Report abuse -3
  • Briton

    The Scottish people voted to remain in the UK in 2014,
    the British people voted out of the EU in 2016,
    that democracy,

    and as the SNP has stated, they respect the will of the people, [ not ]

    once in a lifetime they said,?

    The SNP will just have to wait until this Brexit withdrawal is finished with, then they will get another chance to decide,

    2019 perhaps.

    Mar 18th, 2017 - 08:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    There is another possibility which was brought up in a discussion on Radio Scotland this morning.
    The next Scottish election is in May 2021. If the proposed referendum could be delayed until after this date then who is to say that the SNP will have a majority and the whole question will die the death.

    Interviewed on the Andrew Marr show this morning, Ruth Davidson strongly made the point that the “London based press” were pushing out the story that “Scotland” wanted a referendum and that the country were backing the SNP for this demand.

    She pointed out that this was an SNP demand and that there was no general desire for another referendum among the Scottish people.

    The people of Scotland would rather that the members in Edinburgh would concentrate on domestic issues which are being neglected in favour of their blinkered and obsessive goal of independence at all costs.

    It's bad enough with the uncertainty of Brexit but to add another layer to this to vote for independence with absolutely no plan of what happens next ?

    I personally don't want to emulate a lemming.

    Mar 19th, 2017 - 10:20 am - Link - Report abuse -1
  • The Voice

    I thought Ruth spoke lots of raw truth and sense. Pity a many Scots glaze over and go deaf when they encounter Tories.
    Makes no sense to whinge about Tory cuts of £3bn over 10 years and choose a £15bn per annum deficit after 'independence' instead under the yoke of 27 other EU countries over which you will have practically no influence! Greece ++ Mk II.

    Mar 19th, 2017 - 12:03 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Clyde15

    To widen the discussion the matter of who would be eligible to vote should be re-examined.

    The last time it appeared that anyone who had little or no connection with Scotland could vote. E.U.citizens ? What did it have to do with them.

    My son who lives and works in England had no vote. Economic migrants to Scotland could, if they were on the voter's roll.

    When I applied and joined the Civil Service, I was required to prove that my parents and Grandparents had been BORN in the UK.

    I would apply this criterion to the eligibility to vote in a referendum.

    To me, it seems ludicrous that someone coming off a Ryanair flight from Poland or other EU countries should have a vote.

    Mar 19th, 2017 - 06:00 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • The Voice

    ...and, live in Scotland, and have lived in Scotland for 5 years. Don't agree about heritage it's where you are making your life that counts although it would disqualify someone like your son. Assume he is an economic migrant?

    Mar 19th, 2017 - 07:36 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Clyde15

    Disagree totally ! It should be based on ethnicity. My son was offered the job when he lived in Scotland and as there are no RAF Museums in Scotland he had to go to Hendon and then he was promoted and went to Stafford. When he retires he may well return to Scotland.

    Scotland is still his country although he is happy enough where he works.

    By your reasoning we could have 2 million Poles in Scotland who could decide the fate of MY country..

    I have no beef about migrant workers BUT they could just as easily sway a vote and return home after a few years. They have not got the long term commitment to the country.

    I would not disbar any English, Welsh or N.Irish from the vote.

    I would exclude Irish republic citizens as they are not UK citizens.

    Mar 19th, 2017 - 09:17 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    So you want all British citizens living in Scotland, plus anyone born in Scotland and living in the UK, to vote? I think the SNP would object, since Scots living outside Scotland would surely be more likely to vote no, as would English etc living in Scotland.

    Why were other EU citizens given the vote in the first referendum? Seems odd, do they vote in Scottish parliamentary elections too? But perhaps they are part of the SNP's plan. In Indyref1, Scotland would have to leave the EU if independent, so EU citizens would vote No. In Indyref2, the SNP will be planning to rejoin the EU, so EU citizens will vote Yes.

    Mar 19th, 2017 - 10:23 pm - Link - Report abuse -5
  • Voice

    The Independence referendum is about the territory of Scotland is a territorial issue...
    If you reside in Scotland and have chosen it as your main residence (home) great.. have a say...
    If you have CHOSEN to live elsewhere...
    ...mind your own business....It's not exclusively for Scots, it's for Scotland...

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 12:13 am - Link - Report abuse +3
  • DemonTree

    But it would affect Scots living in the rest of the UK who may well want and have planned to go back someday (and didn't expect there to be any impediment to that). In the EU referendum Brits who lived abroad for up to 7 years could still vote, I guess they think anything more is likely to be a permanent absence.

    I'm not sure I agree with non-British citizens having a vote in either referendum though.

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 12:56 pm - Link - Report abuse -5
  • Voice


    What impediment...? A Scot born in Scotland (and there isn't any other type) will always have the right to return unless they have changed citizenship...
    When you say non-British citizens, the same rule applies to rUK a Commonwealth or EU citizen on the Electoral role can vote in all elections, but not all non-British citizens can vote.
    As an example an American citizen even with permanent residency in the UK cannot vote...

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 02:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I've known a couple of people who claimed to be Scottish despite being born in England, because their parents were Scottish. If Scotland does become independent I assume they will give them citizenship.

    But while I'm sure Scots will have the right to return, I'm not sure what would happen with pensions and other benefits, especially if Scotland changes to a different currency. But maybe there would be no problem, I don't know how it works within the EU now?

    And it's not true that EU citizens can vote in all elections; they can vote in local and European elections, but not in general elections. In any case, it seems pretty dodgy the way the different referendums had different rules on who could vote. And why could say an Australian living in the UK vote, but British citizens living in the EU, who would be far more affected, couldn't?

    Couldn't your wife apply for British citizenship if she wants to be able to vote here? I'm sure America allows duel citizenship.

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 07:39 pm - Link - Report abuse -6
  • Voice


    Nope, it's one or the other the only way dual citizenship is allowed is the likes of a child with say a US father and UK mother or vice versa...that has retained their nationality...
    If Trump's mother had not become a US citizen Trump could have had dual nationality...

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 08:25 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think


    An easy solution would be to apply the Criteria most civilzed Countries aound the world apply those days for the granting of Citizenship and National electoral rights...

    The mastering of the local lingo to a pleasing degree of proficiency...

    In the case of Alba we are..., of course..., talking about Scottish Gælic... ;-)

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 09:03 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • DemonTree

    That's not true. US citizens will only lose their citizenship if they are naturalized in a foreign country *with the intention* of relinquishing U.S. nationality. And the Department of State assumes that people do NOT have such an intention unless there is evidence of it:

    “When, as the result of an individual's inquiry or an individual's application for registration or a passport it comes to the attention of a U.S. consular officer that a U.S. national has performed an act made potentially expatriating [...], the consular officer will simply ask the applicant if he/she intended to relinquish U.S. nationality when performing the act. If the answer is no, the consular officer will certify that it was not the person's intent to relinquish U.S. nationality and, consequently, find that the person has retained U.S. nationality.”

    And as for the other way around, my not-exactly father-in-law is now a US citizen and did not have to give up his British citizenship. The reason Trump does not have British citizenship is that UK citizenship laws were still sexist at the time he was born; citizenship was only passed on by the father.

    That would be a mighty quick referendum. Scots has an at least equal claim anyway, and people actually speak it.

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 09:11 pm - Link - Report abuse -5
  • Think

    Mr. DemonTree...
    I said “easy solution”..., din't I...?
    But..., if you Engrish Masters insist..., Scots could also be included...

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 09:21 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • DemonTree

    Somehow I think the Nationalists would want to be able to vote themselves, as would the rest of the population.

    I'm not even sure if it was the SNP who chose who could vote last time - seems like it gives whoever decides an unfair way to swing the result in their favour.

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 09:40 pm - Link - Report abuse -7
  • Think

    Mr. DemonTree...
    As engrish Colonial poster Mr. Roger Lorton likes to repeat on these pages..., lad...:

    “ Nobody ever said that life is fair”

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 09:53 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Oh sure, but it's something to aspire to. And if elections are not free and fair, you don't really have democracy at all.

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 10:07 pm - Link - Report abuse -5
  • Think


    I “Think” the title of the article we are commenting on answers your above..., lad...:

    - ”UK government rejects Scottish independence referendum: “now is not the time”

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 10:15 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • DemonTree

    The Scottish Parliament does not have the power to call an independence referendum. Argentina is a federal state isn't it? Could one of your provinces declare independence without the consent of the Federal Government? I know US states can't.

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 10:27 pm - Link - Report abuse -4
  • The Voice

    I believe citizens of the Irish Republic living in the UK can vote in any UK elections? The Scottish referendum should only include folk living there. How you figure out who is committed to Scotland as their home goodness knows? I don't see how Scots living around here should have any say. I would make an exception for Service personnel who have been posted 'abroad' since they can't control that. You have to go where you are sent. For foreigners 5 year residence in Scotland says something.
    Mount Pleasant Scots get a vote.

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 10:41 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Think

    You are being silly yet again..., lad...

    I..., el Think..., solemnly declare..., withouth the shadow of a doubt..., that Bonnie Scotland is one..., if not the most definite Nation, palpable Country and straightforward People I have had the honour to visit in me not so short life...

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 10:45 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • The Voice

    Yeah, not far from Brook Street is it?

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 11:05 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Voice


    I suppose in theory it is allowable, but in reality it is not and they threaten and discourage you claiming all sorts of problems will arise from it...
    Trust me...I know...
    My wife enquired based solely on not having to queue in the International visitors line at customs...
    Their official stance is really a polite warning to not even go there...

    “The U.S. Government does not encourage dual nationality. While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Americans to have other nationalities, the U.S. Government also recognizes the problems which it may cause. Claims of other countries upon U.S. dual-nationals often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other. In addition, their dual nationality may hamper efforts of the U.S. Government to provide consular protection to them when they are abroad, especially when they are in the country of their second nationality.”

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 11:44 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • DemonTree

    In the circumstances I wouldn't take your word for it, but so what? Scotland is part of the UK, so the UK Parliament has a say on the referendum, at least as to the timing of it.

    And it will affect the whole UK too, especially if held during the Brexit negotiations. If Sturgeon was willing to honestly try and make the union work, she'd take this into account, but of course it's quite the opposite; she has an interest in preventing any compromise (not that May seems particularly willing either).

    Not surprising they don't encourage it, but I'm sure I've seen people online who have done it. I guess it's not really worth it just for a shorter queue at customs though.

    And it's definitely possible the other way, so you could get US citizenship.

    Mar 20th, 2017 - 11:53 pm - Link - Report abuse -8
  • Voice


    ....and have three Nationalities...;-)

    Quite a few Americans that lived abroad permanently gave up US citizenship because they still had to do a yearly US tax return and declare earnings and pay tax over a certain amount on money that hadn't even been earned in the US...
    The US threatened foreign banks to disclose info on US citizens bank accounts..
    I couldn't move property assets into the wife's name because it would be liable to tax on sale...
    I heard they were on about changing it recently...don't know if they have...

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 12:21 am - Link - Report abuse -1
  • DemonTree

    Three, huh. :) What do you call someone with 3 passports? A truel-national?

    You're lucky though, I wish I was eligible for another country's passport.

    I saw the articles about Americans giving up their citizenship, that was partly why I thought you must be wrong. It seems like a pretty crazy and annoying law, I don't think too many other countries tax non-residents.

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 08:19 am - Link - Report abuse -6
  • Clyde15

    Think alias Thick
    The mastering of the local lingo to a pleasing degree of proficiency...

    In the case of Alba we are..., of course..., talking about Scottish Gælic... ;-)

    If there is a local lingo in Scotland it is a form of lowland Scots.

    Gaelic is spoken by about 2% of the population.

    You really know hee-haw about Scotland, do you.

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 09:37 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    Think knows all about porridge, his brain has close similarities. ;-)

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 10:28 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Livingthedream

    Alba gu bràth!

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 12:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stoker,4TZKM,JCZ69S,I8ZWT,1

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 03:14 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Pugol-H

    So, how well do you speak Mapudungun then?????????

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 06:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Nid yw'n hyd yn oed yn siarad Cymraeg.

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 07:26 pm - Link - Report abuse -8
  • The Voice

    2% of the Scottish population have their own TV channel in a language the other 98% cannot understand! But, there are often shows on it that everyone can enjoy. Much of the music, particularly a lot of Celtic Connections I didn't see live I can watch on Freesat. I think I saw the studio at Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Great to hear the Gælic being spoken though, it should be maintained.

    Ruthy is hammering Wee Jimmy in the debate...Excellent. :-)))

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 07:33 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    -5 in 10 minutes? Someone is clearly cheating here.

    @The Voice
    I agree, it would be a great shame if it died out. Do they teach it in schools anywhere in Scotland?

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 07:40 pm - Link - Report abuse -6
  • Clyde15

    No one is saying that Gaelic is not important culturally BUT it is spoken as a native tongue by a tiny minority of native speakers.
    Although, I have to admit that there were a lot of Gaelic speakers in Glasgow...especially in the police....this was 60 years ago !
    The Scottish government is hell -bent on supplying road signs in both gaelic/english where no gaelic influence has been seen for centuries along with the language.

    Why don't the English double-up their road signs in anglo-saxon ?

    I can see the point in N.Wales where Welsh is still used by a large proportion of the people in their daily lives.

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 07:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    Mr. DemonTree...

    You say...:
    “-5 in 10 minutes? Someone is clearly cheating here.”

    I say...:
    What did you expect in an Engrsh disinfrmation site...?

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 08:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    I agree about the signs, all over S Wales where there are few Welsh speakers, ...Barmy. But, in the Hebrides they should be in The Gælic because that's the main language. My kids were taught Welsh at school. Common sense has to be used. I always wince when I hear mispronounced Welsh place names on the media.

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 08:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “Why don't the English double-up their road signs in anglo-saxon?”

    Cause we're not ruled by a nationalist party trying to emphasise (and increase) our differences from the rest of the UK.

    I didn't know there were Gaelic speakers in Glasgow though. Had they moved there from somewhere else?

    @The Voice
    Makes sense. Did your kids grow up in Wales then?

    Maybe everyone just really hates Welsh? Also, I have some spare vowels I can sell you; you seem to be running short.

    How's your Mapudungun coming along these days?

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 08:26 pm - Link - Report abuse -7
  • Think


    How's my Mapudungun coming along these days...? you ask...

    Not good... taking in consideration that Mapudungun is a language spoken some 700 km N/NW from me humble Patagonian shed... and that the local lingo from the First Peoples around here is Gününa Yajich...

    gününa künnü (a veces llamado puelche) (autoglotónimo: gününa yajïč /gɨnɨn a jaxəč/ o gü

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 09:10 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • DemonTree

    Surely 700km is considered adjacent in Argentina? (Not like here, going 700km could put me in ~7 different countries.)

    Wikipedia says Puelche is extinct, so you might have trouble learning that one. How's your Welsh?

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 09:57 pm - Link - Report abuse -4
  • Voice

    Not sure why you are asking The Voice if they teach Gaelic in Schools anywhere in Scotland, better asking me...
    Yes the Gaelic Medium is taught in the local Schools, though it is optional. Surprisingly it's very popular for English children...don't ask me why, but the English parents opt for it...

    Mar 21st, 2017 - 11:35 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Think

    Mr. DemonTree

    Only ~7...?
    Did you remenber to count Luxembourg...?
    And Alba...?

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 10:06 am - Link - Report abuse -2
  • DemonTree

    That's interesting, I wonder why?

    Yes to the first, no to the second; I was only counting foreign countries.

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 10:37 am - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Clyde15

    didn't know there were Gaelic speakers in Glasgow though. Had they moved there from somewhere else?

    Glasgow University and the old Tech. College were the main choices of further education for the residents of the Western Isles in the 1950's.
    Similarly the Glasgow Police had a large proportion of gaelic speakers from the inner/outer Hebrides, Argyll and the N.W. They were recruited in the days when the minimum height for a policeman was 5'10” and of a robust build. No pussyfooting in those days. The neds were sorted out by a truncheon wielded with force !

    Young women came seeking work or just to get away from the Calvanist lifestyle imposed on them.

    For young men, the sea was the main profession or the shipyards and engineering.

    The Glasgow river ferries were manned by so many islanders that they were called the Skye navy.

    The social life was centered around the Highlander's Institute in Elmbank Street.

    I can remember going there to a dance and heard only Gaelic spoken.

    As to teaching Gaelic in schools, it was specialist subject and only available at one school in Woodside. I believe it is still there.

    Again this is only my recollections of 60 years ago. However there seems to be a resurgence in the teaching of the language.

    As to Voice wondering why English pupils would want to learn Gaelic that's as much a puzzle to me as why the English OR Scots dress up in a kilt for a wedding.

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 11:00 am - Link - Report abuse -1
  • DemonTree

    That makes sense. And I suppose once a few people from one area move to a certain location it encourages others to follow them since there will be people they know there. Why were so many in the police though, are there a lot of tall men in the Hebrides? Also what was the Calvinist lifestyle the young women were trying to get away from?

    It all sounds very busy and with lots of manual jobs for everyone, it's quite hard to imagine.

    As for the kilts, I guess some people like tradition and some just like dressing up. Wearing a suit is pretty boring. I wonder if the English parents are trying to help their children fit in better or make them more Scottish by having them learn Gaelic?

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 01:49 pm - Link - Report abuse -4
  • Voice


    “I wonder if the English parents are trying to help their children fit in better or make them more Scottish by having them learn Gaelic?”

    Neither, it's a kind of weird snobbery to impress their English relatives and friends...

    “Oh look our wee Jimmy is now learning the Gaelic. ..isn't that wonderful?”

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 03:52 pm - Link - Report abuse -3
  • Clyde15

    Have you never heard of the “Wee Frees” ? There basic tenet is you can do it, but you won't enjoy it.
    It's a sect of the Church of Scotland which broke away in about 1900. The theology is Presbyterianism. The “Sabbath” is held inviolate. No work or play but bible reading and Church services. Strongly anti-Roman Catholic. Not really much fun but hard work and the fear of the Lord. More old testament than new testament.

    N.Ireland with it's “plantation” of Scots from Ayrshire and the Lowlands, brought their Presbyterianism . Ian Paisley would be an example of a “Wee Free minister”...hell fire and damnation.
    I can' t really say about the size of the men, but Glasgow, like many other British cities was an unhealthy place to live....unless you had the average height was not great due to slum conditions, poor diet and dangerous working conditions in heavy engineering and the shipyards.

    In the early and mid 20th century, policing was by men on the beat who had to deal physically with “hard men”. Being tall and strong was a distinct advantage. Highlanders and Islanders were brought up in the fresh air, had a healthy diet and were used to hard physical labour. They were ideal recruits as by and large, they reached their genetic height.

    As I have said repeatedly, Gaelic has not been a main Scottish language for centuries.

    When the Highlands were cleared, the population either took ship for the colonies or came to the Lowland towns for work. Within a couple of generations Gaelic would be replaced by
    Scots/English. Pupils would be punished for speaking Gaelic in Schools.
    I can remember that we had to speak English in school or we were pulled up sharply.
    Outside we would revert to the Glasgow tongue. I am sure this happened just as much in schools in England. To speak the local dialect was to show that you were inferior.

    As Voice says, with some parents, having their children speak Gaelic is affectation as is the romanticism of of the '45

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 06:03 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Stoker

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 06:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pugol-H

    @ Voicey & Clyde15
    Having your children learn the “local” language, would seem to be sensible really.

    Will help them to understand aspects of the culture and history, much better insight.

    I detect something of an “attitude” from both of you about this Gaelic, which very much reminds me of time I spent working in S. Wales 20 odd years ago.

    The locals were very “anti” Welsh language appearing everywhere, astounding to my Catalan Manager working with me at the time.

    He said, normally a language is a unifying thing, I didn’t know it could work like this.

    In education though they have gone all the way, if they haven’t already, they soon will be producing Graduates with little English. How much work there is for Welsh only speaking Chemists I’m not sure?

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 06:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stoker

    “If you vote for the SNP you are not voting for independence you are not even voting for another independence referendum.” - Nicola Sturgeon

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 07:19 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    I'd never heard of the 'Wee Frees', but I can understand why someone might want to get away from them from your description! Doesn't sound like much fun - literally.

    I hope Glasgow is a healthier place to live now at least? Although I doubt the police have a much easier time. Are those Highlanders and Islanders (or their descendants) still there or did some of them go back home?

    I expect you are right about speaking 'proper' English in schools. They weren't very bothered about accents by the time I went to school, but they did correct us for using slang and such. TV is destroying half the dialects in England anyway, I don't know if it's the same north of the border.

    What Voice said sounds kinda plausible. And most people in South Wales don't speak Welsh; most people in Scotland don't speak Gaelic. How can a language be unifying if you don't speak it? If the governments put so much emphasis on it as a part of Welsh/Scottish identity, doesn't that imply those who don't speak it are inadequate somehow? Not 'real' Welsh or Scots? You can see how that would annoy people.

    Having graduates who don't speak English seems odd though. Most countries in Europe are doing exactly the opposite.

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 07:46 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Clyde15

    You have missed the point...Gaelic is NOT the local language except in more isolated communities.

    That is not where the bulk of people who come to Scotland live. They mainly come to cities and large towns. I would guess that Oban and Inverness still have Gaelic speakers BUT it is more of a cultural thing kept alive by music and poetry.

    I am sure that Voice and myself are not anti Gaelic but an undue importance seems to be given to it. It's the same with tartan and kilts. They were Highland garb considered a bit uncouth by the majority.

    We have Sir Walter Scott and Queen Victoria to thank for Scotland being identified with tartan etc.
    On the matter of pipe bands, I think that Voice would agree that this was an invention of the
    British Army. The Clans would be led by pipers only -no drums
    The drums were added as they were and integral part of army bands, so the pipe band was born.
    As recently as a few years ago the introduction of a Sunday ferry to Stornoway was roundly condemned by the Wee Free Kirk.

    When they started running Sunday ferries to Kyleakin in Skye, the minister and his congregation lay down on the slipway to prevent the cars disembarking.
    They refused to have anything to do with Sunday newspapers although they were printed on Saturday. However, they would read the Monday newspapers printed on Sunday !

    When people moved to the central belt of Scotland, they made their lives there, their children became locals with little to remind them of their parents origins apart from a visit now and again to cousins. The life would be alien to them and only a very few would want to go back to their ancestral home. As a example, the pupils from the Nicholson Institute in Stornoway, had the highest proportion of graduates of any school in Scotland -(historically).
    It was there only means of getting a decent career as there was little or no prospect on Lewis. It would be impossible for them to return“home”until they retired.

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 09:58 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Stoker

    Mar 23rd, 2017 - 12:24 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Wow, I didn't know anyone was still so strict about things like that. I bet it is quite stifling to live with.

    And I guess there are only a very limited set of jobs to do on Lewis, and no cities to commute to. I'm surprised that the Falklands doesn't lose more people for the same reason, but perhaps there is a somewhat greater variety of jobs there.

    What's education like in Scotland these days, now the SNP are in charge?

    Mar 23rd, 2017 - 07:49 pm - Link - Report abuse -3
  • Clyde15

    Remember, my accounts are historical and life is more relaxed now.

    Historically, the islands lived on fishing, crofting and weaving.

    Many of the young men joined the merchant marine as there was not a great choice of jobs.

    As to current education in Scotland, I don't really know. According to “statistics” it is starting to lag behind other countries - notably Asian.
    However as I left school 57 years ago, my opinion is of no value.

    Mar 24th, 2017 - 07:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    Hopefully the SNP will fall flat on its face,

    if she carries on like this, only the devoted will vote for her,

    united we will remain, a hope well worth hoping for.

    Mar 24th, 2017 - 08:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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