Saturday 1st of April 2023

The Year Of The Sheep- why I support Scottish Independance

The vote for Scottish Independance has reminded me to write a little of how my Mother's Ross family came to Austraila.  Basically we were booted out by the English so our crofts could become sheep stations.  We were told by the Church that we were being punished by eviction for the sins of our ancestors (Last time I went to the Church in Bonar Bridge, where the refugees camped before the international diaspora, you could still see the words "the wicked generation" scrawled in a window) and so we went... but not quite..

If it wasn't for a London Times reporter that happened to be in that remote neighbourhood, it would never have been recorded how the sheriffs with the eviction notices had their paperwork torn to shreds by the family women, who stripped said sherrifs naked before they ran away, and how the British military came back to beat and scalp these women as a humiliation to the menfolk of the clan.  Doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to figure that this might be a factor in so much of the family emigrating.

Here's how the brilliant Scots songwriter Alastair Hulett sang it:

In the Year Of The Sheep and the burnin’ time
They cut our young men in their prime
The old Scots way was a hangin’ crime
For the Gaels of Caledonia
There’s a den for the fox, a hedge for the hare
A nest in the tree for the birds of the air
But in a’ Scotland there’s no place there for the Gaels of Caledonia

Our mob moved to eastern Victoria to homestead.  When I was a kid I used to hear stories about the newcomers removing the local indigenous people by putting strychnine in their flour rations.  The people who mentioned this are long gone, and I don't hear those stories any more.

In a nutshell, I can understand very well why Scotland would want to rid itself of centureis of such repression.  I think the referendum will come down to whovever Halliburton supports controlling the North Sea oil and gas. But basically, like grandparent to parent to child family battering, I believe the psychological cultural entrenchment of British violence in its ex-colonies needs to be broken for the sake of humanity.