One of the curses of old age is the inability properly to handle a computer. I find I cannot add comments to my own pieces. I also find that when I dig out the commentator’s email address my messages bounce back.
I want to reply shortly to two comments below.
Firstly, Dougie, whichever Dougie you are, I am not a member of the SSP or even a supporter. I’m a member of the SNP although I have so often in the past been alone that I am happier alone. It is a radical party in every way.
You talk about the Stone. No one remembers how in 1954 I stood lonely and alone and was told I could never become an advocate. That was because to swear allegiance to E 11 R would have stuck in my craw. They had to change the oath so I helped to make the path easier for Alex Salmond and the others when they were sworn in last week. No numeral. That was a far more lasting symbol than the damned Stone of Destiny which anyone could have done and which has bored me ever since.
As for Tommy Sheridan. These are the new days of a new country and we need voices from all sides. No one, just no one, speaks for the left. Only muted voices speak for the right. In this new country there must be time to listen to all sides and there must be voices there to listen to. Tommy and Gail and I have built up a non political friendship. We meet sometimes the three of us for lunch. We don’t talk politics as we disagree. Yet one thing I assert on his behalf. He was railroaded by a shameless SNP Lord Advocate who was overawed by the Murdoch press. I probably go too far if I suggest that Ms Angiolini acted with the approbation of the SNP Government. With only a tattered Labour Party as an opposition it is necessary for voices in our own party to be heard in dissent. Old habit makes me such a voice but my loyalty to the SNP is not in doubt.
As for Patrick Hogg.
I do not agree that I am worthy of being in your pantheon. With that exception I worship at the same altar.
I would very much like to come to your Thomas Muir meeting at Kirkintilloch on 25th May. I tire easily and now usually refuse to make speeches but for such an occasion I would make an exception if asked. Would I be allowed to make a speech?
Click on SUBSCRIBE in the margin of my blog and it gives an email address which reaches me.
When I was a practicing advocate I found that my sharpest weapon to persuade any judge was flattery. I see you have developed the same tactics. We all love it, particularly the untrue bits. But don’t use it face to face at Kirkintilloch. I only like it at a distance.
For convemience I repeat below the two comments I have answered above.
Anyone who believes or accepts the jibe that the SNP iare “another right wing party” patently has no appreciation for the political evolution of our country, and must be aligning themselves ideologically with the likes of the SSP, Solidarity, Galloway and the Scargillites, none of whom have a seat in our Parliament.
Like Mr Hamilton, I have significant respect for Sheridan the man, and the politician, and I also agree that justice was ill served by the vitriolic way in which he was pursued by the system. Clearly, there are questions remaining to be answered.
In terms of voices of protest, the Parliament might also have benefited from the presence of members from some of the above.
However, in respect of where we are as a nation, many of us recognise that this point in the history of our national struggle has only been reached through the dedication and commitment of people of selfless vision, and the tenacity to see it through.
Critically, the collective body that is the National Movement has often been inspired and sustained by individual actions of visionary boldness - of which Ian Hamilton’s stunning repatriation of the Stone of Destiny in 1950 is possibly the most outstanding example, its reverberations remaining with us today, and surely for generations to come.
Having played such a vital role in the reawakening of his country to reclaim its destiny, Ian is more than entitled to remain a ‘rebel’; and where would we be without such voices?
However, I for one don’t believe Ian Hamilton aligns himself with the parties like the SSP (please correct me if I’m wrong!), or would fall for the hogwash that the SNP are somehow a “right wing” party.
It took a long, gradual process for the SNP to evolve politically; however, I believe its foundations in our social democratic traditions, as well as its dynamic outlook, are the stronger for that.
Last week’s historic election results were a validation of the many fronts on which the SNP has stood up for Scotland, for the protection of public services and public values, as well as for vital investment in green energy and business growth, and of the popular faith in it as the movement to take our country forward.
Through that result, we are now closer to achieving independence than ever before in the modern era - and we are on the verge of something truly historic.
It took the commitment of generations, hard won faith, and a good few exceptional individuals to get us here.
Those who would now dismiss the SNP as “another right wing party” might well be asked to explain how they themselves would run the country, or grow the economy better - let alone lead us forward to freedom!
2. Patrick Scott Hogg Says:
May 15th, 2011 at 2:57 pm e
It is always a great pleasure to read everything you write because no-one provokes such debate as yourself. You are its best critic.
There is a conference/summit on Thomas Muir QC on 25th May in Tom Johnson House, in Kirkintilloch, which you should have been invited to. The conference was my idea following on from the campaign for a statue to Muir at the Scottish parliament.
It would be one of the greatest pleasures of my life if a modern hero of mine could attend……..the panthoen of heroes include Robert Burns, Thomas Muir, Keir Hardie, Jimmy Reid and Ian Hamilton QC.
The big divorce is coming and we need a legal rep to help negotiate the division of assets and also to cast a beam of ligt on who and what we are and what Scotland is to become when we take our place as a nation within the family of humankind.
Paddy S H