Looking for something interesting to read I thought I would catch up with UKIP’s meteoric rise to stardom after the MEP election. There was virtually nothing and almost the only recent thing about UKIP in Scotland was this letter (in response to another):
Sunday 8 June 2014
I’ve yet to hear David Coburn (Scotland’s first Ukip MEP) say anything of consequence. I wonder how many of his voters realise he lives in London? Properties in his street change hands for £4 million. His election was an alarming outcome.
Just been trying to read the Statement by JK Rowling , but something is wrong with the page formatting – the easiest way to read it was to copy and past the raw html.
Before you read the following, please be warned that it’s probably of interest only to people who live in Scotland or the UK (and not all of them!) If you read on regardless, you need to know that there is going to be a referendum on 18th September on whether or not Scotland should leave the United Kingdom. If you’re only vaguely interested, or pressed for time, there’s a mention of Death Eaters in paragraph 5.
With #indyref there will be huge interest in the discovery of the battle of Mons Graupius. So I am setting up a new website: mons-graupius.co.uk
So, blogging will be light.
19th century sketch of Calgacus delivering his speech to the Caledonians.
Mons Graupius is in my mind undoubtedly the iconic battle of “Scottish” freedom. Tacitus records the first words of any Scot giving a speech that undoubtedly inspired the Declaration of Arbroath as well as the American declaration of Independence.
Whenever I consider the origin of this war and the necessities of our position, I have a sure confidence that this day, and this union of yours, will be the beginning of freedom to the whole of Britain.
Given that Mons Graupius symbolises the original call for freedom and independence from Rome, this new discovery confirming the field marks of the Roman marching camp overlooking the hill of “Quarrel wood” could not have happened at a more politically charged time.
Indeed, we must not forget the context of the original speech speech was also highly charged nor that the discoverer (Mike Haseler) could be seen as politically controversial.
In early 2013 I revealed research I had carried out into the potential location of the battle of Mons Graupius. News of this discovery was carried in several newspapers including the Northern Scot and Glasgow Herald:
Unfortunately, without even visiting the site, this research was dismissed as being “geological” features by key people in the archaeological community. I can now reveal more evidence that cannot be so easily dismissed. To recap, the key piece of evidence which confirmed this as a likely site of Mons Graupius was what appeared to be a double ditch on aerial photography. (See original article reproduced below.) More importantly, not only did the site of this double ditch fit the location of the fort recorded in the Roman account, but as the ditch pointed toward the site of “Quarrel Hill” near Elgin (the likely position of the Caledonians), this appeared to be very strong evidence that this must be the battle site. However, despite the strong evidence, it was dismissed without even so much as a site visit. But new evidence has now come to light in another aerial photograph which shows the markings are not geological markings. This new aerial photograph shows a hidden second SE corner to the fort. Like the SE corner, this is also a double ditch (typical of a Roman fort) and it is also curved. This is the evidence I needed as whilst one corner might just be geological, because it is almost inconceivable that two very similar curved corners would be produced by geological process. Taken together with an old field boundary perpendicular to the original ditch which I now think marks the northern edge of the site, this appears to define the complete outline of the Roman camp as shown below.
Original field markings in colour with new evidence showing corner in grey. Red dotted line shows likely extent of fort.
From this we can for the first time estimate the size of the fort at Elgin. If this is the right size it means a proper investigation cannot be delayed. We can estimate the size the fort needed to be from the size of the Roman Army that Agricola brought north in 79 AD. To do this we can compare this fort with a similar marching camp at Pathhead in the Lothians. This Camp measures 530m from north-west to southeast by 390m transversely, enclosing 20.5ha (just over 50 acres). The field markings at Elgin measure 360m wide west to east. If the old boundary fence is the northern boundary as I suggest, the size of this fort north to south is around 630m making the whole fort about 23ha (just under 57acres) which is very close to that of Pathhead. Conclusion: This additional evidence revealing the SE corner makes it very unlikely that the markings of a double ditch could be “geological” as originally suggested. There is now multiple strand of compelling evidence in terms of size, shape and orientation which are consistent with a Roman fort fitting the account of the battle of Mons Graupius at Quarrel Hill. It is now imperative that a proper field survey is undertaken as soon as possible. (original Article below) Acknowledgement – the BBC is not my favourite broadcaster, so much to my disgust, I should acknowledge that it was while watching a BBC 4 program on the Romans and the use of aerial photography that I was encouraged to have another look for evidence confirming the site. Also inspiration for the original identification came from Dr Alan Leslie and all the gang at Glasgow. Continue reading
Male Life Expectancy
In the UK life expectancy is:
So women are expected to live 3.8 years longer.
Let us imagine the situation were the reverse and that women died on average before men. What would be the response: Continue reading
Jo Swinson Wearing an Elegant Geogian ..
Today I went to hear Jo Swinson speak in Bishopbriggs. She was wearing a black skirt with a georgian style .. Continue reading
Individual Scots (left) versus SNP Establishment (right)
In the British National Anthem there is or was a line: “Rebellious Scots to crush”. The fact that it was not only inserted but remained there (possibly even to this day) shows how the establishment in Britain and even Scotland saw the indigenous population of Scotland as a problem. A rebellious population who had to be repressed.
And as someone who has spent a great deal of their life in England, it is perhaps more obvious to me that this is far more than just a line in a song. It is a whole culture of the Scottish political establishment. Not only the civil service, but the police, educational establishments and even the press and media. Continue reading
There is a points at which, even if you support an organisation, it becomes necessary to speak out because only from such criticism will the organisation realise that its behaviour is unacceptable. Following information I have received since the Euro Elections regarding UKIP in Scotland, I now must speak out.
In a democracy there are certain standards we must expect of any political party, and one is these is that the party itself is democratic. Because if it doesn’t respect democracy within the party, then it will not respect in society in general.
As such as the former energy spokesman for UKIP Scotland, I feel compelled to express my concerns regarding UKIP as I am increasingly alarmed by the party’s attitude to Scottish democracy. Continue reading