Highland Clearances Psychodynamics
The Scottish Highlands in Colonial & Psychodynamic Perspective
by Alastair McIntosh, Andy Wightman & Daniel
First published in INTERculture: International Journal of Intercultural and Transdisciplinary Research, Montreal, Vol XXVII:3, Issue 124, 1994, pp. 1-36, in both English and French translation. Interculture is available at $5 per issue (specify French/English) from the Intercultural Institute of Montreal, 4917 St Urbain, Montreal, Quebec, H2T 2W1, Canada (www.iim.qc.ca).
(hyperlinked to bookmarks in the text)
On February 4th 1994,
I received a letter from Alastair McIntosh, who directs the Master of Science
postgraduate human ecology degree at the Centre for Human Ecology, Edinburgh,
“In short, what is happening is that our people are waking up to the
issue of Scottish land rights, inspired by the activities of Native Americans,
Aboriginals, etc., this accompanied and informed by a cultural and historical
renewal. It has direct consequences for the people of Canada, because many of
the people who were cleared from the land over the past two hundred years,
emigrated to your nation. The close bond we feel with the Canadians (and also
the “Auld Alliance” with the French) is the reason why Interculture is the
first journal I am approaching for consideration of publication of this text.”
So here it is! A good example of
an ongoing resistance of Scottish people to the cultural colonialism wrought by
a certain modernity.
“Are we ready to ‘unpack’ our history?” says Alastair elsewhere.
“To re-read history: re-membering, re-visioning, re-claiming the people that
we are; learning how, for instance, half a million Scots have been forced off
the land in the nineteenth century Highland Clearances, to make way for
commercial sheep farms and playboy sporting estates? Seeing how many who had
gone to the New World, to Australia and elsewhere, perpetuated and reperpetuated
their oppression against other native peoples?”
But Alastair goes further.
“A question I want to put is whether we actually need a transatlantic
cultural psychotherapy: a movement towards healing wounds of the broken and to
this day laird-ridden disempowered communities left behind in the Old World, and
also those of the sometimes brash breaking un-communities of the New World.”
Yes, Alastair! Scots, French and
Native peoples, coming together and remembering the resistance of their
respective ancestors. But awakening also to the contemporary ongoing resistance
of these three peoples to the same cultural colonialism which is being
perpetrated today against them, even by some of their own people sometimes, in
the name of moderninty.
Yes, “reclaiming the peoples
that we are and recovering wellsprings of cultural renewal, together.”
"Lord and Lady Stafford were pleased humanely, to order a new
arrangement of this Country. That the interior should be possessed by Cheviot
(sheep) Shepherds and the people brought down to the coast and placed there in
lotts under the size of three arable acres, sufficient for the maintenance of an
industrious family, but pinched enough to cause them turn their attention to the
fishing (waged labour). I presume to say that the proprietors humanely
ordered this arrangement, because, it surely was a most benevolent action, to
put these barbarous hordes into a position where the could better Associate
together, apply to industry, educate their children, and advance in civilisation."
‑ Patrick Sellar, factor for the Sutherland Estates, Scotland,
"So white settlers have set about 'civilizing' these people by
destroying their tribal land system. They are taking the lands from the natives
and wherever they have done so, the result has been an abundant supply of 'labour
on the market' with wages kept down by the competition of landless men, just as
they are at home. This is confirmed
by evidence given before the Native Labour Commission (Kenya) in 1912‑13.
Settler after settler came before the commission and demanded in the most
precise terms that the natives should be forced out of 'Reserves' to work for
wages by cutting down their land so that they should have less than they could
live on. Lord Delamere, himself owner of 150,000 acres, said: 'If this policy is
to be continued that every native is to be a landholder of a sufficient area on
which to establish himself, then the question of obtaining a satisfactory labour
supply will never be settled.' The process of reducing men to unemployment and
poverty is here stated in all its nakedness and simplicity.... In refusing Land
an 'adequate' supply of labour on the market would be guaranteed."
‑ W. R. Lester, Unemployment and the Land, 1936.
The "Highland Clearances," which forced Scottish people off
their land from the late eighteenth to early twentieth century, were an event of
cultural genocide which paralleled and in many respects, pioneered patterns of
colonial conquest elsewhere in the British Empire. The effects persist in the
national psyche to this day; an aching sense of loss, concealed only by a thin
plaster of relative material affluence, and a growing sense of the importance of
reclaiming the commons.
This paper summarises the past 300 years' history of the Highland
"crofters" or indigenous subsistence‑based peoples. Consistent
with the view of the Cambridge Irish historiographer, Brendan Bradshaw,
that the history of a holocaust cannot be credibly portrayed with a presumption
of "objectivity," we declare our values as being those associated with
ecological sustainability, community cohesion and the articulation of each
person's human potential.
We address the social consequences of cultural proscription and Clearance
from the wider perspective of the land enclosure movement. Our approach
recognises how the oppressed are often driven to internalise the perspective of
oppressor, noting both the role of the Highland Regiments in building Empire and
the fact that the English had themselves been colonised in Roman and Norman
times. Accordingly, the paper is drawn to speculate upon the deeper
psychospiritual dynamics of land ownership and the disempowering consequences
when direct connectedness of local communities with place becomes mediated by a
morally illegitimate third party.
In describing the present day ecological consequences of the Highland
Clearances, we illustrate how green consciousness is adding to social conscience
in building political pressure for change. The process by which Highland
communities have empowered themselves over the past century is outlined,
parallels being drawn with similar processes of liberation in the South.
Recognition is given that we have experienced not just enclosure of land, but
also enclosure of the mind through "inner colonialism." Clearly such
chains must be broken if, in both North and South, we are to liberate our human
potential to achieve social justice and environmentally sustainable livelihood;
these, not just for dignified survival, but for the fullest articulation of
creative, loved and loving life in each person as an integral part of nature in
an international community.
The Clearances, in which some half million
Scottish Highlanders were directly or through economic pressure, forced off
their land, must be understood in relation to the processes of enclosure that
originated much earlier in 14th and 15th century Britain and especially England.
Processes, exceptionally well documented in a recent issue of The Ecologist, that have characterised
capitalist development throughout Britain for the past 500 years, and which have
been, and still are, transplanted worldwide.
Enclosure in Britain can be distinguished from earlier forms of
expropriation and enclosure in that it was more than simply transfer of power
from peasant to elite; it was a profound change in the social order in two
Firstly, by defining land as a "property" in the "theft of
the commons," enclosure gave the land and water rights a tradeable status
within an expanding market economy. The dispossessed peoples who then required
some form of subsistence, were turned into wage‑labourers, and labour too
became a tradeable commodity. By the time Elizabeth I ascended to the throne,
England consequently had some 80,000 itinerant poor with no visible means of
The Elizabethan Statutes, which today remain the foundation stone of charitable
law in Britain and many Commonwealth countries, were established in response to
this manufacture of destitution.
William Kingston, professor of Business Innovation at Dublin University
describes the Romanised historical background to such landed power. A growing
number of feminist thinkers are also recognising the scope for scholarship in
the relationship between the historical emergence of militarised patriarchy and
the contemporary cultural psychospiritual dynamics of global oppression.
Kingston, whose main concern lies with the inefficiency of "full"
property rights, says:
"... as the Christian Church expanded within the increasingly
exploitative property rights regime of the later Roman Empire, Church thinkers
began to attack these rights. Ownership
was now concentrated in the way Gibbon described, resulting in a proletariat
juxtaposed to the conspicuous wealth of a very few.... As both political and
economic structures collapsed, Church officials found themselves, as the only
remaining source of order, progressively saddled with the de facto
administration of many aspects of the later Empire....
The idea of Christendom as a unitary church‑state emerged clearly
for the first time, as did also a new, non‑Roman root of secular law, the
Christian ethos.... The barbarian chief became a knight bound by a religious
oath of chivalry, the territorial lord became an anointed king ... (alongside
the development of a) 'social legislation more complete than that of any other
period of history, including our own'.... The property rights of the (monastic)
medieval city took their cue from the qualified rights of feudalism, rather than
the absolute rights of Roman law...."
But then, aided by reformers like Calvin, who taught that it was not
wrong to lend money with interest, the Reformation's "freeing of the
economy" from the Church commenced. Thus:
"The Reformation was a reaction against the medieval
Church‑dominated cultural synthesis. Constrained ownership rights were
part of this, and so came under attack of the Reformers. Naturally, this suited
those whose business ambitions were adversely affected by the constraints....
The revival of 'full' or 'absolute' property in the West therefore came about as
part of a process of rejection of religious authority. Medieval Christianity had
held elements of both classical and barbarian cultures together in its own
synthesis. When it lost its creative power, these partially absorbed elements
re‑emerged in their individuality. The artistic component of Classical
culture surfaced again as the Renaissance and the tribal cohesion of the
northern barbarians revived as nationalism. As part of this process Roman
property rights ‑ individual, absolute, and now sanctioned by the new
religious teaching (especially protestant Calvinism) ‑ re‑emerged as
the enabling dimension of modern laissez‑faire capitalism."
The second reason why enclosure represented such a profound societal
change is that such "improvement," as it was termed by its apologists,
was associated with profit in the same way that the later term,
"development," has become associated with "economic growth."
Enclosure therefore represents not only the removal of land from subsistence
communities, but a profound step towards viewing the land and its people as
things to be traded and exploited. As Carolyn Merchant discusses in The Death
enclosure represents the significant break in the organic conception of the
cosmos; a break related to the ideological transformation of the Renaissance (in
which the Reformation had its origins) and the Scientific Revolution; a break
that set the precedents for the transformation of agricultural and industrial
production in spite of the Earth rather than through the Earth.
The gradual enclosure of the commons in England saw the Medieval
"open field" communally managed system steadily replaced by either
cash crop farms producing grain crops, or fenced in walks for sheep and cattle.
Ancient meadows and heath lands were turned over to intensive production. By
Tudor times large numbers of dispossessed peoples were causing unrest in the
cities and country, so various legal brakes were applied to the enclosure
movement with partial success. When the English Revolution of 1649‑1660
brought power to the very classes that had benefited from rural enclosure, the
process began again in earnest. A large series of Private Acts of Enclosure,
some 4,000 covering some 7,000,000 acres, were passed before the General
Enclosure Act of 1845 and it is probable that at least the same amount of land
was enclosed without recourse to Parliament.
Improvers were not ones to recognise the "externalities" of
their movement. The principal "externality," other than
grubbed‑up nature itself, was the people the land had once sustained. The
solution in large measure lay abroad, where the enforced destruction of foreign
industries such as textiles in India and other colonies provided work for the
dispossessed multitudes at home. Thus, when Gandhi was asked if he would like to
see India develop as England had, he is reputed to have replied, "It took
half the world to develop England. How many worlds do you think it would require
for India to do the same?"
Unlike their Roman predecessors who never made it further than lowland
Scotland, the "Great Improvers" who had enclosed England and lowland
Scotland came late to the Scottish Highlands and Islands. This bioregion was an
area at the remote periphery of the cities, inhospitable to intruders, and
mostly mountainous. Today it supports a sparse population of some 350,000.
Human settlement was based on hunter‑gatherer and subsistence
arable and cattle agriculture, ruled by kinship‑based, often warring,
patriarchal clan chiefs; the Scots Gaelic word, "clan," meaning
"family" or "children".
In 1707 the parliaments of Scotland and England combined for a mixture of
reasons to do with secession, religion, security, and access to mutual markets.
This lead to much popular resentment in Scotland, the "traitors" in
the Scots parliament, many of whom saw mercantile advantage or were offered
incentives, being immortalised as "a parcel of rogues" by the great
nationalist poet, Robert Burns.
As reaction to this and events surrounding the earlier 1603 Union of the
Crowns, Scotland by 1745 was effectively in a state of civil war over the Treaty
of Union. The Catholic pretender to the throne, Prince Charles Edward Stewart
("Bonnie Prince Charlie"), raised an army from amongst the Highland
chiefs and marched south, meeting little resistance. These "Jacobites"
came within 120 miles of London but lacked the strength confidently to press on.
The British army subsequently gathered to make pursuit and, under the
"butcher" Cumberland, massacred the Jacobites at the last Battle to be
fought on mainland British soil: Culloden, 1746.
Interestingly, this was just three years after what was reputedly
"the last wolf" had been shot in Scotland; a significant species local
extinction foreshadowing cultural disintegration.
Intent upon preventing further rebellion, pacification of the clans
became the immediate priority of the British State, comprising the English,
lowland Scots and Royalist clan chiefs. A process known as
"proscription" was set in place to take the heart out of traditional
Highland culture while leaving many outward structures intact for administrative
purposes. Under other names ‑ "civilisation,"
"education," "Christianisation" ‑ this was to become a
cornerstone of colonial policy around the world as it had earlier been in
Ireland. Speaking from Latin America, Paulo Freire was later to describe the
phenomenon as "cultural invasion." Freire's analysis is having a
significant influence in a contemporary Scotland trying to re‑member its
past in order to re‑vision and re‑claim its future. He says:
"In this phenomenon, the invaders penetrate the cultural context of
another group, and ignoring the potential of the latter, they impose their own
view of the world upon those they invade and inhibit the creativity of the
invaded by curbing their expression.... Cultural invasion is thus always an act
of violence against the persons of the invaded culture, who lose their
originality.... (It) leads to the cultural inauthenticity of those who are
invaded; they begin to respond to the values, the standards, and the goals of
the invaders.... It is essential that those who are invaded come to see their
reality with the outlook of the invaders rather than their own; for the more
they mimic the invaders, the more stable the position of the latter becomes ...
it is essential that those invaded become convinced of their intrinsic
The Act of Proscription took effect from August 1747 and was not repealed
until 1782, by which time its effects had been "internalised" into a
Freirian "culture of silence." Under pain of being "liable to be
transported to any of His Majesty's plantations beyond the sea, for seven
the Act banned the wearing of Highland dress, the meeting together of Highland
people, playing the bagpipes and other forms of traditional entertainment, and
the carrying of arms. Bagpipes were treated as an instrument of war, to be
played only within the British Army where their uses included variously
impressing and frightening other natives of foreign lands. Under the
proscription‑associated Heritable Jurisdictions Act of 1747, the
traditional powers of clan chiefs were removed but most of the individual chiefs
were left in place. Those who did
not accede to Royalist jurisdiction had their lands forfeited and placed in the
hands of government appointed surrogates.
[Nb. Since writing this I have learned that the oft-repeated notion that the
Act forbade bagpipes is, in fact, not well founded. This is documented in the
recent book “Traditional Gaelic Bagpiping, 1745-1945,” John Gibson, 1998,
Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland. May I also highly recommend Michael
Newton’s recent book, “A Handbook of the Scottish Gaelic World, Four Courts
Press, Dublin, 2000. No other book in print expresses such a deep understanding
of the Gaelic world-view and human ecology.]
[Nb. Since writing this I have learned that the oft-repeated notion that the Act forbade bagpipes is, in fact, not well founded. This is documented in the recent book “Traditional Gaelic Bagpiping, 1745-1945,” John Gibson, 1998, Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland. May I also highly recommend Michael Newton’s recent book, “A Handbook of the Scottish Gaelic World, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2000. No other book in print expresses such a deep understanding of the Gaelic world-view and human ecology.]
Jarvie, a historical sociologist concludes, "The British government
was, therefore, able to pursue its policies of cultural marginalisation not by
expropriating the traditional Highland aristocracy but by incorporating the more
powerful members of the clan figuration within the Hanoverian hegemony." Thus, an inner
colonialism was set in place by confusing an intensely loyal kinsfolk as to who
their oppressor was. Whereas in Ireland the wholesale imposition of English
landlords had made the target much more visible, in Scotland the initial stages
of betrayal seemingly came from the clans' own leadership. This, together with
religious factors including what was to become a pacifist liberation theology,
is the major reason why the Highlanders did not emulate the violent resistance
of the Irish.
Traditionally, Highland chieftains operated a system of usufruct under
patronage. It is telling that the word, "usufruct," like
"usury," is almost redundant in the English language. It means
overlapping patterns of rights to land and water usage, as distinct from
outright Romanesque ownership. The concept is familiar in many other tribal
societies worldwide but often not recognised by westernised development
planners. "Unlike feudal forms
of land ownership, the land of the Highland clan was not the private property of
the chief, but the public property of the clansfolk."
Kinship was therefore focused around the personhood of the chief, not
"his" lands. The post‑Cullodden regime was to change this into a
latifundia‑style "feudal" system whereby land was
commoditised and enclosure introduced. Interestingly, residual elements of the
old understanding are still reflected in Scots law by the fact that the Queen,
in her position as monarch, is regarded as Queen of the Scots and not Queen of
The imposition of a culture which accepted land as a tradeable commodity
played into the hands of another factor which was affecting eighteenth century
tribal life: the lure of perceived social sophistication.
Just as can be seen today in, for instance, Pacific islands like the New
Hebrides (Vanuatu) with clan chiefs developing an appetite for the mores of
Singapore, Tokyo or Sydney, so it was too in the old Hebrides and other Highland
parts. Thus James Hunter, the great social historian and reformer of the
crofting peoples states:
"... many chiefs were as at home in Edinburgh or Paris as they were
in the Highlands, and French or English rolled off their tongues as easily as
‑ perhaps more easily than ‑ Gaelic. While away from his clan,
moreover, the typical chief ‑ conscious since childhood of his immensely
aristocratic status in the Highland society whence he came ‑ felt obliged
to emulate, or even surpass, the life style of the courtiers and nobles with
whom he mingled. And it was at this
point that the eighteenth century chief's two roles came into irreconcilable
conflict with one another. As a southern socialite he needed more and more
money. As a tribal patriarch he could do very little to raise it."
In the recently independent nations of the Pacific the answer to the same
problem has been to sell out logging, mining or fishing rights held on behalf of
the clan. In Scotland, the charging of rents or a cattle levy were obvious
revenue raisers. When that was
insufficient to pay for gambling, drinking, women and such new
"tartans" as the Paris tailors would come up with, more severe
measures such as rent‑racking or forcing tenants into the landlord's waged
labour were introduced. If these too failed to deliver sufficient cash flow, the
"estate" could be sold on in the rapidly growing land market. The new
owner, who would generally be what we would now call a "venture
capitalist," would (with some notable and worthy exceptions) have few if
any traditional ties to the people and therefore fewer still scruples as to how
he exploited nature and those to whom he was (and still is today) the
"feudal superior." Often
under the pretence that it was for the peoples' own good, the ultimate solution
of the Clearances were devised to make way for the Highlands' first modern-scale
cash crop - sheep for wool production. To apologist suggestions of benign
intent, John McGrath, playwright of "The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black
Black Oil," retorts:
"The fact remains that the intensive (sic) methods of cultivation of
the Gaels had maintained a far greater number of people per acre than had been
maintained elsewhere, that the standard of living was not the sole criterion of
happiness or worth, and that although many would have indeed left voluntarily,
‑ as they already had before the clearing began ‑ the majority of
these people did not want to go. Furthermore, the fact remains that the fertile
ground which had kept so many people through the centuries was now turned into
useless land fit only for sheep. The cruellest and most important fact of all is
that the criterion for the best use of land ceased to be the number of people it
could support, and became the amount of profit it could make".
The first wave of Clearance, in the second half of the eighteenth
century, forced a previously self‑reliant peasant peoples onto marginal
land. This was to clear the interior lands for sheep whilst also creating a
waged labour force for the industrialist dominated industries of fishing and
kelping (seaweed based alkali production). The introduction of cheviot and
blackface sheep in the 1760's was the agricultural "improvement"
driving factor, enabling substantial profit to be made from terrain previously
suitable only for peasant subsistence. To take just one of countless examples,
the Isle of Rhum, which is today a nature reserve being totally devoid of its
indigenous population, had 300 people cleared from it in 1826. The proprietor, MacLean of Coll, spent five pounds fourteen
shillings on each adult's emigrant passage to Canada. Vacated and let as a
single sheep farm it brought in a rent of £800, compared with just £300
previously; an investment payback period of just over three years.
Clearances were particularly brutal in Sutherland and the Uists.
Carmichael, circa 1928, documents one account given by Catherine MacPhee of
South Uist. Her story is corroborated by other similar reports and what is so
striking is that the events were so recent. It is remarkable that here, in
western Europe, old people alive today can recall such first hand accounts from
the old people of their youth.
"Many a thing have I seen in my own day and generation. Many a thing, O Mary Mother of the black sorrow! I have seen
the townships swept, and the big holdings being made of them, the people being
driven out of the countryside to the streets of Glasgow and to the wilds of
Canada, such of them as did not die of hunger and plague and smallpox while
going across the ocean. I have seen the women putting the children in the carts
which were being sent from Benbecula and the Iochdar to Loch Boisdale, while
their husbands lay bound in the pen and were weeping beside them, without power
to give them a helping hand, though the women themselves were crying aloud and
their little children wailing like to break their hearts.
I have seen the big strong men, the champions of the countryside, the
stalwarts of the world, being bound on Loch Boisdale quay and cast into the ship
as would be done to a batch of horses or cattle in the boat, the bailiffs and
the ground‑officers and the constables and the policemen gathered behind
them in pursuit of them. The God of
life and He only knows all the loathsome work of men on that day."
Conditions on marginalised land for those remaining at home were often
miserable. The great potato famine of Ireland and Scotland was one consequence
of people being forced onto inadequate plots and therefore having to replace a
diversified agricultural mix with an "efficient" monoculture. By 1811
potatoes had come to account for four fifths of a Hebridean islander's food
Disaster followed in 1846 when, as a result of damp weather, the crops were
struck with the potato blight fungus, phytophthora infestans, and in
nearly every field the crop rotted. The
parallels with present day famines caused by unforeseen consequences of socially
unjust development are manifest. Norman MacLeod, a famine relief officer, could
have been writing a field report for Oxfam when he visited the Hebrides in 1847
"The scene of wretchedness which we witnessed as we entered on the
estate of Col. Gordon was deplorable, nay heart‑rendering. On the beach
the whole population of the country seemed to be met, gathering the precious
cockles (shellfish).... I never witnessed such countenances ‑ starvation
on many faces ‑ the children with their melancholy looks, big looking
knees, shrivelled legs, hollow eyes, swollen like bellies ‑ God help them,
I never did witness such wretchedness!."
Life did not necessarily improve for the first generation of emigres.
Parallels were often drawn with negro slaves. Malcolm MacLean writes:
"By 1851 Highland proprietors were clearing their estates with
renewed vengeance in the aftermath of the (potato) famine, and being assisted by
public money made available to them by the Emigration Advance Act of that
year.... Conditions on board emigrant ships were often said to be worse than
those prevailing on slave ships. The fitter and healthier a slave cargo the
higher the price they fetched, but emigrants paid their fare on embarking and
were they to die in mid‑ocean that would save on the cost of provisions
and make for a higher profit margin. Two ships which sailed from the West
Highlands for Nova Scotia in 1801 with seven hundred emigrants would only have
been permitted four hundred and eighty‑nine 'passengers' had they been
slaves putting out from the Gambia. Three out of every twenty emigrants died on
board one of these ships ... and in the six years between 1847 and 1853 at least
forty‑nine emigrant ships were lost at sea."
On arrival in Australia or the New World, emigres sometimes ended up
forcing other native peoples off their lands: oppressed turned oppressor. Many
of those left at home found themselves pressed into military service to do the
dirty work of Empire building, it sometimes being quipped that "The Queens
Own Highlanders" might be more honestly dubbed, "The Queens Owned
Still more migrated within Scotland to domestic service or industrial labour in
the cities. Often a racked rent was payed by a crofter's children from the
growing slums of Glasgow. Through the effects of intergenerational poverty, the
foundations were thus laid for the postindustrial despair of "areas of
multiple deprivation" around all our major modern Scottish cities today.
The final stage of consolidating present patterns of enclosed land tenure
came after the military demand for wool collapsed with the ending of the
Napoleonic Wars. As Iain Mac a'Ghobainn immortalises in his epic poem,
"Spirit of Kindness," soldiers returning from Waterloo were prone to
finding that their families had been cleared in their absence.
Remaining unenclosed lands had been consolidated with former sheep farms
to make the Great "Sporting" Estates.
By 1912, 3,599,744 acres or one fifth of the entire Scottish land mass
had been converted so that "gentlefolk" versions of great white
hunters could engage in one‑sided mortal battle with the stag, salmon,
grouse and the thrush-sized snipe.
They handed over to the snipe
the land of happy folk,
they dealt without humanity
with people who were kind.
Because they might not drown them
they dispersed them overseas;
a thraldom worse than Babylon's
was the plight they were in....
What solace had the fathers
of the heroes who won fame?
Their houses, warm with kindliness,
were in ruins round their ears;
their sons were on the battlefield
saving a rueless land,
their mothers' state was piteous
with their houses burnt like coal.
In his sociological study of the athletic and bagpiping competitions
which characterise today's Highland Games, Jarvie
shows how the new sporting landlords took control of such traditional gatherings
of the clans to consolidate their social status. Cultural regeneration could
then be seen as deriving from the benevolence of the ruling classes, thereby
lending landlords a pseudo‑authentic role analogous to that of the
chieftains of the past.
The Highlander, like the native American and African, had once been
caricatured as barbarous and uncivilized. The traveller, John Leyden, typifies
such an outsider perspective. Returning to Perth in 1800 he wrote, "I may
now congratulate myself on a safe escape from the Indians of Scotland...."
Few early travellers had the ability to see beyond the racial stereotype. An
exception was the Swiss geologist, Necker de Saussure, who in 1807 recorded his
astonishment at finding on Iona, "under so foggy an atmosphere, in so
dreary a climate, a people animated by that gaiety and cheerfulness which we are
apt to attribute exclusively to those nations of the South of Europe."
But for most of the ruling class, the second half of the nineteenth century
became instead a time when the Highlanders could safely be patronised in terms
of "the glamour of backwardness"
and presented "in terms of loyalty, royalty, tartanry and Balmorality."
Trend‑setting lairds (landowners) like Queen Victoria, with her Balmoral
Castle retreat, displayed the stunning contradiction of, on the one hand,
professing a love of Highland scenery and culture; whilst on the other hand
patronising emigration programmes and setting in process damaging land
management regimes centred around deer and grouse.
A look through the Highland press quickly reveals that now, in the
mid‑1990's, summary dismissals, evictions, expensive procedural delays in
planning matters and demolition of housing remain very much a part of estate
control over communities. The West Highland Free Press, for instance,
gives careful documentation on 30th April 1993 of how the estate factors (legal
managers) of one of the world's richest absentee landlords, Sheik Mohammed bin
Rashid al Maktoumm of Dubai, have bulldozed houses in his Wester Ross "glen
of sorrow" to prevent human habitation, probably because of "the
night‑time poaching activities of the local population." Twelve
family homes have been reduced to rubble in a district which has 800 applicants
on the local authority housing waiting list. The Sheik retains a certain support
in some quarters because of his large donations to small local charities.
As for landowners whose exoticism is more ordinary, "Balmorality"
can be seen in its full 20th Century glamour nowhere better self‑exposed
than in the August 1992 edition of the high society magazine, Harpers &
Queen, which claims to be "The World's Most Intelligent Glossy."
Amidst "Advanced Night Repair" advertisements for cosmetics to combat
"environmental damage" (that is, intensified sunburn, which "can
cause as much as 80% of premature ageing" to the skins of the
"beautiful people" whose lifestyles gave us the ozone hole in the
first place), the magazine features the Queen at Balmoral; Mohamed al Fayed
(proprietor of Harrods and the Ritz) with his "hereditary pipers" at
the Highland castle he hardly ever goes to; "Three fab families" of
Anglicised Scots aristocrats with "greyhound‑like physiques ...
super‑intelligence ... and a sense of public duty;" five
public‑schoolboy junior lairds who "look like a king" for the
ladies to fancy and the crofters to endure; six of "Scotland's
bonniest" debutantes, who "adore smelling of horses," posing
erotically in fantastic tartan dresses untraditionally slit to the crotch; and
Lord Edmund Vesty, proprietor of the notorious Sutherland Estates, sporting his
top hat and prim daughter at Royal Ascot. Punning on the Picts, the original
native peoples of Scotland, the cover proclaims, "LOADED lairds and lovely
LASSIES; SUNNY Scots and holiday PICTS: why we love our Highland
playgrounds." It goes on to appeal to its "tartanned" readership
"The international social set hang up their party boots at the end
of July and depart for caiques off the Turkish coast, villas in the South of
France or huge yachts in Sardinia. But
not the Old Guard British ‑ there's only one choice for them: the
Highlands.... There's nothing like
Scotland in August for sheer expenditure of physical energy; the grouse moor,
the deer and the salmon river claim the chaps during the day, who then heave a
lot of whisky down, change into kilt (if they qualify), evening tails (if they
don't) and go reeling until dawn with wind‑burnt girls adept at quick
changes from muddy tweeds to ballgowns and tartan sashes. There's ... nothing
like Scotland for stalking the biggest social game...."
Meanwhile, one million Scots, 20% of the population, live at or below the
European decency threshold. On the Island of Eigg one of us was thus able to
conclude at a land restitution public meeting in 1991:
"This is the condition of much of the Highlands and Islands today.
The Clearances continue under economic masquerade. For example, tourism, one of
our few growth opportunities for cottage industry, too often becomes controlled
by estates which convert homes into summer timeshare. Those who belong to a
place get squeezed out, leaching community. Go to the poor quarters of
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Govan, and look where too many of our people live now. Oh
yes, the fortunate ones have done sufficiently 'well' sometimes to forget their
roots, but many of the names on doors of those living in the high‑rise
flats and 'priority treatment' estates are Highland. Folk for whom the tragedy
of being uprooted, by direct clearance or by restriction of access to nature's
sustenance, has given rise to the spectre of poverty across generations."
Hebridean poet, Mary Montgomery, grew up on the boundaries of three
estates on her home island of Lewis. One of a growing number of empowered
Scottish women who make you wonder if the clans of old were quite so patriarchal
as is often made out, she pens an embittered conclusion which could have come
straight from Southern Africa:
I prefer it when they're rude
because they're easier to destroy in my thoughts
and my conscience can be at peace....
I prefer them to be awful
showing themselves without warmth
nothing if not practical
old chap, dear sir and dame.
The kind of value they lay store by
is each one for himself
that's what's going away with my country
and what leaves them in it.
(personal reflection by Alastair McIntosh)
Having served as a ghillie (salmon boat rower) and pony boy (retrieving
stag carcases from the hill) for many summers on my home Isle of Lewis in the
Outer Hebrides, I have developed an interest in sporting estate psychodynamics.
You can learn a lot when, as a young man, you have had the opportunity to spend
all day on a remote loch or mountain with generals, admirals, industrialists,
stockbrokers, aristocrats, those who purport to "profess a vocation"
as professionals, high‑church military clergy and assorted wives and
Many are individuals who would appear to fit Alice Millar's
description of the wounded child; the child whose "primal
integrity" has been violated because it was not unconditionally loved for
itself. Instead, love was
dependent upon conformity to authority, on performance and giftedness, leaving
the eventual adult with deep‑seated anxiety as to their self‑worth.
This syndrome affects people irrespective of social class. Indeed, it has been
most widely popularised, well before Alice Millar became known, through the
lyrics of John Lennon's greatest song, Working Class Hero: "As soon
as you're born, they make you feel small; by giving you no time instead of it
all; 'till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all.... There's room at the
top, they are telling you still; but first you must learn how to smile as you
kill; if you want to be like the folks on the Hill...."
With working class people, the violence of frustration perhaps stays mainly
within the self or family; with the rich and powerful, its reach is global.
Typical "sporting" gents of my acquaintance were often
surrogate parented by nannies, then sent away in late infancy to austere
so‑called "public" private schools. Education for regimentation
at these was strong on punishment "for your own good," emotionally
disengaged ("stiff upper lip"; "uptight") and largely
lacking in close male and female role models of gentleness. Acceptance at home
was contingent upon conformity to Father's authority. This included the
expectation of early potty training, "being seen but not heard,"
displaying the "toughness" of "big boys don't cry,"
educational competition and exam success, playing field discipline; and later in
life, military achievement, success in the professions or old‑monied
industry, and wealth accumulation. "Who
is he? Is he anybody?" such a
person will ask. "Oh, he's quite somebody ... he's ‑ such and such a
company or landed property." As Fromm
put it, this is the psychology of needing to "have" in order to
"be," material acquisition compensating for such a "shrivelled
sense of soul".
Tellingly, one of Alice Millar's psychotherapeutic books is cited in the
same issue of Harpers and Queen as is quoted from in this paper. The
magazine recommends packing Breaking Down the Wall of Silence as holiday
reading. Such a book title could be straight from Freire. Freire writes of the
"pedagogy of the oppressed." Millar, through case studies of members
of the Third Reich, mass murderers, and disturbingly ordinary people, reveals
the "poisonous pedagogy" which can often be shown to have afflicted
the oppressor, and reperpetuates from one generation to the next. In their own
ways, both oppressed and oppressor are victims and must be understood as such if
cycles of destruction are to be broken. It is a cause for optimism that US
Vice‑President, Al Gore, acknowledges the importance of the work of Millar
and similar psychologists in the "Dysfunctional Civilisation" chapter
of his outstanding book, "Earth in the Balance"
he also mentions favourably the new feminist Goddess‑based
reinterpretations of archaeology coming from workers like Marija Gimbutas.
Such thought leads some thinkers to conclude that we are speaking here of a
cultural psychopathology with a history that can be traced back 6,000 years, the
Roman Empire having been only one phase of it.
Scots born Kenneth White, professor of 20th Century Poetics at the
Sorbonne, speaks of "geopoetics" ‑ the "higher unity"
of geography and poetry; the aliveness, one might say, sacredness, of
relationship between a person and place.
This comes naturally to a well grounded people. It is evident in the
radical deep ecology of pre‑colonial Celtic literature, music and art. But
landlordism perverts the person‑place relationship. Like a priest claiming
to mediate between humankind and God, the laird bolsters his virility through
theft of the vitality that belongs to those who live on, work with, cherish and
feel themselves to be cherished by a place. The laird then claims to be the true
steward of the land and, of course, the generous benefactor and arbitrator of
The psychopathologies manifested in landlordism are of more than merely
local significance. As Alice Millar, Wilhelm Reich and several other
post‑Freudians show, the love/power/sex dynamics of wounded people (and
which of us are not somewhat in this category?) are often played out on much
bigger stages: those of economy and battlefield, complete with all the denial of
feeling once denied to the actors. Playwright John McGrath speaks of...
"The Victorian self‑image of the near‑brutish male doing
battle with the natives in far‑off lands, the servants in draughty
mansions, and competitors on the Stock Exchange ... in the
romantically‑situated hunting lodge, with tales of even greater slaughter
at other, better times, and the odd titbit of useful industrial or investment
information, perhaps even the odd deal seen through in the rosy haze of the
apres‑massacre. It came as no surprise that the single most important
carve‑up of the market in the twentieth century, that between the 'Seven
Sisters' ‑ the seven major oil companies ‑ took place in Achnacarry
Castle, a turreted mansion in the West Highlands, where the most ruthless and
powerful men in the oil business assembled ostensibly to shoot grouse and
In the community arts produced book, As an Fhearann: from the land,
p. 84 has a photomontage of President Reagan peering out of a TV screen at the
prehistoric Callanish stones. It brings sharply to mind Alice Walker's poem
about the oppressor, the "Wasichu": "Regardless. He has filled
our every face with his window. Our every window with his face."
p. 93 pictures NATO exercises at Stornoway airport; and on p. 38 General Curtis
le May is shown shooting deer in the Highlands, 1967. This is captioned,
"General le May was Commander in Chief of the USAF when the atomic bomb was
dropped on Hiroshima." In perhaps unintended but graphic reflection of one
of the roles of sporting estates, the rock group Pink Floyd sang, in the
aftermath of the Falklands War and the IRA's blowing up of bandsmen in London:
Take all your overgrown infants away somewhere
and build them a home, a little place of their own
the fletcher memorial home
home for incurable tyrants and kings
And they can appear to themselves every day
on closed circuit TV
to make sure they're still real
it's the only connection they feel
Ladies and gentlemen please welcome reagan and haig
mr begin and friend, mrs thatcher and paisley
mr brezhnev and party
the ghost of mccarthy
the memories of nixon
and now adding colour a group of anonymous latin
american meat‑packing glitterati
Did they expect us to treat them with any respect?
They can polish their medals
and sharpen their smiles
and amuse themselves playing games for a while
boom boom, bang bang, lie down, you're dead....
In 1873, John Murdoch, a retired Nairnshire excise man who had worked
part of his life in Ireland, founded The Highlander newspaper to campaign
on the Scottish cultural and land rights issue. He was certainly not the only
significant campaigner, but we will focus here on his work because it is so
perceptive and well documented. Not
confined to simply managing the paper, Murdoch maintained close contact with the
crofters and local communities by mostly walking from one township to another
where ‑ often to the defiance and chagrin of landlords ‑ he would
visit and campaign amongst the people. His tours accentuated more than ever the
degree to which self‑esteem and self‑confidence were lacking amongst
the Highland population, since often he was hard put even to gather a crowd, not
because of lack of interest, but because of fear:
"We have to record a terrible fact, that from some cause or other, a
craven, cowed, snivelling population has taken the place of the men of former
days. In Lewis, in the Uists, in Barra, in Islay, in Applecross and so forth,
the great body of the people seem to be penetrated by fear. There is one great,
dark cloud hanging over them in which there seem to be terrible forms of
devouring landlords, tormenting factors and ubiquitous ground‑officers.
People complain; but it is under their breaths and under such a feeling of
depression that the complaint is never meant to reach the ear of landlord or
factor. We ask for particulars, we take out a notebook to record the facts; but
this strikes a deeper terror. 'For any sake do not mention what I say to you,'
says the complainer. 'Why?' We naturally ask.
'Because the factor might blame me for it.'"
Where once there were proud and independent societies with their own
Gaelic tongue, now a subjected population had succumbed to what later critics
would recognise as a culture of the oppressed with the English language forced
through the education system. Afraid
openly to discuss their plight, the Highland peoples had internalised their
oppression to a degree that they were unable even to voice their complaints, let
alone have them recorded.
Murdoch saw that the way forward was cultural regeneration, for without a
social empowerment focused upon the linguistic and cultural identity of
Highlanders he saw little potential for advancement in land reform or political
emancipation. Murdoch's campaign of empowerment was far more than the basic
development of a class consciousness or a political front. What he was seeking
was more attuned to a spiritual awakening. Donald Meek, professor of Celtic at
Aberdeen University, in an analysis of Murdoch's theological foundations for
land reform, sees in his work and that of other such campaigners of the time a
precursor to the liberation theologies of Paulo Friere, Gustavo Guttierez and
others of Latin American and Southern African origin. Extensive use was made of
biblical texts like Leviticus 25, "The land shall not be sold in
perpetuity, for the land is mine," and Isaiah 5, "Woe unto them that
join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place...."
An increasingly interested London based press later stirred the national
conscience over such sentiments, for instance, the Pall Mall Gazette of 24th
December 1884 quoting the campaigners that: "The Earth is the Lord's, not
Murdoch concluded that, "The language and lore of Highlanders being
treated with despite has tended to crush their self‑respect and to repress
that self‑reliance without which no people can advance." The effects
of "alien rule" and the experiences of land enclosure and eviction had
created a "very provoking fear universally present among the people"
who were consequently "afraid to open their mouths."
Foreshadowing ideas that were adopted by the Highland Land League, he urged:
"Our Highland friends must depend on themselves and they should
remember that union is strength.... We do not advocate that they should fight or
use violent means, for there is a better way than that. Why do they not form
societies for self‑improvement and self‑defence? Did they become,
they would become conscious that they possess more strength than they are aware
Linking the enclosure of the Highlands with the subjugation of people
overseas, he declared earlier in 1851, "The dying wail of the cheated
redman of the woods rings in our ears across the Atlantic." And later
whilst constantly criticising British imperial policy in Highlander editorials,
he was always quick to show that the crofters' struggles were synonymous with
those of oppressed peoples around the world. On hearing the news of Britain's
invasion of Afghanistan, for instance, he declared: "What glory is to be
had from fighting semi‑civilised but brave and patriotic highlanders?
Noble Afghan highlanders, our sympathies are with you!" Above all, he
emphasised that "the cause of the Highland people is not dealt with in an
exclusive and narrow spirit, far less in antagonism to other people." The
key issue was in an awakening of spirit that allowed Highlanders to enter the
wider world: "Their sympathies are widened, their views are elevated, and
they learn to stand erect, not only as Highlanders, shoulder to shoulder, but as
a battalion in the great array of peoples to whom it is given to fight the
battles incident to the moral and social progress of mankind."
Having studied land tenure patterns around Europe ‑ Norway, Belgium
and Switzerland ‑ he was able to point out that superior social relations
abounded elsewhere, the "peasant proprietorship" canton system of
Switzerland making it "perhaps the most enlightened, independent and
prosperous country in Europe." The comparisons to Britain and Ireland made
it "very surprising that we who profess to be in the van of progress, and
the highest degree of liberty, should be content to be in the most
unsatisfactory state, with regard to land, of almost any nation in Europe."
In 1881 the Land Bill for Ireland granted security of tenure and fixed
rents. Murdoch sarcastically noted how the Duke of Argyll's resignation from the
Government in protest was "one of the strongest proofs of the beneficent
character of the measure" and he emphasised how the co‑ordinated
campaign of resistance which lead to the Bill was "suggestive of many
practical thoughts to every Highlander."
Within a week, however The Highlander was forced to close under financial
pressure. But within a further month the crofters on Captain William Fraser's
Kilmuir Estate used Irish Land League tactics to compel a reduction of their
rent by 25%. Soon after, and somewhat in emulation of an earlier (1874) crofters
rent riot on Bernera, Lewis, Lord MacDonald's tenants at Braes, Skye, mobbed a
visiting sheriff‑officer. Lead, as was so often the case in crofter direct
actions, by a woman, Mairi Nic
Fuilaidh, they forced him to burn the court eviction summonses he had come to
deliver. Thus the Skye Rent Strike marked the start of the remarkably
non‑violent "Crofters Wars". Ten days later, 17th April 1882,
arrests were made. Mud and stones were thrown when 47 imported Glasgow police
faced a crowd of over fourteen hundred protestors who had arrived from all
quarters of Skye lead by their respective pipers. Recognising that state
authority was losing its grip, the British Government responded to Sheriff
Ivory's call for help by action which was to be repeated on a number of
occasions in the Highlands and other colonies: it sent in the gunboats with
police reinforcements, over four hundred marines and one hundred bluejackets.
"This impressive demonstration of force was met with polite passive
resistance as people conspicuously dug their potatoes at every township along
the coast. The Glasgow Herald correspondent observed, 'The district was found in
a state of the most perfect peace, with every crofter minding his own
(Attach here Illustrated London News drawings of gunships off Skye)
In February 1883 the Highland Land League was founded in London to apply
political pressure in Westminster and organise mass rent strikes,
demonstrations, and support for reform by constitutional means by friends at
home and abroad. The government's response was to set up a Royal Commission to
enquire into the complaints of the crofters. Headed by Baron Francis Napier, an
Anglican Tory landowner with considerable experience of colonial problems in
India, it reported later in the year and vindicated the legitimacy of the
people's grievance. In the General Election of 1885 the crofters took advantage
of the extension of the franchise and returned five crofter Members of
Parliament. Finally, in 1886 the Crofters Act was passed, giving for the first
time heritable security of tenure with controlled rents on those smallholdings
defined as being of crofting status.
The 1886 Act fell far short of returning to the people land which had
formerly been taken from them. By far the greatest areas of land remained
completely outwith crofting tenure. But the Act did secure the survival of
crofting life into the present era. It was not until 1976 that the Crofting
Reform Act gave the crofter the right to buy the freehold of their land at 15
times the holding's fair rent. There was no rush to take this up, since freehold
entailed perceived breach of community solidarity and loss of privileged
crofting status with the agricultural grants which accompanied it. Also, the law
was widely misinterpreted as meaning that the landlord also had to be paid 50%
of the development value of the land. Resolution of this misinterpretation was
to prove vital in subsequent events leading up to community land ownership at
Assynt. It was not until the passing of the 1991 Crofter Forestry (Scotland) Act
that crofters could apply for permission to plant trees on their land.
Trees planted outwith this provision are the property of the landlord,
which is one reason why, traditionally, few crofts had any forest shelterbelts.
The following lyric is from Runrig, Scotland's leading folk‑rock
group. The lead singer, Donnie Munro, is Rector of Edinburgh University. He
writes: "You share with many people from our own background the amazement
at how the knowledge of our own history was effectively denied us and how this
situation has changed only relatively recently, when it was presumably
considered a politically safe region whose strength had been drained and its
energies channelled successfully. There is a great capacity in existence to
marginalise issues by keeping them separate. This is where for me
internationalism truly begins, with the realisation of the global village and
the common experiences of the human condition."
Fichead Bliadhna (Twenty Years)
Freedom of the moor
Freedom of the hill
And then to school
At the end of a summer
Children, five years of age
Without many words of English
Here is your book
Here is your pen
That's what they told me
And you will rise up in the world
You will achieve
I learnt many things
The English language
The poetry England
The music of Germany
The history of Spain
And even that was a misleading history
Then on to further education
Following education, more education
On the end of a string
Our heads filled with a sort of learning
And I did rise in the world
I found my suit
I found my shirt
I found a place in the eyes of men
Well away from the freedom of the moor
But why did they keep
Our history from us?
I'll tell you ‑ they are frightened
In case the children of Gaeldom awaken
And penetrating questions
Twenty years for the truth
I had to wait
I had to search
Twenty years of deceit
They denied me knowledge of myself
‑ C & R Macdonald, Runrig, 1979.
Scotland's environment is the product of a long association of people
with the land since the last 2,000m thick glaciers melted 10,000 years ago.
A relatively benign oceanic climate allowed settled agriculture to develop over
most of the country. Through time, much of it became a "cultural
landscape," modified by human activities such as cropping, grazing, and
burning. Successive waves of settlement including Angles, Scots and Vikings each
left their mark on the land. For example, woodland at Catta Ness in
north‑east Shetland has been found to have disappeared within the space of
150 years around 3,120 BP and the land has remained deforested since then.
Very little of Scotland today remains undisturbed by humans and it is
difficult to assess realistically the state of the natural resource base over
time since the process of change has been long, slow and compounded by many
potential causes. Obvious facts include the loss of forest cover. Only 1% of
Scotland is now covered in the remnants of native forest cover which once
extended to as much as 75% of land area
(the "Great Forest of Caledon"). Even this is continuing to
degenerate, with a 75% reduction since 1600.
Land productivity in general is widely believed to have suffered. Replacement of
the largely subsistence former cattle based economy by sheep, deer, grouse and
other "game" birds has been associated with diminution of the several
indigenous forms of nutrient recycling,
as well as intensification of grazing and burning pressures. Predator density
(hawks, polecats, etc.) would
appear to have dramatically declined since the sporting estates were first
Grouse moor bags, erosion rates, and freshwater fisheries productivity all show
deteriorating trends and, in some parishes, lambing percentages between 1880 and
1975 have declined by as much as 1% in every four years.
The internationally acclaimed ecologist, Sir Frank Fraser Darling,
undertook the first comprehensive survey of the human ecology of the West
Highlands in the post war years. His findings, eventually published in 1955, had
been suppressed by Government (the Scottish Office not even acknowledging
receipt) in light of their sensitivity and damning conclusions. He wrote:
"The bald unpalatable fact is emphasised that the Highlands and
Islands are largely a devastated terrain and that any policy which ignores this
fact cannot hope to achieve rehabilitation.... The Highlands are a devastated
countryside ...(a wet desert)..., and that is the primary reason why there are
now few people and why there is a constant economic problem."
A good case study of the 20th century human ecology of land management in
Scotland is that of forestry. Efforts at reforestation started early on some of
the more forward-looking estates such as Atholl, but it was not until the 1919
formation of the Forestry Commission, that the Government took a serious
strategic and economic interest in tree production. The efforts of both
enlightened landowners and of the Forestry Commission were almost exclusively
concerned with the establishment of commercial plantations of foreign softwood
species such as the fast growing Sitka Spruce. A sharp divide developed between
agriculture and forestry which was almost unique in Europe.
A current Government review of the future of the Forestry Commission has
focused attention on the prospect of privatising the 10% of Scotland owned by
it. An unholy alliance of environmental groups, the timber industry, local
authorities and opposition politicians are campaigning vigorously for the
retention of the Commission as a state body owning and managing forest land.
Many people concerned with the broader land issues, however, detect something
backward and paternalistic in this position which seeks to defend a public body
which is seen by many in fragile and remote rural communities as being highly
centralised, undemocratic, disempowering, unresponsive and distant. Crofters
eking out a livelihood on the remote areas of the west coast see huge barges of
timber being hauled off the hillsides and towed to processing plants in the
English Midlands. Employees are being laid off and nurseries, sawmills and
offices being shut down.
While British overseas aid funds support "social forestry"
projects abroad, the concept has yet to find serious acceptance at home. Partly,
this is because some of what has been passed off as "social forestry"
by multilateral agencies has only been a sham of community participation in what
the developers wished to impose anyway. It is worth observing that British
domestic forestry policy has also had a substantial shaping effect on overseas
students studying in Britain. Many of these return home presuming our industry
to represent best practice. Training in post World War II years has primarily
focused on industrial monoculture plantation management. This embodied
assumptions of the globalised cash economy rather than bioregional and socially
networked patterns of reciprocity and mutuality in resource use. The result
undercuts biodiversity, soil quality and community control. It suited
corporations, government agencies and departments of forestry because it
maintained, in the medium term at least, a flow of cash revenues with which to
fund self-perpetuating state services and private entrepreneurship. But in its
name of progress, it has shifted employment
from the land - The Land - to soul destroying urban industrial centres. Capital
intensive machinery is there manufactured with the waged labour of
"operatives" whose forebears had once come from the land. For many of
them there is no more access to nature and the only community is that of tower
block or slum.
Although there are now encouraging signs of change, the fact remains that
the ongoing professional development of many British foresters involved in
teaching and research is filtered by those silvicultural practices which can
support consultancy fees of over 400 pounds a day. Such "forestry,"
and the attitude to livelihood which accompanies it, is usually dependent more
on the rapacious stripping of natural capital than living from nature's freely
yielded sustainable revenue.
As a result of informed public concern in Scotland, Reforesting
Scotland was set up in 1991 to focus on issues of ecological and community
restoration. A small and radical body internationally networked with such
agencies as the Worldwide Fund for Nature, many of its 700 members see the
answer as real public ownership ‑ where people at the local level have a
stake in the land. This means radical reform of both state and private ownership
to empower and stabilise rural communities, maximising local economic
multipliers and linkages. Part of the effectiveness of such a group is that
growing numbers of British development professionals are coming back home and
realising that the progress which has been made in community forestry in Nepal
or Papua New Guinea, for example, is not only is absent in Scotland but
positively ridiculed as having any relevance to areas such as the Highlands and
Reforesting Scotland has itself been partly modelled on self-empowerment groups
in the South. Its associates range from the said professionals including senior
governmental and academic figures, to many with little tertiary education but a
passion for tree nurseries and planting. The Reforesting Scotland biannual
journal covers practical issues of community-scale native tree-growing and
timber utilisation as well as items of historical, economic, aesthetic,
community and spiritual importance.
The Mar Lodge Estate in the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland covers 310
square kilometres of some of the most important mountain land for conservation
in Britain. It includes three of the four highest British mountains, part of the
largest and most diverse area of sub‑arctic plateau, the most permanent
snowbeds, the entire headwater catchment of the River Dee and one of the most
important remnants of boreal pinewood left in Scotland.
Although the destruction of the forest has been underway for many
centuries, it has been in the last 200 years that the situation has become
critical. In common with many areas of the Highlands of Scotland, Mar Lodge was
converted to a hunting estate in the late 18th century and the farming
population was cleared from the land. Management for hunting has led to an
emphasis on retaining high numbers of wild Red Deer which in turn have
suppressed the natural regeneration of the forest. For 200 years there has been
no significant regeneration and the few trees that are now left are old Scots
Mar Lodge Estate, like much of the rest of Scotland, is owned by a
private individual ‑ an American multibillionaire, Mr John Kluge, who had
bought it as a gift of his exotic dancer wife. Until recently he was looking for
a buyer following his divorce. Already an attempt by a Consortium of
conservation bodies to purchase it has been suspended due to difficulties in
securing adequate funds and the power of the Scottish landowning lobby. There is
no regulation or control of land sales in Scotland. The market for such a
hunting estate is therefore exclusive to the small number of individuals around
the world who are interested in hunting and can afford such prices. Even now,
with new proposals for the future management of the Cairngorm mountains as a
whole, the Government is still relying on the "voluntary principle"
whereby landowners are not compelled, obliged or required to take any action to
protect and restore the environment ‑ they must volunteer. If the
Brazilian Government were to claim that such a principle would protect the
Amazonian rainforests it would probably be castigated as naive at the least, and
more likely as corrupt.
Quite apart from the environmental impacts of deforestation, which
include loss of biodiversity, soil degradation and disruption of hydrological
cycles, there is an interesting political parallel between the feudal barons who
control the fate of large parts of the Amazon and those who own hunting estates
in the Highlands of Scotland, so controlling the remnants of boreal forest.
While control is exerted by gunmen in the rainforests of Brazil, Scottish
landowners have institutionalised their power with state authority, even
depending substantially on publicly funded fisheries protection cruisers to
protect salmon stocks at sea from the nets of indigenous "poachers."
The situation on Mar Lodge is typical of a wider malaise in Scotland.
Dr Adam Watson, a Scottish ecologist with an international reputation,
recently described the remnants of Scotland's natural forest as, "... one
of the most degraded and abused parts of the boreal and temperate forest
anywhere in the world. We really have a nerve exhorting the people of Brazil to
look after their rainforests when we've made such a mess of looking after our
own native woodlands in Scotland."
Support is growing for substantial reforestation. New government grant
policies which took effect through the Forestry Commission in the early 1990's
are exemplary in their encouragement for native species planting. But it
requires to be part of a wider package which includes land reform in order that
human communities can become more self‑reliant, responsible and
influential in land use decisions.
Today throughout Scotland, just 4,000 people own 80% of private land.
This figure would represent 0.08% of the resident population were it not that
many are absentee landlords ‑ English aristocrats, Arabian oil sheiks,
Swiss bankers, South African industrialists, racing car drivers, pop stars, arms
dealers and others not noted for their socio‑ecological awareness. They
include entertainers such as Terry Wogan and Steve Davis; pension funds such as
Rolls Royce, the Post Office, Prudential Insurance and the Midland Bank;
overseas interests like Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai, Mrs Dorte
Aamann‑Christensen, the Jensen Foundation and the Horsens Folkeblad
Foundation from Denmark, and Paul van Vlissingen of the Netherlands. A 1976
study concluded that some thirty‑five families or companies possess one
third of the Highland's 7.39 million acres of privately owned land.
During the Thatcher dominated 1980's, land prices spiralled as more and
more people, whose personal lifestyles and corporate activities had destroyed
their own countryside, wanted to buy into Scotland. Communities seemed powerless as to who controlled them and
what happened to the ecology. The current turning point was perhaps most marked
in 1985 by the formation of the Scottish Crofters Union. This, along with a
cultural renaissance which started to see many young people recovering their
history, music, language and poetry, as well as recognition of the growing
social and ecological bankruptcy of mainstream Western life, has lead to fresh
awareness of the potential to organise in mutual solidarity, drawing on old
roots of community and place.
In 1991 a crofter from Scoraig in the West Highlands, Tom Forsyth,
established a charitable trust with the seemingly grand objective of bringing
ownership of the Isle of Eigg under community control. With co‑Trustees
Lis Lyon, Bob Harris and Alastair McIntosh, the Trust received an unprecedented
73% vote of confidence in the community ownership proposals. (Previous
communities, like that on the Isle of Rassay, had lacked confidence to push for
self‑determination.) The Eigg islanders had resented the showmanship,
control and paternalism of the existing landlord, Keith Schellenberg,
"Scotland's best known English laird," who once boasted that
"Somehow it seemed more important to beat the Germans at Silverstone than
to deal with a little Scottish island. The race put it all in perspective."
Islanders feared getting an even worse replacement, like the previous laird, who
had made life "like living under enemy occupation."
The Eigg Trust failed in its 1992 bid to raise sufficient funds to secure
purchase, not least because Schellenberg undermined the effort by saying he
would not sell into community control. One could imagine how popular he might
have been with his landowning friends had he set such a collaborative precedent.
But what the Trust did demonstrate, and this was to be important in subsequent
events elsewhere, was that the market for what he had called a "collector
could be spoiled by the glare of publicity. As one news report of Eigg put it,
"a private buyer is not exactly going to get a welcoming party."
This effect was confirmed when one
of the Trustees phoned up Savills, the top people's estate agents, and asked
about the dangers of the Eigg Trust to the Scottish land market. One Jamie
"This kind of thing could be done without ‑ it causes buyers
to be suspicious ... because a buyer wants to be assured of having maximum
control. Activity like this sets up a niggle in the back of the mind because
future control could be compromised. Mar Lodge is a case in point. It worries
private buyers and therefore could lower the price."
The final outcome was that the island, previously valued at around two
million pounds, attracted a best offer said to be only around a quarter of a
million. Accordingly, Schellenberg bought out his divorced wife's share and took
it back off the market. The
region's West Highland Free Press of 3rd July 1992 ran the banner
headline, "Paradise Lost: Eigg back in the hands of Emperor
Schellenberg: Bitter blow to trust community stewardship dream."
The day before the sale closing date, one of BBC Radio Scotland's most
respected reporters, Lesley Riddoch, had arranged interviews with a number of
islanders as part of an hour long phone‑in debate to be staged between
Schellenberg and McIntosh of the Eigg Trust. When the shock news came through
that Shellenberg had restored his lairdship, all but one islander refused to be
interviewed for fear of victimisation. Minds, for a while at least, had been
But by now consciousness of the land rights issue was in high media
profile. The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday carried full page
profiles of Schellenberg, and the London media ran features on who owned what,
where, and why the natives were getting restless. However, of greater lasting significance were the two
subsidiary front page stories in the West Highland Free Press on the day
it ran the "Emperor Schellenberg" story. One proclaimed, "Landed
gentry rocked by Land Court judgement." It told how the Court of
Session had just ruled against Lord Whitbread, and overturned the presumption
that the 1976 Act implied that crofters had to pay 50% of development value back
to the laird in the event of exercising their buyout rights at 15 times the
annual rent. The second headline announced that the Assynt crofters in
Sutherland had formed a holding organisation. They were to launch an attempt to
bring under community ownership their 21,000 acre North Lochinver Estate,
formerly held by the meat baron and notorious income tax avoider, Lord Edmund
In powerful speeches, some of which were TV broadcast around the world,
the Assynt Crofters Trust chairman, Allan MacRae, drew parallels with the
crofters' claim for land restitution and that of Africans, native Americans and
Aboriginals. Significantly, and probably for the first time in modern history,
he claimed the phrase "native people" for the Highlanders with pride:
"I think for those of us native to Assynt particularly, we are very
conscious that the land we stand on is in a sense the last stronghold of the
native people....these lands really are the remnants of what the natives once
This was a process of global awareness, and the crofters were not about
to be left out! Andy Wightman of Reforesting Scotland, visiting Finland at the
time, found the Sami better informed and more excited by what was happening than
were most lowland Scots. Because the Assynt crofters wanted rather more than
they were entitled to for 15 times their rents, they went on to raise 300,000
pounds from all over the world. By December 1992, unable to attract the better
offers hoped for prior to such market spoiling, the creditors of a bankrupt
Swedish investment company (who had acquired the property off Vesty for
speculation) sold out to the community.
Apart from the rather special and long established case of the Stornoway Trust,
this was the first ever large scale crofter instigated reversal of enclosure in
Scotland: "even if we did have to buy back what was rightfully ours!"
According to Isabel MacPhail, one of the Assynt crofters, the failed Eigg
venture had contributed some of the inspiration. It had "... raised again
the issue of community ownership at a time when even the foremost proponents of
the concept were in despair at the total lack of any progress." In the December 1993
issue of The Crofter, MacPhail (who is completing her PhD on land issues and
feminism) tabled a progress report, confirming how minds as well as land had
been liberated from enclosure:
"Really, it is a bit like the end of colonial rule ‑ gradually
our imaginations are unchained. The rest takes a bit longer.... For me (it) has
been a revelation. For the whole of my life people have been explaining Vesty's
'badness' to me: blocking development; taking the mobile shop off the road (folk
wanted to boycott his shops then, but where do you boycott to?); concentrating
economic activity in his own hands ... and so on. And in all that time we never
realised that if you point a TV camera at him, or give him a few column inches
... he'll do the job (of exposing injustice) much better himself."
The Green Party has reintroduced the Henry George concept of Land Value
Taxation into its manifesto, which
is probably the best mechanism by which commoditised land values could be
slashed to levels where large estates would break up and ordinary communities,
including those outwith crofting tenure, could buy back their own places. One
might question, of course, why communities should have to pay anything to
recover that to which there is no good title in any moral sense. The least that
can be said in present circumstances, however, is that it is encouraging that
far from trying to block the "Whitbread loophole," Government, through
its agencies, has so far been supportive of crofter empowerment activities. A
new era is emerging where, perhaps consistent with "efficient"
property rights, land reform is beginning to get the attention it deserves. As
Professor Bryan MacGregor of the Rural Economy Department of Aberdeen University
"The present structure of tenure in rural Scotland is the
interaction of complex historical and economic forces overlaid with government
intervention on a large scale and influenced by the varying power of the
different interest groups over time. There is no reason to assume that it is
best for contemporary society or even that it is able to deliver desired policy
objectives. Indeed, many of the residual aspects of feudalism might suggest
urgent change is required."
A second community buyout has now been effected by the crofters of Borve
and Anniesdale on Skye. Others are being considered. At the time of this paper being completed, the indigenous
islanders of Eigg have just published an unprecedented open letter attacking
their laird for slandering incoming settlers (mainly English and lowland Scots)
as being detrimental to island life and stating that, "If the nature of the
island has changed it could be said to have something to do with the fact that
all of the local men working for the estate during Mr Schellenberg's first years
of ownership have left, taking their indigenous way of life with them." As the said laird
prepares to hire a medieval village in Slovakia to host his team on a frozen
lake for the new international game of "ice cricket" which he has
invented, the unwitting inhabitants
of eastern Europe can perhaps look forward to the idiosyncratic attentions of
the displaced rich as Schellenberg sets the trend by announcing that he is to
withdraw from Eigg because, "I'm a bit of a liability."
Increasingly in this post-Rio era, crofters are looking overseas and
sharing inspiration. Recently, 31 professionals, community activists and
Government officials visited the west coast of Norway on a Reforesting Scotland
study tour. There, under similar ecological and climatic conditions, a different
social and political history has resulted in a stunningly different human
ecology. As Angus McHattie of the Scottish Crofters Union has observed:
"On returning from Norway to Skye recently, I had occasion to
compare the view from similar 1,000m granite hills in both countries. In Norway
the valley I looked down upon contained an autonomous village of 20 small farms,
with their own crops, power supply, school etc. ‑ a prosperous and happy
place with a good trade surplus and a population with a healthy age structure.
The Skye valley had twenty black‑face ewes and twelve lambs. Compared to
what the Norwegians started with, we are sitting on a goldmine. The development
potential in the Highlands and Islands is immense."
It is recognised that crofting as a component of global agriculture has
no real future under CAP and GATT reforms.
But as a way of life where people can live from a diversified economic base in
community and with the land, if not primarily from the land, its star is perhaps
only now rising.
Even a TV programme like Tomorrow's World now feature the demonstrably long-term
sustainability of much crofing practice as something which points towards the
future, not the past.
Prince Charles' practical involvement has also raised crofting's profile, both
through taking crofting holidays in the Hebrides and telling the Scottish
Crofters Union Conference in Stornoway, 1993, that: "It (crofting) provides
a model which many other rural communities throughout the world would do well to
But what about England, indeed, the rest of Europe, whose people look in
growing numbers to the Celtic fringe to recover something of their own identity?
"We're still fighting the "Romans" and their long straight
roads!" say the Dongas and Earth First! motorway protestors at Twynham Down, who with their powerful
"retribalised" protest music are recovering what it can mean to be
English; to deeply belong somewhere, through cherishing and being cherished by
it. And there is the nub. Right relationship with self and community grow from
right relationship with place. The land is itself one of our greatest teachers.
That is why closeness to nature is integral to being fully human and such a
terrible loss when taken away.
If the lessons of the former Yugoslavia are not to be lost, it must be
recognised that belongingness can no longer be defined in narrowly ethnic terms.
Rather, the old Celtic concept of kinship by respect for place, community and
culture is perhaps what should matter most. This is expressed in the Gaelic
proverb that, "The bonds of milk are stronger than those of blood;"
meaning that nurturing counts for more than lineage. This opens the way for an
inclusive identity, the "higher unity" of Kenneth White's
It has nothing to do with ethnic hatred as its detractors like to insinuate. It
has everything to do with finding a mutually respecting place in a global
plurality of cultures in which past injustices are recognised, forgiven, and as
far as possible, rectified.
Francis Thompson closes his short crofting history by emphasising that
the contribution of crofting is genuinely national, if not international. His
conclusion could speak equally for many a peasant community around the world:
"These communities (are) instrumental in producing folk who are
still proving to be the 'bank' of social values and ideas for the nation as a
whole. And it is from those
reserves of character that the will to survive against multinational and
national government interests is drawn. That
indeed is a song worth the singing."
Daniel Morgan has been undertaking research into green consciousness and land reform at the Centre for Human Ecology, University of Edinburgh, where Alastair McIntosh directs the Master of Science postgraduate human ecology degree. He is also a trustee of the Isle of Eigg land restitution Trust. Andy Wightman is director of Reforesting Scotland, the pressure group concerned with socio‑ecological regeneration. This paper was primarily written by Alastair McIntosh, but the original concept was proposed by Andy Wightman and important ideas were contributed by Dan Morgan.
In Hunter, J., The Making of the Crofting Community, John Donald, Edinburgh,
1976, p. 27.
Lester, W. R., Unemployment and the Land, Centre for Incentive Taxation,
London, 1936 reprinted 1992, London (19 pp, from 177 Vauxhall Bridge Rd.,
SW1V 1EU), p. 7.
Bradshaw, B., Revisionism Revised, The Aisling, 7, Eire, 1992, pp. 63 - 70.
Thompson, F., Crofting Years, Luath Press, Scotland, 1984, p. 2.
See The Ecologist, Vol. 22, No. 4, July/Aug 1992, pp. 132 - 141.
Quaker Land Values Group manifesto. QLVG reprint many Henry George pamphlets
on land value taxation. Available from R. V. Spathaky, 14 Windmill Grange,
Histon, Cambridge, CB4 4JF.
For discussion of English socio-economic history see Lipson, E., The Growth
of English Society, A & C Black, London, 4th edn. 1959; Inglis, B.,
Poverty and the Industrial Revolution, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1971;
Rackham, O., The History of the Countryside, Dent, London, 1986; Travelyn,
G., English Social History, Longmans, London, 1944; Thompson, E. P., The
Making of the English Working Class, Penguin, London, 1968.
eg. Gimbutas, M, Civilzation of the Goddess: the World of Old Europe,
HarperSanFransico, 1991; Sjoo, M. & Mor, B., The Great Cosmic Mother,
Kingston, W., Property Rights and the Making of Christendom, The Journal of
Law and Religion, Vol. IX, No. 2, 1992, pp. 373 - 397.
Merchant, C., The Death of Nature, Harper and Row, New York, 1980.
Ecologist, op. cit., pp. 132 - 133.
McIntosh, A. I., The Return of the Last Wolf: the Psychospiritual Dynamics
of Totemism in Cultural Regeneration, British Assoc. Conservation of Nature
public lecture, Edinburgh, 17-11-93, publication in preparation.
Kirkwood, G. & C., Living Adult Education: Freire in Scotland, Open
University Press, UK, 1989.
Freire, P., Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Penguin, UK, 1971, pp. 121 - 122.
Jarvie, G., Highland Games: the Making of the Myth, Edinburgh University
Press, 1991, p. 45.
ibid. p. 46.
Meek, D. E., The Land Question Answered from the Bible; The Land Issue and
the Development of a Highland Theology of Liberation, Scottish Geographical
Magazine, Vol. 103, No. 2, 1987, pp. 84 - 89. Also, Hunter, J., op. cit..
Jarvie, G., op. cit., p. 33.
ibid. p. 34.
Hunter, J., op. cit., p. 7.
McGrath, J., There are Many Truths, As an Fhearann: from the Land, ed.
Malcolm MacLean, Mainstream, Edinburgh, 1986, pp. 37 -41.
Hunter, J., op. cit., p. 46.
ibid., p. 81.
ibid. p. 51.
ibid., p. 65.
MacLean, M. (ed.), As an Fhearann: from the Land, Mainstream, Edinburgh, p.
13. Of course, the suggestion that on some emigrant ships conditions may
have been worse than on some slavers, does not mean to imply that in general
slaves had a better lot.
eg. Whyte, C. (ed.),An Aghaidh na Siorraidheachd: In the Face of Eternity,
poem title by Mary Montgomery, p. 187.
Jarvie, G., op. cit., p. 64.
Thomson, D. (ed.), An Introduction to Gaelic Poetry, London, 1974, pp. 243 -
Jarvie, G., op. cit..
MacArthur, M., Blasted Heaths and Hills of Mist: the Highlands and Islands
through travellers' eyes, Scottish Affairs, No. 3, Spring 1993, pp. 23 - 31.
Jarvie, G., op. cit., p. 68.
ibid., p. 64.
Etherington-Smith, M., Look Who's Stalking, Harpers & Queen, London,
August 1992, p. 79.
McIntosh, A. I., 'A Collector's Item' or community ownership - the Isle of
Eigg debate, Edinburgh Review, No. 88, Summer 1992, pp. 158 - 162.
Montgomery, M., The English, in Whyte, C., op. cit., pp. 191 - 192.
Millar, A., For Your Own Good: the Roots of Violence in Child-rearing,
Virago, London, 1988 (and several similar titles).
Lennon, J., Plastic Ono Band, LP (1970's).
Fromm, E., To Have or to Be?, Abacus, London, 1978.
Seed, J. et al., Thinking Like a Mountain, New Society, USA, 1988.
Gore, A., Earth in the Balance, Earthscan, London, 1992.
Gimbutas, M., op. cit..
Fuller, F. Barbarians and Empire, CoEvolution Quarterly, Sausalito, Summer
1983, pp. 14 - 26.
White, K., Elements of Geopoetics, Edinburgh Review, op. cit., pp. 163 -
eg. Jackson, K. H., A Celtic Miscellany, Penguin Classics, London, 1971; and
the remarkable shamanistic text text of deep ecology originating from A.D.
637, modernised as Heaney, S., Sweeney Astray, Faber & Faber, London,
McGrath, J., op. cit..
Walker, A., No One Can Watch the Wasichu, Horses Make a Landscape Look More
Beautiful, Women's Press, London, 1985, pp. 59 - 60.
Pink Floyd, The Final Cut, LP, c. 1983.
The Highlander, 31 July 1875.
Meek, D. E., op. cit..
The Highlander, 24 January 1874.
The Highlander, 27 June 1879.
Hunter, J. (ed.), For the People's Cause: From the Writings of John Murdoch,
The Highlander, 22 November 1873.
The Highlander, 4 May 1881.
MacLean, M., Highland Women, op. cit., p.23.
Munro, D., personal communication with Alastair McIntosh, 15 July 1991.
Morton, T., Going Home: The Runrig Story, Mainstream, 1991, p. 66.
Dargie, T. C. D. & Briggs, D. J., State of the Scottish Environment
1991, Scottish Wildlife and Countryside Link, 1991.
Bennet, K. D. et al., Holocene history of environment, vegetation and human
settlement on Catta Ness, Lunnasting, Shetland, Journal of Ecology, 80,
1992, pp. 241 - 373.
Roberts, A.J. et al., Regional Variation in the Origin, Extent and
Composition of Scottish Woodland, Botanical Journal of Scotland, 46(2),
1993, pp. 167 - 189.
Smout, T. C., The Highlands and the Roots of Green Consciousness, 1750 -
1990, Proceedings of the British Academy, 76, 1991, pp. 237 - 263.
Dodgshon, R. A. & Olsson, E. G., Productivity and Nutrient Use in
Eighteenth-Century Scottish Highland Townships, Geografiska Annaler, 70(B),
1988, pp. 39 - 51.
Smout, C. T., op. cit..
Mather, A. S., Land use, physical sustainability and conservation in
Highland Scotland, Land Use Policy, April 1992, pp. 99 - 110.
Fraser Darling, F., West Highland Survey, Oxford, 1955.
McIntosh, A. I., Wokabout Somils in Sustainable Forestry: New Hebrides to
Old, Reforesting Scotland: Tree Planters Guide to the Galaxy, 4, 1991, pp. 5
Watson, A., quoted in Scotland and the Global Forest Crisis, Reforesting
Scotland press release, 15 May 1993.
MacGregor, B., Land Tenure in Scotland, The John McEwen Memorial Lecture,
unpublished (Aberdeen University Dept. of Land Economy), 24 September 1993.
Houston, G. & Bryden, I., Agrarian Change in the Scottish Highlands,
Martin Robertson & Co., 1976, cited in Jarvie, op. cit., p. 96.
Porter, H., Scrambled Eigg, Harpers & Queen, October 1991, unpaginated.
Personal communication with Alastair McIntosh, 1992.
Allardyce, J., Will Schellenberg be the Last Emperor of Eigg?, West Highland
Free Press, 22 November 1991.
Personal communication with Alastair McIntosh, Isle of Eigg Trust archives,
3 February 1992.
Forsyth, T., Harris, B., & McIntosh, A., Open Letter to the Laird of
Eigg, Reforesting Scotland, 7, Autumn 1992, pp. 30 - 31.
Macrae, A., speaking in An e Farmad a ni Treabhadh, Grampian Television,
transmitted 13 December 1993.
Allardyce, J., Assynt crofters break lairds' stranglehold, West Highland
Free Press, 11 December 1992, p. 1.
Personal communication (paraphrased from memory) with Alastair McIntosh,
See earlier note on Quaker Land Values Group for Henry George publications.
MacGregor, B., op. cit..
MacKinnon, A. J. and 14 other indigenous residents, A Message from the
People of Eigg, West Highland Free Press, 21 January 1994.
Henry Cockburn's Diary, Sunday Times (Scotland), 16 January 1994.
McHattie, A., Crofting - is there
a future?, Land Ownership and Use, Andrew Fletcher Society, 1986.
Crichton, T., Time for crofters to face up to the future, West Highland Free
Press, 10 December 1993.
McIntosh, A. I., Journey to the Hebrides, Scottish Affairs, 6, 1994.
Tomorrow's World, BBC 1, 21 Januray 1994.
H.R.H. Prince Charles, quoted in Allardyce, J., Prince among the peasants at
SCU conference, West Highland Free Press, 2 April 1993, p. 6.
Personal communications, Jake Burbridge and Dongas Tribe with Alastair
McIntosh, Ireland and Edinburgh, 1993-94.
White, K., op. cit..
Thompson, F., op. cit., p. 135.
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