15 comments on “General malaise

  1. Glad you saw through Rob Gibson’s knowledge about the Clearances. Before becoming an SMP (SNP) he was a history teacher at Alness Academy!

  2. I don’t think he could have been much of a history teacher as his interpretations are far too biased. History should be about interpreting the past in an objective way, and not letting present issues cloud those interpretations.

  3. History is bunk! Usually written by the victors. I’m sure yon Cumberland chappie was really trying to help the poor Scottish clansmen become more modern so they could understand that it was for their own good that they were herded into the boats to go live in the back of beyond. I’m sure they wished the sheep who took their place well. Also, landlords are always right because they own everything. And we should be glad to have such wonderful superiors to grovel in front of! Hotboy p.s. Terribly bad luck with the kidneys. Hope that goes quickly!!

  4. I hope your doc can knock the infection on the head.

    I followed your link, eventually finding that a common bacterium causing kidney infection is E. coli. Now we know!

  5. I suspect that the truth lies somewhere between your studied, reasoned approach and Hotboy’s madness. We don’t know why the Glasgow pubs reportedly exploded with joy at the news of Cumberland’s lopsided victory. Perhaps the city folk were just not the fightin’ type, maybe they knew better than to rile the English occupiers, or perhaps they didn’t know enough to get the whole picture. I think, who reported the glee from the Glasgow pubs, anyway? Cumberland’s cousin, perhaps known around the back alleys as the bulbous lad with the tiny… feet? And how many pubs were surveyed? In my sorry land of Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, and Rupert Murdoch, we should be aware that these scourges didn’t invent propaganda, nor did they come up with the fresh idea, as Hotboy lamented, that history is written by the victors.

    Regardless, we always have much to learn. Thanks for the links. I’ll be reading them with intent.

  6. Hi Eyeball. Many folk (though not all) in Glasgow celebrated Cumberland’s win because they were not supporters of the gaelic speaking highlanders of a different religion who wanted to bring in a different monarch who would have very much changed the status quo. Some lowland Scots fought on Cumberland’s side. By 1745 many people in the south of Scotland had been doing very well for a generation or more, and industry was thriving, largely due to markets further south and overseas.

  7. The malaise feeling is unpleasant, but I would still choose that ahead of screaming agony any day. I trust you’re on the mend by now.

  8. I’m as tough as nails. It’s just an infection, not a stone wanting to exit. Well, there might be a stone – there were two, the last time they checked – but it’s not big yet, I think. Batsmen have scored double-centuries whilst puking their guts outside the square, so I can’t complain.

  9. OK Roddy you asked me to check out your blog and I have done.
    A number of things you assert I think I should take issue with but for now I will stick to the first and that is the Darien fiasco: It was NOT in a ‘poor location’. Nor was it silly Scots trying to sell woolens to the native Indians of the Central American jungle, as I was taught in school. It was intended to be a land bridge of 50 miles between the Atlantic and Pacific. Hardly rocket science, or overly ambitious. Today the long ocean voyage around the Americas is one of the most hazardous anyone can undertake, in the days of sail it was damn near suicidal and took weeks if not months to complete.
    The Spanish had started the project, before Scotland picked it, up as a way of attempting to gain safe passage for her treasure ships trading between her lucrative interests in the Americas the Spice Islands and the continent of Europe. They were embroiled in warfare with our auld enemy and had to abandon their attempt.
    The Scottish project was obstructed and willfully sabotaged by their own monarch William of Orange.
    His interests in the Dutch and English East India Companies were directly threatened by the Scots initiative.
    To this end he threatened foreign investors in the Darien Scheme and forced them to withdraw funding. He forbade ports around the world to resupply the his Scottish subjects in their new colony and sent the Royal Navy to attack and harass Scottish resupply ships.
    In a lull in hostilities with Spain he even betrayed his own subjects to his Spanish enemies.
    After the Scots came the French, who upped the ante and decided to opt for a canal crossing, before the technology existed for such a feat.
    After the French came the USA with the technology and funding to build the Panama Canal upon which the nation of Panama has based a thriving economy. That could and should have been Darien.
    Left unmolested by King William it is a moot point to consider how history may have been altered?
    There was enormous potential wealth to be won from grateful shipping companies, as we now see in Panama.
    The myth that Scotland was bankrupted by Darien is another that you propagate. A section of the Scottish nobility and merchant class certainly suffered, but Scotland was not bankrupt at the time of the Treaty of Union. On the contrary it was England that was in severe financial trouble due to centuries of warfare at home, and with France Spain and in the Low Countries.
    It was because of this that the Bank of England was founded, ironically by the same Scotsman who was the prime mover behind the Darien Scheme, it was, if you like, the 1600s equivalent of Quantative Easing.
    The Union with Scotland came about because England simply could not afford to continue to conduct war on two fronts against her continental enemies, potentially using Scotland as a way around the hazardous Channel crossing for invasion.
    After the passing of William of Orange, Queen Anne in her turn used every means at her disposal, both fair means and foul, to ensure that her Scottish subjects went along with her English ministers’ schemes.
    The Treaty was signed in secret in an Edinburgh pub toilet for fear that the mob would discover the signatories and lynch them on the spot. You know the tune the bells of St Giles played on the day of the Treaty being enacted in parliament. The militias were engaged for years in combating anti union riots in the streets the length and breadth of Scotland, such was the strength of feeling of betrayal across the country. Hardly the action of a bankrupted Scots population grateful to England for saving them from destitution and ruin?
    Shortly after the Union a motion to have the Treaty dissolved was only defeated by a handful of votes in parliament at Westminster. It was that popular in England too!

    • Hi Gordon. Thanks for your Comment. I don’t agree with most of what you say, of course. As far as the location choice of Darien is concerned, I have covered this in my post https://roddymacleod.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/caledonias-last-stand/ so no point in repeating that here. I’ve covered the other reasons for the failure of the Darien venture here https://roddymacleod.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/failed-utopias/ Spain, the major force in the new world, had claimed the Isthmus. That alone would probably have been enough. Darien should be seen in the light of being one of many failed ventures by various groups of various nationalities in the new world during two hundred years. Barbados was successful – by 1660 there were probably 50,000 people there. Many more settlements were not successful – there’s a good book out just now: Willoughbyland: England’s Lost Colony, by Matthew Parker, about a settlement on the mainland in what is now Suriname. It thrived for a number of years – had many thousands of settlers from various countries – and then failed.

      One thing that you say may be accurate – about me having overstated the effect on the economy of Scotland. Looking back, it is difficult to see how the economy could have been so adversely affected as some writers have maintained by the amount of effort expended on Darien.

      Any discussion about England’s position at this time needs to take into consideration the massive effect of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blenheim in 1704, two years before https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_Union_1707

      • Also, Gordon, it’s one thing to threaten investors in the Darien Scheme – that could be done to great extent. It’s quite another thing to stop trade on the other side of the world – that would have been impossible. French ships? Dutch ships? Privateers? If there had been anything to trade, then some of those would have been interested – the main threat by far being Spanish ships in the area – the Spanish, who looked very harshly on incursions in their claimed areas. But they had nothing to trade anyway. It took about three years to produce tobacco, for example, but the folk at Darien, like some other attempted settlements in the new world, had fought amongst themselves, fought the locals and the Spanish, and succumbed to disease long before this could happen.

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