On Scotland and the Union

Scotland and the UnionOn Tuesday, the chamber was a quarter-full. The journalists were in the coffee-shops, gathering gossip on the Prime Minister’s forthcoming speech on Europe. And the television was investigating horsemeat in hamburgers.

No-one it seems was listening to the debate in the main chamber.  But the subject – a referendum for Scottish independence – was the most important political decision of our generation. The reason, I think, why no-one was listening is that they either believed independence was inconceivable, or that it was irrelevant. They were complacent or indifferent. And this suits the Scottish Nationalists.

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WHY WE REMEMBER RABBIE BURNS – HERALD COLUMN 3RD FEBRUARY 2018

Last Saturday – Burns night – trews, kilts, tartan sashes, a haggis, an ode, two pipers struggling to drink their quaichs. 300 heads nodded wisely as someone sung – “Robin Shure in hairst” – and perhaps 10 heads knew what those words meant. Why were we ritually remembering Rabbie Burns? After all, the poet would […]

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Thoughts on my father

I have spent a lot of the last four years thinking about my father, and writing about him, and walks through Cumbria, in a book, published last week, called The Marches. I thought – at first – that I could learn more about him by interviewing him. Often, therefore, when we sat down for dinner […]

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We’ll Be Stronger Together

First published in Time on 28 August 2014 The Scottish National Party is one of the most attractively crafted nationalist movements in history. It has cloaked itself in progressive liberal language; it claims to be in favor of higher immigration; professes great friendship for neighboring nations; is anti-militarist; and instead of focusing on the past, […]

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Gretna becomes focal point for Scottish independence No vote

Published by the Financial Times on 24 August 2014. In a field not far from Gretna Green, a place long associated with weddings, a monument to the sense of Britishness felt by people on both sides of the border is growing day by day. With less than a month until Scots vote on whether to end […]

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Celebrating Scotland and the Union at the ‘Auld Acquaintance’

Hands Across the Border has launched a new film to celebrate the ‘Auld Acquaintance’ and the thousands of volunteers who have traveled to the cairn to lay a stone. There is still a month to go before the referendum, and we are encouraging anyone still eager to show they care about Scotland ,and who want […]

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JOANNA LUMLEY LIGHTS UP THE UNION CAIRN

In a spectacular boost to the project to create a giant cairn of friendship with Scotland, actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley has committed to working alongside volunteers on the English-Scottish border. She will be driving up from her house in England on Thursday 31st July bringing stones from her garden to help build The Auld Acquaintance Cairn […]

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SIR RANULPH FIENNES TO JOIN RORY AT AULD ACQUAINTANCE CAIRN

Rory Stewart is inviting all to join him on Monday 28th July in welcoming Sir Ranulph Fiennes and some great British climbers, from Alan Hinkes OBE to Doug Scott OBE, to help build the Auld Acquaintance Cairn at Gretna. People are invited to muster from the morning, with Sir Ranulph joining in the afternoon. Rory Stewart said: […]