Monday 7 March 2005

Clearance revisionism

I'm looking forward to reading this new book:
THE author of a controversial new book that promises to expose the Highland Clearances as a myth last night challenged his critics to a public debate to expose "lazy and emotional versions of Scottish history" that always blamed the landlords.
Naturally such a viewpoint sends the Scottish establishment into a state of moral outrage, as we can see here:
the Labour MP Brian Wilson, who described Mr Fry as a buffoon the "David Irving of the Clearances", a reference to the historian who has played down the number of people killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust.
Fortunately this Scotsman editorial puts Mr Wilson in his place.

Of course the point is that the Labour party uses the conventional history of the clearances to justify its own policies of land theft in the Highlands. It would be most damaging for Scotland's dominant socialist culture if the clearances turned out to be a bit of a myth. I especially liked this quote:

... the Duke of Sutherland moved tenants from their inland homes to the coast to give them new livelihoods in new industries on a par with the post-war Labour government moving people to East Kilbride.
Quite so.


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

David Farrer
Did you notice the rather pro-Fry review in the Scottish Standard this week? 
(It was a few pages after your letter!!!)

18 March 2005, 20:09:37 GMT
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Alan Thomson
I know what you mean, it really should be a lot higher.

17 March 2005, 20:56:06 GMT
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Stuart Dickson
Oh, so you are his marketing agent are you? 
You are not worth the fee he is paying you.

17 March 2005, 18:38:05 GMT
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Alan Thomson
So you haven't read Fry's book either, yet you can confidently assert that he is "a profiteer on the misery of generations of Gaels". 
Yup, very logical Stuart. 
However Fry's previous books have been excellent, and I will judge this one when I read it, and I think it perfectly reasonable that those who have condemned Fry without reading him do the same.

17 March 2005, 14:22:44 GMT
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Stuart Dickson
Dear Alan, 
As you say, the book is not published yet. So, how on earth can you judge that Fry is correct? Your criticisms of me jumping to conclusions apply equally to you I'm afraid. 
At least I heard Fry's bumbling efforts 5 years ago. So I, at least, have some solid information to go on. 
We should recognise Fry for what he is: a profiteer on the misery of generations of Gaels. 
Oh yeah, it is only a small point, but I am not a socialist. I am a liberal supporter of the free market and free trade. Bye bye.

16 March 2005, 10:33:09 GMT
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Alan Thomson
Your last sentence Mr Dickson really does speak volumes about you. 
This has nowt to do with Tories or the like and everything to do with history and its interpretation. Mr Dickson only starts talking about Tories because of its useful for propaganda purposes. 
The problem with the "established version of history" is that when the facts are looked at more dispassionately turns out to be: 
a)Rather different, and  
b)a lot less useful to the victim nationalist lobby/socialist ruling classes. 
Its very sad that in Scotland certain people are so terrified of facts that they aggressively fight against them and prefer to promote their own self serving myths. 
And lets face it Stuart, if Fry's book - that neither you, I or most of Fry's critics have read - turns out to be a load of balls then it will be other historians who will bring him to book based on evidence and critical evaluation. And it will be part of a healthy academic debate.  
Not something the victim nationalist lobby would ever care to do. I wonder why?

15 March 2005, 11:57:51 GMT
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Stuart Dickson
I see that even Conservative commentators think that Fry is an arse: 
If anything the myth of the Clearances has been perpetuated and amplified by the ancestors of those emigres rather than those who Fry lights upon in his protracted and self-aggrandising whinge. 
Alan is displaying the classic features of a rear-end too. I wish that he would just try to do a teensy bit of research on the topic before his next post. It is after all Fry and his supporters who are challenging the established version of history. Therefore it is up to them to prove their case. 
I suspect that Alan just backs Fry because he is a fellow Tory, and that he doesn't have the slightest clue about the topic in hand.

14 March 2005, 21:47:04 GMT
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Alan Thomson
ps sorry about the spelling mistakes.

14 March 2005, 14:21:58 GMT
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David Farrer said...

Alan Thomson
What a load of utter crap you write Dickson, was that all done with a straight face? You are the reason that we need the work of men like Fry, socialist liars like yourself MUST be challenged and exposed for what they are.  
You are a disgrace to your nation, and a disgrace to truth and humanity. It is I who will expect your apology Dickson, the great lie about "ethnic cleansing, state-murder and totalitarian oppression". And if you actually think it is true than I can only feel sorry for you for being such a gulliable fool.

14 March 2005, 14:21:13 GMT
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Stuart Dickson
Quite what "the Tories" have to do with this I don't know, 
Fry is a darling of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party. To their disgrace. 
"true history of ethnic cleansing, state-murder and totalitarian oppression inflicted on the Gaidhealtachd" 
Do your homework Alan. When you are ready we are expectantly awaiting your apology. 
Don't masquerade as a "libertarian" whilst defending some of the foulest totalitarians in the history of these islands. 

13 March 2005, 21:10:47 GMT
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Alan Thomson
The rubbish just written by Stuart is a prime example of the victim nationalist lobby: "true history of ethnic cleansing, state-murder and totalitarian oppression inflicted on the Gaidhealtachd" - Get a grip son! 
Quite what "the Tories" have to do with this I don't know, I expect its more of the same irrational nonsesne people like Stuart usually come out with when faced with an issue like this. 
Considering the book has yet to be published! Yes Stuart, you have not read a word of Fry's book, yet you feel you can brand it "grossly offensive revisionist history". 
The vehemence of Stuart Dicksons resonse to a book he has not even read makes him sound like someone so fixed in his views that he is terrified of having the evidence of those beliefs submitted to new examination. 
Surely Stuart Dickson should be supporting academic freedom if he is so much against oppression and authoritariansim. It begs the question: what is he scared of?

13 March 2005, 19:57:58 GMT
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David Farrer said...

Stuart Dickson
Oh, and Alan, you can oppose state control of Highland land without resorting to grossly offensive revisionist history. Diminishing the true history of ethnic cleansing, state-murder and totalitarian oppression inflicted on the Gaidhealtachd does the interests of Tories no good at all. Remember that the Tories were the Jacobite party, and people in the Highlands have very long memories. 
The Conservatives would be well advised not to touch Fry's crass nonsense with a manure-covered stick.

11 March 2005, 22:29:20 GMT
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Stuart Dickson
The only "oppressors" of the Scots are the Scots ourselves. We "oppress" ourselves every couple of years by voting for Unionist parties (Lab, LibDem and Con). We are "victims" of our own daftness. No-one else's fault, just ours. 
We don't like "authoritarians" or "socialists" in Scotland. Scots are a very liberal, anti-establishment bunch; and we largely vote for social-democratic parties, not "socialist" ones. Big difference. 
Likening Fry to an arse was pretty mild comment. If you have ever heard him hold-forth you will understand why.

11 March 2005, 22:23:44 GMT
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Alan Thomson
Yeah he is pig headed, he prefers conclusions to be drawn from well researched factual information rather than merely kow-towing to the likes of Stuart here. Fry is one of the best Scottish historians writing today. 
Of course the victim nationalist lobby must try to discredit Fry, they are not keen on having their received ideas being challenged. Their need to resort to personal abuse speaks volumes. 
The Highland Clearances are a necessary myth for two reasons. Firstly they allow the Gaels (or Scots generally) to take their place in the ranks of the oppressed. Secondly, and this is related, it is used to justify authoritarian socialism as a necessity. 
If people want to challenge Fry, as indeed they should, they must do so on evidence. Not something you are likely to find Stuart Dickson doing.

11 March 2005, 19:12:19 GMT
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Stuart Dickson
Fry tried on this revisionist nonsense about 4 or 5 years ago. He was laughed out of court then and will be now. From what I can remember he make a bit of an arse of himself. 
I'll say one thing for him though. He is pig-headed.

10 March 2005, 21:19:36 GMT