[Up] [Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Clearances

Dear List,

This post hit a tender spot.

The fact is that the apology would be relatively meaningless. Save for a
relatively few individuals, the gruesome details of the Highland Clearances
not known. Even today the main curriculums of schools only pay the
Clearances Lip service. They do not tell the bald truth. The fact that the
Agents of Sutherland 
trampled women to death in the street, some of whom were pregnant, burned
old folks in their homes, and generally did ethnic cleansing before the
term was invented is not a part of status quo British History in the middle
school or high school levels of education , as it should be. If it was it
might actually spawn Scottish nationalism.Therefore it would seem that
government funded education is functionally but not morally justified in
padding the truth of it.

For those interested in how the British developed their Imperial techniques
and how they were applied around the world, the laboratory for that was
indeed Scotland.[One of the few countries to understand this fact later was
Thailand, which never took the British East Indias Company bait to go to
war.]The Scots and many other indiginous peoples had their societies, and
their ancient traditions, and their very languages compromised by it. It
was an international right of cultural passage which invoked the industrial
revolution around the world and 
introduced the age of materialism in which we now find ourselves.

Of course its not all bad news, but any apology by the Scottish Parliament
for failing to protect its indiginous peoples can only be predicated upon
an official history which bares it all in sordid detail. My immediate
Scottish ancestors in Canada were ashamed of being SCottish. It is only
recently that the later generations have reintroduced themselves to pride
in their culture, in the process having to overcome the associated plagues
of depression and alchoholism transmitted intergenerationally, and fed by
poverty in the Americas.

Apology, by all means, but an informed apology.

Dale Hinchey

At 11:59 PM 10/28/00 +0100, you wrote:
>   From the Times, 28 September....                      Scotland may say
>sorry to unwilling emigres        BY FRASER NELSON                      
>CANADIANS, Australians and New        Zealanders could soon be offered
>something they never expected - an        apology for the Highland
>Clearances in the 18th and 19th centuries. A        cross-party group of
>MSPs called yesterday for the Scottish Parliament to        "regret" the
>clearances and "extend its hand in welcome to the descendants        of the
>cleared people who reside outwith our shores".        They also detailed a
>second agenda: to set up a new Clearances Centre        in the Highlands
>where descendants could come to search for information        about their
>deported ancestors.        Fergus Ewing, SNP Member for Inverness, told
>Parliament yesterday that        Scotland should follow what was now an
>internationally established        example.        "The genocide and ethnic
>cleansing which has taken place against in        America and Australia has
>been acknowledged long ago," he said. "The time        has now come to
>acknowledge the suffering of the Highlander."        Jamie Stone, a Liberal
>MSP who proposed the motion, told Parliament        that much economic good
>could come from such an apology. The Highlands, he        said, could serve
>as a starting block for tourists in search of their        cleared
>relatives.        "We all know our American friends are very, very keen to
>find their        roots," he said. "If they discover their ancestors come
>from Ayrshire, let        them go back down the road. If they go to John
>o'Groat's, let them boost        the economy of Caithness and Sutherland." 
>      The idea of an apology was, however, treated with caution by two
>Gaelic        MSPs who said that the history of the clearances was not
>clear-cut.        John Farquar Munro, a Liberal MSP for Skye, said: "I am
>not sure the        Scottish Parliament should apologise for this. In
>truth, our own clergy        were as guilty as anybody in this. They told
>their flock that it was God's        will for them to leave their homes for
>the benefit of the great white        sheep."  
Personal Web Page: Dale Hinchey <http://personalweb.smcvt.edu/dhinchey>
Where I teach:Saint Johnsbury Academy Web
[ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, sinclair@mids.org
[ To get off or on the list, see http://www.mids.org/sinclair/list.html