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Re: Clearances

Dear Dale:
Everything you say is valid and true.
But I would suggest there is more to it.
The Clearances have been well-described in many books, Prebble for one and
the inhumanity is there for all to see.  Making it mandatory in the schools,
(where history is not taught at all the way you and I may have studied it
anyway, indeed if at all)  does not make it more (or less) undescribed in
its fullness.You  are right to invoke the Industrial Revolution as a
'background' or 'root cause' and although our instinctive belief in
free-will makes us balk at such concepts as "inevitiablity", I would suggest
that anyone who attempted to maintain the old order of Clan and Gaelic would
end up feeling like Canute after the "ordering-back-the-tide" episode.   The
monstrous inhumanity is still there, but it makes the perpetrators mere
criminals and mere agents of change that was, make no mistake, coming
anyway.   I know of no instances where the forces of economic imperatives of
such things occur without gross insensitivity ( to be charitable) and/or
outright murderous destruction,  from the invasions of various "barbarian
hordes from the steppes" to the loss of heavy industry in Youngstown Ohio
and the pain and sadness and death and unrecoverable loss that comes from
the loss of patterns of living that, in the big picture, can't be maintained
into infinity.
You are quite wrong to imply that The Scottish Parliament was somehow
responsible for not protecting its own  people --- the Scottish Parliament
had not existed since the Act of Union well before the events surrounding
the Clearances. and so at the risk of taking you too much to task, I would
suggest that any recognition, by anyone, directly responsible or not,  of
the enormity of the ethnic cleansing that took  place in Scotland at the
time in question, is to be welcomed whole-heartedly, in a spirit of
generosity and  without qualification for it does us all good to ruminate on
what it is that makes us human and and yes, sometimes inhumane.
Love ya,
Aye, Rory
-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Hinchey <dhinchey@together.net>
To: sinclair@matrix.net <sinclair@matrix.net>
Date: Thursday, September 28, 2000 9:20 PM
Subject: 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
>>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
>>cleansing which has taken place against in        America and Australia
>>been acknowledged long ago," he said. "The time        has now come to
>>acknowledge the suffering of the Highlander."        Jamie Stone, a
>>MSP who proposed the motion, told Parliament        that much economic
>>could come from such an apology. The Highlands, he        said, could
>>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
>>the benefit of the great white        sheep."
>Personal Web Page: Dale Hinchey <http://personalweb.smcvt.edu/dhinchey>
>Where I teach:Saint Johnsbury Academy Web
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