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 Highland Clearances Psychodynamics


The Scottish Highlands in Colonial & Psychodynamic Perspective


by Alastair McIntosh, Andy Wightman & Daniel Morgan



Now available here in PDF original



First published in INTERculture: International Journal of Intercultural and Transdisciplinary Research, Montreal, Vol XXVII:3, Issue 124, 1994, pp. 1-36, in both English and French translation. Interculture is available at $5 per issue (specify French/English) from the Intercultural Institute of Montreal, 4917 St Urbain, Montreal, Quebec, H2T 2W1, Canada (www.iim.qc.ca).



(hyperlinked to bookmarks in the text)


Foreword: Towards a “Transatlantic Cultural Therapy” by Robert Vachon, Editor

Introduction and Abstract

Origins and Externalities of Land Enclosure

A “Parcel of Rogues”

Cultural Proscription

The Clearances: Sheep as a Cash Crop

The Balmorality Epoch: The Great Sporting Estates

Estate Psychdynamics: a Ghillie’s Eye View

Empowerment, Internationalism and Revolt

Education as the Denial of History

Ecological Consequences of Highland Colonialism

The Case of Mar Lodge and Brazil

Land Restitution

About the Authors

Notes to the Text




Foreword by Robert Vachon, Editor of Interculture


On February 4th 1994, I received a letter from Alastair McIntosh, who directs the Master of Science postgraduate human ecology degree at the Centre for Human Ecology, Edinburgh, Scotland.


“In short, what is happening is that our people are waking up to the issue of Scottish land rights, inspired by the activities of Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc., this accompanied and informed by a cultural and historical renewal. It has direct consequences for the people of Canada, because many of the people who were cleared from the land over the past two hundred years, emigrated to your nation. The close bond we feel with the Canadians (and also the “Auld Alliance” with the French) is the reason why Interculture is the first journal I am approaching for consideration of publication of this text.”


So here it is! A good example of an ongoing resistance of Scottish people to the cultural colonialism wrought by a certain modernity.


“Are we ready to ‘unpack’ our history?” says Alastair elsewhere. “To re-read history: re-membering, re-visioning, re-claiming the people that we are; learning how, for instance, half a million Scots have been forced off the land in the nineteenth century Highland Clearances, to make way for commercial sheep farms and playboy sporting estates? Seeing how many who had gone to the New World, to Australia and elsewhere, perpetuated and reperpetuated their oppression against other native peoples?”


But Alastair goes further.


“A question I want to put is whether we actually need a transatlantic cultural psychotherapy: a movement towards healing wounds of the broken and to this day laird-ridden disempowered communities left behind in the Old World, and also those of the sometimes brash breaking un-communities of the New World.”


Yes, Alastair! Scots, French and Native peoples, coming together and remembering the resistance of their respective ancestors. But awakening also to the contemporary ongoing resistance of these three peoples to the same cultural colonialism which is being perpetrated today against them, even by some of their own people sometimes, in the name of moderninty.


Yes, “reclaiming the peoples that we are and recovering wellsprings of cultural renewal, together.”


Robert Vachon





            "Lord and Lady Stafford were pleased humanely, to order a new arrangement of this Country. That the interior should be possessed by Cheviot (sheep) Shepherds and the people brought down to the coast and placed there in lotts under the size of three arable acres, sufficient for the maintenance of an industrious family, but pinched enough to cause them turn their attention to the fishing (waged labour). I presume to say that the proprietors humanely ordered this arrangement, because, it surely was a most benevolent action, to put these barbarous hordes into a position where the could better Associate together, apply to industry, educate their children, and advance in civilisation."


        ‑ Patrick Sellar, factor for the Sutherland Estates, Scotland, 1815.[1]



            "So white settlers have set about 'civilizing' these people by destroying their tribal land system. They are taking the lands from the natives and wherever they have done so, the result has been an abundant supply of 'labour on the market' with wages kept down by the competition of landless men, just as they are at home.  This is confirmed by evidence given before the Native Labour Commission (Kenya) in 1912‑13. Settler after settler came before the commission and demanded in the most precise terms that the natives should be forced out of 'Reserves' to work for wages by cutting down their land so that they should have less than they could live on. Lord Delamere, himself owner of 150,000 acres, said: 'If this policy is to be continued that every native is to be a landholder of a sufficient area on which to establish himself, then the question of obtaining a satisfactory labour supply will never be settled.' The process of reducing men to unemployment and poverty is here stated in all its nakedness and simplicity.... In refusing Land an 'adequate' supply of labour on the market would be guaranteed."


         ‑ W. R. Lester, Unemployment and the Land, 1936.[2]




Introduction and Abstract


The "Highland Clearances," which forced Scottish people off their land from the late eighteenth to early twentieth century, were an event of cultural genocide which paralleled and in many respects, pioneered patterns of colonial conquest elsewhere in the British Empire. The effects persist in the national psyche to this day; an aching sense of loss, concealed only by a thin plaster of relative material affluence, and a growing sense of the importance of reclaiming the commons.


This paper summarises the past 300 years' history of the Highland "crofters" or indigenous subsistence‑based peoples. Consistent with the view of the Cambridge Irish historiographer, Brendan Bradshaw,[3] that the history of a holocaust cannot be credibly portrayed with a presumption of "objectivity," we declare our values as being those associated with ecological sustainability, community cohesion and the articulation of each person's human potential.


We address the social consequences of cultural proscription and Clearance from the wider perspective of the land enclosure movement. Our approach recognises how the oppressed are often driven to internalise the perspective of oppressor, noting both the role of the Highland Regiments in building Empire and the fact that the English had themselves been colonised in Roman and Norman times. Accordingly, the paper is drawn to speculate upon the deeper psychospiritual dynamics of land ownership and the disempowering consequences when direct connectedness of local communities with place becomes mediated by a morally illegitimate third party.


In describing the present day ecological consequences of the Highland Clearances, we illustrate how green consciousness is adding to social conscience in building political pressure for change. The process by which Highland communities have empowered themselves over the past century is outlined, parallels being drawn with similar processes of liberation in the South. Recognition is given that we have experienced not just enclosure of land, but also enclosure of the mind through "inner colonialism." Clearly such chains must be broken if, in both North and South, we are to liberate our human potential to achieve social justice and environmentally sustainable livelihood; these, not just for dignified survival, but for the fullest articulation of creative, loved and loving life in each person as an integral part of nature in an international community.



Origins and Externalities of Land Enclosure


The Clearances, in which some half million[4] Scottish Highlanders were directly or through economic pressure, forced off their land, must be understood in relation to the processes of enclosure that originated much earlier in 14th and 15th century Britain and especially England. Processes, exceptionally well documented in a recent issue of The Ecologist,[5] that have characterised capitalist development throughout Britain for the past 500 years, and which have been, and still are, transplanted worldwide.  Enclosure in Britain can be distinguished from earlier forms of expropriation and enclosure in that it was more than simply transfer of power from peasant to elite; it was a profound change in the social order in two significant aspects.


Firstly, by defining land as a "property" in the "theft of the commons," enclosure gave the land and water rights a tradeable status within an expanding market economy. The dispossessed peoples who then required some form of subsistence, were turned into wage‑labourers, and labour too became a tradeable commodity. By the time Elizabeth I ascended to the throne, England consequently had some 80,000 itinerant poor with no visible means of subsistence.[6] The Elizabethan Statutes, which today remain the foundation stone of charitable law in Britain and many Commonwealth countries, were established in response to this manufacture of destitution.[7]


William Kingston, professor of Business Innovation at Dublin University describes the Romanised historical background to such landed power. A growing number of feminist thinkers are also recognising the scope for scholarship in the relationship between the historical emergence of militarised patriarchy and the contemporary cultural psychospiritual dynamics of global oppression.[8] Kingston, whose main concern lies with the inefficiency of "full" property rights, says:


            "... as the Christian Church expanded within the increasingly exploitative property rights regime of the later Roman Empire, Church thinkers began to attack these rights.  Ownership was now concentrated in the way Gibbon described, resulting in a proletariat juxtaposed to the conspicuous wealth of a very few.... As both political and economic structures collapsed, Church officials found themselves, as the only remaining source of order, progressively saddled with the de facto administration of many aspects of the later Empire....  The idea of Christendom as a unitary church‑state emerged clearly for the first time, as did also a new, non‑Roman root of secular law, the Christian ethos.... The barbarian chief became a knight bound by a religious oath of chivalry, the territorial lord became an anointed king ... (alongside the development of a) 'social legislation more complete than that of any other period of history, including our own'.... The property rights of the (monastic) medieval city took their cue from the qualified rights of feudalism, rather than the absolute rights of Roman law...."


But then, aided by reformers like Calvin, who taught that it was not wrong to lend money with interest, the Reformation's "freeing of the economy" from the Church commenced. Thus:


            "The Reformation was a reaction against the medieval Church‑dominated cultural synthesis. Constrained ownership rights were part of this, and so came under attack of the Reformers. Naturally, this suited those whose business ambitions were adversely affected by the constraints.... The revival of 'full' or 'absolute' property in the West therefore came about as part of a process of rejection of religious authority. Medieval Christianity had held elements of both classical and barbarian cultures together in its own synthesis. When it lost its creative power, these partially absorbed elements re‑emerged in their individuality. The artistic component of Classical culture surfaced again as the Renaissance and the tribal cohesion of the northern barbarians revived as nationalism. As part of this process Roman property rights ‑ individual, absolute, and now sanctioned by the new religious teaching (especially protestant Calvinism) ‑ re‑emerged as the enabling dimension of modern laissez‑faire capitalism."[9]


The second reason why enclosure represented such a profound societal change is that such "improvement," as it was termed by its apologists, was associated with profit in the same way that the later term, "development," has become associated with "economic growth." Enclosure therefore represents not only the removal of land from subsistence communities, but a profound step towards viewing the land and its people as things to be traded and exploited. As Carolyn Merchant discusses in The Death of Nature,[10] enclosure represents the significant break in the organic conception of the cosmos; a break related to the ideological transformation of the Renaissance (in which the Reformation had its origins) and the Scientific Revolution; a break that set the precedents for the transformation of agricultural and industrial production in spite of the Earth rather than through the Earth.


The gradual enclosure of the commons in England saw the Medieval "open field" communally managed system steadily replaced by either cash crop farms producing grain crops, or fenced in walks for sheep and cattle. Ancient meadows and heath lands were turned over to intensive production. By Tudor times large numbers of dispossessed peoples were causing unrest in the cities and country, so various legal brakes were applied to the enclosure movement with partial success. When the English Revolution of 1649‑1660 brought power to the very classes that had benefited from rural enclosure, the process began again in earnest. A large series of Private Acts of Enclosure, some 4,000 covering some 7,000,000 acres, were passed before the General Enclosure Act of 1845 and it is probable that at least the same amount of land was enclosed without recourse to Parliament.[11]


Improvers were not ones to recognise the "externalities" of their movement. The principal "externality," other than grubbed‑up nature itself, was the people the land had once sustained. The solution in large measure lay abroad, where the enforced destruction of foreign industries such as textiles in India and other colonies provided work for the dispossessed multitudes at home. Thus, when Gandhi was asked if he would like to see India develop as England had, he is reputed to have replied, "It took half the world to develop England. How many worlds do you think it would require for India to do the same?"



A 'Parcel of Rogues'


Unlike their Roman predecessors who never made it further than lowland Scotland, the "Great Improvers" who had enclosed England and lowland Scotland came late to the Scottish Highlands and Islands. This bioregion was an area at the remote periphery of the cities, inhospitable to intruders, and mostly mountainous. Today it supports a sparse population of some 350,000.  Human settlement was based on hunter‑gatherer and subsistence arable and cattle agriculture, ruled by kinship‑based, often warring, patriarchal clan chiefs; the Scots Gaelic word, "clan," meaning "family" or "children".


In 1707 the parliaments of Scotland and England combined for a mixture of reasons to do with secession, religion, security, and access to mutual markets. This lead to much popular resentment in Scotland, the "traitors" in the Scots parliament, many of whom saw mercantile advantage or were offered incentives, being immortalised as "a parcel of rogues" by the great nationalist poet, Robert Burns.


As reaction to this and events surrounding the earlier 1603 Union of the Crowns, Scotland by 1745 was effectively in a state of civil war over the Treaty of Union. The Catholic pretender to the throne, Prince Charles Edward Stewart ("Bonnie Prince Charlie"), raised an army from amongst the Highland chiefs and marched south, meeting little resistance. These "Jacobites" came within 120 miles of London but lacked the strength confidently to press on. The British army subsequently gathered to make pursuit and, under the "butcher" Cumberland, massacred the Jacobites at the last Battle to be fought on mainland British soil: Culloden, 1746.  Interestingly, this was just three years after what was reputedly "the last wolf" had been shot in Scotland; a significant species local extinction foreshadowing cultural disintegration.[12]



Cultural Proscription


Intent upon preventing further rebellion, pacification of the clans became the immediate priority of the British State, comprising the English, lowland Scots and Royalist clan chiefs. A process known as "proscription" was set in place to take the heart out of traditional Highland culture while leaving many outward structures intact for administrative purposes. Under other names ‑ "civilisation," "education," "Christianisation" ‑ this was to become a cornerstone of colonial policy around the world as it had earlier been in Ireland. Speaking from Latin America, Paulo Freire was later to describe the phenomenon as "cultural invasion." Freire's analysis is having a significant influence in a contemporary Scotland trying to re‑member its past in order to re‑vision and re‑claim its future.[13] He says:


            "In this phenomenon, the invaders penetrate the cultural context of another group, and ignoring the potential of the latter, they impose their own view of the world upon those they invade and inhibit the creativity of the invaded by curbing their expression.... Cultural invasion is thus always an act of violence against the persons of the invaded culture, who lose their originality.... (It) leads to the cultural inauthenticity of those who are invaded; they begin to respond to the values, the standards, and the goals of the invaders.... It is essential that those who are invaded come to see their reality with the outlook of the invaders rather than their own; for the more they mimic the invaders, the more stable the position of the latter becomes ... it is essential that those invaded become convinced of their intrinsic inferiority."[14]


The Act of Proscription took effect from August 1747 and was not repealed until 1782, by which time its effects had been "internalised" into a Freirian "culture of silence." Under pain of being "liable to be transported to any of His Majesty's plantations beyond the sea, for seven years,"[15] the Act banned the wearing of Highland dress, the meeting together of Highland people, playing the bagpipes and other forms of traditional entertainment, and the carrying of arms. Bagpipes were treated as an instrument of war, to be played only within the British Army where their uses included variously impressing and frightening other natives of foreign lands. Under the proscription‑associated Heritable Jurisdictions Act of 1747, the traditional powers of clan chiefs were removed but most of the individual chiefs were left in place.  Those who did not accede to Royalist jurisdiction had their lands forfeited and placed in the hands of government appointed surrogates. [Nb. Since writing this I have learned that the oft-repeated notion that the Act forbade bagpipes is, in fact, not well founded. This is documented in the recent book “Traditional Gaelic Bagpiping, 1745-1945,” John Gibson, 1998, Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland. May I also highly recommend Michael Newton’s recent book, “A Handbook of the Scottish Gaelic World, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2000. No other book in print expresses such a deep understanding of the Gaelic world-view and human ecology.]


Jarvie, a historical sociologist concludes, "The British government was, therefore, able to pursue its policies of cultural marginalisation not by expropriating the traditional Highland aristocracy but by incorporating the more powerful members of the clan figuration within the Hanoverian hegemony."[16] Thus, an inner colonialism was set in place by confusing an intensely loyal kinsfolk as to who their oppressor was. Whereas in Ireland the wholesale imposition of English landlords had made the target much more visible, in Scotland the initial stages of betrayal seemingly came from the clans' own leadership. This, together with religious factors including what was to become a pacifist liberation theology[17], is the major reason why the Highlanders did not emulate the violent resistance of the Irish.


Traditionally, Highland chieftains operated a system of usufruct under patronage. It is telling that the word, "usufruct," like "usury," is almost redundant in the English language. It means overlapping patterns of rights to land and water usage, as distinct from outright Romanesque ownership. The concept is familiar in many other tribal societies worldwide but often not recognised by westernised development planners.  "Unlike feudal forms of land ownership, the land of the Highland clan was not the private property of the chief, but the public property of the clansfolk."[18] Kinship was therefore focused around the personhood of the chief, not "his" lands. The post‑Cullodden regime was to change this into a latifundia‑style "feudal" system whereby land was commoditised and enclosure introduced. Interestingly, residual elements of the old understanding are still reflected in Scots law by the fact that the Queen, in her position as monarch, is regarded as Queen of the Scots and not Queen of Scot‑land.[19]


The imposition of a culture which accepted land as a tradeable commodity played into the hands of another factor which was affecting eighteenth century tribal life: the lure of perceived social sophistication.  Just as can be seen today in, for instance, Pacific islands like the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) with clan chiefs developing an appetite for the mores of Singapore, Tokyo or Sydney, so it was too in the old Hebrides and other Highland parts. Thus James Hunter, the great social historian and reformer of the crofting peoples states:


            "... many chiefs were as at home in Edinburgh or Paris as they were in the Highlands, and French or English rolled off their tongues as easily as ‑ perhaps more easily than ‑ Gaelic. While away from his clan, moreover, the typical chief ‑ conscious since childhood of his immensely aristocratic status in the Highland society whence he came ‑ felt obliged to emulate, or even surpass, the life style of the courtiers and nobles with whom he mingled.  And it was at this point that the eighteenth century chief's two roles came into irreconcilable conflict with one another. As a southern socialite he needed more and more money. As a tribal patriarch he could do very little to raise it."[20]


In the recently independent nations of the Pacific the answer to the same problem has been to sell out logging, mining or fishing rights held on behalf of the clan. In Scotland, the charging of rents or a cattle levy were obvious revenue raisers.  When that was insufficient to pay for gambling, drinking, women and such new "tartans" as the Paris tailors would come up with, more severe measures such as rent‑racking or forcing tenants into the landlord's waged labour were introduced. If these too failed to deliver sufficient cash flow, the "estate" could be sold on in the rapidly growing land market. The new owner, who would generally be what we would now call a "venture capitalist," would (with some notable and worthy exceptions) have few if any traditional ties to the people and therefore fewer still scruples as to how he exploited nature and those to whom he was (and still is today) the  "feudal superior."  Often under the pretence that it was for the peoples' own good, the ultimate solution of the Clearances were devised to make way for the Highlands' first modern-scale cash crop - sheep for wool production. To apologist suggestions of benign intent, John McGrath, playwright of "The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil," retorts:


            "The fact remains that the intensive (sic) methods of cultivation of the Gaels had maintained a far greater number of people per acre than had been maintained elsewhere, that the standard of living was not the sole criterion of happiness or worth, and that although many would have indeed left voluntarily, ‑ as they already had before the clearing began ‑ the majority of these people did not want to go. Furthermore, the fact remains that the fertile ground which had kept so many people through the centuries was now turned into useless land fit only for sheep. The cruellest and most important fact of all is that the criterion for the best use of land ceased to be the number of people it could support, and became the amount of profit it could make".[21]



The Clearances: Sheep as a Cash Crop


The first wave of Clearance, in the second half of the eighteenth century, forced a previously self‑reliant peasant peoples onto marginal land. This was to clear the interior lands for sheep whilst also creating a waged labour force for the industrialist dominated industries of fishing and kelping (seaweed based alkali production). The introduction of cheviot and blackface sheep in the 1760's was the agricultural "improvement" driving factor, enabling substantial profit to be made from terrain previously suitable only for peasant subsistence. To take just one of countless examples, the Isle of Rhum, which is today a nature reserve being totally devoid of its indigenous population, had 300 people cleared from it in 1826.  The proprietor, MacLean of Coll, spent five pounds fourteen shillings on each adult's emigrant passage to Canada. Vacated and let as a single sheep farm it brought in a rent of £800, compared with just £300 previously; an investment payback period of just over three years.[22]


Clearances were particularly brutal in Sutherland and the Uists. Carmichael, circa 1928, documents one account given by Catherine MacPhee of South Uist. Her story is corroborated by other similar reports and what is so striking is that the events were so recent. It is remarkable that here, in western Europe, old people alive today can recall such first hand accounts from the old people of their youth.


            "Many a thing have I seen in my own day and generation.  Many a thing, O Mary Mother of the black sorrow! I have seen the townships swept, and the big holdings being made of them, the people being driven out of the countryside to the streets of Glasgow and to the wilds of Canada, such of them as did not die of hunger and plague and smallpox while going across the ocean. I have seen the women putting the children in the carts which were being sent from Benbecula and the Iochdar to Loch Boisdale, while their husbands lay bound in the pen and were weeping beside them, without power to give them a helping hand, though the women themselves were crying aloud and their little children wailing like to break their hearts.  I have seen the big strong men, the champions of the countryside, the stalwarts of the world, being bound on Loch Boisdale quay and cast into the ship as would be done to a batch of horses or cattle in the boat, the bailiffs and the ground‑officers and the constables and the policemen gathered behind them in pursuit of them.  The God of life and He only knows all the loathsome work of men on that day."[23]


Conditions on marginalised land for those remaining at home were often miserable. The great potato famine of Ireland and Scotland was one consequence of people being forced onto inadequate plots and therefore having to replace a diversified agricultural mix with an "efficient" monoculture. By 1811 potatoes had come to account for four fifths of a Hebridean islander's food intake.[24] Disaster followed in 1846 when, as a result of damp weather, the crops were struck with the potato blight fungus, phytophthora infestans, and in nearly every field the crop rotted.  The parallels with present day famines caused by unforeseen consequences of socially unjust development are manifest. Norman MacLeod, a famine relief officer, could have been writing a field report for Oxfam when he visited the Hebrides in 1847 and reported:


            "The scene of wretchedness which we witnessed as we entered on the estate of Col. Gordon was deplorable, nay heart‑rendering. On the beach the whole population of the country seemed to be met, gathering the precious cockles (shellfish).... I never witnessed such countenances ‑ starvation on many faces ‑ the children with their melancholy looks, big looking knees, shrivelled legs, hollow eyes, swollen like bellies ‑ God help them, I never did witness such wretchedness!."[25]


Life did not necessarily improve for the first generation of emigres. Parallels were often drawn with negro slaves. Malcolm MacLean writes:


            "By 1851 Highland proprietors were clearing their estates with renewed vengeance in the aftermath of the (potato) famine, and being assisted by public money made available to them by the Emigration Advance Act of that year.... Conditions on board emigrant ships were often said to be worse than those prevailing on slave ships. The fitter and healthier a slave cargo the higher the price they fetched, but emigrants paid their fare on embarking and were they to die in mid‑ocean that would save on the cost of provisions and make for a higher profit margin. Two ships which sailed from the West Highlands for Nova Scotia in 1801 with seven hundred emigrants would only have been permitted four hundred and eighty‑nine 'passengers' had they been slaves putting out from the Gambia. Three out of every twenty emigrants died on board one of these ships ... and in the six years between 1847 and 1853 at least forty‑nine emigrant ships were lost at sea."[26]


On arrival in Australia or the New World, emigres sometimes ended up forcing other native peoples off their lands: oppressed turned oppressor. Many of those left at home found themselves pressed into military service to do the dirty work of Empire building, it sometimes being quipped that "The Queens Own Highlanders" might be more honestly dubbed, "The Queens Owned Highlanders".[27] Still more migrated within Scotland to domestic service or industrial labour in the cities. Often a racked rent was payed by a crofter's children from the growing slums of Glasgow. Through the effects of intergenerational poverty, the foundations were thus laid for the postindustrial despair of "areas of multiple deprivation" around all our major modern Scottish cities today.



The Balmorality Epoch: the Great Sporting Estates


The final stage of consolidating present patterns of enclosed land tenure came after the military demand for wool collapsed with the ending of the Napoleonic Wars. As Iain Mac a'Ghobainn immortalises in his epic poem, "Spirit of Kindness," soldiers returning from Waterloo were prone to finding that their families had been cleared in their absence.  Remaining unenclosed lands had been consolidated with former sheep farms to make the Great "Sporting" Estates.  By 1912, 3,599,744 acres or one fifth of the entire Scottish land mass[28] had been converted so that "gentlefolk" versions of great white hunters could engage in one‑sided mortal battle with the stag, salmon, grouse and the thrush-sized snipe.


        They handed over to the snipe

        the land of happy folk,

        they dealt without humanity       

        with people who were kind.

        Because they might not drown them

        they dispersed them overseas;

        a thraldom worse than Babylon's

        was the plight they were in....


        What solace had the fathers

        of the heroes who won fame?

        Their houses, warm with kindliness,

        were in ruins round their ears;

        their sons were on the battlefield

        saving a rueless land,

        their mothers' state was piteous

        with their houses burnt like coal.[29]



In his sociological study of the athletic and bagpiping competitions which characterise today's Highland Games, Jarvie[30] shows how the new sporting landlords took control of such traditional gatherings of the clans to consolidate their social status. Cultural regeneration could then be seen as deriving from the benevolence of the ruling classes, thereby lending landlords a pseudo‑authentic role analogous to that of the chieftains of the past.


The Highlander, like the native American and African, had once been caricatured as barbarous and uncivilized. The traveller, John Leyden, typifies such an outsider perspective. Returning to Perth in 1800 he wrote, "I may now congratulate myself on a safe escape from the Indians of Scotland...."[31] Few early travellers had the ability to see beyond the racial stereotype. An exception was the Swiss geologist, Necker de Saussure, who in 1807 recorded his astonishment at finding on Iona, "under so foggy an atmosphere, in so dreary a climate, a people animated by that gaiety and cheerfulness which we are apt to attribute exclusively to those nations of the South of Europe."[32] But for most of the ruling class, the second half of the nineteenth century became instead a time when the Highlanders could safely be patronised in terms of "the glamour of backwardness"[33] and presented "in terms of loyalty, royalty, tartanry and Balmorality."[34] Trend‑setting lairds (landowners) like Queen Victoria, with her Balmoral Castle retreat, displayed the stunning contradiction of, on the one hand, professing a love of Highland scenery and culture; whilst on the other hand patronising emigration programmes and setting in process damaging land management regimes centred around deer and grouse.


A look through the Highland press quickly reveals that now, in the mid‑1990's, summary dismissals, evictions, expensive procedural delays in planning matters and demolition of housing remain very much a part of estate control over communities. The West Highland Free Press, for instance, gives careful documentation on 30th April 1993 of how the estate factors (legal managers) of one of the world's richest absentee landlords, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoumm of Dubai, have bulldozed houses in his Wester Ross "glen of sorrow" to prevent human habitation, probably because of "the night‑time poaching activities of the local population." Twelve family homes have been reduced to rubble in a district which has 800 applicants on the local authority housing waiting list. The Sheik retains a certain support in some quarters because of his large donations to small local charities.


As for landowners whose exoticism is more ordinary, "Balmorality" can be seen in its full 20th Century glamour nowhere better self‑exposed than in the August 1992 edition of the high society magazine, Harpers & Queen, which claims to be "The World's Most Intelligent Glossy." Amidst "Advanced Night Repair" advertisements for cosmetics to combat "environmental damage" (that is, intensified sunburn, which "can cause as much as 80% of premature ageing" to the skins of the "beautiful people" whose lifestyles gave us the ozone hole in the first place), the magazine features the Queen at Balmoral; Mohamed al Fayed (proprietor of Harrods and the Ritz) with his "hereditary pipers" at the Highland castle he hardly ever goes to; "Three fab families" of Anglicised Scots aristocrats with "greyhound‑like physiques ... super‑intelligence ... and a sense of public duty;" five public‑schoolboy junior lairds who "look like a king" for the ladies to fancy and the crofters to endure; six of "Scotland's bonniest" debutantes, who "adore smelling of horses," posing erotically in fantastic tartan dresses untraditionally slit to the crotch; and Lord Edmund Vesty, proprietor of the notorious Sutherland Estates, sporting his top hat and prim daughter at Royal Ascot. Punning on the Picts, the original native peoples of Scotland, the cover proclaims, "LOADED lairds and lovely LASSIES; SUNNY Scots and holiday PICTS: why we love our Highland playgrounds." It goes on to appeal to its "tartanned" readership as follows:


            "The international social set hang up their party boots at the end of July and depart for caiques off the Turkish coast, villas in the South of France or huge yachts in Sardinia.  But not the Old Guard British ‑ there's only one choice for them: the Highlands....  There's nothing like Scotland in August for sheer expenditure of physical energy; the grouse moor, the deer and the salmon river claim the chaps during the day, who then heave a lot of whisky down, change into kilt (if they qualify), evening tails (if they don't) and go reeling until dawn with wind‑burnt girls adept at quick changes from muddy tweeds to ballgowns and tartan sashes. There's ... nothing like Scotland for stalking the biggest social game...."[35]


Meanwhile, one million Scots, 20% of the population, live at or below the European decency threshold. On the Island of Eigg one of us was thus able to conclude at a land restitution public meeting in 1991:


            "This is the condition of much of the Highlands and Islands today. The Clearances continue under economic masquerade. For example, tourism, one of our few growth opportunities for cottage industry, too often becomes controlled by estates which convert homes into summer timeshare. Those who belong to a place get squeezed out, leaching community. Go to the poor quarters of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Govan, and look where too many of our people live now. Oh yes, the fortunate ones have done sufficiently 'well' sometimes to forget their roots, but many of the names on doors of those living in the high‑rise flats and 'priority treatment' estates are Highland. Folk for whom the tragedy of being uprooted, by direct clearance or by restriction of access to nature's sustenance, has given rise to the spectre of poverty across generations."[36]


Hebridean poet, Mary Montgomery, grew up on the boundaries of three estates on her home island of Lewis. One of a growing number of empowered Scottish women who make you wonder if the clans of old were quite so patriarchal as is often made out, she pens an embittered conclusion which could have come straight from Southern Africa:


        I prefer it when they're rude

        because they're easier to destroy in my thoughts

        and my conscience can be at peace....

        I prefer them to be awful

        showing themselves without warmth

        nothing if not practical

        old chap, dear sir and dame.

        The kind of value they lay store by

        is each one for himself

        that's what's going away with my country

        and what leaves them in it.[37]






Estate Psychodynamics: a Ghillie's Eye View


(personal reflection by Alastair McIntosh)



Having served as a ghillie (salmon boat rower) and pony boy (retrieving stag carcases from the hill) for many summers on my home Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, I have developed an interest in sporting estate psychodynamics. You can learn a lot when, as a young man, you have had the opportunity to spend all day on a remote loch or mountain with generals, admirals, industrialists, stockbrokers, aristocrats, those who purport to "profess a vocation" as professionals, high‑church military clergy and assorted wives and mistresses.


Many are individuals who would appear to fit Alice Millar's[38]  description of the wounded child; the child whose "primal integrity" has been violated because it was not unconditionally loved for itself.  Instead, love was dependent upon conformity to authority, on performance and giftedness, leaving the eventual adult with deep‑seated anxiety as to their self‑worth. This syndrome affects people irrespective of social class. Indeed, it has been most widely popularised, well before Alice Millar became known, through the lyrics of John Lennon's greatest song, Working Class Hero: "As soon as you're born, they make you feel small; by giving you no time instead of it all; 'till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all.... There's room at the top, they are telling you still; but first you must learn how to smile as you kill; if you want to be like the folks on the Hill...."[39] With working class people, the violence of frustration perhaps stays mainly within the self or family; with the rich and powerful, its reach is global.


Typical "sporting" gents of my acquaintance were often surrogate parented by nannies, then sent away in late infancy to austere so‑called "public" private schools. Education for regimentation at these was strong on punishment "for your own good," emotionally disengaged ("stiff upper lip"; "uptight") and largely lacking in close male and female role models of gentleness. Acceptance at home was contingent upon conformity to Father's authority. This included the expectation of early potty training, "being seen but not heard," displaying the "toughness" of "big boys don't cry," educational competition and exam success, playing field discipline; and later in life, military achievement, success in the professions or old‑monied industry, and wealth accumulation.  "Who is he?  Is he anybody?" such a person will ask. "Oh, he's quite somebody ... he's ‑ such and such a company or landed property." As Fromm[40] put it, this is the psychology of needing to "have" in order to "be," material acquisition compensating for such a "shrivelled sense of soul".[41]


Tellingly, one of Alice Millar's psychotherapeutic books is cited in the same issue of Harpers and Queen as is quoted from in this paper. The magazine recommends packing Breaking Down the Wall of Silence as holiday reading. Such a book title could be straight from Freire. Freire writes of the "pedagogy of the oppressed." Millar, through case studies of members of the Third Reich, mass murderers, and disturbingly ordinary people, reveals the "poisonous pedagogy" which can often be shown to have afflicted the oppressor, and reperpetuates from one generation to the next. In their own ways, both oppressed and oppressor are victims and must be understood as such if cycles of destruction are to be broken. It is a cause for optimism that US Vice‑President, Al Gore, acknowledges the importance of the work of Millar and similar psychologists in the "Dysfunctional Civilisation" chapter of his outstanding book, "Earth in the Balance"[42] he also mentions favourably the new feminist Goddess‑based reinterpretations of archaeology coming from workers like Marija Gimbutas.[43] Such thought leads some thinkers to conclude that we are speaking here of a cultural psychopathology with a history that can be traced back 6,000 years, the Roman Empire having been only one phase of it.[44]


Scots born Kenneth White, professor of 20th Century Poetics at the Sorbonne, speaks of "geopoetics" ‑ the "higher unity" of geography and poetry; the aliveness, one might say, sacredness, of relationship between a person and place.[45]  This comes naturally to a well grounded people. It is evident in the radical deep ecology of pre‑colonial Celtic literature,[46] music and art. But landlordism perverts the person‑place relationship. Like a priest claiming to mediate between humankind and God, the laird bolsters his virility through theft of the vitality that belongs to those who live on, work with, cherish and feel themselves to be cherished by a place. The laird then claims to be the true steward of the land and, of course, the generous benefactor and arbitrator of its communities.


The psychopathologies manifested in landlordism are of more than merely local significance. As Alice Millar, Wilhelm Reich and several other post‑Freudians show, the love/power/sex dynamics of wounded people (and which of us are not somewhat in this category?) are often played out on much bigger stages: those of economy and battlefield, complete with all the denial of feeling once denied to the actors. Playwright John McGrath speaks of...


            "The Victorian self‑image of the near‑brutish male doing battle with the natives in far‑off lands, the servants in draughty mansions, and competitors on the Stock Exchange ... in the romantically‑situated hunting lodge, with tales of even greater slaughter at other, better times, and the odd titbit of useful industrial or investment information, perhaps even the odd deal seen through in the rosy haze of the apres‑massacre. It came as no surprise that the single most important carve‑up of the market in the twentieth century, that between the 'Seven Sisters' ‑ the seven major oil companies ‑ took place in Achnacarry Castle, a turreted mansion in the West Highlands, where the most ruthless and powerful men in the oil business assembled ostensibly to shoot grouse and fish."[47]


In the community arts produced book, As an Fhearann: from the land, p. 84 has a photomontage of President Reagan peering out of a TV screen at the prehistoric Callanish stones. It brings sharply to mind Alice Walker's poem about the oppressor, the "Wasichu": "Regardless. He has filled our every face with his window. Our every window with his face."[48] p. 93 pictures NATO exercises at Stornoway airport; and on p. 38 General Curtis le May is shown shooting deer in the Highlands, 1967. This is captioned, "General le May was Commander in Chief of the USAF when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima." In perhaps unintended but graphic reflection of one of the roles of sporting estates, the rock group Pink Floyd sang, in the aftermath of the Falklands War and the IRA's blowing up of bandsmen in London:


        Take all your overgrown infants away somewhere

        and build them a home, a little place of their own

        the fletcher memorial home

        home for incurable tyrants and kings

        And they can appear to themselves every day

        on closed circuit TV

        to make sure they're still real

        it's the only connection they feel

        Ladies and gentlemen please welcome reagan and haig

        mr begin and friend, mrs thatcher and paisley

        mr brezhnev and party

        the ghost of mccarthy

        the memories of nixon

        and now adding colour a group of anonymous latin

        american meat‑packing glitterati

        Did they expect us to treat them with any respect?

        They can polish their medals

        and sharpen their smiles

        and amuse themselves playing games for a while

        boom boom, bang bang, lie down, you're dead....[49]





Empowerment, Internationalism and Revolt


In 1873, John Murdoch, a retired Nairnshire excise man who had worked part of his life in Ireland, founded The Highlander newspaper to campaign on the Scottish cultural and land rights issue. He was certainly not the only significant campaigner, but we will focus here on his work because it is so perceptive and well documented.  Not confined to simply managing the paper, Murdoch maintained close contact with the crofters and local communities by mostly walking from one township to another where ‑ often to the defiance and chagrin of landlords ‑ he would visit and campaign amongst the people. His tours accentuated more than ever the degree to which self‑esteem and self‑confidence were lacking amongst the Highland population, since often he was hard put even to gather a crowd, not because of lack of interest, but because of fear:


            "We have to record a terrible fact, that from some cause or other, a craven, cowed, snivelling population has taken the place of the men of former days. In Lewis, in the Uists, in Barra, in Islay, in Applecross and so forth, the great body of the people seem to be penetrated by fear. There is one great, dark cloud hanging over them in which there seem to be terrible forms of devouring landlords, tormenting factors and ubiquitous ground‑officers. People complain; but it is under their breaths and under such a feeling of depression that the complaint is never meant to reach the ear of landlord or factor. We ask for particulars, we take out a notebook to record the facts; but this strikes a deeper terror. 'For any sake do not mention what I say to you,' says the complainer. 'Why?' We naturally ask.  'Because the factor might blame me for it.'"[50]


Where once there were proud and independent societies with their own Gaelic tongue, now a subjected population had succumbed to what later critics would recognise as a culture of the oppressed with the English language forced through the education system.  Afraid openly to discuss their plight, the Highland peoples had internalised their oppression to a degree that they were unable even to voice their complaints, let alone have them recorded.


Murdoch saw that the way forward was cultural regeneration, for without a social empowerment focused upon the linguistic and cultural identity of Highlanders he saw little potential for advancement in land reform or political emancipation. Murdoch's campaign of empowerment was far more than the basic development of a class consciousness or a political front. What he was seeking was more attuned to a spiritual awakening. Donald Meek, professor of Celtic at Aberdeen University, in an analysis of Murdoch's theological foundations for land reform, sees in his work and that of other such campaigners of the time a precursor to the liberation theologies of Paulo Friere, Gustavo Guttierez and others of Latin American and Southern African origin. Extensive use was made of biblical texts like Leviticus 25, "The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine," and Isaiah 5, "Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place...." An increasingly interested London based press later stirred the national conscience over such sentiments, for instance, the Pall Mall Gazette of 24th December 1884 quoting the campaigners that: "The Earth is the Lord's, not the landlord's...."[51]


Murdoch concluded that, "The language and lore of Highlanders being treated with despite has tended to crush their self‑respect and to repress that self‑reliance without which no people can advance." The effects of "alien rule" and the experiences of land enclosure and eviction had created a "very provoking fear universally present among the people" who were consequently "afraid to open their mouths."[52] Foreshadowing ideas that were adopted by the Highland Land League, he urged:


            "Our Highland friends must depend on themselves and they should remember that union is strength.... We do not advocate that they should fight or use violent means, for there is a better way than that. Why do they not form societies for self‑improvement and self‑defence? Did they become, they would become conscious that they possess more strength than they are aware of."[53]


Linking the enclosure of the Highlands with the subjugation of people overseas, he declared earlier in 1851, "The dying wail of the cheated redman of the woods rings in our ears across the Atlantic." And later whilst constantly criticising British imperial policy in Highlander editorials, he was always quick to show that the crofters' struggles were synonymous with those of oppressed peoples around the world. On hearing the news of Britain's invasion of Afghanistan, for instance, he declared: "What glory is to be had from fighting semi‑civilised but brave and patriotic highlanders? Noble Afghan highlanders, our sympathies are with you!" Above all, he emphasised that "the cause of the Highland people is not dealt with in an exclusive and narrow spirit, far less in antagonism to other people." The key issue was in an awakening of spirit that allowed Highlanders to enter the wider world: "Their sympathies are widened, their views are elevated, and they learn to stand erect, not only as Highlanders, shoulder to shoulder, but as a battalion in the great array of peoples to whom it is given to fight the battles incident to the moral and social progress of mankind."[54]


Having studied land tenure patterns around Europe ‑ Norway, Belgium and Switzerland ‑ he was able to point out that superior social relations abounded elsewhere, the "peasant proprietorship" canton system of Switzerland making it "perhaps the most enlightened, independent and prosperous country in Europe." The comparisons to Britain and Ireland made it "very surprising that we who profess to be in the van of progress, and the highest degree of liberty, should be content to be in the most unsatisfactory state, with regard to land, of almost any nation in Europe."[55]


In 1881 the Land Bill for Ireland granted security of tenure and fixed rents. Murdoch sarcastically noted how the Duke of Argyll's resignation from the Government in protest was "one of the strongest proofs of the beneficent character of the measure" and he emphasised how the co‑ordinated campaign of resistance which lead to the Bill was "suggestive of many practical thoughts to every Highlander."[56] Within a week, however The Highlander was forced to close under financial pressure. But within a further month the crofters on Captain William Fraser's Kilmuir Estate used Irish Land League tactics to compel a reduction of their rent by 25%. Soon after, and somewhat in emulation of an earlier (1874) crofters rent riot on Bernera, Lewis, Lord MacDonald's tenants at Braes, Skye, mobbed a visiting sheriff‑officer. Lead, as was so often the case in crofter direct actions,[57] by a woman, Mairi Nic Fuilaidh, they forced him to burn the court eviction summonses he had come to deliver. Thus the Skye Rent Strike marked the start of the remarkably non‑violent "Crofters Wars". Ten days later, 17th April 1882, arrests were made. Mud and stones were thrown when 47 imported Glasgow police faced a crowd of over fourteen hundred protestors who had arrived from all quarters of Skye lead by their respective pipers. Recognising that state authority was losing its grip, the British Government responded to Sheriff Ivory's call for help by action which was to be repeated on a number of occasions in the Highlands and other colonies: it sent in the gunboats with police reinforcements, over four hundred marines and one hundred bluejackets.


            "This impressive demonstration of force was met with polite passive resistance as people conspicuously dug their potatoes at every township along the coast. The Glasgow Herald correspondent observed, 'The district was found in a state of the most perfect peace, with every crofter minding his own business'."[58]


            (Attach here Illustrated London News drawings of gunships off Skye)


In February 1883 the Highland Land League was founded in London to apply political pressure in Westminster and organise mass rent strikes, demonstrations, and support for reform by constitutional means by friends at home and abroad. The government's response was to set up a Royal Commission to enquire into the complaints of the crofters. Headed by Baron Francis Napier, an Anglican Tory landowner with considerable experience of colonial problems in India, it reported later in the year and vindicated the legitimacy of the people's grievance. In the General Election of 1885 the crofters took advantage of the extension of the franchise and returned five crofter Members of Parliament. Finally, in 1886 the Crofters Act was passed, giving for the first time heritable security of tenure with controlled rents on those smallholdings defined as being of crofting status.


The 1886 Act fell far short of returning to the people land which had formerly been taken from them. By far the greatest areas of land remained completely outwith crofting tenure. But the Act did secure the survival of crofting life into the present era. It was not until 1976 that the Crofting Reform Act gave the crofter the right to buy the freehold of their land at 15 times the holding's fair rent. There was no rush to take this up, since freehold entailed perceived breach of community solidarity and loss of privileged crofting status with the agricultural grants which accompanied it. Also, the law was widely misinterpreted as meaning that the landlord also had to be paid 50% of the development value of the land. Resolution of this misinterpretation was to prove vital in subsequent events leading up to community land ownership at Assynt. It was not until the passing of the 1991 Crofter Forestry (Scotland) Act that crofters could apply for permission to plant trees on their land.  Trees planted outwith this provision are the property of the landlord, which is one reason why, traditionally, few crofts had any forest shelterbelts.





Education as the Denial of History


The following lyric is from Runrig, Scotland's leading folk‑rock group. The lead singer, Donnie Munro, is Rector of Edinburgh University. He writes: "You share with many people from our own background the amazement at how the knowledge of our own history was effectively denied us and how this situation has changed only relatively recently, when it was presumably considered a politically safe region whose strength had been drained and its energies channelled successfully. There is a great capacity in existence to marginalise issues by keeping them separate. This is where for me internationalism truly begins, with the realisation of the global village and the common experiences of the human condition."[59]



Fichead Bliadhna (Twenty Years)


Freedom of the moor

Freedom of the hill

And then to school

At the end of a summer

Children, five years of age

Without many words of English


Here is your book

Here is your pen

Study hard

That's what they told me

And you will rise up in the world

You will achieve


I learnt many things

The English language

The poetry England

The music of Germany

The history of Spain

And even that was a misleading history


Then on to further education

Following education, more education

Like puppets

On the end of a string

Our heads filled with a sort of learning

And I did rise in the world

I found my suit

I found my shirt

I found a place in the eyes of men

Well away from the freedom of the moor


But why did they keep

Our history from us?

I'll tell you ‑ they are frightened

In case the children of Gaeldom awaken

With searching

And penetrating questions

Twenty years for the truth

I had to wait

I had to search

Twenty years of deceit

They denied me knowledge of myself


        ‑ C & R Macdonald, Runrig, 1979.[60]




Ecological Consequences of Highland Colonialism


Scotland's environment is the product of a long association of people with the land since the last 2,000m thick glaciers melted 10,000 years ago.[61] A relatively benign oceanic climate allowed settled agriculture to develop over most of the country. Through time, much of it became a "cultural landscape," modified by human activities such as cropping, grazing, and burning. Successive waves of settlement including Angles, Scots and Vikings each left their mark on the land. For example, woodland at Catta Ness in north‑east Shetland has been found to have disappeared within the space of 150 years around 3,120 BP and the land has remained deforested since then.[62]


Very little of Scotland today remains undisturbed by humans and it is difficult to assess realistically the state of the natural resource base over time since the process of change has been long, slow and compounded by many potential causes. Obvious facts include the loss of forest cover. Only 1% of Scotland is now covered in the remnants of native forest cover which once extended to as much as 75% of land area[63] (the "Great Forest of Caledon"). Even this is continuing to degenerate, with a 75% reduction since 1600.[64] Land productivity in general is widely believed to have suffered. Replacement of the largely subsistence former cattle based economy by sheep, deer, grouse and other "game" birds has been associated with diminution of the several indigenous forms of nutrient recycling,[65] as well as intensification of grazing and burning pressures. Predator density (hawks, polecats, etc.)  would appear to have dramatically declined since the sporting estates were first established.[66] Grouse moor bags, erosion rates, and freshwater fisheries productivity all show deteriorating trends and, in some parishes, lambing percentages between 1880 and 1975 have declined by as much as 1% in every four years.[67]


The internationally acclaimed ecologist, Sir Frank Fraser Darling, undertook the first comprehensive survey of the human ecology of the West Highlands in the post war years. His findings, eventually published in 1955, had been suppressed by Government (the Scottish Office not even acknowledging receipt) in light of their sensitivity and damning conclusions. He wrote:


            "The bald unpalatable fact is emphasised that the Highlands and Islands are largely a devastated terrain and that any policy which ignores this fact cannot hope to achieve rehabilitation.... The Highlands are a devastated countryside ...(a wet desert)..., and that is the primary reason why there are now few people and why there is a constant economic problem."[68]


A good case study of the 20th century human ecology of land management in Scotland is that of forestry. Efforts at reforestation started early on some of the more forward-looking estates such as Atholl, but it was not until the 1919 formation of the Forestry Commission, that the Government took a serious strategic and economic interest in tree production. The efforts of both enlightened landowners and of the Forestry Commission were almost exclusively concerned with the establishment of commercial plantations of foreign softwood species such as the fast growing Sitka Spruce. A sharp divide developed between agriculture and forestry which was almost unique in Europe.


A current Government review of the future of the Forestry Commission has focused attention on the prospect of privatising the 10% of Scotland owned by it. An unholy alliance of environmental groups, the timber industry, local authorities and opposition politicians are campaigning vigorously for the retention of the Commission as a state body owning and managing forest land. Many people concerned with the broader land issues, however, detect something backward and paternalistic in this position which seeks to defend a public body which is seen by many in fragile and remote rural communities as being highly centralised, undemocratic, disempowering, unresponsive and distant. Crofters eking out a livelihood on the remote areas of the west coast see huge barges of timber being hauled off the hillsides and towed to processing plants in the English Midlands. Employees are being laid off and nurseries, sawmills and offices being shut down.


While British overseas aid funds support "social forestry" projects abroad, the concept has yet to find serious acceptance at home. Partly, this is because some of what has been passed off as "social forestry" by multilateral agencies has only been a sham of community participation in what the developers wished to impose anyway. It is worth observing that British domestic forestry policy has also had a substantial shaping effect on overseas students studying in Britain. Many of these return home presuming our industry to represent best practice. Training in post World War II years has primarily focused on industrial monoculture plantation management. This embodied assumptions of the globalised cash economy rather than bioregional and socially networked patterns of reciprocity and mutuality in resource use. The result undercuts biodiversity, soil quality and community control. It suited corporations, government agencies and departments of forestry because it maintained, in the medium term at least, a flow of cash revenues with which to fund self-perpetuating state services and private entrepreneurship. But in its name of progress, it has shifted  employment from the land - The Land - to soul destroying urban industrial centres. Capital intensive machinery is there manufactured with the waged labour of "operatives" whose forebears had once come from the land. For many of them there is no more access to nature and the only community is that of tower block or slum.


Although there are now encouraging signs of change, the fact remains that the ongoing professional development of many British foresters involved in teaching and research is filtered by those silvicultural practices which can support consultancy fees of over 400 pounds a day. Such "forestry," and the attitude to livelihood which accompanies it, is usually dependent more on the rapacious stripping of natural capital than living from nature's freely yielded sustainable revenue.


As a result of informed public concern in Scotland, Reforesting Scotland was set up in 1991 to focus on issues of ecological and community restoration. A small and radical body internationally networked with such agencies as the Worldwide Fund for Nature, many of its 700 members see the answer as real public ownership ‑ where people at the local level have a stake in the land. This means radical reform of both state and private ownership to empower and stabilise rural communities, maximising local economic multipliers and linkages. Part of the effectiveness of such a group is that growing numbers of British development professionals are coming back home and realising that the progress which has been made in community forestry in Nepal or Papua New Guinea, for example, is not only is absent in Scotland but positively ridiculed as having any relevance to areas such as the Highlands and Islands.[69] Reforesting Scotland has itself been partly modelled on self-empowerment groups in the South. Its associates range from the said professionals including senior governmental and academic figures, to many with little tertiary education but a passion for tree nurseries and planting. The Reforesting Scotland biannual journal covers practical issues of community-scale native tree-growing and timber utilisation as well as items of historical, economic, aesthetic, community and spiritual importance.





The Case of Mar Lodge and Brazil


(Andy Wightman)



The Mar Lodge Estate in the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland covers 310 square kilometres of some of the most important mountain land for conservation in Britain. It includes three of the four highest British mountains, part of the largest and most diverse area of sub‑arctic plateau, the most permanent snowbeds, the entire headwater catchment of the River Dee and one of the most important remnants of boreal pinewood left in Scotland.


Although the destruction of the forest has been underway for many centuries, it has been in the last 200 years that the situation has become critical. In common with many areas of the Highlands of Scotland, Mar Lodge was converted to a hunting estate in the late 18th century and the farming population was cleared from the land. Management for hunting has led to an emphasis on retaining high numbers of wild Red Deer which in turn have suppressed the natural regeneration of the forest. For 200 years there has been no significant regeneration and the few trees that are now left are old Scots pine.


Mar Lodge Estate, like much of the rest of Scotland, is owned by a private individual ‑ an American multibillionaire, Mr John Kluge, who had bought it as a gift of his exotic dancer wife. Until recently he was looking for a buyer following his divorce. Already an attempt by a Consortium of conservation bodies to purchase it has been suspended due to difficulties in securing adequate funds and the power of the Scottish landowning lobby. There is no regulation or control of land sales in Scotland. The market for such a hunting estate is therefore exclusive to the small number of individuals around the world who are interested in hunting and can afford such prices. Even now, with new proposals for the future management of the Cairngorm mountains as a whole, the Government is still relying on the "voluntary principle" whereby landowners are not compelled, obliged or required to take any action to protect and restore the environment ‑ they must volunteer. If the Brazilian Government were to claim that such a principle would protect the Amazonian rainforests it would probably be castigated as naive at the least, and more likely as corrupt.


Quite apart from the environmental impacts of deforestation, which include loss of biodiversity, soil degradation and disruption of hydrological cycles, there is an interesting political parallel between the feudal barons who control the fate of large parts of the Amazon and those who own hunting estates in the Highlands of Scotland, so controlling the remnants of boreal forest. While control is exerted by gunmen in the rainforests of Brazil, Scottish landowners have institutionalised their power with state authority, even depending substantially on publicly funded fisheries protection cruisers to protect salmon stocks at sea from the nets of indigenous "poachers."


The situation on Mar Lodge is typical of a wider malaise in Scotland.  Dr Adam Watson, a Scottish ecologist with an international reputation, recently described the remnants of Scotland's natural forest as, "... one of the most degraded and abused parts of the boreal and temperate forest anywhere in the world. We really have a nerve exhorting the people of Brazil to look after their rainforests when we've made such a mess of looking after our own native woodlands in Scotland."[70]  Support is growing for substantial reforestation. New government grant policies which took effect through the Forestry Commission in the early 1990's are exemplary in their encouragement for native species planting. But it requires to be part of a wider package which includes land reform in order that human communities can become more self‑reliant, responsible and influential in land use decisions.




Land Restitution


Today throughout Scotland, just 4,000 people own 80% of private land.[71] This figure would represent 0.08% of the resident population were it not that many are absentee landlords ‑ English aristocrats, Arabian oil sheiks, Swiss bankers, South African industrialists, racing car drivers, pop stars, arms dealers and others not noted for their socio‑ecological awareness. They include entertainers such as Terry Wogan and Steve Davis; pension funds such as Rolls Royce, the Post Office, Prudential Insurance and the Midland Bank; overseas interests like Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai, Mrs Dorte Aamann‑Christensen, the Jensen Foundation and the Horsens Folkeblad Foundation from Denmark, and Paul van Vlissingen of the Netherlands. A 1976 study concluded that some thirty‑five families or companies possess one third of the Highland's 7.39 million acres of privately owned land.[72]


During the Thatcher dominated 1980's, land prices spiralled as more and more people, whose personal lifestyles and corporate activities had destroyed their own countryside, wanted to buy into Scotland.  Communities seemed powerless as to who controlled them and what happened to the ecology. The current turning point was perhaps most marked in 1985 by the formation of the Scottish Crofters Union. This, along with a cultural renaissance which started to see many young people recovering their history, music, language and poetry, as well as recognition of the growing social and ecological bankruptcy of mainstream Western life, has lead to fresh awareness of the potential to organise in mutual solidarity, drawing on old roots of community and place.


In 1991 a crofter from Scoraig in the West Highlands, Tom Forsyth, established a charitable trust with the seemingly grand objective of bringing ownership of the Isle of Eigg under community control. With co‑Trustees Lis Lyon, Bob Harris and Alastair McIntosh, the Trust received an unprecedented 73% vote of confidence in the community ownership proposals. (Previous communities, like that on the Isle of Rassay, had lacked confidence to push for self‑determination.) The Eigg islanders had resented the showmanship, control and paternalism of the existing landlord, Keith Schellenberg, "Scotland's best known English laird," who once boasted that "Somehow it seemed more important to beat the Germans at Silverstone than to deal with a little Scottish island. The race put it all in perspective."[73] Islanders feared getting an even worse replacement, like the previous laird, who had made life "like living under enemy occupation."


The Eigg Trust failed in its 1992 bid to raise sufficient funds to secure purchase, not least because Schellenberg undermined the effort by saying he would not sell into community control. One could imagine how popular he might have been with his landowning friends had he set such a collaborative precedent. But what the Trust did demonstrate, and this was to be important in subsequent events elsewhere, was that the market for what he had called a "collector item" estate[74] could be spoiled by the glare of publicity. As one news report of Eigg put it, "a private buyer is not exactly going to get a welcoming party."[75] This effect was  confirmed when one of the Trustees phoned up Savills, the top people's estate agents, and asked about the dangers of the Eigg Trust to the Scottish land market. One Jamie Burges‑Lumsden replied:


            "This kind of thing could be done without ‑ it causes buyers to be suspicious ... because a buyer wants to be assured of having maximum control. Activity like this sets up a niggle in the back of the mind because future control could be compromised. Mar Lodge is a case in point. It worries private buyers and therefore could lower the price."[76]


The final outcome was that the island, previously valued at around two million pounds, attracted a best offer said to be only around a quarter of a million. Accordingly, Schellenberg bought out his divorced wife's share and took it back off the market.  The region's West Highland Free Press of 3rd July 1992 ran the banner headline, "Paradise Lost: Eigg back in the hands of Emperor Schellenberg: Bitter blow to trust community stewardship dream."


The day before the sale closing date, one of BBC Radio Scotland's most respected reporters, Lesley Riddoch, had arranged interviews with a number of islanders as part of an hour long phone‑in debate to be staged between Schellenberg and McIntosh of the Eigg Trust. When the shock news came through that Shellenberg had restored his lairdship, all but one islander refused to be interviewed for fear of victimisation. Minds, for a while at least, had been re‑enclosed.[77]


But by now consciousness of the land rights issue was in high media profile. The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday carried full page profiles of Schellenberg, and the London media ran features on who owned what, where, and why the natives were getting restless.  However, of greater lasting significance were the two subsidiary front page stories in the West Highland Free Press on the day it ran the "Emperor Schellenberg" story. One proclaimed, "Landed gentry rocked by Land Court judgement." It told how the Court of Session had just ruled against Lord Whitbread, and overturned the presumption that the 1976 Act implied that crofters had to pay 50% of development value back to the laird in the event of exercising their buyout rights at 15 times the annual rent. The second headline announced that the Assynt crofters in Sutherland had formed a holding organisation. They were to launch an attempt to bring under community ownership their 21,000 acre North Lochinver Estate, formerly held by the meat baron and notorious income tax avoider, Lord Edmund Hoyle Vesty.


In powerful speeches, some of which were TV broadcast around the world, the Assynt Crofters Trust chairman, Allan MacRae, drew parallels with the crofters' claim for land restitution and that of Africans, native Americans and Aboriginals. Significantly, and probably for the first time in modern history, he claimed the phrase "native people" for the Highlanders with pride:


            "I think for those of us native to Assynt particularly, we are very conscious that the land we stand on is in a sense the last stronghold of the native people....these lands really are the remnants of what the natives once possessed."[78]



This was a process of global awareness, and the crofters were not about to be left out! Andy Wightman of Reforesting Scotland, visiting Finland at the time, found the Sami better informed and more excited by what was happening than were most lowland Scots. Because the Assynt crofters wanted rather more than they were entitled to for 15 times their rents, they went on to raise 300,000 pounds from all over the world. By December 1992, unable to attract the better offers hoped for prior to such market spoiling, the creditors of a bankrupt Swedish investment company (who had acquired the property off Vesty for speculation) sold out to the community.[79] Apart from the rather special and long established case of the Stornoway Trust, this was the first ever large scale crofter instigated reversal of enclosure in Scotland: "even if we did have to buy back what was rightfully ours!"


According to Isabel MacPhail, one of the Assynt crofters, the failed Eigg venture had contributed some of the inspiration. It had "... raised again the issue of community ownership at a time when even the foremost proponents of the concept were in despair at the total lack of any progress."[80] In the December 1993 issue of The Crofter, MacPhail (who is completing her PhD on land issues and feminism) tabled a progress report, confirming how minds as well as land had been liberated from enclosure:


            "Really, it is a bit like the end of colonial rule ‑ gradually our imaginations are unchained. The rest takes a bit longer.... For me (it) has been a revelation. For the whole of my life people have been explaining Vesty's 'badness' to me: blocking development; taking the mobile shop off the road (folk wanted to boycott his shops then, but where do you boycott to?); concentrating economic activity in his own hands ... and so on. And in all that time we never realised that if you point a TV camera at him, or give him a few column inches ... he'll do the job (of exposing injustice) much better himself."


The Green Party has reintroduced the Henry George concept of Land Value Taxation[81] into its manifesto, which is probably the best mechanism by which commoditised land values could be slashed to levels where large estates would break up and ordinary communities, including those outwith crofting tenure, could buy back their own places. One might question, of course, why communities should have to pay anything to recover that to which there is no good title in any moral sense. The least that can be said in present circumstances, however, is that it is encouraging that far from trying to block the "Whitbread loophole," Government, through its agencies, has so far been supportive of crofter empowerment activities. A new era is emerging where, perhaps consistent with "efficient" property rights, land reform is beginning to get the attention it deserves. As Professor Bryan MacGregor of the Rural Economy Department of Aberdeen University said recently:


            "The present structure of tenure in rural Scotland is the interaction of complex historical and economic forces overlaid with government intervention on a large scale and influenced by the varying power of the different interest groups over time. There is no reason to assume that it is best for contemporary society or even that it is able to deliver desired policy objectives. Indeed, many of the residual aspects of feudalism might suggest urgent change is required."[82]



A second community buyout has now been effected by the crofters of Borve and Anniesdale on Skye. Others are being considered.  At the time of this paper being completed, the indigenous islanders of Eigg have just published an unprecedented open letter attacking their laird for slandering incoming settlers (mainly English and lowland Scots) as being detrimental to island life and stating that, "If the nature of the island has changed it could be said to have something to do with the fact that all of the local men working for the estate during Mr Schellenberg's first years of ownership have left, taking their indigenous way of life with them."[83] As the said laird prepares to hire a medieval village in Slovakia to host his team on a frozen lake for the new international game of "ice cricket" which he has invented,[84] the unwitting inhabitants of eastern Europe can perhaps look forward to the idiosyncratic attentions of the displaced rich as Schellenberg sets the trend by announcing that he is to withdraw from Eigg because, "I'm a bit of a liability."


Increasingly in this post-Rio era, crofters are looking overseas and sharing inspiration. Recently, 31 professionals, community activists and Government officials visited the west coast of Norway on a Reforesting Scotland study tour. There, under similar ecological and climatic conditions, a different social and political history has resulted in a stunningly different human ecology. As Angus McHattie of the Scottish Crofters Union has observed:


            "On returning from Norway to Skye recently, I had occasion to compare the view from similar 1,000m granite hills in both countries. In Norway the valley I looked down upon contained an autonomous village of 20 small farms, with their own crops, power supply, school etc. ‑ a prosperous and happy place with a good trade surplus and a population with a healthy age structure. The Skye valley had twenty black‑face ewes and twelve lambs. Compared to what the Norwegians started with, we are sitting on a goldmine. The development potential in the Highlands and Islands is immense."[85]


It is recognised that crofting as a component of global agriculture has no real future under CAP and GATT reforms.[86] But as a way of life where people can live from a diversified economic base in community and with the land, if not primarily from the land, its star is perhaps only now rising.[87] Even a TV programme like Tomorrow's World now feature the demonstrably long-term sustainability of much crofing practice as something which points towards the future, not the past.[88] Prince Charles' practical involvement has also raised crofting's profile, both through taking crofting holidays in the Hebrides and telling the Scottish Crofters Union Conference in Stornoway, 1993, that: "It (crofting) provides a model which many other rural communities throughout the world would do well to emulate."[89]


But what about England, indeed, the rest of Europe, whose people look in growing numbers to the Celtic fringe to recover something of their own identity? "We're still fighting the "Romans" and their long straight roads!" say the Dongas and Earth First! motorway protestors at Twynham Down[90], who with their powerful "retribalised" protest music are recovering what it can mean to be English; to deeply belong somewhere, through cherishing and being cherished by it. And there is the nub. Right relationship with self and community grow from right relationship with place. The land is itself one of our greatest teachers. That is why closeness to nature is integral to being fully human and such a terrible loss when taken away.


If the lessons of the former Yugoslavia are not to be lost, it must be recognised that belongingness can no longer be defined in narrowly ethnic terms. Rather, the old Celtic concept of kinship by respect for place, community and culture is perhaps what should matter most. This is expressed in the Gaelic proverb that, "The bonds of milk are stronger than those of blood;" meaning that nurturing counts for more than lineage. This opens the way for an inclusive identity, the "higher unity" of Kenneth White's "geopoetics"[91]. It has nothing to do with ethnic hatred as its detractors like to insinuate. It has everything to do with finding a mutually respecting place in a global plurality of cultures in which past injustices are recognised, forgiven, and as far as possible, rectified.


Francis Thompson closes his short crofting history by emphasising that the contribution of crofting is genuinely national, if not international. His conclusion could speak equally for many a peasant community around the world:


            "These communities (are) instrumental in producing folk who are still proving to be the 'bank' of social values and ideas for the nation as a whole.  And it is from those reserves of character that the will to survive against multinational and national government interests is drawn.  That indeed is a song worth the singing."[92]




About the Authors


Daniel Morgan has been undertaking research into green consciousness and land reform at the Centre for Human Ecology, University of Edinburgh, where Alastair McIntosh directs the Master of Science postgraduate human ecology degree. He is also a trustee of the Isle of Eigg land restitution Trust. Andy Wightman is director of Reforesting Scotland, the pressure group concerned with socio‑ecological regeneration. This paper was primarily written by Alastair McIntosh, but the original concept was proposed by Andy Wightman and important ideas were contributed by Dan Morgan.



References and Notes

[1]. In Hunter, J., The Making of the Crofting Community, John Donald, Edinburgh, 1976, p. 27.

[2]. Lester, W. R., Unemployment and the Land, Centre for Incentive Taxation, London, 1936 reprinted 1992, London (19 pp, from 177 Vauxhall Bridge Rd., SW1V 1EU), p. 7.

[3]. Bradshaw, B., Revisionism Revised, The Aisling, 7, Eire, 1992, pp. 63 - 70.

[4]. Thompson, F., Crofting Years, Luath Press, Scotland, 1984, p. 2.

[5]. See The Ecologist, Vol. 22, No. 4, July/Aug 1992, pp. 132 - 141.

[6]. Quaker Land Values Group manifesto. QLVG reprint many Henry George pamphlets on land value taxation. Available from R. V. Spathaky, 14 Windmill Grange, Histon, Cambridge, CB4 4JF.

[7]. For discussion of English socio-economic history see Lipson, E., The Growth of English Society, A & C Black, London, 4th edn. 1959; Inglis, B., Poverty and the Industrial Revolution, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1971; Rackham, O., The History of the Countryside, Dent, London, 1986; Travelyn, G., English Social History, Longmans, London, 1944; Thompson, E. P., The Making of the English Working Class, Penguin, London, 1968.

[8]. eg. Gimbutas, M, Civilzation of the Goddess: the World of Old Europe, HarperSanFransico, 1991; Sjoo, M. & Mor, B., The Great Cosmic Mother, HarperCollins, 1993.

[9]. Kingston, W., Property Rights and the Making of Christendom, The Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. IX, No. 2, 1992, pp. 373 - 397.

[10]. Merchant, C., The Death of Nature, Harper and Row, New York, 1980.

[11]. Ecologist, op. cit., pp. 132 - 133.

[12]. McIntosh, A. I., The Return of the Last Wolf: the Psychospiritual Dynamics of Totemism in Cultural Regeneration, British Assoc. Conservation of Nature public lecture, Edinburgh, 17-11-93, publication in preparation.

[13]. Kirkwood, G. & C., Living Adult Education: Freire in Scotland, Open University Press, UK, 1989.

[14]. Freire, P., Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Penguin, UK, 1971, pp. 121 - 122.

[15]. Jarvie, G., Highland Games: the Making of the Myth, Edinburgh University Press, 1991, p. 45.

[16]. ibid. p. 46.

[17]. Meek, D. E., The Land Question Answered from the Bible; The Land Issue and the Development of a Highland Theology of Liberation, Scottish Geographical Magazine, Vol. 103, No. 2, 1987, pp. 84 - 89. Also, Hunter, J., op. cit..

[18]. Jarvie, G., op. cit., p. 33.

[19]. ibid. p. 34.

[20]. Hunter, J., op. cit., p. 7.

[21]. McGrath, J., There are Many Truths, As an Fhearann: from the Land, ed. Malcolm MacLean, Mainstream, Edinburgh, 1986, pp. 37 -41.

[22]. Hunter, J., op. cit., p. 46.

[23]. ibid., p. 81.

[24]. ibid. p. 51.

[25]. ibid., p. 65.

[26]. MacLean, M. (ed.), As an Fhearann: from the Land, Mainstream, Edinburgh, p. 13. Of course, the suggestion that on some emigrant ships conditions may have been worse than on some slavers, does not mean to imply that in general slaves had a better lot.

[27]. eg. Whyte, C. (ed.),An Aghaidh na Siorraidheachd: In the Face of Eternity, poem title by Mary Montgomery, p. 187.

[28]. Jarvie, G., op. cit., p. 64.

[29]. Thomson, D. (ed.), An Introduction to Gaelic Poetry, London, 1974, pp. 243 - 244.

[30]. Jarvie, G., op. cit..

[31]. MacArthur, M., Blasted Heaths and Hills of Mist: the Highlands and Islands through travellers' eyes, Scottish Affairs, No. 3, Spring 1993, pp. 23 - 31.

[32]. ibid..

[33]. Jarvie, G., op. cit., p. 68.

[34]. ibid., p. 64.

[35]. Etherington-Smith, M., Look Who's Stalking, Harpers & Queen, London, August 1992, p. 79.

[36]. McIntosh, A. I., 'A Collector's Item' or community ownership - the Isle of Eigg debate, Edinburgh Review, No. 88, Summer 1992, pp. 158 - 162.

[37]. Montgomery, M., The English, in Whyte, C., op. cit., pp. 191 - 192.

[38]. Millar, A., For Your Own Good: the Roots of Violence in Child-rearing, Virago, London, 1988 (and several similar titles).

[39]. Lennon, J., Plastic Ono Band, LP (1970's).

[40]. Fromm, E., To Have or to Be?, Abacus, London, 1978.

[41]. Seed, J. et al., Thinking Like a Mountain, New Society, USA, 1988.

[42]. Gore, A., Earth in the Balance, Earthscan, London, 1992.

[43]. Gimbutas, M., op. cit..

[44]. Fuller, F. Barbarians and Empire, CoEvolution Quarterly, Sausalito, Summer 1983, pp. 14 - 26.

[45]. White, K., Elements of Geopoetics, Edinburgh Review, op. cit., pp. 163 - 178.

[46]. eg. Jackson, K. H., A Celtic Miscellany, Penguin Classics, London, 1971; and the remarkable shamanistic text text of deep ecology originating from A.D. 637, modernised as Heaney, S., Sweeney Astray, Faber & Faber, London, 1984.

[47]. McGrath, J., op. cit..

[48]. Walker, A., No One Can Watch the Wasichu, Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful, Women's Press, London, 1985, pp. 59 - 60.

[49]. Pink Floyd, The Final Cut, LP, c. 1983.

[50]. The Highlander, 31 July 1875.

[51]. Meek, D. E., op. cit..

[52]. The Highlander, 24 January 1874.

[53]. The Highlander, 27 June 1879.

[54]. Hunter, J. (ed.), For the People's Cause: From the Writings of John Murdoch, HMSO, 1986.

[55]. The Highlander, 22 November 1873.

[56]. The Highlander, 4 May 1881.

[57]. MacLean, M., Highland Women, op. cit., p.23.

[58]. Ibid. p.27.

[59]. Munro, D., personal communication with Alastair McIntosh, 15 July 1991.

[60]. Morton, T., Going Home: The Runrig Story, Mainstream, 1991, p. 66.

[61]. Dargie, T. C. D. & Briggs, D. J., State of the Scottish Environment 1991, Scottish Wildlife and Countryside Link, 1991.

[62]. Bennet, K. D. et al., Holocene history of environment, vegetation and human settlement on Catta Ness, Lunnasting, Shetland, Journal of Ecology, 80, 1992, pp. 241 - 373.

[63]. Roberts, A.J. et al., Regional Variation in the Origin, Extent and Composition of Scottish Woodland, Botanical Journal of Scotland, 46(2), 1993, pp. 167 - 189.

[64]. Smout, T. C., The Highlands and the Roots of Green Consciousness, 1750 - 1990, Proceedings of the British Academy, 76, 1991, pp. 237 - 263.

[65]. Dodgshon, R. A. & Olsson, E. G., Productivity and Nutrient Use in Eighteenth-Century Scottish Highland Townships, Geografiska Annaler, 70(B), 1988, pp. 39 - 51.

[66]. Smout, C. T., op. cit..

[67]. Mather, A. S., Land use, physical sustainability and conservation in Highland Scotland, Land Use Policy, April 1992, pp. 99 - 110.

[68]. Fraser Darling, F., West Highland Survey, Oxford, 1955.

[69]. McIntosh, A. I., Wokabout Somils in Sustainable Forestry: New Hebrides to Old, Reforesting Scotland: Tree Planters Guide to the Galaxy, 4, 1991, pp. 5 - 7.

[70]. Watson, A., quoted in Scotland and the Global Forest Crisis, Reforesting Scotland press release, 15 May 1993.

[71]. MacGregor, B., Land Tenure in Scotland, The John McEwen Memorial Lecture, unpublished (Aberdeen University Dept. of Land Economy), 24 September 1993.

[72]. Houston, G. & Bryden, I., Agrarian Change in the Scottish Highlands, Martin Robertson & Co., 1976, cited in Jarvie, op. cit., p. 96.

[73]. Porter, H., Scrambled Eigg, Harpers & Queen, October 1991, unpaginated.

[74]. Personal communication with Alastair McIntosh, 1992.

[75]. Allardyce, J., Will Schellenberg be the Last Emperor of Eigg?, West Highland Free Press, 22 November 1991.

[76]. Personal communication with Alastair McIntosh, Isle of Eigg Trust archives, 3 February 1992.

[77]. Forsyth, T., Harris, B., & McIntosh, A., Open Letter to the Laird of Eigg, Reforesting Scotland, 7, Autumn 1992, pp. 30 - 31.

[78]. Macrae, A., speaking in An e Farmad a ni Treabhadh, Grampian Television, transmitted 13 December 1993.

[79]. Allardyce, J., Assynt crofters break lairds' stranglehold, West Highland Free Press, 11 December 1992, p. 1.

[80]. Personal communication (paraphrased from memory) with Alastair McIntosh, Edinburgh, 1992.

[81]. See earlier note on Quaker Land Values Group for Henry George publications.

[82]. MacGregor, B., op. cit..

[83]. MacKinnon, A. J. and 14 other indigenous residents, A Message from the People of Eigg, West Highland Free Press, 21 January 1994.

[84]. Henry Cockburn's Diary, Sunday Times (Scotland), 16 January 1994.

[85]. McHattie, A., Crofting - is  there a future?, Land Ownership and Use, Andrew Fletcher Society, 1986.

[86]. Crichton, T., Time for crofters to face up to the future, West Highland Free Press, 10 December 1993.

[87]. McIntosh, A. I., Journey to the Hebrides, Scottish Affairs, 6, 1994.

[88]. Tomorrow's World, BBC 1, 21 Januray 1994.

[89]. H.R.H. Prince Charles, quoted in Allardyce, J., Prince among the peasants at SCU conference, West Highland Free Press, 2 April 1993, p. 6.

[90]. Personal communications, Jake Burbridge and Dongas Tribe with Alastair McIntosh, Ireland and Edinburgh, 1993-94.

[91]. White, K., op. cit..

[92]. Thompson, F., op. cit., p. 135.


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