England did not defeat Scotland at Culloden - Readers' Letters

As a descendant of a survivor of Jacobite Lord Ogilvie’s Forfarshire Regiment at Culloden, I am aware that many would have it that Culloden was a Scottish defeat at the hands of the dastardly English. However, too much of the Scottish narrative is based upon fanciful and usually untrue representations of facts.

British forces defeated the Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden in 1746
British forces defeated the Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden in 1746

In your article “Battle site ‘overshadowed by Culloden’ fights for recognition” (17 June), your contributors reveal a fundamental ignorance of the forces involved in the skirmish at Littleferry and at Culloden as well.

The armies involved did not represent Scotland versus England, as many with a political axe to grind would have it. In fact, the forces arrayed against the Jacobites represented the Army of Great Britain. This did not stop your authors from saying that “Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army of Highlanders (were) defeated by English troops”, not once but twice! Too much copy and paste and too little, if any research.

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The actual skirmish the article discussed shows that many in the British Army were actually Scots and the force at Littleferry was led by one Ensign John Mackay (of Moudale) and comprised two companies of Highlanders. Not very English.

Equally, of the forces that fought at Culloden the following day, there were proportionately more Scots involved than there are in the British Army now. Regiments involved included a Scots artillery company (Captain Cunningham’s Company), Argyll Militia, the Royal Scots, Royal Scots Fusiliers and others, both infantry and cavalry. English?

The “hit TV show Outlander the article mentions tried hard to be accurate, unlike this article.

Andrew HN Gray Edinburgh

Battle lines

The authors of the article on Culloden are mistaken in describing the battle between an ‘English’ army and Highlanders, implying an English-Scottish confrontation.

The British Army included the Royal Scots and elements of Clan Campbell – and the MacGillvary brothers, for example, served against each other on opposing sides.

While the names of the Highland army dead are recorded in the book No Quarter Given, the record of those on the government side who lost their lives was unfortunately destroyed during the Blitz. So while it has been suggested that some of the English regiments may have recruited Scots to their numbers as they moved north, there is no longer any evidence to that effect.

The battle has been described as “Protestant versus Catholic” and even “Lowland versus Highland.” It is not entirely accurate, but has a certain degree of truth. The Lowland Scots magazine published in Edinburgh at the time lauded the government victory over the barbaric Highlanders.

David A Clark, Saanichton, British Columbia, Canada

Yellow vests

Many will agree with Christian Orr Ewing that a “City centre car ban will hurt elderly and poor” (Letters, 17 June). In fact, every pensioner in the UK will be prevented from enjoying life because at present they have freedom to come and go as they please but will not once petrol/diesel cars are banned.

Very few pensioners can afford an electric vehicle. Today's pensioners have paid taxes for over 40 years and are still paying. The majority of pensioners need their cars to shop, go to the dentist and the doctor, hospital visits, meet friends and look after grandchildren. Public transport is not an option. Pensioners need to take even more bottles to the bottle bank due to the stress of the UK's and Scotland's expensive and dictatorial climate policies.

There is a solution. Pensioners should form a UK branch of the French Yellow Vests which forced Macron to cancel proposed increases in green taxes. Then we could demonstrate in the streets and cause chaos just like Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter. The worst that can happen is a spell in jail. Free meals, TV, no rent – what's not to like?

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Sunny outlook

Although the sun provides heat, it does not control our climate, as Malcolm Parkin states (Letters, 18 June).

Many factors contribute to climate variation, including changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns, varying concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and even volcanic eruptions.

One influence is predictable changes in the Earth's orbit, which affect the amount of sunlight reaching the surface. These are changes in the eccentricity of the orbit, shifts in the Earth's axis and precession of the axis.

The present global warming is independent of the above factors and is mainly driven by the rising level of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere.

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh

Double standards

Given Nicola Sturgeon’s opposition to an Australian trade deal, might she publish a list of countries that she would welcome a trade deal with in order that Liz Truss might focus her attention on these?

She was against a trade deal with the US, but the Scotch whisky industry must be celebrating the suspension of US tariffs now that the UK and the US have resolved a long running trade row.

Is it not ironic that their ‘low’ food standards prohibits our most famous national dish from setting foot in that country? Sturgeon is just against anything the UK succeeds at.

Ken Currie, Edinburgh

Great Danes

John Peter’s letter (Scotsman, 18 June) comparing the GDP of independent Denmark with a tied, dependent Scotland as a region of the UK is of course a ridiculous non sequitur comparing apples with oranges.

The differential is due to Denmark being an independent country with full control of her economic levers of power and shows the potential of a similarly sized north European nation if independent.

His GDP figures for Scotland are as hitched to the UK and are prima facie reasons for exiting the British union, not remaining in it. We only have to look as far as the new Australia trade deal which the Vote Leave UK government will be imposing on us to see the damage the UK will be doing to our farmers, which Holyrood will not even be consulted about.

Brexit has already damaged our fishing industry including onshore jobs in fish processing, much of which is now being done in Denmark rather than Peterhead in order to comply with EU rules on selling to an EU market. Time to go it alone and seize the day.

Mairianna Clyde, Edinburgh

Off the boil

I can’t be the only person in Scotland who has listened in astonishment at the utter pathetic, embarrassing, banal, inane rubbish at 1pm on Radio Scotland this week by two Glaswegian “presenters/comedians”.

What on earth is happening to Scotland that our national broadcaster thinks it acceptable to foist garbage like this Off The Ball on listeners.

Douglas Cowe, Kingseat, Aberdeenshire

Poor performance

The report by Jane Bradley “Pupils pulled from exams to protect school pass rate” (Scotsman, 17 June) is based entirely on unsubstantiated speculation.

We hear from the usual suspects in parliamentary opposition and one parent who apparently would prefer her child to fail rather than be withdrawn from a subject.

Nobody from the schools, teaching unions, the SQA or the government, is given an opportunity to comment, which raises suspicions about the accuracy of the claims in the article.

However, as attacks on the education sector and the exam/assessment process, which hasn't yet taken effect, are described as "disaster" and a variety of Scotsman journalists queue up to level criticism of all aspects of the process, we are left to wonder what it is exactly you would like to see? Perhaps demonstrated attainment should simply be abandoned and every pupil awarded top grades?

Gill Turner, Edinburgh

Age controls

Your report that “80 per cent of adults want age controls on online porn” (17 June) is a stern rebuke to the UK government for their failure, to date, to fully implement the Digital Economy Act of 2017.

As UK-wide legislation, aimed at protecting children from accessing harmful online materials, this lack of action also affects children here in Scotland. This has been recognised by Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, who recently lodged a motion at Holyrood, urging the UK government to fully implement the 2017 Act without further delay.

With the motion having also received the welcome endorsement of many SNP MSPs, perhaps Scottish ministers can urge their UK counterparts to act quickly, and in so doing add their voice to the coalition of women’s organisations, headteachers, children’s charities and others who are demanding action.

Michael Veitch, Parliamentary Officer, CARE for Scotland, Glasgow

Hate crime?

If ever the perfect example was needed of exactly what the SNP’s Hate Bill was surely designed to stop, may I suggest the authorities check the widely available and high quality online video of a large group of Scotland fans dancing wildly and giving a full and unexpurgated version of “If you hate the f*****g English clap your hands”. It was shot indoors and there should be no problem whatsoever in tracing the participants, the venue and the date.

I despair for what my country has become under the SNP’s “civic and welcoming” brand of nationalism.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

Alone again

Am I alone in thinking that letters which start with: “Am I alone in . . .” should not be printed?

David Hollingdale, Edinburgh


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