Scottish independence: Clan chiefs to stay neutral

SCOTLAND’S clan chiefs are to maintain a neutral position ahead of September’s referendum on Scottish independence.

The clan chiefs made the announcement ahead of the Bannockburn Live event later this month. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs (SCSC), which comprises the vast majority of the current leaders of Scotland’s ancient clans, has confirmed that it will not take a stance on the referendum, but will leave its members open to express their opinions in a personal capacity.

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In a statement ahead of this month’s Bannockburn Live event, the SCSC has stressed the desire of its members to remain neutral in the debate.

SCSC convener Sir Malcolm MacGregor wrote: “There are varying views amongst chiefs and clans over what is best for Scotland.

“Because of these differing opinions, the SCSC will not comment on independence.”

MacGregor told The Independent: “Outwardly, I suppose we wear the attire – kilts and tartan – which might designate a nationalist, but I would never suggest that because of that the clans are biased towards the nationalists.

“If you look at the history of Scotland and the clans you will find many who are in fact unionists. I’d be wary of saying ‘If you’re in a kilt, you must be a nationalist’.”

Clan Skene chief Danus Skene told the paper: “I’m a patron of Yes Scotland. For me, it’s a matter of management common sense.”

The latest ICM opinion poll for Scotland on Sunday shows 36 per cent of Scots are in favour of independence, with 43 per cent against. Over a fifth (21 per cent) are undecided.