This week’s offering has totally contrasting voices and outlooks dealing with entirely separate subjects but linked inevitably by political change. I’ve been after Andy Wightman for a while because he was the first voice I ever heard talking sanely about who owns Scotland. I lived as a boy in the Borders where there was and to a degree still is a reverence for the aristocrat and the landowning classes. ‘It’s aye been’, as they will tell you.
You could hardly walk the river, fish or deviate from the roads around Selkirk without intruding on somebody’s property although because of the ancient status of Royal Burgh the town owns land to this day which is common. Our Common Riding is just that – touring the boundaries to see they are intact.
We were never far from the doleful influence of private owners though either in the Haining estate – now donated to the town – or up the Yarrow Valley where it seemed every pheasant, trout and river track belonged to the Duke of Buccleuch.
I interviewed the previous Duke for the Glasgow Herald and wrote a piece questioning why one man could hold so many acres, forests, hills, buildings and people’s lives in his hand. The result was that when the article appeared, he tried to have me sacked.
Andy is great value. He is one of the great Scots – erudite and committed – and, like me, left school after his Highers.
Amanda is out and about as usual challenging people about their views, this week younger Scotland.
And for sheer heartbreaking horror listen to Julie Webster tell the story of Maryhill Food Bank, hear her travails in the Benefits Office, the abuse from staff, the effect of being sanctioned and how sometimes people come in and tear the lid off food to eat on the spot. This is Scotland in the raw. If you think this is civilised, vote No and p;rove you couldn’t care less for your fellow Scot. Give it a try at http://batemanbroadcasting.com/episode-9-current-scottish-landscape/
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