Great Scottish Speeches
Great Scottish Speeches
About this book:
Some Great Scottish Speeches were the result of years of contemplation. Some flourished in heat of the moment. Whatever the background of the ideas expressed, the speeches not only provide a snapshot of their time, but express views that still resonate in Scotland today, whether you agree with the sentiments or not.
Encompassing speeches made by Scots or in Scotland, this carefully selected collection reveals the character of a nation. Themes of religion, independence and socialism cross paths with sporting encouragement, Irish Home Rule and Miss Jean Brodie.
Ranging from the legendary speech of the Caledonian chief Calgagus in 83AD right up to Alex Salmond's election victory in 2007, these are the speeches that created modern Scotland.
Table of contents:
13 Foreword by Alex Salmond
15 Preface by Prof David Purdie
23 Calgacus - 1st Century AD 23
To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace.
25 Andrew Melville - 1595
There is Christ Jesus whose subject James the Sixth is,
and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a lord,
nor a head, but a member.
27 Macbeth - 1611
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage.
29 Charles I - 30 January 1649
I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown; where no disturbance can be, no disturbance in the world.
32 Richard Rumbold - 26 June 1685
For none comes into the world with a saddle upon his back, neither any booted and spurred to ride him.
35 Lord Belhaven - 2 November 1706
None can destroy Scotland, save Scotland itself;
hold your Hands from the Pen, you are secure.
39 Lord Balmerino - 18 August 1746
I was brought up in true, loyal, and anti-revolution principles.
42 Thomas Carlyle - 5 May 1840
The History of the World is the Biography of Great Men.
45 Thomas Chalmers - 18 May 1843
We quit a vitiated Establishment but we shall rejoice to return to a poorer one.
48 Frederick Douglas - 30 January 1846
If there was to be found a house open for him, he would yet raise the cry - send back the blood-stained dollars!
51 John Inglis - 8 July 1857
You are invited and encouraged by the prosecutor to snap the thread of that young life.
54 William Gladstone - 26 November 1879
Go into the lofty hills of Afghanistan.
57 Henry George - 18 February 1884
If I were a Glasgow man today I would not be proud of it.
60 Michael Davitt - 3 May 1887
Go in for what is your just and your natural right, the ownership of the land of Skye for its people.
63 Keir Hardie - 23 April 1901
Socialism proposes to dethrone the brute-god Mammon and to lift humanity into its place.
66 Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman - 14 June 1901
When is a war not a war? When it is carried on by methods of barbarism in South Africa.
69 David Kirkwood - 25 March 1916
We are willing, as we have always been, to do our bit, but we object to slavery.
71 John Maclean - 9 May 1918
I am not here, then, as the accused; I am here as the accuser of capitalism dripping with blood from head to foot.
74 JM Barrie - 3 May 1922
Courage is the thing. All goes if courage goes.
77 Andrew Bonar Law - 19 October 1922
I shall vote in favour of our going into the election as a Party fighting to win.
79 Lord Birkenhead - 7 November 1923
The world continues to offer glittering prizes to those who have stout hearts and sharp swords.
82 Ramsay MacDonald - 8 January 1924
Why will we take office? Because we are to shirk no responsibility that comes to us in the course of the evolution of our Movement.
85 Duchess of Atholl - 18 January 1924
Save the country from a Government which�I think the country has conclusively shown in the recent election it does not want.
87 John Wheatley - 23 June 1924
The bricklayer and the bricklayers' labourers cannot afford to purchase houses which the bricklayer and the bricklayers' labourers are building.
90 HH Asquith - 15 October 1926
Look neither to the right nor to the left, but keep straight on.
93 Rev James Barr - 13 May 1927
There is nothing better for an old Scottish song than that it should be sung over again.
96 Edward Rosslyn Mitchell - 13 June 1928
It connotes a journey, this one not from Lambeth to Bedford, but from St Paul's to St Peter's.
98 RB Cunninghame Graham - 21 June 1930
Nationality is in the atmosphere of the world.
100 Edwin Scrymgeour - 21 July 1931
When I see this sort of thing I say, God help me, I am for none of it!102 Sir Compton Mackenzie - 29 January 1932
I believe that Scotland is about to live with a fullness of life undreamed of yet.
106John Buchan - November 1932
I believe that every Scotsman should be a Scottish Nationalist.
109 Florence Horsburgh - 3 November 1936
It has never been done better by a woman before, and, whatever else may be said about me, in the future from henceforward I am historic.
112 George Buchanan - 10 December 1936
Talk to me about fairness, about decency, about equality! You are setting aside your laws for a rich, pampered Royalty.
114 Sir Archibald Sinclair - 3 October 1938
We may yet save ourselves by our exertions, and democracy by our example.
117 Winston Churchill - 17 January 1941
My one aim is to extirpate Hitlerism from Europe.
119 Thomas Johnston - 24 February 1943
I should like before I go from this place to offer some of the amenities of life to the peasant, his wife, and his family.
122 Robert McIntyre - 1 May 1945
Do we want education to breed a race of docile North Britons?
124 Sir David Maxwell Fyfe - 4 November 1950
We consider that our light will be a beacon to those at the moment in totalitarian darkness and will give them a hope of return to freedom.
126 John MacCormick - 8 January 1951
Recent events have emphasised that the Scottish still remember their past and are still determined to preserve their identity in the future.
129 John Reith - 22 May 1952
Somebody is minded now to introduce sponsored broadcasting into this country.
132 Robert Boothby - "lt;B>19 February 1954
Homosexuality is far more prevalent in this country than is generally admitted.
135 George MacLeod - May 1954
I for one cannot press that button. Can you?
137 Wendy Wood - 30 May 1960
The Parliament of Scotland which God has miraculously preserved for us for 250 years.
140 Miss Jean Brodie - Novel published in 1961
I am a teacher! I am a teacher, first, last, always!
142 Jo Grimond - 15 September = 1963
I intend to march my troops towards the sound of gunfire.
145 Malcolm Muggeridge - 14 January 1968
So, dear Edinburgh students, this may well be the last time I address you and I don't really care whether it means anything to you or not.
148 Edward Heath 18 May 1968 148
We would propose the creation of an elected Scottish Assembly, to sit in Scotland.
151 Mick McGahey - 1968 151
Nationalism in itself is not an evil, but perverted nationalism, which is really chauvinism, is a menace and danger.
154 Jimmy Reid - 28 April 1972
A rat race is for rats. We're not rats.
157 RF Mackenzie - 1 April 1974
It is the comprehensive school that is on trial today.
159 David Steel - September 1976
The road I intend us to travel may be a bumpy one.
162 John P Mackintosh - 16 December 1976
It is not beyond the wit of man to devise the institutions to meet those demands and thus strengthen the unity of the United Kingdom.
165 Tam Dalyell - 14 November 1977
The devolutionary coach will be on a motorway without exit roads to a separate Scottish State.
168 Pope John Paul II - 31 May 1982
There is an episode in the life of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, which can serve as an example for what I wish to tell you.
171 Margaret Thatcher - 21 May 1988
It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong but love of money for its own sake.
174 Canon Kenyon Wright - 30 March 1989
Well, we say yes and we are the people.
177 Renton - 1990s
I hate being Scottish. We're the lowest of the fucking low.
178 John Smith - 18 November 1993
Instead of going back to basics, the Government should be going back to the drawing board.
181 Very Rev Dr James Whyte - 9 October 1996
When someone dies young, as these did, we tend to think of what they might have been, of what they were becoming.
184 Jim Telfer - 21 June 1997
Very few ever get a chance in rugby terms to go for Everest, for the top of Everest. You have the chance today.
186 Donald Dewar - 1 July 1999
But today there is a new voice in the land, the voice of a democratic parliament.
189 Lord James Douglas-Hamilton - 16 December 1999
It is neither in keeping with the spirit of the times nor consistent with the social inclusion that we wish to celebrate in the year of the millennium.
191 Tommy Sheridan - 27 April 2000
For 300 years, those with power have had access to legal terror.
193 George Galloway -