Sunday, June 5, 2011

Auld Songs for the new Scotland #2


Even under the first feeble Labour-Lib Dem administrations, the Scottish Parliament took the important step of enabling crofting communities to buy the land they and their ancestors have lived and worked on for generations. Asainte and the Isle of Eigg were the first to throw off the unwanted ownership of uncaring, oppressive or just bizarre rich owners. Who could forget the antics of Keith Schellenberg - the man who let Eigg's houses fall into ruin while he dressed up as a Nazi to impress his rich German friends?

Schellenberg eventually left after islanders began opposing his autocratic rule and a mysterious fire left his Rolls Royce burned out. Schellenberg has since returned to his native Yorkshire and become a kerb-crawler. The island was sold to another bampot though - an 'artist of fire energy' by the name of Maruma. He though only visited the island twice and no further investment to improve the island's homes or infrastructure was forthcoming.

Currently, the crofters of the Pàirc estate in Lochs, Isle of Lewis are engaged in an attempt to forcibly return the ownership of the estate to the people who live on it. The laird is resisting though and therefore the 'hostile takeover' is awaiting approval from the Scottish Government. Here's hoping that permission is granted soon.

Oi Polloi's 'Take Back the Land' from their Fuaim Catha LP is a more than suitable soundtrack for the 'new' Scotland where hopefully more land will be taken from the hands of the rich and given over to community control. Its got anger. Its got humour. And arguably, its got the spirit of those who fought to reclaim their land from the rich - be it the crofters of Aignis and Pàirc, the Battle of the Braes in Skye or the Seven Men of Knoydart who resisted their laird Lord Brocket, a friend of Hitler, only to be sold down Loch Nevis by the then Labour government.

Oi Polloi - Take Back the Land
Tore the people from the land
Torched their houses with bloodied hands
Thousands starved or died at sea
A sickening toll of human misery
Broke the old clan system where land was there for all
And once the people had their backs against the wall
The connivance of the church cleared them off the land
"Remember it's God's will so don't try to make a stand"
They made a desert where trees once stood
Squeezing from the land every penny that they could
Ethnic cleaning of the glens for farming sheep
'Cos that way there's more profit for the rich scum to reap (rape)

"Beautiful bleak moorland?"- I don't think so
This is a place where great forests used to grow
Laid waste by a rich man's greed
Reclaim the land and plant the seed
Yet still every year, seeking their roots
They come from overseas to lick the boots
Of the clan chief and kiss the hand
Of the very people who threw their families off the land
This is nothing more than a sick farce
paying homage to the ruling class
Who, without hesitation, do it all again
Those who forget history to repeat it are condemned

"Gee, Scotland-It's so quaint
All this scenery makes me feel quite
faint
Clan chief looks so good in his kilt
We never think of the blood his family spilt"

"I'm the clan chief o.k. yah
I support Scotland when they play rugger
But an independent country? there I'd draw the line
I own this land it's mine all mine

FUCK YOU, You arrogant prick
You inbred rich bastard, YOU MAKE ME FUCKING SICK
You own fuck all-except in your head
One day the land will be ours-and you'll be dead

I won't beg permission to walk the land they claim to "own"
And I won't pay no fucker to gain access to THE STONES
The rich have stolen and buy and sell our earth
But it belongs to NO ONE-or to all by right of birth

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