Thistles Rise Again

Scotland’s long journey back to having its own parliament again

As with my prequal, THE CRUSHING OF THISTLES has been written around actual and momentous events from Scotland’s national history. It has been dramatised by way of a continuing fictitious story-line of family and other links, introduced to assist with the portrayal of events that greatly affected Scotland’s people who were suffering immensely throughout these times.

Chapter 1 – New Beginnings

James MacPherson knew he had to leave Helmsdale because of the ongoing family feud with Alexander. His mind was finally made up when a young woman of his acquaintance suggested the possibly of moving to Glasgow where she had a friend that could help them both.  A career as a charity worker opened up for him to be followed by an introduction to the world of heavy industry.

Chapter 2 – A Fast Changing World

James retires early and decides to take his family to the island of Lewis in search of better way of life and some peaceful living. However, he now becomes involved in the continuing serious crofting issues around the Clearances of the time. There was also now disruption in the Church of Scotland leading to the start of the “Wee Free” church and its religious ideals.

Chapter 3 – The Beginnings of Social Change

The family of James’s son-in-law, Thomas, his wife Emma, James’s daughter, and their two sons David and Alex now come to the fore together with David’s wife Maisie. Each pursues their own careers within the changing social and industrial face of Scotland. The Socialist movement was starting to grow and arising out of levels of deprivation, poverty, and an increasingly unequal society.

Chapter 4 – Fighting in Foreign Lands

Many Scots were involved in the Boer Wars at the end of the nineteenth century, men mostly in fighting and women in nursing and other services. Cammy Wilson from Inveraray and Mairi McLeod from Clydebank were two of these and they were drawn together following a serious life-changing injury that affected Cammy. It was received in battle, and Mairi subsequently helps Cammy to start a new career

Chapter 5 – World Wars and Further Social Change

The two world wars the followed were also fought overseas. The first one features Cammy Wilson again but this time following his new career as a war artist. His wife Mairi returns to nursing after the birth of their daughter. Social change was also high on the agenda resulting from the growth of socialism. This was fuelled by major unemployment after the war that had been partially caused by the large numbers of returning soldiers all expecting work. The rise of the Labour party and military tanks in George Square also feature.

Chapter 6 – A Bright and Shiny New World

The chapter summarises the changes brought about during the period of New Town development. It is seen through the eyes of a young boy who grew up during this period of the 50s and 60s and illustrates the many social and economic changes that were occurring in the cities and throughout Scotland

Chapter 7 – Through Rose Coloured Glasses

During this period and in some following years many events that had shamed Scotland and Britain were starting to come more into light – Representation of the people, The Highland Clearances, forced child migration, the slave trade, the whitewashing of some aspects of Scotland’s history and many other features of Scotland’s past were now rightly being unwrapped for the surprised and shocked public of Scotland to be made fully aware of.

Chapter 8 – All Change

In the early seventies the Scottish National Party started to grow and to consequently gain parliamentary representation. It was the time of “Scotland’s Oil”, Rootes, and the growing Hydro industry amongst some other economic changes. It was also the time that trade unions were at their strongest and heavy industry closures were becoming more frequent leading to the “Three Day Working Week.”      A young couple however found each other and started to become integral to the ongoing political changes that were starting to be seen around Scotland

Chapter 9 – “There shall be a Scottish Parliament. I Like That”

Scottish Nationalism was now strongly on the rise and soon The Scottish Parliament was restarted after an absence of nearly 300 years. Excited celebrations greeted the referendum result in 1999 and the parliament finally sat again in the Assembly Halls in Edinburgh as the country awaited the new parliament building in Edinburgh being completed in 2004. In May 2002, then Prime Minister Tony Blair unveiled a statue of Donald Dewar at the top of Buchanan Street in Glasgow. The base of the statue is inscribed with the opening words of the Scotland Act: “There Shall Be a Scottish Parliament”, a phrase to which Dewar himself famously commented, “I like that!”

COPYRIGHT: Ian Couper 2021

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