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The Essential Nationalist

As a young child at school, I was often beaten for saying ‘aye’ instead of ‘yes’; or ‘disnae’ instead of ‘doesn’t’; or even ‘ye’ rather than ‘you’. Woe betide the bairn who uttered such phrases as “Ah dinnae ken!” or “It wisnae me!” within earshot of some tawse-wielding dominie. Personal memory is an unreliable narrator of the wee film biographies we screen in our heads, but in the version of my life story that I tell myself, such treatment sowed the seeds for my lifelong commitment to the cause of Scottish nationalism.

There were other things, of course. Things I read. Things I heard. Things I witnessed. But the memory that lingers with a burning sense of injustice barely dimmed by intervening decades, is the recollection of having it impressed upon me by means of casually inflicted pain that the language I’d been immersed in all my short life was unsavoury, unfit and unacceptable. In a very real sense, we are our words. We are the words we use to describe ourselves and our world, both to ourselves and to others. To take away a person’s language is a cruel thing.

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October 2016 Edition The one with the "EAT YOUR CEREAL" COVER Robbie Dinwoodie has an exclusive interview with Malcolm Chisholm Peter A Bell on the Essential Nationalist and why a form of cultural oppression has been going on for years in the classroom Will McLeod in New Yorks writes on Hilary and the US Media Dr Craig Dalzell on the subject of GERS Wee Ginger Dug - Have a nice cold bowl of Brexit The Most Excellent Tom Morton on Finding good whisky at reasonable prices. Delia Forrest in Barcelona - Independence, at what price? Photo Essay by Top Photographer Simon Mayson Prof Steve Peers of Essex University - Can Scotland stay in the EU as part of the UK after Brexit? Jennifer Harper- a Basic Income Guarantee Payment + a Glass Act Dr Steve McCabe - Protecting Vulnerable Adults Ann MacLaren - James MacLaren and Fortingall Dave Bowman - Ewan MaColl iScot Short Story - Lunch at the Palazzo iScot Book Review - Par for the Ladies Rachel Gillon - Preserving Scotland's culinary heritage Grouse Beater - My Life as a Hero Mary Edward - The Govan Stones Fiona Nicholson - Bio-Assistance Dogs David McVey - Industrial Idyll - Inchcailloch - Loch Lomond Major Bloodnok - The guvnor