But these people didn’t want to get the case of the Highlands mixed up with Ireland. Ireland was still very much a byword for terrorism and laziness and all these kind of Celtic stereotypes. And although you would get some people in London conflating Ireland and the Highlands and just saying: “They’re all Celts and they’re all lazy!” there was certainly a group of people in the Highlands who were interested in reform for the crofters but didn’t think that the case was analagous with Ireland, that the Highland crofters were a much harder working people than the Irish, that if they got the society correct it would be viable and also made references, for example, to the great military record of the Highlanders in the British Empire and so on. So what you might get in the 1890s is when home rule, for Ireland especially but home rule all round, becomes a big political issue, you tend to get groups of Liberal home rulers and Liberal Unionists and they’re divided by their feelings of home rule. And yeah, both might be arguing the case for the crofters in slightly different ways.

  • Andrew Newby
Location:
Aberdeen
Date:
Thursday 29th April 2010
Reference:
SWI2010/011