The same places that Keir Hardie in actual fact is trying to drive out Eastern Europeans, Maclean is making direct links with these. One, he’s making direct links with people like Lithuanians, he’s making links with some of the people that actually became key activists in the Bolsheviks in Lithuania and various other people. So the visit to Lewis takes place after the end of the First World War. It’s when, for a long time, Maclean himself has not been in support of any particular form of Scottish self-determination. As early as 1909, he is calling for a specific Scottish section of the British Socialist Party (BSP) but that is only because I think he sees Scotland as potentially more militant as a trigger, through the BSP, to wider things. I think the thing that makes him change his attitude is the 1916 rising in Ireland when he’s up to his neck in trying to ... you know, anti-war agitation, you see, the 1916 rising in Ireland. There are people that are more sympathetic than he is at that time to the rising but it makes him think ...

  • Allan Armstrong
Tuesday 25th May 2010