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     Scottish CND      Magazine


Here are some lines from “The Unholy Loch”, by Hugh MacDiarmid, published in “Peace Campaign” (Jan.Feb. 1961).

“Can you account for it ? The Scottish people
Are all opposed to the Polaris base, it’s said.”
- It must be some sort of half-forgotten
Self-respect at last raising its ugly head !

Some half-forgotten self-respect ? By God,
It’s high time that surged up and prevailed
Before morons, with none, make the whole world
Enurn a humanity that has failed.

Nowhere in Scotland, Europe, America even
Is there a fit place for such a base.
If it must be located anywhere at all
Then Hell itself is the only place.

It’s nothing, fools think, to destroy
The population of Glasgow in a second.
That’s it - it’s nothing they think - that’s the fact
With which it’s high time we reckoned.

Nay, Hell itself it would disgrace.
For a Polaris base there is no place !

38 years after these lines of protest were written we have an even more powerful nuclear weapon system a mile or two across the water from “the Unholy Loch”. And as in 1961, the people of Scotland are powerless to remove the evil threat even if 100% of them want it removed.

But there is a difference in the psyche, a political difference. That “half-forgotten self-respect” has grown in the generations since 1961 to the extent that “self government” is on the horizon. And that will mean power to remove TRIDENT and all nuclear war weaponry from Scotland.

By chance, on the day that this is being written, the Scottish Labour M.P. who is the U.K.’s Minister of Defence, George Robertson, gives more credibility to the possibility that the Scottish electorate will vote to banish TRIDENT.

Mr Robertson, who will presumably have to find a seat in England, for the English Parliament, says that the bases in Scotland which are used for nuclear weapons, could be leased to England by the Scottish Government !

All I can say is “We’re no that daft !” We can all work together and echo Hugh MacDiarmid - “For a Trident base there is no place !”

Billy Wolfe

Scottish CND      Magazine