Thursday, 23 May 2013

Mrs Howden in The Heart of Midlothian

What's he mithering on about now you're probably asking. Well I'll tell you, if the argument for Scottish Independence can be encapsulated in one quote; it is this.

"I dinna ken muckle about the law," answered Mrs Howden; "but I ken, when we had a king, and a chancellor, and parliament-men o' our ain, we could aye peeble them wi' stanes when they werena gude bairns - Bit naebody's nails can reach the length o' Lunnon."

From Sir Walter Scott's book The Heart of Midlothian, uttered by a Mrs Howden as she was helped back down to the hill to the Lawnmarket by a Mr Plumdumas - a somewhat unfortunate choice of name.

I read this quote months ago on another blog, I made a special point of remembering the blog name and article title then promptly forgot. Fortunately it cropped up again at Lalland's (linked in the text above) so I was able to find the book from which it came and put it into some context.

The point is as compelling now as it was then; London is far away geographically but even further away in spirit, aspiration and motivation. I want patronise you with any further elaboration; the words speak for themselves.

I'd really like to witter on about something else but I'll save it for another post - this one deserves to basque in its own glory unsullied by other more mundane topics.


  1. Reminds me of something the lovely Sophia Pangloss would say.

    I have to agree London is so far away, both in geographical terms and on any kind of contactable basis.

    It seems to belong to another day with its crowns and its lords and rituals and being held in a royal palace.

    I've met 3 of our first ministers and talked with them. I've never met a UK prime minister, nor do I want to.

    I was once invited to Holyrood Palace for a garden party, because of work I had done with the Prince's Trust, but declined when I received a list of things that I could and could not wear, do, and say. And details of how to behave and what to say if one of the royals, including the trumped up little gold diggers approached me.

    I feel completely at home in parliament in Edinburgh where I've met and chatted with people like Nicola and Annabel Goldie...

    I can't imagine being anything other than feeling quite small and insignificant in Westminster.

    Right Honourable gentlemen? ...oh please.

    Noble gentlemen? me a favour.

  2. Yup.

    I can't argue with that, Westminster is so far away in so many respects.

  3. Penny to a pound that Farage isn't a Walter Scott fan and hadn't heard of Mrs Howden either

  4. I reckon Farage is a Wilbur Smith or perhaps a Freddie Forsyth fan. The latter has a column in the daily express and seems to be a bit of a Tory.

    All good boys own adventures though where men are men and women are in distress then saved, (in that order.*)

    *Although Fredrick does write a good yarn...


Thanks for comment as always and I apologise if you have to jump through any hoops to do so. Its just that, I'm still being spammed by organisations who are certain I can't get it up or when it is up its not big enough or that I don't have anyone to get it up for.

Who knew blogging could be so bad for ones self-confidence?