In the Times today:
Up to 1,700 soldiers could be axed in Scotland as the Ministry of Defence seeks to cut costs and create a leaner army to meet the demands of the cyber era. Three of Scotland’s seven garrisons face closure in cuts to be announced by the end of the year. Fort George near Inverness, home to the Black Watch, and the Glencorse and Redford barracks in Edinburgh were scheduled to close by 2032 but army chiefs want to speed up the plans. A regiment of Royal Engineers at Kinloss may relocate to England. The moves could see the number of regular soldiers based in Scotland being cut from 3,700 to 2,000.https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/three-scottish-barracks-may-shut-in-army-cyber-move-dfw5wg7c5
There are only 3 700 soldiers based in Scotland? Out of 82 230 full-time? 4.5% for more than 8% of the population?
The cyber era? To hack the Russians or to hack us?
Many readers will have read of the 77th Brigade of ‘Facebook warriors’ and their alleged interference in the 2014 Referendum:
However, it was the proposed closure of Fort George that caught my eye and reminded me that I had written five years ago about a threatened closure:
Images: caernarfon.com, undiscoveredscotland.co.uk, fortapachearizona.org
Here’s what the Aberdeen-based Press & Journal thinks:
‘Fort George closure would cost Highland economy millions of pounds. Plans to close the historic Fort George barracks could cost the Highland economy £14million a year and lead to the loss of more than 100 jobs, it has emerged.’
Further down, the PJ reports:
‘Built after the Battle of Culloden, the garrison has been the home of the famous 500-strong Black Watch battalion for almost a decade, and also houses the regimental museum for The Highlanders.’
The campaign to save the fort has full cross-party support including that of newly-appointed Depute-Leader of the SNP, Angus Robertson. Is he biased? Like some of my Robertson ancestors, some of his probably got jobs with the Black Watch helping to keep the other tribes down, on behalf of the German, House of Hanover, UK monarchy at the time…..and still today? And, his mother is German and he speaks German fluently. He needs to declare any interests on this one.
I’m going out on a limb here, I know, but why don’t we think differently about this and similar historical sites? You could see them as places best forgotten rather than preserved. I began to think this way during a visit to North Wales with it’s impossible-to-ignore string of massive Norman castles. They are big ugly and physically dominating things just at face value but if you think what they were for, it’s much worse. These 12th Century monstrosities were built to dominate the Welsh, to remind them of their inferior status and were places of torture and imprisonment. It’s important to remember too that they were part of a wider domination of the Anglo-Saxons/English by a brutal French-speaking warrior elite just at the beginning of their imperial expansion.
More than four hundred years later, that imperial project had just finished off the last element of resistance in mainland Britain, the tribes of the Scottish Highlands. After victory by an imperial army at Culloden in 1746, the clans were ‘pacified’. This brutal process of punishment, humiliation and killing is today well-known. As with the Welsh, centuries before, Celtic cultural expression was banned and a chain of great forts was built to maintain control of the ‘tribes’. They are still with us today as Fort William, Fort Augustus and Fort George. Going further in the humiliation for the local population than was the case in Wales, they take the names of British aristocrats and have become the place-names of the settlements they stand in.
Less than two centuries later, a more fully genocidal project but with its roots still in Anglo-Norman imperialism was to put down many more forts across the lands of the aboriginal tribes of North America. Fort Apache is the best known but there are many more.
Is Fort George just our Fort Apache? Would the descendants of the Apache like to pay taxes for its preservation, I wonder?
Back to today, have I changed my views? Nope. Knock it down and recycle the stone.
13 thoughts on “Scotland’s ‘Fort Apache’ to close?”
Well, look on the bright side John. If the Army closes these barracks, it will make it even harder for Whitehall to pauchle the GERS figures to show how expensive we Scots are to keep.
Three fewer places to saddle with part of Scotland’s weel-known deficit will make it harder for them to sell that same deficit.
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Well, look on the bright side John?
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By all means change the name to Fort Sturgeon and on an even more positive note IF the proposed cuts go ahead would it not present an ideal opportunity to establish our own Scottish Civil Defence Force as a prelude to Independence. To man the ambulances and send them south when the English and Welsh service comes under increasing strain, to reinforce Montrose Golf Club fairways under threat and prepare for flooding defences from Climate change, to prepare the coastal and border defences for any Russian or even English invasion, to plant millions more trees, build housing shelters for the homeless or fill the potholes, man the foodbanks etc. I’m sure these very able bodied men could be utilised with far more meaningful and socially rewarding tasks that they are presently trained for.
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They stopped publishing defence expenditures in the four nations some years ago because it was so slanted against Scotland.
It wont stop GERS estimating Scotland “gets” a per capita share of defence expenditure—that is £40 billion divided by 8–£5 billion.
No doubt Hi Jack has the proof in his “data bank” that all this is spent here–hahaha.
BBC Hootsmon, showing its usual balance, has DRossie (pretending to know stuff) on its *Politics for Weans* TV show along with Wee Doogie “the knife” Alexander.
Alexander is on chuntering about climate change and show-boating off his “expertise” (actually just name dropping–“I met with Blah, Blah the other day”).
There can be no doubt Alexander went to all the places, met all the high-end folks, quaffed all the cocktails, wrote the books about it, and achieved zilch in the REAL world.
Since being voted out of office, Alexander will have been given more airtime on the BEEB, than the entirety of all the SNP MP’s, who replaced the whole dismal “stuff yer pockets” Labour crew.
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Is closing ”Scottish” barracks maybe a sign that the ”British” army is retreating back to its homeland ?
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I aways start from the assumption, that our southern friends and neighbours, see “Britain” as the part of the island the Romans occupied. Id Est–Roman Britain.
Then there is this huge leap, that the Romans somehow “civilized”( rather than enslaved, brutalised and subjugated) that part of the island, and this mis-reading of history has led to their cultural superiority problem ever since.
There will be a well thumbed file in the Hi Jack Scottish Office Data Bank, marked “Scotland/Barbarians”.
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THIS IS NOW MILITARY CLEANSING WHERE HAVE ALL SCOTLAND PROUD ARMIES GONE
THEY ARE STRIPPING OUR COUNTRY OF ALL ARMIES
AGAIN UNDER THE GUISE OF ECONOMIES
WHERE ARE CUTS IN ENGLISH FORCES
LAST YEAR WE WERE TOLD BRITAIN WAS “DOWN” IN SOLDIER RECRUITMENT
NOW WE GET THIS
WE WILL HAVE NOTHING SCOTTISH LEFT IF WE DO NOT MOVE
TO START INDEPENDENCE CAMPAIGN
THIS IS TYPICAL OF THE GREAT BRITISH HONOUR
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To be honest I am with the author on this one – ALL ‘British’ regiments in Scotland need disbanded upon independence and we start again. However you slice and dice the current situation, they’re all tainted with Britishness and they’ve got to go.
And publically dimantling the symbology of colonial rule has to be a priority.
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So when you see the sign ‘MOD land’, (don’t dare enter or else) what will happen to that (stolen) land after they remove their personel and infrastructure out of Scotland, can Scotland have it back? I hope the FM and her ministers are taking that as a given, Scotland gets their land back, and it’s quite vast far as I am aware.
I watch ‘Scottish Mudlarking’ on youtube, a nice couple who live in Fife and basically do lots of beachcombing, anyway recently they were at the most gorgeous beach, on the east coast, that I have seen outside of New Zealand, well aside maybe the beaches on Scotland’s west coast at Arisaig etc, (and in Ayrshire!) and they were there only because the ‘red flag’ wasn’t flying, because when it is, it’s totally out of bounds, it’s ‘MOD’ occupied land. No access to your beautiful and vast beaches Scotland!
I want that land taken back for Scotland, and Scotland is well capable of setting up their own defence forces, and hopefully as a member of the EU, would also be protected by the new EU army which is apparently on the cards!
This English governments’ dismantling the ‘army’ etc in Scotland, will of course be used to tell gullible people at indy ref#2, that Scotland won’t be protected from outside rogues, but we all know who the real rogues are and they occupy Scotland right now. Aside the fact that drugs are imported via Scotland’s vast coasts because it’s not policed, a reserved power to the English government, hm hm.
Delighted to see that absolutely literally tons of hard drugs including massive amounts of cocaine, have been seized by police in Peru, about time. Wonder what the Tory junkies in the halls of WM, will do now though!
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The 18th century forts are being replaced by a 21st century one in the form of Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh.
Modern warfare is more about propaganda than muskets but the objective is the same,to keep Scotland subject to London rule.
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MOD spends vast amounts of funding maintaining the MOD estate. Westminster committee’s review recently criticised the wasteful costs. Maintaining building and land that never get used and should be sold off.
The military are still paying for contracts never used for redundant weaponry. Then ordering more not delivered or out of order for the intended use. A massive Ponzi scheme, The weaponry gets sold off to unreliable sources and can end up on the black market.
£Billion get wasted on Trident which will never be used. Rotting , contaminated hulks accumulating at Rosyth. There are no vessels to patrol Scotland’s shores. Brexit means there will not be shared military with the EU costing more. Putting costs up. Military spending is being increased £5Billion a year. More wasteful funding being accounted to Scotland without a mandate.
They are always testing military operations in Scotland. Cape Wrath, bombing. Lossiemouth jets going up and down incessantly. Fearing the population with low, unexpected flights along Deeside. Westminster were trying to increase a reserve force. Paid Reserves. (TA). Not enough people have been recruited. At times of higher employment less candidates join the military.
People from Scotland joined the military to get a position and training in a higher %. There was higher unemployment in Scotland. They joined the merchant navy or the fishing industry. Ruined by Brexit. The EU was the biggest market and migrant worker were recruited to work in the industry. Now there is a shortage of workers and transport delays or facilities.
There is real work going on the roads. There must be an extensive catch up all over. After they covid delays. The potholes are being covered up. The great workforce are out at night and day. Well done to them for keeping the roads safe. The roads were less used during the lockdown.
The building of the brilliant AWPR after 40 years. The biggest project in Europe. The magnificent Queensferry crossing completion. World famous. Spectacular landmark. The Forth Road Bridge is world famous. An icon feat of engineering. Glasgow was world famous for engineering design and construction worldwide. Including ship building and communication. TV, radio and telecommunications. Scotland led the world.
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I wonder if this might get an airing at COP26. £16 BILLION! Where does that sort of cash come from? Scotland’s soon to be decommissioned nuke power plant (is that the one the EngGov are running right now with hundreds of cracks in it) to be used. Hmm.