AN ADDRESS TO SCOTLAND
Scotland you belong to your painted people, a people that paints itself, a people
that paints its own fates. The pictures on the skin of the ancient arms and torso
of Scotland are pictures of a naked unimaginable wildness coming before
and standing before an unimaginative bureaucracy in a suit.
They picture your interglacial landings and Ice Age axes, your boats of wood and bone, your drystone roundhouses and wheelhouses, your chambered cairns for the dead.
They picture your blue-coloured warriors overspilling the giant walls of Antoninus
and Hadrian – a two-hurdle sprint – to take on Empire.
They picture your Alexanders, Constantines, Duncans, kings that fought against
a succession of overlords who sought to tax, burn, rape and kill you into submission,
an abjectivity without end.
Always from below there have been onslaughts and outrages, incursions and invasions; always from below there have been subterfuges…
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