thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Friday, January 26, 2007
This is from the archives. I thought with the Scottish election coming up it is worth another look....I have also added some bits (thanks to delescluze)

I was listening to music on the way up the road today and one of those strange synergistic things happened. There were some military recruiters and as I walked by this tune by The Pogues came on...

As I was walking down the road
A feeling fine and larky oh
A recruiting sergeant came up to me
Says he you'd look fine in khaki oh
For the King he is in need of men
Come read this proclamation oh
A life in Flanders for you then
Would be a fine vacation now

That maybe so says I to him
But tell me sergeant dearie-oh
If I had a pack stuck upon my back
Would I look fine and cheerie oh
For they'd have you train and drill until
They had you one of Frenchies oh
It may be warm in Flanders
But it's draughty in the trenches oh

The sergeant smiled and winked his eye
His smile was most provoking oh
He twiddled and twirled his wee moustache
Says he I know you're only joking oh
For the sandbags are so warm and high
The wind you won't feel blowing oh
Well I winked at a cailin passing by
Says I what if it's snowing oh

Come rain or hail or wind or snow
I'm not going out to Flanders oh
There's fighting in Dublin to be done
Let your Sergeants and your Commanders go
Let Englishmen fight English wars
It's nearly time they started oh
I saluted the Sergeant a very good night
And there and then we parted oh

This all jogged my memory. My brother once said to me that about 50% of the SAS was made up of Scots even though Scotland only accounts for about 9% of the British population. I don't know if it is true but he was quite proud of this. He is a supporter of Scottish independence so I asked why he should be so proud of Scotland doing England's dirty work for it. He didn't have a reply.

I decided to look into it a bit more.

Not the SAS stuff but the general numbers involved.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAs I said, Scots make up about 9% of the UK population but it seems that more Scots as a percentage get killed in almost every war we have been to.Some stats...

World War 1 - 27% of the Scots that fought were killed as opposed to the 12% total for the UK as a whole . 110,000 Scots dead in WWI, 15% of the total British war dead, higher in proportionate terms than for any other country in the Empire. And, of course, of those dead 13 out of 14 were privates and NCOs from the working class: not enough is done to remind people today of the 1930s definition of a bayonet as 'a weapon with a worker at each end.'

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I think this photo with Churchill looking on as they go to sacrifice themselves is emblematic of the problem.

In World War 2 the Scots accounted for a third of the UK's dead.

In Korea the Scots were one in four of the UK's dead.

In Iraq 14 of the UK's dead have been Scottish, which accounts for about 14%. I haven't been able to find stats for how many of those sent are Scottish as opposed to English. Incidentally, there is often talk here that the British run sections of Iraq better than the Americans but the UK total of just over 100 deaths is consistent with the amount of American casualties when you factor in the numbers of troops sent.The historical record is even more damning. When the Jacobite rebellion was put down the majority of those killing the rebellious Scots were other Scots fighting for the British Crown. What reward for service and loyalty were these people given? Here is a quote that tells you...

[The Duke of] Cumberland gave orders for "No Quarter Given": in other words'none shall live'. His army marched on and killed every wounded Highlander left
on the field - and then made his way to Inverness to carry on the fight. Raiding
homes looking for Jacobites, all were labeled as one and swiftly put either to the end of a musket - bayonet - hangmans rope or burnt alive in their homes. Women, children, old and young, his orders were "No Quarter Given" - and none was. For months his army moved around the Highlands clearing out any threat once and for all that Highlander should ever pick up a Broadsword against England.

The English parliament, in reply to Cumberlands reports, said that "It will be no great mischief if all should fall". The support for Cumberland's ethnic cleansing was total.

Some 500 years before Culloden it is also documented that King Edward (Longshanks) I of England said "The trouble with Scotland is that it is full of Scots". Famous words that were spoken not only by Longshanks, but by every conquering Englishman who set foot on Scottish soil. It was now 1746, and these words were being echoed by these gentlemen, albeit in a different sentence.

The thought occurs - why on earth do we keep doing it?

One possibility is economic conscription - Scotland is a poorer country than England and it is likely that more people go into the military because of lack of opportunities in other areas.

Another is that the interests of the Scottish people are deliberately kept from them.

Scotland has always been kept tied to England through a combination of force and bribery. Some people in Scotland have tried to fight this, others have went along with it and played their part in all the empire building and the genocide. Our hands are dirty, no doubt about it, but when Tony Blair goes on about being willing to pay "a blood sacrifice" I just wish the people of Scotland would realise that it is statistically and historically far more likely to be them that is paying it.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 3:49 am  
  • At 6:11 pm, Blogger Jamie said…


    You might enjoy my blog today since it features a poor decision on the part of Churchill that is being repeated by Bush in Iraq today.

    Besides, my dad was born in Wishaw Scotland, so I feel a bit of the expatriate even though he made the trip in the late 1920s.

  • At 8:02 am, Blogger GraemeAnfinson said…

    I remember when you posted this the first time. 'Tis a good post.

    I am going to London this summer and I was thinking of a taking a train up to Scotland. Should I head to Edinburgh or Glasgow?

  • At 6:10 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…


    come to glasgow and i will meet you

  • At 2:01 am, Blogger GraemeAnfinson said…

    cool. I am planning to go in June sometime. I will get a hold of you when I know more details. I wouldn't mind downing a few pints!

  • At 2:29 am, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    excellent. see you then!

  • At 6:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hey thumper, hurry hoooome! i miss you and cant wait until you are back to full thumping force. xxx kimmstarr

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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
See my complete profile

Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
  • big stick small carrot
  • J. Arthur MacNumpty
  • World of Jack McConnell
  • The Firefox Chronicles
  • Independence 1st
  • Radio Free Scotland
  • Scots and independent
  • Scottish Independence Guide
  • Small Nation
  • Inveresk Street Ingrate
  • Radical Glasgow
  • Want to Swot?

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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

  • politics and the english language
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  • a cultural chernobyl
  • choose life (not trainspotting)
  • shooting an elephant
  • a war crime within a war crime...
  • the menace of liberal scholarship
  • the modern era of law
  • naming the problem
  • the four ages of sand
  • a news revolution has begun
  • come september
  • money is the cause of poverty
  • countering corporate power
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