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This Week in Scotland – 7th – 14th July

Taymouth Castle – a New Millionaire’s Playground?


It seems that everyone wants a piece of Scotland these days. US firm Discovery Land Company is the latest. It has plans to turn Taymouth castle, (which sits on Loch Tay) and 8000 acres of land into a gated community for those willing to pay the price. If you have less than $3million to spare, you’re not in the club. It’s only going to be open to paying members and support staff.

The locals are up in arms and have already started a ‘Protect Loch Tay’ FB page. The company DLC appear to have managed this by buying up different parcels of land under different companies, but which unite to a larger whole. They also appear to have bought land round the village of Kenmore, which is nearby.

Perth and Kinross council will have the initial say on their proposal, but DLC can appeal under certain circumstances to the Scottish Government to overrule. We hope that all those involved will take the best decision for the community and not allow further annexing of land for exclusive use. There also needs to be an urgent revamping of Companies House, which seems to be completely inadequate for dealing with situations like this, and the setting up of myriad companies with the same controlling interests seem to have totally passed them by. We need a system that is robust and not a glorified honesty box. Possession is nine tenths of the law and it is not right that companies from abroad can take over as large a tract of land as this with no censure.


The Times They are A’Changin


From one land owner to another. Bob Dylan is selling his Highland mansion Aultmore house, for £3 million. Yes, that Bob Dylan of ‘The Times they Are A Changin’ and ‘Blowin In the Wind’. It doesn’t feel very rock ‘n roll to be owning mansions in the Highlands. In fairness to Bob, he did say that ‘My Love is Like a Red Red Rose’ is his favourite song and that Hamish Henderson’s ‘Farewell to Sicily’ inspired him to write ‘The Times they Are A Changin’. But it is past time that Scotland got a grip on the first and most vital of its assets – its land. Other countries do it – why can’t we?


Stormy Waters


21 of the 25 members of Arbroath Lifeboat Guild have resigned in protest at the RNLI’s decision to replace the current all-weather lifeboat with an Atlantic 85. This follows hard on the heels of the sacking of  the operations manager Alex Smith by the RNLI and the departure of nine of the lifeboat crew.

Arbroath were originally promised a Shannon class lifeboat, but the RNLI decided against this. Protesters point out that the lifeboat crew carried out rescues during Storm Arwen in 2021, something that will not be possible with the new craft. Mo Morrison, the guild president pointed out that in November, the station fund stood at £4million, which would have more than covered the cost of the Shannon class boat at £2.5 million.

The remaining crew have now committed to training on the Atlantic 85, but it’s concerning that this boat is not able to handle all situations and may cost lives that could have been saved with better equipment.


Never Bet Against a Bookie/Insurer

 A straw in the wind comes to us from Australia re transgenderism. MDA National insurance company said it will also no longer insure private doctors, such as general practitioners, from legal claims arising from the assessment of patients under 18 as suitable for gender transition treatments, such as cross-sex hormones and gender affirmation surgeries.

It’s been a while coming. But bookies and insurers are always the first to know when a game’s up. The end’s in sight for the pushing of transgender ideology on young people. We hope this will force those involved to withdraw and remove the spectre of life altering gender surgery on our teenagers.


And Finally,

Big pets all round. Especially at Guisachan House in Glen Affric, where over 400 golden retriever dog owners met, complete with dogs, to celebrate the birthplace of the first golden retrievers. They were bred as a gun dog by Sir Dudley Marjoribanks, and the first three were named Primrose, Cowslip and Crocus. The celebration involved a mile long walk (of course) to the house and ended with a rendition of ‘500 miles’ by the Proclaimers. Yes, they probably would walk 500 more..

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