Posts tagged ‘Peasants’

February 16, 2012

Legendary Haggis Hawk












Above you will see a copy of a photo taken some time ago in the West of Scotland. The image is, of course, of the petrified remains of a Haggis Hawk and is the only known representation of the Hawk which became extinct in June 1706 – on a Wednesday.

These monsters grew to an enormous size with a wingspan in excess of 8 feet (imperial) and a beak that would make your mother-in-law jealous. They were trained by the crofters in the highlands to fly from the wrist and were more than capable of taking a Haggis in full-flight without damaging the tasty bits.

The clan chiefs and associated barons became rather angry with the peasants as the chiefs were breeding the haggis for sale to posh restaurants in Edinburgh and Sterling but there was a growing fondness amongst the upper crust for the wild variety as they were more tender and did not require National Health Teeth, so more and more business was going to the clansmen.

Things came to a head in 1687 when the barons tried to ban the sale of wild haggis, claiming that it contravened European Union food and hygiene regulations but the clansmen were having none of it and so the inevitable happened and unrest led to the Jacobite uprising of 1689.

(Jacobite is something of a misnomer as Jacob wasn’t there at the time as he was working for Cohen’s Deli in Auchterarder on the day)

A government clampdown followed pretty soon after this and only peasants of over six feet tall and holding a valid equity card were allowed to sell the wild haggis. This, of course, was grossly unfair as the peasants never grew any taller than four feet seven inches and Will Shakespeare wouldn’t let them in to Equity.

The whole fiasco and general government overreaction meant the first attempt at an act of Union between England and Scotland in 1705 failed because, although the baron’s union accepted it: the crofters union (Crofters, Reevers And Peasants) who represented the crofters, reevers, drovers, wheel-tappers and carriage-lamp wick trimmers, didn’t.

CRAP, on behalf of the clansmen in the Scottish Army demanded, fewer away fixtures, six extra points added to the season total and entry to the Tote.

An act of Union was only possible in 1707 because the last Haggis Hawk was by then dead and nobody could remember what they had been fighting about.

For those of you who saw Mel Gibson in Braveheart – I’m sorry.

January 22, 2012

The law and the peasantry








I have to put pen to paper and express a frustration that has been growing in me of late. I had the misfortune to hear a lawyer, on TV, trot out the tired old line that there is one law for all and everyone is treated the same in the eyes of the law.


Magna Carta was not the beginning of the law in England, there were recorded laws before it, but it was the beginning of modern law as we know it – although very little of it remains.

However, although written law is classless and supposedly the same for lord and peasant alike, it is interpreted and administered by the upper classes. This has always been the case and always will be.

When the barons forced King John to sign Magna Carta, the only peasants  (like me) who were at Runnymede were there to hold reins and shovel horse shit.

The fact that some parts of Magna Carta worked also in the peasant’s favour, must have been one hell of a shock to the poor old barons. Magna Carta was written as a way to take power from the king and put it in the hands of the aristocracy. Its secondary function was to keep the rest of the populace in check – the law has been keeping the peasants in check on behalf of the upper classes ever since.