By Mike Haseler
Nigel Farage came to Edinburgh today for a press conference to promote UKIP ahead of the by election on June 20 for the Scottish Parliament in Aberdeen Donside.
The abiding memory of the press conference was not the heckling, nor wondering what the brown liquid was that was thrown over me on North Bridge, nor even sitting in the Police car thinking that the police had much better things to do than deal with students ... it was holding the chair steady as some lady from the press tried desperately to get a picture ... and not being able to hear a word Nigel was saying above the din of the press. Even the hecklers were all but drowned out by the camera clicking.
As for the protest, it was a surreal mixture of the comic and the deadly serious. There was the point the protesters unveiled a huge banner ... facing the wall so that no one could see it ... then they tried to move away onto the road and I was very pleased the police were present because there was a serious risk they would get run over.
And some protesters were quite friendly (as most people are) I stood for a long time watching the goings on standing with an older man holding a "Socialist Worker" explaining how the renewable energy tax was putting up energy prices and leading to something like 40% of household in Scotland being in fuel poverty. Likewise if one actually asked a question of the protesters like "who are you"? They seemed quite nice ... "Socialist" ... "socialist worker?" ... "no just socialist". But they certainly crossed the line when after throwing brown liquid over me and Mike Scott-Hayward (UKIP Scotland Chairman) someone said: "next time it will be petrol".
And I would like to thank the police and the pub 232 Canongate, and the staff who were courteous and good humoured in difficult circumstances.
A Proposal for the Names of the Main Stations along the Antonine Wall Based on an identification of the Nemthur of St. Patrick
By Mike Haseler
Summary: Some old texts say that St.Patrick was born near Dunbarton Rock . If so his birthplace of Nemthur would fit with Old Kilpatrick and link to the Roman fort name of "NEMETON". This makes Dumbarton a good fit for the place called "SUBDOBIADON" or "SUB-DOBIADON".
The suggestion is supported by the correspondence between the Roman forts listed along the Antonine Wall . Nennius lists seven forts, the Ravenna Cosmology lists six. But if the fort listed as "MEDIO NEMETON" is Nemthur then MEDIA may be another fort which could be Bal-muildy. So this suggestion gives a correspondence with the seven forts of Nennius. Although the other forts are less clear, the correspondence of Dunbarton with Dobiadon, Nemthur with Nemeton and Medio with Bal-Mulidy is convincing and so is strong evidence that there was an early Christian community in and around Old Kilpatrick and Glasgow.
It is recorded by the church in Rome, that some time in the fifth century Patrick known as Saint Patrick was born in Banauem Taberniae (MacNeill 1926). His father Calpurnius was a deacon and his grandfather Potitus a priest (prestbyter). Patrick tells us, his father was also a "decurio" which probably means that he was a member of the local governing body of their home-village. When he was about 16 he was captured and carried off as a slave to Ireland, he escaped and then returned to Ireland as a missionary. There is no modern sign of his birthplace, however as many assume that a “decurio” requires a Roman civic present, they assert that as the Romans left Scotland:
“The only point about the birthplace of St. Patrick on which there is real certainty is that he was born in Roman Britain” (Needham 1963)
Fig 1: Dumbarton Rock
By Mike Haseler
Mons Graupius is an iconic battle for British independence against the repressive hand of Rome. According to the Romans, 10,000 Britons died that day at the hands of this first European Superstate. Was their struggle in vain? No, for Scotland, or at least their part of Scotland, remained free!
And how could such a battle fail to capture our imagination? For we have the first words of any Britain telling us a message as relevant today as it was then; a British freedom fighter of Caledonians tribe called Calgacus saying*:
“You have not tasted servitude. There is no land beyond us and even the sea is no safe refuge when we are threatened by the Roman fleet….We are the last people on earth, and the last to be free: …. They plunder, they butcher, they ravish, and call it by the lying name of ‘empire’. They make a desert and call it peace.”
Now, finally the site may have been revealed, and there appears be firm archaeological evidence in the form of crop marks** to substantiate the claim.Add a comment
My father worked on Radio Telescopes in Cambridge in the 1960s. He was doing a survey of the sky at 405Mhz. One day he noticed a very unusual signal. I recall the signal seemed to have life and came and went ... just as the noise of the tractor in the local field came and went. Soon they put two and two together and worked out this "extra-terrestrial" life was only a short distance away ploughing a field.
However, the approach to finding extra-terrestrials seems to have followed much the same philosophy: build a big radio telescope and they try to listen for alien's broadcasting a signal to humanity.
You can see their logic: "If we were trying to contact us ... we would build a huge great transmitter and send all kinds of important messages".
But what do you actually hear if you tune a radio? The Archers! The airwaves are full of radio signals produced by relatively powerful transmitters of 10kw or even 100kw.
So, is this what we should look for for signs of aliens? No. It is a simple fact physics that the best signal to look for would be as follows:
- It would be produced by the most powerful transmitter
- It would be a fairly precise frequency
- And any kind of modulation would itself be a very narrow bandwidth.
Where can we find such a transmitter?Add a comment
By Mike Haseler
I make no apologies for posting this: "as is" except for a quick introductory paragraph. It is intended to add to a discussion about "how do we know when one word is derived from another".Add a comment
By Mike Haseler
Thanks go to David Petts whose questions I will try to answer in this article.
What languages at the eve of the Roman Invasion
Let's start by looking at the typical idea of the languages of the UK prior to the Roman invasion as shows to the left. This show the typical unsubstantiated assertion that we get. This is really just a "nationalist" wish list: Ireland is Irish, Scotland is Pictish and England is Welsh. The English are nowhere to be see.
The next stage in the classic idea of the evolution of British languages is that of the genocidal Anglo Saxons who ethnically cleansed all of England in the 6th/7th century. But strangely without leaving a sign in the archaeological record. After this event the map now looks more like the one to the right with the "Welsh" who Nationalists call "Britons" pushed to the West.
But notice how well the area occupied by the Welsh fits in with the Historia Brittonum description for the Picts:
And there is some support for the idea that the "Welsh" were invaders because the word used for them did not refer to a place. Instead the English "Welsh" derives from the Old English Wilisc, Wylisc (West Saxon), Welisc, Wælisc (Anglian and Kentish), from Wealh, Walh: non-Germanic foreigner. However that could result from Welsh invasion from Wales to a Germanic area as much as any idea that the Welsh invaded Britain.
So, one could just as equally make out a case for a Welsh genocidal group invading from the West as an Anglo-Saxon genocide from the East. Except for the small problem that there is no genocide recorded in the archaeological record.
However, broadly speaking there does appear to be a DNA divide which suggests that Welsh was being spoken to the west of Oppenheimer’s DNA divide, whilst a proto-English was being spoken to the east of the Pennines. So, this would appear to be have been the situation in Roman Britain because there is little reason to think there was any change as the idea of the Anglo Saxons ethnically cleansing the East of Britain has been discredited.
But it was probably not that simple. The lack of obvious major change in population at the Anglo Saxon invasion together with place names makes it fairly certain that there was a significant area where the language before this invasion was of a Germanic type possibly closely related to Anglo Saxon. Just to be clear Anglo-Saxon is a Germanic-type language which is also called "Old English".Add a comment
By Mike Haseler
After a bit of discussion on the last article (The Scots are Not Kelts) I've taken those discussions and added further information. But first I have to say I cannot accept the mindset of some people that seems to suggest it is OK to create myths when that evidence is so unequivocally against the "Celtic" myth. As I and Oppenheimer have both found quite independely by looking at the recorded history of the Kelts, it is very clearly recorded that they were a group in Southern France who are a subgroup of the Gauls. This is about as close as we can get to an undeniable historical fact.
But to show how ridiculous this Celtic language myth is, let us suppose for the sake of argument that this "Celtic" Myth were true. According to this myth the reason the French do not speak a "Celtic" language is because their language was Latinised by the Romans leading to Old French.
However, if as the Celtic Myth goes, the Welsh were "the" race in Roman Britain, we would likewise find their language has been Latinised in a similar way so that Old Welsh would like Old French. It hardly needs a language expert to know that French and Welsh are very different, and whilst the claims of Celticists are many and bizarre, I have not seen any attempt to claim French as being "Celtic" (although no doubt they would if it were not so obviously a Romance language). So, Latinisation cannot explain the difference between the French spoken in the area identified by Caesar as Celtic and the area Celticists falsely assert to be Celtic. Obviously the Romans were in Gaul longer, and we also see "Romance" languages in a broad spread from Spain to Italy which were all invaded by Romans, however like Welsh, Basque did not become a Romance language it did not become: "Roman-cised".
So, how can we explain this? There really are only two possible explanations that make sense:
- That Latin did heavily influence French, Spanish, etc. - but Welsh & Basque escaped this ... this strongly suggest they are Post-Roman introductions and so very little influenced by Latin. In other words the Celtic Myth is false because Welsh came after the Roman occupation (which is not a good fit with evidence).
- That Latin had very little influence on native languages like Welsh and Basque AND OTHER native languages like Spanish and French. We must therefore conclude that Old Spanish, Old French, etc. were always distinct languages of the Romance group of languages. Therefore as Latin did not heavily impact local languages, the "Celtic" language itself would still be a major influence on the language spoken in the modern area of "Gaul". Add a comment
By Mike Haseler
A few years ago I spent perhaps as much as a whole year researching the identity of the "Kelts". I came to a very clear conclusion. There was no way on earth that the Irish, Welsh or Scots were "Celts". It was simply absurd nonsense from the same stable as the "Aryan" origins of the German Nazi race.
However whilst the evidence that the fringes of Britain were not Keltic is very clear, I had hoped to give a fuller explanation. Almost a decade has passed since I started looking and even a two year archaeology course did not tease out the last areas of doubt - but if anything I am now very clear about what I do not know.
But worse, I felt I had to really create a concrete case before going public, because either it would have holes and I would be ignored, or it would stand the test of time and would upset virtually every archaeologist.
However, that excuse disappeared when I found a book "The origins of the British" by Stephen Oppenheimer, that has many of the same ideas. (derived completely independently) The book is mainly about the DNA evidence of peoples in Britain but it has a good introduction chapter on the "Celts" which I will try to summarise below.
"The origins of the British" by Stephen Oppenheimer
Most people in Britain believe the original inhabitants of Britain were the "Celts". But this picture has been built up over the years.The 1913 Webster Dictionary defined Celt thus:
Celt ... One of an ancient race of people, who formerly inhabited a great part of Central and Western Europe, and whose descendants at the present day occupy Ireland, Wales, the Highlands of Scotland and the Northern Shores of France.
But this is different from the previous dictionary which described them as "One of the primitive inhabitants of the South of Europe". But note the interesting change in European territory reflecting a 19th century move in concept toward a homeland in central Europe.
The Greeks and Romans used the words Keltoi and Celtae but they never mentioned any connection with the British Isles. [There are many references to the tribes and peoples of Britain. None of them refer to a Celtic origin].
Language is seen as extremely important in modern perceptions of a celtic identity and ethnicity. By Celtic they mean the group of languages modern linguists refer to as "Celtic". [A nice circular argument]. The languages are so called "Q-Celtic" Irish and Scots Gaelic and so called "P-Celtic" Welsh, Breton, Cornish. But this view of a Celtic language is at odds with the classical view.
As Oppernheimer puts it there is "potential doubt" that modern celtic languages have anything to do with the Kelts.
There is clear evidence [from classical accounts] of the Celtic language [whatever it is] being spoken in parts of France, Northern Italy and Spain. There is no such evidence for the Celtic tongue being spoken in either the assumed homeland in central Europe nor in the present day "Celtic" areas on the fringes of Britain. "So if prehistorians and linguists of the last 150 years wanted to find a convincing homeland for Celtic languages, why on earth were they looking in central Europe, rather than south west Europe?" The answer is that Herodotus when locating the area of the Kelts, mistakenly thought the Danube arose near the Pyrenees and when the origin was correctly located in Germany, the (supposed) homeland of the Kelts was also transposed to this region.
"Debunking the myth of the Central European Celtic linguistic and cultural homeland is a long overdue task"Add a comment
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