AH hud thocht tae scrieve a swatch this week anent the General Election ongauns an hou a Tory Turkey caa’d Theresa voted fir its ain Christmas. Seein tho as three gazillion gallons o prenter’s ink hae aareadies bin poured doun the stank oan this subject ah hae bin castin around fir a different sang tae gie ye’se.

Drivin hame frae some business ah hud oan Monday ma mind wis oan this kinch o whit tae write. Ah taen a back-road drive frae Troon via Tarbolton tae New Cumnock, an ma een lichtit oan the Barnweil (Wallace) Monument, heich oan its hill abune Ayr. Ah taen the norrie there an then tae drive up an hae a luik. Ah’d bin up there lang syne wi the Burns Club oan a trip aince. The road up tae it is gey nerra, aamaist single-track, pittit an reuch. The signage isnae great eithers. Houanevir, joukin beef cattle an tractors ah made it tae the tap.

The enclosure that inhauds the monument luiks gey negleckit – the monument tae (shame oan thae fowk o South Ayrshire Cooncil!) – knee heich gress an nettles disnae dae ocht tae encourage ony veesitors. Ah sclimbt ower the fairmer’s yett an stegged forrit tae the michty edifice. The legend hus it that Wallace stuid atap this hill an watcht the barns o Ayr (that he an his men hud set lowe tae) burnin, coinin the pun, “The Barns o Ayr barn weil!” (burn well!). The barns wir then the garrison fir englis sodgers.

There seems tae hae bin a bit o a craze fir pitten up national monuments in Scotland in the 19th century. A queer paradox seein as Scotland wis playin an integral pairt in the British Empire at that time. The muckle doors o the monument are steikit shut, flakin an in need o a lick o pent. A windae heich up hus panes missin an nae dout lats in the rain. Oan three sides o it are bronze plaques that tell pairt o the Wallace story, interspersed wi some lines o poetry: A soul supreme, in each hard conflict tried, Above all pain, all passion, and all pride, The frowns of power, the blast of public breath, The love of lucre, and the dread of death.

“Erected MCCCCLV, in honour of Scotland’s greatest national hero, the renowned Sir William Wallace, born MCCLXX, who after performing numerous exploits of the most consummate bravery in defence of the independence of his country was basely betrayed into the hands of his enemies by whom, to their everlasting disgrace, he was unjustifiably put to death on the XXII of August, MCCCV. Centuries have not dimmed the lustre of his heroic achievements; and the memory of this most disinterested of patriots shall through all ages be honoured and revered by his countrymen.”

Then: “Ever honoured be the memory of the matchless Sir William Wallace, the first of his countrymen who in an age of despair arose and throw off the yoke of foreign oppression, and maintain the independence and nationality of Scotland; and who, by deeds of surpassing valour and stainless patriotism, has glorified this his native land, and imperishably associated his name with the defence of national rights and the liberties and immunities of freeborn men. From Greece arose Leonidas, from Scotland Wallace, and from America Washington – names which shall remain through all time the watchwords and beacons of liberty.”

Then thair lines frae Robert Burns (tae wham thair wis nae greater Scottish hero than Wallace) frae his poem tae Willie Simpson o Ochiltree: At Wallace name, what Scottish blood But boils up in a spring-tide flood!”

An then frae The Cotter’s Saturday Night, the line anent Wallace, wha “Dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride”.

This lane touer, that commands the heichts luikin oot ower Ayr, Tarbolton, Kilmarnock, Arran an much o Ayrshire, aye-an-oan sends oot its seelent message tae kennle the hairts o true Scots.

Appairently thair wis aince a wee biggin at the touer wi its ain warden, an a veesitor’s buik that in 1857-1858 kythed that mair as 2000 fowk veesited the touer! The tour then held some byordnar prents an pentins anent Wallace. Whaur are they nou??

Worn wi eild, waither an time, abune the entrance door is the Wallace coat o arms. Thair nae readable inscription or motto thair nou, but it aince proudly read “Pro Libertate Patriae”.

Aince alsae the Saltire regularly flew frae abeich the touer – nou thair a couple o rid warnin lichts fir aircraft.

Ah suppose whit ah’m tryin tae say here, as ah stuid atop that hill an mulled ower the poleetical events o this past week, is that independence hus ne’er bin closer. Dinnae be kiddit or fuiled bi the haivers an nonsense prentit in the mainstream press, or the daily bias o the BBC. We shuidnae be takkin the fuit aff the independence accelerator, we shuid be pressin it tae the flair! Lik Wallace, nou isnae the time fir faint hearts – it’s the time fir bold new Bravehearts!

We need tae pent a braw veesionary pictur o whit Scotland shuid, micht an can be! We are ain o the richest wee kintra’s in the warld – wi the potential (whisky, oil, wind, renewable, tourism, golf, etc…) tae punch wey abune oor weicht oan the global scale. The prize is thair tae tak. “Nou’s the day, an nou’s the hour!”

Aiblins it’s heich time we hud that Motto re-inscribed in glowin letters oan the Barnweil Monument; Pro Libertate Patriae; For The Freedom Of My Country.