Hamilton questions SNP claims


By Alexander Lawrie

A WELL-KNOWN nationalist has slammed the Scottish National Party for not being independent enough.

Ian Hamilton – the man who famously stole the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey in 1950 – has criticised his own party for ditching the independence message during the Glenrothes by-election.

And the retired QC, 83, has also heavily criticised Gordon Brown for allowing the country’s banking system to fall into disrepute.

He said: “My generation did our duty and revived an ailing country. This generation must find its own way. I remind them that the Scottish National Party is an independence party or it is nothing.

“I only spent two days working in the election but it was enough. Never in the newspapers reports or on the ground did I once hear the word ‘independence’.

“The SNP fought the election on the old worn out shibboleth, ‘We can govern the country better than you can.’

“Independence is what we fight for. The fight may be long or short but our aim and the very reason for our existence should never be concealed behind boasts that we are better at government than the Labour Party.”

Mr Hamilton’s views were published recently on his well-read blog, and in it he attacked the PM for “gutting us of our financial industries”.

He said: “Scotland has suffered under English government but it hasn’t suffered enough.

“Mrs Thatcher gutted the country of its heavy industries and killed the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party stone dead.

“Gordon Brown is now gutting us of our financial industries and may kill the Labour Party stone dead.

“Next year the creeping paralysis of unemployment will cross the central belt.

“Nations should govern themselves. Iceland does not become less of a nation because its bank collapsed. These are the truisms that we forgot to assert at Glenrothes.”

Mr Hamilton sprung to fame on Christmas Day 1950 when he, and three student friends, broke into Westminster Abbey and stole the Stone of Destiny.

The four friends then brought the Stone back to Scotland, and it was finally discovered four months later draped in a Saltire on the altar of Arbroath Abbey.

It has been claimed the stone found in Arbroath is a fake and the real stone is hidden away at a secret location in Scotland.

No charges were ever brought against the four students.

Mr Hamilton recently hit back at the critics who have slammed the new movie depicting his exploits in 1950.

The movie starring Robert Carlyle and Billy Boyd has been labelled as a box office turkey after it only took £140,000 in its first three weeks.