Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 2 August 2007

The Cawdor saga rolls on - Nairn sure is in 'interesting' hands

It's just a [continuing] tale of ordinary bickering, aristocratic folk. Maybe it's something about the air Nairn, but the two local major 'landed gentry' families seem to specialise in their family squabbling spilling over into the public prints. Over course the Brodies no longer own the land around Brodie and with the death of the old Brodie a few years ago that family is probably a 'busted flush'.

Anyway, back to the Cawdors. They remain major land-owners in the area. Bickering between the Earl and the [Dowager] Countess continues before the Court of Session, althoough if this story is to be believed peace may be about to break out between the two rival factions; a statement issued on Tuesday states: "... all the outstanding disputes between them [will be] settled amicably out of court in the very near future.".

However, other parts of the statement are interesting for the style of language employed:

"The Cawdor Maintenance Trust, of which the dowager is a trustee, is shortly to carry out a public consultation exercise to inform a proposed planning application for part of this area.

"Both the dowager and Lord Cawdor have expressed a genuine interest in hearing the views of local people on the future for the seaside town."

Note the use of reported speech, particularly in the second paragraph; whilst the two of them no doubt have a 'genuine interest', that sentiment is not expressed directly, as would have been a little more natural, in the form "... the dowager and Lord Cawdor express a genuine interest ...". That would possibly have made this statement sound more like an effort to interact with the people of Nairn, rather than the lord and lady addressing the peasantry.

For my part I hope that these people can sort out their internal family strife, preferably sparing us any further airing of their squabbling in public. I hope also that when final decisions are being made about the Inverness-Nairn part of the 'A96 Corridor', the planning authorities will prioritise the interests of all parties in the area in a sensible manner; the Cawdors, as major land-owners whose properties will certainly be affected by any developments to the west of Nairn, obviously have a legitimate interest, but of far greater importance are the interests of the whole population of Nairn and the surrounding areas - their interests need to be kept firmly in the forefront. Anyone participating in the 'public consultation' proposed The Cawdor Maintenance Trust needs to bear in mind that it can never be a truly impartial study as it will necessarily, in my view, always have an underlying agenda of prioritising the interests of the Cawdors.

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