George Adam, MSP for the Paisley constituency joined local history enthusiasts to commemorate the radical events of the 1820s in Scotland that culminated in an insurrection that sought the creation of an independent Scotland with power completely devolved to the Scottish people.
In his speech, George, a member of the society, paid tribute to of James Wilson, John Baird, Andrew Hardie and the other 20 men who were sentenced to penal transportation and remembered Councillor Jim Mitchell who was a member and regular attender of 1820 Society events.
After the wreath was laid at the monument, George said:
“Councillor Jim Mitchell embodied everything that was good about the 1820 radicals and shared their passion for an independent Scotland. Although Jim didn’t have any sons, he has Derek [Mackay] and me as ‘political sons’ and we will do our upmost to ensure a ‘Yes’ vote in the forthcoming independence referendum.
“Paisley has always been at the forefront of Scotland’s radical movement and I think it appropriate that the people of the town chose an SNP candidate as their first MSP. The famous banners of the 1820s movement were emblazoned with ‘Scotland Free or a Desert’ and our party believes that we stand at that same crossroad again today.”
“Of course, in looking to our future, it is also important that we look back at the great historical figures and events that helped to shape our nation, particularly the courage of ordinary working people such as Baird, Hardie, Wilson and the 20 deportees who gave their lives for the cause that they believed in. I have submitted a parliamentary motion remembering their selfless contribution.”
George’s motion is as follow:
1820 Society Paisley
That the Parliament congratulates another successful gathering at Woodside Cemetery in Paisley by the ‘1820 society’, a group dedicated to promoting the historical significance of the events that took place in the 1820s involving a radical insurrection that sought the creation of an independent Scotland with power completely devolved to the people of Scotland that subsequently increased the awareness of a Scottish national identity; acknowledges the brave efforts of James Wilson, John Baird, Andrew Hardie and the other 20 men who were sentenced to penal transportation; remembers Councillor Jim Mitchell, a former prominent member of the society who embodied the spirit and ethos of those radical thinkers and combined it into his modern politics, and applauds the speakers of the event who have assured that it will return in 2012.