Greetings from beautiful downtown Edinburgh. I wanted to keep
everyone up to date on the story of the possibility of Scotish
Regiments being disbanded. I know it's a little off topic, but
since it concerns the Royals Scots, I think you'll forgive me.
Anyway, here's the story:
THE famous name of the Royal Scots is set to live on as part of a
radical overhaul of Scotland's infantry regiments.
Army chiefs have moved to reassure campaigners that the
controversial restructuring - which has led to fears the Royal
Scots's proud, 371-year-old history would come to an end - would
avoid the "disbandment" of any regiment.
The ambiguous statement has failed to placate critics fighting the
cuts by defence secretary Geoff Hoon, which will see 20,000 military
posts scrapped across the UK.
However, it is believed the pledge will mean the Royal Scots name
will be preserved in any future military structure north of the
The famous Edinburgh-based regiment, the oldest infantry regiment in
the British Army, is still expected, however, to cease being a stand-
alone fighting force as part of the overhaul.
Its most likely fate, following a crunch meeting of Army chiefs on
the outskirts of Edinburgh yesterday, is to become part of a merged
super-regiment covering Scotland.
It is believed the new super-regiment could carry the name of the
Royal Scots regiment.
Another idea thought to be under consideration is splitting the
existing regiments between two regiments, possibly a southern Royal
Scots super-regiment and a northern Highlanders super-regiment.
The other possibility believed still to be under consideration is
that the Royal Scots could be transformed into a territorial army
Whichever option is finally backed by the MoD, Army chiefs are
understood to be determined to keep the Royal Scots name alive. The
suggestion by Army chiefs that Scotland's six infantry regiments
would not be "disbanded" has been met with scepticism.
Both the Conservatives and SNP today dismissed the announcement as
spin and said that retaining cap badges would not be enough.
Scotland's sole Tory MP, Peter Duncan, member for Galloway and Upper
Nithsdale, said the Government was simply "playing with words",
adding: "Saving cap badges is not sufficient for them to save face."
He said: "Until we receive confirmation that there will remain six
Scottish regiments, the fight will go on."
SNP Defence spokesman Angus Robertson said: "Sadly, the regiments
are set for the chop or amalgamation.
"Despite all the spin, our treasured and historic units are certain
to be submerged in a synthetic set-up."
The Council of Scottish Colonels said there should be "no
disbandments" if there was a move towards a larger regimental
structure as part of a current review.
Following a meeting of the council, Lieutenant Colonel Niall
MacGregor-Smith, Scottish Division Lieutenant Colonel, said its
recommendation preserved the "heritage and the very best of the
ethos of the Scottish infantry soldier". He said: "The debate was
constructive and collaborative and the conclusion arrived at
recommends that, in the context of moving over time to a larger
regimental structure, there will be no disbandments," he said.
The recommendation from the Council of Scottish Colonels will now be
passed to the director of infantry and the Army board.
Defence secretary Geoff Hoon, who fought a losing battle against the
Treasury's wishes for cuts, and the Queen must give the proposals
the final approval.
The Government claims the cuts are necessary to bring the Army into
the 21st century by freeing up crucial resources for hi-tech
But Save the Scottish Regiments, a campaign group set up to fight
the move, is expected to carry out an independent survey of
soldiers, veterans and politicians in a bid to test claims there is
widespread backing for the cuts.
Quoted from The Scotsman