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Anthony J.C. Kerr "A Man of Letters"

Anthony J.C. Kerr "A Man of Letters"

Chapter One
Contribution by Lord Lothian
Letters 1960-1963
Contribution by Mr William F Petrie

Chapter Two
Contribution by Mr Walter Coles
Letters 1964-1965
Personal Perspective of 1964/65
Election Campaigns
Letters 1965

Chapter Three
Contributions by Dr David Stevenson
Scottish Opinion Survey 1966-1967
Letters 1967-1971
Reflections – Radio Tweed

Chapter Four
Contribution by Mrs Winnifred Ewing
Letters 1974
Contribution by Mrs Beatrice Ware
Letters 1975-1976
EEC Vote – Hawick News Extract

Chapter Five
Contribution by Mr Alisdair Hutton
Letters 1977
Contribution by Mr J.R. Scott
Letters 1978

Chapter Six
Contribution by Mr Iain Lawson
Callant’s Address at Ferniehurst
Letters 1979-1981
Contribution by Mr William Hunter

Chapter Seven
Contribution by Mr Graham Fleming
Letters 1985-1986

Chapter Eight
Summing up by Mr Andrew J.T. Kerr
Taking Issue – BBC Radio Scotland
Letters 1987
Contribution by Mr Gavin Kennedy
Article by Mr Peter Wright
Quotations of Anthony J.C. Kerr
Address to Roxburgh & Berwick
SNP Constituency Association

The purpose of this book is to remember the contribution that my late father made to public life, and with particular reference to his involvement in the debate on Scotland's future. However, this book will also try to capture the character of my father. For his character epitomised many of his letters and speeches and general activity.

First and foremost he was a Nationalist who believed in independence for Scotland. Yet I think that of all his many assets, his most important asset was his ability to relate to and work with members of other parties. He often spoke about this ability to work with members of other parties passionately for he saw in it, his overall philosophy for the well-being of Scotland.

The letters I have chosen for use, reflect his ability to speak out on a wide variety of issues. This ability to speak out was a great asset to the national movement, and it is a matter of some regret that his talents were, at times, not fully appreciated and harnessed effectively in the quest for Scotland's freedom. Whether it was a matter of jealousy, it is difficult to say. What is certain is that his work is, and always will be, with us all.

It is up to all who are concerned with Scotland's future, that his work should be remembered in the debate that continues daily about the future of our country.

I referred earlier to his character; that is not always evident in political activists and philosophers. His insistence on his own mode of transport and his maverick line on a range of issues reflected the fearlessness of the man. A couple of incidents are mere examples of his character and spirit:

(1) Six years after he was born, he attended his first political meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Geneva and promptly howled down a leading Nazi, Dr. Goebbels, a high ranking representative of Hitler. It took a raw sense of nerve in front of all the prominent guests present to sing an anti-Nazi song.

(2) On his travels in the sixties, he was passing through Basqueland, and was apprehended by locals, during a stop-over, who thought he was an agent provocateur acting in liaison with the British and Spanish Governments. In a moment of very real danger, he pulled out his SNP membership card to reassure locals that he was not an agent provocateur, and he was allowed to carry on his journey without any further ado.

I would like to thank all those who have helped in the production of this book in memory of a very special man. In memory of my late father, I dedicate this book to my mother, family and friends both inside and outside politics.



My very special thanks are due to all who took part in development of this book. To contributors who brought out the strength and character of my late father. To researchers on Radio Scotland, Radio Tweed and The Southern Reporter who provided me with valuable material. To the Jedburgh Press and Press Your Point (Advertising) who have helped to put the book physically together. Also to libraries for making material available to me on request.

Above all, it was a shop floor effort to keep my father's memory alive. He may no longer be with us physically but his writings and overall contribution to public life and debate in Scotland must be utilised for the well being of our country.

I must say a word of thanks on behalf of my late father to letter editors who gave him the opportunity to contribute to public debate. Without their co-operation, it would not have been possible for him to speak out as he did.

Finally, I must pay tribute to my family and close friends who have given me great strength in the dark days following the death of my father. Their encouragement made it possible for me to pick up the pieces and develop the idea for the inception of this book about a very special man, not just to me but to countless others.

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