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The Work of Ron Culley

The work of Ron Culley uses fiction to dig for truth - no matter how sinister it may be - as a vehicle to independence.

Thursday, October 12, 2023
7 mins

Perfidious Albion

Proud Glaswegian, Ron Culley is a prodigious and successful author with some fourteen books published and another, ‘As Long As One Hundred Of Us Remain Alive’ currently being written and heading for the shelves in the new year. Its strap-line is ‘British espionage and the rise of the Scottish Independence movement’ and deals with the historic role of MI5 in the emergence of Scottish self-governance and left-wing politics since WW2. Although he’s written travel books, humorous books, a play, Irish history novels, biographies and has also edited a few other writers, his main passion is writing historical fiction involving the issue of Scottish Independence.

“I use the vehicle of the novel to make the many underhand examples of Perfidious Albion more accessible to readers”, says Ron. “In my book, ‘Rebellious Scots To Crush’, ‘I deal with dark money coming in to Scotland anonymously from Northern Irish Unionists - quite legally - to corrupt Scottish Politics. Westminster has no incentive to remedy this and so the undermining of Scottish politics continues. I wrote ‘The Last Colony’, to discuss the absolute certainty of infiltration by the security services in the higher reaches of the SNP administration. In ‘Dalriada’ I focussed upon the inevitability of civil disobedience if democratic approaches continue to be denied the Scottish people.”

Gareth Wardell (Grousebeater) the writer, essayist and filmmaker was effusive in reviewing Culley’s book, ‘Rebellious Scots To Crush’.

“Ron Culley is that unique thing, a writer of hybrid novels; he weaves fact with plausible fiction so expertly you could swear he had been a fly on the wall. In this marvellous Scots story of political intrigue, his protagonist Donald John Morrison follows dark money to its corrupt destination - undermining a nation. It’s time television took note of Culley's factual-fiction political novels, they are the very stuff of film noir."

Culley continued, “By some distance, my most successful novel based upon historical fiction is, ‘Alba: Who Shot Willie McRae?’ I wrote it as the many contradictions in the Crown’s case became evident to me. As an aid to the narrative (not that it needed it) I also threaded the story of the McCrone Report throughout. 

McRae knew hee-haw about the theft and subsequent thirty-one years of Westminster secrecy over Scotland’s oil but I wanted to introduce those facts to a wider audience and offer a readable, entertaining book. I ended with a chapter outlining all of the sources used and setting out where I had departed from facts in the interests of the narrative flow (as per McCrone) and was very pleased both with the book and with the reaction to it…until I received a very stern email from retired police officer, Donald Morrison insisting that I call him immediately! 

I checked what I’d written about him and decided I could defend everything. However, I punched the numbers to connect me to Donald in his Hebridean home with some small trepidation. Initially crabbit, Donald quizzed me about the book but we became great friends in a few minutes and have remained so in the years since. Donald was the last person to see Willie McRae alive and sentient other than the person who shot him. He told and retold the story of how he’d seen two Special Branch officers race after McRae in two double-manned cars later proved by a Channel 4 documentary to belong to the security services as he headed north from Glasgow to Dornie to write up the revelations he’d been telling people (including Donald) ‘would bring down Thatcher’s government’.

I’d been a member of the ‘Justice for Willie’ Campaign which was crowdfunded to re-examine his demise and to call for a Fatal Accident Inquiry - something denied by each of the several Lords Advocate who’d occupied the post since 1985. Very regrettably, without consulting the membership, chairman Mark MacNicol, using the guidance of two retired police officers who’d been employed by him (as opposed to the QC the crowdfunders had been promised to reassess the case), merely announced to the press the verdict of the group as ‘suicide’. Many were livid at this - particularly Donald who had contributed a four figure sum to fund the inquiry - and were very suspicious of the role played by the two cops tasked with objectively assessing the performance of other fellow officers.

In order to challenge this, Donald insisted that I wrote a factual book, re-interviewing all of those still alive who could attest to statements concerning McRae’s death. I agreed and spent two years in detailed research usually in Glasgow’s Mitchell Library where I combed the vaults looking for facts. I travelled all over Scotland interviewing everyone I could from Donald in Benbecula who watched him leave Glasgow, to Donald Blair (now a world expert on Scotch Whisky) who drove him around Scotland when he (Donnie) was a student, to David Coutts, the SNP councillor who found him dying in his car on the lonely banks of Loch Loyne and pulled him in a coma from the Volvo he was driving. Four friends spoke to me of his demeanour on the day he died…bright and ebullient, far from the suicidal attitude averred by the Crown. I also unearthed scores of staggering and unconvincing Crown contradictions. So I wrote, ‘Firebrand’, a book I intended should be the definitive account of his death.

I’ve now spoken at many gatherings of those keen to hear of my findings…even a Tory assemblage in Ayr where the faithful had to agree that there was something amiss. Following a large meeting up in Thurso, organiser Jim Coll said, “This was a large meeting for a town the size of Thurso. Ron’s presentation and the answers he gave to questions from those assembled left little doubt in the minds of all of us that there had been dirty work done on the road to Kintail to keep what Willie knew from ever becoming known to others.”

Once again, Grousebeater reviewed yet another of Ron’s books, this time ‘Firebrand’. “Culley lays out his narrative meticulously with commendable dispassionate attention to detail but this does not stop the reader getting angry presented with incontrovertible evidence of a bonnie fighter censored with the extreme prejudice, removed from the cause of Scotland’s long-overdue liberty. Happily, Culley’s prose is unadorned with complicated legal jargon, or embroidered with assumptions, not a hard thing to avoid when knowing skulduggery is easily proven.”

In ‘Firebrand’, Culley was able to provide police photographic evidence which for years was denied the Scottish public along with handwritten statements from key witnesses not interviewed by police despite it being glaringly obvious that they should be spoken to. In one case, corroboration of Donald Morrison’s statement under oath, disbelieved by police at the time was eventually proved as accurate - but it took the police sixteen years to ask for that statement! Had it been sought at the time of the initial investigation it would have undoubtedly resulted at least in a Fatal Accident Inquiry being established…if not a murder investigation. Corruption, criminality, incompetence or each one of them?

There are many authors out there, and certainly one or two who’ve dipped their toe in matters to do with Scottish Independence. Culley’s books are firmly bedded in reality and each incorporate no little humour. They all sell well and if there’s any justice, will further awaken the Scottish public to the delinquencies of the British Establishment as they attempt to keep a tin lid on Scottish ambitions.

Culley concluded, “One problem is that our politicians seem hesitant in pointing out even the most outrageous examples of British State interference in our politics. I suppose they’re feart of being denounced as a political fantasist or conspiracist. My books allow these matters to surface as our colluding Unionist media certainly won’t give oxygen to anything that might scare the horses. Well, I don’t mind scaring horses! Indeed, I see it as something approaching a duty.”

All of Ron’s books can be found on his web site, www.ronculley.com He can be contacted at author@ronculley.com and on X-Twitter at @Iblogtoglasgow.

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