Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Monday, 18 June 2012 14:02 UK

Remember Cunninghame Graham debate

SNP MSP Rob Gibson led a member's debate to remember Cunninghame Graham, saying his writings should be known to everyone, on 20 June 2012.

Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham was born on 24 May 1852 and had a role in founding the Scottish Labour Party, with Keir Hardie, in 1888 and the National Party of Scotland in 1928.

Mr Gibson's motion congratulates Alan MacGillivray and John C McIntyre on the publication of the collected stories and sketches of R B Cunninghame Graham in five volumes of one modern edition.

The Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP said: "Many of the causes of his lifelong campaigns hold resonances for us today".

He said he had secured time at the Festival of Politics to celebrate the 160th anniversary of his birth and called on the Scottish Parliament and Scottish government to prepare appropriate celebrations as well.

He quoted Mr Graham at a rally at Stirling in 1930: "The enemies of Scottish Nationalism are not the English... our real enemies are among us, born without imagination".

Scottish Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson said "for too long he has been ignored by historians" and added he had been a colourful character with a "brilliant political brain" and had been a mentor to Keir Hardie.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said Cunningham Grahame had been a "remarkable individual" and an "inspiration".

Ms Hyslop highlighted the memorial cairn, with stones from Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, which had been erected in Dumbarton, with the inscription "Master of life, a king among men".

Cunningham Graham's adventurous life had taken him to these countries and many others where he had championed the miners, the gauchos, the native Americans, the crofters and many others whom he considered were exploited by the wealthy and privileged.

His writings and life inspired many others, including inspiring Joseph Conrad to write The Heart of Darkness and Nostromo.

The culture secretary also congratulated Alan MacGillivray and John C McIntyre for bringing together his writings and drawings for the first time in the modern era saying it was the most fitting testimony for any writer.

Story Tools

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific