Document 671

Dipper: 59 - The Great Conifer Con

Author(s): Dr James A Begg

Copyright holder(s): Dr James A Begg


The recent conversion of Mrs. Thatcher and her Government from Cobalt Blue to 'Green' will only impress sceptical environmentalists, whose warnings of many of the present impending natural calamities facing the world were pooh-poohed by successive Governments ten or fifteen years ago, when Ministerial double-talk gives way to positive, enthusiastic action. The following two poems, in English for a wider appreciation, say it all!

The Environmental Minister
Dreamed up a wizard wheeze -
- At first glance nothing sinister -
He swore he meant to please
The Environmental Lobby,
And put them at their ease,
When he stopped T.Wogan's hobby
Of avoiding Tax with Trees.

Had 'Our Leaders' shown rare qualities;
Seen the folly of their ways;
Of pursuing ancient policies
That date back to the days
When trees were chopped to prop the pits,
Smelt steel, build ships of oak?
- The pits have gone, steel's had a blitz,
Shipbuilding's now a joke!

Alas! The 'Guardians' of our Land,
Ignoring counsels sane;
Dogmatic minds and grasping hand
Obsessed with private gain;
Have pandered to the Men of Means,
Of Profit, Power and 'Yields',
With a doubled grant for evergreens
To scar hills, moors and fields!

To such men, conservation means:
'Conserve the Ruling Class,
To Hell with soft idyllic scenes
- For where there's muck there's Brass!'
Our landscape goes from bad to worse,
And now to cap it all,
They rob poor Peter Public's purse,
To pay rich Private Paul!

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Dipper: 59 - The Great Conifer Con. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 14 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Dipper: 59 - The Great Conifer Con." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 14 June 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Dipper: 59 - The Great Conifer Con," accessed 14 June 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 671

Dipper: 59 - The Great Conifer Con


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1988
Word count 246
General description Anthology of prizewinning and other Scots poems, and short stories in Ayrshire Scots.

Text medium

Other Audiocassette

Text publication details

Publisher Luath Press
Publication year 1991
Place of publication Barr, Ayrshire
ISBN/ISSN 0946487227
Edition First
Part of larger text
Contained in The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils: Tales and Poems in Ayrshire Scots
Editor Authors: Dr. J. A. Begg and J. Reid
Page numbers 145

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 623
Title Dr
Forenames James
Initials A
Surname Begg
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Medical Practitioner
Place of birth New Cumnock
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Ayr
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Clerical Officer, NCB
Father's place of birth Sandbank
Father's region of birth Argyll
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Arg
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth New Cumnock
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
Danish No No No No A little
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Holidaying in France
Norwegian No No No No A little
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work