Border army veterans will be shocked this week to learn that copies of a CD featuring the regimental pipes and drums of the King's Own Scottish Borderers are being sold to raise money for the right-wing British National Party.
An investigation by The Southern discovered the CD – entitled The Bluebells of Scotland – for sale on the website of the BNP's merchandising arm, called Excalibur, which sells items to raise funds for the party. As well as CDs, Excalibur sells a large catalogue of white supremacist literature, as well as everything from Union Jack bedspreads and Enoch Powell T-shirts to the replica Victoria Crosses that recently caused so much furore.
Regarding the CDs, the Excalibur website boasts: "In keeping with our purpose of encouraging and promoting British culture, Excalibur is today proud to announce the launch of a new range of music CDs. They have all been specially chosen to reflect the richness of European British culture." And it also goes on to state: "Excalibur is the merchandising arm of the British National Party. Our aim is to promote the survival of the British people by providing educational material and culturally-valuable items which will reinforce our claim to freedom and independence on our island."
The pipes and drums of the KOSB – now merged into the Royal Scots Borderers battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland – are also referred to by Excalibur as the 'Scottish Borders Military Band'.
Brigadier Allan Alstead, a former commanding officer of the KOSB and a regimental trustee, was disturbed to hear of the link with the BNP. He told TheSouthern: "I have a copy of The Bluebells of Scotland which I have had for many years and which I like very much, but how copies got into the hands of Excalibur I have no idea. Personally I would not wish to see the record being sold to aid the BNP. Certainly we would never regimentally ever sell records or anything else for that matter in aid of any political party. All money we generate is for charitable purposes and used to provide help for those in need.