2007 - 2021



When the Tory government were re-elected for a fourth term in 1992 Scotland was plunged into a constitutional crisis. An unelected unwanted government with alien social values had been imposed on the people of Scotland. Again. The concept of “a democratic deficit” gathered political momentum and from the low of 1992 Scots slowly but inexorably stirred, rose to our feet, and began to assert our right to exist as a self-governing nation.

Into this cauldron of questioning and cultural renaissance author Alasdair Gray published an incendiary pamphlet titled ‘Why Scots Should Rule Scotland’. In the first few sentences of Chapter 1, The Scots and Where They Come From, Gray laid down a marker:

The title of this book may sound threatening to those who live in Scotland but were born and educated elsewhere, so I had better explain that by Scots I mean everyone in Scotland who is able to vote.” He continued: “My definition cheerfully includes many who think of themselves English but work here as hoteliers, farmers, administrators and directors of Scottish institutions.

He generously included as Scots the Dukes and other great landowners who have stately homes and property in many other countries.

Some may think this definition of a Scot both too liberal and too narrow, but I believe that every adult in a land should have equal say in how it is ruled so therefore belongs to it, however recently she or he arrived.” Adding, as a reminder, lest we need one: ” The first people who called themselves Scots were immigrants.

The influence of these few paragraphs cannot be overstated. Alasdair Gray defined civic nationalism for a generation and his definition of “a Scot” could not have been more inclusive and welcoming, nor further away from inward looking ethnic nationalism. In this respect Gray, as much as any one individual, helped shape the modern Independence movement as it is today. Thanks in much part to Alasdair Gray our independence movement has no place for racism or anti-Englishness 1. It has inclusiveness and the welcome at at its heart.

Fast forward 20 years and Scotland on Sunday run a story under the provocative headline: ‘Gray attacks the English for ‘colonising the arts.’ The sub-header is equally provocative: ‘Writer claims incomers are exploiting Scottish culture’. Before anyone read his essay the social media mobbing of Gray began, braying for his head.

The SoS article bases its allegations on a new essay written by Gray with the highly provocative title of ‘Colonisers and Settlers.’ It is published in Unstated, a new anthology of essays from Word Power Books, where a number of writers discuss issues related to Scottish Independence.

Let’s not beat about the bush here. Words like ”incomers’, colonisers’ and ‘settlers’ are potentially loaded terminology; usually associated with far-right racists. Loaded terms are best avoided in general, or if used they need to be carefully explained beforehand. In his essay Gray does just that. He clearly illustrates what he means by the terms. For Gray ‘settler’ like ‘immigrant’ is not a pejorative term. It’s what every country is essentially and historically made up of.

Yet the SoS article twists this into a general critique of immigrants putting Gray almost into the same boat as the BNP. “In a critique of English immigration north of the border….” says the SoS. This is a deliberately poisonous interpretation of Gray’s words. Far from having a pop at incomers as the SoS dishonestly claim, Gray’s thoughtful historical essay lauds the efforts of people who have arrived here in Scotland and have contributed and enriched our arts, culture and society.

The substance of Gray’s essay is to ask why such a disproportionate number of people in senior administrative positions in the arts are not Scots (in the broad inclusive definition given above) and whether this is having a negative effect on Scottish culture. This is an important question. When Gray cites the “exclusion policy” of Giles Havergal in his 34 year tenure as director of Glasgow’s Citizen’s Theatre; where he staged just two plays by Scots with Scottish settings, he has a point. When Gray criticises Creative Scotland for appointing a Chief Executive who wasn’t Scottish and “knew nothing of Scottish culture” who can disagree with that.

If journalist or commentators think that there ISN’T a problem with self confidence, inferiorism and the profile of Scots in senior positions in Scotland today, they aren’t paying attention.

The truth is that Alasdair Gray hasn’t got an anti-English bone in his body as everyone who knows him and his work will readily testify. It takes a particularly twisted self-loathing kind of journalism to try and imply that about Alasdair Gray. Which is why the job was given to Tom Peterkin.

In a recent essay on Bella about Peterkin and co. we reflected on the tactics that the Britnat press would use over the next two years. One will be to try and smear leading indy supporters rather than engage with ideas. Therefore as an influential thinker and supporter of Scottish independence Gray too had to be smeared. This is the Britnat mindset that plays free and easy with the truth in our so-called Scottish press.

Yet when you consider that Alasdair Gray is Scotland’s greatest living writer, our James Joyce in many respects, and the man who has done so much to encourage an inclusive welcoming Scotland at peace with the rest of the world, such smears can’t be allowed to simply pass by.

This time the Scotsman Publications have stepped over a line. But don’t take our word for it. Read the essay – thoughtful, considered, nuanced as it is – and make your own mind up. But let’s not have a twitter mob and let’s face up to some of the real issues it raises about why so many key institutions throughout our country are led by people who know nothing about it. Why is this? What does it mean? What should we do about it?

Independence isn’t about shallow constitutional change, it’s about re-evaluating the deeper values we hold and the systems in place. For decades there’s been an underlying assumption by many in positions of authority influence and commerce that if you’re from here you can’t be any good, and if you’re not from here you’re probably better. There’s several drivers to this. There’s a confidence in people who up-sticks and re-locate that can’t be denied. There’s also a lack of confidence about a people who’s culture, history and politics is routinely presented as insignificant, provincial or otherwise marginal. At a certain point these factors become self-perpetuating – so that it’s expected that senior management positions are filled by people from outwith these borders.

Little of this will be news to anyone who has eyes or ears and lives in Scotland today.

1In fact Scottish Government policy to attract highly skilled immigrants under the ‘New Talent’ initiative was overridden by the UK because it didn’t suit English political sensibilities.

Comments (38)

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  1. I won’t comment further on Gray’s argument until I’ve actually read the essay (quaint of me, I know), but can I ask: if we do go with his very sensible “civic” definition of nationalism, then surely those English-born administrators currently living, working and (presumably) voting in Scotland are ALSO Scots? So why is he (apparently) highlighting them as little more than carpet baggers?

  2. Possibly because many of them are given the jobs despite having no knowledge of Scotland or Scottish culture? It is all very well having a qualification from an English institution but that hardly qualifies you to run Scottish galleries or the National Theatre of Scotland?
    Timothy Clifford famously or infamously tried to remove Scottish Art from Edinburgh’s galleries and Vicky Featherstone decided to run a bloody disgraceful musical about Darien??? Should we apologise for criticising their ignorance of Scottish culture??? Vicky Featherstone is now waxing lyrical about anti English bullying. Whilst I am not saying that such a thing is impossible it is equally possible that suggesting someone has little understanding or experience of Scotland is a justifiable criticism? Let’s be sure of one thing – it is unlikely that anyone without appropriate experience would be ‘allowed’ to run an English institution!! Even Jack Charlton who managed the Irish football teaqm saw no sense of irony in suggesting that the English football team should be managed by an Englishman!!!!

    1. Since when did the Darien fiasco, which almost bankrupted Scotland, become something that shouldn’t be addressed by NTS? OK, the actual result was possibly a bit crap — can’t say, didn’t see it — but you seem to be suggesting that they shouldn’t have gone near the subject at all. Which, frankly, seems a bit bizarre. Darien is historically very important to this “Scottish culture” that everyone seems to be going on about without actually mentioning what it is.

      1. fourfolksache says:

        Who said it shouldn’t be ‘addressed’????? I didn’t
        I said it was ‘disgraceful’ as it was addressed in the most crass ignorant fashion possible IMHO. Perhaps you should have seen it before you start to criticise the point I was making!! I had to sit next to a group of Americans who thought it was a fu**ing comedy! And as we left they played “We’re on the march with Ally’s Army”!

      2. “Featherstone decided to run a bloody disgraceful musical about Darien??? Should we apologise for criticising their ignorance of Scottish culture???” Apologies; I took your “disgraceful” to refer to Featherstone”s decision to run the musical, not the quality of the work. Which, if you check, I said I hadn’t seen.

    2. and scots in english spheres and the beaurocracy should be booted out..as should scots doctors and nurses…lots of trainee english doctors and nurses who could fill the spots vacated by the scots interlopers..

  3. florian albert says:

    If you use a term such as ‘settler’, which is, as you state, ‘usually associated with right wing racists’ then you run the risk of being misrepresented. The easy way to avoid this is to steer clear of language associated with such racists. This should not be difficult as these people are not known for a wide vocabulary. For a writer like Alisdair Gray, it should be easy.

    1. Jonathan Snee says:

      For a writer like Alasdair Gray, it was clearly a choice. Take one look at any of his written work and you will see his love and use of language in such a manner.

  4. ich bin ein burdiehouser says:

    Can somebody name me a comparable country whose institutions are run by people coming in from a neighbouring country ? Are Polish institutions run by Russians or Germans ? If they were, and the Poles brought it up in conversation, would we call them racist ?

    Let me see just one English artistic figure acknowledge that Scottish institutions are indeed top heavy with the Home counties English.

    Let me see someone admit its for reasons other than talent – it’s the same reason Scousers, Mancs, Brummies and Geordies are pushed to the side as well – did we make that up too ? Is that in case they begin to display elements of anti Surrey Bullying ? – otherwise, the dishonesty and denial are breathtaking.

  5. Sneddon says:

    Tom peterkin is going to look an ass in 2014 but possible that’s the limit of his ambition. Another issue I think isn’t really addressed by the community is the class dimension hasn’t been considered. Most of the top arts admin is run by an oxbridge elite. How many working class people(let alone any with a ‘regional accent’ of any nationality are involved in the running of the arts at the top? It seems to be onl;y those deemed a ‘safe pair of hands’ gets the oppotunities. This applies to all the quangos they seem to pick and choose from an ever decreasing amount of knobheads with no real experience let alone knowledge of what they are getting into. Call it patronage or arse kissing the results the same.

  6. ich bin ein burdiehouser says:

    I wouldn’t really worry about the Scotsman though – they’re a living exhibition of what happens when you pay fealty to outside interests, the writing gets worse, the good journalists leave, the readership declines……..anyone who read the paper in times past can see how badly it’s declined……people can see how the unionist ethos has undermined it from top to bottom…….its become, somewhat unintentionally – a living, breathing example of the dangers of unionism.

  7. Let’s grow up and realise to many of the leading London based elites, Scotland is a colony that ought to do what it is told and accept the superiority of all things from the London-centric world: our language is a poor imitation of proper English (Scots is not a language to most people!!!!!) and we are so lucky to be taught Shakespeare and how dare we learn our own history and read the works of Robert Burns! Burns was a radical pro-democracy visionary and not the Unionist eejit of Dr james mackay and the cohort he still has at the Burns Federation who have smeared and insulted my integrity and research. Behind the smear campaigns in the Scottish hothouse literary world are those doing their damnest to re-elevate Walter Scott (Tory) as the greatest Scottish writer of all time.Elite groups have ran our culture for too long. Putting Burns back where he belonged was my objective and he is where he should belong now: a republican literary genius of democratic egalitarian principles. Smearing Alistair Gray is a disgrace; so well done guys : great article!

  8. Ok I’ve read Alasdair’s essay several times now. I really wish Scott Hames and Word Power had made it available so that everyone could make a considered opinion of it and its sentiments. But I have to say first off that I really don’t think the smear accusations hold much water. Yes, the headline and subheadline are wrong and deserve criticism but could easily have been the work of a sub-editor. The article quotes selectively, sure, but it contains the substance of what the essay is arguing and does not misquote. To make out that Scotsman Publications has “stepped over a line” and deserves boycotting is just silly. And to refer to the journalist Peterkin as ” self loathing” and such like smacks of the Zionist propaganda machine that Alasdair refers to in regard to anti-semiticism.I have criticised Kevin for adopting Alastair Campbell style tactics, also employed in regards to Macalpine ie try to divert the story to being about shooting the messenger – in those cases the BBC, in this Scotland On Sunday.
    At last, Kevin and Michael admit that the terms used by Gray are generally best avoided. Settlers and Colonists are terms asking for trouble and its ridiculous to howl now when they find it. As far as I can see there is no fundamental difference between the quotes in Peterkin’s article and the essay.
    I’m only going to make a point or two more because I’m being picked up to appear on Scotland Tonight about this shortly but I take offence at Kevin stating that’s my “reward” for joining the Unionist camp. I mean really- get a fucking grip Kev.
    I don’t need to come to the defence of Vicky Featherstone. She has spoken brilliantly for herself. All I’ll say for the benefit of those who comment here is that the vast majority of voices heard in National Theatre of Scotland productions have been working class Scots.
    But I take offence at the smearing of Giles Havergal as a colonist who, one can only presume in the way the essay is constructed is being accused of being not a great Artistic Director of a theatre of world renown- the Glasgow Citizens’ – but an example of “arts administrators (who) were invited to Scotland by the Scots, stayed longer but were still colonists, not because they eventually retired to England or were promoted to other jobs there, but because their work for institutions originally created to encourage art in Scotland actually depressed it.”
    Giles Havergal used to stand at the front door welcoming the audience in every night and Glasgow and Scotland should be totally proud of what was achieved there. And as for merely two plays, even that’s not true- what about Trainspotting, Filth, The Cutting Room, two of which I was in? I think if you look at the records you’ll also find only a handful of Shakespeare’s. the Citz had its own unique take on theatre and that should be celebrated rather than nit-picked at here. This is not behaving as if in the early days of a better nation but grumping and moaning in the hangover of a referendum defeat brought about by such stupid own goals. Thank crivvens almost all comments I’ve read have wanted nothing to do with any desire to lump folk into settler or colonist camps. Like I said with the Open Letter to Laurie Sansom ( must be wondering what he’s let himself in for! ) there is a debate to be had about directors in Scottish theatre and that may well extend to other spheres, but I’m afraid that so far, this has not been that debate.
    And finally, never mind the bloody Abbey, Scottish playwrights are punching well above their weight and have been for some time!

    1. Jack Sloan says:

      Robert David MacDonald , born in Elgin and Co-Artistic Director with Havergal, wrote fifteen plays for the Citizen’s Theatre Company and did translations of many, many more. No idea where Alistdair Gray got the ‘only 2 Scottish plays’ from unless he meant that only 2 were set in Scotland. However, what is wrong with a Scottish writer bringing European settings and ideas into his work?

  9. jimhutchy says:

    as a working class dundonian i always laugh at this concept called the arts, in dundee we have a cultural quarter, which has very little to do with the culture of dundee , lately becoming a theme park for dc thomsons , the sad truth is though that here in dundee a very small percentage knew or had even heard of michael marra , and this from a city applying for city of culture status , but only when real culture arrives in the shape of the [email protected] museum at the waterfront , strangely enough plays with a dundee dialect such as the Mill Lavvies never or are rarely shown outside dundee as the scottish dialect is too strong and other scots or luvvies wont understand it , this I find unbelieveable ! scots not understanding other scots surely not ?

  10. ich bin ein burdiehouser says:

    Really depressing interview on scotland tonight, brushing the representation of Scots under the carpet……is asking for fair and equal treatment tantamount to racism ? Asking for blood tests ?

    What really irks me is this is suggested by someone who campaigned really quite loudly for equality, openess and transparency on the part of creative scotland, (who was then invited to a private meeting with them and didnt bother to tell any of us what was said) but somehow the gross inequality in regard to scots is somehow an argument for another time, somewhere else, perhaps in a private meeting somewhere, over organic produce at a dinner party, where the deals are done.

  11. Bold Caley says:

    But I thought the Scotland Tonight people got it right – doesn’t Scotland deserve the best applicants, whatever their origin? And how would you enforce the Scottishness idea anyway
    meanwhile, here’s a shockeroo for those who gripe that the Scotsman is staffed by unionists. It’s not. One of them, Fiona McGregor, even tops up her Yes Campaign PR salary by doing shifts there!

  12. Barontorc says:

    What we’re verging onto is the actual containment of nationhood, by a vested interest, which ain’t no good to anybody as polls of various hues are consistently forecasting.

    It’s becoming wearisome that any attempt stating the nation-al mind be ripe for attack and dragged down as something inferior. Hell-mend these architects who chose to do so – times are radically changing.

  13. blunttrauma says:

    SAOR ALBA!!!

  14. Are we aiming at the wrong target?
    The “Scottish Cultural Institution” with the biggest influence is BBC Scotland. Its power probably surpasses all others combined. It is directed/managed from London and Pacific Quay in reality is the Governor General’s mansion on the Clyde.
    We really can’t afford to expand this settler/colonist rammie ; we have to live together after the referendum whatever the result. Raising the temperature of our debate to Mail/Telegraph anti-Scots racism standards, let alone the horror of an Irish shouting match, hurts us all.
    Stewart Lochhead

  15. Unless we’re ‘on the same page’, this same stushie will come up again and again, and it’ll go nowhere. A fundamental source of disagreement is the notion that areas of cultural activity are/aren’t policed by gatekeepers/commissars – for many, the very idea is reprehensible and smacks of paranoia, but those who’ve encountered them first-hand know that they exist, that their agenda is real, and that they are highly effective in locating work which may be considered unorthodox.

    Rather than get bogged-down in personalities/CVs and perceived allegiances, it might be more productive to question why the end results (i.e. the artworks which make it onto the most accessible platforms) so rarely reflect the real lives of real people living in Scotland, whether those people consider themselves ‘Scottish’ or not.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Really good point Ian.

      1. matt says:

        here here to that Bella

  16. Indy says:

    I think class rather than nationality is the key – and I am by no means a class warrior or even a leftist. But institutional Scotland is stuffed to the brim with lords and ladies and sirs and people with honours and so on. People drawn from a very very narrow strata of society. Wealthy, usually privately educated. Whether or not they are English is, to me, hardly even the point. Where are the normal people?????

    It’s a shame that Alasdair Gray used the language he did because I think his point is valid although it applies to home grown high heid yins as well as new folk. There ARE too many colonial administrators in the Scottish Establishment but it doesn’t matter if they are English or Scots cos they are just the same.

    It is time to reorganise things and aggressively push for an inclusion of ordinary Scots – not even just working class Scots but average middle class Scots too. People who went to ordinary comprehensives. Doesn’t matter if they come from England by the way, but please let’s have more of us normal people in there. After all the flaming government here is made up of normal people these days, isn’t it time the Establishment followed suit??

  17. jimhutchy says:

    i agree it is a class thing , i do agree it works both ways in that the scottish diaspara has a great influence the world over , but perception or reality the arts are seen as middle class ,run by english people generally , have little relevance to peoples real lives ,ie wont fill there bellies or pay there bills , its that old questio n” in the world of sex is casanova the only real expert ” do you have to live it to know it , i fear gray is being condemned ironically for his lack of finding the right words

  18. ich bin ein burdiehouser says:

    Lets look at who’s been tasked with both headhunting the NTS artistic director and the EIF’s: step forward Heather Newill of AEM international – ” Heather has 20 years experience herself in senior level arts management and was formerly ……. Festival Director of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. She has an excellent understanding of the cultural, entertainment and media worlds and has extensive contacts internationally.

    Heather lives in Suffolk and is a Director of HighTide Festival Theatre, the new writing festival based in Halesworth, Suffolk.”

    So there you are – the ex head honcho of the Norwich Festival is tasked with bringing the cream of the art worlds uber admins to Scotland – do you think Alan Partridge might be in with a chance ?

  19. Macart says:

    People still read the Scotsman????????

    Who knew? 🙂

  20. ich bin ein burdiehouser says:

    Oh – as well as Laurie Sansom, Heather Newill of AEM international also claims to have headhunted another great Scottish success story: Andrew Dixon of Creative Scotland.

  21. GrahamH says:

    Forget class. The tension essayed upon by Alasdair Gray is that between creativity and careerism. Mr Peterkin’s twitter avatar provides an additional manifestation.

  22. Craig P says:

    There’s an old joke about a Scot going to London, “how did you find the English,” asks his pal, “no idea,” comes the reply, “I only met heads of departments.” So it runs both ways.

  23. Clydebuilt says:

    SoS Linking Gray with the BNP, job done some Journos might think.
    But not our intrepid Graham Spiers, he calls himself a sports journalist.
    Re. Monday’s John Beattie’s lunch time show on Radio Scotland, one of the topic’s was BBC’s Sports Personality of The Year. Spiersey managed to suggest that if you were a supporter of the SNP you wouldn’t have enjoyed “SPOTY” the reason being that someone who is a supporter of the SNP doesn’t like English people.
    His postulating went unchallenged.

  24. ich bin ein burdiehouser says:

    “Tom Peterkin’s first job was with D. C. Thomson in Dundee.”
    I think that tells you all you need to know – they employing catholics yet ?

  25. douglas clark says:


    I am an SNP member. Personally I thought that the last few laps in the 5000 and 10000 metres were the most remarkable things I have ever seen. From being stuck with the pack, he won both of them.

    I’d have voted for Mo Farrah.

    Though a small part of me wanted to vote for Jessica Ennis.

    I quite like both of them.

    I am also a huge fan of Lionel Messi.

    Has the no campaign decided that sports fans are required to wear nationalistic blinkers?

    It would deny us a huge amount of entertainment.

    I don’t really follow tennis too much, but I must admit to enjoying Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who is probably also the most frustrating person, ever, to support. He makes Andy Murray look like a model of consistency. But, once in a while, there is magic there.

    I thought I was early to the game with Eden Hazard. Seems there are videos of him doing his stuff as a kid.

    It is an interesting arguement that Spiers has promulgated.

    He is telling me who I should like or dislike?

    I like all of the above.

    It has zero to do with my politics.

    Indeed, if the whole damn lot of them wanted to come and live here, I for one, would welcome them all with open arms!

  26. douglas clark says:

    Quite frankly I intended to ask about Alasdair Gray, but I got diverted.

    The authors of this piece are probably uninterested in Job Descriptions for posts in the cultural sector.

    Perhaps they should be.

    It seems to me that promulgating local ability and talent should at least be an expectation of a candidate. Without, obviously excluding an international dimension. To some extent a successful candidate will be judged on their successes rather than their failures.


    An entirely localist ouevré may appeal to some, and not to others, and indeed would be marginalise an international perspective.

    Before one has a candidate to judge, one ought to have determined what one expects of that person. The judgement on their success or failure ought to be based on what one originally expected them to do.

    If they are to be kailyard, then any ability to engage an international opera company is, by definition, not what you employed them to do.

    It seems to me that the debate should be around an attempt to reconcile that. Because Scotland both feeds into and drinks from international culture.

  27. Donald M P Cameron says:

    This debate on Scottish culture and its representation, or lack of, reminds me of the one we had back in the 1960s. It was our coming to terms with ourselves debate, or more commonly known as the debate on “cultural cringe.” If you’ve not come across this term before, it’s most likely you’ve never lived in Australia. Our problem then, was that whilst we were an independent nation, our thinking was enmeshed in our nations history, being one of those settler/colonial societies. In the 1960s our love affair with all things English, and I use the word English, rather than British, because we didn’t think in terms of Scottish, or Welsh, or Cornish, or Manx, we thought in terms of all things English. Or I should say, we were forced into viewing our culture as essentially English, by the existing cultural elites. Prior to the mid 1960s, almost all Australian culture was basically a form of English culture, even down to how television newsreaders read the news, and how radio commentators spoke. Most of them sounded as thought they had just left their Mayfair flat, and had stepped into a London studio to make their broadcasts.

    Some people in this Scottish debate have said, class is unimportant, well it was definitely important in our cultural cringe debate. Culture then was defined by the people at the top, and the gatekeepers below, the vast majority of whom, were either seeking to emulate, or if possible, become one of the culture elites. These elites by the way, were either English or pretentious brown-nosed Australians seeking to establish a kind of English gentry in Australia.

    It took a few left wing politicians, some with working class backgrounds, who identified themselves as Australians firstly and foremost, who changed government policy, allowing us ordinary Australians, to say in public, what we were already saying around the dinner tables, in the school yards, and in our private thoughts, that what we really wanted to see, hear, and ready about were everyday Australian experiences in vernacular language. We wanted to experience and understand what it meant to be an Australian. We wanted to know about other everyday, ordinary, and sometimes exceptional Australian’s, their lives and their experiences. Later came the voices of more recent immigrants and, unfortunately, much later, the voices of our indigenous peoples. Today, cultural cringe, is only spoken of in historical terms, if at all. Most young Australians probable don’t even know what the term means. We are now comfortable with our culture, we don’t need to look outside our nation for validation.

    We removed the sycophants and the English elitists in charge of our cultural institutions, and replace them with individuals who not only identified themselves as Australian, but more importantly, understood our diverse cultural needs. This shift away from English elitism, allowed all things Australian, good and bad to come into the public domain. Real issues became open for public debate, and we were forced to confront who we were as a nation. In my opinion Scotland needs to go through a similar process. You need Scottish voices, telling Scottish stories, and using Scottish language to reflect your cultural needs and aspirations.

    Once given the change to explore what it means to be Scottish, you will eventually move on from your current self-imposed feelings of cultural inadequacy, if that is what this debate is really about. Right now, you don’t need outsiders, no mater where they come from, to take you on this journey. They can come later, when you are comfortable as an independent nation, with your own cultural identity, one that is not imposed upon you.

    Today, nobody in Australia would question the appointment of an English, Scottish, Latvian, or Mexican to the top positions of an Australian cultural institution. Your own Elizabeth Ann MacGregor happens to he head of the MCA. We are free from our cultural cringe, and as I see it, Alasdair Grey wants to take you to the same place.

    1. Darien says:

      a bit late, but amen to that Donald!

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