2007 - 2021

Cultural Leadership

5914005706_10cb893c0f_zFor those who have been responding to the Liz Lochhead Gutter interview with ‘nothing to see here / move along’ responses, this is informative.

Directors of Edinburgh International Festival 1947 – 2015

Rudolf Franz Josef Bing 1947-49
Born Austria
Sir Ian Bruce Hope Hunter 1950 – 1955
Born Middlesex
Robert Noel Ponsonby 1956 – 1960
Born Oxford
George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood 1961-1965
Born London
Peter Diamand 1966-1978
Born Berlin
Sir John Richard Gray Drummond 1979-1983
Born London
Frank Dunlop 1984 – 1991
Born Leeds
Sir Brian McMaster 1992 – 2006
Born Hertfordshire
Jonathan Mills 2007 – 2014
Born Sydney
Fergus Linehan 2014-
Born Dublin

I have no reason to doubt that these people were good at their jobs, and I LOVE the internationalism that is at the heart os the festival (s), but that no Scottish person could be appointed in 68 years is quite a feat. Can you really imagine that if there were a similar international arts festival in London, Berlin, Sydney or Dublin that there would be a similar track record and it would NEVER have been led by an Englishman, a German, an Australia or an Irishman? That’s kind of unthinkable isn’t it?

So why is this the case? The 7th Earl of Harewood (1961-1965) may have been there on merit, I have no idea. But it does raise wider questions – why have we never developed the talent to curate our own arts festival?

Answers on a postcard please.

Comments (62)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Kate says:

    Interesting question Mike – it definitely is time for us all to get above ourselves!
    (Kate fae ‘free SPACE)

  2. DialMforMurdo says:

    Aye been this way. Similar tale with EIFF. A look through much of the upper strata of Scottish cultural establishment reveals a similar tale with Scots in senior positions being the exception. The flip side is the Scots making a living abroad at senior level in the arts, just not too many of them.

  3. Mr T says:

    What’s the appointment process?

  4. stan says:

    why have we never developed the talent to curate our own arts festival?
    Well we have, but have just not been given the job. There are many talented administrators living and working in the arts in Scotland.

    1. Yes Stan, of course. I was being sarcastic

  5. kate says:

    yes it is unthinkable. its all about being upper class & not scottish & male.

    god knows what political content a working class scottish woman might introduce

    1. Absolutely agree Kate – the list is male pale and stale. This is about an elite cultural rule and it is self-perpetuating.

    2. Ray Bell says:

      Actually in certain arts sectors women rule the roost. Middle class women though. Check out textiles or some book related ventures.

      1. Jane says:

        Agreed, the arts should be open to all backgrounds.

  6. John Page says:

    This will probably seem an odd contribution……I am originally from Glasgow but lived in Edinburgh for 17 years. From a purely personal point of view I never saw the International Festival as at all local…..I now can’t recall ever going to see much…….I am certainly not surprised at the list above. I am not really bothered but of course as is evident from my remarks I do not know much about the arts.
    However, I felt and do still feel that the Book Festival is very much a local (andwonderful) thing.

    John Page

  7. John S Warren says:

    I find it deeply disappointing that the critics of Liz Lochhead, at least as illustrated in the comments on the earlier thread ‘Beyond Cringe’, have attempted to turn an issue that is exclusively a matter of knowledge and informed culture (and easily to be understood to be so by the open-minded or fair-minded) into a narrow matter of nationalism, identity or even ethnicity. I wonder why?

    1. JBS says:

      Do you think it could be because there are always those who are casting about for anything they can use as a stick to beat the people of Scotland with?

      Is that an obvious answer, too?

      1. John S Warren says:

        I think, quite typically, it speaks to the political motivation or ideological prejudices of those who pursue this line. It is innocent in the sense that it unselfconscious; often it is characterised by poor levels of self-awareness, and embalmed in an opulent complacency (often long-marinated in simple ignorance or indifference, but I do not wish to be cruel).

        Obvious? I see that you are carrying the last thread on this matter forward; I did not intend the remark as a criticism, after all you (alone) provided the answer. Nevertheless, it is obvious.

        1. JBS says:

          That is one of the most elegant ways of justifiably calling certain individuals smug and stupid that I have ever come across. I must remember it.

          As for the rest: well, don’t mind me, I was just having a dig…

          1. Billy Bunter's Cousin Jock says:

            Point out the truth and yer a racist! Quality. When racist elitist suppression of a culture is normal then pointing out this becomes racist. I mean, Scotland is not even a nation and the Scots language is just a stupid dialect used by low life working class scum. So so rare to hear Scots spoken on telly. I wonder why? Wanting equality and fairness must be racist too! maybe even being so daring as demanding democracy would be racists as well?

            O my I just realised we live in a fair professional meritocracy where all the top jobs all go to the very best people! My bellend!

        2. Jane says:

          No offence but given such assumptions I think perhaps it is you who are the ideologically conditioned one John – nationalism is after all an ism, however much you try to dress it up as non ideological and neutral.

          First of all, many Scots disagree with the notion that nationality isn’t as important as understanding Scottish culture, competence and an inclusive pluralistic approach to Scottish arts. What I think worries many is that this is political not about the arts. It is about using culture for nation building (this is Bella C after all so fair enough) which is in itself the essence of a top down ‘imperial’ construct as it assume to definitively know what is or what isn’t history and culture – and no one is allowed to challenge – that tends to be a certain idea of Scottish culture. The biggest loser in this process tend to be pluralism and diversity, especially for the non mainstream cultures within a nation, whatever they may be – nation building is not a liberal project by design, it must assume those ‘in’ and those ‘out’ and thus it necessarily seeks uniformity. It isn’t just about more Scots in top positions (there are plenty actually) but more about controlling the cultural narrative -this in Scot national terms means in opposition to the English/ British and smaller non conformist history and cultures within the boundaries of the nation. This was the point Kenny Farq was making.

          It reminds me of the complaints from conservatives in England over the years when black or Asian or women broke into arts fields – the same arguments. Too many women in positions and too many gay and black people disproportionate to the wider society. Now there are Bollywood versions of Much ado about nothing, West African gospel choirs sing Blake’s Jeruselem, and working class white kids in London and Birmingham write poems infused with creole and west Indian patois. Non of this detracts from earlier English, Scottish or British history. Ironically it is the diffusion of culture that opens the space for tradition and the unity of the nation – see the Olympics opening ceremony. Not by prescriptions of who and who can’t take positions and join in.

          1. John S Warren says:

            No offence taken, but you are not addressing my argument, but a ‘straw-man’ that allows you to produce a standard-form, stereotypical case. I am not “nation-building”, and as an editorially much tolerated contributor to the site, I do not really fit the formula you are trying to pigeon-hole me with (presumably, socialist or ideologist or nationalist or whatever – philosophically I am anti-ideological and a pragmatist); it is one of the things I really like about Bella Caledonia (and I do not always agree with its position on everything) is that it is opinionated, but both open and tolerant.

            My case is built simply on the proposition that “knowledge” offers the best way of measuring how strategic decisions in the Arts should be made. If there were no strategic decisions being made, if no money was involved, if nothing was being ‘managed’ in the Arts we may have a different discussion; but this is the real world, and unless you are going to attempt to defend “ignorance” as a prime virtue, then I do not understand the nature of your point.

            Please do not take offence, but statements of this kind; “it is the diffusion of culture that opens the space for tradition and the unity of the nation”, could mean almost anything; frankly it looks like waffle.

  8. Burnett says:

    Top down leadership. Artist-led arts wouldn’t look like this. The tradition handed on from one administration to the next is that to appear ‘international’ local and traditional arts are a potential embarrassment.

  9. Bill Low says:

    Surely the ‘proof’ if one is needed, is in the output and outcome. Does the National Theatre of Scotland provide material that contributes to the essence of Scottish culture? Does this output reflect well in an international setting? What about “Black Watch”, the “James” plays, and many other successes. Joe Corrie’s play, “In Place of Strife”, which toured Scotland was a great reflection of an aspect of our history. With regard to the Edinburgh Festival do the same criteria apply? As a native born Glaswegian, who spent 22 years living in Edinburgh I must say that I think that they can claim success.

    Perhaps we need to focus more on the education of our young people, to ensure that the arts and our history are taught and appreciated in order to build understanding, then we may have a greater range of talent from which to pick directors etc.

    1. John S Warren says:

      A well argued defence, but not good enough. My report on Scottish Arts institutions (I include the broadcasters, for completeness over performance) would be ‘must try harder’: a lot harder.

      For example, which Performing Arts institutions in Scotland have heard of Archibald Pitcairne’s sardonic Jacobite polemic (in the style of Restoration comedy), which followed closely on the Glorious Revolution, ‘The Assembly’ (1691); or more important, actually read it; or tried to do something with it, using the creative talent we have?

  10. Billy Bunter's Cousin Jock says:

    Wake up and smell the crap! No one gets appointed to anything in Scotland’s cronyist colony of elitism. Everything and every job is based on who you know and how well you grovel to the mediocre dumpling in the top job. Crawling is an art to the mediocre and success is defined by supine pusillanimous behaviour not ability and expertise which threaten people in top jobs. In The Dean of Faulty poem a certain Robert Burns wrote about the one STRIKING feature of top legal experts in appointing the new Tory Dean, ‘the more invalidity you bring, The more it’s to their liking’. Grovelling forelock tugging and deference are still all the rage and fashion of top dog dominance animal behaviour. Scotland has been and will continue to be a colony no matter who is in Holyrood. La di da Anglicised shapes-shifter rule almost every area of Scottish culture and as long as our Scots language is suppressed as a regional dialect we will always be a colony of the great Empire mindset of superiority called ‘England’. Dont greet aboot it, get on yer kneels and submit to your masters whether they be English or Anglicised brainwashed Jocks. Culture is the collective mind and consciousness of a country and national expression of who and what we are. Unchain the Scots I say!

    1. Monty says:

      just one post but the head of the National Library of Scotland is a fairly ordinary bloke from Paisley who educated and slogged his way to the top. He has big ambitions both to open up the place to the public and world class research and digitisation projects.

  11. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Mike, obviously an anti-English racist article. I’m sure Kenny F from the Beano will agree.

  12. BoringFud31 says:

    Please clarify what you mean when you refer to “no Scottish person” having been appointed as director in 68 years. As the name suggests, Sir Ian Hope Hunter’s father was Scottish and he was educated at Fettes. He would have been better qualified to play football for Scotland than plenty of recent caps. From the general tone of this site I presume that he would be categorised as a despicable class enemy but surely you can’t deny him his nationality?
    Alternatively, if a sine qua non in your definition of Scottishness is having been born here, does that apply to all spheres of life and politics or only to the employment policies of the EIF?

    1. Ray Bell says:

      I’m not sure Fettes qualifies as much of a Scottish school, other than by virtue of its physical location. And no, I’m not being a snob, I know quite a few former pupils. I even hear they sing Jerusalem in assembly. (Good tune, and I’m a massive fan of Blake, but mostly misunderstood by those who sing it.)

      Alright, I am half joking – they don the kilt and play pipes there occasionally, but
      last thing I heard Fettes had dropped the Scottish curriculum entirely, and does GCSEs/A Levels/AS Levels and the International Baccalaureate.

      Plus they need to do something about that grubby Fet Lor centre up at Crewe Toll. It’s been falling apart for at least twenty years – that’s their supposed charitable side.

      1. MBC says:

        Agree that Fettes is a colonial institution.

  13. Faltdubh says:

    It seems very strange that there is not a a person born in Scotland on that list. Although you could argue there are ´Scots´on there judging by surnames.

    Read the article and Liz Lochead’s piece, and both are very interesting reading. I can only speak for myself, but I didn’t get any anti-English sentiment, but like I myself and sure many others would like to see, is people from Scotland represented far greater in higher positions of power within our creative industries.

    Anyone who comes to Scotland , and makes the country their home is a Scot to many of us, and we have Scots with many different accents, some fourth generation Australian or Americans may see themselves as Scots, and they are indeed that.

    Are we the only country who question ourselves so much about something so many other countries do? I’m all for the best man or woman for the job.

    One thing though – Scottish culture is thriving. Lots, and lots of Scots words are finding their way in to the language again, Gaelic numbers continue to grow by the year, and our creatives have never been ina better way with the shape of social media, gigging, fundraisers, and the internet.

    1. Ray Bell says:

      I agree in the sense that not all Scots are born in Scotland (and not everybody born in Scotland self-identifies as Scottish)… but to quote Ian Fleming – “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action”.

      Since we were on the football metaphor earlier, Fleming would qualify for Scotland by virtue of his dad. (And his first and last names are certainly Scottish.)

  14. Duncan McMillan says:

    I once took an Indian friend to the british Museum in London.

    I asked him what he thought of the thousands of Indian pieces on display. His response took me a back somewhat, he said “when he English arrived were were fighting amongst ourselves and too ignorant to realise what was being taken”

    In the past two years the people of Scotland have begun to appreciate what has been taken from us.

    I would put the choice of non Scots down to networks patronage, people afraid to state the obvious that might result in them being called parochial and the general public being unaware.

    We are a colony in all but name!

    1. Harry Lime says:

      Erm, I think you’ll find that the East India Company was an independent entity from the British State and that Scots (not English or Brits- stop being so cowardly.) led the way Wareen Hastings to the Worst Raj governor Dalhousie whose presbyterian zealotry and cultural insensitivity sowed the seeds for the mutiny and first independence struggle.

      See this is the problem with Scots only influencing Scots culture and history. What they actually want is to confirm the nationalist narrative of victimhood.

      1. John S Warren says:

        This is a very odd interpretation of the East India Company (EIC). This was long before any conception of market economics existed: economics meant Mercantilism. The EIC was a monopoly granted by the Westminster Parliament; a monopoly that used its enormous political influence to prevent direct competition in the East from the new Company of Scotland (1695), which was excluded from the EIC markets and obliged to turn west, to Darien. A poor choice, although in visionary conception quite brilliant, if impractical and beyond the capacity of anyone at the time; but the British government, determined to ensure it failed completely, actively discouraged foreign investors, and allowed Spain the diplomatic and military freedom to dispose of the new colony or crush it at its leisure (and extraordinary act of political cynicism, even for the time).

        There are many sources for this interpretation, not least among British historians. For example, in the words of Ann Lyon, ‘Constitutional History of the UK’ (2004): Willam III “forbade English merchants from investing in the company or supplying the colony, and persuaded merchants in Amsterdam and Hamburg not to invest in the company. Given that much of the investment came from outside Scotland, this was a serious restriction on its viability”. William also “refused repeated appeals for aid in order not to alienate the Spanish” (Ch.16, p.266).

        1. Jo says:

          Actually the EIC was often at odds with WM and the British state. It certainly wasn’t simply a merchantilist vassal as you seem to imply – was far more complicated. Hence the attempted impeachment of Hastings by the Irishman Burke in WM, or the tensions over indenture and slavery/ compensation with Wilberforce and abolition. And the EIC was a free market entity after 1700? The whole point of Hong Kong (those great drug dealing Scots Jardine and Matheson) was opening China to free trade…too much tea going one way and not enough opium going the other.

          And besides the point seems fair to me? That the plunder in the British museum was not simply taken by the English and to deflect to British from Scottish is a bit sneaky. And worse to try and make out there is some equivalence to Scotland, rather than class, is nonsense (as was pointed out with mild irritation by many from Ireland to India during the Indyref when prominent Scots figures tried to do so).

          “When he English arrived were were fighting amongst ourselves and too ignorant to realise what was being taken”

          ‘In the past two years the people of Scotland have begun to appreciate what has been taken from us.’

          Think you might want to take your Indian friend to the Burrell collection or the museum of Scotland (apparently the native American collection is superb.) before getting on your high horse and whinging about being colonised!

          And let’s not even start with that great Scot Elgin his marbles and his father who burnt down the Forbidden city in Beijing.

          1. Jo says:

            In fact, Independence for Scotland may do wonders for English relations around the world. For example imagine the Chinese realisation that the humiliation of the Opium Wars, the annexation concession ports, the administration of the concession ports, the militarization of Meji rev Japan was pretty much down to Scots, and that the English weren’t the instigators.

            People in Glass houses etc.

          2. Jo says:

            Sorry I meant the Summer Palace (although the Forbidden City also got done over by the French and Scots.)

        2. John S Warren says:

          The EIC as a “vassal”!? Where did I suggest this? The EIC had enormous political power; complicated? Yes, it operated a complex web of interests inside and outside Government and into international politics. Where did I “deflect” from Jardine Matheson? This thread was about the operation of Scottish culture within Scotland, and criticism of the idea that knowledge of Scottish culture may be important in selecting people charged with responsibility for major Scottish artistic and cultural institutions. By all means challenge my arguments; but please allow me first actually to hold the views you claim I support, and even write about them BEFORE you decide I hold them and gratuitously attack them.

          I did not avoid Scottish responsibility for the British Empire, nor would I. I have never subsribed to the idea of Scotland as a “victim”, nor do I exculpate Scotland for the sins of Empire. Yet I detect an in your remarks an apologia for rUK, attempting to distance itself from Scotland’s imperial adventures; and that is frankly risible. We were a full partner in this imperial history; but in scale, inevitably the junior partner.

          As for Burke, I am afraid his impeachment of Hastings was probably much more cynical than you appear to acknowledge; as reflected in part by his own family’s financial losses in India and his failure to benefit from Hastings patronage (Hastings preferred his Scots Guardians).

  15. Robert Harman says:

    This reminds me of my student days at Aberdeen University in the early 70’s. Rarely were any of the professors Scottish. The only Scot prof. I remember taught Scottish history. Thank god for that. Of course we are outnumbered 10 to 1 but that’s still no excuse.

    1. Harry Lime says:

      When I was at Uni. An Indian professor taught British history. He was brilliant and it was refreshing to see UK history from a different perspective, rather then wallowing in the confirmation bias of Brit empire all bad, or Brit Empire all good. Nuanced and balanced.

      But some of us are culturally confident enough to let others in to greater shed light on things.

  16. old battle says:

    Several years ago in Bella I had a blog-war on this question of cultural leadership in Scotland and the dearth of native talent. Across the arts spectrum from Creative Scotland a key institution, to the National Theatre, The Edinburgh Festival, The Royal Conservatoire and so so many other major cultural organisations the failure to promote from within the Scottish arts community suggests either a weakness in the cultural/arts education within Scotland (we aint ready) or it is a political policy that was instigated by Labour to prevent a nationalist ascendancy. Now there is a National Gov equally feart that they might be seen as being racist or anti- English.

    1. MBC says:

      The Labour-Liberal governments at Holyrood were actively opposed to giving Scottish content on the curriculum any traction for fear of encouraging nationalism. With the SNP it is partly timidity but largely ignorance of their own culture and history which prevents them being more proactive.

  17. punklin says:

    Can’t see that birthplace and nationality are relevant. But agree that when it comes to senior roles, race, class, gender and age are distorted towards pale, male and stale – in culture and too often elsewhere.

  18. Colin Lindsay says:

    Come on Mike, you’ve listed birthplaces and that is too narrow a definition of being Scots or not. Mind you I’m not sure what you would find if you looked where lives were lived.

  19. ramstam says:

    The EIF,tho international in content haes aye leukt on Scots an Scotland as a “bit o local spice” but no tae be taen ower seriously. No tae hae a Scot in the top job for 68 year disna surprise me in ony wey.
    It hae aye been the wey o’t that the (maistly) middle cless Scots wha attend the festival see naethin wrang wi the set-up as it nou exists.
    Liz Lochead is juist daein her job in pyntin oot the elephant in aw oor rooms.
    Ither Scots in the arts commonty
    needs tae breck thair silence an gie her the backin she sairly needs. Onywey, mair pouer tae her elbae.

  20. Abulhaq says:

    An entirely new Scotland Festival might replace this ageing and rather alienating, essentially London managed, shindig. Festivals, of the ‘international’ type are now ten a penny. Not so when the EFest was initiated. A country wide celebration of Scottish culture, in its world context, would be more meaningful to citizens and visitors. The latter come to Scotland to sample what Scotland has to offer not stuff they can readily access locally in their own opera houses and theatres. The former may well be ignorant of Scottish culture beyond the dreadful, militaristic unionist inspired Tattoo. A dedicated role in its content and promotion might be the remit of a symposium of national ‘talent’ backed by a powerful Ministry of Culture and National Education, culture and education being existentially inseparable in the light of our re-emerging nationhood. Who heads the show ought to be on the basis of proven managerial competence. Whether that be a competent Scot, German, Irishman, Englishman or Russian is irrelevant. A competently elaborated working brief and dedication to the significant cultural task in hand is more important.

    1. Ray Bell says:

      Pedant point, but as I understand it, the Tattoo’s not officially part of the Festival. (Just as the Fringe isn’t) It just runs at the same time.

      1. Monty says:

        A fair number of Scots are delighted that the EIF brings the best of the world to Scotland. A Scotland festival would be a very different thing.

        1. Nobody’s suggesting a ‘Scotland Festival’.

        2. Abulhaq says:

          Scots could go out into the world experience and enjoy the best other countries have to offer and perhaps in the process become rather less prone to wha’s like us parochialism. A Scotland-wide Festival would have the distinction of actually being rather more ‘authentic’ than the current mishmash of ‘world culture as viewed through an anglocentric prism’ offering. We do have an authentic culture, underneath the tourist shortbread tin tartan tat, but seem ashamed to flaunt it. Dont we care? Compared to other countries we appear terrified of our own shadow. The failed referendum was confirmation to many abroad of that. Some newspaper cartoonists were particularly cruel, no balls under that kilt. Another kind of cringe! High time we broke free.

    2. DM says:

      It’s true. Scottish cultural and educational/historical awareness is a young and fragile thing. The profiling of senior cultural posts here, as elsewhere in these islands, could only be met by those educated outside the state sector, where arts have at best been tolerated. Add to that a stipulation that candidates must be experienced in handling multi-million ££ budgets and – Scottish arts administrators are instantly ruled out. Prior to 1970’s, arts provision was decided and created by those whose interests were, as a previous commenter noted, purely colonial. It’s high time we addressed these cultural black holes in the Scottish psyche.

      1. MBC says:

        Abdul Haq – sort of like a Mela, but for Scots? What a great idea.

  21. Hoomach says:

    Let’s try and look at all this in a different way – both this article and the Gutter piece.

    The idea that there is a single Scottish culture is of course errant nonsense. Scotland has multiple regional and sometimes very localised cultural traditions and to those of us who have lived or stayed there, there is a much greater cultural diversity between Orkney and Roxburghshire than their is between Roxburghshire and Northumberland.

    So Scottish culture is already a multifaceted beast.

    Nonetheless I think it valid to say that those best able to articulate and promote the cultural varieties are those most steeped in them which may or may not have anything to do with where they were born.

    But we would not think it racist or odd to have First Nation Native Americans in charge of their cultural organisations or like wise the indigenous people of what we now call Australia.

    As for the Edinburgh International Festival there is often almost nothing Scottish about it. As the name implies it’s international. It caters for a tiny minority of people and I don’t really care who is in charge.

  22. Anne Heller says:

    I’ve always understood that when impresario Rudolf Bing first proposed an International festival of the arts as a response to the horrors engulfing Europe at the time, he had no location in mind apart from somewhere in the UK. Oxford was the first option but a combination of networking and a readiness in the city council to assist brought the festival to Edinburgh. The EIF management only moved from London to Edinburgh when McMaster took over in the 90s.

    In a way, Scotland has had it’s voice from the start simply by hosting the event, and the performance of The Thrie Estaites in 1948 showed we saw ourselves as part of this international artistic world. Radio Scotland reporting just now on Evelyn Glennie’s percussion/art collaboration at Heriot’s and David Gregg’s work on Gray’s Lanark indicates that our voice is still heard.
    The question of how the choice of director affects that voice does not perhaps turn on their origins, and I don’t know if other similar festivals are always run by a ‘local’ – it seems unlikely.

    Perhaps we need to remind ourselves of why the festival exists at all, revel in what it brings us, and accept that the Director (a fundraising as much as an artistic post) will come from within an artistic network. I suppose the question is how that network forms.

    1. Harry Lime says:

      That was my understanding also. Perhaps it’s time that genuinely under represented languages, histories and cultures get a shot at hosting it – those that get sneered at and dismissed by nationalists because they assume only nations have distinct cultures and not mere regions. Let’s move it to Leeds and change the name. After all more people live there, they have a just as much as a distinct language/ dialect (close to Scots actually) and a unique history to the other parts of the UK. No Scots will be allowed to run it though. Only the illegitimate bastard progeny of Jeff Boycott, Kevin Keegan and Freddie Flintoff!!

  23. ramstam says:

    Anent a Scots Mela. We dinna hae sic a thing at present, but if ye’ve ever gaed tae a hielan games ye’ll
    ken that Scotland an aw things Scots are celebratit in aw airts an pairts o the country, wi nae signs o the dreidit Scots cringe.
    Mibbe we shuid juist gie up on tryin tae chynge thaim that are ower thrawn tae chynge, an get on wi celebratin Scotland’s mony facetit culture. As wi the mela – awbody’s welcome, nae maiter whaur ye are frae.

  24. James Coleman says:

    Funny that there doesn’t seem to be a problem for small countries like Ireland, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Norway etc, etc, etc, filling their top cultural and educational posts from the local talent nor of handling what must be similar sized cultural budgets in Scotland. Trouble in Scotland is that many of the top posts are filled by mediocrities from England who wouldn’t get anywhere near the top posts there but con the selection committees in Scotland who on the whole are rich/posh anglicised Scots with an oversized cringe.

    And the SNP although it is doing some things to redress the situation is still much too afraid of being tarred with the R word. It needs to grow a pair and face up to these useless sods in the media who cry racist at the first criticism of anything English. We ARE allowed to criticise them are we not? And it could start by sacking some of the old useless cringers on the selection committees where the appointments are in Holywood’s gift.

  25. Harry Lime says:

    Isn’t the current EIF bloke a Irish? OK, if that’s the way Scot nats introverts want it. But best get your own house in order first and retract all the massively over represented Scots from plying their trade and imperialist culture in other parts of the UK and Ireland and indeed elsewhere first (after all how could you possibly understand England and English culture? And that includes every Scots manager and player in the EPL. You exclude us we exclude you. End of. Piss off.

  26. Harry Lime says:

    On a serious note, from an upstart English settlers perspective, it isn’t so much the fact that Scottish culture should be fully explored and realised in theatre or beyond, but that it is a certain narrow type of ‘nationalist’ history and culture, that is insists on utter exclusivity. When Nationalists say they want Scots for Scottish culture, what they mean is Scottish Nationalists in a Scottish Nationalist version of Scottish culture and history -i.e) one that refuse to acknowledge any link and overlap with English (curiously not Irish) culture.

    1. Harry Lime says:

      One that tends to be based on grievance and blaming the English for pretty much everything rather than one that is inclusive and truthful in its complexity.

      Nats like things black and white.

      1. James Coleman says:

        That’s three posts and each full of abti-Scots racism. You don’t even know you are doing it because it has become so much second nature. I am sure your Scottish neighbours are very happy to have a settler such as you living with them.

    2. This is just nonsense. No-one’s arguing this at all.

      1. Jo says:

        mmmm…how the social audit going?

        1. Steven Reynolds says:

          It’s going very well Jo, apparently there’s this rather new company called Gaggle (?) that seem to be terribly, terribly good at collating data on the interwebs.

          Not for the likes of me though, as I’m rather keen on leafing my way through a broadsheet of a morning.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.