Devine education

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I have just finished reading Professor Sir Tom Devine’s book The Scottish Nation, written in 1999. 

Some quotes: “Even in the later 20th century, around two-thirds [of Scotland] is still only suitable for rough grazing”. That gives us a productive area of about 26,000 sq km, a little over half the size of Denmark, and about a quarter of the productive size of Norway. So we really are a wee country.

“The freedom of trade conceded in the treaty in 1707 finally seemed to be bringing the long-awaited benefits.” This is one of the reasons the Jacobites got little support in the Lowlands.

“What the Anglo-Scottish connection did … was to open up an unprecedented range of new opportunities …” and, “The overall result … was to the massive benefit of Scotland”.

“In the 17th century, Scotland was one of the poorest countries in western Europe … in the 1840s, around 67,000 Scots and English migrated across the Border. But over three-quarters of this number were Scots, who were plainly much keener to move to the greater opportunities in the south.”

“The fear has often been expressed that some of these companies [overseas investors] regard their Scottish operations as ‘branch factories’ which are vulnerable to closure when the parent organisation is in difficulty”.

All of which confirms my unswerving intention to vote No in September.

Ian McGregor

Succoth Court

Edinburgh

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