Misread lines

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I AM tempted to ignore the ill-tempered polemic in which Andrew HN Gray (Letters, 27 December) indulged in place of ­argument.

However, for the record Mr Gray, I am not anti-English – I spent many years living in England as a university lecturer, councillor and MEP and, yes, many of my friends are English.

Neither am I living in the past. Yes, there is a long history of colonial oppression by England over Scotland, which is part of Scots identity. But more importantly there is clear evidence of decisions taken in London today that take no account of Scottish interests and, indeed, are positively damaging to them.

In this context, the appointment of people from outside Scotland to major cultural jobs in Scotland is an important factor in shaping Scots identity. The letter from Aonghas Macneacail (27 December) is intriguing. Who is the Scots actor/producer/director passed over by the board of the National Theatre of Scotland in order to appoint an English director whose main claim to fame was directing Alan Ayckbourn plays in Scarborough?

I thought we had moved on in Scotland from the 1990s when I remember the Scottish Arts Council withdrew the funding from the 7:84 Theatre Company unless John McGrath, its founder, stood down; his crime was “ being too political”. (What a great director of the NTS John would have made.)

I am sure that there are many Scots actors, writers and directors who worked with John who could have done the job of directing the National Theatre of Scotland. Perhaps we should be asking the board of the National Theatre of Scotland to explain why they were not chosen?

Hugh Kerr

Braehead Avenue