In a recent television report (Scotland 2014, BBC2, 28 August) it was claimed that “most” Scottish artists favoured independence. As usual, no figures were given nor reason why except for one young pop artist who suggested that within the UK he would have to change his accent to further his career. Tell that to The Big Yin!
I am actually fond of the “kailyard” school of writing but am convinced that those authors who also embraced a wider theme and/or chose to live elsewhere did far more for Scottish culturaldevelopment. The RoyalBallet’s most famous choreographer was Kenneth MacMillan. Stanley Baxter was unsurpassed in his brand of parochial humour but his later (London) development into an international artist did far more for our image.
Likewise, I love Scottish fiddling but have no doubt whatsoever that Nicola Benedetti has done far more for the development of our musical talent.
We have just had the wonderful National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, with, of course, its Scottish contingent, perform at the Proms. Do we want to deprive future generations of this opportunity?
We may note also that most of our famous art collections and even libraries were founded on wealth acquired by Scots beyond our boundaries.
For less than 10 per cent of the cost, we enjoy the whole gamut of UK broadcasting whether commercial or BBC (the latter of course founded by a Scot) and its adjuncts such as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. To claim, as some do, that we could continue to tune in for free is akin to Alex Salmond’s threat to default on our debt.
The Edinburgh Tattoo is a UK armed forces venture. Do we really want to lose it?
I recently attended the Durham International Festival where 150 brass bands (and, oddly, one Scottish pipe band) from all over the UK celebrated British working-class solidarity. Let’s abandon them!
Artists who have spoken out for separation tend to be from the film and TV industry, don’t choose to live here even in retirement and for a brief moment of self-publicity would lessen the opportunities of their successors. How selfish.
Nationalism favours parochialism – is this what we want? Any young artist of sufficient talent and ambition who opts for separation is, in my opinion, a turkey voting for Christmas.
(Dr) A McCormick