I DID not know George Orwell was a “secular saint” (John Birkett, Letters 12 May). He is on record as saying he wrote “for revenge”. However, on a more positive note, if Orwell was a democratic socialist, as John Birkett states, then today in Scotland he would have to vote SNP.
Furthermore, Hugh MacDiarmid, too, was a baleful cultural influence. While I was reading recently about two Scots poets, William Soutar and Robert Garioch, I discovered they both suffered from MacDiarmid’s negative criticism, to the point that nobody wished to discuss the whole subject of Scots poetry as being too much of a minefield.
Perhaps the problem lies with authors who attempt to change their cultural allegiance by using pen names.
Iain WD Forde