IT WAS hard to find a way through Joyce McMillan’s piece (Perspective, 16 August) about Edinburgh International Festival director Jonathan Mills’s purportedly disparaging views – in her opinion – about the 2014 referendum’s outcomes.
That he was reflecting so-called old-fashioned unionist establishment beliefs that anything to do with Scotland is just backward looking, parochial and inferior (her words) when he remarked on the likely absence from next year’s Festival of shows about Scottish independence seems a quite over-the-top assertion.
Was he challenged face to face? No-one seriously dismisses Scotland in this way these days – if they do they are just plain ignorant and insulting. Sir Jonathan surely did not mean to imply anything beyond trying not to add to next year’s propaganda wars in the run-up to the voting.
In her haste to do him down, Ms McMillan let slip “to celebrate” the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War – my very late father would have been quite rude about that, having suffered in the trenches and in the dugouts, being wounded and then spending months in German hospitals and prisoner of war camps. Nothing at all to celebrate.
He was adversely affected all his life by his experiences – that imperialistic militarism led to his sufferings (and those of many millions of others on all sides), was of no import at the time! Will the 2014 vote be influenced by recalling the equal sufferings and bravery of the Scottish forces?