As the referendum debate nears its climax I think it worthwhile that the focus of the issue might at least in part turn to Scotland’s cultural needs and development.
During my time as a former director of the Saltire Society and as a member of the Ancient Monuments Board for Scotland, it became all too plain that the needs of the country have been brushed aside by the determination of career-based politicians more to kow-tow to the needs of their parties than help protect, foster and nurture the cultural life of Scotland.
The lack of any genuine commitment to Gaelic, Scots and Doric, the rebuttals of the teaching of Scotland’s history both in school and through the built heritage, and the blocks put on protecting Scotland’s battlefields through the narrow-mindedness of parties and ministers – who saw such moves as “pandering to the nationalists”, as one minister told us – left both myself and many of my colleagues frustrated and in near despair.
The heritage of Scotland has been systematically damaged by parties who are more concerned in dealing with a narrow party than any real concern for the Scottish nation.
In short, if this debate turns to the vital theme of the heritage of Scotland past and the cultural development of Scotland future then, in my experience, the Unionist cause has proved itself a total failure.
(Dr) Scott Peake