Bard’s views

As someone living in the South, but loving Scotland, I was concerned to see your report on Liz Lochhead’s play (25 April) depicting Burns as a supporter of independence.

Ms Lochhead may be right to say there is “doubt as to what his political affiliation would have been”.

Like the Bible and Shakespeare, the works of Burns are so all-
embracing that you can find 
support for diverse, sometimes conflicting, views. But on balance he seemed to be a supporter of the Union.

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He greatly valued and promoted the distinct Scottish spirit, 
culture and traditions, but he seems to have appreciated that Scotland and England were better together.

He wrote at a time of huge growth, not just in the economy, resulting from the Union. He was no Little Scotlander; he nearly took a job in Jamaica.

After the French Revolution, despite his radical aims for greater power for the people, he enrolled in the Dumfries Volunteers, with whom he proposed a toast: “I’ll give you the King, who’er would betray him, on high may he swing.”

There are many, millions of us down here and around the world who love and admire Scotland, your national poet and the huge influence that Scots have had at home and abroad, as part of the most successful union of two proud nations the world has ever seen, who look forward to that influence continuing.

John Doble