Monday 4 November 2013


Professor Murray Pittock of Glasgow University, author of "The Road to Independence?" (2014) explores the growth of Scottish Nationalism from Scotland's prehistory, through Union with England, the Scots contribution to the British Empire, and the Salmond Government of today. 

Scottish Nationalism is the force which may end the Union with England and propel an independent Scottish state on to the world stage. Here is the story of how it has grown over the centuries.

This series is on BBC radio 4 at 1.45 pm every day this week, or can be listened to on the iplayer at the link above (worldwide).

The first part was today and very interesting. I recommend it.


  1. I was a young shop steward in the Thatcher era. I asked a London bool in the mooth executive why thy were closing my plant.

    We weren't making "enough "profit, was the answer.

    That's when I became a Nationalist.

  2. It's a pity that more people didn't take that attitude Conan...

    They seemed to turn to Labour, which managed to do nothing whatsoever to stop Thatcher riding roughshod across our country slaughtering and maiming as she did.

    They voted Labour over and over and Thatcher, and then Major went on turning Britain into the City of London... and the rest, burning greed into the British persona. loadsamoney became respectable, and it wasn't enough to make a profit; you had to make a HUGE profit.

    She was one of the worst things that ever happened to Britain, but in fairness to the witch, we wouldn't be where we are today if she hadn't divided us.

    It took a long time, but when people found that every government from then on was made in her foul image, that was when they started to turn.

  3. Thatcher was the catalyst for myself too.
    Or rather, Labours (lack of) response to Thatcher.
    Maybe the young should be forced to watch old Thatcher era newsreels, Clockwork Orange style.

    1. I think a lot of people were turned by her.

      If this is what Britain is, I son;t want to be a part of it, sort of attitude.

      It came too at a time when we were getting to learn a little bit more about the machinations of government. The age of deference when interviewers automatically assumed the default position of "respect" for the ruling classes...

      "Ordinary" people started to realise that those whom we had assumed to be our "lords and masters" were actually people we paid to work for us...and thus our servants, and started looking more carefully at what they were up to.

      Yes, I actually agree. Maybe not of the evil one herself, but of the conditions she brought about, showing the divide between places like Airdrie and Post Glasgow on the one hand and Cheltenham and the City on the other.

      I don't think it would be right to actually show the patronising one herself. It might cause serious mental health problems in a whole generation. No one should see that until they are at least 25, and then only the strong!

    2. If this is what Britain is, I son;t want to be a part of it, sort of attitud., or more correctly "don't"

  4. Tris
    I am going to wait until all 5 episodes are available and listen to them in one sitting and then return to them as necessary for clarification. I am a bit of a debutant with all this BBC repeat stuff. I take it that I cannot record the broadcasts myself and will have to wait until they put them up as a podcast?


    1. Yes, I'll probably do that for the rest of them. Yesterday was an oddity as I was free to listen at that time. Normally I am not.

      I'm not altogether sure about recording them... Someone more savvy may be able to advise.

  5. Incidentally, I think JoLa has, in her underground bunker a temple and alter to the dark arts. She seems to a wee stash of anti-gravity matter. Newton explained that without external support, of an equal and opposite force, you cannot hold an object in a fixed position; or something like that.

    Anyway, she has to plummet and crash very soon.

    You cannae change the Laws of Physics, Scotty of Startrek.

    I have been waiting for decades to use that.

    1. I'm glad we gave you the opportunity to use yer laws of physics thing... Munguin aims to please...sometimes at least.

      I still don;t think they can allow her to crash. Once again I was listening to the BBC this morning. Much is being made of the troubles in Falkirk. There was a reasonably long piece on it but Ms Lamont was not mentioned once. It's all down to Miliband.

      Why do they persist with the fiction that it is a separate party and she is its leader in charge of everything.

      She is clearly not in charge of anything, and is only rarely let out to attend parliament.

      I can see why.

      Other Labour MPs are starting to be concerned. OK Eric Joyce, who is not a Labour MP, but was, has an axe to grind. But others were demanding another investigation or a report on the last one.

    2. JoLa is not fit to be a tea lady at Holyrood, and I am being generous.

    3. Dunno... I think she'd look quite fetching with her hair in curlers and her wrap round pinnie... Dunno what she's like at making tea though...

  6. Your Orkney photo is one of my favourites...

    I don't normally listen to pravda wireless dept but will listen in today.

  7. Ha ha... very good, Monty. That brought a smile to my face. Are you competing with BBC Scotland Shire...

    A well recommended read...

    1. That's just you and me that's read it tris ;)
      I could never compete with Scotlandshire.
      Hopefully arbroath is ok.

    2. Well, I'm sure many more read it Monty. It's certainly amusing.

      No I'd not try to compete with any of the really good [professional blogs... although don't tell Munguin I said that!

  8. By the way...

    I've not seen Arbroath here recently. I know she doesn't keep well, so I'm hoping that she is getting better.

    If anyone is in touch at a personal level, please tell her Munguin and the team were asking after her!

  9. I'd certainly give it a listen.

    But Scottish nationalism is extremely diverse, to the point I'm not entirely sure we can simply label it 'Scottish nationalism', surely the plural 'Scottish nationalisms' would fit better?

    We have religious, ethnic, linguistic and cultural/income influenced nationalisms to the point where some become mutually exclusive and even hostile to other forms of nationalisms and the majority of Scots.

    Take for example the blood and soil nationalism of the Jacobite Party, it has virtually nothing in common with the nationalist ideology and identity espoused by the SNP.

    But the prog ought be interesting listening all the same.

    1. Yes...the SNP is a National party, rahter than nationalist party.

      I think this will be dealt with in the programme.

      I mean it's not like they are saying Scotland for the Scots. Or that there is any hint of [people of different colour or religion or with a different maternal language are unwelcome.

      Not that kind of nationalism at all.

  10. I don't see myself as a Nationalist, but I'm pro-independence. I vote SNP as the most likely way to further that aim, and once independence is achieved, will most likely move my vote to the SSP.
    Splitting nationalism into "nationalisms" is just a way of causing confusion and splintering the vote - let's all concentrate on the job in hand - getting rid of the ball and chain of Unionism that is holding our country back from taking it's rightful place in the world - even if that place is not at the"top table". Then we can decide how we want our land to develop.

    Saor Alba!

    Eck fae Charleston

    1. "let's all concentrate on the job in hand - getting rid of the ball and chain of Unionism that is holding our country back from taking it's rightful place in the world - even if that place is not at the"top table". Then we can decide how we want our land to develop.

      Saor Alba!"

      If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and eats like a duck... chances are its a duck.

    2. Well I see what Eck is saying.

      It's a nationalism that says we don't want to be ruled from somewhere else, by people whose first interest is somewhere else.

      That's not the kind of nationalism of the BNP. OK they don't want to be ruled by the EU (although I don't see them kicking off about instructions coming from Washington). But they want immigrants to go home.

      The SNP is utterly against that and very much pro the EU and the fantastic contribution made to Scotland's economy by people who have come from all over the EEA.

      Including our French MSP and our Italian MSP.

    3. Dean,
      At present Scotlasnd's dealings with world organisations (UN,Europe, NATO and the rest, are done at second hand, through an intermediary who filters our needs through a tight weave of it's own priorities.
      Is it nationalistic to wish to interact on our own terms, have our own vote?
      If so, there are a lot of nationalist governments in the world.

      Eck fae Charleston,
      not a duck but POSSIBLY a goose.

  11. For once I agree with Dean, though not for the reasons he ascribes.

    If you are at all technically minded there is a program called get_iplayer that can be used to download radio shows to listen too, purely for time shifting. The home of it is on Linux, there is a Windows version that seems to work up to Win 7, but not 8

    There are many people of many political stripes (even a few free marketeers) who support the idea of an Independent Scotland as the best place to serve the needs of the Scottish People, instead of being wedded to the same right-wing, London Centric ideology shared by Labour, LibDems and Tories.

    Not all are SNP

    1. Yes. I agree with that.

      Labour for Independence, SSP, Greens, SNP... and there are Liberals for Independence.

      The ex head of Strathclyde Region, a Labour man through and through has come out for independence and I heard that some English Tory has been saying that a lot of the stuff that the NO campaign, and his own ministers are coming up with is rubbish. (We will be invaded by the Taliban and North Korea, and cyber terrorists adn England will have to bomb our airports ...then we will have to have the Euro although we won't be allowed in the EU or the UN or Nato and we will have to keep the nukes although we won't be allowed to keep the nukes and we won't be able to have the pound although we might have to have the Euro even though we are not in the EU or EEA and mrs Curren will turn into a man eating tiger and eat everyone... etc etc...


  12. Dean, who gives a cluck if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and is, in fact, a duck as long as it can spread it's wings and not be stifled by a bigger bird with it's own agenda. Don't feel that you are intimidated by those who tell your that you are too poor, too small, too stupid to fly on your own, little duck, you can take it from me, you can fly!

  13. Sadly it appears that British version of history has taken over.

    Darien Myths.

    1. Well surprise surprise...

      BTW, as I sit here with a headache and I can't get my car out because of all the double parking cased by the traffic for the bonfire, can anyone tell me why we have Guy Fawkes night in Scotland?

      I mean we weren't in the Uk; it wasn't our parliament that the bloke was trying to blow up, although I suppose it was our king.

      I'm not being a spoilsport. I'm just interested in why we are celebrating something that happened in another country.

    2. The King at the time was James of Scotland. If he'd been killed by Fawkes then it would have changed history ( probably for the better for us ).
      Good article in the Courier...

  14. tris

    Nationalism is and always will be evil done by evil men
    no matter what nation it infects.
    You call it civic Nationalism and praise it I call Nationalism
    and spit on it and its supporters from any country.


    you was a young shop steward in the Loyd George era.get it right old boy!!!!!!

    1. Niko, is it evil for people to want to govern themselves?

    2. What do you think of Brit nationalism as portrayed by Better Together... the union flags, the queen, pulling together, pride in the Olympics and being tough, having clout, the world respecting or fearing us Niko.

      I mean I pretty much agree with you, I've just never seen a desire for self determination and our own taxes spent on our own people...specially when they are so poor in so many places.

      I'm not actually in the least patriotic, not for the Uk; not for Scotland. I just want the better life that they have in small countries of left of centre persuasion. Running the world like we still had an empire (empire is a repugnant thought to me) is plain silly.

    3. Ewww Niko, Conan knows where you live....

  15. ch

    And who are the ' people ' ???? please define


    Brit nationalism i spit on it twice.......the day they draped the Union flag
    over Margaret Thatcher was the day I took mine down and put it away

    pride in the Olympics yes of course especially the paralympics mind Cameron and co took that as the firing gun to attack the disabled viciously.
    My belief is that was the time Osborne gave up on humanity and
    took up the dark side of capitalism .having all those innocent people
    booing him and being seen all over the world. Turned his heart even more black and he now feels only hate towards the human race which he wishes to destroy.Aided and abetted by another demon IDS.

    1. Well said ...

      That must indeed have been the most incredible embarrassment for him. But it was well deserved.

      I was relatively uninterested in the Olympics (as I am in the Commonwealth Games). If sport in not about sport then I don;t give a fig for it.

      And let's face it most sport is about money now.

      This lot bragged that the Olympics were about sport and of course they had to be the best Olympics in the universe since the dawn of time... but really it was about mcDonalds and Cadbury, to the point that they wouldn't allow you near the ground with a Mars bar or a Burger King hat... and they had spies over the country forcibly taking down posters that had Olympics mentioned, to advertise anything else.

      In short it was the big money Olympics.

      The they took pride and credit for the paralympics... and then took money away from people who were disabled and ill.

      But in my opinion Osborne has always been a black hearted bastard. he was probably born that way.

  16. You never answered my question, niko.
    Is it evil for people to want to govern themselves?
    Were the people of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and now Scotland, evil?

    1. No,the only nationalists that are evil are Scottish according to individuals subjected to years of Labour/Tory brain-washing.

    2. It's only evil if you are taking away your subsidy.

  17. juteman

    Australia not a good example given how the aborigines were /are treated in their nation.
    anyway i said Nationalists and Nationalism is and are evil in thought and deed you are conflating both with Governance.which is a tad different.

    1. But Australia is typical of the way that Brits treated people all over the world. In Canada, USA. Australia and New Zealand they simply walked over the indigenous populations, and took over their lands. Even in the 60s I think an Aboriginal Australian was not counted as complete person.

      In more populous countries where the locals couldn't be corralled into reservations (always on land which was useless, dry or swampy and for which the Brits had no need), they cowed the locals , insisted that things were done the British way, used the people, stole their assets, and in some cases sexually abused them.

      In Scotland they banned tartan and Gaelic, and Labour's man Donny Macleod tells of people being strapped at school if they spoke Gaelic in the playground... in the 1960s.

      They take what they want and they leave chaos behind them.

      When the oil is done, you and I will probably be dead, but they will drop Scotland like a hot potato.

  18. @Niko.
    So folk are evil whilst they are striving for self governance, but are jolly nice folk when they gain it?