Monday, 10 September 2007
'Until the teaching of history becomes more genuine and less of an 'approved version' it will become increasingly difficult for genealogists to place their family history in context.'
Here in Scotland that applies particularly to politics and political history. An article in 'The Herald' newspaper in 2005 revealed that a secret report was presented, in 1975, to the then Labour government by Dr. Gavin McCrone, a leading economist. The report stated that if Scotland was an independent nation the oil revenue would 'transform Scotland into a country with a substantial and chronic surplus'. This information was also released to the Scottish National Party under Freedom of Information legislation. Back in the mid to late 1970's it was continually said by the UK government that the oil would run out in a few years. This sort of 'sanitization' is nothing new. In the book 'The Scottish Insurrection of 1820' Peter Berresford Ellis writes in the Preface to the 2001 edition -
'...the fact that it was an aim of the Scottish Radicals to set up a separate parliament in Edinburgh has been met with skeptical posturing. Yet this was clearly spelt out by Glasgow Police Chief, James Mitchell, in his letters to the Home Secretary, Lord Sidmouth, of March 18 and 29, 1820.'
While searching several US newspapers online for items about the Scottish Parliament elections in May this year I found that only one of them made the effort to visit Scotland during that election campaign. The rest had included their coverage as part of the various elections that were being held in the UK, mainly those in England. These newspapers were reporting from London which suggested a London 'filter' was operating. A saying I recall from the 1970's is -
'In order to be an internationalist you must first be a nationalist'.