I still have those first books. Stephen King, Wilbur Smith, Jean M Auel, Ursula Le Guin, Stephen Donaldson, Eric Van Lustbader etc etc ... and the eagle-eyed among you will note that there’s not a Scot among them. A thought which prompts a shameful memory. I used to go into bookshops and walk quickly past the Scottish section. From somewhere I had grown the impression that if the writer was Scottish, it must be crap.
At my school in the seventies the only books we got to read were either American or English: Shakespeare or Steinbeck. Robert Burns’ poetry books were wheeled out once a year, but almost apologetically and without any effort to explain what the strange Scots words actually meant. There was no context given, we were simply expected to wrap our tongues around the odd collection of vowels and consonants. Although we spoke Scots on the playground, this was actually like a foreign language.
Never heard of the term? It has its own page on Wikipedia, from where this quote comes …
In my view, there were lots of compelling reasons for us Scots to accept a state of independence, but for me, this was the most important one. I took in the arguments on the currency, the economy, our defence capabilities, our role on the world stage and thought, aye, fair enough, we can work through all that, but why is no-one talking about this?