lundi, août 18, 2014

Leading historian Sir Tom Devine joins growing number of Scots moving to Yes

Scotland’s foremost historian, Professor Sir Tom Devine,​ has revealed he ​is​ voting Yes after completing "a long journey" over "the last fortnight".

​Sir Tom, who was knighted in June ​in the ​Queen’s birthday honour​s​, told the Observer newspaper that in Scotland's period of devolution, it had "demonstrated competent government’ and that only independence would allow the country to develop an "equal relationship" with its "great southern neighbour".

He​ said: "This has been quite a long journey for me and I've only come to a yes conclusion over the last fortnight.

"The Scottish ​P​arliament has demonstrated competent government and it represents a Scottish people who are wedded to a social democratic agenda and the kind of political values which sustained and were embedded in the welfare state of the late 1940s and 1950s.

"It is the Scots who have succeeded most in preserving the British idea of fairness and compassion in terms of state support and intervention. Ironically, it is England, since the 1980s, which has embarked on a separate journey."

He added: "The union of England and Scotland was not a marriage based on love. It was a marriage of convenience. It was pragmatic. From the 1750s down to the 1980s there was stability in the relationship. Now, all the primary foundations of that stability have gone or been massively diluted.

"We now have a proper modern history of Scotland which we didn't have until as late as the 1980s. We have a clear national narrative underpinned by objective and rigorous academic research. This wasn't always the case.

"Our economy is now based on some heavy industry, light manufacturing, electronics, tourism, financial services and a vibrant public sector which provides sustainable jobs.

"We have a resilient economic system and reserves of one of the most important things for an independent estate: power, power through the assets of oil and also through the potential of wind energy. In this, Scotland is disproportionately endowed compared to almost all other European countries."

Welcoming the historian’s endorsement, ​Yes Scotland's chief executive, ​Blair Jenkins, said that Sir Tom offered great insight into Scotland’s rise as a nation.

"Sir Tom Devine is Scotland’s best known historian and his research into our country’s past is second to none. He offers great insight into Scotland’s re-emergence as a nation and we’re delighted that he shares Yes Scotland’s view for the present and future potential of Scotland as an independent nation."

- Professor Devine’s works include "The Scottish Nation: 1700-2000" and "To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland's Global Diaspora, 1750-2010"

Posted by Sean Lafferty, 17.08.14