Finally, if Glasgow was over-represented in the table showing the ten poorest British parliamentary constituencies in , it also featured six English inner-city areas, e.
A case in point was of course the North East of England, which had suffered more from neglect and the economic recession than any other UK region except for Northern Ireland , and was often described as a colony dominated by an imperial heartland Tomaney, , pp. More often than not, London has been depicted as the source of all evils: it is affluent, arrogant and domineering. But this is a sweeping generalisation. London means more than just the UK government and high finance. Job growth across London for example does not appear to be benefitting many of its residents.
For instance, some of the wards of Southwark tell a story which quite a few in places such as Glasgow would instantly recognise. More generally, in the late s, Inner London had the highest proportion of children living in workless households of all UK regions.
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In early , Martin Redmond, Labour MP for Don Valley, attacked the Conservative government plans for the introduction of competition into health care provision. Unlike the Labour Government of , who brought the NHS into being and who had a mandate from the electorate to do so, this Government have no mandate for the introduction of opted-out hospitals.
Surely the logical step would be to elicit the views of those most directly involved—the staff, the patients and the community. In much the same way, by the mids, English public opinion on tuition fees, free personal care for the elderly, levels of taxation and public spending was quite similar to that in Scotland.
In other words, English opinion was consistent with Scottish policy, and not with the choices made by the Westminster Parliament Jeffery, , p. They were all weakened by poverty, rising crime and unemployment rates, and central government intervention Harrison, , p. Thatcher could therefore only be seen as an archetype by those who chose to ignore this complexity: an archetype indeed is an ontological conception that exists outside of time Hackett Fischer, , p.
Moreover, funnily enough, many of the things now cherished and taken for granted by most Scots e.
Thatcher was a little too stereotypical. Some of her decisions such as when, through the Housing Act she gave council tenants the right to buy their flats , though denounced as smacking of individualism by many, 15 actually went down particularly well in Scotland where a majority were not home-owners. The SNP did largely become a party with broadly left-wing supporters in the s Mitchell, , p.
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In early , the Scottish education secretary, Michael Russell, 20 said the government supported councils giving greater flexibility and control to schools. Finally, targets for reducing income inequality, for instance, have not been provided Maxwell, , p. In fact, as early as the mids, the SNP had made it clear that they intended to reduce corporation tax to about that level.
John Swinney, who has been the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Government since , previously worked in financial services. Alex Salmond himself is a former economist at Royal Bank of Scotland. The other one was the University of Saint Andrews where from the s was articulated the idea of the primacy of the market and the Powellite notion of a strong state, which ultimately became a key component of Thatcherism Dixon and Christoph, We are faced with two contrasting visions of Scotland.
The first is liberal, cosmopolitan, mostly urban Scotland, which believes in equality and sees this as part of the journey of Scotland becoming a modern, mainstream European nation. Alex Salmond has always fought for free higher education, insisting this is consistent with what Scottish society stands for. The bulk of them occurred in the west of Scotland, a traditional hotbed of sectarian trouble. Or, as Anthony D. Indeed, naming from above creates a community almost regardless of how the people involved see themselves Poutignat and Streiff-Fenart, , p.
As Ernest Renan underlined in the late nineteenth century, the approach is typical of nationalist movements as they are intent on creating the nation, and can only do so by overlooking crucial facts that do not fit into their vision Wieviorka, , p. The moral, of course, is that any discourse on national identity is intensely political in both the narrowest and broadest sense of the word. The history of Scotland in the medieval and early modern periods illustrates the point.
The Highlands of Scotland, their culture and ancient clans, which many look upon as quintessentially Scottish today, and which had by the 14th century become a by-word for the history of Scotland as a whole and the basis of claims to independence from England , were, however, increasingly described by the late 15th century in alien terms by the Lowland elites, Kirk and intelligentsia whose policies and values were exercising a growing monopoly. At the same time, the plural origins of the people of Scotland—Saxon, Norman, Flemish, etc.
First, although identity whatever the form is the by-product of a relationship and comparison Delannoi, , p. This situation may be fraught with contradictions and we have seen quite a few above , but no genuine democracy can actually exist without them being recognised and institutionalised.
Elias, Foucault and de Certeau have taught us that historians produce nothing but texts, so that History has, in essence, a lot to do with narration. History is naturally real both on account of the object it is after and of the means used to reach that end; but, ultimately, it is the relationship with the object that makes it what it is as a historical object. Historical writing, in other words, is like puff pastry: it comprises its past object in the present and gives it meaning in that peculiar context, within that tension Chartier, , pp.
However, as we have seen, a nationalist interpretation of the recent past tends to give precedence to present concerns and see historical events primarily in that light Canivez, , p. Christopher Harvie. Publisher: Routledge , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis Scotland and Nationalism provides an authoritative survey of Scottish social and political history from to the present day.
Buy New Learn more about this copy. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. Scotland and Nationalism Harvie, Christopher. Published by Taylor and Francis Seller Rating:. Scotland and Nationalism Christopher Harvie. Published by Routledge New Quantity Available: 5. Chiron Media Wallingford, United Kingdom. Harvie plays down Margaret Thatcher's significance compared with the economic changes and their social effects which were making unionism less attractive.
Also, as Foster shows, the significant changes and the advance of both socialism and nationalism were already underway in thes. Thatcher's failure to understand the changes or almost anything about the Scottish mentality, and poor advice, according to Harvie, from an insensitive Malcolm Rifkind at the Scottish Office, merely speeded up a trend to question the value of the existing political union, which came to a climax in the referendum and the opening of the Scottish Parliament. Good essays, some brilliant, most a pleasure to read, but what is the book for?
It is not at all clear at whom it is aimed: too general for the specialist and student, too specialist and too large for the tourist. There are no references -- only bibliographical essays at the end of each chapter. Did we really need another general history? In recent years we have had umpteen general histories of varying quality, television histories 'In Search of Scotland', newspaper histories on 'The Struggle of a Nation' and essay collections.
Yet, a look at the bibliographies gives an indication of how limited the really new research has been on politics, on industry and economy, on education, on gender, on welfare, on popular culture, on specific localities. The editors, who provide the lengthy introduction, make the doubtful claim that there is a 'lack of informed knowledge of Scotland's past' and that the volume has the simple purpose of 'more fully and accurately [understanding] the place of Scotland the Scots in time'. Whether any of it will be achieved by the national focus of such a work is debatable and whether it can be done without more research is even more open to question.
The early chapters with their broad sweep tend to place Scotland in a wider European context. From the Reformation years onwards, however, there is little attempt to compare Scotland's experience with anywhere but England. The imperial dimension, so important financially and economically from at least the eighteenth century and, certainly by the nineteenth century crucially important in how the Scots saw themselves, hardly features.
The problem of one synthesis after another is that new questions tend not to be asked and new approaches tend not to be adopted and the discipline stagnates. There has been a spectacular growth of interest in and writing about Scottish history during the last 15 years. Dozens perhaps hundreds of books and hundreds perhaps thousands of articles have appeared. Some of these date from the s or earlier, but more have appeared in the last decade or so.
When we sat down to plan the project that resulted in The New Penguin History of Scotland , we had certain guiding principles. These came out of our reading of the generations of general works and our knowledge of the burgeoning specialist literature.
First, we wanted to prepare a history of all Scotland's peopled past, which meant starting at the end of the last ice age. We decided that it was not possible properly to understand Scotland's modern society without showing the many different strands that ravelled and unravelled over 8, years of history. For example, the polarised and militaristic society of the Dark Ages was only one of several outcomes suggested by the experiences of Scotland's people in the previous millennia of human settlement.
This was to be as comprehensive a history as possible. To do this we decided to assemble a group of leading specialists in different time periods, not just at St Andrews University, but anywhere that Scottish history was researched and taught. The thinking here was that, however gifted, no one historian or even a pair of historians could really master the large and rapidly expanding body of academic writing on Scotland's complex past.
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For Scottish history is truly 'vital': living, growing, and evolving. Thus a professional historian who specialises in perhaps years cannot be expected to do justice to the remainder of Scotland's peopled past. We asked the chosen specialists to write an up-to-date and scholarly history of their assigned period, but one that was accessible and entertaining. We wanted this to be a universal history: a book for everyone interested in Scotland's past.
And we wanted the authors to deliver not simply a narrative of political, military and ecclesiastical events, but also to offer an analysis of how, over the millennia, men, women and children lived and died, worked and played, conflicted and co-operated. For our part as editors, we wanted to write a substantial introduction that would set out the principal themes in the history of our nation, but we wanted it to be more than a simple summary of the chapters.
We were determined to show that Scottish history does not have to be tartan history to make it interesting. We tried to avoid becoming slaves to some creaking debates and instead to explore the often fresh and fascinating analyses of social and cultural life, which have appeared in recent years. Thus we focused on issues such as people and environment, religious life, the politicisation of Scotland's people, and local, regional and national identities.
The result is meant to be a new kind of history, a challenging and sometimes uncomfortable one, but, like all new encounters, it is one which we hoped readers would find rewarding. Only they can judge if we have succeeded in the tasks that we set ourselves during the six years of work, which the other contributors and we put into it. However, the book has already attracted some very favourable notices, which suggest that we got it more or less right. Jeremy Paxman - not an easy man to please - described it in the Sunday Times as 'often sharp.
He singled out the 'masterly' editorial introduction and thought the book worth reading for that alone. Any book that encourages English readers better to 'understand the neighbours' in Paxman's words has to be good news! Dr Richard Oram in the Scotsman praises it as 'a stimulating, challenging and refreshingly radical departure' in Scottish history. His opinion is summed up in the sentence: 'This is very much a new history for a new Scotland. Professor Tom Devine, himself author of an excellent earlier Penguin history, confirmed in The Herald that we had successfully bridged the gap between academia and wider readers.
Reviewers have recognised the achievement of the 11 contributors in assimilating and presenting large bodies of scholarly literature. And they have acknowledged that the project was realised in an objective and inclusive way. As Brian Morton noted in The Higher , this is not a book with a political agenda. It illuminates the formation of national identity without being 'nationalist'.
The tercentenary of the Act of Union falls in and demands a substantial rethink of the relationship between the northern and southern nations.
This fine book offers the best foundation for that. These reviewers have recognised the huge task we set ourselves and the contribution the book has made not only to Scottish history, but also to that of the British Isles. Indeed, The New Penguin History of Scotland is aware of Scotland's place in the wider world, dealing with among other things her experience of empire in the nineteenth century and, turning the tables, of being 'globalised' in the twentieth century. The book offers an overview and also an agenda for future research.