Project Scotland A History of Scotland


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Project Scotland

Documentary series. Neil Oliver looks at 20th-century Scotland, and how the country was driven to self-determination through a series of deep economic crises.


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'From the top of a hill on the Isle of Bute,

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'in the early 1920s, Scots would have seen an incredible sight,

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'and a clue to the great hidden catastrophe of 20th century Scotland.'

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Down there, the Firth of Clyde would have been full of ships, coming and going across the world.

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Made from Scottish steel, powered by Scottish coal,

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these ships were the backbone of Scottish life.

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What was so wrong with all of that?

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The cargo.

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That cargo was the most precious thing Scotland could produce - its own people.

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Tens of thousands of them

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abandoning their homeland for the promise of a better life across the sea.

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Scotland was bleeding, the lifeblood of the nation draining away.

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And as the ambitious, the talented, the optimistic and the restless departed, some of those left behind

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began to ask what could be done to stop the human haemorrhage,

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to save this failing nation.

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Over 200 years earlier, Scotland had surrendered her

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sovereignty to become a partner in Great Britain.

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And through that Union, and the Empire that followed, Scots had earned rich rewards.

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But, with Scotland in crisis, was it time to renegotiate that Union?

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Was it time for Scotland to take back control of her own affairs?

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The Scotland that entered the 20th century

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boasted one of the strongest economies in all of Europe,

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strength that was rooted almost entirely in heavy industry.

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The 20th century was forged here,

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in the ironworks of Lanarkshire.

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These hand stoked furnaces turned iron ore into some of the

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hardest, strongest metals the world had yet seen,

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and transformed Central Scotland into the workshop of the British Empire

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when the British Empire covered a quarter of the globe.

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Girders, boilers, bridges, ships.

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Scottish engineering became a guarantee of precision and quality, renowned across the world...

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and Scotland's industrialists grew outrageously rich on the rewards.

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Their success was fuelled by the iron ore and coal

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locked inside the earth of Central Scotland.

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Around towns like Motherwell.

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One family firm of metal makers, the Colvilles, started smelting iron here in the 1870s.

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They were just one of many small independent ironworks in the town but they were the most innovative.

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And they quickly developed the technological know-how

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to make the new metal that everyone wanted - steel.

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Something which would transform their fortunes and allow them to take their place

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among Scotland's other magnates of global industry.

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The Colvilles were the sort of bosses

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who kept wages low but gave workers time off on Sundays to go to church.

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They were big on God, big on politics, and, of course, big on profit.

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Archibald and David Colville -

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the second generation of the family -

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were in charge of the firm

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as Britain and Germany prepared for war,

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and demand for their Motherwell steel was sent rocketing.

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The First World War was an opportunity for many Scottish industries,

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and Colville's was no different.

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This plant was flung into the war effort,

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churning out orders for armour, for shell casings and for tanks.

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As the war progressed, Colville's expanded to become the biggest steelworks in Scotland.

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By 1917, this was the kind of munitions factory that the King visited.

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BRASS BAND PLAYS

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In the post-war years the firm kept expanding.

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As the firm grew and grew, the whole town came to

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identify itself with steel, with Colville's in particular.

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The workers formed bands, sports clubs, educational institutes

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and created a community out of an industry.

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Across Central Scotland, similar communities rose up around coal seams,

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iron foundries and steelworks.

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Heavy industry wove Central Scotland together.

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TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS

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There was a catch.

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A particularly Scottish catch.

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Brought home every week on wages day.

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The day when Scotland's skilled workers

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received much less money than their counterparts in England for doing exactly the same job.

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It made Scottish industry competitive, but it consigned many Scottish families to live in squalor

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without running water or basic sanitation.

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Overcrowding was six times higher than in England,

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and infant mortality was among the very worst in Western Europe.

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This was the contract.

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The unspoken agreement that bound industrial Scotland together.

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Acceptance of it was the secret ingredient locked inside every ton of coal, every ingot of iron,

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and every penny of profit.

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But still the workers came, drawn to the furnaces like moths to the flame.

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Sucked in to the workshop of the Empire,

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until by 1921 across Central Scotland

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around 500,000 livelihoods depended on the health of heavy industry,

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on steelworks and coal mines and shipbuilding.

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On an incredible boom that couldn't last forever.

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Scotland had become a house of cards.

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When the collapse came, it came fast.

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In peacetime, no-one needed shell casings or tanks.

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No-one needed new ships.

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So the workshop of the Empire grew quiet.

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Industrial Scotland was plunged into crisis.

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The fortunate ones merely had their wages slashed.

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The unfortunate ones lost everything.

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Around the steel town of Motherwell alone, unemployment

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increased from under 2,000 to over 12,000.

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Motherwell became one of the worst hit places in Scotland.

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The unemployed, the able-bodied destitute poor as they were known,

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flooded into the parish councils of Lanarkshire looking for poor relief.

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And here, in Airbles Cemetery in Motherwell, they found the best that industrial Scotland had to offer -

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one week in three, earning 11 pence a day, burying the dead.

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Those that wanted something better than poor relief or the dole

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started to leave their stricken communities,

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to emigrate from Central Scotland like they'd never emigrated before.

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In 1921 alone, Scotland lost 50,000 people.

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A greater proportion that year than almost any other country in Europe.

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This wasn't a clearance, but it was an exodus.

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Scots left in droves, on one-way tickets to the New World.

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And as ship after ship sailed out of the Clyde, away past Canada Hill, more and more Scots began to ask

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just why their country was in such a mess.

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What they wanted was a new world, right here in Scotland itself.

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Scots weren't alone in seeking a new world, a new beginning.

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Just a few years earlier, Russia had had its communist revolution.

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And in the Balkans, a host of brand-new nations had emerged from the ashes

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of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

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Much closer to home, Ireland was in the grip of assertive nationalism to free itself from Britain's grip.

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Was it time for Scotland to take control of her own future, too?

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Was it time for Home Rule?

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Home Rule was hardly a new idea.

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Earlier British governments had flirted with the notion,

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seeing it as a way to strengthen the Empire rather than weaken it.

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But with Scotland in crisis, calls for a new kind of Home Rule began to grow louder.

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The most radical Scots called for complete independence.

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For national liberation, as they saw it.

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And in 1922, one of the strongest supporters of that idea

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was to be found tucked away in the quiet seaside town of Montrose.

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Christopher Murray Grieve was a journalist who lived here in Montrose.

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His pen name was Hugh MacDiarmid.

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And his house was just along this street.

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'He made his home at 16 Links Avenue.

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'And in 1922 the first number of a literary magazine was issued from that address.

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'It was the beginning of a Scottish literary revival.

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'And there was a new name among the contributors.'

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To MacDiarmid, Scotland's journey to independence

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had to start with poetry.

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He thought that Scotland had lost itself.

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Been swamped by its bigger neighbour. By England.

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And he wanted to kick-start Scottish culture,

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to create something modern and vital by drawing on something old and pure.

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The language of the Medieval poets,

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poets who wrote before the influence of England and English,

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who expressed their ideas and their emotions in their own distinctive way.

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In 1922, MacDiarmid launched his own magazine The Scottish Chapbook,

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publishing modern poems written in a kind of ancient Scots.

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A language that turned rainbows back into "watergaws".

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Ae weet forenicht I' the yow-trummle

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I saw yon antrin thing

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A watergaw wi its chitterin licht

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Ayont the onding

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An I thocht o' the last wild leuk ye gied

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Afore ye deed

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There was nae reek I' the laverock's hoose that nicht

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and nane I' mine

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But I hae thocht o' that foolish licht

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Even sin syne

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An I think that mebbe at last I ken

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What yer leuk meant then

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MacDiarmid's poems seemed at once ancient and modern

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and were rapturously received.

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MacDiarmid's voice,

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and his agenda, reached the ears of other writers and poets

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and ignited the whole Scottish literary scene.

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His house became a meeting place for all those drawn into his circle.

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Here, great writers like Lewis Grassic Gibbon and Compton Mackenzie,

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congregated to talk about Scotland.

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They didn't all share MacDiarmid's conviction that Scotland needed to be liberated

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from English influence,

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and they didn't all write in Scots,

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but they did agree that Scottish culture desperately needed to be revived.

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Hugh MacDiarmid had got Scotland going.

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He had succeeded in opening a door into the world of modern ideas and started a movement,

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a movement that became known as a Scottish Renaissance.

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Soon, the newspapers and the magazines were full of articles,

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letters and reviews, all of them discussing the national condition

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and asking just what it was that was wrong with this small, failing nation

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and what could be done to make it better.

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With Scottish culture invigorated, MacDiarmid wanted to go further.

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He was already involved in local politics,

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as a socialist councillor with nationalist sympathies.

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But, in 1923, he took up the latest political movement sweeping Europe...

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Fascism.

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TRANSLATION: Fascist Italy is now a great country, great place

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and so well organised...

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Not long after Mussolini marched on Rome to seize power in Italy,

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MacDiarmid published an article inciting Scottish fascism.

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He even urged unemployed ex-servicemen to march on the highlands and islands

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and reclaim the land for themselves.

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"Is it not time for a Scottish fascism

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"to oppose the anti-national forces which are robbing Scotland of the finest elements of its population

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"and at one and the same time denying the Scottish people

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"access to millions of acres of the finest scenery in Scotland

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"and setting the sport of English plutocrats before the vital needs of the country?

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"Is it not time to smash the laws which sanction and ensure such things?

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"Rights are not asked.

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"They are taken, and Scotland is a sovereign country, entitled to resume her independence at will!"

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But MacDiarmid's call to fascism went unheeded among those who might have joined an uprising.

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Instead, the unemployed and low paid workers of the industrial belt

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listened to the promises of Scotland's growing socialist movement,

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whose activists and Labour MPs encouraged them to believe in the kind of improvements

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that a socialist government in charge of Britain would deliver.

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If Scotland's socialists also supported Home Rule - and many of them did -

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it was never as much of a priority for them as housing or sanitation.

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Or the issue that would finally force Britain into confrontation...

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Wages.

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In 1926, when coalminers were facing a wage cut,

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Britain's unions joined together and called a general strike.

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The Government placed troops on standby

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and called for volunteers to keep essential services running.

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Thousands volunteered, terrified that the Bolsheviks, as they saw them,

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might take over Britain.

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After just a few days, the strike in Scotland lost its momentum.

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Some miners held out for several months, but eventually they all returned, defeated, to work.

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For many workers of the industrial belt, the future would be just like the past,

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where they had to know their place, not their worth.

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And those industrialists who ran Scotland were only too happy to oblige.

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Most of the men who owned Scotland's factories

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resisted the influence of trade unions.

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And if they looked out for their employees, it was largely through good Christian charity.

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John Colville, one of the third generation of the family,

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donated a golf course to his grateful workers to thank them

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for making his firm a fortune during the last war.

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On the board of his family's steel firm,

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he sat alongside some of the supreme magnates of Scotland's industry,

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men, who between them, sat on the board of over 50 leading companies,

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and who effectively controlled the Scottish economy.

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Their grip extended deep into politics.

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John Colville would himself become an MP and later, Secretary of State for Scotland.

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They were symptomatic of a country that was locked in the past.

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And those Scots who wanted a better life had to seek it abroad.

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50,000 left in 1926.

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And yet another 50,000 in 1927.

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To nationalists like Hugh MacDiarmid, the scale of emigration

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was a sure sign that Scotland was in crisis.

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MacDiarmid no longer called for fascist uprisings.

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Instead, he concentrated his efforts on the ballot box.

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In 1928, he joined up with a small handful of fellow travellers

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to form a new political party, the National Party of Scotland.

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MacDiarmid set out the party's aims in a letter that's held at Edinburgh University.

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Here on page two you see what it was that prompted MacDiarmid to write this.

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In one word, emigration. See here...

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"A very large part of the Scottish expenditure on education has gone

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"not to build up the national prosperity but to export Scotsmen to America and elsewhere

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"to undertake precisely the kind of work they ought to have been doing at home."

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In other words, MacDiarmid wanted all the opportunities of the New World here in Scotland itself

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and he believed that the only way to do that was through independence.

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This wasn't the first time a Scottish Parliament had been called for.

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Over the years many of the established political parties had backed Home Rule,

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but as MacDiarmid says here, bill after bill

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had been defeated by the sheer number of English MPs at Westminster.

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Now Scots who wanted Home Rule would have a new option -

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a political party whose sole objective was independence.

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MacDiarmid expected the National Party to attract big support at the election of 1929,

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but they secured just 3,000 votes.

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An unconvincing start for a liberation movement.

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Instead, Scots voted for the devil they knew, for socialism,

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for Union and for men of the old industrial order like John Colville.

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But just a few months after the election, THEIR world was shaken to its core.

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The financial markets crashed, the Great Depression took hold,

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and the economic crises of the previous decade were dreadfully outdone.

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"Now the ice lays its smooth claws on the sill,

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"The sun looks from the hill

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"Helmed in his winter casket,

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"And sweeps his arctic sword across the sky.

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"The water at the mill Sounds more hoarse and dull.

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"The miller's daughter walking by

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"With frozen fingers soldered to her basket

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"Seems to be knocking

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"Upon a hundred leagues of floor

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"With her light heels, and mocking Percy and Douglas dead,

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"And Bruce on his burial bed."

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To Edwin Muir, one of the leading writers of the Scottish Renaissance,

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it was as though Scotland was stuck in a perpetual winter.

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Unlike MacDiarmid, he wasn't a nationalist first and foremost,

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but a socialist, a political position that he developed as a youth.

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Edwin Muir came originally from Orkney,

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and arrived in the centre of industrialised Glasgow aged just 14,

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something he said was like leaving the 18th century and leaping straight into the 20th.

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Muir developed a dark fascination for the industrial world he saw around him.

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And in 1934 he decided to go on a journey

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round Scotland to see for himself

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what had become of the country at the hands of those who ruled it.

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Here in Lanarkshire, Edwin Muir found a world made up of exploiters and exploited.

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A landscape utterly devoid of humanity.

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Among the unemployed hanging around the labour exchanges, he found only despair.

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The civilised world had forgotten about them,

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had forgotten this whole part of Scotland.

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As a socialist, Muir was appalled.

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Muir compared it to the most painful episode of Scotland's history.

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'A century ago there was a great clearance from the Highlands

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'which still rouses the anger of the people living there.

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'At present on a far bigger scale, a silent clearance is going on in industrial Scotland,

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'a clearance not of human beings but of what they depend upon for life.

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'Everything which could give meaning to their existence in the grotesque

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'industrial towns of Lanarkshire is slipping from them.'

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The 20th century was not even 35 years old, yet almost as many

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Scottish children had died in poverty

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as soldiers had been killed during the entire First World War.

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And over 400,000 Scots had left in the preceding 13 years alone.

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Old Scotland had failed and something had to be done.

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To those like Edwin Muir,

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the solution was clear.

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Only the power of a socialist government in Westminster could fix all Scotland's social problems.

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But MacDiarmid and his fellow nationalists disagreed.

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Their revolution would see all Scotland's problems fixed by its OWN parliament.

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But the nation's internal problems would be overshadowed by concerns of graver consequence

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and the new Scotland would have to wait.

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AIR SIRENS WAIL

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ON FILM: 'The Kingdom of Fife.'

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Glenrothes is one of the very few Scottish towns without a memorial

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to the dead either of the First or Second World War because history didn't start here until 1948.

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Glenrothes and the other Scottish new towns were planned towns,

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emblems of a new world,

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of an optimism born of victory.

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During the Second World War, Britain had pulled together to defeat Hitler's fascism.

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The nation's efforts had been directed from London, specifically from Whitehall.

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Now, the first government after the Second World War wanted to use the

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power of that same central planning to create a new Britain.

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A socialist Britain that would eradicate five giant evils -

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squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease.

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In Glenrothes, their plans included a house

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and a job for life, at the nearby Rothes Super Pit.

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And miners came in their thousands from the Central Belt,

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drawn by the prospect of new houses and hourly wages.

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From cradle to grave, the state would provide

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and Scotland embraced this Great British future.

0:28:360:28:39

A visionary scheme to light up the highlands through hydro electric power was set up in Argyllshire.

0:28:410:28:47

At a stroke, 10,000 jobs were created,

0:28:470:28:50

10,000 livelihoods were secured.

0:28:500:28:54

A car factory was boldly founded at Linwood making Hillman Imps.

0:28:540:28:58

In Motherwell, money was sunk into more steel-making on a site at Colville's.

0:29:010:29:06

Using all the latest technology, this place would roll steel thinner than ever before.

0:29:060:29:11

It was to be called Ravenscraig.

0:29:120:29:15

The planners had projected that some old industries would struggle, that some would even die.

0:29:380:29:44

But these vast new projects would mop up any unemployed -

0:29:440:29:48

they would be the industrial lynchpins around which the new Scotland would take shape.

0:29:480:29:54

And through the next decade, through changes of government and boom and bust,

0:29:540:29:59

the British state grew, and unemployment remained low.

0:29:590:30:03

But by the early 1960s,

0:30:050:30:07

it was clear that Scotland wasn't going to plan.

0:30:070:30:10

Scotland might have started to look different, but for most Scots, it didn't feel different -

0:30:120:30:17

new industries, major projects like this bridge started to appear but not quickly enough.

0:30:170:30:24

And as the old industries went into terminal decline, so the unemployment figures crept up.

0:30:240:30:30

Remote control from Whitehall wasn't working.

0:30:320:30:35

It was as if the planners were out of touch with the consequences of their decisions.

0:30:350:30:41

What Scotland needed was someone who would shake up the planners,

0:30:410:30:45

someone who could ensure that Britain served Scotland better.

0:30:450:30:48

In Harold Wilson's Labour Party there was just the man.

0:30:480:30:53

The actual facts are stark...

0:30:530:30:56

they're grim for Scotland, and only Labour planning

0:30:560:30:59

will improve the position and give us the 40,000 jobs a year that we really need.

0:30:590:31:03

In housing, it's a tragic story.

0:31:030:31:07

"And I will make you fishers of men."

0:31:130:31:16

Those were Christ's words to Andrew and Peter, the first apostles when he returned from the wilderness

0:31:160:31:23

and found them fishing on the Sea of Galilee.

0:31:230:31:25

It's meant as a rallying cry

0:31:280:31:30

for those who work here at St Andrew's House, the Government

0:31:300:31:34

HQ in Scotland, to look out for the welfare of their fellow men.

0:31:340:31:39

In 1964, the new boss here was Willie Ross and he was determined to do just that...

0:31:390:31:45

in his own distinctive way.

0:31:450:31:48

Willie Ross was the son of a train driver whose political beliefs had been forged when he worked

0:31:480:31:54

as a teacher in working-class communities in Glasgow, in the 1920s and 1930s.

0:31:540:31:59

During the war, he had served as Lord Mountbatten's personal signals officer in the Far East.

0:31:590:32:07

Once demobbed, he became a Labour MP and had spent over a decade in opposition,

0:32:070:32:13

learning how Britain worked.

0:32:130:32:15

Willie Ross knew that the fight for Scotland didn't just lie here in Edinburgh.

0:32:160:32:21

He took it right to the heart of the British Government.

0:32:210:32:24

In Cabinet meetings he would bang on the table demanding more money for his patch, more money for Scotland.

0:32:240:32:29

Ross was a fearsome sight, and even the Prime Minister was intimidated.

0:32:290:32:34

Willie Ross decided to bring the planning process closer to home,

0:32:350:32:39

to St Andrew's House, and he quickly set to work on a detailed master plan.

0:32:390:32:44

The master plan for improving Scotland was unveiled early in 1966.

0:32:440:32:50

It was state planning socialist-style and on a scale never before seen in Scotland.

0:32:500:32:55

It was big on ambition and obsessive about the details -

0:32:550:33:00

jobs, houses, roads, power supplies -

0:33:000:33:03

nothing was overlooked.

0:33:030:33:05

And if it succeeded, Scotland would be transformed.

0:33:050:33:08

It was to cost £2,000 million.

0:33:120:33:17

But the ink was barely dry on the master plan before disaster struck.

0:33:170:33:21

In 1967, the pound was devalued, the British Treasury froze all Government spending,

0:33:210:33:28

and the promises Willie Ross had made to the electorate just a year earlier,

0:33:280:33:32

were, at a stroke, in tatters.

0:33:320:33:35

The unemployment that he'd been trying to alleviate went through the roof.

0:33:400:33:45

And Scots left for Canada and Australia

0:33:450:33:49

on £10 tickets to a brighter future.

0:33:490:33:52

# Oh, flower of Scotland... #

0:34:560:34:59

Away from the world of politics, of failed plans and economic turmoil,

0:34:590:35:04

Scotland had been quietly changing.

0:35:040:35:07

Seeds sown in the Scottish Renaissance of the 1920s

0:35:070:35:10

had finally taken root in the popular imagination.

0:35:100:35:14

And a new generation had woken up to Scotland's distinctive culture and history.

0:35:140:35:20

The site of Bannockburn, the battle in 1314, where the Scots decisively

0:35:210:35:26

defeated an invading English army,

0:35:260:35:28

was commemorated with THIS state-of-the-art monument

0:35:280:35:31

and a statue was raised to the victorious Robert the Bruce.

0:35:310:35:35

# ..And in the past They must remain... #

0:35:350:35:39

Bruce's exploits were further celebrated in a new song -

0:35:390:35:44

Flower Of Scotland, that urged Scots to rise now and be a nation again.

0:35:440:35:49

# ..And be the nation again That stood against... #

0:35:490:35:53

The mythology of Scotland as a once-victorious nation struck a chord with those Scots

0:35:530:35:59

who felt that Scotland had been reduced to Scotland-shire, a sort of badly run province of Britain.

0:35:590:36:05

All of this powerful nationalist sentiment couldn't help but spill over into Scottish politics.

0:36:050:36:12

-Winifred Margaret Ewing...

-Scottish Nationalist Party.

0:36:130:36:16

18,397. CHEERING

0:36:160:36:20

And so the Scottish Nationalists have taken Hamilton.

0:36:200:36:24

And I declare Winifred Margaret Ewing has been duly elected to serve in Parliament

0:36:240:36:30

as the Member for the Hamilton constituency.

0:36:300:36:33

APPLAUSE

0:36:330:36:35

In November 1967,

0:36:350:36:37

the Scottish National Party won a by-election in Hamilton.

0:36:370:36:40

The party that had spent three decades losing deposits

0:36:410:36:44

up and down the country suddenly seemed to be in tune with the times.

0:36:440:36:48

I have to say thanks to Hamilton for making history for Scotland...

0:36:500:36:55

CHEERING

0:36:550:36:57

The major political parties hoped it was a blip...

0:36:570:37:01

but it wasn't.

0:37:010:37:03

The SNP started to pick up votes from new supporters,

0:37:030:37:07

drawn from new battlegrounds in Scottish politics.

0:37:070:37:11

All along the River Clyde, shipyards had turned out

0:37:160:37:18

some of the most famous vessels the world had ever seen.

0:37:180:37:22

This wasn't just an industry -

0:37:220:37:24

it was a symbol of a nation's identity and it was in trouble.

0:37:240:37:27

One by one, the shipyards started to go to the wall.

0:37:270:37:31

In 1971, one shipyard -

0:37:380:37:41

Upper Clyde Shipyard -

0:37:410:37:43

employed around 13,000 people and was struggling with large debts.

0:37:430:37:48

Its closure would devastate the local area.

0:37:480:37:51

Yet, the Westminster Government was refusing to bail it out.

0:37:530:37:56

The workers started a sit-in, and a campaign to keep the shipyard open took off.

0:37:580:38:04

Churches, councils, trade unions, tens of thousands of ordinary Scots joined the protests.

0:38:060:38:12

Eventually, the shipyard was kept open.

0:38:140:38:17

But more Scots than ever before were coming to believe that Westminster was either completely out of touch

0:38:190:38:25

with Scottish affairs, or worse,

0:38:250:38:28

simply didn't care.

0:38:280:38:30

And all the time, the Scottish National Party felt the benefit.

0:38:350:38:39

Then, somewhere in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland, the drill of an oil rig hit black gold

0:38:440:38:51

and sent support for Scottish independence rocketing.

0:38:510:38:55

Oil changed Scottish politics overnight and there was lots of it.

0:39:010:39:07

Imagine what could happen, said the Nationalists, if Scotland kept it all?

0:39:070:39:12

It was Scotland's oil after all...

0:39:160:39:18

wasn't it?

0:39:180:39:20

To the SNP, it was,

0:39:220:39:24

and they argued it should be used to benefit Scotland.

0:39:240:39:27

After two decades of planning and spending, the five great social evils had far from vanished.

0:39:280:39:35

Scots still lived in some of the poorest housing in Britain,

0:39:350:39:39

had the worst health in the Western world, had the smallest children in the UK.

0:39:390:39:45

Oil, said the SNP, could eliminate all of these ills in a way that Westminster planning never had.

0:39:450:39:52

The people of Scotland could have the best health care, housing, education.

0:39:550:40:00

Scotland could finally catch up with England, might even be a match for anywhere in the world.

0:40:000:40:06

By early 1974, almost a fifth of Scots backed the SNP.

0:40:130:40:18

Their picture of a wealthy, independent Scotland was particularly seductive

0:40:200:40:24

in a Britain that seemed locked in a downward spiral of inflation, strikes and strife.

0:40:240:40:30

In the General Election of February that year, the SNP turned their support

0:40:310:40:36

into an all-time electoral high of seven seats.

0:40:360:40:39

Where would the SNP rise end?

0:40:410:40:44

To the bigger parties, it was clear that SOMETHING had to be done.

0:40:460:40:50

The answer seemed to be a kind of Home Rule called devolution.

0:40:530:40:57

It would see the powers that one man - Willie Ross -

0:40:590:41:01

enjoyed as Scottish Secretary, placed under the control of an elected assembly.

0:41:010:41:06

The only problem was that many of the Scottish Labour MPs didn't want it.

0:41:090:41:14

They believed that the problems of Scotland were more likely to be solved

0:41:170:41:21

by a socialist government in Westminster than by any assembly in Edinburgh.

0:41:210:41:25

Chairman, I want to enter this debate in terms of the context of devolution...

0:41:270:41:33

All through the summer of 1974, the ruling Labour Party remained

0:41:330:41:37

bogged down in debate and divided on grounds of principle.

0:41:370:41:41

In Scotland at the moment, there are a very large number of pressure groups, led largely by the SNP...

0:41:410:41:47

But the time for principles was nearing an end.

0:41:480:41:51

Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson wanted to call another election

0:41:510:41:55

to strengthen his position in Westminster.

0:41:550:41:58

To him it was simple - devolution would be a vital vote winner in Scotland.

0:41:580:42:03

With another general election looming and the SNP still

0:42:050:42:09

on the rise, the Labour Party had to have a Home Rule policy.

0:42:090:42:12

So Harold Wilson forced it through against the wishes of many Scottish Labour MPs, who felt

0:42:120:42:18

it was a betrayal of socialism and a policy guaranteed to lead to the break-up of Britain.

0:42:180:42:24

It was in this atmosphere of division and self-interest

0:42:240:42:28

that Scotland's first Home Rule referendum was born.

0:42:280:42:31

Labour's promise of a referendum on Home Rule didn't stave off the rise of the SNP.

0:42:370:42:42

Nor did it unite the ruling Labour Party, or even the public.

0:42:420:42:47

-You think you're going to vote "yes"...or would you vote "no"?

-I haven't decided.

-OK.

0:42:470:42:51

-I can't put that on you, then?

-Not yet.

0:42:510:42:53

It took the politicians four years to agree the scheme.

0:42:530:42:57

And during those four years, it was transformed into a referendum with a catch...

0:42:570:43:02

a catch that said 40% of the entire electorate would have to vote "yes", to win the day.

0:43:020:43:10

What actually do we control if we vote "yes"?

0:43:110:43:15

Well, you'll control education, housing, health, the environment, transport...

0:43:150:43:19

a lot of the things that are run by the Secretary of State at the moment.

0:43:190:43:23

'With an electorate of nearly 3.75 million, the Scottish Office has drafted in an army of clerks

0:43:240:43:31

'to count the votes, and they'll be in action from early tomorrow morning.'

0:43:310:43:35

On the 1st of March 1979, Scotland went to the polls.

0:43:360:43:41

I hereby declare

0:43:410:43:43

that, on the basis of the count results in the several counting areas,

0:43:430:43:49

the count result which I intend to certify for Scotland is as follows...

0:43:490:43:54

Oh, look at this!

0:43:540:43:57

This was all prepared for 1979.

0:43:570:44:00

Edinburgh's Royal High School was kitted out like a parliament in the expectation

0:44:050:44:09

that Scots would vote "yes" in the devolution referendum.

0:44:090:44:13

Number of "yes" votes - 1,230,937.

0:44:170:44:25

Number of "no" votes -

0:44:280:44:30

1,153,502.

0:44:300:44:34

Scotland HAD voted "yes",

0:44:340:44:37

but the majority wasn't big enough to win the referendum.

0:44:370:44:40

If it was a test of the country's determination, then it showed a lack of national resolve.

0:44:410:44:46

It also revealed a population divided between Scottishness and Britishness.

0:44:460:44:51

The plan for an assembly in the Royal High School was Britain's

0:44:550:44:59

solution to its Scottish problem.

0:44:590:45:01

To many Scots, it was just another Westminster promise that didn't deliver,

0:45:010:45:07

a half-hearted enterprise that failed because of its half-heartedness.

0:45:070:45:12

As the momentum towards Home Rule petered out,

0:45:140:45:18

a new era dawned, one that would have a profound influence on Scotland.

0:45:180:45:22

Good afternoon, Prime Minister!

0:45:260:45:28

Margaret Thatcher had a new vision for Britain,

0:45:300:45:33

one inspired by the work of an 18th-century Scot called Adam Smith...

0:45:330:45:38

The man who had given the world the idea of free trade.

0:45:400:45:44

Smith believed that markets had to operate freely, according to their own fundamental laws.

0:45:470:45:53

And in Margaret Thatcher's modern version of his idea,

0:45:570:46:00

the free market had to be brought to bear with greatest urgency

0:46:000:46:04

on Britain's nationalised industries.

0:46:040:46:07

To her, these vast, dilapidated and inefficient concerns

0:46:170:46:21

had been kept open by the state for purely social reasons -

0:46:210:46:25

to provide jobs rather than make profit -

0:46:250:46:28

something which couldn't go on.

0:46:280:46:30

Shipbuilding had won a few battles, but had lost its war.

0:46:330:46:37

And in the early 1980s, that other great pillar of Scottish industry,

0:46:390:46:44

of Scottish life, came under threat...

0:46:440:46:47

Coal.

0:46:510:46:53

Coal had been nationalised to free the industry from the worst excesses

0:46:560:47:00

of private ownership, of exploitation.

0:47:000:47:03

But many of the pits had never been profitable and had been kept going only by subsidies.

0:47:030:47:09

Now any pits that couldn't make money were to be closed.

0:47:090:47:14

-MARGARET THATCHER:

-Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.

0:47:240:47:28

Where there is error, may we bring truth.

0:47:280:47:31

Where there is doubt, may we bring faith.

0:47:310:47:34

And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

0:47:340:47:38

Can you describe when you became aware that the industry was going downhill?

0:47:520:47:57

Was there a day came when you realised the game was up?

0:47:570:48:01

I was sorry it was ever coming to that.

0:48:010:48:03

I knew it was coming, but I was sorry, because there would be a lot of people with no jobs.

0:48:030:48:07

-That was that.

-It made so much sense, why all these towns were here.

0:48:070:48:12

-They were either here to support a pit or for the steel...

-That's how it was, aye.

0:48:120:48:16

And now it's as if the tide's gone out and left these places high and dry.

0:48:160:48:22

There's nothing left.

0:48:220:48:23

Allanton, Shotts, Cumnock, Bonnyrigg...

0:48:270:48:31

the list of places left behind as that tide went out

0:48:310:48:35

stretches from one end of Central Scotland to the other.

0:48:350:48:38

Those who had chosen to stay, those who had faced the future here in Scotland rather than emigrate

0:48:440:48:50

were left adrift, as once and for all their way of life was lost.

0:48:500:48:56

In the early 1980s, unemployment returned to levels unknown since the 1920s.

0:49:010:49:08

If this was Margaret Thatcher's new vision of Britain,

0:49:130:49:16

then it seemed to many Scots to be a place without compassion.

0:49:160:49:20

And Scots began to notice

0:49:240:49:26

that only a small number of them had voted for her and her party.

0:49:260:49:31

When Margaret Thatcher and the Conservatives won the election in 1987,

0:49:340:49:37

it was their third victory in a row.

0:49:370:49:40

And the third time that Scotland voted overwhelmingly against her.

0:49:400:49:45

Scotland was being ruled without the consent of the majority of its people,

0:49:470:49:52

and at this rate, its national interests could be overlooked forever.

0:49:520:49:56

As this reality sank in, Home Rule got a new lease of life.

0:50:010:50:06

The idea of devolution had once divided Scottish opinion.

0:50:100:50:14

What was needed now was a scheme that would unite.

0:50:140:50:17

In 1988, many of the country's political and civic leaders met

0:50:200:50:25

to thrash out a plan that would restore the Scottish people's right

0:50:250:50:29

to decide their own form of government.

0:50:290:50:31

A scheme based on the principle of self-determination.

0:50:330:50:37

And here it is -

0:50:430:50:45

a Claim of Right for Scotland.

0:50:450:50:47

"We, gathered as the Scottish Constitutional Convention,

0:50:470:50:51

"do hereby acknowledge and assert

0:50:510:50:53

"the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government

0:50:530:50:57

"best suited to their needs. We further declare and pledge that our actions and deliberations

0:50:570:51:03

"shall be directed to the following end -

0:51:030:51:06

"to agree a scheme for an assembly or parliament for Scotland."

0:51:060:51:10

And there, the second name - Donald Dewar.

0:51:100:51:14

And after his, name after name, page after page.

0:51:140:51:19

The Claim of Right was clear and unequivocal.

0:51:220:51:25

The crisis of the 20th century had gone far beyond material things -

0:51:250:51:30

beyond jobs, beyond housing.

0:51:300:51:32

It threatened the very nature of Scotland's existence.

0:51:320:51:36

The people should no longer be ruled without consent, said the Claim of Right,

0:51:360:51:41

only a Scottish parliament could safeguard Scotland's identity now.

0:51:410:51:45

One opposition party, the SNP,

0:51:530:51:55

didn't back the Claim of Right,

0:51:550:51:57

but for almost 60 years, their calls for a parliament had echoed across Scottish politics.

0:51:570:52:04

With support for out and out independence increasing

0:52:040:52:07

and Scotland's other opposition parties now committed to a parliament as well,

0:52:070:52:11

Scotland grew restless.

0:52:110:52:14

Among the people, a sense of nationhood grew and was heard.

0:52:160:52:20

At Murrayfield, in 1990, Scots embraced

0:52:200:52:25

their own unofficial national anthem for a rugby match against England.

0:52:250:52:29

What song did they choose?

0:52:290:52:32

60,000 Scots got behind their country and belted out the sentimental '60s

0:52:330:52:38

folk song, Flower Of Scotland, and inspired Scotland to a famous victory

0:52:380:52:43

over their oldest adversaries.

0:52:430:52:45

BAGPIPES PLAY "Flower Of Scotland" THEN CROWD SINGS

0:52:450:52:48

# Oh, flower of Scotland When will we see

0:52:480:52:53

# Your like again?

0:52:530:52:57

# That fought and died for

0:52:570:53:02

# Your wee bit hill and glen

0:53:020:53:05

# And stood against him

0:53:050:53:10

# Proud Edward's army... #

0:53:100:53:14

And the English team

0:53:140:53:16

went right on singing God Save The Queen,

0:53:160:53:19

as if England and Britain were one and the same thing.

0:53:190:53:23

# ..Long live our noble Queen... #

0:53:230:53:28

It was just sport.

0:53:280:53:30

But it told its own story.

0:53:300:53:32

People who had begun the century as loyal subjects of Britain had changed

0:53:340:53:38

their allegiances and they no longer unquestioningly accepted that to be Scottish was,

0:53:380:53:43

first and foremost, to be British.

0:53:430:53:46

But Britain had changed too.

0:54:110:54:13

The version of Britain that Scots had understood and supported was gone

0:54:150:54:20

and it had been replaced with something very different,

0:54:200:54:23

something that Scots didn't recognise as their own creation.

0:54:230:54:27

Ravenscraig Steelworks had been the jewel of post-war planning,

0:54:450:54:49

one of the foundations on which 20th-century Scotland was supposed to be built.

0:54:490:54:54

By the time it came down in 1996, Scots the length and breadth

0:54:570:55:02

of the country were united in an urgent mission to take back political control.

0:55:020:55:06

The nation had a settled will.

0:55:110:55:13

The birch trees are reclaiming the site of Ravenscraig.

0:55:320:55:36

The furnaces, coke piles, iron stores and cooling towers

0:55:360:55:41

are long gone, and now any traces of one version of the old Scotland

0:55:410:55:46

are giving way to a much older one.

0:55:460:55:49

The heavy industries of the 19th and 20th century have all but vanished.

0:55:490:55:54

And Scotland, the land,

0:55:540:55:56

is taking the place back.

0:55:560:55:58

But what lingers is a sense that something has gone that has not yet been replaced.

0:55:580:56:04

There once was a settled will.

0:56:100:56:13

In 1999, that settled will was turned into a Parliament -

0:56:130:56:17

not an assembly, but a Parliament.

0:56:170:56:20

When hard economic times forced Scots to question the Union,

0:56:240:56:28

Scotland created a new relationship with its old partner,

0:56:280:56:32

and in doing so, helped to create a new kind of Britain.

0:56:320:56:37

For most of the 20th century, Scotland's story was the story

0:56:380:56:42

of a failing nation, one that couldn't keep hold of its population.

0:56:420:56:47

In the first years of the 21st century, Scotland's story changed.

0:56:510:56:56

Scotland became a place in which to stay rather than leave, a place to come to rather than go from.

0:56:560:57:04

So what of the future for the 5 million people who live here today?

0:57:060:57:11

As the 21st century stretches out ahead, what will fill the empty spaces, what will fill this void

0:57:110:57:18

where the nations' industrial heart once beat?

0:57:180:57:21

And what will become of us, as a nation?

0:57:240:57:27

Is it "Scottish" that most defines us now, or does "British" still run deep too?

0:57:270:57:34

Is Scotland's journey to self- determination at an end or is there more to come on the road ahead?

0:57:340:57:40

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:110:58:14

Documentary series. As a partner in the British Empire, Scotland began the 20th century with an advanced economy and a world beating heavy industry. But come the closing decades, its sense of Britishness was in doubt and a Scottish Parliament sat in Edinburgh for the first time since 1707. Charting what was probably one of Scotland's darkest centuries, Neil Oliver discovers a country driven to self-determination through a series of economic crises so deep, that her most striking export became its own disillusioned population.