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Broadcast
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012012092420150811 (RS)1/5
The Battle for Scotland
Billy Kay traces Scottish nationalism from the identity forged in the fires of the Wars of Independence to the rise of modern nationalism in the second half of the 20th century. We hear the voices of people commemorating the Battle of Bannockburn and the Declaration of Arbroath. Historian Fiona Watson speaks movingly of one of the great unsung heroines Isabella Countess of Buchan who forsook her wealth, her husband and her status to crown Robert the Bruce at Scone - for this she was imprisoned in a cage in Berwick. The First Minister Alex Salmond recalls stories of the men of Linlithgow he got from his grandfather and how they fired his imagination. Throughout the series, we hear how echoes from Scottish history resound down through the years and inform the rise of modern political nationalism.
Identity and culture are at the core of nationalism as in the words of Fionn MacColla we were "Too Long in This Condition" as a cultural colony of England. This provoked a political backlash to what many Scots perceived as the inferiorisation of their culture in the universities and the media. Billy also explores the diversity of reasons why Scots feel a strong sense of identity - from the beauty of the landscape to the passion for their football, literature and music - all of which grace the series with songs from Burns to Hamish Henderson and poetry from Hugh MacDiarmid to John Barbour -
"...we haif the richt;
And for the richt ilk man suld ficht."
(Bruce's words to his men at Bannockburn - from Barbour's The Brus
Also taking part: Professors Richard Finlay and Allan MacInnes of Strathclyde University, Winnie Ewing, Canon Emsley Nimmo of the Scottish Episcopal Church and intellectual Tom Nairn.
An Odyssey Production.
012012092420150816 (RS)1/5
The Battle for Scotland
Billy Kay traces Scottish nationalism from the identity forged in the fires of the Wars of Independence to the rise of modern nationalism in the second half of the 20th century. We hear the voices of people commemorating the Battle of Bannockburn and the Declaration of Arbroath. Historian Fiona Watson speaks movingly of one of the great unsung heroines Isabella Countess of Buchan who forsook her wealth, her husband and her status to crown Robert the Bruce at Scone - for this she was imprisoned in a cage in Berwick. The First Minister Alex Salmond recalls stories of the men of Linlithgow he got from his grandfather and how they fired his imagination. Throughout the series, we hear how echoes from Scottish history resound down through the years and inform the rise of modern political nationalism.
Identity and culture are at the core of nationalism as in the words of Fionn MacColla we were "Too Long in This Condition" as a cultural colony of England. This provoked a political backlash to what many Scots perceived as the inferiorisation of their culture in the universities and the media. Billy also explores the diversity of reasons why Scots feel a strong sense of identity - from the beauty of the landscape to the passion for their football, literature and music - all of which grace the series with songs from Burns to Hamish Henderson and poetry from Hugh MacDiarmid to John Barbour -
"...we haif the richt;
And for the richt ilk man suld ficht."
(Bruce's words to his men at Bannockburn - from Barbour's The Brus
Also taking part: Professors Richard Finlay and Allan MacInnes of Strathclyde University, Winnie Ewing, Canon Emsley Nimmo of the Scottish Episcopal Church and intellectual Tom Nairn.
An Odyssey Production.
042012101520150901 (RS)
20150906 (RS)
4/5
Billy begins with the rousing sound of a brass band playing Scots Wha Hae and the voices of men with pride in their heritage as Free Colliers and patriotic Scots.
"I'm in the the former mining community of Redding near Falkirk where the men of the Sir William Wallace Grand Lodge of Scotland Free Colliers are staging their annual demonstration which began back in the industrial disputes of the 1860's when the cause of working class solidarity once again drew inspiration from the struggle for Scottish independence"
We hear how the story of Wallace inspired Scots through the ages. In modern nationalist history, we focus on the heady years of the early '70's when Gordon Wilson's "It's Scotland's Oil" campaign led to the "high" of the SNP electing 7 then 11 MP's in 1974. We contrast this with the deep depression which emerged following the failure to reach the 40% vote for Yes in the 1979 Referendum. Something akin to Civil War broke out in the SNP with the socialist wing led by Margo MacDonald, Jim Sillars and Alex Salmond vying with the fundamentalist wing of the party for supremacy. The First Minister describes the hurt he felt when he was expelled from the Party, and the "speech of my life" he gave to have him and other members of the '79 Group re-instated. We trace the growing feeling of alienation among Scots of different political persuasion under Thatcher's Tory government leading to a huge surge in demand for a Scottish parliament which culminated in the successful Referendum of 1997. We celebrate the international dimension of Scottish nationalism expressed in Hamish Henderson's song The Freedom Come All Ye which became an anthem for the pro parliament groups in the period.
Billy Kay explores the legacy of Wallace and the SNP's story from the 1970s to the 1990s.
052012102220150908 (RS)5/5
A Very Special Place
Billy Kay examines the coming of the Scottish Parliament and how it transforms the SNP. Peter Lynch of Stirling University contrasts the sacrifice of previous generations with the present situation where you can actually have a career with the SNP - "older nationalists would have thought they had died and gone to heaven" in such circumstances. We contrast the civic nationalism of Scotland with ethnic nationalism elsewhere, but show how the SNP has had to deal with groups which endangered the democratic credentials of the party.
We hear historians discuss the Union of 1707 and the echoes from the 18th century in the present day where e.g. Professor Allan MacInnes of Strathclyde university points out that the support for the SNP in the 2007 Election was very similar to the support for the Jacobite Rising in 1715!
"The Scottish Parliament adjourned on the 25th Day of March 1707 is hereby re-convened"
Those historic words uttered by Winnie Ewing at the opening of the Parliament in 1999 was the first major step in righting a wrong that dated back to 1707.
Nationalists who have devoted their lives to the Cause of Scottish independence talk about their optimism for the future and the kind of Scotland they envisage if they achieve what their opponents would say was their dream, and they would say was their destiny as citizens of an independent nation. The First Minister says that Scotland can be "a very special place." Whatever happens in the future, nationalist will remain committed to the Cause, and inspired by the words of the founder of the National Party, Hugh MacDiarmid who wrote:
For we hae faith in Scotland's hidden pouers
The present's theirs, but aw the past and future's oors.
062015091520150920 (RS)Billy Kay recalls the energy, hope, failure, gloom and resurrection of the yes campaign.
Billy Kay considers what happened to the national movement over a turbulent and emotional period covering the Yes campaign, the Referendum and its dramatic aftermath. This saw a surge in SNP membership and the resurrection of the movement culminating with an SNP landslide in the 2015 General Election. When Billy asked Alex Salmond to sum up what had taken place in the Cause's recent history, he replied. "Well, I suppose, in a nutshell, we lost the Referendum but we might be well on our way to winning the country."
We focus on the creativity and diversity of the Yes campaign where disparate groups like Women for Independence, Business for Scotland, and the artists of National Collective came together in a common cause. Billy interviews Chris Law MP e.g. whose beautifully refurbished fire engine, Spirit of Independence inspired people to join a burgeoning campaign. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the engagement of the grass roots events that she attended made this "the most energising experience" of her life.
Dundee had a vibrant Yes team, and Billy records their highs and lows. Harry Marshall e.g was responsible for registering over 3000 people to vote. One of those queuing to register told Alex Salmond he was doing it because it was the first time in his life he had experienced something worth voting for!
The Referendum defeat was one of the worst experiences of these peopes lives, yet within days the surge of people joining the SNP gave the party and the Cause renewed hope for the future. Energised once again the new momentum carried into the General Election victory Everyone Billy spoke to, young and old is now convinced that Scotland will be independent within their own lifetime.

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Genre

  • Documentaries / History / Factual / Politics