“Scots suffer from “virtual universal historical illiteracy’ , says Tom Devine, “ perhaps that’s why they’ve struggled to engage with Referendum campaign.
Historian Tom Devine, Scotland's foremost academic and intellectual, once favoured a "devo-max" but he changed his mind for Scottish independence.
He believes that the purpose of the union on both sides have now crumbled. Scotland is now uniquely placed with top resources, top research and a more diverse economy.
He believes Scotland is competent and strong in a business and cultural sense with a more diverse business model. Importantly Scotland has reserves of power. Scotland has four universities in the world’s top 200. In the 50s we were second rate but since then Scotland’s R & D has flourished.
Devine spoke of the ‘victimhood’ of Scots put forward in the best selling novels by Canadian John Prebble in the 1950s. Devine calls them works of 'faction’, making Scots feel downtrodden victims.
Do we have a shared myth and history with England?
There has been a gradual disintegration of confidence of Scotland in union. He believes the union once served a purpose, but has been in decline for many years now. That it is only through that a harmonious relationship between Scotland and England can be achieved.
"When you put all of these together, there's very little left in the union except sentiment, history and family."
**BOOKs by Tom Devine - Scottish Trilogy – a comprehensive study of Scottish modern history, which we didn’t have before 1780. Also The Scottish Nation 1700 to 200. As well as some 36 other books.