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  By a Newsnet reporter
 
The decision to exclude the independence referendum from next year’s Edinburgh Festival has caused anger and concern amongst some artists and journalists in Scotland.
 
Dismay and bewilderment followed a surprise announcement this weekend from the festival director, Sir Jonathan Mills who said that next year’s festival will not commission any performances about the 2014 referendum debate.

Instead the central themes will include the First World War commemorations which begin one week before the festival itself starts and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games which will have just ended.

Speaking at the weekend, Mills insisted the decision was taken in order to ensure the festival’s political neutrality.

He told Scotland on Sunday: “We would not wish our festival to be anything other than it has always been, which is a politically neutral space for artists.  It is important that it remains that.”

However the decision has bewildered and angered artists and journalists alike with many questioning the logic behind the it.

Concern has also been expressed that by refusing to officially acknowledge the independence referendum, the festival event itself risks being seen as supporting the No campaign and endorsing ‘no change’.

Speaking to the Guardian, playwright David Greig said: “I am confused and worried that he appears to be withdrawing his festival from the debate; but in fact withdrawal is itself a kind of entry.  Saying you are not doing things about the independence referendum: I’m not even sure what that means – you might take it as a reinforcement of the status quo.”

Greig also pointed out that one of the central themes being embraced by Mills was the politically loaded First World War celebrations being promoted by the UK government that are scheduled to start the day after the closing ceremony of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

“The first world war commemoration is part of a nationwide marking of the war that seems to have come largely from the Conservatives, and I am troubled by its motives,” said the playwright.

There was more anger and bafflement on social media with the editor of Holyrood magazine Mandy Rhodes tweeting: “How could one of world’s biggest arts festivals based in Scotland possibly ignore the biggest political decision to take place in Scotland?”

Ms Rhodes was joined by artist Alan Bissett who tweeted: “Edinburgh Fest 2014 won’t be hosting show on Scottish indy but WILL be tackling First World War ‘commemoration’. Sigh”

A spokesman for the pro-union campaign group Better Together refused to criticise the decision to exclude the referendum from the festival, telling the Times: “There won’t be any shortage of drama and theatre this time next year, even if it’s not taking place at the festival.”

The decision to officially include the First World War as one of the festival themes follows growing concern that the events planned by the Westminster government will be used in order to promote the kind of flag waving scenes that accompanied the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics.

In June this year UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller confirmed that a series of Olympic style cultural events will be staged in order to mark the centenary of the conflict that led to the deaths of almost sixteen million people, including one million allied servicemen.

Miller said: “In much the same way as culture played a huge part in the Olympics, we think it is vital that in a national programme of such importance that the cultural element is at the fore of our commemorations.”

One of the chairs of the Great War centenary cultural programme board is Jenny Waldman, who produced the London Olympics cultural events which were designed to be “very deliberately British”.

Speaking last October when he officially announced details of the commemorations, Prime Minister David Cameron said they would be like the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, that: “captures our national spirit in every corner of the country, something that says something about who we are as a people”.

In June, a UK government source, in reference to the commemorations, told the Sunday Telegraph: “We have seen in recent years that communities across the UK are really at their best when they are brought together with feelings of patriotism and history.  We saw this with the Jubilee, the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Olympics.”

Earlier this year the Scottish government announced its own series of events to commemorate the centenary of the start of the Great War.

Speaking at the time, First Minister Alex Salmond said: “The events in 2014 to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War will not be a celebration in Scotland, but a commemoration of the servicemen and women who paid the ultimate price in defence of our country.

“Scotland’s war memorials – from the magnificent to the more modest – pay tribute to those fallen and will be an important part of the commemorations in communities the length and breadth of Scotland during 2014.”

Comments  

 
#
Keilers
2013-08-12 23:23

So just to be clear. The Independence Referendum is to political. World War One, on the other hand, is politics free? Am I mixing my wars up? This is shameful, culture and politics are of great influence to each other. Current politics, not those of a hundred years ago.

I won’t even get into commemorating the START of war, regardless of who won it.
 
 
#
Ben Power
2013-08-12 23:33

Commemorating the start of the first world war eh. My namesake was wounded and a POW in the first world war. It ruined his life, and made it very difficult for him.
I see no reason to go back on what my war veteran great uncles taught me about the horrors of WW1 and that to be wary of and oppose anyone who would want to send us to war again and definitely be wary of and oppose anyone who would wish to glamourise it.

Anyone who takes part in celebrations or commemorations of the START of a war are ignorant sheep who know little to nothing about war and the devastation it heaps on people.

Rememberance of the END of the war with affirmations never to go to war again would be good. But this tory stunt is just a ploy to try to engender wartime patriotic spirit to get a NO vote in the referendum. It is crass and disrespectful to our soldiers and the victims of war.
 
 
#
clootie
2013-08-12 23:51

Ben Power

Well said. I fully agree with every word.

As for the festival stance it comes as no surprise. I have been at several YES stalls recently at major events and have seen no sign of any better together activists. They now realise the potential of a grass roots campaign and they are trying to close it down. A few shows have now declined any political stalls at their events. It sounds fair and balanced but since it is our only access to people it is a blatant manipulation.
 
 
#
macdonald88
2013-08-14 10:06

Presumably the same applies to Bannockburn? You would no doubt describe the celebrations which are planned as a nationalist stunt?!
 

 
#
Fungus
2013-08-12 23:33

[Admin – Comment removed]
 
 
#
Old Smokey
2013-08-13 00:11

Wrong J. Mills
The unionist luvvie running the arts festival is one Jonathon Mills from Australia, who got the post in 2012 and was knighted this year
He is a nomark self serving creep that should be ignored
 
 
#
BRL
2013-08-13 01:24

So who is this guy? He appears with a knighthood, for what one may ask? He then comes away with this dictat crap and we’re supposed to let it just lie there? Who’s trying to kid who?

We’re heading into the cusp of the most important period in Scotland’s history, which is absolutely crucial to our future and this Mills guy tries to tell us what’s what and he ain’t even Scots!

If he is Australian he’ll know what ‘four x’ stands for.
 

 
#
snowthistle
2013-08-12 23:54

You can’t just ignore the referendum, as Mandy Rhodes said in one of her tweets

” The #indyref runs like a seam through almost all @HolyroodDaily looks at. It’s impossible to ignore & it’s where we are at!”
 
 
#
WRH2
2013-08-13 00:11

The kind of celebration that seems to be planned is just tasteless. I don’t really understand what it’s meant to achieve except remind us that millions of people lost their lives needlessly. WW1 happened so long ago its unlikely there is anyone who remembers or took part still alive. They might as well pick any war, for example the Boer War. I don’t remember that war having a big nationwide event to mark either its beginning or end. So why waste money on this at all?
 
 
#
NkosiEcosse
2013-08-13 09:50

Quoting WRH2:

The kind of celebration that seems to be planned is just tasteless. I don’t really understand what it’s meant to achieve except remind us that millions of people lost their lives needlessly. WW1 happened so long ago its unlikely there is anyone who remembers or took part still alive. They might as well pick any war, for example the Boer War. I don’t remember that war having a big nationwide event to mark either its beginning or end. So why waste money on this at all?



They won’t be picking the Boer War, they herded the Boer womenfolk and children into “Concentration Camps” with no sanitation, food or medicine in an attempt to bring the Boer Menfolk to heel. Many of them died. “The Lords of the Empire” will never that come to light

 

 
#
maisiedotts
2013-08-13 05:44

It disgusts me, the whole WW1 thing is political and this decision is no doubt the price of Mills ‘co-operation’ to get his title.

In Scotland (and NI) we have NO ‘Thankful Villages” – not one village in Scotland where all the yomg men and boys who went off to war on behalf of the state all returned. There are just 3 in Wales and 48 in England. This truth needs to get out to the folks of Scotland.

One young lad from Belfast was just 16 years old when he was ‘shot at dawn’ for cowardice for leaving his post – he shouldn’t have been there he was only 15 at the time of the #offence’! A fortnight earlier an officer with the same charge and sentence got off on ‘technicalities’. I hope they tell the kids about these facts and I hope someone writes a play about the inequalities in war for the festival. Britain has nothing to be proud of in how it treated its own in WW1.

This is nothing more than blatant propaganda.
 
 
#
weegie38
2013-08-13 07:22

Mill’s logic is political censorship, pure and simple.

The most basic freedom any artist can have, is the freedom to speak on any subject.
 
 
#
Jamie Black
2013-08-13 07:44

The bitterness of most commenters here is palpable. The word ‘celebration’ was used by Alex Salmond about the war. And for those who wish to forget the war and ignore it – good luck to you,your ignorance says it all about your part in the Indy campaign and society as a whole.
 
 
#
snowthistle
2013-08-13 08:10

Hi Jamie,
Perhaps we are not so eloquent at expressing our thoughts on the commemoration of the start of WW1.
I’ve always thought that Sean McPartlin explained it beautifully in this article from NNS

newsnetscotland.com/…/…

It’s a long article but a good one, have a read and see what you think.

P.S Do you agree with the decision to try to ignore the debate on independence at next year’s festival?
 
 
#
BRL
2013-08-13 08:52

@Jamie Black – don’t delude yourself, this is nothing but a jingoistic publicity attempt and in very poor taste at that. AS will have mentioned ‘celebrating’ the cessation of the horror of that war, not the bloody start of it!

As for ‘forgetting and ignoring it’, think again chum before you loosely fire off ridiculous accusations like that – the whole independence movement is intended to get away from the sabre-rattlers that crowd around Westminster – or have you missed that point too?
 
 
#
Old Smokey
2013-08-13 08:57

What bitterness? we have every right to question the attitude of someone who clearly display’s censorship of an important event next year. Yet is happy to promote an event, namely the start of the First World War. A war that saw the wasteful slaughter of Scotland’s young men. The announcement by UK prime minister, which was initially stated as a celebration, was couched in the same terms as the recent Olympics and Queens Jubilee. It was EXACTLY this kind of jingoism that prevailed at the time of the start of the first world war in 1914. It was a jingoism that openly encouraged ‘pals’ to sign up. You took the King’s shilling or a white feather! A war that was lead my the nobility and was about the nobility. Your assertion that Alex Salmond stated ‘celebration’ is wide of the mark, as he clearly stated it wasn’t a celebration, but if we do anything its commemoration! Its you who is completely ignorant of history and events
 
 
#
Marian
2013-08-13 08:59

Could you point out any evidence that the FM of Scotland said the start of WW1 should be a “celebration” in the manner of which you are implying?

Do you really think the start of a failed “war to end all wars” should be “celebrated”?

Do you really think its fitting for any country to “celebrate” the start of any war?

The Westminster government decision to “celebrate” the start of WW1 is indicative of the sickness that afflicts the British state today.
 
 
#
maisiedotts
2013-08-13 10:35

My “ignorance” as you call it Jamie, stems from losing 9 – YES 9 – members of my extended family. It isn’t bitterness or ignorance that causes my response but anger.

Before slagging off posters perhaps you should think that perhaps you are insulting families who still care about cousins, 2nd cousins and others who to this day grieve for those fathers, grandfathers and uncles. These are the only people with the right to decide if this is disgusting or ‘fair game’ in Cameron’s propaganda war!

Perhaps the “ignorance” lies closer to home, Jamie?
 

 
#
Marian
2013-08-13 08:12

The full force of the British feudal establishment is now coming down on the referendum debate what with its censorship of the Wings Indy opinion poll and now the censorship being imposed by “Sir” Jonathan Mills.

Anyone who deluded themselves into thinking this would be a fair fight needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
 
 
#
Strak17
2013-08-13 12:56

Anyone who deluded themselves into thinking this would be a fair fight needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

But only if that coffee is the right kind and not from an independent source.
 

 
#
Jo Bloggs
2013-08-13 08:47

Perhaps for a start the UK government could release the archive material held on the large mutiny in France in 1917 by Scottish, Australian and New Zealand troops, which is to be kept secret until 2017.
 
 
#
Mad Jock McMad
2013-08-13 12:49

Richard Holmes in his fine book on the First World War ‘Tommy’ mentions the Amien’s mutiny of 1917 in some detail explaining that it was not a refusal to fight but against the treatment in the so called ‘Bull Rings’ which veterans had to go back through prior to being posted – often not back to their own regiments but ‘re-badged’. Where the training was carried out by back echelon members who had seen less front line service than the veterans. The trigger was a company of Aussies threatening to kick ten bells out of British MP’s if they did not release the soldier who was being submitted to British Field Punishment No 1. The attempts by the MP’s to get back at the Aussie ‘ring leaders’ lead to an MP shooting one Aussie veteran and then all hell broke loose as the loathing of the front line troops for their rear echelon tormentors really kicked off.
 
 
#
call me dave
2013-08-13 15:45

I think this refers to Étaples_Mutiny 1917.
—————————————–
The officers and NCOs in charge of the training, the “canaries”, also had a reputation of never having been at the front, which inevitably created a certain amount of tension and contempt, as expressed in Siegfried Sassoon’s poem “Base Details”:


If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath,
I’d live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
You’d see me with my puffy petulant face,
Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,
Reading the Roll of Honour. ‘Poor young chap,’
I’d say—‘I used to know his father well;
Yes, we’ve lost heavily in this last scrap.’
And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I’d toddle safely home and die—in bed.
 
 
#
call me dave
2013-08-13 17:57

Sorry no link for above.
1917: The Etaples mutiny

libcom.org/…/…
 

 
#
Johnston
2013-08-13 09:00

Lets celebrate the start of WWI. Boys being sent to war, Soldiers dying slowly as they were cooked in there tanks, Disease spread rampant, Rats consuming the dead and skeletal remains were often a result from this. Through the night soldiers would often have to listen to the cries of their fellow injured and the constant shelling. The use of gas- burning and chocking as soldiers slowly died.one in four soldiers made it back from the war, and those that had come back either became emotionally disconnected or mad.

Lets celebrate!
 
 
#
Abulhaq
2013-08-13 09:30

Brit nationalism at work in the the E-fest? whatever next…When has the festival ever really connected with the culture of the country that hosts it? There is something surreal about this event with its meg-fringe and cultural archaeology that is quite stomach churning given that we have a genuine living culture of our own which ought to be presented/showcased to the world through it. With a series of directors who appear to regard the Scottish connexion as provincial perhaps it is time to either scrap this event or totally transform it into a Scotland Festival with events taking place throughout the country. Regarding WW1, celebrating this war shows a monstrous ignorance of its historical aftermath. This is the war that not only killed millions but laid the foundations for Naziism and Fascism, totalitarian Communism,, the current issues facing the Middle East, and the rise of the US as a dominant mega-power. It also disposed of quite a few monarchies. Latter good, rest very bad.
 
 
#
Muz
2013-08-13 09:32

“Sir Jonathan Mills who said that next year’s festival will not commission any performances about the 2014 referendum debate.”

I am not sure they can really fully control that. Surely creative writers can create stories with all sorts of implied meanings. Performances about the outbreak of WW1, for example, can also be used to get across many different themes of thought and emotion.

The intention to control could really backfire and, maybe worst of all, damage the creative international reputation of the festival.
 
 
#
Soloman
2013-08-13 10:22

“damage the creative international reputation of the festival”

An Independent Scotland without the Edinburgh Festival, Scotland on the rise, perhaps time to put her down a peg or two……


Slightly off topic- after the sad passing of David McLetchie, The Scotsman has some quotes from wthin the political world regarding the loss of the man and politician. Alex Salmond is quoted as is David Cameron and top marks to the Scotsman as they seem to have found Johan Lamont…….
 

 
#
proudscot
2013-08-13 10:35

Jamie Black, I never got the chance to know either of my grandfathers, paternal and maternal, as both were part of the slaughtered “glorious fallen” of WW1. My own father was later killed in WW2, and my subsequent stepfather had lost three of his elder brothers in WW1.

Bitter? Yes I suppose I am, but not just because of the losses my family and almost every other family in Scotland suffered. I AM bitter at this jingoistic Tory-led “celebration” of the start of the human carnage of WW1, when it is mainly a very obvious attempt to undermine the independence referendum with a frenzy of Union Flag waving.
 
 
#
Maxie
2013-08-13 11:02

I suppose its predictable that the referendum debate has been excluded from the Edinburgh festival given that a clear majority of our domestic cultural fraternity support independence.
Why do I feel a poster campaign coming on during the festival?

In 2003 they said not one jot about the 400th anniversary of union of the Crowns. In 2007 they said not one peep about the union of the parliaments, but now on the run up to the referendum they are desperate to commemorate the beginning of a war. Says it all really.

I trust the organisers of our march for independence in Edinburgh next year will bring it forward to coincide with the festival so that tens of thousands of us can show the establishment and the world what we think!
 
 
#
cirsium
2013-08-13 11:10

Is this not an example of what Alasdair Gray was writing about in “Settlers and Colonists” www.word-power.co.uk/…/
 
 
#
Silverytay
2013-08-13 11:11

In the essence of fairness I would now expect all reference to the 1st world war to be banned from the festival , I will not hold my breath on that one .
If anyone had any doubts before , it is now clear that the establishment aided by their friends in the media are going to use every dirty trick in the book and more to hold onto the cash cow that is Scotland .
 
 
#
Breeks
2013-08-13 11:11

It not the same thing and yet it is…
For the past few months, and billed as something to commemorate the centenary, the Imperial War Museum has been producing a series of podcasts featuring the recordings of WW1 veterans as they recall their memoirs of WW1. It seems to be a tremendously rich archive of spoken material, and doesn’t dwell on the centennial significance beyond the introduction, and frankly, whether released now or from 2018 falls away as trivial when you listen to voices of the old soldiers who were there.

We must be very careful to distinguish the miss-use of the centenary for political goals, so that we do not inadvertently forever tarnish legitimate acts of remembrance. The despair and tragedy of WW1 will trump any cheap political flag waving, whether by us, (not guilty so far) but more especially by the British Establishment who seem bent on taking that very path.
 
 
#
Mad Jock McMad
2013-08-13 13:16

There are so many myths about the Great War’ it is hard to begin to get any sense at all. The first real fact it was the last internal feud of the European Crowned heads. Like the War of the Roses, it was a ‘cousins war’; born of the last vestiges of a feudal, class dominated society. Built up by growing concerns over German expansionism, poised on a knife edge that the assassination in Serbia kicked off.

That British men volunteered for Kitchener’s Army in such vast numbers, with whole works walking in on the same day, reflects how the Edwardian’s viewed themselves in the world. To go down the ‘lions lead by donkeys’ revisionist route is to demean those who volunteered and never came home. The British Army got much wrong but they were facing an industrial war neither side had prepared for or understood at the start but the British finally got to grips with in the last 100 days. (PS: My Grandad was on the Somme where the assault was successful).
 
 
#
steveb
2013-08-13 14:34

And of course we must never forget what happened on the survivors return.
1919 in Glasgow. The wonderful Brittish state shown for all its glory and its attitude to the men, women and children of Glasgow.
And all because the Galsgow men found a way to create jobs for the unemployed returning soldiers, and tried to prevent landlords fleecing the residents. Truly disgusting!
 
 
#
Henderson
2013-08-13 14:48

The Empire strikes back;
And then the smears begin – see WoS website.
Jamie Black ?
You dont think there is something sick & sinsiter about celebrating the start of a war ?
Surely one celebrates conclusion / winning or at least the end of a War ??
 
 
#
Diabloandco
2013-08-13 15:20

Apologies for being OT BUT we are about to be treated to the ” fat Scots Ba$ta^ds ” courtesy of BBBC Scotland .
We are according to them the 2nd fattest nation IN THE WORLD.
Which is QI because according to a quick google and the OECD the top 10 are ,

TOP 10 OBESE COUNTRIES
Mexico (32.8%)
United States (31.8%)
New Zealand (26.5%)
Chile (25.1%)
Australia (24.6%)
Canada (24.2%)
United Kingdom (23%)
Ireland (23%)
Luxembourg (22.1%)
Finland (20.2%)



Source: OECD Health Data.
Obesity rates in adults

Now why would the BBC be so ill informed?
Please note that the UK ( not just Scotland) 7th on the list – nothing of which to be proud on the other hand it is a fair stretch of the truth to suggest Scots are 2nd.
 
 
#
FREEDOM1
2013-08-13 18:27

Diabloandco – I saw the report on Sky News the other day and the Cretin who was reading the news about Obese Scots also sneeringly said that we also indulge in Deep Fried Mars bars. I think there are just as many Obese people in England.
 

 
#
maisiedotts
2013-08-13 16:33

Newsnet could I suggest a good way to counter to the blitz of flag waving hysteria we expect during the WW1 “celebrations” might be to list/link to all the verifiable ‘inconvenient’ facts?

I think *we* (collectively) owe the truth both to those who died, their families and also to the young people of today.

RIP Sgt William Gunn 3rd Australian Field Ambulance born 1881 Inverness served with the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1900, in SA 2nd Boer War, in India during the Partition of Bengal, discharged 1912, emigrated to Australia 1912, enlisted in Australia at the outbreak of WW1 and died Anzac, Gallipoli 24 November 1915. Lest we forget.
 
 
#
Nautilus
2013-08-13 17:23

So they want to put on few shows to celebrate the slaughter that claimed 16 million lives. We could put on ‘Oh What a Lovely War!’ or a few episodes of ‘Blackadder’ and some of our independista artists could write plays about the disproportionat  e loss of life suffered by cannon-fodder Scots fighting for our nobility and royalty over an Archduke who was assassinated in Sarajevo.
Scots writers could remind us of the Oxbridge- educated toffs leading from behind, and perhaps remind us that they are still with us today, shouting, ‘We’re all in this together – us at the back, too.’ If they want to celebrate the start of this miserable slaughter, we too can make our contribution to the Edinburgh Festival.
The whole idea is sick and I think it will backfire big time.
 
 
#
Glenbuchat
2013-08-13 17:30

The word “celebration” is only ever used by those who seek to criticise what will be a four year programme of events and initiatives to commemorate and mark the events of the First World War. This will include remembering what happened at home; including the rent strikes, conscientious objectors, radical opposition to the war, as well as the sacrifice and suffering on the field of battle.

That the anniversary of the outbreak of war in 1914 falls on the day after the end of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow offers a huge opportunity to emphasise that the war effort was one that involved citizens from every corner of what is now the Commonwealth. It is right therefore that the entire focus for that day’s events should be in Glasgow where representatives from throughout the Commonwealth are already gathered.

This is no “celebration” or jingoistic Britfest but sincere commemoration and a genuine attempt to emphasise the wider lessons of our shared history.
 
 
#
snowthistle
2013-08-13 18:34

I do hope so Glenbuchat, we’ll wait and see.
Personally I think it will be difficult to turn it into a “jingoistic Britfest” when you consider the facts about the war to end all wars.
 

 
#
Edna Caine
2013-08-13 17:40

What is “Sir” Mills role? Isn’t he merely the director of the official Festival which has always been aimed at the canape-stuffed burghers of the establishment.

His censorship of the official festival’s content could provide an opportunity for the artists and performers of the Fringe to present works with an eye on the referendum debate. It may prove to be a blessing in disguise, giving the Fringe a chance to break out of the rut it has got itself into recently.
 
 
#
maisiedotts
2013-08-13 17:51

O/T I have been watching this story (and it is really good news) which appeared on the BBC site just before lunchtime not as a major story – which it is – but in the minor news list. First published at 11.29 today it has now (17:46) been moved to the Scottish Business section and off the news page. Inconvenient facts??

Now why would BBC not think the installation of the drilling and production jacket of the £4.5 billion Clair field not worthy of at least a few hours as a major story?

bbc.co.uk/…/…
 
 
#
BetterTogetherForWho
2013-08-13 17:51

It seems a strange decision to me to commemorate the start of a war. I think most peace loving peoples would look to commemorate the end of the first world war. To my mind this is another cynical attempt by westminster to distract the Scottish people away from present day struggles. Perhaps this says more about the war mongers of Westminster who have dragged the UK into 2 wars since the turn of this century. No doubt we will be subjected to the ‘big push’ in propaganda as the BBC go ‘over the top’.
 
 
#
cuckooshoe
2013-08-13 18:19

“Instead the central themes will include the First World War commemorations which begin one week before the festival itself starts and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games which will have just ended.

Speaking at the weekend, Mills insisted the decision was taken in order to ensure the festival’s political neutrality.”

This reminded me of something I read in the Telegraph..

telegraph.co.uk/…/…

“Senior figures in the government are also crossing their fingers that the First World War programme gives a political boost to the campaign for a “No” vote in next year’s referendum on Scottish Independence. August 4 next year, the start of the commemorations, is just over six weeks before the independence vote north of the border, which will be held on 18 September.”
 
 
#
jinglyjangly
2013-08-13 19:23

Maybe they are celebrating the fact that
conveniently the first world war stopped the third reading of the Scottish Home Rule act and if this had been brought into place then we would probably been
independent for some time.
Following from BBC website
quote
Between 1889 and 1914 Scottish home rule was debated 15 times in Parliament, including the introduction of four bills. In 1913 a Home Rule Bill passed its second reading. World War I then intervened and the idea was dropped but support for home rule had been on the wane in any case, as campaigning for it meant associating with the more outspoken Irish home rule activists. This alienated support within Scotland both for the Liberals and constitutional change.

unquote
 
 
#
cynicalHighlander
2013-08-13 19:46

Signatures required.

Sir Johnathan Mills, Director of Edinburgh Festival: Lift the BAN on any Scots Independence themed shows in next years Festival: change.org/…/…
 
 
#
bringiton
2013-08-13 19:49

There will be no neutrality in next year’s referendum.If nothing else,this person is showing contempt for freedom of expression.
Artists and producers should be allowed to entertain and inform their audience without having political restrictions placed upon them.
This is clearly an establishment man who will not be seen as rocking the Greater England boat.
Shutting down the debate is entirely part of the No establishment tactics and this decision makes it quite clear where his sympathies lie.
Utterly disgraceful and let’s hope we do not see his like again.
 
 
#
SolTiger
2013-08-13 19:55

I guess we’ll have to hope for a fringe to The Fringe that actually talks about important issues like Independence.

There could also be a backlash of rule bending. Not allowed a show focused on Independence…okay how about a show on how disgusting illegal and irrational wars are and the damage they have done to Scotland at the behest of London through history.
 
 
#
hetty
2013-08-13 21:39

Speaks volumes really, there will be many many plays, artworks, music scores, etc coming out about Independence as result of this censorship, in fact, is that the idea? Look forward to Fringe 2014, and here’s to freedom of expression, time to get creating!
 
 
#
X_Sticks
2013-08-13 21:39

State censorship.

Wrong in so many ways.

Commemorate the British war, but no debate over the future of your own country in its Capital city. Disgraceful.

I hope there’s a fight over this.
 
 
#
chicmac
2013-08-14 17:20

Sssh!,… don’t mention the wa.. oh!, they are doing.
 

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