Tartan and home truths
- Published: Wednesday, 24 June 2009 11:08
Oh, the swing of the kilt and the skirl of the bagpipes! The tens of thousands who gather annually to try their strength at tossing Scottish cabers around ... in Leipzig.
A mania for "the heedrum-hodrum Celtic twilight", which is afflicting parts of northern Europe, is one of the topics to be researched at a new centre for the study of the Scottish diaspora at Edinburgh University.
But since its launch at the end of last month, the new centre, funded by a £1m donation from a Scottish financier, has been caught up in controversy. Its founder, perhaps Scotland's foremost historian, Professor Tom Devine, announced in the opening lecture that he intended to challenge the "Burns supper" school of Scottish history. As a result, he has been subject to attacks by nationalists accusing him of "unionist revisionism".