Greenock Telegraph 30th August 2019

The latest outburst of British unionist propaganda that I have come across is the Minister for Arts Heritage and Tourism, Rebecca Pow, proclaiming the Edinburgh International Festival to be a “massive British showcase of our arts, our culture, our performers, our musicians, our actors , our writers” she then goes onto describe, amongst this self-styled Brit fest, without a hint of irony,  the military tattoo as the “piece de residence”. Apparently amidst our great British culture we just don’t have the words to describe how good it is. What annoys me about this propaganda, is that it’s lazy. It’s a poorly thought out attempt to stick a Union Jack on an event hosted in Scotland that is proud to involve countries from around the globe. What makes the festival great is its internationalism, its diversity. It was created as an arts festival in 1947 to bring countries together. It was a festival conceived to heal the wounds of war through the languages of the arts. It has grown to include jazz, literature, theatre, drama and at every turn has been decidedly non-competitive. So it’s sad to hear a minister of the United Kingdom Government proclaiming Britain being best at all this art and culture stuff. It’s typical of the narrow-minded nationalism that is the Brexit movement. And yet we in the SNP are criticised for being a national party even though our mantra is for an inclusive Scotland that welcomes immigration and embraces diversity. With a newly found budget of £100 million to sell Brexit to the electorate, sadly we can expect a lot more of this Union Jack nonsense. Let’s recognise it for what it is. It’s an advertising campaign just like many others trying to sell you something you either don’t need or already have.