Scottish writers back declaration of independence

Prominent Scottish literary figures and celebrities are, as I noted on Monday, refusing to attend the opening of the Scottish parliament building because the Queen of England will preside over the ceremonies.

Writers James Kelman, Alasdair Gray, Irvine Welsh and Iain Banks are endorsing The Declaration of Calton Hill, “a call for independence organised by the Scottish Socialist Party.” According to the BBC:

The 450-word declaration calls for Scotland to be freed from the “hierarchical and anti-democratic institutions of the British state” and declares: “We believe the right to self-determination is an inherent right, and not a favour to be granted . . . by the Crown.”

Today Scotland’s national poet, Edwin Morgan, backed the declaration. Despite Morgan’s views, one of his poems will be read before the Queen at opening of the parliament building. Morgan says he will not block the reading because:

The poem I was asked to write was for the opening of the parliament, and it’s about the building and the people who will work in it. . . . I’m not really bothered by the Queen liking it or not. It’s not really for her, it’s for Scotland in general.

(Via Places for Writers.)


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