Debunking the myth - part one
Neil Davidson The origins of Scottish nationhood Pluto Press, London 2000, pp264, pbk, £14.99
For the Socialist Workers Party the question of Scotland - along with most other big constitutional and democratic matters - is a gaping black hole. There has been no serious theory, no in-depth historical study, no fully informed debate, no clear programmatic perspectives - let alone a concerted fight by the comrades to secure working class hegemony over the burning issue of Scottish self-determination. By anybody's reckoning a crucial weak link in the United Kingdom's constitutional chain.
In its own right all the SWP has been able to offer is the standard menu of NHS funding, uniting black and white around wage strikes, anti-cuts protests, etc, and, of course, for the sake of decorative speechifying a splendid but disconnected vision of socialism. Be it Glasgow or Birmingham, Aberdeen or Belfast, Dundee or Cardiff, the SWP effectively tells its militants that everywhere is the same: "Scottish workers," wrote Chris Bambery, "want the same thing as those south of the border - decent schools and hospitals, union rights and job security" (C Bambery Scotland: the socialist answer London 1997, p16).
The message is clear and unmistakable - improve the lot of workers as a slave class in the here and now, ignore or downplay democratic demands concerning the constitution - and gain solace from the inevitability of socialism. In Scotland the lamentable results of such economism were eminently predictable.
On the one hand, faced with Tony Blair's unfolding constitutional revolution from above and his offer of a sop parliament in Edinburgh, the SWP was easily seduced. Something, anything, must be better than nothing. A Holyrood parliament would supposedly be a small advance and monstrously to do "anything else" other than vote 'yes, yes' in the September 11 1997 rigged referendum would be to line up with "British nationalists and the Tories" (Socialist Worker June 14 1997). Similar misplaced and altogether hypocritical moral ultimatums come from the lips of Labour candidates at every general election.
Be that as it may, following their lesser-of-two-evils logic - and in the name of anti-Toryism, bourgeois progress and a totemic socialism - the SWP became acquiescent camp followers of Donald Dewar and the Scotland Forward 'yes' campaign. Scottish Militant Labour did the same. Tony Blair and New Labour were thereby provided with leftwing credentials free of charge and the first real opportunity of mounting a mass working class challenge to Blairism through an active boycott campaign was squandered.
Nor, on the other hand, has the SWP provided a strong alternative vis-à -vis the rise of Scottish nationalism and the pro-independence double act, the Scottish National Party and Scottish Socialist Party. The SWP effectively surrenders the high ground to such formations through defensively adopting an agnostic stance concerning the 'break-up of Britain'. The historically constituted unity of the working class movement in Britain is not treasured and guarded: rather it is treated casually as a matter of indifference, something of almost no consequence. Nationalism can only but be the winner. At root the SWP's tailism and irresolution before both Labourite reformism and Scottish nationalism lies in an abject failure of theory.
No doubt due to the pressure of events, including the success of rival forces, signs of change are slowly appearing. Encouragingly over the last couple of years a somewhat chastened SWP has begun to recognise the necessity of having an adequate theory on Scottish consciousness, nationhood and nationalism. In November 1998 it launched 'Socialism in Scotland'. One of the stated aims of this Glasgow mini-'Marxism' was to "kick-start a discussion among socialists in Scotland on a wide range of issues" (C Bambery [ed] Scotland, class and nation London 1999, pvii). The stubborn fact that Scottish politics is coloured at every level by a palpable national question could hardly be avoided. Thankfully, instead of being explained away as mere tartanry or pandering to the pervasive nationalist sentiment in Scotland, the issue was approached historically and to a degree combatively addressed.
Attended by over 500 people, the conference saw a whole range of different openings and sessions on the national question and various closely associated aspects of the class and cultural struggle in Scotland. The more outstanding efforts came to fruition in the shape of a selection of essays edited by Chris Bambery and published in 1999 - Scotland, class and nation - interestingly the bulk of which is made up of a study by Neil Davidson on Scotland's supposed long 'bourgeois revolution' in the 18th century. This work - begun in early 1993 - forms the cornerstone of his The origins of Scottish nationhood.
Davidson writes not only as a card-carrying member of the SWP. That his book comes highly recommended by an Alex Callinicos blurb, that he spoke at 'Marxism' in July 1999, and that he has had over recent years a couple of authoritative articles printed in International Socialism indicates his standing as far as the SWP leadership is concerned ('In perspective: Tom Nairn' International Socialism No82 spring 1999 and 'The trouble with "ethnicity"', No84, autumn 1999). He must therefore be considered as de facto the SWP's main theorist on the Scottish national question.
Davidson has written a well argued and stimulating book. The origins of Scottish nationhood follows in the footsteps of the ground-breaking work of the Communist Party's historians group - Christopher Hill, AL Morton, Rodney Hilton, Donna Torr, Edward Thompson, etc - and later equally partisan writers on national history such as Glyn Williams, Brian Manning and Eric Hobsbawm. In terms of sophistication and sweep he puts the SWP far in advance of the puny 'theoretical' efforts of SSP tops. Neither the leadership faction of Hugh Kerr, Tommy Sheridan, Bill Bonnar, Alan McCombes and Allan Green, nor the semi-official opposition faction around Phil Stott in Dundee, have produced anything comparable. Their Scottish national socialism rests precariously on a wobbly construct of anti-English legends, kailyard reformism and the upward curve of pro-independence opinion polls. Davidson's book provides both a theory and abundant historical evidence which comprehensively undermines the adopted nationalist myths and method peddled by both leadership wings of the SSP. In that sense, if in no other, comrade Davidson has done the whole working class movement in Britain a service.
Having given, let me take. Though I broadly concur with the general thrust of comrade Davidson's argument, there are important areas of disagreement which, if left unchallenged and uncorrected, could lead to wrong, not to say dangerous, political conclusions. Basically my differences with Davidson centre on three main questions. Firstly, what appears to be a purely subjective definition of the nation. Secondly, his belief that the bourgeoisie and capitalism are virtually synonymous and that every country dominated by the capitalist mode of production must have undergone its bourgeois revolution. Thirdly, as a political historian he inexcusably offers only socialist platitudes when it comes to programmatic solutions in terms of Scotland and the UK's monarchist constitution. Nevertheless because misconceptions on the national question, and in particular the national question in the United Kingdom, are so widespread and have led to such disastrous results, not least in Scotland, alongside the disagreements I will highlight and discuss and at some length my agreements.
1.1. Was there a Scottish nation before 1707?
Davidson's essential thesis is that there was not, and could not have been, a Scottish nation prior to the 1707 Act of Union and that the origin of the modern sense of Scottish nationhood and nationality are to be found in the evolution and existence of the British nation, of which Scotland is a distinct but integral part. (He bases this on objective factors such as language and economy which we will examine in part two of this article.) In 1707 Scotland was a state (a kingdom, as it is constitutionally still today). Yet it was not a nation, says Davidson. Readers of the Weekly Worker will be aware that Jack Conrad has advanced a similar argument. In contrast, as Davidson points out, the whole range of Scottish nationalist historians, writers and cock-and-bull polemicists take the Scottish nation as a given. Tommy Sheridan has gone into print protesting against 300 years of Scottish national oppression and routinely calls for Scotland to be a free nation once again.
Nationalists are prone to unthinkingly place the beginning of Scotland back in the mists of time - to the ancient Picts, or the arrival of the Scots from Ireland, or the accession of the mac Alpine kings in the 9th century. Slightly less fanciful and certainly more challenging is the notion that Scotland achieved national consciousness and nationhood in high medieval times. The 'war of independence' against 'England', the famous 1320 Declaration of Arbroath and William Wallace's victory at Stirling Bridge, where he deployed massed peasant pikemen in dense circular formations (schiltrons), are all cited as clinching evidence.
Theoretical underpinning for this widely accepted idea was supplied by the 'official communist', John Foster - an academic of some repute. Unlike most Marxists, who link nations with the rise of capitalist relations of production, he maintains that the Scottish nation was almost entirely a "feudal creation" (J Foster, 'Capitalism and the Scottish nation' in G Brown (ed) The red paper on Scotland Edinburgh 1975, p142). The "founding elements" of Scottish law, language (lowland Scots) and literature (the Markers) all "stem from the last three centuries of the middle ages", he says (ibid).
According to such a version of history, the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745 were as much expressions of Scottish national resistance against English colonial expansionism as a dynastic struggle between the deposed Stewarts and the newly installed Hanoverians. Scotland's popular culture, as it comes down to us today, is thereby primarily one of national resistance to foreign domination. Not surprisingly Britain and Britishness are dismissed as nothing more than an elitist unity, a fragile and fading imperial construct beneath which the "real" nations of England, Scotland and Wales lie ready waiting for their moment of freedom - the leftist version of which culminates, of course, in a Scottish socialism or a Scottish workers' republic.
Davidson does an excellent demolition job. It is, he shows, a fundamental mistake to imagine today's nations backwards. Medieval kingdoms did not have a predestiny to form modern states moving through the stages of establishing national consciousness before finally finding rightful boundaries in the nation state. Most medieval kingdoms disappear in the fractured course of history: eg, Mercia, Navarre, Arelat, Sicily. Modern states do though, invariably, invent for themselves and their citizens, an ancient history on the basis of a largely mythical narrative. Present-day France claims origins in ancient Gaul, forgetting that the French language is Latin, not Celtic, in root and that the name France itself derives from 4th and 5th century Germanic conquistadors. The other 'Frances' of Brittany, Gascony, Provencal, etc are certainly ignored in favour of an Ile-de-France which supposedly inevitably swept all before it from the year 1000 onwards.
There were commonalties in the pre-modern period, but, argues Davidson, they "cannot be equated with nationalism" (p26). Take the Greeks of ancient Hellas. These people spoke the same common language, but with distinct tribal dialects. They shared the same common territory, but fought innumerable wars against each other. They had a recognisably common culture vis-à -vis barbarian outsiders, but they were not united economically. Scattered self-sufficient peasant agriculture, tribal identity, petty artisan manufacture and painfully slow internal communications saw the Greeks living in numerous rival poleis. There was no Greek nation. Objective conditions did not allow it.
The same applies to medieval Europe. Virtually everyone was a christian and regularly attended church. Besides the commonality of religion there was the commonality of class. Yet the feudal ruling classes had far more in common with each other culturally, psychologically and economically across the frontiers of crown domains than with the exploited peasants below. The masses themselves had lived relationships that were "suffocatingly" narrow - essentially localist and determined by village, manor and church dioceses (p27).
To the extent there was a wider popular consciousness it was regnal - one founded on loyalty to the monarch or institution of the monarchy. Hence Kentish peasants in 1381 could imagine a bond between themselves and the boy-king, Richard II. Needless to say, that bond was not national. The first language of the Anjou and Plantagenet kings of England was not English, but Norman French. Moreover these kings of England were also overlords in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, as well as being feudal magnets exploiting large tracts of France. Indeed as far as surplus extraction was concerned these 'English' kings derived most of their wealth, and therefore accumulated political-military power, from their French, not English possessions. In that sense Henry II of England is best thought of as Henri of Argevin.
As to 'nation' it is, of course, an ancient term. For example in the 3rd century Vulgate bible the Greek word 'ethnos' and Latin 'natio' referred to the original Middle Eastern tribal formations whose "dismal fate" is recounted in the book of Jeremiah. 'Natio' was transformed into 'nacioun' in the first English versions of the bible and became 'nation' in the authorised version of 1611. For these authors and translators of the bible nation was something more than a state or kingdom. It corresponded to a 'people' who were assumed to be a natural, inherited community of tradition, custom. law and descent. Nation designated therefore the 'gens' or 'populus', who were presumed to have a common biological descent.
Origin myths were used to establish and explain the commonality of people. For example, the Franks were traced back to the arrival of exiled Trojans in the Rhineland. Davidson proposes that if the medieval nation was defined in "racial" or biological terms, then the idea of "race" was based on the possession of a common language: ie, language makes race. Hence during medieval times university students in Prague were organised into four 'nations', as were the knights of the Hospitallers in the Levant: eg, the 'Bohemian' and 'Frankish' 'nations'. The material fact of language could only but produce a distinct consciousness when confronted by others. The medieval kingdom of Scotland was, we note, home not to one common language or 'nation': more like four.
1.2. A medieval 'nation'
So what of medieval Scotland? We have already referred to the Declaration of Arbroath and the so-called 'Scottish war of independence'. My view - which upset many left nationalists in Scotland - is that the "popular belief that William Wallace, and following him Robert Bruce, led some sort of 'war of independence' against the English is a combination of 19th century myth and Hollywood hokum". As for the celebrated Declaration of Arbroath, it acquired its status of a "surrogate Scottish constitution" only in modern times (Weekly Worker November 19 1998). In essence the conflict between 'England' and 'Scotland' after 1296 was no different from the Wars of the Roses: ie, an internal struggle between rival feudal interests whose ideology was based on past notions of fief and vassalage, not future notions of nation and nationality. The castellan Norman lords in Scotland were 'traditionalists' defending their exclusive right to exploit their serfs. Edward I was the 'revolutionary' centraliser.
My premise is that during this medieval period both 'Scotland' and 'England' were little more than geographical expressions. There was then no war between Scotland and England. Rather wars by the kings of England in Scotland - a crucial distinction. In this context the Declaration of Arbroath - which took the form of an appeal by the barons and feudal elite in Scotland to pope John XXII in Avignon - was to all intents and purposes no different from the Magna Carta in England, the Charter of Ottokar in Syria or the Golden Bull in Hungary. Lurking behind the stirring and eloquent phrases about "good men" and being "for freedom alone" there was indeed the "fight for riches". Under the rubric of their ancient liberties the 'traditionalist' barons were determined to limit the 'revolutionary' centralising power of a hegemonic crown so that they could secure a greater share of the surplus product squeezed from the downtrodden peasantry.
Davidson confirms this interpretation. He writes that the "sonorous wording" of the Declaration is a "clear statement", amongst other things, that the feudal ruling class in Scotland still considered themselves a "nation" in the pre-modern, not the modern sense of the term (p48). The preamble is typically medieval: the "Scots nation" came from "Greater Sythia" through the Pillars of Hercules to Scotland, triumphs over Britons and Picts and survives the attacks by "Norwegians, Danes and English" (p49). As Davidson argues, if as nationalists claim Scotland was a proto-nation in these ancient times, then logically so must be the Britons and Picts. However, the purpose of the Declaration was clear. It was an attempt to legitimise the independence of the Scottish kingdom by recourse to myth.
There is no continuity between the forms of consciousness used in the Declaration and that of modern Scots people. The kings and nobles of both England and Scotland were feudalists - with a Norman French-derived culture (they married wives from across the whole of north western Europe). This 'cosmopolitan' class entertained no modern-day notions of nation. The idea of a national liberation war would have been utterly incomprehensible to them. Their realms of exploitation, commonality and rivalry invariably overlapped.
'Scottish' nobles - such as John Comyn - fought with Edward I in his conquest of Wales. The 'Scottish' Balliol family still held lands in France. Robert de Bruce, the Earl of Carrick, was a vassal of Edward I. As we have noted, the Plantagenet and Anjou 'English' kings themselves occupied tracts of France - notably Gascony, Aquitaine and Poitou - and often actively promoted claims on the French throne. The 'English' armies of Edward I and II used in Scotland were recruited in large numbers from feudal domains in France, Ireland and Wales. Their wars in Scotland were moreover solidly based on feudal, not national rights.
Edward I certainly sought to incorporate the territory of the kingdom of Scotland into his feudal empire. At first the means were peaceful. The Treaty of Birgham in 1290 set out terms of a future dynastic union through the marriage of Margaret, the 'Maid of Norway', and Edward's son. The interests of the ruling elite in Scotland would have been left unaffected. The merger was to be of crowns with no disturbing change. There was to be no 1066-type takeover.
As we know, the United Kingdom had to wait for another three centuries or so before seeing the light of day. Margaret died and triggered a constitutional crisis in Scotland. Edward I quickly moved to assert his overlordship. John Balliol was appointed king under Edward's sponsorship and duly paid homage to him in December 1292.
Internal feudal contradictions in Scotland and Edward's onerous demands placed on his vassals drove king John to rebellion. Instead of meekly accepting Edward's domination the 'Scottish' feudalists mustered an army - including commoners - at Caddonlee. The Scots were comprehensively routed in a 17-day blitzkrieg. Edward I stripped a captured Balliol of his feudal trappings in a humiliating ceremony held at Montrose Castle in July 1296. His tabard, hood and knightly girdle were physically removed.
Yet though Edward's means shifted from those of peaceful diplomacy to naked force, this ran in parallel with, and often in contradiction to, his individual fief-vassal relationship with the great Norman families in Scotland. Here lies the explanation for the 'sinister' role of the elder Bruce, etc, and the constant shifts in alliances as the 'Scots' feudalists gradually turned the tables on the 'English' - Stirling Bridge being a crucial early battle. There were in fact no national patriots, defeatists, collaborators or traitors in the modern sense. After winning at Bannockburn in 1314 the 'Scottish' nobility sought to expand its influence into Wales and Ireland. The 'war of independence' continued as an internecine conflict between the Bruce and Balliol families.
Left nationalists cite not only the Declaration of Arbroath, but William Wallace and the social composition of the army which fought with him at Stirling Bridge and for Bruce at Bannockburn as proof that popular nationalist consciousness existed in medieval Scotland. Davidson quotes the 'Scottish EP Thompson', Thomas Johnston. According to the author of The history of the working classes in Scotland, those responsible for the defeat of the 'English' army in 1314 "were the working class, and it was their charge on the field that won the battle of Bannockburn" (p50). Members of the SSP today still repeat the same nonsense. Apparently the presence of urban plebeians and peasants is meant to show that the 'wars of independence' had a popular character. These comrades actually put Wallace and his army in the same league as Spartacus, Wat Tyler and the Levellers: ie here we had a revolutionary class movement from below.
So did Wallace lead a slave revolt? Though the idea is persistent, Davidson thinks not. Bannockburn, won under Bruce, the future Robert II, involved no decisive action by commoners. Stirling Bridge did. However, Davidson reasons, there is a huge difference between rallying an army of commoners and being an army of and for the commoners. The fact that Wallace's forces at Stirling Bridge in 1297 consisted mainly of foot soldiers and his tactical deployment of pikemen in schiltrons does not "in itself" demonstrate the existence of "national consciousness" (p51).
There have been popular mobilisations in support of rival elites since the dawn of history. Davidson mentions the Greek city states and their peasant-citizen armies. For him the ability of Wallace to form a peasant-plebeian army rested not on any nationalism or national idea: rather on the ideology of regnal solidarity upon which the Declaration of Arbroath draws inspiration. While some middling elements were provoked by Edward I's tax demands, the mass of peasants would, Davidson believes, have remained politically inert as a class for itself.
The idea of illiterate peasants - who lived short, brutish and localised lives - embracing modern notions of nationalism is stretching the imagination to breaking point.
For the sake of left nationalists in Scotland it is also worth stressing the fact that Edward's army assembled before the battle of Falkirk in 1298 included 4,000 cavalry ... but also some 25,000 infantrymen. It is true that Edward represented a rich feudalism. His elaborately armoured and expensively mounted knights were the tank divisions of the day. It is also true that the kingdom of Scotland was a poor feudalism and could afford neither the same numbers of infantry nor heavy cavalry.
That the 'English' feudalists suffered defeats at the hands of the 'Scots' feudalists is testimony in my opinion not to a people's war. Rather it was military incompetence. At Banockburn the 'English' army under the command of Edward II fought on almost suicidal terrain and no doubt due to aristocratic arrogance launched a frontal cavalry charge against massed pikemen. The 'correct' tactic, which soon became standard, was to unleash the English and Welsh longbowmen. These equally plebeian, though highly skilled, forces could easily wreak decimation on any stationary formation. They would fire arrows at a rate "three or four times" faster than a crossbow and with equal accuracy and reach (A Jones The art of war in the western world London 1988, p157). The longbow even proved a match for the elite of French feudalism. Needless to say, neither Crécy nor Agincourt make Edward III and Henry V leaders of a slave revolt. By the same logic Wallace and co's reliance on pikemen proves nothing in and of itself, except that the kingdom of Scotland was a poor feudalism.
All in all, the suggestion that Wallace led a revolt from below in the manner of Spartacus and Wat Tyler is unconvincing. Following Edward I's victory in 1296 many nobles languished in England awaiting ransom. Some had been injured and were unable to take to the field. Others were temporarily cowed. The imposition of Edward I's puppet parliament and plans for a deep feudalism provoked widespread opposition, including from small landowners. However, no 'natural' leadership stepped forth willing to fight. It was into this vacuum that Andrew de Moray emerged in the north and William Wallace in the south. Moray was the son and heir of a leading baron. Wallace had a less elevated lineage. He was the son a Renfrewshire knight.
In the summer of 1297 the Moray-Wallace movement made rapid progress. Nevertheless over these two "commanders of the army of the kingdom of Scotland, and the community of that realm" there stood the great magnets Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, and James the Stewart, who was Wallace's lord. The respective roles of Moray and Wallace are much obscured by the fact that the former died of wounds inflicted at Stirling Bridge. Either way, Wallace became Guardian in Scotland, not in the name of the people, but the "illustrious king" in exile. He was Balliol's regnal champion.
Wallace was, however, no military genius. He only successfully fought one set-piece battle. Stirling Bridge. When his army met the 'English' feudal host at Falkirk in July 1298 the longbowmen destroyed his schiltrons. His status as Guardian was fatally undermined. The resistance of the high aristocracy receded still further. They opted for a peace deal. Like Bruce after 1309 Wallace was forced to turn to guerrilla or 'secret' warfare and raiding the northern English counties. In August 1305 Wallace was captured near Glasgow and taken to London where he was tried, found guilty of treason and executed. Wallace was later used many years later by the forces of democracy in inspiring poems, novels and songs. The same can be said of Hereward the Wake and the long held myth of pre-conquest Anglo-Saxon liberty in England and the Norman yoke. But to confuse origin myths for actual history is a foolish mistake and certainly not worthy of anyone who calls themselves a Marxist.
1.3. The 'holy trinity'
Most historians who think the kingdom of Scotland was a proto-nation or a nation before the 1707 union with the kingdom of England also take the view that it was maintained afterwards "through the various institutions preserved through the treaty" (p51). Namely the kirk, the education system and law. Here we have the so-called 'holy trinity' of Scottish nationhood. Davidson argues, that as there was no sense of nationhood before 1707, the suggestion that the kirk, the education system and the law were bearers of national consciousness can only be but the result of circular reasoning. The whole idea of institutional continuity as a form of national consciousness is flawed anyway. He fields four objections.
First, how did the kirk sermon, legal decisions or classroom lessons preserve national consciousness?
Second, if the 'holy trinity' played the role ascribed to them, then they must have "acquired their social significance" prior to 1707, and yet none of the three institutional examples are convincingly cited from that earlier period, especially education.
Third, before 1707 religion played an unquestionably important role. Not education. "Most Scots," writes Davidson, "would have had no experience" of education "beyond the parish schoolroom, which was in many respects simply an extension of the kirk" (p52). As to the law, Davidson places it in an intermediate position between Scottish education and religion. The 'holy trinity' does not have equal weight.
Fourth, for one group to feel distinct from other national groups there must be an awareness "of the differences between them" (p53). Even if most Scots had contact with the 'holy trinity' that would hardly result in some recognition of themselves as Scottish and therefore different from the English, Irish, etc. The majority of Scots took the 'holy trinity' as natural. They had no need to think about these institutions as specifically Scottish. There was nothing akin to the phenomenon in Ireland, where proto-national consciousness coincided with religion after 1690. Both Gaelic-Irish and Anglo-Irish became Irish-Irish with the persecution of the catholic religion and the imposition of the Anglican religion and the influx of presbyterian settlers from England and above all Scotland into north-eastern Ulster. No one denies the role of Calvinism in Scotland and the presbyterian state-within-a-state form of government. But the majority of Scots never had any reason to make the kirk "the focus of their identity" (p53). What applies to the church applies to education. Davidson insists that education only gained prominence in Scottish life in the 19th century after the 1872 Education (Scotland) Act. It was not mentioned in the 1707 treaty.
Crucially Davidson disputes the notion of national consciousness being preserved institutionally. What was preserved in the law, the kirk and the education system was bureaucratic identity, which by definition must be "undemocratic" (p54). No Scot, on being asked about their national identity, would reply with a homily on the sheriff system, the marvels of kirk sermonising and generalised education. Those who identified with such institutions were in general unionists, states Davidson, who were moreover the very middle class cadre who ran the professions of law, religion and education.
Having touched upon and dealt with the false claims of a Scottish nationhood prior to 1707, we must of necessity discuss Scotland's past and present in light of the Marxist theory of what modern nations are, how they are formed and why the categories of language, territory, economy, psychology and culture are vital in this respect.
These categories and what they mean for our understanding of Scotland, Britain and the United Kingdom will form the subject of the next part of this extended review of comrade Davidson's book.
Debunking the myth - part two