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Scotland 2014 and Beyond – Coming of Age and Loss of Innocence?


Edited By Klaus Peter Müller

This book examines Scotland from a great variety of international and disciplinary perspectives, offering viewpoints from ordinary citizens as well as experts in culture, history, literature, sociology, politics, the law, and the media. The texts investigate the mental processes, dispositions, and activities that have been involved in past and present discussions about Scottish independence, freedom, equality, justice, and the creation of a fair society. Such discussions have been shaped by specific values, ideologies, class or personal interests and objectives as well as by specific ways of telling their stories. These are analysed together with the European, global, and democratic dimensions of Scotland, in order to find answers to the question how coming of age might be achieved today.
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‘Project Fear’ in a Longitudinal Context: Neil Blain (Stirling)


This chapter addresses the operation and context of ‘Project Fear’, a term emerging from the Better Together campaign, understood here as the tendency for unionist argument to express itself through repeated warnings of risk over independence. Accompanying an analysis of aspects of media representation, two larger contexts are proposed. A history of external representation of Scotland and the Scots as needy and unfit for self-determination is discussed, as is the Scottish cultural tendency to develop tropes asserting deficiency in the national character. The implication of these present conjunctures is considered.

Look at the readers’ comments left on any UK newspaper website and you will often see Scots derided as educationally subnormal scroungers, whingers, dupes, drunks, parasites and much worse. There is a patronising, scolding tone to much UK newspaper commentary, which would be offensive were it applied to ethnic minorities. (Macwhirter 2014)

These supposed racial traits of the Scottish are the continual target of the North Briton: the Scots are either servile or offensively ambitious, being the Scottish victims of arbitrary government, as opposed to freeborn Englishmen. […] The Scottish are animalistic in their determinism (economic or otherwise); their intrinsic weakness and poverty make them scavenge and forage for any advantage. (Rounce 2005, 25)

The argument below explores historical aspects of the cultural and psychological conditions in which ‘Project Fear’ has functioned to influence Scottish opinions on independence, relating these conditions to trends in the media representation of the referendum debate. The term was first...

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