Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP’s anger over neglect of Scottish culture

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MSP Rona Mackay has said she “looks back in anger” about the treatment of Scottish culture.

The Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP made the comments during a debate in the Scottish Parliament about the new BBC channel.

The lack of investment in Scotland’s new channel is emblematic of the wider erosion of Scottish culture over generations, the MSP said.

Ms Mackay added: “I look back in anger when I think about what has been done to our Scottish culture over the decades.

“The lack of Scottish history taught during my time at school still saddens me. I learned more about the battle of Hastings and Oliver Cromwell than I did about the battle of Bannockburn or the Highland clearances.

“Then there were the generations of children who were belted for not speaking the Queen’s English. Imagine children being denied the right to speak in their mother tongue because it was too Scottish.”

She continued to welcome the introduction of “beautiful” Scots and Gaelic languages into the curriculum, but slated the lack of investment in BBC Alba.

On the new BBC channel, former journalist Ms Mackay said: “The new channel will be a chance to showcase Scotland’s amazing array of national talent in the arts and the media and to encourage future generations to contribute to our rich culture.

“Scotland’s new channel is being funded to the tune of £30 million, but that falls well short of the proportionate share being spent in Northern Ireland and Wales.

“Last year, 55 per cent of licence fee funds raised in Scotland were spent on Scottish network content. In stark contrast, 95 per cent of licence fee funds raised in Wales were spent in Wales, and the comparable figure for Northern Ireland was 74 per cent.”