The KIRRIEMUIR branch of the Saltire Society was honoured by a visit from its president, Magnus Linklater, who had been invited to give his view on the future of Scotland.
Magnus Linklater is a Scottish journalist, landowner, and former newspaper editor. He is an Orcadian, son of the late author Eric Linklater.
He worked as a journalist for the Daily Express, Observer and Sunday Times, and served as editor of the Scotsman from 1988 to 1994. Mr Linklater is a former chairman of the Scottish Arts Council and continues as an author and journalist.
He holds honorary degrees from Napier University also Aberdeen and Glasgow Universities, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and resides in Edinburgh. He was appointed this president of the Saltire Society this year.
He began by taking group members back through the political developments of recent years, the gradual process toward Devolution, the shock of the SNP victory to the established order. He examined the state of opinion in the country at the moment. He then told a little about his own family’s excursions into politics.
Mr Linklater examined some of the questions everyone must address before casting their vote in the referendum, considerations of the wallet, the head but also the heart.
He examined some of the economic issues such as the Euro versus the pound in the event of a yes vote, whether Scotland would thrive or merely survive.
Whilst Scotland could once have been among the eight richest countries in the world, had she had independence in the early days of the oil industry, that no longer held to the same extent. He considered the difference a younger electorate might make and the vastly greater part to be played by the various electronic media in making the case for or against. It would be the most important political decision that we would make in our lifetimes.
The audience was completely gripped by his masterly exposition and many question were asked from the floor. Mr Linklater gave members a great deal to think about in our preparation for the big decision but also warned that they would be heartily sick of the whole subject by the time the referendum actually takes place!
The November meeting will take place in the Old Parish Church Hall on Wednesday, November 14, at 7.30pm when Brian Kelly will discuss ‘From Prosen to the Pole-Scott, Wilson and the Antarctic Adventure’.