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By Gerry Hassan (auth.)

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Additional resources for Independence of the Scottish Mind: Elite Narratives, Public Spaces and the Making of a Modern Nation

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Another perspective is, as we have seen, to inhabit the world of popular sovereignty and particularly the most recent ‘Claim of Right’ with almost quasi-legal and mythical status: something which would sit in contradistinction to the reality of, for example, the Thatcher Government governing Scotland (or for that matter of any Westminster Government which Scots did not vote for). The other powerful and now often neglected strand is to emphasise Westminster as parts of Scots political culture, and the UK Government as equal to the claim to be ‘Scotland’s Government’ to that of Edinburgh.

In Hirschman’s analysis ‘exit’ is the consumerist form of behaviour; ‘loyalty’ is about class and solidarity; and, traditionally, ‘voice’ has been neglected by left and right (1970: ch. 1). In a subsequent set of analyses, Hirschman developed his thinking more explicitly towards states, writing that ‘Every state – and indeed every organisation – requires for its establishment and existence some limitations or ceilings on the extent of exit or of voice or of both. At the same time an organisation needs minimal or floor levels of exit and voice’ (1981a: 224).

Reinforcing this inequality, the character and intention of British government, polity and statecraft has altered fundamentally, thus radically changing the practice and ideology of the political centre and the values it attempts to promote in its relationships within the UK and internationally. In so doing, this alteration has transformed the British state into what has been called ‘a neo-liberal state’ (Hassan and Barnett, 2009). At the same time, the UK has felt through the Thatcherite, then New Labour, eras that it has permission to increasingly lecture others about the superiority of this view of the world – from government public bodies such as the British Council and the articulation of the ‘creative classes’ discourse, aided by such esteemed and respected institutions as The Economist.

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