THE CAUSE – Festive Repeats.


BBC Radio Scotland will repeat the series “The Cause: A History of Scottish Nationalism” over the Festive Season.  The broadcast slot of 05.30 – 06.00 am may only suit insomniacs or very early risers but the bonus is that all of the programmes will be available for one week online via the iPlayer. 

The five programmes will go out at 05.30 on Wednesday December 26, Thursday December 27, Friday December 28, Monday December 31, and Tuesday January 1st 2013.

If you are revelling all night on Hogmanay, you can end it in the wee sma hours by tuning into The Cause and taking a dram with the toast ‘Freedom an Whisky gang thegither.’

THE CAUSE REVIEW – The Herald September 29.

Below is an extract from Anne Simpson’s sensitive review of The Cause In her radio column in The Herald.  Under the headline:

History of Nationalism offers big themes to stir the mind.

Anne wrote:

“Not since The Scottish Intellect series caught the ear and stirred the mind has Radio Scotland given us anything quite so illuminating. This was a year ago and the moving spirit behind those programmes was the estimable broadcaster Billy Kay, (pictured) cultural caretaker and keeper of the Scots tongue. Now he is back with a new 5 parter, The Cause: A History of Scottish Nationalism (Radio Scotland Monday 2 pm) which traces the intricate texture of Scottish identity from the Wars of Independence to the rise of the SNP.

In the course of the series, Kay draws on historians and politicians to probe the emotional and cerebral tensions within nationalism.  Monday’s programme also discussed the perceived ‘Anglicisation of Scotland’ during the 1970’s when academic and corporate colonialists came north to take key jobs, their dismissive attitude to Scottish culture no doubt breeding in certain Scots a debilitating chippiness.

Focusing on the Battle of Bannockburn and the Declaration of Arbroath, the programme also brought to life one of many heroic women so often neglected by history: the audacious Isabella, Countess of Buchan whose resilient courage saw her forsake wealth, husband and status to crown Robert the Bruce at Scone. Later captured, she spent years imprisoned in a cage in Berwick, the brutal price of patriotism.

Songs from Burns to Hamish Henderson and poetry from Hugh MacDiarmid to John Barbour illustrate the series which affirms Kay as a clear and insightful communicator of big themes, qualities with which Radio Scotland needs to bolster its programme-planning more often.”