Scotland is a small country with many social and economic problems.
It is a country full of negative attitudes, low confidence, lethargic workers, frustrated ambitions and broken promises.
But Scotland is also a small country with enormous potential.
It is a country that offers a rich array of natural resources, gifted engineers, medical researchers and entrepreneurs.
It is a country with a fascinatingly complex history; an incredible diversity of people from many traditions and many countries; and a fantastic wealth of writers, artists and philosophers, that very few people will ever get the opportunity to discover or appreciate.
That is why I would be completely in support of the Scottish Government’s intention to introduce Scottish Studies to schools pupils of all ages. Under this proposal, it would be compulsory to learn about Scotland’s history, literature, language and culture.
Yet this proposal has been met with cynicism and derisory comment from opposition political parties.
Liz Smith, Scottish Conservative Education Spokeswoman, has raised concerns about the ‘pseudo-nationalist undertones’ of this subject and suggests that there is absolutely no need for it as English and History already cover most of the subject matter anyway.
And the Scottish Liberal Democrat Education Spokesman, Liam McArthur, has warned that SNP ministers could be tempted to ‘hijack the curriculum for their own political purposes’.
I find it absolutely astonishing that there could be such opposition to the introduction of Scottish Studies in Scotland.
It would be fair enough to raise your concerns if another nation’s culture, history, language and literature had been forced on you…but your own?
I find it appalling that an opportunity to improve cultural awareness and create historical curiosity in your own country has become a party political issue – amongst Scottish parties!
Why would you not want to learn more about the culture and history of your country? Why would you not want to understand the language and literature that helped shape your nation?
Are the opposition parties worried that if a dependent nation finally started to appreciate its own worth, it may just start to believe that it could have a positive, independent role to play in the world again?
It is highly unlikely that Scottish schools could become the hubs of nationalist indoctrination, as feared; and even if schools were to share the story of Scotland in a passionate and patriotic manner, the decision to become independent or otherwise would be minimally affected.
But in commenting this way, the opposition parties have effectively declared their hand:
Learning about your country is good, but only in so far as it does not destabilise the status quo.