Before Bella Caledonia, Common Weals, Aye, Naw or Better Together (and when proto-Brexit was the lunatic fringe)there was this, co-written with Johnny Rodger and the historian Owen Dudley Edwards. Originally written as a series of articles in The Drouth, Tartan Pimps looked at the development of Scottish politics through its literature – theories, pamphlets, diatribes, even the occasional memo. I also illustrated this rather quixotic survey of Scottish political history, which involves the titular Brown and Thatcher, but also Alasdair Gray, John Grierson, and Tom Nairn. Published by Argyll Publishing, 2010.

And what is a Tartan Pimp?

“He – or she – is that member of the political class who sees Scotland as a source of political capital. In the face of indifference from London and the deference shown by its political elites, was it Scotland’s writers who reignited native democracy through creating a virtual’ parliament of letters? If so what were the books that set the stage for devolution? How did this exchange of ideas play into the daily, civil life of the country?”

See here for a review by the late, great Ian Bell –