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Future of Scotland (clip 2)

A snapshot Scotland's industries, education and culture in 1948

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A look at Scotland's industries, education and culture during the austerity period immediately following World War II as part of a series of documentaries called, This Modern Age. This clip focuses on culture and politics. Tom Johnston, the former Secretary of State, talks about the problems of direct rule from Westminster and we are warned that Scottish Nationalism (SNP) may result if a middle way is not found.

Questions & Activities


  • Who made this film and why?
  • How is Scotland depicted as being different?
  • What was the postwar Scottish Renaissance?
  • What are seen as Scotland's strengths and weaknesses?
  • Do you feel insulted or pleased by the content of the film? Is it biased?


English / Modern Studies / History: Discuss why societies need to create their own narratives and in particular talk about periods of change, renewal and renaissance.

Politics: Why did people think there was a need for a Scottish Parliament? Debate whether unity or independence is more important.

History: Research the collapse of empire that was taking place at the time this film was made and how this might influence the political views expressed in this film.

English / Modern Studies: Make a news report for the Alpha Centurai Galactic broadcasting service focusing on current Scottish Society and its politics. Think about whether Scotland would be viewed as inward or outward looking and how the country would be compared to other countries on Planet Earth, economically, sociologically, artistically and psychologically. You might want to discuss whether Scotland and the UK would get a positive or negative report and why?

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-051-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0303
Date 1948 (Edinburgh Festival)
Genre Documentary
School Subject English, Media Studies, Modern Studies, Politics
Who J. Arthur Rank Organisation (sponsor), Sergei Nolbander (production company)
Where Annan, Edinburgh
Event Edinburgh Festival, Hogmanay
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 6:37
Film Length 21:00