THE tourism operator who challenged a heritage museum on the Isle of Arran over its account of the Clearances has set up a social media forum to discuss the many matters of dispute in Scottish history.

Catriona Stevenson established the “History Police” pages on the website of her company Clyde Coast Tourism, but after a series of encounters with factual inaccuracies at venues throughout Scotland, she has expanded to Twitter and Facebook.

Using #historypolice, 31-year-old Stevenson says the forum is for “discussion and inspiration”, and it is already proving popular and controversial.

South African-born but proud of her Scottish roots and family, Stevenson says she is often aghast at the inaccuracies and “sheer bias” that she regularly sees even on professionally produced historical displays and panels.

Stevenson explained: “I want people to be aware of what’s going on around Scotland with regard to our history being trashed. I will say, however, that #historypolice is more of a discussion forum than a moaners’ charter. It’s all about inspiring people to learn the history of Scotland.”

She told The National of several examples where history has been altered: “One of the worst things that really annoys me is that we still see people and organisations referring to King James I and King James II when they mean King James VI and VII, and that happens all the time.

“I have been going around places all over Scotland for years and finding things that just grated on me.

“I saw one panel in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games which said that James Watt was born in Glasgow – I complained that he was born in Greenock and the panel was changed.

“Even at Bannockburn there’s a claim that Robert the Bruce murdered John Comyn in Dumfries, when the accounts of the actual happening are very dubious.

“It might just have been a fight or a duel during which Bruce killed Comyn – he definitely fatally wounded him.

“To say to Scots that one of your greatest heroes is a murderer on holy ground is about making out that the Bruce was somehow a lesser king, and he absolutely was not.”

Stevenson blames poor education about Scottish history for the inaccuracy and bias she encounters.

She said: “There is so much ignorance about Scottish history because Scottish history is not taught well in schools, though it is better than it used to be.

“You get taught a very basic history of Scotland. Take the Jacobite uprisings, which are always taught wrongly in my opinion – it’s all about 18th and 19th century British propaganda.

“I was standing with tourists on Culloden battlefield recently when a woman exclaimed ‘but the Jacobites were terrorists’.

“We get taught that it was about Highlanders versus Lowlanders, that Scot fought against Scot, that it was Catholics fighting against Protestants.

“In short, we get taught it was a Scottish civil war, and thanks to British propaganda, so many Scots think it was a British victory when in fact the uprising really was about Scottish sovereignty first and foremost.”

Stevenson accepts that sometimes history has to be re-written due to new evidence: “There is one castle that I have had dealings with, Doune Castle, where archaeological digs have shown that the facts that had been told to people for decades are not actually completely true. To their credit, they are fixing that.”

Policing history has become a personal crusade for Stevenson: “I like to give respect to the past so that we can learn something for the future. “There’s no real unbiased account of our history, and there will always be differences of opinion, but we have to be honest about the views we have because history matters always. “Even in our own time, thanks to Wikileaks we know that David Cameron asked that Outlander not be shown on television here before the 2014 referendum.

“He thought it might have an effect like Braveheart which shows how ignorant he is about Scotland because we are far too clever to make judgements about our future based on fictional accounts of Scotland’s past."