THE Scottish Government rapped Westminster over an “Anglo-centric” children’s book drawn up by the UK Government to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, it has been revealed.

Email correspondence seen by The Herald, released under Freedom of Information laws, show Scottish civil servants arguing the book should not mention England’s 1966 World Cup victory, saying the win “doesn’t seem to merit this level of exposure” and was “not that relevant in the non-England parts of the UK”.

In total, 52 changes were suggested over six months by bureaucrats in the Curriculum and Qualifications Division, but when asked if they wanted their involvement to be mentioned, they replied: “The Scottish Government is not content to be acknowledged at all in the development or production of this book.”

The book, called Queen Elizabeth: A Platinum Jubilee Celebration, follows the story of a young girl Isabella who is taught the history of the UK and the Commonwealth through a treasure trove of souvenirs at her grandmothers’ house.

But the contents of the book proved contentious and were accused of being “Anglo-centric”, with the Scottish Government taking issue with a lack of representation of important historical moments such as the Jacobite rebellions and the Scottish Enlightenment.

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The book's early drafts included an information box on Brexit and mention of the Queen's intervention during the independence referendum.

Scottish civil servants suggested the latter be taken out because her comments urging Scots to “think very carefully” before the 2014 vote had been widely reported were never confirmed by the Palace.

In the emails exchanged between the governments during the development of the book, the Scottish civil servant says that they and their colleagues are “hardly experts in Scottish history and nuances of constitutional concerns” and asks for more time to share the draft text as there is “interest from ministers and [Special Advisers] on our side.” 

They added: “The risk of not doing that is that issues get picked up by press or politicians after publication and nobody wants that, especially around children and the Jubilee.”

In the initial text, seen by Edinburgh civil servants, DK seemingly wanted to include the Queen’s reported intervention in the referendum campaign in 2014, when she expressed hope that voters will "think very carefully about the future" days before Scots went to the polls. 

The book, published to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, was accused of being 'Anglo-centric' by the Scottish GovernmentThe Scottish section of the Jubilee book

The comments by the monarch as she left Crathie Kirk near her Balmoral estate were seized upon by the media and the No campaign and marked an incredibly rare intervention into politics by the Palace.

The book wanted to mention the quote without mentioning the referendum, but the Scottish Government warned it would cause “further controversy.”

They said: “Without any context, it can be presented as a general quote on the future but for those aware or for those who research it, it is likely to stoke controversy. 

“In addition, these words attributed to the Queen have never been confirmed or acknowledged. 

“Though widely reported at the time and since, the inclusion would infer some sort of official confirmation that the words were used by the Queen, which risks contradicting the Palace’s official position.”

They also accused the book of “Anglo-centric” language, as a Scottish timeline featured the caption “1328: England sees Scotland as an independent country in the Treaty of Northampton”.

The book, published to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, was accused of being 'Anglo-centric' by the Scottish GovernmentNadhim Zahawi launched the book earlier this year

“Not sure what this is supposed to convey? ‘England sees’ is vague and Anglo-centric,” they said. They also said it was “odd” that the timeline omitted the “Scottish Enlightenment and the Jacobite rebellions.”

Other edits suggested by St Andrew's House included removing the description of the Queen Mother’s death as a “tragedy”. 

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“While it was a sad event, ‘tragedy’ reads as a little tabloid when describing the death of very old lady,” they said. 

They also called for the book not to mention the invention of smart meters as it was “triggering for anyone experiencing poverty.”

The book said that the UK was “developed in 1922 as one united country made up of four smaller.”

The Scottish Government said the “word ‘developed’ is problematic, and the whole sentence glosses over drawn out violent and contested events”.

They added: “Suggest instead language that makes clear the formation of the UK was a complex process, but that the UK looks as we know it now since 1922 when the republic of Ireland separated from the rest of the UK. (Wikipedia informs me it was not named the ‘UK of GB and NI’ until 1927!)”

Scottish civil servants did not just contain their corrections to history, with criticism also aimed at a passage where Isabella’s friends meet at her great-grandmother’s house.

“This is a weird segue and makes Isabella suddenly seem a lot older…?”, they said. “Can they just all arrange to come round and meet Great Granny?”

They also called for the book to remove a sightseeing bus tour of London undertaken by Isabella and her family.

The book, published to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, was accused of being 'Anglo-centric' by the Scottish Government

“This is very anglo, not to say London, centric – could it be replaced with something about social change through the Queen’s reign? Inclusion, equalities.

"Could also use space for reflecting on current events affecting the UK and hence the monarchy – e.g. the pandemic and climate change, and potentially Brexit."

The book also mentioned Benazir Bhutto, the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan, saying that “she took charge in 1988, as well as the first-ever female Muslim head of government. She served as Prime Minister twice for a total period of five years.”

The Scottish Government suggested the Department for Education also mention that she was assassinated.

Somewhat bizarrely, in the draft seen by the Scottish Government, the book seemingly wanted to mark the invention of air conditioning: “Offices and houses could keep cool in the sizzling summer heat with the arrival of small air conditioning units by American company Frigidaire.”

“Doesn’t seem relevant in the UK” the Scottish Government pointed out.

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They also said it was wrong for the book to mention that Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Romans “to keep the tribes in the northern part of GB out of Empire"

“Historically this is a contested statement. There are other theories as to why it was built e.g to define the limits of the Empire; as a trading frontier.”

Donald Cameron, the Scottish Conservative's shadow secretary for constitution, external affairs and culture described the civil servants’ comments as "bitter".

He told The Herald: “The sheer number of suggested changes seems excessive – particularly in a book that, ultimately, the SNP Government opted out of providing automatically to Scottish schoolkids.

“The request for mention of England’s 1966 World Cup win to be removed appears ridiculous and petty. Whether Nationalists like it or not, this was a major event during Her Majesty’s reign which it would have been odd in the extreme not to acknowledge.

“Similarly, while Brexit has its supporters and detractors, it was a major news story and merits inclusion in any book chronicling events of the last 70 years in the UK.

“For the sake of the Queen, you’d think the nationalists could take a day off from their bitter and obsessive agenda.

The book, published to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, was accused of being 'Anglo-centric' by the Scottish Government

“This book was both educational and a nice keepsake for youngsters that marked The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, so it’s sad that the Scottish Government forced schools here to opt in if they wanted pupils to receive it.”

The Scottish Government has refused to take part in the UK government's £12m project to send the commemorative book to every primary school pupil in the UK.

Instead, they have said it is up to schools to opt-in to receive the “unique gift.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The book is a UK Government project and they are responsible for its content, development and distribution.

“Scottish Government officials were given sight of drafts and provided feedback to the Department for Education upon request.”