Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled
It may have escaped your attention, but in Canada this is National Tartan Day, launched in 2010 by the Harper government to celebrate the contribution of Scots in Canada. I’m only speaking for myself, not the two million Canadians of Scottish descent, but I have to say this is about as silly as it gets.
The reason for so doing was to mark the little-known Declaration of Arbroath when Scotland sought independence in 1320 by writing to the Pope. How did that work out? Not so well as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Bonnie Prince Charlie can attest. None of their efforts succeeded in gaining independence either. Last year’s referendum was just the most recent of many valiant, if failed, attempts by Scotland to be a sovereign nation.
There are always shenanigans in Parliament and parades elsewhere on St. Patrick’s Day, why not salute we Scots on St. Andrew’s Day, a national day in Scotland on November 30, or Robbie Burns Night on January 25, rather than commemorate something that didn’t work out seven centuries ago?
On the other hand, National Tartan Day probably doesn’t cost taxpayers much. Any Scot worth his sporran can salute that.
Correction: I attended a speech on April 7 given in Toronto by Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities in the Scottish Parliament, who said there are 4.7 million Canadians of Scottish descent, almost as many as the 5.3 million people who currently live in Scotland.