The annual cringe festival that is Wallace day took place a week last Saturday; once again it was inflicted on the completely innocent people in the village of Elderslie, this is grossly unfair when you consider that no one actually knows a/ whether he was a real person and b/ where he came from; Elderslie people despite having little or no interest in it still have it thrust upon them. I have now witnessed 3 of them and it gets no less painful and embarrassing to visit and observe it, it actually gets worse and that’s saying something; that was my last one.
There is of course a surreal and pythonesque quality to it all which brings laughter and incredulity by turns; the costumes; the swords and shields; the pipes; the obligatory yapping dugs demented with the noise; the jeering weans; the oh so serious speakers; the sinister guys in black with black flags with strange Neo Nazi crests on, which have everyone saying “what kind of flag is that & who are they; some kind of storm troopers; yes but can they fight”? They are probably quite harmless I suppose but some of them are clearly p****d off about something, they reminded me of P.G. Wodehouse’s famous observation; I paraphrase; “it’s easy to spot the difference between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine”
This load of nonsense is of course harmless and indeed provides an event and a cause for some rather poor souls who see it as some kind of highlight of their year; it takes all kinds I suppose but my concern is with the image which it projects of Scotland and it’s citizens. There were people there who were to all intents and purposes serious; they were trying to look as fierce as possible and some were brandishing swords and daggers not unlike County Square on a Friday night in fact but honestly they need to get a life.
Would it not be better to turn it into a happy celebration similar to what happens elsewhere; St. Patrick’s Day and St. George’s Day are great fun but no one actually believes that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland or that St. George actually slew a dragon, Nottingham would be a poorer place without the Robin Hood legend but he is the same as Paddy and George a legend, in the German town of Hamlin they celebrate the legend of the Pied Piper who cleared the town of rats; these are all great excuses for a knees up and why not? The Wallace charade takes itself too seriously; the site of a wee guy with a guitar quivering with emotion while slaughtering Scots Wha Hae and a bizarrely dressed bearded old man wearing a white tent giving a very solemn speech were enough to move you to tears; whether they were tears of doom or laughter is debateable.
I noticed that even the SNP have abandoned it such is its comedic effect; the SNP have been out growled by these even more fierce patriots and they have bigger beards as well; now that’s real patriotism for you. Perhaps the SNP have at last succumbed to the obviously untenable and down right stupid position of claiming Wallace for Elderslie while the SNP in Kilmarnock claim him for their own town. Yes of course it’s quite funny; just like the 29 (at the last count) caves where locals claim Bruce met the spider; and they have the tea towels for sale to prove it.
What is not funny is that these people are serious and that makes Scotland look funny but not funny ha ha more funny peculiar. Time for a rethink surely; what about an “oor Wullie day” or a “see who can last the longest without spending any money day” or; "a fleecing the tourist day" we have plenty of alternatives which might be more fun right?
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
WALLACE DAY PARADE? IT JUST AINT THE SAME WITHOUT GROMMIT.
Posted by Cllr Terry Kelly at Tuesday, September 01, 2009
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Wallace is real ya numpty, you have the English records about him and his trial plus the letters he sent to the German town re being open for trade again, to prove his existence.
True about the whereabouts of his birth being fought over since there is only one person claimed in a book that he came from Elderslie and all the known facts seem to suggest that Elerslie is in fact where he came from.
At least we know that his fight against the English aggression of the time is true even if we do not know the exact details. It could be worst like how someone like Custer in the US has been turned into a hero instead of a clown.
If it is so bad why do you feel the need to attend for last 3 years ???
If there's a 'surreal and Pythonesque quality' to the Wallace Festival, then what make you of Baron Martin of Springburn,of Port Dundas in the City of Glasgow?
Montgomery was happy with a simple 'Alamein,' dear Winston settled for a knighthood and greatness, but wee Mikey Martin, the first Speaker ever to be sacked, unashamedly goes for the full monte. Makes me squirm for Scottish Labour.
'the sinister guys in black with black flags with strange Neo Nazi crests on'
I have never attended this day or anything like it so haven't seen these people. On the rare occasions I have found myselfself at anything a bit 'tartany' it's been harmless if a bit daft in parts.
I find the people ypu describe above quite a sinister sounding bunch. They don't sound like the usual BNP crowd who I have had the great misfortune to run into more than I care to remember thanks to having the worlds worst neighbours a few years back. Who might they be?
References to Wallace appear 100 years after his alleged death in a poem by a guy called “Blind Harry” he was also known to his friends as “Blind (Drunk) Harry” it’s you who is the numpty; would you like to buy another tea towel or coffee mug?
Some people possibly you; do feel the need (poor souls) to go to such nonsense but I’m not one of them.
The first I stumbled on and got out the car to watch; the second was to reassure myself that I hadn’t dreamed it and the third I cheated a bit I watched it on U Tube.
You forgot to mention Salmond (the spiv) he now calls himself the first minister and he munched his way through £800 worth of London allowance grub when he wasn’t in parliament. That’s a lot of haggis and porridge even for him.
I was hoping that someone would read this and write to tell me about these strange marchers.
While Scotland has the SNP and people vote for them it can’t really say much about our neighbours. English visitors and residents in Scotland are abused and discriminated against; and the racist SNP condone it with their silence.
'While Scotland has the SNP and people vote for them it can’t really say much about our neighbours.'
My comment referred to my mad loyalist BNP supporting and very anti-social next door neighbours.
I won't go into the misery they caused in our area (you can imagine) but I would have thought that any decent person in Scotland regardless of political affiliation would have condemned such people.
Certainly both my local SNP and Labour councillors were appalled by what went on and did their best to fight a system that cares little for victims of such people.
“but I would have thought that any decent person in Scotland regardless of political affiliation would have condemned such people”
Yes and I would have thought that any decent person in Scotland regardless of political affiliation would make such a vile accusation.
'it’s easy to spot the difference between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine'
...and that is pecisely the sort of attitude that leads to racisim and bigotry. You quite rightly called Kenny MacAskill out for saying Scots were compassionate, yet you you're quite happy to let negative blanket statements stand.
I'm Irish so it's no skin off my nose but I find your attitude to your home country weird. Why is OK to describe ALL Scots as ill tempered but wrong to describe ALL Scots as compassionate.
The SNP for all their tartan teapot souvenier tea towel thoughts at least seem happy to be Scottish. In contrast Labour seem to despise the Scots. Why is this?
Scotland is neither the best or worst country in the world. It's somewhere in the middle except for the beautiful scenery and wildlife which is where it's up with the best in the world. I moved here over six years ago and the people are much like the folk in Ireland friendly, kind and fun loving if a bit prone to bigotry and violence. But by no means the worst. Why do you hate them so?
It’s a humorous quote by PG Wodehouse which is meant to be funny, MacAskill was serious there is rather a large difference.
MacAskill is quite happy to claim bogus talents and qualities which are bestowed on a person through an accident of birth i.e. being born Scottish; a preposterous and insulting lie which makes me angry.
“Why is OK to describe ALL Scots as ill tempered but wrong to describe ALL Scots as compassionate”
Try swapping round “Compassionate” and “ill tempered” and see how ludicrous it all becomes.
“Labour seem to despise the Scots”
I don’t know how you can arrive at this I’m only one Labour member and I can assure that I don’t despise anyone because of their origin but there are plenty of Scots and people from elsewhere as well that I do indeed despise.
“the people are much like the folk in Ireland friendly, kind and fun loving if a bit prone to bigotry and violence”
No they are not and neither are the Irish; like people everywhere some are “friendly, kind and fun loving etc.” and some are not this is stereotyping and simplistic.
Scots. are no more compassionate than the Irish are thick, the Germans arrogant, the French dirty or the Italians cowards, I’m neither proud or ashamed of being Scottish; your character is not formed by being born in a certain place; I am an Internationalist and I am proud of that.
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