Is there a point to St Andrew’s Day?

Posted by Ian
In a parallel world, today (Thursday 30th November) everyone is busy decking themselves out in tartan and dyeing their hair blue and preparing to head off to their nearest thistle-adorned hostelry (of which there is one on every corner) to while away the hours singing A Man’s A Man For A’That, wolf down haggis and neeps, and earnestly recite the likes of "Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie, O, what a panic’s in thy breastie."
In the real world, however, none of this is happening. For St Andrew’s Day, the national day of Scotland, is barely celebrated, let alone heard of, south of the border; and the kind of universal revelry that grips the nation upon the likes of St Patrick’s Day is but a mere pipe dream.
This seems absurd. Apparently we are quick to cherrypick the culture of the Irish – not just a different nation but an entirely separate landmass to Britain – but not that of the Scots, from whom many of us are descended and to whom we owe a debt of thanks for golf, oil, the raincoat, television, steam engines, chloroform, gas lighting, the bicycle, thermodynamics, tyres, the telephone, pencillin, radar, the monorail and cloning. Plus these illustrious personages.
Scotland is far easier to get to than Ireland, has the nicest landscapes in the world, has far more of a sense of national pride than any of the countries which make up the British Isles, still uses one pound notes (or it did the last time I was there) and has, in the shape of Edinburgh, the finest city in the whole of the UK.
I’m not Scottish, but I am British. Or at least I am for the time being, pending the outcome of next May’s elections which may prove to mark the first step along the road to Scottish independence – at least given some of the latest opinion polls and political debate doing the rounds, which we showcased on MSN on Tuesday.
If the Scots do decide to move from devolution to full-scale independence, chances are wider awareness of its customs, traditions and rituals, rather than diminish, would probably increase. Maybe that would be the trigger for a proper nationwide appreciation of St Andrew’s Day. After all, St Patrick’s Day only became such a big deal in the UK once the bulk of Ireland achieved independence in the 1920s. And you tend to learn more about something that’s previously been under your nose only when it decides to take one step back and bring itself better into focus.
Saying that, how many of us can honestly say we know why our respective nations have patron saints? Moreover, just who are these mysterious folk who only have one name and who claim to embody some aspect of our national psyche?
George killed a dragon: a qualification which confirms the man was good at thuggery but little else. Patrick ostensibly kicked all snakes out of Ireland, but records show there weren’t any snakes there in the first place. Does that make him one of history’s greatest con merchants? As for David, he used to go around Wales giving speeches where, if the people at the back couldn’t see, he made the ground underneath his feet rise up. So either he had power to make small hillocks appear wherever he went, or else he carried a small soapbox around, like John Major in the 1992 General Election.
Andrew, meanwhile, never even set foot in Scotland, instead choosing to appear in a cloud in the shape of a saltire during a battle in the eighth century. Allegedly. St Andrew is also the patron saint of army rangers, mariners, fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, singers, performers, Sicily, Greece, Russia, Romania, Malta and Prussia, the last of which ceased to exist in 1867.
In short, the entire idea of saints’ days is built on anachronism. But then aren’t so many other similar festivals and pastimes? Surely it’s the essence of national days rather than their precise origin, lost somewhere in the mists of time, which is important? America do national holidays far better than us, but even Thanksgiving, their most famous, is a jumbled amalgam of colonial, civil war and 20th century chicanery.
Yes, we do need St Andrew’s Day, along with all other saints’ days, but perhaps only as a national holidays and not strange mystical happenings laced with dubious nationalistic, weird spiritual and quasi-xenophobic overtones. For if Scotland ultimately becomes independent, St Andrew’s Day will become all the more important as (literally) a flagship occasion. Perhaps the rest of the country will then start to take more notice of it. Especially those of us dwelling in Albion.
To coin a phrase: what do they know of England, who only England know?
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66 Responses to Is there a point to St Andrew’s Day?

  1. Fi S. J. says:

    I was born in Edinburgh on St Andrews Day, but the vast majority of people don\’t know when it is. Burns night is a popular night to celebrate Scottishness, I don\’t think we need another day (although I used to want it as a holiday as a child so I could have the day off). Saints days mean very little to people in the UK, however if we do need extra holidays, why not use them throughout the UK!

  2. Chester says:

    I\’m Scottish but maybe you should worry a little more about England as there the ones who seem to be losing nearly all their identity where as we still have very well known traditions and our country is also already recognised by people I have met around the world as one of the msot beutiful. 

  3. Jimmy says:

    Is a celebration of all things English and we should celebrate it as such.
    Having lived in scotland for 10yrs it was lovely to see how patriotic people were and how the country would make an effort for things like Burns night.
    England should reclaim its identity and fly the flag so people are proud to be english again.
    Unfortunately England is losing its identity and image by bending over to try and not offend people – how anyone could be offended by the country\’s flag from where they live, and the countries traditions is beyond me.
    Keep St Georges day, and keep the English proud.

  4. James says:

    I am English, and must agree with Ian on alot of the things he said in is blog.  There does appear to have crept in a political correctness that says we must not celebrate our own national identities, and it is a shame.  If you look back at Scotland the country and it\’s people have contributed so much that while St Andrews Day may not be celebrated widely, it still would be nice for Scotland as well as England and Wales too, to have 1 specific day dedicated to our uniqueness as individual countries.  Maybe it is time to do away with the old ideals of a patron saints and instead have a day of celebration of what makes each of us who we are.

  5. Steven says:

    I dont think the debate should be about the English not celebrating St.Andrews day it should however be about why England does not celebrate St.George day! Why is this not a holiday in England? Why do we not see everyone putting their St.George flags out or celebrating it on the streets? Are we in fear of offending someone?

  6. Unknown says:

    I think that everyone should be made aware that all this talk of national days and national parliaments has but one hidden purpose – namely to regionalise England.   This would be an absolute disaster for the U.K.   We all need each other, for where would we have been without the armed forces made up of English, Scots, Irish, and Welsh?   We must stand together, or we will all fall seperately!   For a British Parliament run by Scots people to secretly destroy England as a nation while retaining a Scotland, a Wales, And a Northern ireland, is nothing short of treachery. Let us remain a UNITED COUNTRY!  And let Tony Blair and his inner circle of cronies go to the front line and stay there! COME ON ENGLAND – WAKE UP!!!

  7. Heather says:

    As someone who has a very Scottish family, but was born and raised South of the border, I do tend to remember the Scottish traditions.  In our schools, we don\’t learn anything about the Battles that were fought between England and Scotland (i.e. Battle of Bannockburn, Battle of Culloden, Battle of Stirling in 1297) and this is where our country falters.  In Scotland you learn about the history on your doorstep, but in England they want us to learn about agricultural farming – which is not the kind of historical knowledge we need to pass onto our own children and their children.  I learnt about the history between Scotland and England from my parents and from history books and of course from visiting places like Wallace Monument in Stirling.
    It\’s no wonder that the patrons aren\’t celebrated here.          I do feel, however, that the ethnic people have a certain cause for our own demise in Catholic, Christian etc celebrations.  We are not allowed to defamate their religion, but they can do and say what they like about our beliefs and nothing will be done about the boat rocking.

  8. Graham says:

    I think the author of this blog is getting his memorable days in a twist. The Scots do not traditionally eat haggis neeps and tatties and sing A Man\’s a Man for aw That on St.Andrews Day, we reserve that for Burns Night. I switch off at any report that is not factually correct. All his other points were lost on me. There are three rules for reporting check your facts, check your facts and check your facts.

  9. Graham says:

    I think the author of this blog is getting his memorable days in a twist. The Scots do not traditionally eat haggis neeps and tatties and sing A Man\’s a Man for aw That on St.Andrews Day, we reserve that for Burns Night. I switch off at any report that is not factually correct. All his other points were lost on me. There are three rules for reporting check your facts, check your facts and check your facts.

  10. Graham says:

    I think the author of this blog is getting his memorable days in a twist. The Scots do not traditionally eat haggis neeps and tatties and sing A Man\’s a Man for aw That on St.Andrews Day, we reserve that for Burns Night. I switch off at any report that is not factually correct. All his other points were lost on me. There are three rules for reporting check your facts, check your facts and check your facts.

  11. Heilan says:

    I am Scots and proud of it. It saddens me to see the way that English people are received around the world and I wonder they they are so unpopular. The Celts, for some reason, are always welcome! Perhaps, rather than wasting time thinking about someone else\’s Saint, they should spend a few minutes on reinventing their image?
    The Scots are proud to wear or display the Saltire. It is the true Scottish flag, unlike the Lion Rampant, which the English \’told\’ us we had to use following the Jacobite uprisings in the 1700s……and the Saltire is also the flag that holds together the Union Jack!
    Just as an aside, in France, EVERY day is a saint\’s day. All 365 days are dedicated to at least one saint! Only a few of them are important enough to get their own holiday/festival, but for a child named after a saint then they get a birthday AND a saint\’s day present!! What a great idea 🙂

  12. Tim says:

    The author seems to have forgotten that St. George did not visit England, and, being Palestinian, seems to have little right to be our patron saint.  Should this not be changed back to St. Edward the Confessor, as it used to be?

  13. Alex says:

    well to be quite honest I think St Andrews Day is important! Being at St Andrews University, Scotland  it means I get a day off! 🙂

  14. Unknown says:

    Well Ian you have shown little knowledge of Scotlands history or you would be aware that the Scots are descended from the Irish, particularly on the West side of Scotland.
    The reason behind the lack of celebration is that it is NOT INDEPENDENCE DAY if it was then we, like Norwegians etc. would be celebrating big style.
    What has struck me as odd that being, over the years, a God Fearing nation we do not celebrate Easter neither Good Friday nor Easter Monday are recognised Public Holidays, unless you are in Local or National Government Banks etc.

  15. J says:

    I am not anti-Scots but it rankles with me how much the Scottish Parliament building has cost UK.  Did most of the Scots want it anyway?  I\’ll bet they would rather have had the money spent on services for the people.  Laws can be made from any building but the politicians have to have something grander than ever before – as is demonstrated by London\’s Mayor.  I should rejoice that some people got something out of the UK Exchequer but I would have been more pleased to learn that the money spent on the building went to some of Scotland\’s poorer city areas.  Priorities seem all wrong these days. Anyway, when they are independent they can have a referendum on whether they have a new patron saint or not, but I think every nation needs some symbol other than the flag.  If there is Scottish Independence I guess the Union Jack will have to change it\’s appearance.

  16. Richard says:

    Er… Prussia ceased to exist in 1867, did it?  Then who were the French fighting in 1870/71.  Didn\’t I just read something about needing to check facts?  And isn\’t Nicholas the patron saint of sailors?  Dead right about Edinburgh being the finest city in the UK though.

  17. rpritchard says:

    Its bad enough that Scotland still hasnt regain independence, but to even raise the question of whether or not to keep St Andrews Day is shocking. This is another example of English elitism. St. Andrews day is more than a day for St. Andrew it is a day that represents Scotland as a country. Keep ST.ANDREWS DAY and keep SCOTLAND pround.

  18. douglas says:

    Ok so the scottish parliament building cost an outrageous amount but by glory is it worth it – of course it is. But look at the Millenium Dome, Wembley and already the figures for the costs of the Olympics in London are beginning to rise. England does not have an identity unless you count Morris Dancing and singing Negro Spirituals  at rugby matches – as an aside why cant the English Fans do the hand actions to Swing Low!! Its is funny to look back and see the differences in England once Scotland had a devolved parliament – they started waving English Flags rather than the Union Jack then they started complaining about Scots voting on \’their\’ issues now they support independence – wonderful. Sadly England is not a nation anymore it is has no national collective togetherness. Scots of all political parties are still Scots. Happy St Andrews Day to all Scots throughout the world

  19. EDWIN says:

    I am a very proud Scot, but I am also very proud to be British. God help us if the Scottish Nationalists get their way and we become an Independent country. They live in a fantasy world if they believe a tiny nation of 5 million people could possibly survive on its own in todays world and continue to maintain the standard of services we all enjoy today without being part of Great Britain. To do this as an idependent country would require massive increases in tax – the great public figure of the Scottish Nats is Sir Sean Connery – a proud Scot he claims, but has not lived here for decades, unwilling to pay the level of income tax at its current level!! I would like nothing better than for my country to be as it was in Medieval days, with our own king. In the eighteenth century the Campbells stabbed us in the back, and that has always been out problem, too much in fighting. In 1707 we became part of Great Britain, but that does not mean to say we have to lose our national identity. Scotland and Wales have a strong national identity and celebrate their Saints – unfortunately, the English only seem to celebrate St George when there is a world cup or the \’Ashes\’ come around, and this is rather sad. However, we celts had for centuries to fight for the survival of our countries from an aggressive English neighbour, and it is because of our desire to defend our countries and traditions that we still today have strong national identities. Saint Days should be celebrated in our respective nations – it would perhaps encourage those in England who put their religion before their nationality to think how lucky they are to be British. A recent survey in Glasgow has shown that no matter their religion, people think of themselves as Scottish first, British 2nd, and then Muslim, Hindu etc – This perhaps explains why there are no such thing as \’home grown\’ terrorists in Scotland.

  20. Homepage says:

    Cheers for the feedback folks. A few thoughts:
    To \’noname\’: The French were fighting the North German Confederation in 1870/1, the successor nation to Prussia (which ceased to exist in 1867). Both Andrew and Nicholas are the patron saints of sailors.
    The very fact the Scots do not eat tattie and neeps and recite Robert Burns on St Andrew\’s Day was kind of the point of the whole blog, Troot21. Indeed, my opening line ascribed such practices to a parallel world, not the real one. And I didn\’t claim that the Scots weren\’t descended from the Irish, I merely said that most of us living south of the border are descended from Scots.
    rpritchard: if you re-read the blog you\’ll see that far from wanting to scrap St Andrew\’s Day my argument is that it should remain and be more widely celebrated!

  21. andrew says:

    let the scottish have their coutry and stop milk 30 billion a year of government funds most of which comes from the tax\’s of english workers and they can pay for their own defences etc,so yes vote snp let the scots have their national day then we as an english nation could easily afford to celebrate "ST GEORGE\’S DAY" as we should!!!!!!!!!

  22. Fraser says:

    Our countries should have their day to celebrate their own national identity.  It may be St Andrews day but really it is a Scotland day and it is important to us Scots, and should be a holiday with parades in Edinburgh and many ceilidhs all over the country.
    "We have Scotland to thank for golf, oil", I don\’t remember the British government thanking Scotland for involuntarily giving away its resources, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man (not in the uk) have both received money from Scottish oil, but not Scotland.  I don\’t think that it is thanks that are in order, more likely 30 years of revenue that should be paid to Scotland.
    I look forward to next years St Andrews day when Scotland will be a step closer to self determination, with a government interested in Scotland, not wars and ruining the countries of this island.

  23. Kevin says:

    Well as from Scotland , I find the idea of Saint Andrews day strange, why now , as it was a Scottish King who united England and Scotland, King James VI of Scotland became King James II of England. And from then on it semed that Scotlands veues and way of life has been put on the back boiler. The Celtic nations of which there are 5 in the British Isles, Scots, Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Manx, have all had a strong identy of themsleves with language and traditions, and some good music for parties. As being a viable number to survie in a market world if the break from major industries to have an off-shoot, Scottish office the cost is going to be great. Also in this world of today security , would the Scots regiments still be attached to GB and Westminster or will they have a seperate role in that they decide to take part in world affairs from a Scottish Nation.
    But just enjoy the holiday, though  employers may want to take one of the other bank holidays back . Maybe the on at the end of May as it tends o be more supported in England than Scotland. but a holiday at this tiime of year so close to the BIG SPEND of xmass, may not go down to well, as everyone watching their pennies.
    So A HAPPY SAINT ANDREWS DAY TO EVERY ONE AROUND THE WORLD.  And a happy new year when it comes around, have fun out there.

  24. Paul says:

    why worry about a day out of 365 days hust enjoy yourselves if you want too? 

  25. Unknown says:

    Surely the question should be – why does the UK celebrate St Patrick\’s Day?  Answer – because the Americans do!
    It\’s not the only one.  When I was a child, I moved from Scotland to England, and was surprised to find that the English didn\’t celebrate Hallowe\’en.  They do now – but has the tradition moved south of the border?  Not a bit of it!  It\’s come across the Pond – instead of good old-fashioned non-menacing \’guising\’ we now have "Trick ot Treat" – which has somehow got mixed up with Bonfire night – so we get nasty tricks played using fireworks.
    And another thing to remember – the Americans don\’t just celebrate St Patrick\’s Day – some of them also give money to the IRA.  The same people, no doubt, who condemn Arab terrorism.

  26. Me, in the hills :-) says:

    I am a very proud Scot and all the people who think that the uk wasted money on the Scottish Parliment building are just stupid.  Dont you think we should get something back after all the things we have given this nation? we pay taxes for things that dont even happen in our country.  If scotland had been independant when we had all that oil, we would probably be richer than England right now! And i am shocked that you would question whether or not St. Andrews day should exist! Scotland may be small but everything that comes from it is amazing. Sir Sean Connery(one of the greatest actors ever to walk the earth), oil, the bike, the TV. Imagine what life would be like without the TV? So please. when you think of scotland, dont think about the small problems…think about how much good come out of it and how much better it would be if we were independant! 🙂

  27. Owen says:

    It doesn\’t matter whether they\’re independent or not: They\’ll still blame the English for all their problems. See Mr Pritchard\’s comment for evidence. Scotland has indeed produced some wonderful people, it\’s such a shame that the bulk of the Scots in Scotland define their nationhood primarily by hatred of the English. One of the saddest sights I\’ve ever seen is a pub full of Scots watching an England game (football in this case, but it could have been anything from darts to Rugby) and you know who they weren\’t supporting. If a ten year old child behaved like that you\’d tell it off. When a Scot does it, it\’s rousing, noble patriotism.

  28. Steve says:

    let scotland go! they offer very little and england would be a lot better off not having to support those north of the border. scotland has a massive chip on its shoulder and continually lives in the past. there is no way on earth that they will be allowed to separate because, unfortunately we have all their bloody politicians in our parliament. do you honestly think gordon would give up the chance to be emperor? not a chance. it\’s a shame, but it seems we\’re stuck with each other

  29. richard says:

    while st andrew never set foot in scotland nor did st george set foot in england
    at least st david was welsh
    st patrick was also welsh a victim of slave traders who kidnapped him and took him to ireland
    the thing we need is a public holiday in each of the respective countries for each saint and less worrying about it in other countries
    what we dont need is a st pats parade in london 

  30. deirdre says:

    you are confusing st andrews day with burns night (haggis etc).  if you wish to write a blog, please make sure your facts are correct.  thanks

  31. WAYNE says:

    Having read the first paragraph of this discussion, I think Ian must have been at the Scotch whiskey another good thing to come from the glens of the bonnie auld country.  As he has confused St Andrews day with Burns Night.
    I am glad to see as a welshman that St David was not slated to harshly, like St Patrick was although Ireland did not have any snakes, It could also be said that Dragons are mythological and so we could be asking why do we have St George.
    We all have our Saints day due to national pride and to celebrate what our country has acheived, I have lived in Scotland, Wales and now reside in England and I think that the Welsh show more passion and pride.  As a young boy I remember going to school with a leek or a daffodill and the girls dressed in traditional costumes.  To celebrate the saving of the smallest town in britain St Davids being taken by the invading nations France or Portugal I think.
    With so many imigrants in this country its only the celebrating of our own national saints that now distinguish us being Proud of our own Nation. 

  32. James says:

    i wouldnt want scotland to go independant, it would fall apart, would be a shame to see it turn out like that, over 50 million people live in england and the other 10 million is spread out between wales, n. ireland, scotland, lack of revenue would force hospitals to close down, 10 years minimum on there own would make it into a very poor country

  33. deirdre says:

    had you claimed that the \’scots\’ were descended from the irish you would have been right!!!

  34. deirdre says:

    to j powell – can you explain why hospitals in england are having to close and make staff redundant now!!  why are you worried about scottish hospitals in ten years time?

  35. deirdre says:

    to anon \’let scotland go\’ – who are the chip on their shoulder?????????????

  36. James says:

    to mr no name – hospitals would be alot better in england if england want wasting its money with scottish parliments and welsh road signs

  37. deirdre says:

    who paid for the scottish parliament?  maybe instead of wasting money on the 2012 olympics, england should invest in schools, hospitals etc.

  38. deirdre says:

    to j powell – large chip on shoulder????

  39. Owen says:

    In these islands we are at our best when we work together. I give you the Lions! All the English I know were spitting blood about what Umaga and Mealamu did to an Irishman. Note also it was the BRITISH Empire, not the English one. Without eachother we\’d all be much less. I am as guilty as any of forgetting this, cos I get pissed off with the Scots. (And the Aussies. And the French. And the Yanks. Oh heck. Everyone but the Welsh.) (grin)

  40. Fiona says:

    It is very sad to think that some England dwelling souls feel the need to say that the majority of Scots are anti English.  There is always going to be a minority in Scotland that think like that – but we shouldn\’t all be tarred with the same brush.  Going by the comments so far, there are a fair few English who enjoy a bit of Scots bashing!! 
    I would hate for Scotland to be independent.  I believe we are all part of the Uk and that it should stay that way.  We need to stay together cos we need each other.  To break up the union would be disasterous and would only increase any bad feelings between the countries.  Each country puts into the nation what makes Great Britain great and it would a shadow of itself if it split. 
    As an aside, the only reason we Scots cheer when the English lose at the football, is because we don\’t want their winning shoved down our throats for the next 40 years! 

  41. andy says:

    Echoing one of the others, We\’re British and supreme except when we\’re competeing against eachother. Another thing is most of the time we\’re an insular race except when irked by someone else then we\’re British and stand as one.

  42. Rachael says:

    right im english n im 14 n i tink its stupid to brake up da uk its stupid no offence but u wander y we ave wars n shit innit we shud all stick togetha we shud b consentrating on things dat matter like helpin ppl in need. grr dis makes me mad lol

  43. Mark says:

    you are confusing st andrews day with burns night
    you are a joke and stupid

  44. Owen says:

    Well, Mr no-name-in-bold, I speak as I find: four years at St Andrews opened my eyes. I notice Scots in England are different (or perhaps just politer!) and I agree with you entirely about the value of the Union. The trend to Scottish devolution has woken English nationalism – hence the increasing number of flags of St George you see – and that has a good side and a bad side. The good is that the English had subsumed themselves in the Union to an unhealthy degree (for fear of offending the rest of you) and I fear we were beginning to lose a sense of Englishness (helped, ironically enough, by Maggie Thatcher and her cult of selfishness. If "there is no such thing as society" as she said, then how can there be a nation?). The bad is that our tendency to thuggery latches onto it, and that people are reacting more than they used to to people being rude about us.

  45. Owen says:

    Rach: u may b 14 bt u rock. Hit nail on hedd

  46. WAYNE says:

    I see we have deviated to hospitals now, Well if your not well you go to the hospital but with the increasing population with the british becoming the minority with imigration and lack of border control and the eu opening up.  Everyone piling into britain for benefits which the tax payer is being mugged for and the extra strains placed on the services we are trying to provide is it no wonder hospitals are overworked under budgetted and streteched beyond breaking point.
    As for scotland becoming independent they would quite easily provide for themselves, with the North Sea oil and Gas and Fishing industry  they could quite easily become a stonger nation, lest we forget that BP made record profits this year and well over 40 % was given to the government in massive tax bills.
    When you look into the revenue of Shetland which used to have the largest oil terminal in Europe and see what the wealth this Island has as a council budget and revenues from fishing as well farming you can see just how successfull swcotland really is.  Aberdeen was hardly hit at all by the resession during the late 80\’s and Early 90\’s 
    A devoluted scotland could really hit britain as a whole, and just remember how close they are with their own currency in the 3 banks and they also have their own laws.  Britain as a whole should celebrate St Andrews day as Scotland has given a lot for us.
    By the way I am welsh as i have said before but stick up for what i think is right and just. 

  47. Steve says:

    is this really how we\’re bringing up our children? english, scottish, welsh or irish it doesn\’t matter. surely we should be concentrating on raising our children to be able to write. does anyone have a clue what rach is on about?

  48. Owen says:

    Honestly, Acecard, you shouldn\’t worry. We will absorb them as we have absorbed the Normans, the Huguenots and many Dutch, we are assimilating the Afro Carribeans and will assimilate the Eastern Europeans. It is one of our greatest strengths that we can do this. We will be stronger and better for it.

  49. andy says:

    If previous governments of all parties had invested the monies payed into the national health service then there would be a glut of money to fund the welfare state, and we british would be laughing at the banter of our various peoples and still wanting to be one. I always want to be irish at a funeral, scotish at burns day and whoevers having a party at the time. I am english but I never let that get in the way as we great at celebrating our good failures.

  50. Owen says:

    grin. We are the Borg. You will be assimilated.

  51. colin says:

    St Andrews day, for the uninitiated, did in fact have a toast to\’ the lassies\’, \’Scotland \’ etc and became an event where we celebrated the triumphs of the nation as well as the humour of events over the prior year. It was generally attended by businessmen, blue and white collar, and officials from many walks of the community and contributions/ proceeds from many are dedicated to a local charity. Many create a platform for young people to meet more mature ones and many a good understanding of each others ways has resulted from the occassion. Not a bad thing. Originally it was a male-only event but this tradition has, thankfully, been eroded and more \’bonnie lasses\’ attend. Many incorporated Burns poetry recitals, and Songs, which is an acceptable contribution to any event which celebrates the achievements of the Scot from any walk of life. If you don\’t agree with it then don\’t celebrate it. If you feel that a national pride in achievement is as important as celebrating the achievement of your neighbourhood children at the annual school awards, then this is the grown-up version which doubles as a nice cultural celebration, like the story about the man and the dragon, but also with good intentions. It brings many together like a need for identity and belonging, but also for a recognition of what we should stand for; progress in our social standing as a nation. It\’s also a nice wee night for a swally. enjoy

  52. jim says:


  53. Owen says:

    Cheer up Ian. Some of us actually read your piece and understood it as meant.

  54. Michael says:

    Am I right i asking if the person who started this is English ? Why is it that on the 17th of March the whole of the UK wants to be Irish
    (and no disrespect to my neighbours in the North East of Ireland) ? Oh yes you would have nothing else to celebrate so stop griping about the Scots Welsh and Irish and get a life  

  55. david says:

     all i will say about this is together we stand devided we fall

  56. Owen says:

    Mike: It\’s because, generally speaking, we like the Irish. xpt Paisley.

  57. andy says:

    If someone had told me it was st andrews day I would have been scots for a day though thats a tall order for an englishman.

  58. Owen says:

    and Mike, no disrespect, but you\’ve misread the article.

  59. Pax says:

     the unuon came about becase the Scots were sold down the pokey by a bunch of corrupt men at the last scottish Parliament in Ayr(before the devolved holyrood parliament), these men took money and more titles and land nd lined their pockets at the masses expense. there were riots in Edinburgh in protest at the time and the dieesnt was so tangible it could be tasted.scotland will be far better of as a fully independant nation, with the oil and gas revenue (using the norwegian model) Scotland would be FAR,FAR better off and could save a "kitty" of an estimanted £90 BILLION over ten year.Alex Salmond put it this way needs to free itself from the shackles of Westminster and get rid of that nasty blood soaked rag we call "The Butcher\’s Apron"(union jack) and one again stand on our own feet and as alex put it, join that arc of prosperity.I do think it\’s good that many of the young posters here, some as young as 14, are taking an interest in political affairs but you have to look far deeper into the subject to make a fully fair and rounded comment on this highly emotive subject and you also cannot deny the will of the Scots people if we do vote for the referendum on independance and then gain it.This is a chance for the Flower of Scotland to blossom again under the sun of self determination.for thsoe scots whoposted pro-union in this thread please take the time to look at the fact and see for yourself the reality of what could be instead of the labourtory/unionist "spin" on this. Scotland could be far richer in financial, cultural and social terms should we gain our freedom.have a look at these sites and the many others on the web to see for yourself what could and should be and what was and is. A great resource for the bloody history of the UK in the Siol site where you can see the terrible thing that have been done to scotland in the name of "the crown".Paxand look for the MANY otherscan\’t really argue with that can you?

  60. sharon says:

    Yes I agree that Scotland should be independent. That way they will stop getting the lion’s share of the budget. I also think that the north should be independent from the south for the same reason. An example would be that there were plans to extend the tram but then the money was all sucked up for the London Olympics, and that all our transport has been privatised but in the capital they still have the tube.

  61. Nick says:

    International album
    How DARE they put that Timberlake nonsense in the same pigeon hole as Bob Dylan !!!

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