The First Minister of Scotland is masterful at mixing anti-English rhetoric, rose-tinted recollections of Scottish history and no gloves politicking. When he does it right, it can be devastating. History is at the heart of his campaign for Scottish independence in the run up to the referendum, so I was surprised to see how quiet he is today over an important point in his nation’s heritage. How come the Scottish government are silent over today’s anniversary of the Battle of Flodden. Where is the usual fanfare?
Could it be because the invasion of England cost James IV of Scotland his life in 1513, taking with him most of the Scottish aristocracy? The 30,000 invading Scots were not enough to defeat the smaller English army, and the ruling class of Scotland faced a near wipe out. Yet, there doesn’t seem to be a squeak about it on the Scottish Government’s website. Compare that to the plans which are afoot for next year’s celebration of the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, where Salmond and his cohorts are planning ‘Europe’s biggest brass band festival and a thrilling re-enactment of the Battle’.
Apparently these are ‘just some of the spectacular events that will form Scotland’s 2014 Year of Homecoming.’ Mr Steerpike cannae wait. ‘The five themes for Homecoming 2014 – active, food and drink, creative, natural and ancestry are all represented.’ It seems accurate reflections of history did not make the cut.