Today the Scotsman splashed with a commemorative four page cover and pages 2,3,4,5,6,7 etc., not to mention a 20 page supplement. The paper bemoaned the lack of public and media interest, though the BBC did roll out a special Newsnight resplendent with opinion poll. So January 16th must have been a big anniversary – or was it just journos stealing a march on their chums. Article 1 of the Union is explicit in its very first article:
I That the two kingdoms of Scotland and England shall, upon the Ist day of May next ensuing the date hereof, and for ever after, be united into one kingdom by the name of Great Britain, and that the ensigns armorial of the said United Kingdom be such as Her Majesty shall appoint, and the crosses of St. Andrew and St. George be conjoined in such manner as Her Majesty shall think fit,and used in all flags, banners, standards and ensigns, both at sea and land.
Today we celebratethe Scottish Parliament signing themselves out of existence, but since the Union is also an English issue, celebrating the Union today is just a little silly.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Scotsman will have upped the debate which is well and good, but when it comes to the 300 anniversary, I’ll be counting down to May the 1st – Beltane.