Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

William Wallace weeps

By Aussiegirl

I guess they don't cook in Scotland -- or maybe they are just allowed a blunt dinner knife to gum their vegetables and meat into submission. What would William Wallace think?

HISTORICAL re-enactments and essential elements of Scottish ancestry could be ruined under ministerial proposals to clamp down on knife crime, according to historians.

Museums and swordsmiths have warned that Scottish Executive proposals to increase the legal age for buying a knife to 18 and to criminalise the carrying of a knife or sword are impractical and will be detrimental to the remembrance of historical events.

The executive consultation proposes that the sentence for carrying a knife should be doubled and that police should be able to arrest a person they suspect is carrying a knife.

However local authorities, including North and South Lanarkshire, criticised the proposals as being impractical to enforce and unlikely to have any impact on Scotland's high level of knife crime.

The International Committee of Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History has written to the executive with concerns about the potential criminalisation of its staff and how it ought to "sustain the live costumed re-enactment in, by and for museums that so increases public interest in the past".

Guy Wilson, its chairman, wrote: "There are
legitimate reasons for private individuals to own and use swords, daggers, and knives, and your proposals should recognise these.

"They include sport, study, collection, re-enactment, DIY, fishing, and gardening.
"There is also the legitimate trade in antiques to be taken into consideration and protected. The judgments, allowances, and exemptions that you may introduce will need to ensure that errors of judgment on all sides are rare to prevent the innocent and law-abiding being charged with serious offences."

Currently, the carrying of a knife or sword is allowed if the person can show they have a legitimate reason. Further details on the proposed legislation will be released by the executive today.



At 10:42 AM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

Gee, some things never change!

William Wallace has been spinning in his grave for years. I wonder if he has turned into butter yet, like little Sambo, another long ago banned story book character?

If you will recall the opening of the movie "Braveheart," they were practicing their aim and distance in rock throwing, because they were not allowed to have weapons by the English.

Will they allow history to repeat itself?

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

I have to get that movie out again and see it on my high-def TV. Thanks for reminding me of the beginning. And Little Black Sambo was a charming story, actually about a little Indian boy, as the author I think had lived in India. He is actually very smart and outwits the tiger and defeats him by causing him to run around in circles. It's also a shame that one of Walt Disney's most wonderful film, "The Song of the South" about the Uncle Remus stories is also considered politically incorrect. It had wonderful songs (Zippety-doo-da was my favorite, and I can still sing all the lyrics to this day) as well as a marvelous combination of live and animated action. The Uncle Remus stories, as talismanic as the fables of Aesop, are a staple of our language and symbolism -- we all know about Brer Rabbit screaming about, "Don't throw me in that briar patch." and what that means.

Anyway -- as far as Scotland and knife crime is concerned -- the dark question remains -- can forks be far behind.......

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Billy D said...

This is the stuff that used to be bits in comedy movies years ago.

At 4:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from McAnonymous:

Sad, this. If you want to really cut down on blade crime in scotland, you'd have to make illegal straight razors and Stanley knives, as those have long been the faves for those inclined to filleting people. I can't think of the last time a sgian dubh was used to hurt someone. My dad told me never to even take it out of its sheath, and he was a scary man, so I listened!

As a personal plea, however, please do not use "Braveheart" as a refererence for Scottish History! It's so comically full of errors as to be pointless. Anyone want to discuss that?

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

A big McWelcome to McAnonymous again! We'd love to hear more about the real William Wallace and true Scottish history. Why don't you write something up and I'll post it on the main board -- contributions to UT are always welcome. After all, it's the same theme -- freedom -- and national identity.

Please comment further.

At 2:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from McAnonymous:

I will definitely take you up on the offer to write something. My wife is always nagging me to get back to writing about CIS affairs, which I think is her way of saying "Bore someone other than me for a change, you pompous windbag!"

It may take a while, but I'll get down to it. My mum is coming to visit us in Kiev the day after tomorrow, so I can even get her thoroughly non-historical, English-inflected (went to a posh London school) take on things, as well.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

McWonderful!! I eagerly await your article. If you like you can email it to me directly when you are finished at: lysychka3@webtv.net, or if you prefer, post it as a comment and I will move it to the main board.

And please include the proper pronounciation of the Scottish sword -- I know the Scottish spelling is a mystery to us across the pond.

A lovely hello to your mum -- I hope she brought a good a supply of Marmite and Twiglets with her along with some chocolate Hobnobs :-)

Also to any other readers who might wish to submit articles of interest -- please let me know and I will consider all pertinent subjects concerning freedom, democracy, national identity, culture, memoirs, etc.

Absolutely fabulous, as Edina says -- start writing!

All the best -- Aussiegirl

At 4:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From McAnonymous:

I think the sword you're referring to is actually more of a dagger. The sgian dubh (pronounced "skiyan doo," or "black knife") is the one worn in the sock, or in a sheath at the side.

While the Scots at Culloden used a lot of baskit-hilted broadswords, the one weapon that the Scots were well known for was the cleadh mor ("claymore," "great sword") a bloody big, tw-handed broadsword. Though it could be countered fairly easily by an experienced swordsman (as it was so heavy,) if a Scot got in the first blow with one of them, it was game over.


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