Monday, January 21, 2008

Don't Know Much About

Hearty approval, please, for the Scottish Government's pledge to restore the nation's history to its rightful place at the heart of the school curriculum.

Having studied history for years myself, I can't overstate the importance of a good grasp on our heritage to understanding our place in the world. The least our ancestors deserve is recognition of their achievement and sacrifice.

It's right and fitting that children should learn of the Scots who bravely faced the Roman machine guns at Gallipoli. They need to be told of the gallant exploits of William Wallace and his Merry Men, whose courage and tenacity saw them triumph over the Sheriff of Nottingham and the Covenanters.

Surely, no Scottish child could fail to be moved by the fate of the doomed Darien project - those brave men and women who were stranded in the mountains and forced to eat their dead for sustenance.

Fortunately, not only do I have an excellent knowledge of our history, I also have experience in training and teaching. I know precisely how to call forth the shades of yesteryear and breathe new life into their immortal stories.

I ask you to think of that climactic scene in the 1986 movie Highlander, as the valiant Sir Sean Connery engages the evil Kurgan in a swordfight to the death to protect the honour of a fair young maiden.

Now imagine that they're both blind drunk and stripped to the waist, and that they're fighting with big sticks, and that the maiden is actually a bag of sausages. And then one of them is sick.

Or, to evoke the murderous battles of succession that raged for hundreds of years, imagine that scene in Scarface with the chainsaw, the bag of cocaine and the money. Then subtract the cocaine and the money.

Actually, that image would probably be good for evoking our witchcraft trials, too.

Either way, this is a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn of our glorious history of backstabbing, skullduggery and ignominious defeat borne with ill-concealed resentment. It'll be a fantastic initiation for a lifetime watching the Scottish national football team.

Good work, that Government.

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