01 December 2004

S2M-2006 St Andrew's Day

Scottish Parliament

Wednesday 1 December 2004

[THE PRESIDING OFFICER opened the meeting at 14:00]

… … …

St Andrew's Day

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Murray Tosh): The final item of business is a members' business debate on motion S2M-2006, in the name of Dennis Canavan, on St Andrew's day. The debate will be concluded without any question being put.

Motion debated,

That the Parliament believes that St Andrew's Day should be recognised as Scotland's National Day with a nationwide celebration of Scotland's diversity of cultures, faiths and ethnic origins.


… … …


Stewart Stevenson (Banff and Buchan) (SNP): It should come as no surprise that Dennis Canavan is asking for St Andrew's day to be recognised as Scotland's national day. After all, St Andrew is not only the patron saint of Scotland, Greece, Russia and Romania; he is also the patron saint of anglers—angling being a subject that I know is close to Dennis's heart. Of course, St Andrew is also the patron saint of fish dealers, fishmongers and fishermen, which is a matter of considerable constituency interest to me.

According to history, St Regulus brought St Andrew's relics to Scotland because an angel instructed him to take them to the edge of the world. I hope that moving 30 November to centre stage will move us a little nearer to the centre of the world.

I want to highlight a few curious paradoxes about public holidays, bank holidays and so on. I know that other members have already pointed out the number of such holidays that we get.

However, if we are talking about bank holidays—which Mr Canavan refers to in his bill—members will be interested to learn that Scottish bank holidays are not quite what they seem. For example, a Scottish bank holiday does not tell us whether a bank is open, while a Scottish non-bank holiday does not tell us whether a bank is closed. In fact, banks are not required to observe any of the statutory bank holidays one way or the other.

Indeed, there is a sense in which Scotland does not have any bank holidays whatever; we have them only by habit and repute. Indeed, when I were a lad and worked in the Post Office, it used to be my very great regret that I was paid off on Christmas eve, because it meant that I could not work on Christmas day and get the tips that the regular postmen got. I feel that it is legitimate to debate the question of what holidays actually are.

The fact that our need for a national day—which would be most appropriately embodied in St Andrew—has not yet been publicly recognised is certainly a subject for debate, so I very much support all Dennis Canavan's efforts in the matter. In his consultation document, he points out that all the countries in the Americas have national days. I think that it is time for Scotland to have a national day, so I congratulate Dennis on securing the debate and support him in all his endeavours.


Stewart Stevenson
does not gather, use or
retain any cookie data.

However Google who publish for us, may do.
fios ZS is a name registered in Scotland for Stewart Stevenson

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP