It was a tall order - expecting the United Kingdom government at Westminster to keep it’s political will out of the global celebration of the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn. In retrospect, it may have been too much to hope for. As we reported last week, the United Kingdom, with the invitation of Stirling Council, has managed to schedule the 2014 UK Armed Forces Day celebrations in Stirling on the opening day of the long awaited (700 years) BannockburnLive 2014 events. Apparently this double booking was set in motion some significant time ago but no one bothered to tell the Clans. Indeed, no one informed the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs despite meeting with Sir Malcolm MacGregor and others on Bannockburn planning numerous times over the course of the last year.
Of course it is also possible that no one actually bothered to tell the National Trust or the Scottish Government to expect an additional 50,000 UK citizens and soldiers in Stirling on opening day of BannockburnLive either. Of course we would like to blame this on a Homer Simpson moment of “Duh!” but sadly, this epic fail doesn’t appear to have been an unknowing innocent piece of bad luck or idiocy. I am reminded of the great US Senator Howard Baker’s inquiry of John Dean during the Senate Watergate Hearings - As did Sen. Baker, we will want to know what people knew and when they knew it. We will bring you more of the details of how and why this happened very soon.
In the meanwhile, we are fortunate to have Sir Malcolm MacGregor of the SCSC on the job in Scotland. Upon recently learning of this issue, Sir Malcolm quickly expressed his concern to those who count in the UK. Sir Malcolm understands and is working in the interest of those of us who had been planning our trip to Scotland’s signature ancestral 2014 Homecoming event. Of course we hadn’t been planning on sharing the city with a full complement of Britain’s modern armament and 50,000 UK armed forces well wishers.
Worse yet, numerous reports are now coming in about price gouging by Stirling lodging vendors following announcement that their fair city is going to be absolutely brim full on June 27, 28 & 29, 2014. While there are some in Scotland who are willing to advocate rescheduling UK Armed Forces Day to one of the other 360 days of 2014, it sounds like the UK Ministry of Defense is entrenched.
By all means … Stay Tuned!