Sunday, July 01, 2007

I went to the opening of the Scottish Parliament yesterday. A friend of mine has a flat on the lower half of the royal mile so my flatmate and I brought breakfast as a thank you for letting us come down. The most exciting part of the day was seeing the Queen ride past us in her car about a half an hour before the event began. I was not quick enough with my camera to catch her though.

The event was in two parts. The first part was having the Crown of Scotland transferred from the castle to the Parliament building. That involved RAF guys standing at attention along the parade route and the requisite pipe band with an honor guard of Grenadiers with the huge puffy hats. Then there was parade of different people who represented different aspects of Scotland. It was fun and there were more pipe bands and other jesters and stuff. After that, there was a party in front of the Parliament building but by then, it was raining and everyone was running for cover. Although, we did get to see Salsa Celtica which is always good.

One thing that struck me about the entire affair was the fact that we do not have something similar in the US. Congress does not have a huge parade when they start business. You do not see the Speaker of the House hanging out at a BBQ with random people after a parade that had Jesters and a Pipe Band as I saw Jack McConnell (former First Minister of Scotland, aka Wee Jack) at the party after the parade (I won the celebrity spotting on points). This makes me think that sometimes the US Congress takes itself way too seriously. While they have an awesome responsibility, they never seem to take time to show people that life is not just work and that the life the US Congress reflects the life that is lived in the US. Anyway, a good time was had by all and it was a great event for getting people to come to the Parliament building and, in a small way, politics in general.

posted by Chris  #12:21 PM | 0 comments |