Robert Burns dubbed racist, misogynist drunk by leading historian

January 5th, 2009 - 5:18 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 5 (ANI): Late Scottish poet Robert Burns has been dubbed a racist, misogynist drunk by a leading historian, who says that the Bard is not a fitting figure for Scotland’’s 2009 Homecoming celebrations.

Michael Fry has put down Burns as a role model, and said that there were other more heroic figures like William Wallace, Robert the Bruce or Bonnie Prince Charlie who could better promote Scotland’’s image abroad.

The Bard, as Burns is known in Scotland, is the main attraction for the Homecoming, with a series of events designed to attract visitors to Scotland kicking off on Burns Night later this month.

The event will mark the 250th anniversary of the Bard’’s birth, and it will continue until St Andrew’’s Day in November.

Burns was a drunk, misogynistic, racist philanderer, the Scotsman quoted Fry as saying.

Perhaps he was not untypical of Scots, but we have to wonder whether this is the right image for the modern Scotland.

By all means, let us celebrate the poetry according to its merits. But, in the same critical spirit, let us deal honestly with the man who wrote that poetry, he stated.

On Burns being a role model for the modern Scots, Fry said that everyone would start being irresponsible like the Bard.

We could repeatedly get drunk. In this condition, the males among us could ”lay” one woman after another, following discussion of their respective merits in dirty talk with our drouthie cronies, he said.

Needless to say, this would be unprotected sex performed in a spirit of utter indifference to potential pregnancies, amang the rigs o”barley perhaps. Irksome consequences would be the females” own silly fault.

It is only right to mark Burns” 250th anniversary in a literary sense. But in 2009, his example, in a practical sense, could well send Scotland straight down the tubes.

Are there not, at the very least, other heroes preferable for a period of adversity? It is difficult to see Burns as an inspiration for testing times, he added.

The Scottish Government hopes that the Homecoming will assist the country during the economic crisis, and also boost the tourist trade throughout the year.

Robert Burns is an international cultural icon and one of Scotland’’s favourite sons. He was both a man of his time and of all time. He wouldn”t have been human without flaws, and his egalitarian ideals have helped cement his universal and timeless appeal, a Scottish Government spokesman added. (ANI)

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