Alex Salmond’s Alba Party has released a campaign video for the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections that has made the outlandish claim that King Robert I – widely known as Robert the Bruce – endorses the party.
The only problem is, he died 692 year ago in 1329...
The video was narrated and produced by Scottish actor Angus MacFadyen, who played Robert the Bruce in Braveheart.
He tells the story of how the camp flowers of “sma folk” turned the tide of the Battle of Bannockburn by appearing at a vital moment on Gillies Hill as a fresh Scottish army.
In a statement McFadyen said: “I see the emergence of Alba as an underdog upsetting the established parties and making possible an overwhelming victory for independence at the polls.”
This depiction is ever so slightly tongue in cheek but still makes a very serious point. It is the “sma folk” or people power who hold the key to Scotland’s future.
“That was fact in 1314. It is true in 2021.”
Scottish duo, The Proclaimers, have also pledged their support to Alba.
In his one minute and thirty-seven second monologue, Macfadyen says: “Here wisdom and history on the final day of battle between the forces of freedom vastly outnumbered by those of the oppressor in the year of our Lord 1314.
“Facing yet another defeat, King Robert ordered the camp followers to Gillies Hill, where they raised their home made banners and surged forth as fresh Scottish army and this demonstration of people power by the sma folk of Scotland was the straw, which broke the spine of English superiority.
“And their prime commander Edward Plantagenet fled south. I know. I was there. I am the Bruce. And here and now people power will prevail again. Alba will unite the clans.”
Though it has been described by social media users as ‘cringey’ and embarrassing’, the huge number of responses meant that ‘Robert the Bruce’ ended up trending on Twitter.
Scottish politicians from other political parties even joined in:
However, it’s not the first time the party has come under fire.
An Alba party candidate, Margaret Lynch, has been criticised for “categorically untrue” claims that the Scottish Government is funding organisations campaigning to lower the age of consent to the age of 10.
Stonewall Scotland took to Twitter to deny the claims:
Why did the Alba party use Robert the Bruce in their campaign video?
Robert was one of the most famous warriors of his generation and eventually led Scotland during the First War of Scottish Independence against England.
He freed Scotland from English rule, winning the decisive Battle of Banockburn in 1314 and ultimately confirming Scottish independence in the Treaty of Northampton in 1328.
Alba is a Scottish nationalist party (not to be confused with the SNP) and ultimately wants to Scotland to become an independent country.
So they may have included Robert the Bruce in the campaign video with the hopes that it invokes Scottish patriotism within voters.
692 years later, we don’t think we can anticipate Robert casting his vote at the polling booths on May 6...