Final day of festival celebrates Burns


The life and work of Robbie Burns take centre stage at a number of events on the final day of the Parliament’s Festival of Politics.

The day includes Burns-related children’s workshops, storytelling theatre and political debate on how the Bard’s work gave the Scottish Enlightenment its radical edge.

Other highlights include a talk by former MP David Owen – one of Labour’s breakaway "Gang of Four" who founded the SDP – on his life in politics. Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP will chat to him about his role in bringing independence to Zimbabwe and what it was like being one of the UK’s youngest-ever foreign secretaries.

Trade unions come under the spotlight in the "Scottish Parliament: A Voice for Working People” event which looks at how unions can still influence policy makers in a devolved Scotland. The day will also see a discussion on whether the development of Scotland’s National Parks has delivered better management to these areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Other events include the Cross Party Group on International Development discussing the importance of various forms of aid being given to the developing world in a time of global recession. A later session will ask what roles voluntary and community organisations have in helping create a more "civil economy".

Three events, all relating to Robbie Burns, have been specially designed for children and include workshops which cover topics including language, equality and patriotism. Folk singer Wendy Weatherby and storyteller Andy Cannon will also create a unique theatrical experience for youngsters when they perform at "Oor Rabbie".

Director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Dr Donald Smith, asks if Burns’ work still matters in modern Scotland in "Burns’s Radical Voice – Politics and Religion in the Age of Enlightenment". And a performance of Lara Jane Bunting’s play "Love But Her" will close the five-day festival. It tells the story of Burns’ wife Jean Armour and her turbulent life with the Bard.

Festival Partners

This year’s Festival of Politics is delivered in formal partnership with:

Carnegie UK Trust and the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust
The Law Society of Scotland
The Scotsman
EAE Leaflet Marketing Specialists
The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City

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