Thursday 24 July 2003


While googling for an Adam Smith reference for the previous item, I came across this comment from the Scottish Conservative leader:
Commenting on reports that Historic Scotland has turned down an offer of £10,000 by Edinburgh-born businessman Bob Lamond to pay for information signs leading to Adam Smith's grave in the Canongate Kirkyard, Scottish Conservative Leader David McLetchie MSP said:

"I am utterly astonished that Historic Scotland has turned down this most generous offer. Adam Smith is one of Scotland's most distinguished men. The Wealth of Nations provides the foundation of the free-enterprise system which has conferred untold benefits to mankind, down the centuries and across the world.

"Adam Smith's grave currently languishes in obscurity in the Canongate Kirkyard. At a time when Scotland should be encouraging interest in our history both at home and abroad, it is absurd that this generous, well-intentioned and eminently sensible proposal has been rejected.

"I will be writing to the Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Frank McAveety and to Historic Scotland, urging them to reverse this bizarre decision."

McLetchie is absolutely justified in his complaint, although I can't say that I am "utterly astonished" about this decision.

So much for Scotland's commitment to enterprise. If the Canongate Kirkyard contained the grave of Karl Marx instead of that of Adam Smith you can bet that Historic Scotland would have already spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money on signage.