Tuesday 16 March 2004

Wrong statue?

I don't have anything against the poet Robert Fergusson, who is to be honoured by a new statue:
The statue is to be erected outside the Canongate Kirkyard, where he was buried after dying in an asylum aged just 24. The poet was credited with inspiring Robert Burns, and the memorial marks the end of a four-year campaign to recognise his work. The dedication event is expected to be attended by Scotland’s poet laureate, Edwin Morgan, as well as other leading figures from Scotland’s literary scene.
It's just that a rather more important person is also buried in the Canongate Kirkyard. Surely there should be a statue of Adam Smith in the area. Perhaps I should organise a fund for an Adam Smith statue to be erected outside the new Scottish Parliament building, which is just down the road from the great economist's resting place.

I even have the appropriate quotation for the Holyrood statue:

It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs.