Friday, 26 February 2010

Alex Salmond Lynched in Effigy

I'm not sure, at the moment, when representations of people were first attacked as an act of protest or anger. Probably a very long time ago but the practice is still very much with us. Last year Channel 4 effectively lynched convicted paedophile pop-star Gary Glitter in effigy and now Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, has had a representation of him hanged in a graveyard in a bizarre and pseudo-occult protest rite.

A dummy of Alex Salmond was found on the morning of Sunday 21 February by a pensioner hanging from a tree in a graveyard in Wairds Cemetery near Melrose, in the Borders region of Scotland. The man first thought it was a real person hanging and called the police. On their arrival the police confirmed the hanging figure was an effigy, apparently of Alex Salmond, and discovered a make-shift shrine by the manikin. The shrine, perhaps intended to signify something magical had happened there, was made up of “a wooden cross, three dressed dolls in a makeshift grave and what appeared to be the draped figure of a human skeleton.” All of which brings to mind the old phrase “of ritual significance”.

 This “bizarre way" of expressing dissatisfaction is thought be with the proposed crematorium scheduled to be built in Wairds cemetery. The anger over the crematorium appears to be based on the location, on the lower slopes of the Eildon Hills, rather than for religious reasons.