An effigy of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond is to be burnt in Lewes, England as part of the celebrating of Bonfire Night. The annual event celebrates the day a plot was foiled to blow up King James I by Guy Fawkes and others in 1605.
The event is being organised by the Waterloo Bonfire Society, who commemorate both the bomb plot and the burning of the stake of 17 protestant martyrs in the 16th Century.
Although most bonfire night parties burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes, Waterloo have previously incinerated Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. They have not publicly stated why they are burning Salmond but he is holding a wooden-spoon with 45 percent on it. The figure is likely to represent the percent of Scots that voted for independence.
East Sussex County Council landed themselves in hot water earlier by tweeting a picture of the effigy which was in their car park. They have since made clear that they have no involvement in the event. A council spokesman told the Scotsman: “The Lewes Bonfire event is not organised by the council and East Sussex County Council are not involved.
“The effigy belongs to Waterloo Bonfire Society and has been ‘parked’ in a car park near county hall.
“This event, organised by a number of bonfire societies, is extremely well known in the south east. We will amend the tweet to make it clear [the council has no involvement].”
Guy Fawkes had hoped to blow up the House of Lords on the day of the State Opening of Parliament because the King was a protestant. His plot failed because a Catholic Lord was warned to stay away from the event and instead warned the authorities.
Traditionally, children add to their pocket money by making a ‘Guy’ in advance of the burning and asking for money from members of the public using the slogan “a penny for the guy”. Over the years guy has become a generic term for man, and in most of the country the original sectarian reason for burning Guy Fawkes has been forgotten.
To this day the State Opening of Parliament involves a ceremonial ‘checking of the cellars’ by the Yeomen of the Guard, the Queen’s ceremonial bodyguard team.