It would never have occurred to me to use the start of a war, any war, but most especially not a war that killed millions of people across Europe, to try to make political capital. It's cheap and it's tawdry.
I have no wish then to emulate David Cameron in 'using' the First World War or the misery it brought across the continent.
Cameron does cheap and tawdry like he was born to it; I hope I don't.
It seems to me clear that he is hoping for a massive blue, white, red flag waving ceremony, headed by Her Majesty, a few weeks before the referendum with the hope of recreating the feeling of goodwill and Britishness which he thinks was generated by the Queen's jubilee and the Olympic games last year.
It is such an obviously cynical ploy. The fact that this National occasion is to be celebrated in Glasgow, rather than London given a clue that there is more than a little hint of an ulterior motive.
When was a provincial city ever used to stage a national moment as important as this?
Any commemoration of war should surely be held on the anniversary of the end, not the beginning. This, then should be in 2018, rather than 2014.
Personally I think that he is taking an enormous risk, because many people, even loyal Britnats, will see this as a distasteful use of millions of dead bodies to keep his union together.
Unless the tone of the event is incredibly solemn, without even a hint of celebration, it will likely disgust more people than it inspires. It will have to be deeply religious, deeply solemn; not at all in keeping with celebrations for the Queen or the Coca Cola Olympics. No street parties here to celebrate the day that these young men started their march towards their fate.
Cameron and his out of touch government of English toffs who rarely venture outside London, and with only one rather dim representative from Scotland are undoubtedly in denial about the comparative lack of interest which met the jubilee in this country. While England celebrated with gusto, there were few street parties here.
Even the Olympics, in which Scottish athletes did well, was so far away that most who were interested watched on the telly. Just as they will do in 3 years' time when the games are in Rio. The few events which were held in Glasgow were so insultingly uninteresting that even with tickets being given away to school parties, there was hardly anyone there.
I fear Cameron may have misjudged this, just as he so often does with things he knows so little about: ordinary people, for example.
I was touched by Joan McAlpine's piece on the war. The figures are horrific. To save you going to the Record for it, I've reproduced it here.
SCOTLAND has particular reason to be solemn as we commemorate the dead of World War I next week.
The 1914-18 slaughter cast a shadow that took decades to lift.
With 150,000 dead, the country lost a higher proportion of its population than any other UK nation.
Next year, David Cameron has decreed we hold jingoistic celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the war.
Many Scots reacted with horror at his £50million plans to “bring Britain together”.
But you mark the end of wars, not their beginning.
Glasgow Cathedral will host the main event. Some believe it’s all a cynical attempt to boost Britishness ahead of the referendum. If so, it’s bound to backfire.
The outburst of hysterical patriotism in 1914 represented the worst of British – arrogance, self-delusion and a desire to dominate on the world stage.
Scots were gripped by British “war fever” and signed up in their thousands – including my own grandfather who joined at the tender age of 16, no questions asked.
Scotland provided more volunteers than anywhere else in the UK – 67 per cent of our soldiers compared with 52 per cent.
Talk about misplaced loyalty.
What they had to be patriotic about is anyone’s guess.
They produced much of the Empire’s wealth in great profitable mines, shipyards and steelworks but they endured life in the worst slum housing in Europe.
TB was rife and most families lost more than one child to illnesses such as diphtheria, measles and whooping cough.
In the Highlands, thousands had been cleared off their land by a callous aristocracy,
the same aristocracy that now commanded their regiments.
The city of Glasgow lost one in 10 of its adult males, with country districts faring even worse.
Scots were the “poor bloody infantry”. In the deadly Battle of Arras in 1917, one in three of those who went over the top were Scottish.
The consequences for the country lasted decades.
In the 1920s and 1930s, our great industries began to fail and many blamed poor management.
But the historian Professor Michael Lynch said: “It is perhaps a lost generation that lies at the root of it.”
One in six graduates of Glasgow University never returned from Flanders. We lost our brightest and best and the subsequent Depression was more than economic.
Imagine the scale of grief with so many families and communities suffering bereavement.
Imagine the effect of seeing maimed soldiers on street corners. The psychological toll was shattering.
Scotland lost the confidence that made it the workshop of the Victorian world.
Professor Lynch says the north-south divide began with the war. Now, after almost a century, Scotland’s wounds have healed.
We are enjoying a new sense of self-esteem, much of it as a result of our own efforts – not the actions of a distant British state.
So we will remember the fallen of the Great Slaughter.
We will remember them with dignity and regret.
But there is nothing to celebrate – except, perhaps, that it is well behind us.
As one war poet said: “Goodbye to All That.”
And good riddance.