Mondays with Matthew: Flowers of Scotland

Post by Matthew Lodge


If you were passing by the British Embassy yesterday you may have noticed that we were flying a different flag. 30 November is St Andrew’s Day – the national day of Scotland. We were proud to raise the Saltire – the flag of Scotland – and delighted to see it flying in the beautiful Kuwaiti sunshine. As well as being a part of the United Kingdom, Scotland is part of our identity, part of my identity. Here at the British Embassy in Kuwait we have a number of staff who enjoy Scottish heritage, family connections or both. I am one of them. I am proud to be British. I am also proud to represent Scotland, alongside England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
So how much do you know about Scotland?

St Andrew’s Day is a good moment to remind ourselves of the impact Scots and Scotland have had on the world. Did you know that James Bond is a Scot? Or that penicillin was discovered by a Scot, and that television and the steam engine were invented in Scotland too?

Scotland today has a huge amount to offer whether you are a tourist, a student or looking to do business. Take a look at for an idea of what Scotland has to offer for visitors. This year looks like being a record year for tourism, but in a usual year, 20 million people can be expected to visit Scotland, four times more than the entire Scottish population!

Visitors come for Scotland’s mix of vibrant, cosmopolitan cities; the biggest arts festival in the world; the beautiful, clean and unspoilt scenery, with thousands of historic castles, houses, battlegrounds, ruins and museums, and don’t forget Scotland’s contribution to global fashion. You can also enjoy Scotland’s food and drink, famed around the world, and the great outdoors. So, if you want a change from Kuwaiti heat, sunshine and sand, Scotland can offer something different!

And 40,000 overseas students (including quite a few Kuwaitis!) travel to Scotland every year to seek an education fit for a King. It was, after all, at one of Scotland’s world-class universities, St. Andrews, that HRH Prince William studied and where he and the Duchess of Cambridge met.

2014 has been Scotland’s year. The Commonwealth Games brought 6,500 athletes to Glasgow. They came from 71 nations and territories, representing a third of the world’s population, to compete in 17 sports over 11 glorious days. Over a million people filled Glasgow’s sporting arenas, and over a billion more were willing on the athletes from their homes. A short while later, the eyes of more than half a billion viewers in 183 countries turned to Gleneagles as Europe’s and America’s best golfers battled it out for the glory of winning the Ryder Cup.

2014 was also the year that the United Kingdom demonstrated that values aren’t just something we talk about abroad – we live by them at home. In a defining moment in British history, and by a decisive majority, the people of Scots voted to remain part of the United Kingdom, one of the most durable and successful political unions ever seen.

In a world where separatism all too often leads to conflict, the Scottish referendum demonstrated Britain’s confidence in her own democratic institutions and processes.
A free and open debate electrified the nation; a peaceful, lawful and democratic vote drew admiration from around the world; and, with a record turnout, the settled will of the Scottish people was determined.

So when you think of Scotland, I hope you think of all the above and more. Scotland has an enormous amount to be proud of, and we have an enormous amount to celebrate with Scotland as part of the United Kingdom.

Post by Matthew Lodge
British Ambassador to Kuwait
Instagram: @HMAMatthewLodge Twitter: @HMAMatthewLodge

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13 comments, add your own...

  1. Dear ambassador,

    I hope your government’s main three parties-The Conservatives, Labor and the Liberal Democrats- (the Independent Party can go fuck itself) have held their end of the bargain and have agreed to devolve more powers to Scotland because it said “No”.

  2. LRg142 says:

    Please make for us direct flights :)

  3. sala6a says:

    Hopefully one day I visit it, but not before visiting London. My wife can’t wait to start shopping from there !

  4. Maz says:

    Dear Andrew,
    Glad to read this post, I’ve been to England and visited Scotland and its beautiful highlands in a 3 day trip.
    The first thing I discovered was the vast difference in the friendly nature, down-to-earthiness and humor of it’s people, one friendly face I remember is a local William Wallace impersonator his name was Adam who was collecting money for children by posing in his full Braveheart character with tourists and vistors…
    What amazed me the most when I visited is how the weather changes as you go north from cloudy to snowy and then sunny all within few kilometers of our drive…
    I will always remember this trip as one of the best locations I visited..

    Congratulations on your day of heritage….with you all the best in Kuwait

  5. Gus says:

    I visited Edinburgh 2 years ago, and I was stunned. So much history & heritage in this city. I was there during December, around Christmas time, it was amazing with all the festivities, but very cold :) I will surely go back there and highly recommend everyone to visit, make sure you also visit the Castle, a very memorable experience.

    Thank you for this post Your Excellency.

  6. aaa says:

    I’ve never seen a place be so fiercely split in opinion and then resume with their lives peacefully after a simple yes/no vote.

  7. Food Ambassador says:

    not fair for Kuwaitis to stand in ques and wait for visas for hours while other countries don’t need visas – ppl do read between the lines Mr. Ambassador

    • Basaam says:

      Food Ambassador,

      UK is a country that treats everyone equally. No matter you are pakistani, indian or american. you gotta follow laws of the land. and thats what makes us unique.

      Visa for kuwaits or non kuwaits everyone has to rights to exercise the same rules and regulation.

      We British come to Kuwait, we are bombarded with 10000s of questions..we dont complain.

      My dear friend, let keep it simple

      • Food Ambassador says:

        Like you defend your country by default ill defend mine,

        • Indians are treated different because they are under the common wealth countries
        • Tell me about Qatar ? why don’t they get a visa ? and they do the same as the Kuwaitis who visit your country ? is it because they bought half of the UK ?

        My dear friend, let keep it simple

  8. basaam says:

    Apply for visa, pay the fees and queue and wait for your turn. Thats the simplest way…

    I was at kuwait airport. The immigration officer made me wait 2hours for unknown and un explain reason..

    Finally he finishes his friends work came through wastah…he then picks up my pp and punch some numbers on keyboard, a print out come bang bang stamp my entry I away..

    I never complain..

    We all need to apply common sense.

    • Food Ambassador says:

      this process is unfortunate but everyone goes through it equally even kuwaitis,

      why don’t you shed some light on why qataris don’t get visas ? cause they bought it off the queen ?

  9. basaam says:

    I’m afraid I cant help you with this.

    Ambassador M. Lodge is in best position IF he wishes to answer your question.

    You should take this with British Embassy in Doha.

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