As glimpses of Scotland go, it owed more to the tartan shortbread tin than to the vibrant, modern nation that is leading the world in sectors as diverse as digital entertainment and financial services.
The Late, Late Show, a night-time American chat programme hosted by ex-pat Scot Craig Ferguson, trailed its interview with First Minister Alex Salmond with a quick tour around Picture Postcard Scotland: Heilan coos competing with sporrans, Arbroath Smokies, and the One O’Clock Gun.
It wasn’t the image of a 21st century nation that Alex Salmond usually stresses but there was the First Minister in the opening credits, showing off his best jazz hands – a move that probably won’t get an outing in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament.
Perhaps he was taking a leaf out of the book of Barack Obama who recently slow-jammed the news with Ferguson’s late-night rival Jimmy Fallon. Politicians have to use evermore unorthodox channels to reach younger voters apathetic with the political process and, for a Scottish politician, there are few platforms more left-field that a quirky American chat show.
But if the show’s producers have an outmoded view of Scotland, the First Minister tried to use the opportunity to promote his vision for the country to the programme’s two million American viewers.
Sitting on a bench inside the ruins of Arbroath Abbey, Salmond reminded Glasgow-born Ferguson, who took American citizenship in 2008, that the Declaration of Arbroath had influenced America’s founding fathers when they penned the Declaration of Independence.
By way of returning the compliment, the First Minister promised that an independent Scotland would have a “friendly” relationship with the United States.
“Scotland would be part of that Western nexus of nations. We’d have the firmest and strongest of relationships with The United States of America,” Salmond told the chat show host.
Whatever the outcome of the referendum, Scots can only hope that the First Minister’s appearance will convince the world that there is more to Scotland than bagpipes and Braveheart.
If that’s too much to ask we can console ourselves with this: Scotland's First Minister beat even Barack Obama as the first leader to showcase his jazz hands on American TV.
The Late, Late Show is broadcast by CBS and aired on American TV on Tuesday night.
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