The Scottish Deformation


"Live your lives in irrelevant fear during your temporary stay on the Earth. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were able to redeem the coupon for the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious drink of SAWNEY HA'PETH

- a haggis without blemish or defect."




The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


Filmed by Oliver Benton


Sawney Ha'peth carries their banner up the Royal Mile from the Scottish Parliament to Edinburgh Castle during the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival on the anniversary of the adoption of the reformed confession of faith by the Scottish Reformation Parliament. 'Sawney Ha'peth' is an old derogatory term for a Scottish person; 'Sawney' meaning 'fool' and 'ha'peth' coming from 'halfpennyworth' meaning 'worthless'. As their birth, residence and ancestry is entirely centred in North-East Scotland - an area which is entirely reliant on the tartantry industries such as distilling, wool and shortbread manufacturing - Sawney Ha'peth is a living effigy and charicature of the notion of national identity. Revealing it as a falsity. Dressed in tartan with a crown of thistles and syringes, licking the windows of kilt shops and kissing the feet of Adam Smith - Sawney Ha'peth plans to be crucified at Scotland's most-visitied paid tourist attraction but is unexpectedly apprehended by the Royal Military Police during the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Key words:

fool, national identity, scottish cringe, patriotism, military, police, edingurgh fringe festival, sawney, haggis, Scotland, shortbread, whisky, tartan, kilts, alchoholism, drugs death capital