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Friday, August 6, 1999 Published at 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK

Special Report

Ban bagpipes and kilts, says Englishman

Clive Hibberts would ban the traditional dress warn by the Argylls

An Englishman who has made his home in Scotland's capital Edinburgh is launching a campaign to ban bagpipes and kilts.

Clive Hibberts faces the wrath of the country's traditionalists when he and his friends begin picketing pipe-playing buskers on the city's Royal Mile.

Clive Hibberts on his plan to knock the wind out of the bagpipes
The 22-year-old, who is president of the newly formed Campaign Against Bagpipes and the Campaign Against Kilts, hopes to convince Scots that bagpipes are a noisy nuisance and kilts are a symbol of a troubled past.

The groups' members, including two who are Scots born, will also gather signatures for a petition and put up posters in the city during the Edinburgh Festival season, which begins on Sunday.

[ image: Kilts hark back to a 'troubled past']
Kilts hark back to a 'troubled past'
Mr Hibberts - whose parents are Scottish but settled in the English Midlands before he was born - said: "The people of Scotland have a lot to offer but the world simply sees them in terms of bagpipes and kilt.

"There is a lot more in the country's heritage than those two hackneyed symbols.

"This is a thrilling time for Scotland, a time in which the Scottish people must re-evaluate their national identity.

"Scotland may never have an opportunity quite like this again. We must clutch the thistle.

While hopeful of winning over the country's true Scots, Mr Hibberts - who works for an information technology company in Edinburgh - admitted his Aberdeen-born father John is pleased with the campaign.

[ image: Killt-wearing Sean Connery]
Killt-wearing Sean Connery
He said: "My dad was not overjoyed to hear I was doing this. "But I am sure he will eventually see my point of view."

The campaigners have put together a 10-point plan and their first priority is to see bagpipes and kilts banned.

But they are not being totally hard-hearted about pipers and kilt wearers. They want to create a sanctuary on the Isle of Skye in which bagpipers may play and dress as they please.

The next stage in the journey to create a new national identity will include plans to see the demise of shortbread and haggis.

Bagpipe maker David Gould dismissed Mr Hibberts' attack and said he should appreciate the illustrious history of bagpipe making and playing.

Mr Gould, who has made more than 100 bagpipes over the last eight years, said: "The bagpipe is world renowned and has its roots as much in Europe and Asia as it does in Scotland.

"It should be remembered too that the Highland bagpipe was designed by a Yorkshireman.

"If we ever saw the end of the bagpipes we would see an end to a great Scottish tradition."

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