Anent a Scots Language Act

“It is noo widely acceptit that a fundamental human richt o every wean is the richt tae learn in their mither tung”.

Scots Language Act: Oor weans hae richt tae see mither tung respectit

AS somebody that’s campaignt for the Scots language owre mony years, I wis maist upliftit tae read aboot the young singer Iona Fyfe, supportit by MSP Clare Adamson, persuadin Spotify tae recognise Scots as a language, an saicondly, tae hear her arguing the case for a Scots Language Act.

Generatit a fair bit o interestin blether on FB.

Generatit a fair bit o interestin blether.

Iona Fyfe: “I’d like tae pint oot that Oor Vyce, fa werna mentioned in the airticle, hae the sole mission tae get a Scots Language Act, an we hae some very exciting plans for the neist twa or sae months”.

Michael Hance: “John misses some of the background to the establishment of the MWG. I and a number of others had lobbied the then SNP minority government to set up a body to consider how Scots might be developed along the lines of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Gaelic which had led eventually to the Gaelic Language Act. The Scots Language Centre was the principal body which lobbied for the establishment of the group. The centre provided secretariat support for many years to the then Cross Party Group on Scots which also campaigned under the convenorship of Irene McGugan MSP for the establishment of the group. Until the cross party group disbanded I was its secretary so I remember the details quite well including attending meetings with civil servants and others to discuss who might be appointed to the Ministerial working group. It’s disappointing that John fails to mention my role or the work of the Centre or CPG in this account.He says initiatives weren’t acted upon but that’s just not true. Many of the proposals made by the group did come to fruition including the Scots co-ordinators in schools project which he alludes to as a product of ASLS lobbying. That’s just not true and it represents a misleading account of the background to the project. It came about as a direct result of proposals made at the MWG which were based on the work being undertaken at the time by Bruce Eunson who was the then dialect officer at Shetland Islands Council. A number of us felt similar posts could be set up successfully round the country and the coordinators project emerged from it.Incidentally there is no such thing as the EU Bureau for Minority Languages and Cultures. At one time there was the so called European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages which had a Scottish ‘branch’ but it was never an EU organisation. There is a European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages which was signed up to by Tony Blair’s government and which accords a certain non legally binding status to Scots. Something which we know because at my request the late Donald Gorrie MSP asked a question on the subject of the then Scottish Executive about the legal status of the Charter’s provisions. The culture minister at the time Frank McAveety MSP replied that the Charter had no legally binding provisions”.

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