Guid blether anent the want o organisation, ower on FB, “Despite Gaelic having fewer numbers, I fear the attitudes towards Scots put it in a more perilous position. It’s still considered slang by many. Within a generation or two I think Scottish English will largely replace Scots due to this prejudice”. Ae answer wis “because Scots speakers are disorganised” an a richt lesson gien on hoo Gaelic activists get theirsels thegither.
Lat me gie ye an ensample here, ma son, five year auld, has just stertit at the Gaelic scuil. The parents that the bairns o thaim’s at the scuil is gey organised. They are fechtin the cooncil ower the plans for a new scuil in the Soo’side (A forget whar) in room o the present ane in Anderston. They organise a commattee for the Buidhean Disathairne, a parent guidit group o leid lairners that has creche facilities pitten on for the parents tae ging tae scuil. It’s a muckle effort involvin hunders o fowk.
Thegither wi haein ane o the maist organised PTAs, the’r a facebeuk group whar fowk’s aye on aboot the adaes o the scuil.
Seein this ae wee bit o the Gaelic movement, we hae naething like the enthusiasm or smeddum. Scots speakers theirsels after thinks on their leid as ‘dialect’ – a thing tae hae poetry aboot or howk oot for a wee anter aince a year.
Whit demonstration has their been for Scots? Whit organised group o parents is demandin provision for their bairns?
The semple fact is that Scots speakers isna carin ower muckle aboot the tift o the leid. It’s sair nott that there be some kinna consciousness raisin and freireist or braid based organisin ettle. A ken the SLC and SLA is aye tae the fore, and the former has brocht this group thegither tae help wi’ ging fere for fere and fit for fit, but it’s early days and ye canna gar an epistemological rupture kythe deus ex machina. It maun be cawed bi the fowk theirsels, and that needs organisation tae breird a kinna consciousness raisin.
Power concedes nothing without a demand….And the actual ability to make that demand a headache.
As anither memmer respondit, “If there was a demand for initiatives from the people who speak Scots it would happen. You hear of parents wanting GME schools but Iv never heard of people wanting Scots medium education etc”. O coorse fowk hae been “campaiging for DECADES to get for Scots the recognition it deserves, and would have in just about any other country in Europe, and find ourselves having to repeat the SAME OLD ARGUMENTS – really self-evident facts – ad nauseam”. But, “t’s no a braid movement. It’s a movement o activists and lang heidit compassionate fowk that kens aboot languages. It’s no a civil richts movement that can dae turnoot”.
Hoo no? “I think it is because as we have grown up Scots was described as slang. You were told that to do well you must ditch it. There was never any recognition of it being a language as such, it was a fault. This still is a prevalent view, I think. It was seen as culturally inferior, to English and Gaelic. The latter was at least recognised as a language”. This means that “most Scots speakers have no interest in demanding more rights for their language and haven’t put in nearly as much effort to secure (pseudo) legal status etc. as the Gaelic-speaking community. Scots speakers also need to get the ‘is it even a language’ debate parked, before things will move forward”.
Ma thochts wis, “Gaelic has an organised middle-class support movement, Scots doesn’t”, wi the reply “It’s not that well organised. The government quangos have cornered the Gaelic world… the likes of CLI and CNSA (the learners and nursery schools) got their funding cut and everything diverted into Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
I added that language activists (like all social activists, left or right) are usually middle class for a range of reasons such as time available, sense of agency, confidence, experience, knowledge of ideology etc. There are few middle-class Scots speakers left and those who are, may tend towards social conservatism. So although there are lots of speakers, there is no ready activist pool for Scots. This community could be developed of course, but again, by whom?
A colleage on the forum replied, “What Clive points out about activists being mostly middle-class is right. But theoretically, in a modern society where people often move up from working to middle class, you would imagine that there would be a large number of Scots-speaking people from working-class backgrounds who would become middle or professional class, and so there would be a big source of Scots interest and activism. The real question is – why is this not the case?”
Possibly because to “move up from working to middle class” means shedding your language.