Scotland in the 21st Century: 2

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This second paper by Professor Alfred Baird concentrates on language, the bedrock that defines one nation from another, and that facilites a nations ability to pass what it has learned and how it has learned, it’s mores and values and the people’s understanding of their place in the scheme of things, from one generation to another. For the first article, and Professor Baird’s biography, please see link at the foot this page.


“The most urgent claim of a group about to revive is certainly the liberation and restoration of its language. Only that language would allow the colonized to resume contact with his interrupted flow of time and to find again his lost continuity and that of his history. To this self-rediscovery movement of an entire people must be returned the most appropriate tool; that which finds the shortest path to its soul, because it comes directly from it.” (Albert Memmi)

The tenets of any society are founded on language, which is the ‘master tool’ representing and making its own culture. Language is what makes culture possible and without a people’s language the culture is lost for that people.

Languages are powerful political instruments, so powerful they may be viewed as a threat to national allegiance and identity. Language, culture and national identity intersect to form our belief in ‘who we are’. When a people become incorporated into a more dominant imposed language and culture that has subsumed them, they have then lost their heritage and identity, and hence lost their way.

Because language is the fabric of culture, when a language dies, the demise of the culture that gave birth to it becomes imminent. Language wanes not because of physical extinction, but because of cultural subsumption. To the indigenous Scots speaker, English gaes in ane lug an oot the ither and will never touch the heart and soul of the people in the same way the Scots language does: the ‘Scots (language) is a mirror of Scotland’s soul’, according to writer Billy Kay.

The cause of language death is attributed to the marginalization of indigenous communities and the subordination of their languages, where the speakers of a culturally dominant language in a particular area or nation marginalize the speakers of minority languages. The Scots language is a minority language in Britain and has now been made a minority language in Scotland; according to the 2011 census just 1.6 million Scots speakers remain, less than a third of the Scottish population. This is a consequence of the Scots language being marginalised in Scotland through Anglophone domination and a refusal by UK and Scottish governing institutions to teach the language in Scotland’s schools, despite repeated requests by the European Council for the Scots language to be taught based on rights under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Resolution (Article 14) holds that aboriginal languages should be treated as fundamental rights and that: ‘A mother tongue is a human birthright.’ This means the Scots language should be respected and protected but even more important it needs to be taught! If a language is not taught to new generations, it will be lost.

Depriving a child of their language at the ‘sponge’ time of life, the most precious learning years, means a cultural bond is broken. Scotland’s bairns go into Anglophone dominated classrooms and have their own language squeezed out of them, often by teachers who themselves have little or no knowledge of, never mind qualification in, the Scots language. An Anglophone hierarchy is linguistically programmed to consider Scots speakers as less articulate than them, reflecting the prevailing view of Scotland’s social institutions that the Scots language is not a ‘valid’ language, which is linguistic prejudice and ethnic discrimination.

It is accepted almost universally that the English language is useful for communication, however, language is far more than merely a means of communication; language is the principle means by which humans can claim diversity and define their identity. To preserve language is also an effort to preserve a people and their unique heritage and culture, as well as their national identity. By ignoring and marginalizing the Scots language, a consequence of Linguistic Imperialism and linguistic policy of an Anglophone elite hegemony running Scotland, this means Scots speakers are made subordinate, their Scottish culture is being replaced, and with Scottish identity and therefore national consciousness diminished.

Scots speakers are therefore discriminated against (from birth) in their own nation and continually disadvantaged throughout life by prevailing Anglophone language domination and prioritisation. Scots language discrimination results in inequality and the so-called ‘attainment gap’; many Scots speakers are left behind, considered as inferior and less articulate, discarded by an Anglophone elite, many of whom are not Scots yet who control Scotland and its social institutions. This ongoing linguistic discrimination ‘introduced a schizoid element into the national psyche’,according to Dr. David Purves, with significant adverse psychological effects.

Scots have a right to a ‘Scots Language Act’ to end linguistic oppression and discrimination and to respect and reinstate the unique irreplaceable connection between their culture and language. The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis states that the way a people think and view the world is determined by their language, and culture and language are undeniably intertwined. Yet, with just 1.6 million Scots speakers left in Scotland, the number of speakers will inevitably fall further if the language is not taught. Coincidentally this is also the same number of ‘Yes’ voters in the 2014 referendum, highlighting the significance of language in the development of culture, identity and national consciousness, and a key driver in the self-determination of any people.

Language is one of the main factors that serves to define and unite a nation, reflecting the fact that language gives people their identity. Take away a ‘peoples’ language you take away their identity, which is the brutal objective of Cultural Imperialism and colonial oppression. 

For centuries the Scots language has been ‘scorned as the language of a backward people’. British linguists and educators responsible for developing language policy (e.g. Bernstein; Bunting) stressed the ‘verbal-deficit perspective’claiming that anyone who does not use standard English is verbally deficient, has less prospect of academic advancement, and does not even have a ‘valid’ language. Educationalists clearly still believe that Scots is not a ‘valid’ language, for if they thought otherwise then they would surely teach the language.

The inevitable (and intentional) outcome of prevailing language ‘policy’ in Scotland is that an Anglophone elite hierarchy dominates Scotland’s social structures, including education at all levels. Social structures and institutions are language created hence an Anglophone narrative defines and determines Scotland’s society and purpose, which by implication is also anti-independence. In this environment the stereotypical way Anglophone elites, broadcasters and educators depict the Scots language as the language of the gutter and of the lower classes amounts to ethnic discrimination.

The Scottish working and rural class are basically all that is left of Auld Scotia in respect of the Scots language and are therefore the final guardians of Scottish culture and identity. We might consider how a Scots language narrative, flowing naturally and unhindered, would help re-shape and strengthen the identity and culture of the Scottish people. One could surmise the ‘Yes’ vote in support of Scottish independence would be expected to rise somewhat if more Scots appreciated that they had their ain braw langage.

The socio-political importance of language is well-established. Madeiros (2017) asserts that: “it is linguistic perceptions that directly determine national attachment”. Scots speakers therefore tend to hold to a Scottish identity, Anglophones less so, as seems apparent in the Scottish independence debate and in voting outcomes where the Yes/No divide is to a large extent linguistic and hence cultural. This is nothing new: minority and ‘national’ or ethnic groups in conflict are invariably separated along linguistic lines and Scotland seems no different in a British context. 

Quebec and Canada represent a divide between a Francophone Quebec and an Anglophone Rest of Canada (RoC). Francophones tend to have identification with Quebec and show a positive and significant relationship with support for secession whilst Anglophones mostly oppose independence. Identification primarily with Scotland is the same for Scots speakers who comprise by far the dominant group supporting independence, reflecting the fact that national identity and culture are linguistically determined, whereas the anti-independence ‘No’ vote includes a significant and perhaps now a majority Anglophone element, the latter reflecting Scotland’s changing demographics.

In Quebec the elite is predominantly Francophone, whilst Scotland’s elite class is mainly Anglophone. This is largely because the Scots language is not made a linguistic requirement in Scotland, whereas the French language is compulsory in Quebec, as is English. If the Scots language were given authority and made a linguistic requirement in Scotland (as well as English) it might therefore be anticipated that the elite in Scotland would consist more, or perhaps predominantly of Scots speakers. Inequality and under-development of the Scottish people (and nation) due to socio-linguistic prejudice thus favours an Anglophone elite so long as the Scots language has no authority and is not taught.

A consequence of Linguistic Imperialism is that the Scots-speaking community are largely excluded from taking elite posts within Scotland’s social institutions and are therefore ‘doun-hauden’ (oppressed) through institutionalised language discrimination and Anglophone elite domination. Scotland’s high-level jobs are advertised primarily in the London Metropolitan press and are therefore aimed at an elite Anglophone labour market in rest-UK which is ten times larger, and with no Scots language requirement for any post in Scotland. This has resulted in ‘an ethnic division of labour within the UK’s internal colonialism model’, according to Professor Michael Hechter.

A direct consequence of linguistic-based marginalization and discrimination is the ‘Scottish Cultural Cringe’, which is a psychological impediment suffered by Scots resulting in a lowering of confidence and self-esteem. Yet English is not the natural language of Scots, it is a foreign language reflecting another culture and identity. With solely an English language (and culture) imposed on Scots who are intentionally deprived of properly learning their ain mither tongue, the aim is to diminish notions of Scottish national identity and to encourage assimilation to a ‘superior’ British national identity, and to impose an Anglophone cultural hegemony; this is the purpose and consequence of Cultural and Linguistic Imperialism and colonialism. 

Loss of language inevitably follows the loss of sovereignty and is a common theme in colonialism. As Professor Robert Phillipson noted, English Linguistic Imperialism is: ‘..the dominance asserted and retained by the establishment and continuous reconstitution of structural and cultural inequalities between English and other languages’. Linguistic Imperialism is a sub-type of Cultural Imperialism which permeates all other types of imperialism, including colonialism, primarily because language is the means used to mediate and express them. In colonial societies ‘linguistic underdevelopment parallels economic and political underdevelopment’, which implies that it is not only the Scottish people who are ‘doun-hauden’ (oppressed) through Anglophone domination, it is also the social, economic and political development of the Scottish nation that is hindered.

Hierarchisation of languages also brings with it a rejection of authentic local values and their substitution of ‘different’values which reflect the dominant language group. This serves to strengthen the elite language group’s social stratification resulting in a segregated society reflecting class, status and power, all of which are distinguishable by language and culture. This in turn further limits potential for social mobility and serves to worse inequality for indigenous Scots speakers. 

In summary, Scots are ‘doun-hauden’, their marginalization and inequality perpetuated and reinforced through an imposed Anglophone elite structured society and related socio-linguistic prejudice and cultural domination. This is the inevitable outcome of Cultural and Linguistic Imperialism and colonialism which involve prejudice, ethnic discrimination, exploitation and worse, and which rightfully gives rise to demands of ‘a people’ for independence, to restore their national sovereignty and to enable them to recover and build upon what Albert Memmi described as ‘a moribund culture and a rusted tongue’.

The Scots language is therefore a key determinant of Scottish independence.



The aim of these articles published by kind permission of ‘Yours for Scotland’ website – is to help broaden the case for independence, and also to give the curious and the already convinced information generally denied them by the agencies of the British state, the same trying to sell ‘Britishness’ as they once tried to sell ‘Buy British’.

Article 1 on ‘Culture’ can be found here:

ALSO: ‘Does Independence Decolonise?’ can be located here:

BOOK: ‘Doun-Hauden: The Socio-Political Determinants of Scottish Independence’, available from


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14 Responses to Scotland in the 21st Century: 2

  1. Robert McAllan says:

    We cannae allow the colonisers tae steal oor mither tongue as thae hiv taen jist aboot a’thing else.
    If perchance thae deny us that wi’ oot oor challenge then truly we are in denial o’. oor ain subjugation. It’s braw Gareth that yir gien ithers the chance tae tak this in.

  2. lorncal says:

    Very erudite and telling piece today. Language, as Professor Baird says, is absolutely crucial to a people’s sense of themselves. In Scotland, we have three main languages: Scots, Gaelic and English; and the first two are, indeed, to be found mainly in the working-class and rural areas of Scotland.

    To a great extent, even though English has been imposed, much of the blame for that situation lies squarely on the shoulders of the Scottish collaborator classes: the middle-class and the upper class, both of who have tried very hard to distance themselves from the working-class; and having a working-class Scottish accent, never mind language, is seen as a barrier to ‘getting on’. Getting on, of course, means being acceptable to the elite and establishment, university-educated, professional/land-owning, etc. Many countries have class divisions, but fewer are divided by language where the dominant language is that of the dominant culture, too. Most of these will, like Scotland, be dominated by another country and/or have been a former colony or in a union that reflects only one dominant culture over all the others.

    Professor Baird uses the example of Quebec where the referendums do not reflect Scotland’s exactly, but do in one main area: both Scotland’s and Quebec’s were lost because of the negative vote of the Anglophones. Anywhere that language has been used as a weapon against the indigenous populations (in the UN sense of ‘indigenous’ – i.e. native-born) by removing or changing those languages until they become extinct or rare, you will find a dominant force trying to crush people’s sense of themselves, and that is no less true in the trans non-debate, where the insistence on using language that removes the ‘others’ sense of themselves in favour of one that reflects the prevailing dominant group serves only to hurt and undermine. In neither case is the dominant group a part of the non-dominant group, but ‘an overlay’ of that non-dominant group.

    The trans lobby would quibble about being called the dominant group, but they, men (it is trans women, who are men, the dominant group in Western societies, and, indeed, all societies, and who have the loudest voices and display the greatest entitlement) who are behaving as colonists of women’s spaces and rights in exactly the same way that England-as-the-UK behaves towards the other three parts, in trying to crush their individuality, their cultures, their languages and their nationhoods, essentially their sense of themselves, and replace them by promoting their own identity and language and culture, totally alien to those they are trying to eliminate. It seems that having everything else is not enough for the culture and language vandals: they must eliminate anything that has the slightest whiff of non-compliance. In the case of England-as-the-UK, that means flying the Union Jack in all public places against the people’s wishes, and various other infringements. In the case of the trans lobby, it means appropriating female spaces and rights.

    After independence, the Irish basically re-established their language, culture and sense of themselves from scratch, as other peoples have done since. It can be done. Let’s not leave it too late for either the Scots or for women to re-assert themselves against the colonizers and take back what it rightfully theirs.

  3. lorncal says:

    Sorry, I wanted to say to Alf and Grousebeater that, although I speak Scots every day, I find it quite hard to write fluently in it, and I think this might be one of the biggest problems that will need to be ironed out if we are to establish it as a Scottish language after independence, so it will need to be taught in schools, with Gaelic and English and other languages.

  4. Derek Grainge says:

    I’d like to use Miss Punnypenny @lenniesaurus as an example. She enlivens Scots language by defining scots words and giving examples. SHe is crucified for doing that. Scots language, hah! Dialect. She’s a wummin, hah! SHe’s a young wummin, how dare she. SHe’s an attractive young wummin, how dare she do that!
    She’s not a linguist, nor does she pretend to be. She suffers badly from that oppression/depression, yet she persists.

  5. Robert McAllan says:

    Judging by the recent proliferation of Union Jack flags on show on the Isle of Skye the whiff of non compliance must be causin some stink, doon Sooth.

  6. I very much welcome Alf Baird drawing our attention to the invariable linguistic factor in colonialism: “When a people become incorporated into a more dominant imposed language and culture that has subsumed them, they have then lost their heritage and identity, and hence lost their way.”

    This is patently true of Gaelic, of course, which is predicted to finally lose any territorial foothold whatsoever in about a decade.

    Lucien Bouchard, former Canadian ambassador to France, echoed Alf’s colonial point when he wrote: “Pour nous, Canadiens, la Francophonie n’est pas seulement une façon de vivre – c’est une façon de survivre” (For us, Canadiens, French is not just a way of life [vivre] – but a means of survival [SURvivre]). (L’Express)

    As did François Mitterand, who once commented: “Un peuple qui perd ses mots n’est plus entendu de personne”. [‘A people which loses its words is no longer understood by anybody”).

    The writer Philipe de Saint Robert insightfully and poignantly added: “Et par malheur ne s’entend plus lui-même”. (“And unfortunately no longer understands itself”).

    The following date will no doubt be a great surprise to many: “Inverey was the home of Jean Bain, the last known speaker of Aberdeenshire Gaelic, who died at Ardoch, near Crathie in 1984.” (‘Gaelic verse from Aberdeenshire’ – research by Alison Mary Grant Diack.

    It may also surprise some to learn that the Midlothian place-name Balerno is from the Gaelic ‘Baile Àirneach’ (‘Sloe Steading’).

    In the book ‘Gaelic and Scotland / Alba agus a’ Ghàidhlig’ (Edited by William Gillies, Edinburgh Univ. Press, 1989), the late great scholar John MacInnes, in his essay ‘The Gaelic perception of the Lowlands’, wrote:

    “Some years ago I heard Gaelic speakers in Arran describe the entire stretch of coastland from Galloway to Ayrshire as part of the Gàidhealtachd. They knew some of the place-names of that region in their Gaelic form; it was traditional knowledge among them that the Gaelic language had been spoken there in the past; and they assumed that, just as in Arran, it had survived to the present day.” (p90)

    Regarding the Lowlands more generally, MacInnes remarks:

    “To sum up, the Gaelic perception of the Lowlands is in essential agreement with that of the medieval Scots writers who regard the Gaels of their time as ‘contemporary ancestors’, people who preserve the language and culture which were once shared by all. But from the Gaelic point of view, we the Gaels are the disinherited, the dispossessed.” (p99)

    That “disinheritance”/“dispossession” of course includes reassignment of the linguistic designation “Scots” itself. The Latin phrase “lingua scottorum” had long signified Gaelic (of any provenance – Iohannes Scottus Eriugena c800-c877 was Irish, for example. In the ninth century Ireland was referred to as “Scotia Maior” and its inhabitants as “Scotti”).

    The usage of Gawin Douglas (c 1475-1522) from the Prologue to his translation of The Aeneid is often taken as a marker for when ‘Inglis’, having displaced Gaelic as the Scottish State’s “awin langage”, is henceforth called “Scottis” to distinguish it from Sudroun (Southern English, or English English). Cf a few lines from Douglas [by the way, “Dubhghlas” = “Blackwater”] –

    “As that I culd, to make it braid and plain.
    Kepand nae sudroun, but our awin langage,
    and speakis as I learit when I was page…
    Nor yet sae clean all sudroun I refuse,
    but sum word I pronunce as nichtbour does;
    Like as in Latin been Greek termes sum,
    So me behuvit whilom, or than be dum,
    Sum bastard Latin, French, or Inglis oiss, (oiss=use)
    Whar scant were Scottis I had nae uther choiss”

    Just to be a bit provocative, one can’t help but think that “lingua scottorum” was more like independence and “Scottis” more like devolution.

    As Gaelic (whose related antecedents were once spoken across Europe from Portugal to Turkey and from Orkney to Lake Garda and south of the Alps) now stares (under malign and maladroit “Scottish” stewardship) into the Abyss, Alf’s passing disparagement elsewhere of nouveaux Gaels as “bourgeois” rather irks — whatever mileage it merits.

    Here, then, is an interview (2011) with writer and historian Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh which has relevance to our entire discussion, specifically including useful analysis of the Left’s frequently ambivalent attitude to the issue of “national languages”. It happens to be in the Irish form of our “lingua scottorum”, but there are English subtitles. Ó Cathasaigh also talks about his work on James Connolly, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Karl Marx, Engels etc:

  7. lorncal says:

    Fearghas: really interesting video. I believe it is quite correct that the Left seems unwilling to tackle the difficult questions of independence, cultural heritage, language, etc. They always bellow: internationalism; without appreciating that you cannot have internationalism without nationalism. It is always an uncomfortable truth for them to face, and their backing of the trans lobby at the expense of women is another example of that unwillingness to take a stand that might not fit exactly the box they are currently (and historically) occupying, but, nevertheless, they need to be willing to find answers.

    I was intrigued at your Crathie lady because, some years ago when I was researching Gaelic usage in Aberdeenshire and Moray, I came across several instances of people in these areas being the last remnants of the Gaelic language, ‘lingua scottorum’, as you so rightly call it, as ‘Scottis’ was replacing it. Unfortunately, I no longer have this research, but there was some speculation, perhaps from writings by the monks, about Pictish being somewhat akin to Irish Gaelic to the extent that the Irish monks who brought Christianity understood, more or less, the Pictish language from this Pictish heartland, but, again, I no longer have it, and cannot recall where I discovered it. I have forgotten the number of times I have been told very sententiously that Gaelic was never spoken except in the Highlands and Islands, which, of course, is patent nonsense, but which feeds into the Unionist narrative.

  8. Thank you very much, Lorncal, for your positive feedback.

    Regarding Irish monks being able to communicate with Picts, the following quote at least seems to imply the possibility:

    “Dhealródh sé nach raibh, i dtosach ré na Críostaíochta, mórán difríochta idir an Q-Cheiltis a bhí á labhairt in Éirinn agus an teanga P-Cheilteach a bhí á labhairt sa Bhreatain.” (J.E. Caerwyn Williams & Máirín Ní Mhuiríosa, TRAIDISIÚN LITEARTHA NA nGAEL, An Clóchomhar Tta, Baile Átha Cliath, 1979, p xv)

    [“It would appear there was not, at the outset of the Christian era, much difference between the Q-Celtic spoken in Ireland and the P-Celtic spoken in Britain.”]

    As for the default refusal by some to concede the historical presence of Gaelic throughout Scotland, they might ponder the following two maps displaying the distribution of the Gaelic placename elements “Baile” (“Steading/Farm/Township”), and “Achadh” (“Field”). I hope this link leads to the correct page…

  9. alfbaird says:

    Thanks for that Fearghas.

    The most important question still remains, of course, and that is why Gaelic language was prioritised and granted its own act of parliament in 2005 with significant annual resources, a statutory authority, a TV channel, school Highers and university Degrees and much more besides, whilst the Scots language was and remains excluded and ignored, cast aside, discarded as if it were indeed an ‘invalid’ tongue, an nae mair nor the langage o ‘the gutter’ spoken by a ‘subordinate’ people?

    Billy Kay probably put it much better than I could in reference to the role of what he called the ‘highly effective Gaelic lobby’ when he wrote as follows in his book ‘Scots: The Mither Tongue’:

    ‘Aince upon a time, we were aw suppressed minorities thegither and supported ane anither, but since you climbed a bittie higher, I fear yer leaders hae kicked the ladder awa. When they speak of Scotland as a bilingual country, they mean Gaelic and English, an deil tak the hindmaist – Scots bein by far the hindmaist in the linguistic pecking order. Jeyn the process of liberation, o Gaels! All the estimated 1.5 million Scots speakers seek is parity with you 60,000 Gaelic speakers. Jeyn us, all you have to do is lose your monopoly on ethnic Scottishness in our media, and a few suits!’

    But naw, the Gaels didna jeyn wi us Scots speakers, thay went thair ain wey. Auld Perfidious Albion up tae its usual ‘divide an rule’ jinks nae doot. Noo the Scots speakers hiv the chyce o twa furrin leids – which seems to aptly reflect the proposition that a devolved Holyrood is merely imposing a second layer of colonialism on Scots.

  10. Thanks Alf. I don’t know how to respond to this really. I have no idea what the answer to your first paragraph is. A “highly effective Gaelic lobby”, apparently. So why do these four words now sound so sinister? Neither you nor I trust Holyrood’s agenda on anything anyway. Nor do we trust the BBC, given immediate control of the Gaelic TV channel. The first director was a friend of Brian Wilson’s. Pro-Gaelic both, but nail-spittingly unionist.

    Billy Kay’s frustration is entirely understandable, but his ill-judged rhetoric in your quote here ends by effectively imputing to Gaelic-speakers some kind of hive-brained corporate guilt. That should well get them up aff their craven “gluntows”!

    Not being a TV watcher myself, but more given to literature, I envy you the Scottish National Dictionary:

    “The Scottish National Dictionary (SND) covers the Scots language from the year 1700 onwards. It was published in ten volumes between 1931 and 1976, with a further supplement in 2005. SND has over 25,000 separate entries with over 172,000 illustrative quotations, and the 10 large printed volumes contain a total of 4,120 pages. All of its content is now available as part of DSL Online.”

    The Gaelic equivalent (‘Faclair na Gàidhlig’) is only at an early stage. I surely won’t see it:

    “The Dictionary of the Scottish Gaelic Language is an inter-university initiative by the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI. The aim is to produce an historical dictionary of Scottish Gaelic comparable to the multi-volume resources already available for Scots and English, namely the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, the Scottish National Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary. These resources are now available on-line. The Dictionary of the Scottish Gaelic Language will be published initially in electronic format.

    “The dictionary will document fully the history of the Gaelic language and culture from the earliest manuscript material onwards, placing Gaelic in context with Irish and Scots. By allowing identification of the Gaelic/Scots interface throughout Scottish history, it will increase our understanding of our linguistic national heritage and will reveal the fundamental role of Gaelic in the linguistic identity of Scotland. Of equal importance, it will show the relationship between Scottish Gaelic and Irish.

    “Historical dictionaries require meticulous editing and research and take many years to produce. The first challenge is how to maintain continuous major funding for such a huge task. This has been tackled by breaking the project up into discrete elements, each a vital part of the whole but also with its own free-standing output. The first phase is currently underway and will provide the editorial and textual foundation for the dictionary project.”

  11. Grouse Beater says:

    “The first director was a friend of Brian Wilson’s. Pro-Gaelic both, but nail-spittingly unionist.” Don’t I know it. I presented the new broadcaster with a soap series, two one-off dramas – one on the Skye Bridge fiasco – and a permanent animation unit set on Skye – and got a one line brush off, not unexpected. I discovered the newly appointed director had checked up on my politics.

  12. Gareth, speaking (almost!) about historical dramatisation, independence, republicanism, perfidious Albion etc, I am sure you would enjoy (if you have not already seen it) Denmark-based Peter Young’s Interview with Paddy Cullivan regarding Michael Collins. I picked up on it from a recent Iain Lawson twitter recommendation —

  13. I meant to add – don’t miss the short add-on skit after the end credit…

  14. Grouse Beater says:

    Paddy Cullivan knows his history. And I enjoy Irish eloquence and erudition when it comes to their history. Thank you for the video link.

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