Language acts February 16, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Tom McGurk often gets a hard time on this site for his pronouncements, and in a way that’s understandable. His more pooterirsh thoughts on a range of issues seem to cleave rightwards at a rapid rate of knots, or worse – yes there is worse in this instance, his open belief that the ROI should realign with the ‘mothership’, that last being the UK, due to Brexit seems so at odds with the direction of the history of this island in the 20th century and after that it is difficult to take it entirely seriously. Then there are views on climate change, populism and so forth which in my reading place him firmly enough on the right of centre – though I’m sure he might protest somewhat at that characterisation.
Still, credit where credit is due, he does have a good piece on Arlene Foster’s recent comments on the Irish language and notes a strange paradox.
Just what modern multicultural Britain makes of the marching flute bands and the bowler-hat brigade – other than it being of some Neolithic historical interest – one can’t imagine. Nor is there any explanation in the fact that millions of other British people have no problem whatsoever with their neighbours speaking Gaelic in Scotland or the extensive Welsh language tradition.
These Celtic languages, as represented by their radio and television services, their newspapers and road signage, are actually a part of the wider British experience.
Nobody is threaten, nobody objects. It’s all part of the UK2017.
I think he might slightly overstate the case – official assistance and recognition of these languages has been a long hard road and is far from complete. But I do think the thrust is largely correct that the obsession by unionism on the Irish language as a problem is curious.
And particularly so, as he notes, when in the unionist/loyalist communities, as well in an historical context, interest in Irish has been evident.
That said, after that analysis he’s back into blaming the EU for the reimposition of a border on this island – or rather the visible imposition of a border. Granted he has to acknowledged that ‘There is a growing sense in Dublin that despite British PM Theresa May’s soundbites, Irish concerns are far down her Brexit snag list.’
That said here’s another good point…
For example, did anyone in Merrion Street notice that Northern Secretary James Brokenshire in the Commons joined with eh DUP to vote against the BLP amendment 86, that required that Article 50 did not breach the GFA/BA?
That’s a pretty stunning demonstration of the lack of concern in London.