A quick thank you to regular contributor Marconatrix for an email reminder of this 2012 video-documentary from Michael Newton, A’ Seinn an aghaidh na Balbhachd “Singing against the Silence”, examining the Scottish (Scottish Gaelic) language in Nova Scotia and Canada. It’s well worth half an hour of your time.
Canada’s National Post newspaper, a staunchly federalist (aka. “Unionist”) publication, carries a typically angry tirade by the writer and presenter Dan Delmar against laws in his home territory of Québec promoting equality between Francophone and Anglophone citizens. Delmar argues that such regulations are needlessly onerous and that: “…sympathetic allies in media are all too willing to indulge… Read More Speak White
I’ve discussed my interest in utilising online resources for researching various historical topics a number of times on ASF, as can be seen in the two brief articles I wrote in 2011 and 2014 on the mainly American origins of the name “Irish Republican Army” (or “IRA”) where I used both newspaper and literary sources to uncover some of the earliest examples of it’s use.… Read More An Online Fenian Archive From ASF
As Sinn Féin accuses the lacklustre Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition of abandoning key government demands during the recent talks between Ireland, Britain and regional parties in the north-east of the country, the BBC takes a look at one of the touchstone issues for northern nationalists and many others on this island nation: the Irish language.… Read More Three Irish Tales
In light of two recent posts, “The Acceptable Form Of Racism In Ireland” and “Sinn Féin’s Bluff And Bluster On Irish Rights”, and the subsequent contributions in the Comments (for which thanks to all), I thought this short article over on Diaga, “Language Resistance 2 – Ambivalence (Québec)”, makes some excellent points of its own. Meanwhile the… Read More Ambivalent Language Masks Intolerance
The first phase of Dachaigh airson Stòras na Gàidhlig or the Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic has been completed by Glasgow University with the launch of an online database featuring digitised versions of texts dating from the 12th to 21st centuries. It is planned that the finished project will include literary and vernacular examples of the language not just… Read More The Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic
Yesterday was Columbus Day in the United States, the latterly Italian-American festival commemorating the “discovery” of the Americas by the speculative expeditions of Christopher Columbus in the 1490s. Of course for many others in the US the second Monday in October is Indigenous Peoples’ Day (or Native American Day) which marks the moment when European… Read More Native American Day
Back in 2011 I wrote a short piece on the history of the terms “Irish Republican Army” and “IRA“ by conducting a simple internet search through Google News to highlight some of their earliest printed occurrences. To the surprise of quite a few of my readers many of these dated to publications from the mid-1800s when the name was used by the… Read More The Origins Of The Name Irish Republican Army Or IRA
Thanks to @MisneachNYC for a heads-up on this video from Angelica Galante of Niagara College in Canada. It makes some interesting points.
The people of Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man are united by one thing above all others: the indigenous languages they share in common. The Gaelic tongues, Irish, Scottish and Manx, are not just national, they are international. And so is the world-view of those who speak or support them. From the Irish Times… Read More Gaelic, The Pluralist Language
Forgive the “Animal Farm” paraphrase in the title above but it seemed appropriate when contemplating some recent articles written on linguistic equality by Anglophone journalists in Ireland and Canada. The first comes from the newspaper columnist Catherine O’Mahony in the Sunday Business Post where in two pieces she both praises and criticises the Irish language… Read More Some Irish Are More Equal Than Others
The one thing that stands out when you examine the ideological underpinnings of British nationalism (or Unionism) and Canadian nationalism (or Federalism) is the commonalities they share when it comes to dealing with those territories Britain and Canada “acquired” in times past. For the British (or rather the English) the island nation of Ireland –… Read More The Partition Of Québec
Despite (or perhaps because of) all the controversy surrounding the proposals by the Parti Québécois to restrict the display of overtly religious symbols in public workplaces the formerly lacklustre PQ government in Québec is now riding high in the polls. Unsurprisingly rumours of a snap election are circulating in both the Francophone and Anglophone media, albeit… Read More The Self-Determination Spring
Following on from my post highlighting the appalling socio-economic conditions Canada’s native peoples live in comes this news via Vice webzine on the still developing “St. Anne’s” scandal: “The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled that the Canadian Federal Government has to disclose thousands of police documents concerning the torture of native children at… Read More The Abuse Of Indigenous Children In Canada
The Irish Medical Times carries an article by Lloyd Mudiwa examining the appalling conditions the indigenous peoples of North America live in under the jurisdiction of the much fêted “multicultural” nation of Canada: “Some 146 years after Canada’s independence, its Aboriginal peoples are still suffering from the health effects of social and economic inequities. On virtually… Read More Canadian Shame
One of the more amusing spectator sports of recent months has been derived from watching the seething antipathy expressed by the anglophone and federalist media in Canada towards the governing Parti Québécois in the province of Québec. It goes far beyond mere political animus and into the realms of existential angst as many “Unionist” Canadians… Read More I’m Not A Racist But…
Here is a story on the Scottish language (Scottish Gaelic) that has been rumbling away for the last couple of weeks in Nova Scotia (Albain Nua) but which has now erupted into a major row that is encompassing academics, language activists and politicians in the easternmost Canadian province. From the Globe and Mail: “In a controversy… Read More The Not So Royal Gaels
The drive for autonomy seems to be in the air. We begin with news from the resurgent Iberian nation of Catalonia where the leaders of the main Nationalist parties have agreed on a date for the upcoming independence referendum (albeit with a two-part question to quell the nerves of the conservative CiU government in Barcelona).… Read More The Winds Of Change – Catalonia And Québec
The debate in Québec over Bill 60 or the proposed Charter of Values, secularist legislation being advocated by the ruling Parti Québécois (or PQ), is throwing up all sorts of interesting political phenomena. On one hand it is reviled by Canada’s Anglophone news media and federalist (“unionist”) establishment, as seen in a controversial opinion piece… Read More Québécois Secularism Rattles Canadian Unionism
Following on from my post here about the controversy surrounding suggested new regulations in Québec promoting greater secularism in the public workplace this is a surprise. From The Star in Canada: “Québec’s proposed ban on the wearing of religious symbols has drawn criticism from across the country, but a new poll suggests it has strong… Read More Is The PQ’s Secular Charter A Vote-Winner?
Mixed polling news from Québec where Pauline Marois’ ruling Parti Québécois has recorded a slight rise in popularity but is still well behind the opposition Liberal Party, a Canadian federalist or “Unionist” party. From the survey by Le Presse-CROP: 40% Québec Liberal Party – Parti libéral du Québec 29% Parti Québécois 20% Coalition Avenir Québec 7%… Read More Québec: Polls And Secularism
Hard to disagree with this description of the Parti Québécois by Jean-Martin Aussant, former PQ politician and disillusioned ex-leader of the rival Option Nationale, in an interview from Canada’s National Post newspaper: “Mr. Aussant, 43, was first elected under the Parti Québécois banner in 2008, but he soon lost patience with what he saw as… Read More Parti Québécois, Power For Power’s Sake?