Linguicism And Linguistic Imperialism

Thanks to @MisneachNYC for a heads-up on this video from Angelica Galante of Niagara College in Canada. It makes some interesting points. About these ads

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Gaelic, The Pluralist Language

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 … Continue reading

Some Irish Are More Equal Than Others

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 … Continue reading

The Partition Of Québec

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 – … Continue reading

The Self-Determination Spring

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 … Continue reading

The Abuse Of Indigenous Children In Canada

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 … Continue reading

Canadian Shame

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 … Continue reading

I’m Not A Racist But…

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 … Continue reading

The Not So Royal Gaels

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 … Continue reading

The Winds Of Change – Catalonia And Québec

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). … Continue reading

Québécois Secularism Rattles Canadian Unionism

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 … Continue reading

Is The PQ’s Secular Charter A Vote-Winner?

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 … Continue reading

Québec: Polls And Secularism

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% … Continue reading

Parti Québécois, Power For Power’s Sake?

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 … Continue reading

Catalonia, Scotland And Québec

Couple of articles looking at the faltering fortunes of the sovereignty movements in Scotland and Québec when compared to the dynamism readily observable in their Catalan equivalents. The first comes from Patrick West in the contrarian Spiked and reflects a broadly British Unionist Nationalist viewpoint: “On the face of it, Spain and the United Kingdom … Continue reading

Et Tu, Brute?

Interesting to see that we are not the only ones having trouble with our Senate. From the National Post in Canada: “Brad Wall’s government is set to introduce a constitutional amendment into the Saskatchewan legislature this October calling for the abolition of the Canadian Senate. The Saskatchewan government is anticipating that the Supreme Court of … Continue reading

Language Wars – Coming To A Sign Near You Soon

More new from the Pax Anglia, via the Dunfermline Press: “… councillor Dave Dempsey is proposing that road signs in Fife be in English-only. His motion, “Council agrees that there is no need, point or advantage in road signs in Fife being in any other language or languages than English” went before fellow councillors yesterday … Continue reading

The United States And It’s Irish Revolutionaries

Two articles from the United States exploring the Irish Republican heritage of Ireland and the US. First up is the Past Imperfect history blog of the Smithsonian Museum examining one of the most famous prison escapes in history: the Catalpa Rescue of 1876. Carried out by the American-based Clann na nGael (CnanG) and its counterpart … Continue reading

The Journey of Nishiyuu – Indigenous Rights In Canada And Québec

Some more news on the continuing protests by the indigenous peoples of Canada as they seek to build on the momentum created by the Idle No More movement and the recent hunger strike by the Theresa Spence. From the Star: “On the frozen shores of Hudson’s Bay in January, a small group of Great Whale Cree strapped on their mukluks, pulled on their parkas and … Continue reading

The Rising Stars Of Québec Nationalism

Interesting article on the two rising stars of political nationalism in Québec both of which have begun to challenge the traditional dominance of the Parti Québécois (PQ) when it comes to eliciting support from the province’s separatist-minded voters. The first is the left-wing Option nationale, led by Jean-Martin Aussant, a party that is attracting a … Continue reading

How Can The Irish State Ignore The Wishes Of 41% Of Its Citizens?

An article in the Irish Times by Seán Tadgh Ó Gairbhí examining the reaction of people in Ireland to the texting in the Irish language by the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is well worth reading. As are the many Comments underneath. Some are positive. Some are simply depressing. “On Monday night, Chris Hadfield became the … Continue reading

The SWP, Idle No More And The Basque Country

A recent busy week has meant that a number of interesting stories have passed by without comment. From me at least. Long, long ago in a country far, far away a young Irishman had an encounter with several members of a highly secretive rebel alliance called the Socialist Workers Party or SWP, a tiny if … Continue reading

Support For Hunger Striker Theresa Spence Grows

More news from Canada and beyond in relation to the hunger strike by Theresa Spence, leader of the Attawapiskat First Nation (one of the indigenous peoples of Canada), and the protests by Idle No More, the aboriginal rights’ movement. From the BBC: “Protesters supporting a Native Canadian chief’s 23-day hunger strike have blocked a rail line in eastern Quebec. While the Attawapiskat leader has continued her fast, … Continue reading

Indigenous Peoples Fight Back With Hunger Strikes In Canada

A quick post to draw attention to the protests by the indigenous rights organisation “Idle No More” which have swept Canada in recent weeks. They have culminated in a hunger strike by Theresa Spence, leader of the Attawapiskat First Nation (one of the recognised aboriginal peoples of Canada), which is drawing major media attention now that it has reached its third week. From the Globe and … Continue reading

The NDP – A Separatist In Federalist Clothing?

Interesting article in the Toronto Sun on the phenomenon of a party-within-a-party represented by the separatist inclinations of some Québec-based members of the ostensibly federalist New Democratic Party (NDP) in Canada. Since the party’s electoral landslide in Québec during 2011’s federal elections across Canada (which effectively knocked out the once dominant nationalist Bloc Québécois) accusations … Continue reading

Cultural Terrorism Masquerading As Vandalism

Back in June I highlighted the mysterious act of vandalism inflicted on the Lia Fáil or Stone of Destiny at Teamhair (the Hill of Tara), a crime that remains unresolved, but we are not the only ones whose history has suffered at the hands of cultural terrorists. From a report in the Indian Country Today: “A rock drill, acid … Continue reading

PQ Electoral Victory In Québec Sparks Political Violence

A quick post to note the results of the election in Québec where the nationalist Parti Québécois (or PQ) under leader Pauline Marois has had a narrow victory over the incumbent Liberal Party led by veteran politician Jean Charest. However the PQ celebrations were soon interrupted by news of a lone-terrorist attack by an Anglophone extremist on a PC rally … Continue reading

On The Hustings In Québec

A guest article for An Sionnach Fionn by Jean François Joubert on the National Assembly election campaign in Québec:  Pauline Marois, leader of the Parti Québécois (the PQ), has had a rough week. In fact the party’s apparatchiks couldn’t be blamed for wanting to hide her until election day, September 4th. This is quite a paradox as … Continue reading

PQ Back In Power In Québec?

With new elections to the provincial assembly in Québec expected soon the Globe and Mail carries what it claims will be the agenda of the nationalist Parti Québécois (PQ) should it regain power: “With an election expected to be called this week, the PQ refuses to lay out a timetable for a third referendum on … Continue reading

In The Shadow Of The Maple Leaf

In recent years Canada has become something of a prestige go-to-destination in these economically straitened times for many people in Ireland seeking a better life overseas. For a whole generation of Irish people Canada has become the new “America” – though one markedly more familiar in its cultural and social attitudes than its southern neighbour. … Continue reading

No Democracy, Now!

Right-wing Canadian journalist Andrew Coyne expresses a view in the National Post on Québec independence that I suspect many Canadians will agree with. For readers aware of Ireland’s historic relations with the so-called United Kingdom, not to mention any contemporary Scots striving to sever their relationship with the UK , the contempt for democracy and … Continue reading

A Québec Spring?

  Miriam Smith present’s a good analysis on examining the influences behind the current turmoil in Québec as students face off against the country’s centre-right provincial government under the federalist Québec Liberal Party and its leader Jean Charest:   “Another important ‘big picture’ factor in the current crisis is the role of Quebec nationalism. Quebecers tend to have … Continue reading

Turbulence In Québec A Sign Of Radical Political Change?

So, it seems that the governing (and as we would say over here, “unionist”) Liberal Party in Québec is set on throwing away its chances of re-election in the upcoming provincial elections expected later this year or in early 2013. From the National Post: “Montreal police brought the hammer down on student demonstrators Tuesday night, enforcing … Continue reading

Polling The Future

Following on from yesterday’s post about the effects of the right-wing policies of Canada’s Tory-led federal government on the separatist-inclined province (or should it now be nation?) of Québec, some more news on recent polls there. With provincial elections in Québec expected before the end of 2013 or earlier, the province’s government, currently in the hands of … Continue reading

The Canadian Right Pushes Away The Québécois Left

There’s a recent article in the Global Post examining the actions of the Conservative Party government in Canada and the fallout from its increasingly unpopular policies, particularly in the autonomous province Québec.  This time last year the nationalist movement in Québec looked like it had taken a major step backwards with the collapse in the … Continue reading

  • blog awards ireland Nominated: Best Politics Blog 2013, Best Personal Blog 2013, Best Blog Post 2013
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated: Best News/Current Affairs/Political Blog 2014, Best Mobile Blog 2014, Best Blog Post 2014