Continuing with the controversies that have arisen in the eastern Scottish region of Fife where British nationalist politicians from the main Unionist parties have sought to impede the provision of bilingual services to citizens who speak the indigenous Scottish (Gaelic) language we have this frustrated reaction from two local doctors, featured in the Courier newspaper:
“NHS Fife could lose two much-needed consultants at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy over fury at the treatment of Gaelic in the region.
Gaelic-speaking consultant acute physician Andrew Storey told The Courier he was so outraged at the comments from Fife councillors about it being a waste of money to promote the language he is now considering a move to the Highlands so his two young children can attend a Gaelic-speaking school.
Dr Storey, from Inverness, whose Kirkcaldy-born wife Kirsten Kruszewski, is a consultant cardiologist at the Victoria Hospital, is keen for his two young children to learn the language he grew up speaking.
Dr Storey, 41, said his efforts to get information from Fife Council about the teaching of Gaelic had been unsuccessful.
Now having read in Wednesday’s Courier about the “vile and bigoted” comments uttered by some councillors on Fife Council’s executive committee on Tuesday, Dr Storey, whose mother was the world’s first Gaelic-medium teacher in Inverness during the 1980s, said “enough is enough”.
“I particularly object to the comments made by Councillor Susan Leslie who said Gaelic was never spoken in Fife when even the most cursory internet search will confirm that it was”.
Dr Storey, an active member of the pre-referendum Yes Scotland campaign, added:
“To those who wish that Gaelic would wither and die, I must say they must be pretty soulless when they can’t see the great value in promoting language and culture.
“Their attitude seems very anti-Scottish and I believe they would rather see a homogenised, uniform world, which to me seems groaningly dull.
“Scottish Gaelic has been subject to the most dreadful discrimination over the past 250 years and it’s a beautiful miracle that the language has survived — we should cherish and nurture this special aspect of the culture and history of the Scottish nation.”
Meanwhile Britnat politicians elsewhere in the Gaelic world still oppose any formal recognition of the native culture of the lands they inhabit. No doubt they agree with the discriminatory views of the DUP MLA and religious fundamentalist Nelson McCausland who believes that admitting the very existence of the Irish language is so dangerous that it would imperil the ethno-national identity of the British Unionist minority in Ireland and “…convince unionists that they are really Irish and Gaelic“.
An outcome of course which would horrify those who still adhere to 18th and 19th century notions of Anglo-British linguistic, cultural and racial superiority over the “Gaelic Irish”. Or indeed the “Gaelic Scots”.
McCausland was seriously outclassed on Talkback recently. His views are embarassing but may actually encourage members of the unionist community to explore Irish and learn it.
Dr Storey will be doing Gaelic a favour if he moves to the Highlands. Even better if he and his wife could secure positions in the Outer Hebrides.