Disgraceful Opportunist Cultural Hatred

10002980_10152737938612782_851763757_nThis is an extraordinary attack. THE DAILY MAIL’S ALAN RODEN AND HIS UTTER HATRED OF GAELIC 

Unfortunately, we are used to Gaels and their language being denigrated by some sections of the media in Scotland. Alan Roden, Scottish Political Editor of the Daily Mail, has stooped to a all-time low in seeking to make a connection between the modest sums spent on the language and the tragic death of young Keane Wallis-Bennett at Liberton High School.

The normal thing to do, in such circumstances, would be to write to the editor and complain, or send a reply. But that would only highlight the incident in the media yet again, causing unnecessary distress to Keane’s family. I’ll draw Alan Roden’s attention to what I write here and will leave it at that.

As Alan Roden well knows, since the number of pupils in Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce is so healthy, it is very unlikely that there are any additional revenue costs whatsoever associated with offering Gaelic medium education to the pupils there. If those pupils were not there, they would have to be educated somewhere else at the council’s cost. Had they stayed in Tollcross, the City of Edinburgh Council would have needed to invest in the buildings there as the school was overflowing.

Bonnington was a school that the City of Edinburgh Council allowed to deteriorate and it had been extensively vandalised. According to Alan Roden’s piece, councillors gave the go-ahead for £3.5m for Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce. Had the council been looking after its estate and the school had not suffered vandalism, the costs of re-opening it would have been significantly less. In the final analysis, the school attracted £1.8m from the Scottish Government that would not otherwise have been available to the council. The authority’s own contribution was £1.7m. The council’s capital spend on the new Gaelic school ensured that part of its estate was renovated and re-opened. It has been a success, as many of us knew it would be.

There is little doubt, if Alan Roden’s figures are accurate, that the City of Edinburgh Council faces difficulties in keeping all its schools in good repair. That is a situation replicated in authorities across the country. It has been like that forever.

It is baffling why Alan Roden hates Gaelic so much that he would come up with a headline like the one accompanying his article that seeks to blame the tragic death of a young pupil on the money spent on Gaelic provision. If that was not his motive, why was the £3.5m spent on Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce mentioned at all?

Whatever the cause of young Keane’s death, this is not a time to be apportioning blame. But what a sickening slur on those who attend and work in Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce that they should be associated in this way with a tragic incident at another school. An example of the worst kind of gutter journalism and unadulterated, inexplicable hatred towards Gaelic and its speakers from Alan Roden.

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  1. Auld Rock says:

    There is a simple answer if you detest this type of ABUSE and you currently buy this rubbish – NEVER BUY IT AGAIN!!!

    Auld Rock

  2. Muscleguy says:

    I grew up in New Zealand that since the late ’70’s/early ’80’s has had Maori language immersion schools both to make amends for earlier denigration of Maori with pupils beaten for speaking it, something Gaels in Scotland will be familiar with too. Partly also because Maori was made an official language of New Zealand, as Gaelic has been in Scotland.

    I was back recently and went to my young nephew’s School in inner City Auckland. It had a general section, a Maori language unit and a French language unit (lots of French in Auckland for various reasons). The children share a common playground and mingle freely. The whole place felt vibrant and friendly and relaxed but focussed on achievement.

    My knowledge of Gaelic is not great because of this but my knowledge of Maori and Maori and wider Pasifika culture has enriched me enormously. That there is a Gaelic language school in Edinburgh supported by our state fills me with pride and hope for the future.

    Scotland can be a vibrant small democracy just like New Zealand. NZ has just come top in the SFI liveability tables. Think how much higher Scotland can rise given all the levers Independence can bring.

  3. Clootie says:

    Those who accept that the Gaelic language was almost wiped and have no regret are pitiful.
    The argument that it is almost dead therefore any money spent is wasted should hang their head in shame.
    Scots / Doric and Gaelic have almost been lost through a drive for BBC English which is an invented speech pattern.
    We must not only maintain Gaelic. We must promote it.

  4. G H Graham says:

    Almost as remarkable is the audience who pay money this rubbish. He’s not the first nor sadly will be the last “journalist” to construct nonsensical arguments in a puerile attempt to attract notoriety. Actually he’s not a journalist. He write anecdotes barely fit for the stained walls of a derelict farm building used to the attention of youths & spray cans. If there’s any good news, it’s that print titles like this are on the steady decline towards oblivion. If anyone wonders why it is so, they need only grimace at nasty articles like this.

  5. “In this phenomenon, the invaders penetrate the cultural context of another group, and ignoring the potential of the latter, they impose their own view of the world upon those they invade and inhibit the creativity of the invaded by curbing their expression … . Cultural invasion is thus always an act of violence against the persons of the invaded culture, who lose their originality … . [It] leads to the cultural inauthenticity of those who are invaded; they begin to respond to the values, the standards, and the goals of the invaders … . It is essential that those who are invaded come to see their reality with the outlook of the invaders rather than their own; for the more they mimic the invaders, the more stable the position of the latter becomes … . It is essential that those invaded become convinced of their intrinsic inferiority.” – Paulo Friere, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Penguin, 1971, pp. 121-122.

  6. Andy Velzian says:

    Daily Mail, says it all really..

  7. Isn’t this a bit like saying the pay award for teachers removed funds available for other educational expenditure?

    Alan Roden, if he wants to make a difference, would be better off campaigning against imposed Westminster austerity.

  8. Eilidh Dhonn says:

    ‘S e nàire a th’ ann gu bheil beachdan mar a th’ aig Alan Roden a’ nochdadh ann am pàipear ‘naidheachd’ ann an Alba (no àite sam bith eile!). Ach cha bhi seo a’ cur stad oirnn – cumaidh sinn oirnn le cleachdadh agus brosnachadh na Gàidhlig.

  9. Doug says:

    I suspect that as is normal for most newspapers, that it is actually a sub-editor, and not the journalist who writes the headline. Still a facile, hostile piece, but Roden may well not have written the headline.

  10. Lorraine Fannin says:

    It is despicable for Alan Roden to use this death to score a journalistic point and one would hope even the average apoplectic Daily Mail reader would have a sense of this. But as a journalist, he is perpetrating a fallacy of logic which must undermine all his writing. His presumption that if money had not been spent on a Gaelic School, then repairs would have been carried out at Liberton High has no basis in fact or reasoning. Like many comments from politicians and journalists these days.

  11. Johnny come lately says:

    What more can you expect from the nazi supporting Daily Mail, Witchhunts, tits, football and ufo articles. This truly is a publication aimed at the hard of thinking. There is no depth to which that rag will not plunge in order to serve its masters and turn a quick buck.

  12. You must have realised by now this is normal knocking copy from the Daily Spite. They don’t like anything Welsh, either. It’s a paper for right thinking, comfortable middle englanders who are scared of anything foreign. Sadly, under the glorious banner of Free Speech, we have to put up with it. And nobody knows how to counter their rubbish when such indigenous media that Wales has are not up to the job of doing it(and I believe it’s the same for Scotland?). You’re very fortunate to have the opportunity of independence in your hands!

  13. Abulhaq says:

    Noel Edmonds has a thing about Gaelic too. The inventor of Mr Blobby and the entrepreneur credited with launching the megafailed themepark devoted to the creature would like to own the BBC. He would ax BBC Alba as nobody actually understands “Gaylick”. Gaelicophobia is a shibbolethic measure of true unionjackist credentials. Besides money spent on our poor and threadbare native heritage is always money squandered. “Britannia’s World” with Tudor and Hitler look alikes, now that would be a sound idea: ejukayshun, ejukaishun, ejukaeshun….

  14. Catrìona says:

    Gaelic is an easy target for lazy journalists who can no longer attack black or gay people, women or the disabled. This isn’t a particularly imaginative attack and pales into bland insignificance when compared to George Galloway’s Daily Record attack on BBC Alba a few years ago. Why powerful people like MP Galloway, journalists like this guy or idiot councillors from Sutherland are so frightened by Gaelic is still a bit of a mystery, unless it’s just a chance to be boldly controversial and boost their profile as outspoken iconoclasts.

    1. Doug says:

      I wonder if it isn’t because they see Gaelic as something forgotten, historical and pretty much a waste, so they think they are aligning themselves with modern, progressive and exciting.

      I wonder if they realise they are the same people that in the 70s were ripping out antique Victorian fireplaces to replace them with feature four colour brick with built in digital clock and fishtank…. Only a fool breaks something to see what it is made from.

    2. andygm1 says:

      Let’s get one thing straight, George Galloway isn’t powerful. He’s a figure of fun.

  15. Dave says:

    One reason that Westminster and their lackeys in the MSM hate Gaelic is that it has no equivalent to the English language idea of ownership. In Gaelic you would say that ‘this car is at me’ rather that ‘this is my car’. This is totally at odds with the normal anglo-obsession with consumerism and capitalism.

    1. Doug says:

      Other languages teach us that there are philosophical and phenomological concepts not captured in our native tongue. And that gives us a window to a whole new means of conceptualising the world. I am reminded of time spent in other countries where news-stands have magazines in numbers, on subjects that barely rate a foot-note in the UK. To take a very obvious example, in Paris I can buy a range of magazines about philosophical thought, art and fashion – where in the UK – by number, they would compete with magazines on cars and celebrities. If you want to understand a culture and understand their philosophy, learn the language; failing that, look at what they read about.

  16. Iain says:

    What is sad and perplexing is that there are compelling educational reasons, which I would have thought are well-known now, for encouraging bilingualism in children, as early as possible. It develops the brain significantly, encouraging a greater number of neural connections. This information is readily available: to quote from the summary in Wikipedia: ‘….bilinguals can benefit from significant cognitive advantages over monolingual peers in various settings.’ One benefit in particular is that learning other languages is easier for bilinguals than learning a second language is for monolinguals.

    And in Scotland schools with Gaelic-medium education provide a marvellous opportunity, not just for bilingualism, but to maintain and gain access to a native culture. Frequently, one comes across people from other countries, used to using two or more languages, whose children are in Gaelic-medium education. They are not afraid of different languages and cultures: they embrace them.

  17. There is no difference between having a go at the Gaelic language rather than the poor or immigrants; it is simply to divert their readers’ attention from the real causes of the problems that local authorities face across the country. They don’t have enough money because the government is obsessed with Neoliberal dogma. The Daily Mail is simply a propaganda rag for the Westminster elite.

  18. Stui says:

    Off topic but did anyone hear r4 midweek this week? Quite a strange bit at the end about sheep and how beneficial to the highlands they were, the land was already empty of “crofters” and the lairds had a lot of land that was empty, and it was anyway better for “crofters” where they went. Quite bizarre.

    At about 40 minutes in.

  19. Jim says:

    Disgusting and disgraceful piece by Alan Roden. But then attacking cultural and linguistical minorities is the DM’s reason for being. What’s his excuse?

  20. Having lived in Ireland for a few years, it was apparent that the traditional Irish language was being kept alive in schools, on TV and radio. It saddens me, now that I’ve returned home, that thanks to British rule, our language has been allowed to almost completely die out. We must protect our national identity before it’s totally wiped out.

  21. Aaron MacPherson says:

    Why are people like Alan Rosen and others (Allan Brown et all.) given a platform to spew their hate and invective ? There seems to be a new Gael-hater every other month. This is beyond free speech. This is abuse and it must be stopped.

    1. Aaron MacPherson says:

      Sorry Alan Rosen not Rosen.

      1. Aaron MacPherson says:

        One last time. Roden…autocorrect can be a bitch.

  22. Lochside says:

    Alan Rodent is another in a long line of detestable zenophobic Gael haters. You hear them on the radio, often from places that were once strongholds of the old tongue. I am a lowland Scot of Pictish and Norse ancestory, but regard Gaelic and Scots language as integral to our country’s culture and understanding of itself. Unless we keep these languages sustained and nurtured we lose all sense of ourselves as Scots.

  23. redcliffe62 says:

    The Gaelic language confirms Scotland is different and not just upper North Britain. When George Robertson says Scotland has no culture this is because he wants us to forget anything that is not the same in London as Edinburgh. An inconvenient truth.

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