From repression by determined pre-enlightenment monarchs to revival by the Secretary of State for Education, the short answer to the question of why Scots fail to maintain Gaelic is the difference between the time and resources used to suppress the language and those used to stop the language. refuse (ReportDecember 30).
For centuries, the state has sought to acquire, control, and calm the language with measures ranging from forcing the leaders of Highland society to educate their heirs in English in the Low Countries, to the establishment of ‘ A lowland plantation in Stornoway.
With the commercial attractions of English, with local government in the east of Scotland, and a cooperative system that had to be replaced to meet British standards, it was the government that drove the language to where it is today – almost extinction.
There are considerable natural resources in the Hebrides, including large wind assets still controlled from Edinburgh, much like the great estates of the past.
It is therefore not unreasonable to think that the Scottish political establishment might be less than convinced that the language should now be anything other than a design feature on buildings and road signs and a subject for broadcasting, academic study and research.
It will be interesting to see the Scottish National Party’s commitment to emulate Ireland with a special “Gaidhealtachd” region and whether it extends to hosting a Gaelic government with the Western Islands in the middle.
Ely, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom