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Scottish Politics 2011-2017


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Posted
  • Location: NH7256
  • Weather Preferences: where's my vote?
  • Location: NH7256

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-35353760

    'open to suggestions' eh? Here's one...  On one random day every year, all the prats who've gone out on hills to shoot grouse have to go wandering naked on a hill themselves while hungry wolves, bears and vultures are let loose in the same area.  Seems only fair to me.

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    And that ignorant, offensive, rant sums up exactly why the YES campaign failed  

    Good god. What a load of boarish spiteful bile from bad losers has been posted during the night. I actually dread to think how Scotland would be run if this is representative of how the yes vote behav

    I'm disappointed in the lack of grace shown by some across the net in accepting this No vote. A complete lack of any empathy and understanding as to why fellow Scots didn't vote Yes.   I personally

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    From UK thread...

    27 minutes ago, Harve said:

    I think if Cameron used any Scots, it would be seen as patronising and it would be ridiculed. There's a good reason why he's never done it when trying to reach out to Scottish people.

    Actually, Scotland and France are completely different in this respect. All Scottish people understand anglophone visitors and indeed the vast majority use a language, in varying registers, which is far closer to standard English than it is to Scots language as Burns would've spoken it (in my experience, the most conservative dialect is Shetlandic and it's mutually unintelligible with BBC English to the same extent that perhaps Norwegian and Danish are), so language comprehension issues are minimal and when they occur, they occur only in one direction. In France, visitors often know little of the local language and locals know little of English, so attempting French is a much bigger deal. This is what I mean by trivialising language issues. 

    That's where you are completely wrong. If he sets up some photo shoot with drinking Irn Bru for the cameras; that's likely going to be patronising as hell. If me made a toast saying 'how do you say it...slangevar' when in the Highlands folk wouldn't find it patronising at all.

    Yes, all Scottish people understand anglophone visitors. In contrast, Anglophone visitors don't understand all Scots people. Although Scots people normally adjust to completely English when they realise that is the case. Many Scots only speak Scottish when they are with other Scots. If you are not Scottish, and in particular if you are English, they'll almost subconsciously speak to you in English (particularly more highly educated people who feel they need to do this). They'll do this if you are not a native English speaker too but trying to speak English to them. I do this without thinking and I've seen lots of friends and colleagues do it to. It's normal of course; if a French person speaks English and someone speaks to them in English who is obviously English, they won't reply in French!

    The census has 1.2 million who can speak, read and write in Scots (24% of the population) which is impressive given it was a language Britain tried to exterminate (this is why better educated Scots often only use Scots with other Scottish people because it was discouraged in the past - mocked and ridiculed on British TV for example) meaning it was never formalised and taught. Academic studies suggest its closer to 2.7 million or over half the population who can at least read it and do use it in speech, although they may not realise what they are doing, instead considering it slang.

    There's been a history of saying Scots is just a form of English; spoken badly. If that's the case, then English is just a form of Scots spoken badly. As you say they are like Danish and Norwegian. Developed alongside one another where people were mixing to some degree, so end up with similar words. Scots of course incorporates quite a lot of Gaelic where English doesn't for obvious reasons; the Scottish speaking region lay between the two. Hence Scots has sounds that English people struggle to say; Loch being the obvious one.

     

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    Posted
  • Location: glasgow
  • Weather Preferences: snowy winters hot summers
  • Location: glasgow

    SS , I understood you overall point when I read your post in the other thread about the multi national state called the uk having its prime minister force English on everyone when we all have our native indigenous languages as well.

    i don't agree with you about scots though.

    my personal opinion , based on what I have read on the subject , is that scots is not a language and I have to agree with harve. It is a dialect of English.

    just been reading about the battle of Harlaw in 1408. Usual guff what was a battle over feudal issues was portrayed as highlander low lander Gaels versus Teutons , gaidhlig speakers versus scots

    the majority of people in lowland Scotland would have still spoken gaidhlig in 1408  outside the burghs.

    more importantly there was no such a dialect as scots in 1408  , it was known a inglis .

    the first record of English being known as scots was by Gavin Douglas in 1475. In the minds of men Gaelic was scots.the Scottish tongue.

    the scots dialect of English grew among the nobility and the towns from 1400 to 1600, but the majority of scots still spoke gaidhlig. By 1600  standard English as spoken in southern England was being taught to the Scottish nobility. It was th law that highland lords had to send their sons to Edinburgh to learn English.

    prior to 1400 inglis was the same language as spoken in Cumbria and Northumbria.it was spoken by a handful of villages in south east Scotland . From 1400 to 1600 as English spread north and west it mingled with French and gaidhlig and began the process of a dialect possibly working towards becoming a distinct language. Remember we are talking a period where languages where standardized and written by nobility not the ordinary folk where it was used only orally rather than written. We are talking a period of where folk would possibly hav.e been multi lingual.

    whatever the progress scots made in this period , it was cut short in 1603 if not earlier as the Scottish nobility anglicized even further with James the 6th becoming king of England.

    from then till now the scots dialect has most certainly not been a distinct language we speak English with a Scottish accent. To pretend otherwise , as a nation is embarrassing , and I believe it's a symptom of the cultural damage that has been done to us. We are in denial.

    there is no agreed upon standardized form of scots , no one is taught scots in school we are all taught English. In short I believe scots is a status less dialect of English. I have a broad Glaswegian accent , I certainly don't see it as a separate language to English and don't know anyone who does

    we either revive our national language gaidhlig or we move with the rest of the English speaking world including Ireland and stop pretending our dialect of English is anything other than English.

    i have seen guys on other Scottish forums trying to use obsolete 18 th century words in an effort to describe this as some evidence as scots being a distinct language. It is embarrassing.

    we have a native language that's gaidhlig. Only gaidhlig and English have been the two languages to be spoken from the tweed to the north coast of Scotland in the last two thousand years. Not  norn not norman French not the scots dialect of 1400 to 1600 or any other language or dialect.

    we either use gaidhlig or lose it. I won't be party to this modern circus though that has  had 20  th century writers using the prejudice of an earlier time to label a dialect of English as a language , making us a laughing stock in the process.

    these same so called scots speakers were the ones who sold our country into bondage via their petty votes and laughed as they pocketed the bribes from the English treasurey, whilst their fathers burned libraries of our nations gaidhlig heritage in a Scottish kristallnacht.

    i agree with much of what you write SS but not on the subject of scots.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    I knew you'd pop in with your Gaelic thing. :)

    Wee bit of advice....no offence intended...

    I'm a supporter of funding to ensure Gaelic is preserved and speakers remain. It would be a great loss if it really was lost. However...

    One thing I find does the Gaelic a lot of harm is the claim from some speakers it's the 'one true language' etc. That they can even appear to look down on Scots speakers...

    I don't dispute for an instant that once it was the primary language of Scotland. But history changed that and lot of people ended up speaking a language that evolved alongside English. A language Scottish people spoke which became known as Lowland Scots.

    There was no official 'English' language when this happened, but a variety of dialects which shared various similarities covering much of the British isles.

    It doesn't matter that it has similar origins to English any more than it matters that both it and English are of Germanic structure / partial origins. No more than it matters that e.g. French and Spanish have Latin origins or Scottish Gaelic has middle Irish Origins (as I understand it).

    Neither does it matter why people started speaking it. That can't be changed. We can learn why and consider that as we see fit, but we can't go back and change it.

    Scots is a language and internationally recognised as such (Scottish, UK and EU official language). 

    Trying to say Scots isn't a language is like trying to tell the Norwegians they're basically speaking Danish or the Danish they're basically speaking Norwegian. Or saying Portuguese people are basically speaking Spanish and vice versa. It's not going to win you friends in those countries. 

    But the most important thing is that by telling people the words they have used since they were able to speak 'isn't really Scottish' is really a bad thing to do. It's what unionist British say. It degrades Scots and promotes English, yet both are of equal status (how can that not be if they are so similar?).

    'You are not speaking Scots; just a bad / slang version of English' is delightful music to a rampant British unionist's ears. It is the precise reason why people use English rather than Scots to such a large degree.*

    Ask yourself what you'd prefer... Short of reversing 100's of years of history and making everyone learn Gaelic by force (rather than just encouraging it to keep it going and healthy): People making every effort to speak proper Queens English or using broad Scots happily?

    I know what I'd prefer. I hope you see what I mean.

    'Scots isn't a language' was probably the most successful slogan the British ruling class ever came up with (on top of Gaelic, Welsh etc being 'primitive, backward languages' of course).

    ---

    *I think I've told this story before, but a few years ago I arrived at the School hall from work ready for the Christmas nativity play. With seat reserved for Mrs SS next to me, I was just waiting. Behind me sits a very old man and son. They're talking and I'm nosey. The old man is a former stonemason and drystone dyker I discover. He speaks 100% border Scots. It's not some coarse slang, but gentile, melodic and incredible to listen to because its so rare. I get most of it. At one point he talks about another of his sons who is doing well in business and 'can speak properly' (which is seen as important to his success). I felt like turning around and saying that it was him that was speaking properly / there was nothing wrong at all with his language; far from it.

    It was really sad he felt that way about the language he had spoken since he was a boy. And that is the success of 'Scots is just bad English'. 

     

     

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL

    Scotland's first language was probably Welsh. Many place names such as Aberdeen, Aberfoyle, Dunbarton etc.. are evidence of this.  

    I would ask anyone who thinks Scots is just a variant of English to try and read some Rabbie Burns.

    Further, if anyone from Dunstable came across twa Dundonians speilen tae ain anither, they would nae hae a clue whit they were on aboot. 

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  • Location: Paris suburbs
  • Location: Paris suburbs
    31 minutes ago, mountain shadow said:

    Scotland's first language was probably Welsh. Many place names such as Aberdeen, Aberfoyle, Dunbarton etc.. are evidence of this.  

    I would ask anyone who thinks Scots is just a variant of English to try and read some Rabbie Burns.

    Further, if anyone from Dunstable came across twa Dundonians speilen tae ain anither, they would nae hae a clue whit they were on aboot. 

    Welsh is a little misleading  as a Welsh person in the 10th century would probably be unable to speak to a 10th century Aberdonian, but the place names probably come from the language spoken by the Picts, which is most likely to be related to Welsh, Cornish and Breton rather than Gaelic. Indeed many roots such as 'Aber' are clearly identical. 

    The discussion here has inevitably turned rather political. There's definitely a clearer case for Scots being a distinct language as it was spoken pre-20th century, but that's by the by: I don't think it's actually important whether Scots is a language*. After all, there's no formal definition of a language and academics shy away from distinguishing between dialect and language. What's more important is that Gaelic, English and Scots, be it a dialect or a language, clearly form an important part of Scottish identity for many people. A dialect shouldn't have to be classed as 'a language' to be seen as legitimate. 

    Note that there are some languages which are incredibly similar, such as Urdu and Hindi, but are claimed to be different languages for political reasons, and many more languages have dialects that differ so wildly that they're more a family of languages - someone from Berlin would need a very long time to understand Walser German, just in the same way that British people would need a long time to understand Dutch. 

     

    *I brought up the issue after having studied linguistic issues in other countries, notably Belgium, where a majority of speakers of the two biggest languages (Dutch and French) can't communicate well enough across the language border without resorting to English - a language non-native to Belgium. To ask non-Scots to 'make an effort in Scots' is a little ridiculous when all Scottish people understand English and the most understood language in Scotland is currently English. Equally bizarre is cutting out 'all trace of Scots' when in England as a matter of respect (?), when a lot of Scottish language is well understood in England. Language issues in Scotland are minor in comparison, and making comparisons such as 'it's just like going to France and making an effort with the local language' trivialises issues elsewhere, including Gaelic speakers who are completely incomprehensible to English speakers. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    To be clear... the part of my comment (which started this run) picked on here wasn't on about necessity, but about courtesy.

    If you are in a meeting with a room full of French people who speak perfect English and you know this, while they know you don't speak French, it is not necessary for you to speak French, but it is courteous to at least try a little; even if that's just 'merci'.

    If you felt there was no need to even make the slightest effort, it would mean you had no respect for them collectively as a people.

    As for Scots... I'd wager that one of the reasons it persists even though not taught, is people were told not to speak it and commonly mocked / made uncomfortable for doing so*. That's almost guaranteed to make sure it continues to be used. And that's exactly what happened. Government surveys show oddly mixed messages about how people see it. They dispute whether it's really a language in its own right (because they've been told its not often enough). Likewise they tend to agree it's not really needed (because its not). However they are very defensive of it and supportive of its continued usage. Then comes the classic; they say they speak it to family and friends primarily, but not in public. That is exactly what happens to languages people are discouraged from speaking; they just start using it only amongst their own.

    Anyway, enjoy the Scots on burns night. Just hope DC isn't asked to do a reading. Apparently it's not necessary to read it aloud as it should be spoken.:)

    --

    *EDIT

    I’ve personally been mocked quite a few times for using Scots. Never by non-native English speakers and never by Scots. Only by English people. This isn’t a slight at the latter, there’s a perfectly good, human nature explanation for it.

    A recent example was when I gave a short opening introductory address to 600 international delegates at a conference, welcoming them to Scotland. I made no attempt to change my accent as I might normally in an academic environment, but just used that I use with family and friends. I also included some Scots. This was just after the SNP won their historic victory in 2011 and the potential for Scottish independence was a topic of much interest to delegates.

    The speech was very well received by all apart from… you guessed it; some English colleagues.  Of course the speech contained nothing offensive directed at English people; it was simply the Scots that made them unfomfortable.

    I even had one colleague and friend of many years openly mock me with (stereotypical British TV mocking) ‘hoots mun’ type stuff.

    Normally, the response would be to be highly offended. Imagine being in France and mocking French people for being French to their faces! However, the mocking was so nervous I just felt a little sympathy.

    This man was scared. While he’d never lived in Scotland, he obviously had in the past just seen it as part of Britain. Now he found it possibly leaving and becoming independent... That its people were different and had their own language.... And that scared him because he didn’t understand it. Something might happen to his country (Britain / England) that he neither understood nor could do anything about. His response was nervous mockery.

    Of course he didn’t seem to realise that the type of response he made would only make what he feared more likely. My use of Scots was not an attempt at emphasising difference; I just spoke normally as I do at home. However, he opened up a division between us with a lack of respect. I can do a plummy English home counties (I went to St. Andrews) but I’m hardly going to do that to take the pish out of English colleagues to their faces.

    Of course he also felt that mocking was sort of acceptable. After all, that’s what British TV has done historically.

    Anyway, also shows why Scots, particularly those working at higher levels, suppress their own way of speaking when in public. It’s also why English people in Scotland may be given the impression Scots is far less widely used than it actually is; chances are Scots won't use it in their presence.

    --

    Also, I should make clear that there's no dispute Scots is a language. Why? Because Scotland's people have decided it is one. Academics don't decide such things, people do. Scots is a language recognised by the people and government of Scotland so it is a language. People from other countries don't get to make that decision, only the people from the country speaking a language do. Even if their language varies only the tiniest bit from another, if a people decide it is their language, that's that.

    Someone saying 'I personally don't think Scots is a language' is no different to me saying 'I personally don't think Danish is a language'. Guff basically. I don't get to make that decision; only the Danes do.

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: glasgow
  • Weather Preferences: snowy winters hot summers
  • Location: glasgow
    10 hours ago, scottish skier said:

    I knew you'd pop in with your Gaelic thing. :)

    Wee bit of advice....no offence intended...

    I'm a supporter of funding to ensure Gaelic is preserved and speakers remain. It would be a great loss if it really was lost. However...

    One thing I find does the Gaelic a lot of harm is the claim from some speakers it's the 'one true language' etc. That they can even appear to look down on Scots speakers...

    I don't dispute for an instant that once it was the primary language of Scotland. But history changed that and lot of people ended up speaking a language that evolved alongside English. A language Scottish people spoke which became known as Lowland Scots.

    There was no official 'English' language when this happened, but a variety of dialects which shared various similarities covering much of the British isles.

    It doesn't matter that it has similar origins to English any more than it matters that both it and English are of Germanic structure / partial origins. No more than it matters that e.g. French and Spanish have Latin origins or Scottish Gaelic has middle Irish Origins (as I understand it).

    Neither does it matter why people started speaking it. That can't be changed. We can learn why and consider that as we see fit, but we can't go back and change it.

    Scots is a language and internationally recognised as such (Scottish, UK and EU official language). 

    Trying to say Scots isn't a language is like trying to tell the Norwegians they're basically speaking Danish or the Danish they're basically speaking Norwegian. Or saying Portuguese people are basically speaking Spanish and vice versa. It's not going to win you friends in those countries. 

    But the most important thing is that by telling people the words they have used since they were able to speak 'isn't really Scottish' is really a bad thing to do. It's what unionist British say. It degrades Scots and promotes English, yet both are of equal status (how can that not be if they are so similar?).

    'You are not speaking Scots; just a bad / slang version of English' is delightful music to a rampant British unionist's ears. It is the precise reason why people use English rather than Scots to such a large degree.*

    Ask yourself what you'd prefer... Short of reversing 100's of years of history and making everyone learn Gaelic by force (rather than just encouraging it to keep it going and healthy): People making every effort to speak proper Queens English or using broad Scots happily?

    I know what I'd prefer. I hope you see what I mean.

    'Scots isn't a language' was probably the most successful slogan the British ruling class ever came up with (on top of Gaelic, Welsh etc being 'primitive, backward languages' of course).

    ---

    *I think I've told this story before, but a few years ago I arrived at the School hall from work ready for the Christmas nativity play. With seat reserved for Mrs SS next to me, I was just waiting. Behind me sits a very old man and son. They're talking and I'm nosey. The old man is a former stonemason and drystone dyker I discover. He speaks 100% border Scots. It's not some coarse slang, but gentile, melodic and incredible to listen to because its so rare. I get most of it. At one point he talks about another of his sons who is doing well in business and 'can speak properly' (which is seen as important to his success). I felt like turning around and saying that it was him that was speaking properly / there was nothing wrong at all with his language; far from it.

    It was really sad he felt that way about the language he had spoken since he was a boy. And that is the success of 'Scots is just bad English'. 

     

     

     

    I understand what you are saying , and certainly no offence intended from my part either.

    I have heard most of the arguments with regards to scots , what it is and its history , and i struggle with it as a concept as a seperate  language to english today as i ever did.

    There is no general consensus amongst the scottish people as to what scots is , folk claim to speak it but evidently dont. 

    I struggle to see why the dialect of english i speak in my broad glaswegian is a seperate language to the dialect of english a geordie speaks or a scouser. All unique dialects of the same language.

    I find many of the dialects in england much more mutually intelligible than the "fit like" doric of an aberdonian , yet we are supposed to be speaking the same language.

    Medieval period scots was the exact same dialect being spoken in the northern counties of england , the exact same influences . So why was english in 16th century lauder regarded as a different language to english in bamburgh 50 miles away across the border? 

    The irish and welsh both have similar history to the english language in their countries , in ireland english was being spoken 150 years after it came into scotland yet they dont regard hibernian english as a differing language to standard english .

    Folk like john pinkerton , the 18th century edinburgh so called historian was typical of the early modern period scots who wrote absolute garbage about what scots actually was , claiming it was the language of the picts and his extreme germanic racial theories and anti celtic rants.

    I more and more believe scots as a language is nothing more than an alluring myth for our society in search of a separate identity under the threat of cultural conquest by a much more powerfull neighbour.

    The arguments for scots , politically , linguistically , culturally and historically simply dont stack up.

     

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
    20 minutes ago, balmaha said:

    the arguments for Scots , politically , linguistically , culturally and historically simply dont stack up.

    Och away with your Gaelic snobbery. :)

    That's not how languages are decided though, as per my previous post.

    Scots is a language if simply because those speaking it decide it is. Government has made it official so that's that.

    Nations are formed in the same way. Scotland exists because Scots collectively agree they're Scottish. By your argument, the genetic similarity between Scots and English people...their very similar views on a whole host of things... the fact they dress similarly...eat similar things... means they're really just English people and the arguments for Scottish independence just don't stack up.

    Not if people in the north of the UK collectively decide otherwise...

    --

    And you won't catch me speaking that Irish originating language you use. That's not the true tongue of our land, but one forced upon us by invasion. I'm learning Pictish. :D

     

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  • Location: Tullynessle/Inverurie
  • Weather Preferences: Cold and snowy or warm and dry
  • Location: Tullynessle/Inverurie

    SS, my very first 'real' job was in NW England and there's very little I remember about the 'personal assessments', after all it is coming on for 30yrs now since I left college and started work. One thing I do distinctly remember though in one of the very first assessments was being told by my (English) boss that I needed to "cut out the colloquialisms". Now of course I didn't say anything at the time but even then I found that slightly insulting. This was British Aerospace, so a big employer and being very technical most of my colleagues were from all across the UK, so a real variety of  accents and 'local slang'.

    Over time I did moderate my accent and modify my language, most people do that naturally as its simply easier if you are understood. I also remember when I was working in the US many years later. I always came home at Xmas for a week or so. After about the third year of this my (American - Texan) boss remarked a few weeks later that for a week or so after returning from Scotland he could hardly understand a word I said. Obviously I instantly reverted to my local dialect when home, with it taking a little time for me to get back into 'moderating' it when back at work.

    As for Doric, after living in Aberdeenshire for a good few years I can understand a fair bit of it. Get a 'proper' local of the older generation though and it can be like staring into the headlights of an oncoming train. I do like how our son's primary school have a poetry reading every year where the kids are given one to try to learn. Some are in 'Scots', more frequently they are in 'Doric'. This year the one he chose is 3 full A4 pages of 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' in Doric. It really is lovely to read, even if I don't understand half of the words (better at Scots, being from the central belt, even if I didn't know at the time whilst growing up that half of the 'slang' was actually Scots).

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Being rabidly pro-union doesn't seem to yield great returns.

    Quote

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-35359246

    ...And what is the company worth now? The value placed on the whole of Johnston Press through its London Stock Exchange listing is barely above £40m.

    In investment terms, it looks grim. Using a comparable share price, the current price of about 40p has fallen from a peak of more than £60.

    So suppose you had invested £1,000 in Johnston Press in the month that it took over The Scotsman, when the price had already fallen 13% from the peak.

    Ten years on, that would now be worth around £7.50.

    That's right. A grand reduced to seven-fifty...

    Ooch.

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Alex Massie once again a lone sane voice in the unionist camp.

    Nicked from Wings.

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/two-impostors-just-the-same/

    massietimes.jpg

    "They didn't want the fight in the first place; now they understand it will never end until they have lost it"

    Everything suggests that yes, when you look what has happened in Scotland since the 1950's.

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  • Location: glasgow
  • Weather Preferences: snowy winters hot summers
  • Location: glasgow
    9 hours ago, scottish skier said:

    Och away with your Gaelic snobbery. :)

    That's not how languages are decided though, as per my previous post.

    Scots is a language if simply because those speaking it decide it is. Government has made it official so that's that.

    Nations are formed in the same way. Scotland exists because Scots collectively agree they're Scottish. By your argument, the genetic similarity between Scots and English people...their very similar views on a whole host of things... the fact they dress similarly...eat similar things... means they're really just English people and the arguments for Scottish independence just don't stack up.

    Not if people in the north of the UK collectively decide otherwise...

    --

    And you won't catch me speaking that Irish originating language you use. That's not the true tongue of our land, but one forced upon us by invasion. I'm learning Pictish. :D

     

    i understand what you are saying , but thats the whole nub of the argument too isnt it? There hasnt been a clear coherent native language policy by the scottish elite since the 14th century , and for the last 450 years since a pro english language element came to power in edinburgh , pushing a standardised english language on the scottish people , thats why we are where we are today.

    I think you are misunderstanding me regarding scots english. if there is a general debate and consensus amongst the scottish people , that scots english is the way forward i will then embrace it whole heartedly but thats the rub.

    There isnt a general debate or consensus. We have the chattering classes and the current scottish government , just like previous scottish governments paying lip services to scottish gaidhlig and scottish english whilst all the time effort teaching and money pretty much goes to reinforcing standard english amongst the scottish nation.

    The current half way house of embracing all languages ever spoken in scotland so as not to offend scots or gaidhlig speakers or whatever is a joke. 

    There can only be one national language of scotland , rather than trying to immitate switzerland or wherever. Whilst tiptoeing around differing dialects and languages in scotland standard english grows from strength to strength.

    So if the general consensus is scots lets see a national policy of implementation in schools and the appropriate funding  put in place. rolled out nationwide.

    otherwise we will continue with the puerile arguments over 1000 year old long dead languages whilst standard english sweeps all else aside.

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    I don't think language is at all important, i.e. having a specific Scottish one. In fact changing from the current situation to a completely new main language makes no sense at all, would take huge amounts of money and decades to full achieve. At least 70 years before you'd be approaching everyone speaking the new one fully. There's just no point.

    Would all seem rather ethnic too. Scottish Standard English is what we can all speak and it's a very international language; everything from science to the arts.

    Lots of independent countries speak English. Didn't stop them from going for self governance. Makes absolutely naff all difference. In fact it can be a hindrance; in Quebec, far to much focus was placed on the French language aspect. Of course this alienated the non-francophones massively and the referendum was lost.

    I do think that we need to make it possible for kids to learn Gaelic realitvely easy if they want to. I also think we need more Scots literature. These languages are part of our history and still spoken. That should be encouraged.

    Much more important to me is the teaching of Scottish history which will include the efforts of the British to supress Scottish language and culture. So kids, like I did when I was young, don't wonder why kids in Denmark learn Danish and Kids in Germany learn German, but kids in Scotland learn only English...

    I want kids to learn all the important stuff, from the wars of independence to the overruled 1979 referendum and McCrone report. Warts and all.

    That is what has really been missing, not language. 

    ---

    EDIT

    As a liberal, I think people should be free to speak whatever language they wish. They can make one up if it pleases them.

    In terms of government function; I think Scots, Scottish English and Gaelic are enough (with Scottish English as the primary language for all documentation). I do find it silly publishing stuff in all sorts of languages; where do you stop? We have three main native ones and that's fine. I would support formalisation of Scots as that's the only one not formalised.

    In terms of School, kids should definitely be learning Scottish Standard English. However, I think they should be introduced to Scots and Gaelic, then allowed to pursue that later if they so wish. I would say that's my complaint from School; not that I learned English (my French wife did that too - very normal), rather that was the only choice. I could learn French...German... but not Scots or Gaelic. I couldn't learn a language that I spoke at home, nor was I able to learn a language that had been spoken in Scotland for millennia and was even on road signs!

     

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  • Location: glasgow
  • Weather Preferences: snowy winters hot summers
  • Location: glasgow
    13 hours ago, scottish skier said:

    I don't think language is at all important, i.e. having a specific Scottish one. In fact changing from the current situation to a completely new main language makes no sense at all, would take huge amounts of money and decades to full achieve. At least 70 years before you'd be approaching everyone speaking the new one fully. There's just no point.

    Would all seem rather ethnic too. Scottish Standard English is what we can all speak and it's a very international language; everything from science to the arts.

    Lots of independent countries speak English. Didn't stop them from going for self governance. Makes absolutely naff all difference. In fact it can be a hindrance; in Quebec, far to much focus was placed on the French language aspect. Of course this alienated the non-francophones massively and the referendum was lost.

    I do think that we need to make it possible for kids to learn Gaelic realitvely easy if they want to. I also think we need more Scots literature. These languages are part of our history and still spoken. That should be encouraged.

    Much more important to me is the teaching of Scottish history which will include the efforts of the British to supress Scottish language and culture. So kids, like I did when I was young, don't wonder why kids in Denmark learn Danish and Kids in Germany learn German, but kids in Scotland learn only English...

    I want kids to learn all the important stuff, from the wars of independence to the overruled 1979 referendum and McCrone report. Warts and all.

    That is what has really been missing, not language. 

    ---

    EDIT

    As a liberal, I think people should be free to speak whatever language they wish. They can make one up if it pleases them.

    In terms of government function; I think Scots, Scottish English and Gaelic are enough (with Scottish English as the primary language for all documentation). I do find it silly publishing stuff in all sorts of languages; where do you stop? We have three main native ones and that's fine. I would support formalisation of Scots as that's the only one not formalised.

    In terms of School, kids should definitely be learning Scottish Standard English. However, I think they should be introduced to Scots and Gaelic, then allowed to pursue that later if they so wish. I would say that's my complaint from School; not that I learned English (my French wife did that too - very normal), rather that was the only choice. I could learn French...German... but not Scots or Gaelic. I couldn't learn a language that I spoke at home, nor was I able to learn a language that had been spoken in Scotland for millennia and was even on road signs!

     

    ok ss , i will make my final points then leave it there.

    You say you dont think language is important but you then critiscise david cameron for imposing english , and not being sensitive to the uk`s make up of differing nations and languages.

    Sorry ss but that doesnt make sense. If scottish standard english is that important to you then whats the problem with cameron doing what the scottish elite have done for 4 and a half centuries?Imposing the english language?

    The facts here and now speak for themselves. Scotland is an english speaking country not "scots" or gaidhlig. The blame , or a high proportion of it lies fair and square with scotlands elite over time not anyone else.

    Less than 2 per cent of scotlands children are in gaidhlig medium education , none in scots . Tiny proportion of scotlands education budget is spent on gaidhlig , even less if any on scots.

    Much of scotland still  holds anti gaidhlig prejudice , and there is no consensus on scots , by the scottish people , of what it is , dialect or language and the ones who do believe it is a language in its own right cannot even agree on a standardised form. 

    We have puerile arguments ( not a dig at anyone on this forum) over long dead languages , folk form the north east blabbin on about pictish p celtic and doric and folk from ayrshire blabbing on about strathclyde british and lallans.

    P celtic was spoken all over england and as far as galatia in turkey , i dont hear any englishmen ( sorry knocker except cornwall) wanting to revise long dead languages irrelevant to modern england like danish in yorkshire or saxon in devon but we continue to obfusticate debate in scotland in this way.

    Thats because the english have had a settled native language policy in england since the 14th century while scotland hasnt.

    So i will end by saying while i respect and agree with much of what you say including cameron being insensitive about english being the de facto but not native language of the uk , i think we in scotland have to get our own house in order first before preaching to the english for doing what the scottish elite have done since the reformation.

    best wishes.

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Incidentally, my daughter came home from School yesterday armed with a load of Scots words she'd learnt in class. They were reading The Gruffalo in Scots (which is really good BTW).

    She's also been learning Scottish dancing; the full on stuff which she's got a head-start on because of ballet. She's now asking if she can do that instead of ballet; who am I to say no...

    Anyway, I'm waiting for her to ask the very pertinent question 'If I am Scottish, why am I not learning Scots at School, but instead English?'. I'd say she's old enough to start understanding the answer now, which she'll get truthfully. An answer which I think has almost more importance than the actual learning of either Scots or Gaelic in itself.

    I was never taught any Scots at School; it was all English literature like Shakespeare. Times are changing though.

    This is why young voters coming of age today are 3/4 'Scottish only' and back indy.

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    No, I'm totally correct in saying independence  / statehood does not require a distinct language, which was my point.

    I could list a multitude of English, French, Spanish and Portuguese countries which are not part of Britain, France, Spain or Portugal respectively, but independent Sovereign states.

    It doesn't matter at all in terms of the basic principle of self determination. People misunderstand that you need to create a people / nation before you can get them to have a distinct language. One grows out of the other. 

    For 'Scots' / Cameron...

    The British (inc Scot-British) have long used the argument that Scots really isn't a language (as you are doing to an extent Balmaha), but just a regional version of English. You can understand why they say this; cultural denigration.

    It's also why people like Cameron wouldn't use Scots other than in 'hoots mun' mocking style; to use it as Scots people do would be to give it legitimacy and Scotland respect.

    I will continue to see it as one of the native languages of Scotland which is recognised internationally as such.

    I can totally see things from a Gaelic speaker perspective... 'But Gaelic is Scotland's original language. Can't you see damage to it English has caused! Why are you not learning it! What you are speaking has similar origins to English!'

    However, that's the wrong approach because Scots speakers are thinking 'Erm, I'm not speaking English any more than a Dane is speaking Norwegian! I've been using this language since I was young and have never been taught Gaelic. It's Scottish too and you are not selling me Gaelic well. Why not instead teach me some Gaelic? To win someone over you need to encourage and engage them, not attack something that is an important part of them / their identity since they were young'.

    I do think the debate is important  because any hint of Gaelic snobbery (and this does happen) is very dangerous for Gaelic. I've never heard Scots snobbery towards Gaelic; quite the opposite and usually with a disappointment at not having had the chance to learn any (like me). The only real snobbery towards Gaelic and Scots comes from full English speakers who identify as British.

    Can be something of a people's front of Judea situation, where the ruling Romans watch with a smile.:)

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Ok, on a different topic...

    As a Geologist like myself, I've pretty much never found myself in disagreement with this guy. He's been warning that US shale was a bubble about to burst for years, and that's exactly what has happened. A geological problem that you can't get around; shale is very expensive tight oil, not bountiful cheap new sources. It was always going to need stupidly high prices to work.

    Anyway, the world isn't drowning in oil at all. Price recovery is likely this year if life just continues as normal; even with OPEC pumping madly, the gap continues to close between production and demand. Any unforseen events could cause a real surge in prices as ultimately, in the longer term, we've not enough oil (ok Scotland has loads left, but globally).

    Quote

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/arthurberman/2016/01/21/fundamentals-point-toward-oil-market-balance-iea-too-pessimistic/#529d5a1b2170

    Fundamentals Point Toward Oil-Market Balance: IEA Too Pessimistic

    Fundamentals point toward market balance but pessimism is dragging oil prices down. IEA has apparently succumbed to this negativity but their data suggests that things are getting better, not worse.

    Pre-referendum long term projections of price (by Scottish Gov, UK gov and other industry bodies saying at least $90/barrel) will turn out true soon enough. On average.

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  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W

    Hamilton N. & E. (South Lanarkshire) vote result:
    SNP: 1089
    LAB: 855
    CON: 469
    GRN: 83
    LDEM: 45

    Hamilton N. & E. (South Lanarkshire) first prefs:
    SNP: 42.9% (+2.4)
    LAB: 33.6% (-9.4)
    CON: 18.5% (+8.4)
    GRN: 3.3% (+0.1)
    LDEM: 1.8% (+1.8)

    Can't absolutely confirm these figures but seem OK.

    SNP hold and a seemingly big swing from Labour to Conservative, could be just Labour voters staying at home on a low (circa 20%) turnout. Alternatively, is the pro Union vote hardening behind the Tories?

     

    Interesting times :closedeyes: 

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
    45 minutes ago, frogesque said:

    SNP hold and a seemingly big swing from Labour to Conservative, could be just Labour voters staying at home on a low (circa 20%) turnout. Alternatively, is the pro Union vote hardening behind the Tories?

    Tories are on 14% in polls; up 1% on 2011. We've just had a few higher than normal recently.

    I suspect what is happening is that Tory voters who in the past haven't voted in Holyrood elections are now planning to do so, pushing them up a bit. They are also voting in by elections more.

    Tories are the only voters seriously opposed to indy. Labour voters are mainly open to the idea, just not necessarily sold.

    In the past, if you were a Tory, you never wanted Holyrood. Also, if you voted in Holyrood elections, it didn't matter that much as no way were the Tories ever going to be in power.

    So, Tories turned out for UK elections but less so for Holyrood. They got 15% in May yet 13% in 2011 Holyrood. Assuming largely the same people, that's 13% lower turnout for Holyrood, and we know turnouts for Holyrood have been up to 20% lower.

    Anyway, having seen that Holyrood can deliver an SNP majority, threatening the union, and it looks like that will happen again, they're out voting Tory as much as they can. But then so are SNP voters (voting SNP); turnout this May will likely be close to that of the UKGE. Labour voters more apathetic though given the state of the party and the fact they're not that against the SNP.

    That means the Tories might make small gains in May this year, but do no better than the UKGE. There is really little they can gain from the Labour vote that is now approaching the position the Tories reached in 1997, i.e. has bottomed out to core loyal.

    For the moment, that's the best polling suggests.

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    This is good news.

    Quote

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-35382564

    EU funding for cross-border projects in western Scotland

    The EU funding will be available for cross-border projects in the west of Scotland and Northern Ireland
    European Union funding worth £215m has been officially announced for cross-border projects in western Scotland...
    ...Mr Brown said he looked forward to people and communities in the west of Scotland sharing in the benefits delivered to all three regions.


    He said: "This huge investment will help projects delivering healthcare, transport, environmental benefits and wider innovation, strengthening our already good cross-border links with Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland.

    Also this:

    Quote

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-35357497

    ONS figures show Scottish employment at record high

    The Scottish government said youth employment figures continued to be strong, outperforming the UK statistics

    Employment in Scotland reached a record level between September and November, according to official figures.

    The Office for National Statistics said 21,000 more Scots were in work, compared with the previous quarter, bringing the total to 2,631,000.

    Scotland now has the highest employment rate out of the four UK nations, and is outperforming the UK as a whole.

    For the first time, employment in Scotland is now higher than it was before the recession.

    The rate north of the border reached 74.9% over the quarter - above the level of 74.6% recorded prior to the economic crisis.

    Just such a pity we're dependent on oil for all our jobs and need the broad shoulders of the English working taxpayer to help us get by.

    _87754366_capture.png

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Alas, I have often said to myself what are the boasted advantages which my country reaps from a certain union that counterbalance the annihilation of her independence, and even her name!

    Robert Burns in a letter to Mrs Dunlop, 10th April 1790.

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