Celtic connections

24th January 2003 at 00:00
Predictably, opposition parties have made much of the Labour Party connections of recent appointments to Bord Gaidhlig na h-Alba, the new Gaelic development agency.

Three, at least, of the six members are Labour supporters while the remainder are not widely known to sympathise with any other party.

Surely critics have missed the point. There are many more interesting connections.

Chairman Duncan Ferguson, rector of Plockton High, is a brother-in-law of Boyd Robertson, head of Gaelic at Jordanhill, as we used to call it. Ceit Anna MacLeod is not just the youngest ever member of a quango in Scotland but the daughter of broadcaster (and a former depute director of education in the Western Isles) Finlay MacLeod.

And Macleod once interviewed fellow Lewis person Agnes Rennie, crofter, consultant and school board chair, on television.

But we shouldn't make too much of this. The Executive has clearly gone out of its way to espouse Gaelic diversity as well as fraternity. The board's membership includes a North Uist Protestant, a South Uist Catholic, a Skye person, two Lewis persons and an Islay person.

A veritable triumph.

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