Gael force 10

5th May 2000 at 01:00
The Scottish Parliament has probably spent more time on Gaelic education - to wit, two occasions - than in 300 years of its Westminster predecessor. This week language lobbyists appeared before the education committee, which was taking evidence on the Bill (page four).

Fionnlagh Macleod, maestro of the Gaelic playgroup movement, was in full, indomitable flow which proved too much for the heroic translators. Finally one turned to the other and tried to whisper, vainly because the earphones are so efficent: "I can't unerstand a word he's saying."

A few more such bilingual occasions and she will, she will.

Our parliamentarians, incidentally, are an honest bunch. Ken Macintosh, Labour member for Eastwood, admitted during the Gaelic exchanges that he was the son of Farquhar, chair of the board at Sabhal Mor Ostaig college on Skye. Later, during evidence presented by the Scottish Libraries Association, the SNP's Fiona MacLeod came out as a former school librarian.

For further searing revelations, watch this space.

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