Document 1738

Scots Tung Wittins 87

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 87
Feb. 2001

Keep a guid Scots tung in yer heid an in yer hert! But mind an uise it tae!

Scots tung WITTINS

Eydentlie uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaine
e-screive: [CENSORED: emailaddress] Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

The Muckle Creenge at the Hert o Auld Reekie's Tea-time Paper.
THON bit anent "Neducation" in last month's edeetion o Scots Tung Wittins didna hauf steer up a muckle stushie wi the press. Jason Cumming o the Scottish Press Agency thocht it wis worth an airticle an taen some parteeclars frae us. The Sun an the Record bocht his airticle an then chynged it oot o aw recogneetion an furthset it ablow the bye-nems o Ron Moore an Mark Howarth. Whit is it aboot the Scots language that gars thae fowk mak up lees tae pit intae guid fowks' mooths? Jason Cumming wis fair scunnert wi it aw an sent an e-screive o apology tae us. But here! The'r mair. Haud on or we tell ye.

The Edinburgh Evening News seen the bit in the Sun an Ian Swanson speirt us tae dae an airticle pittin forrit the consaits o Scots Tung anent the maitter. A thoosan tae twal hunner words wis whit he wis efter an it haed tae be in bi Wadensday 3t. Januar. It wisna or awthin haed been greed that he pyntit oot it wad hae tae be screivit in Inglis. We war fair taen aback an said that Scots Tung daesna screive in Inglis, juist Scots, tho we'r no abuin quotin a wee bittie o somebody else's Inglis whiles. Maister Swanson said they wad accepp it screivit in Scots but the News wad hae tae owerset it intae Inglis wi aiblins ane or twa Scots phrases left in. Can ye no juist feel the condescension an the creenge? Oniewey we threapit it wad hae tae be Scots or naethin at aw an the News chuisit naethin but got Davie Purves tae dae a bit in Inglis. A story anent the Scots language wis gaun tae mak guid wittins but the Scots language wisna guid eneuch for pittin thae pynts ower wi in the tea time paper o Scotland's capital toun. Whit a creenge they maun hae tae steek the door agin Scotland's biggest minority language on the verra first month o the European Year o the Languages, parteeclar syne its sister paper, the Scotsman, haes nae creenge aboot furthsettin a raigler Gaelic airticle. Discreemination???

The EYL is jalousit tae shaw that aw leids haes the same worth an nae minority leid shuid hae tae dree onie discreemination. The Edinburgh Evening News haesna juist gaed agin the speerit o the EYL but agin the speerit o the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Pairt II that haes been signed an ratified bi the British government tae include the Scots language.

Pairt II – Airticle 7 – Objectives an principles says:- In respect of regional or minority languages, within the territories in which such languages are used and according to each language, the Parties shall base their policies, legislation and practice on the following objectives and principles:

...1.a. the recognition of the regional or minority languages as an expression of cultural wealth;
...1.d. the facilitation and/or encouragement of the use of regional or minority languages, in speech and writing, in public and private life.
...3. The Parties undertake to promote, by appropriate measures, mutual understanding between all the linguistic groups of the country and in particular the inclusion of respect, understanding and tolerance in relation to regional or minority languages among the objectives of education and training provided within their countries and encouragement of the mass media to pursue the same objective.

Monie papers haes nae fash wi prentin stories or airticles in Scots; the Herald, P&J, Independent, Musselburgh News an Ellon Times tae mint juist ane or twa, sae whit wey shuid Scotland's capital toun's tea-time paper cairry oot sic a discreemination agin the biggest hamelt leid o the nation? Is it ower fantoosh an taffee nebbit tae be seen uisin the language that maist o its readers uises tae communicate wi ane anither ilka day? Daes it keep its lugs steekit onie time it gauns tae Easter Road or Tynecastle? We dinna ken whit wey the Edinburgh Evening News keeps its neb pyntit tae the lift an hauds oot agin the uise o Scots in this wey. Micht be the creenge or juist a muckle dose o the Edinburgh "Fur coat an nae drawers" syndrome. We wad be richt behauden gin they'd come richt oot wi it an lat us ken. Nae paper shuid set itsel abuin its readers. Gin a paper an its readers daesna speak the same languages, wha is it speakin tae?

Copiericht for awthin screivit in this wittins blat bides wi R. Fairnie. The Scots Tung Wittins can be fotie-copied in hail or in pairt athoot leemit o nummers an this hauds guid an aw for onie pairt o the wittins blat that's furthset in onie ither publication.

Scots Tung WITTINS on the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doon-haundelt an prentit (noo in HTML format forbye) frae the wab-steid o :-
The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.
Wab-steid backin :-
A hard copie o STW is sent free o chairge tae aw maimbers o Scots Tung.
Maimbership subscreivins is £5 peyed ilka September. (£6 furth o United Kinrik)

Lairnin Frae Vikings?
IRENE McGugan, nae doot wi the uphaud o the ither maimbers o the cross pairty curn o MSP's for Scots, haes pit forrit a speirin tae the Scots pairlament for a new wey o giein siller uphaud tae owthors that dae thair screivin in the Scots leid.

Whaur the ootcome o the Cultural Strategy speaks aboot Leukin for Vikings, here we hae the inlat tae lairn frae thaim noo that we'v fund thaim. The quaisten speirs the Scottish Executive (or shuid this be the Scottish Government?) tae follae the lead o Norrowey an stert up a ploy for the government tae coff the first thoosan copies o aw new buiks screivit in Scots an gie thaim tae the libraries.

At the foondin forgaitherin o the Cross Pairty Curn, Jenny Brown o the Scottish Airts Cooncil, pyntit oot the'r a muckle scant o bairns' primary schuil readin buiks screivit in Scots, sae the micht weel be an airgiement for giein the likes o thae kinna buiks direck tae the primary schuils thirsels insteid o tae the libraries. Sic a ploy wad dae nocht but guid for wir language, cultur, owthors, furthsetters, libraries, schuils an aw the fowk.
Wi Scottish Executive fore-speakers threapin they're committit tae hainin the Scots language, we canna see whit wey they cuid na-say sic a wycelik ploy, parteeclar at a time whan the Ulster-Scots Agency haes juist pit forrit a budget o £1.4m tae uphaud Ulster Scots for the incomin year. Thon's a guid sicht mair nor the 9p a heid that the Scots leid enjoys the noo frae the Scottish Executive an cuid pey for a muckle 140 new buiks a year athin the abuin proponed ploy.

Neist Forgaitherin Mon. 12t. Februar 2001 7.30pm tae 9.00pm Comatee Rm. C. Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

Language, Law an Liberty
Dave Wilson frae Pitmedden haes the follaein word or twa tae say anent the abuin paper:-

Abraw, weel-pit-thegither Paper haes raicentlie been furthset bi twa kenspeckle Scots language upsteerers, Liz Niven an Robin Jackson, pyntin oot the praisent seetiation the Scots leid funds itsel in, an proponin weys we can mak its weird better.

The Paper, cried "Language, Law and Liberty", haes thrie heidmaist ettles; (1) tae identify raisons whit wey the Scottish Executive isna gaain tae gie big licks aboot uphaudin the Scots leid, (2) tae descrive the kinna strategies that governments haes pit in the wey tae hinner the leid gittin oot the bit, an (3) tae jalouse on the possibeelity o a legal challenge or henner.

The owthors gangs strecht tae the pynt, an richtly pynts oot that Scots is the keystane o wir Scottish identity. As the anelie poleetical pairty that propones haein it as an "Offeecial Leid" is aw for independence, monie in the "Unionist" pairties is feart that uphaudin it mair cuid shove us aw doon the gate tae the sinderin o the UK.

Forbye, it gangs on tae say that gin the Scots leid wis tae be gien mair recogneetion, a constitutional snorl micht kythe, whaur Scotland wad be unner pressure tae sign up tae the European Chairter for Regional or Minority Leids in its ain richt. The pouer tae dee this bides wi Wastmeinster the noo, but whit wad kythe, the owthers speirs, gin the wis a strang, awthegither consait that Scotland shuid dee sic a thing? The UK government, contered bi a strang, aefauld mindit Scottish Pairlament, wad fund itsel an a nae win seetiation. If it gied in tae haein Scots recognized as an offeecial leid, this cuid gie a heize tae a sense o naitional identity an hasten independence. If it didna gie in, fowk wad git e'en mair scunnert wi Wastmeinster skaithin wir cultur, an want tae sned wir cleeks wi it aw the mair.

The ither raison for the Scottish Executive no wantin tae mak Scots an offeecial leid is, in coorse, siller. The pour oot o siller tee pey for the ongangs o the European Chairter cuid tak a muckle dunt oot o the public pooch. This wad kivver (a) eddication (b) cultural ongangs an faceelities; an (c) economic an social life.

As weel as the abuin, it spiks aboot the raicent stushie wi the Census an the illogical airguments pit forrit bi the Executive, as weel as the sleekit suppression o the 1998 SCCC report. Forbye, the'r a wheen wirds aboot the awfu National Cultural Strategy.

Tae mak richt wir dowie pliskie, the owthors propone a Scots Language Alliance strang eneuch tae cairry the wecht wantit tae bring aboot chynge. Providit upsteerers can pit awa thair wee rivalries, this cuid weel be a winnin ploy. As is pyntit oot, the Gaelic lobby haes gotten results in raicent years bi shawin a united front wi clear norries o whit it's efter. Forbye, whaur Gaelic haes been able tae create a popular romantic eemage, Scots is aye seen as bein clartit in the cauld an maukit kailyaird. The muckle darg needit tae be duin wad need fowk tae lay doon thair egos an pit wir leid first.

The paper daes haud oot howp o makin progress anither gate, bi wey o a legal challenge. Twa weys is pit forrit; yin throu the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the ither throu The European Convention on Human Rights. In baith, the'r inlats, for thaim that daurs, tae mak a case agin governments an local bodies whaur the'r discreemination. In this weel-thocht-oot wey, it gings intae the ins an oots aboot hou this micht successfully be duin.

The Paper ends bi giein yin mair gate we micht like tae gang doon. The owthors pynt oot a wey o makin baith the government creenge an winnin wir muckle needit richts. It says a hantle fowk hiv been sae scunnert bi the exclusion o a quaisten fae the 2001 Census that thay'r no gauin tae fill it oot. Sic an ack o ceevil disobedience wad inveet legal action. Aince in coort, the "accused" wad braiden things oot bi hennerin the coort tae recogneese (an record) Scots as a leid, an uise the European Chairter on Human Richts tae fend thirsels. Gin thon beirs the gree, it wad set a legal precedent wi a muckle knock-on effeck that the Executive cuidna gie a deefie til. Forbye, aw this wad tak place athin the European Year o the Leids, giein the case mair nor the usual wecht an publeecity.

The owthors, that hiv screivit the Paper in English, end wi this thocht – ane wi micht aa like tae think on; "If as a result of a successful legal challenge, the government was obliged to recognize Scots as an official language, the economic, social and political consequences flowing from that recognition should not be underestimated. However, the question remains as to whether there is any individual or organization, sufficiently committed to the Scots language, prepared to take on such a challenge".

Copies o the ful Paper can be gotten fae Robin Jackson at:-
[CENSORED: emailaddress]

Cross Pairtie Group.
THE saicont forgaitherin ( the furst richt workin ane) o the abuin curn or, The Cross Pairtie Group i the Scottish Pairlament on the Scots Leid, juist tae gie it its Sunday name, taks place at 6pm on Wadensday 31t Januar in Comatee Rm. 1 o the pairlament offices in George IV Brig, Edinburgh.

It is proponed tae register the curn unner the abuin name wi an Inglis owersettin an tae threap the ettles o the curn as bein:- "Tae forder the cause o the Scots Leid, lat memmers (MSP's) ken aboot the cultur an heritage o the leid an shaw the need for action tae uphaud Scots."
Neist on the work leet tae be the eleckin oConvener, Depute Convener, Secretar an Thesaurer.
Amang ither maitters for the work leet is:-
Naitional Cultural Strategy
Universal Declaration o Linguistic Richts
European Year O the Leids
Statement o Preinciples.

Wi regaird tae the Cultural Strategy, Irene McGugan, Cathy Peattie an Mike Russell haes speirt the Eddication, Cultur an Sport Comatee areddies aboot parteeclar issues tae dae wi Scots an the Comatee haes greed tae cairry oot a survey tae fund oot juist whit meisure o uphaud the'r for the Scots language.

The follaein trokes frae the foondin forgaitherin is aye gaun on:-
Univairsal Declaration o Linguistic Richts (Scottish PEN)
This writ tae be brocht oot intae the licht an vizzied alangside o praisent ongauns.
(Joy Hendry, Paul Scott an James Robertson)
Statement o Preinciples
Draft o this declaration tae be pit forrit for discussion an micht be uised as a foond for a Peteetion tae the pairlament.
(Paul Scott an Billy Kay)
Want for clair sicht o whit's fendit an tae haund/ whit pairt daes eddication tak/ hou's schuil guidals bein uised.
(Liz Niven et al)
Cultural Strategy
See abuin heidwey on this maitter.
(Irene McGugan, Cathy Peattie an Mike Russell)
Signage in the new Pairlament Biggin
Offeecial exposure o the leid the likes o this maun be upsteerit an gien a lift.
(Irene, Cathy an Mike)
Lobbyin o MSP's
(Aw upsteerers)
European Year o the Leids 2001
Thochts wantit tae ken the guid o thon ploy.
(Aw upsteerers)
The date for the neist forgaitherin efter this ane is proponed for 14t Mairch 2001.

Makars' Neuk
Should auld aquaintance be forgot,
And never brocht tae mind?
Should auld aquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!
For auld lang syne my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o thine!
And we'll tak a richt gude-willie waucht
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

Robert Burns.

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Information about Document 1738

Scots Tung Wittins 87


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2587
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2001
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Scots Tung Wittins

Text type

Prose: nonfiction
Other mixed text type


Author details

Author id 95
Forenames Robert
Surname Fairnie
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1930
Educational attainment College
Age left school 16
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Consultant Marine Structural Engineer (Retired)
Place of birth Musselburgh
Region of birth Midlothian
Birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Musselburgh
Region of residence Midlothian
Residence CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Fisherman
Father's place of birth Musselburgh
Father's region of birth Midlothian
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Fishwife
Mother's place of birth Musselburgh
Mother's region of birth Midlothian
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work
German Yes Yes Yes Yes In Germany to communicate with two grandsons
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Wherever Scots is understood