Why the next parliament must be a Scots language parliament
Why the neist pairlament maun be a Scots leid pairlament
Promoting Scots isn’t a niche issue – it has a positive knock-on effect on other sectors and portfolios:
Economy – Scots is worth millions to the Scottish economy, with Burns’ poetry alone worth an estimated £203m/year.
Education – The Scottish Qualifications Authority has confirmed that the use of Scots in education tackles the attainment gap by allowing students to speak in their own voice. Also, bilingualism has many other educational benefits and promoting Scots bilingualism assists in the Government’s 1+2 language goal
Social Mobility – Social stigmatisation of Scots speakers widens class divides, affects self-worth, and contributes to class prejudice, whereas its legitimisation may assist in combatting these issues.
It is a cross-party policy that unites parties and voters of different political stripes:
The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 was voted through unanimously – by all parties – and there’s no reason why a Scots Language Act shouldn’t be too.
A Scottish Parliament Cross-party Group on Scots has existed in the past and was in the process of relaunching pre-pandemic.
The prevalence of Scots is spread across various regions and constituencies, irrespective of voting patterns.
Yet despite all this, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages Fifth Report of the Committee of Experts (2020) reported that:
The facilitation and/or encouragement of the use of Scots, in speech and writing, in public life has seen a deterioration since 2014.
Provision of forms and means for the teaching and study of Scots at all appropriate stages and provision of facilities enabling (also adult) non-speakers of Scots to learn it does not fulfil the Scottish Government’s obligations under the Charter.
No action has been taken to establish a body for the purpose of advising the authorities on all matters pertaining to Scots.