No, I’m not doing the Scottish elections. Frank’s piece on Cedar Lounge pretty much says what I wanted to say, and there’s very little I could add to it. For some background, these two articles from the Irish Socialist Network and Socialist Democracy, representing the more thoughtful end of Irish leftism, may be of interest.
But there have been a few amusing snippets over the last day or two, starting with this story from the Beeb about the Ulster Scots hotline that took zero calls in three years. This boondoggle derives directly from the parity of esteem provisions of the GFA, which stipulates that promotion of Ulster Scots, on a par with Gaeilge, will build confidence amongst the Prods. Actually, most Prods find the thing a bit of an embarrassment. Even OUP peer Lord Laird (or should that be Laird Laird?), former Heid-Yin of the Ulster-Scotch Heirskip Cooncil, reckons the thing is a waste of money. Although, unsurprisingly, he still begrudges any public cash being spent on Irish. [Update: As has been helpfully pointed out in the comments below, this story was first broken by the Belfast Telegraph, having got the facts under FOIA. As we believe in giving credit where it’s due, have a look at the original story here.]
A tiny article appears in a sidebar in the Irish News on the introduction of yet more repressive legislation, the purpose of which is obscure since we’re supposed to be at peace now. This latest measure, which applies only to the North, allows the peelers to seize computers belonging to journalists who won’t divulge their sources. One might refer to it as the Ed Moloney Order. Normalisation, forsooth!
Irate small businesspeople from Protestant areas phoning Talk Back, wondering if the UVF’s historic statement means they can get away with not ponying up next week’s protection money.
Finally, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack O’Bama turns out to have Irish heritage, as is traditional for prospective US presidents, seemingly being a Kearney from Offaly. I could have sworn his family was from Kenya, but there you go.
The title, as anyone from Ballymena could tell you, is the negative of “Scots wha hae”.