Gaels must look to the radical fringe

MURCHADH MacLeòid's Gaelic column was, as ever, a good read last week. It was especially interesting in his opinions on the lack of Gaelic radicalism.

Whilst agreeing with most of what he said, I would argue that the Gaels/Scots have never produced a radical challenge to the English language establishment in Scotland. One only needs to look to Wales or the Basque Country to see how it should have been done. He is right to talk of Cappuccino Gaels whose free-lunch bellies are too large to support the wearing of slogan-bearing t-shirts. However, both the Basques and Welsh have larger, more established language-based economies, yet still retain vibrant, radical and potent youth cultures.

MacLeid also neglects to mention the small but nevertheless important radical 'fringe' that we do possess. This is the recent advent of Gaelic punk rock band. Both Oi Polloi and Mill a h-Uile Rud not only blend Gaelic with challenging and refreshing music and politics but actually practise the most radical form of direct action possible in support of Gaelic - they speak it and write it as an everyday living language. This is also achieved without receiving a penny in taxpayers' money.

This is a radicalism that is lacking in many 'Gaelic' organisations from Feisean nan Gaidheal, An Comann Gaidhealach to the Hebridean Celtic Festival.

Seonaidh Adams, Edinburgh