‘S e plana an Riaghaltais a tha dhà-riribh a’ cunntadh, tha Murray MacLeòid ag ràdh

Dh’fhaodadh dùil a bhith ri cuid de na beachdan rag a chaidh a thoirt seachad air Plana Gàidhlig Poileas na h-Alba.

Thuirt 484 neach-obrach aig Poileas na h-Alba ann an rannsachadh gun robh grèim a choireigin aca air a' chànan

[English-language version below]

Tha daoine fhathast – ged a tha còir againn a bhith beò aig àm nas tuigsiche mu leithid – an aghaidh a’ chànain agus, a’ cheart cho dona, tha cuid eile na aghaidh ‘s iad a’ smaoineachadh gur e rud a th’ ann a bhuinneas dhan SNP agus na nàiseantaich a-mhàin.

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Ged a tha sin na thàmailt, chan eil anns na beachdan a tha aig daoine air dè bu chòir dha Poileas na h-Alba a dheànamh dhan Ghàidhlig ach rud anns an dol seachad.

Chan eil fiù ‘s an neach-iomairt as righne a' dol a dh’argamaid gum bu chòir don bhuidhinn seo prìomhachas a chur air leasachadh na Gàidhlig agus, a thuilleadh air an cànan a dheànamh nas fhaicsinniche, chan eil mòran ghnìomhan prataigeach ann as urrainn dhaibh a dhèanamh.

San t-seadh sin, tha na tha iad fhèin a’ moladh anns a’ phlana ciallach gu leòr: barrachd sgrìobhaidh Ghàidhlig far an gabh a dhèanamh, oifigearan le Gàidhlig a chur dha na coimhearsnachdan Gàidhlig (rud nach robh a’ tachairt ron a seo) agus barrachd chothroman-cleachdaidh a thoirt dhan 484 neach-obrach a thuirt ann an rannsachadh gun robh grèim a choireigin aca oirre. Bu chòir dhan sin a bhith comasach gu leòr agus cha shaoileadh tu ro chonnspaideach.

Tha feadhainn ann a tha ag ràdh cho gòrach ‘s a tha e dha facail Ghàidhlig a bhith air cliathaich nan càraichean-poilis no air na geansaidhean aca ann a leitheid Fìobha is na Crìochan. Ach, chaidh a' bhuidheann a tha seo, mar gu leòr eile, a thoirt ri chèile mar aon bhuidheann mhòr nàiseanta agus le sin, chan eil e furasta diofar chleachdaidhean a chur an sàs gu sgìreil, gu mì-fhortanach.

Feumaidh a leithid Poileas na h-Alba agus buidhnean poblach eile Planaichean Gàidhlig a chur air adhart fo Achd na Gàidhlig 2005, ach tha ceist ann an e a bhith ag ullachadh na tha seo de phlanaichean is de phàipearan – nach cruthaich annta fhèin aon neach-labhairt a bharrachd – an dòigh as fheàrr air airgead a chosg.

Agus fhad ‘s a tha an sruth de dh’aithisgean seo a’ dol gun sguir, a’ cruthachadh cha mhòr gnìomhachas dha fhèin, tha an àireamh dhaoine le Gàidhlig anns na coimhearsnachedan traidiseanta a’ sìor chrìonadh.

Seo as coireach gu bheil na freagairtean a chaidh a thoirt dha Plana Gàidhlig an Riaghaltais fhèin gu bhith cho cudromach.

Tha an co-comhairleachadh air crìochnachadh agus cha deach na beachdan a thàinig bhon phoball fhoillseachadh fhathast.

Ach, ma tha na còmhraidhean a tha air a bhith a’ dol le cuid de luchd-taice nan comharra, thèid iarraidh slighe ùr a ghabhail agus barrachd cuideam a chur air na h-àitichean far a bheil a’ Ghàidhlig fhathast na cànain-coimhearsnachd, cugallach ‘s gu bheil i.

Air a’ bhonn gu math sìmplidh gum feum thu daoine son cànan a bhruidhinn, cha tachair ath-bheòthachadh sam bi anns na h-àitichean sin, mura tig an ceangal le cothroman-obrach, le riaghailtean croitearachd agus taigheadais, gnothaichean a tha riatanach airson daoine a chumail anns na sgìrean sa chiad àite.

Chan eil mòran coltais g’ eil fiù ‘s mothachadh air a sin ann – gu luaidh air freagairtean – ach tha cothrom againn a chur ceart le Plana ùr Gàidhlig Riaghaltais na h-Alba agus slighe eile a ghabhail. Sin as coireach, nuair a thig e gu h-aon is gu dhà, gur e an aon phlana a tha dha-rìribh tha a’ cunntadh.

Fios bhon neach-deasachaidh:

Tapa leibh airson an aithris a tha seo a leughadh. Tha sinn an eismeil ur taic nas motha na bha riamh agus buaidh a’ Choronbhirus air buaidh a thoirt air luchd sanasachd. Mur eil sibh air a dhèanamh mar-tha, ma se ur toil, nach beachdaich sibh taic a chumail ri ar obair-naidheachd earbsach, a tha sinn a’ dearbhadh a tha fìor, le bhith toirt a-mach ballrachd digiteach.

Some of the more intolerant responses to the Police Scotland consultation on a five-year gaelic plan were entirely predictable. There still exists – despite us supposedly living in more enlightened times – a residual anti-Gaelic sentiment in Scotland, while others, just as lamentably, believe the promotion of our ancient tongue to be part of the SNP nationalist hegemony and therefore to be resisted at all costs.

Disappointing as all that may be, the truth is that opinions on what Police Scotland should or should not bring to the table of language development is in any case a sideshow... at best. Not even the most ardent Gaelic activist will argue that this should feature high among police priorities and, other than some prominence in official branding, there is little they can realistically do in a practical sense.

To that limited end, their own proposals in the plan seem sensible enough: more branding where the opportunity exists, trying to get Gaelic-speaking officers into Gaelic-speaking communities (something they didn’t do in the past) and giving the 484 employees who expressed in a survey some competency in the language the confidence and opportunity to use it more. All perfectly achievable and, you would think, unexceptional.

There are those who point to the absurdity of police cars and uniforms in places like Fife and the Borders being emblazoned with Gaelic signage, but Police Scotland, like many of our institutions, has been dragooned into a centralisation agenda, making an approach which reflects regional priorities very difficult to achieve.

The need for all public agencies to produce five-year Gaelic development plans comes from the 2005 Gaelic Act, but it really is questionable whether a whole host of lengthy strategies, plans and documents – unlikely in themselves to produce a single new speaker – represents real value for money.

And in the meantime, while this industry of administration ploughs on ever forwards, the number of speakers in its traditional heartlands continues its downward trajectory.

That is why the response to the Scottish government’s own five-year Gaelic plan is so eagerly awaited – and crucial. The consultation period is now ended and the feedback yet to be made public, but if recent debates being held among Gaelic supporters are anything to by, they will include an impassioned appeal for a change of direction: for a greater focus on the areas where Gaelic still exists as a community language, albeit by fragile fingertips.

On the very simple and obvious premise that you need people to speak the language, no recovery will ever occur in these heartlands unless action is linked to employment, to crofting regulation and to housing, all vitally important elements in allowing people to remain in these places in the first place. No people, no community, far less a Gaelic-speaking one.

That kind of strategic coordinated thinking has been sorely absent, but there is every chance to rectify it with the Scottish government’s new Gaelic plan, even though it will require some major re-assessment. And that’s why, to all intents and purposes, it’s the one Gaelic plan that really matters.

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