Is mise Ìason Mìcheal agus tha mi à Cill Mhèarnaig and I want to know just what’s wrong with me speaking my native language or my mother’s tongue at the place where we are forced to play government with our neighbours. That’s what seems to be the story right now in the House of Commons. Fifty-six new members of the house stood before the Westminster parliament today to swear fealty to Mrs. Elizabeth Sachsen Coburg und Gotha, her heirs and successors et cetera ad nauseam, in order to represent the greatest aspiration of Scotland, and all we heard from the galleries of the press was a sneer that when they dared speak in a prouder, less tarnished, more ancient language than English. We were always told that this was a union of equals. Some swore their oath in Gaelic and others still in Scots, and one made the Scots Affirmation rather than bend to a foreign custom – and I hope they all had their fingers crossed. All that we have heard all day from the Westminster commentariat is how un-British all of this is. Of course it’s un-British – It’s Scottish, and these arrogant imbeciles are trying to tell us that we belong together.
Let me be the very first to confess that I don’t speak much Gaelic. It was never offered to me through the course of my entire Scottish education. I was scolded in primary school for saying Am gein hame rather than I’m going home by a teacher who was attempting to teach Burns to us Ayrshire kids as though it was a foreign language. Only recently I listened on as a young woman reprimanded her little boy for saying dug and not dog. The fact that she voted Yes in the independence referendum only tells me how well and truly colonised we are. We’ve ingested and internalised the superiority of English language and culture. How can we ever be equals with people we have been trained like dogs to see as our betters? Here’s the truth of it, we’re not equals. We have never been welcomed as equals in England’s parliament, and what’s more – we don’t even belong there. There was a time when I had a problem with all this swearing loyalty to a foreign monarchy, actually I still do, but now I can see it as a means to an end; telling lies to a liar is no lie at all. Let’s get this business over with and get our country out of this mess.