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The truths they don't want you to read....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Gaelic TV (updated)

The BBC Trust Unit who are evaluating the proposal for a Gaelic TV channel have just announced that following a Public Value Assessment, "on the evidence currently available, the PVA suggests that the potential public value would not be sufficient to justify the level of investment proposed".

In other words, it is too expensive to justify, as it stands.

However, if it can attract new speakers of the language, "it would appear to justify the increased expenditure".

The provisional conclusions are due to be published on 21 November with a 28-day consultation process and a final decision in January.

Given the cuts that the BBC is having to find, and that the BBC are forecasting a cost of £25m pa in running costs, it looks like the proposal is dead in the water.

Update 20:45 - I know that everyone working for the Gaelic Digital Channel is desperate to get 'something' ('anything'?) that improves the position of the Gaelic language, and the digital channel was that chance, as far as they are concerned. I am not in any way knocking what they believe in or what they have tried to achieve, or suggesting that they have failed in anything they have done.


I've given it a lot of thought, and I'll admit that I come from the perspective of a monoglot without the full cultural heritage, but I still have a valid view.

I believe that the Gaelic digital channel is a sop designed to fail (or never be delivered) to show that politicians were trying to do something for the language, but where the blame will be diffused across so many quangos and departmental responsibilities that no-one will ever be responsible for the failure to deliver.

Anything less than an S4C equivalent is pointless, and even that may be too late now. Yes, I think the Gaelic language may be doomed and in a death spiral due to inaction by EVERY political party. The ability to direct the debate into a discussion about how small the ghetto for the language should be has been the trick of the civil servants.

One only needs to compare Ireland, where Irish Gaelic is now an official language of the European Union to the situation in Scotland where there is a total absence of any attempt to bring the language into the mainstream by any political party.

In summary: the game is over. Fight a losing battle if you wish - or find some other means to achieve recognition. There are no other options.

Dorothy Kansas


Anonymous said...

A tough call to prove that it can attract more viewers when they have now been spending some £9m and more annually on Gaelic TV since 1992/3. During this time the number of Gaelic speakers has dropped by 11% to 58,650 in the ten years since 2001 census . Does no-one learn from this, and how does the new channel expect to have any viewers when its going to be showing mainly stuff from the last four decades of the SMG library?

Anonymous said...

From Hansard - Question from our MP.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government have taken to implement their responsibilities under the European Charter for Minority and Regional Languages since signing the Charter.

Reply - Jim Murphy (Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office)

The UK ratified the European Charter for Minority Languages on 27 March 2001 and the charter entered into force for the UK on 1 July 2001. The UK recognises Welsh, Irish, Scottish-Gaelic, Ulster Scots, Manx Gaelic, Cornish and Scots under the charter's definition of a regional or minority language.

The charter's monitoring mechanism requires member states party to the charter to produce, a year after entry into force of the charter for the state and thereafter every three years, a periodical report detailing the policy pursued under Part II of the charter and the measures taken in application of those provisions of Part III of the charter which they have accepted. Since ratification the UK has produced two such periodical reports, the first published on 1 July 2002 and the second on 1 July 2005. The UK's third periodical report is due for publication on 1 July 2008.

The UK's first and second periodical reports can be found on the Council of Europe website at:here


Comment: MacNeil should know this and should have read the report if he had any real interest in the subject, rather than just grandstanding.

The status/standing of Gaelic is clear, and as our MSP campaigns for Scots and Gaelic to have equal status the prospects for Gaelic TV are down the tube.

Anonymous said...

"Comment: MacNeil should know this and should have read the report if he had any real interest in the subject, rather than just grandstanding."

I don't suppose it occurred to you that ABM asked the question on behalf of, and for the benefit of, his constituents (and other interested members in the Commons). The art of telepathy hasn't been fully developed yet in Parliament. Generally, if you want answers it helps to ask the question, and not necessarily for your own benefit or 'grandstanding'.

I wonder what the next lame excuse for undue criticism is going to be...

Anonymous said...

am very glad that Irish Gaelic has been accepted as mainstream by polititians, but would argue that that is the last of the pieces that need putting in place. First we need to teach all the polititians Gaelic, and then we need it in all our primary and High schools as a basic first course. Then we can look to our polititians to take it up.

Anonymous said...

To attract more viewers you need good programmes and at present that just isnt apparent. Programmes are to High brow, enjoy our dead poets, songs and history but we need some room for more entertaining television.