AH try ma best no tae, but ah cannae help masel. Every Thursday efternuin, aboot wan o’clock, The National sticks up ma column on their Twitter page; an it’s a guid day if it’s five past afore ah’m on there masel, checkin tae see whit fowk are sayin aboot me an oor kiddy-on language, this nationalist ploy o a leid that ma Maw lairnt me as a bairn for nae ither reason than tae mak shuir that ah never got ower big for ma wee size sixes. Och, the braw penny o a guid Scots tongue! A wicked step-mither’s giftie, aw ends up; a cantie curse o perpetual sílence, a bogle tae reive awa yer voice an lend ye in its steid the sullen craik o an auld melodian.

We aw ken aboot the hostility Gaelic faces in Scotland, an the reason that we ken aboot it is that Gaelic has pals aw ower the shop. In ilka political pairty, at ilka newspaper, there’s fowk that’ll gang tae the mattresses for Gaelic. Yer Da can gang radge aboot road-signs until he’s red, white an blue in the puss – the support o the Scots Pairliament for oor national language, an the millions o pounds that support translates intae, are non-negotiable. For onybody wi a public profile tae maintain – which, appairently, is aw o us, noo – pittin the buit intae some anti-Gaelic heid-the-baw is a shot tae naethin, the purest o free hits. The importance o Gaelic tae oor national culture is (for noo, at least) a settled maitter.

It’s temptin, on the ither haun, tae describe hostility tae Scots an its spikkers as bein mair sleekit bi nature, mair subterranean – but it isnae really true. If ye’re no weel-acquentit wi the teemins o spite that are the routine cost o uisin Scots in oor public life, it’s anely acause there’s nae political points tae be won in pointin it oot. If there were ony votes in it, oor políticans wad be croudin roond the lanesome randos o the anti-Scots brigade three or fower deep, strauchlin tae get their licks in ...

But, o coorse, there ARE votes in Scots – at least 1.6 million o them, at last coont. A hale third o the fowk that bide in this kintrae are honest Jocks an honest Jennies that are rearin the bairns an takkin oot the bins an wirkin as if they lived in the early days o a better nation – an aw they get back for their taxes an their time is a pat on the heid come Burns Nicht an the shuir knawledge that, ony time they think tae uise their ain language ootside their livin room, somebody’ll be alang richt awa tae caw them a junkie or a ned or a piece o scum.

Cause the problem wi thae

1.6 million votes is that they’re aw fankled up in ither things. Scots is a ben ah’m (jist aboot) willin tae die on – but ah’d hiv tae be totally oot ma face tae stoat past twa food banks an a hameless shelter on ma wey tae the pollin booth an then pull the lever for whaever says they’re gonnae mak gettin Postman Pat dubbed intae Doric their nummer wan priority. It disnae maitter how muckle ye care aboot Scots; unless ye care aboot it mair than stairvin bairns or the imminent collapse o Western Civilization, there’s nae meaninfu wey tae let oor high-heid-yins ken that yer language maitters tae ye.

Weel, thon’s been the wey o it for a lang while, onywey … But noo here we are, a couple o months oot fae the next SNP conference, an thanks tae Young Scots for Independence, we’re within touchin distance o haein a motion pit tae thon conference that wad see Scots graduate fae its lang-held posítion as the bonnie broukit Cinderella o oor national leids, an finally pit on an equal fittin wi its English an Gaelic sisters.

Which is easier said than duin, ken … English is the language o international commerce (in case ye hadnae noticed) an when it comes tae government support, Gaelic has awready got a heid-stairt o fifteen years an tens o millions o pounds. Whitever happens at conference, we’re still a lang wey awa fae the aft-imagined dystopia whaur Scots is compulsory and Scotland reduced tae a Third Warld kintrae cause naebody can unnerstaun a wird we’re sayin.

No that ony o that really matters … Nae Scots spikker ah ken wants tae be able tae gang tae Marbella an order a beer in Scots, or expects the same level o public fundin for Scots as is needed tae keep Gaelic thrivin. We’re no playin favourites, here. We jist want oor language tae be treatit as a language like ony ither, no a dirty wee faimily secret tae be kept fae the neeburs. Scots spikkers dinnae want the rin o the hoose. They jist want tae be let oot the basement.

Talk aboot Snawflake City, eh. Ah jalouse next ah’ll be wantin mandatory sentencin for fowk that say that Scots is jist slang, an mebbes for some wee body fae Social Services tae come roond an cut up ma fish fingers for me … Weel, naw. Nae pouer on Earth can stap fowk that want tae luik doon on us fae luikin doon on us.

The things in this society that mak ordinary Scots spikkers second-cless citizens are bedded doon deeper than a hale generation’s wirth o diggin. Ah’m no askin for the lash for onybody that lauchs at how ah talk. Ah jist want tae ken that, when it happens, ma government has got ma back. An, as o noo, ah dinnae ken that at aw. Nane o us dae.

Dinnae get the wrang end o the stick. Ah’m gled o this Scots Government. Ah’m ahint them, an ah want tae see them dae the richt thing.

An politically, supportin this motion is the richt thing – Scots is firmly on oor national agenda, an the chance tae lowp oot aheid o awbody else on it isnae tae be sniffed at. But mair importantly, supportin Scots is the richt thing tae dae morally.

The dingin doon o Scots spikkers isnae some totally separate issue fae the food banks an the hameless shelters. It’s aw pairt o the same thing, the braid pattern o inequality that means that whether oor weans wind up at the BBC or Barlinnie depends on whaur they bide raither than how they bide, has mair tae dae wi the language they uise than the things they uise it tae say. Weel, here’s oor chance tae say Naw tae aw that. Let’s mak shuir we tak it.