The National:

SCOTLAND'S traditional languages, Gaelic and Scots, are a part of the cultural heritage of everyone in Scotland, no matter what their views on the question of independence.

However there is a loud and vocal minority of extreme British nationalists, aided and abetted by certain Conservative politicians, who react with fury to any measure aimed at promoting and developing Gaelic and Scots.

Some Conservatives are supporters of the Gaelic language such as Conservative MSP Donald Cameron, who supported a move by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to make Gaelic medium schooling the "default option" for new Primary 1 pupils, despite Scottish Conservative education spokesperson Liz Smith claiming that it was a "deeply troubling step."

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Sadly Cameron's views are unusual for a Tory. Smith's attitude towards Gaelic is all too common amongst British nationalist politicians. Perhaps the Conservative education spokesperson ought to do more to educate herself about the advantages of bilingual education.

Just within the past couple of days we've had self-described opponents of independence take to social media to complain about the Gaelic word Ambaileans being put on the front of Scottish ambulances and demanding to know what "cretin" thought it was a good idea to use anything other than English. Perhaps they were worried that folk might see a squarish shaped van hare down the road, bedecked with a yellow and green checker pattern, AMBAILEANS on the front in big lettering, with blue lights flashing and making a deafening nee-naw noise, and then try to flag it down so they could order a 99 and a strawberry Cornetto only to be rebuffed because they don't know how to do that in Gaelic.

These Unionist zoomers are so obsessed with an imaginary nationalist conspiracy that they actually seem to believe that there's an SNP official tasked with deciding what signage to put into Gaelic as part of an evil anti-English masterplan. Seems to me there's only one cretin here, and it's not the person who put Gaelic text on an ambulance.

Not to be outdone in the entitled belief that the entire universe must revolve around English speaking monoglots, another British nationalist zoomer took to social media to complain that people having the temerity to speak Gaelic on a bus in Stornoway made her son feel uncomfortable. The puir wee lamb. I hope he never goes to Spain, France, or Italy on holiday, he'd probably have a meltdown. How very dare people whose preferred first language is not English use their devilish tongues in public places. Will no one think of the children?

The truth is that measures to promote the Gaelic language, making it more visible on public signage, have very little to do with SNP plots to alienate Scotland from the rest of the UK. They are in fact obligations of the British government due to a Labour government in Westminster signing up to the The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and obliging itself in an international treaty to promote and protect Gaelic, Welsh and other traditional languages of the UK.

The Charter was an initiative of the Council of Europe, which the UK remains a member of, so the Charter was unaffected by Brexit. The UK also recognised Scots as a language to be protected by the charter, but the UK Government decided to grant Scots a lower level of protection. The level of protection the UK agreed to offer Gaelic and Welsh guaranteed those languages a dedicated TV service. That's why we have a Gaelic language TV channel but not a Scots one.

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As far as measures to protect and foster Gaelic are concerned, the Scottish Government is merely acting as the agent for the British Government as cultural issues are a devolved matter, in order to fulfill the international treaty obligations of the UK. You'd think that British nationalists ought to be happy that the Scottish Government was doing what the British state demanded of it, but not apparently when it comes to the Gaelic language.

The real reason that rabid British nationalists object to Gaelic and Scots is because they are uncomfortable reminders that Scotland is a nation in its own right with a distinctive culture and linguistic heritage quite independent of that of England. That's a direct challenge to their insistence that there is a single British nation.