Monday, 24 November 2014

Parity of Esteem or Parity of Outcome?

The Guardian has an interesting article on the unfortunate Gregory Campbell, who has evidently received plausible death threats after compounding his "curry my yoghurt" comments at the St. Trinian's Annual Jamboree (sorry, DUP conference).

In both the strapline and the text, it states that an Irish Language Act would give "Gaelic" (by which the Blether Region assumes that the Grauniad means the Irish variety) equal status to English. There are in fact many ways in which Irish could be promoted short of equal status to English. The Irish-language community would favour a rights-based Act, while the probable compromise would be something more akin to the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, which promotes Scottish Gaelic through a national plan.

The proposals from Pobal, probably much stronger than any final Act, mention "equal validity", "resolute action" to promote the language, and providing services "to the maximum extent practicable". That doesn't sound like equal status to the Blether Region — and it may scare off some more moderate Protestants to suggest otherwise.

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