Hugh Reilly In The Scotsman – Offensive?

Last week’s article in The Scotsman by Hugh Reilly was, in the Editor’s opinion, amazingly distasteful. The piece was intended as a ‘slagging off’ of Scottish Labour’s leader Johann Lamont. Mr Reilly said

“The First Minister-in-waiting (waiting like Godot but for a far longer period, I hope), told of her childhood on the island of Tiree, a place where a puffin is less a thing of beauty, more an hors d’oeuvre before dining on a fillet of grey seal pup”. Mr Reilly continued by sayng “oddly the doughty fechter doesn’t speak Gaelic, she merely “respects it”. Rather disrespectfully, monolingual Hebrideans who speak that ancient tongue feel blessed that they cannot comprehend a single word the woman says. Unfortunately, those of us cursed with an understanding of English are doomed to endure more angst-ridden outpourings from London-Labour’s outreach agent. Previously, I’d thought that Lamont’s ignorance of Gaelic was down to laziness but, if Alasdair Allan, the Scottish Government minister for learning is to be believed, television is the bane of learning a foreign language. If this is true, one must presume that The Woodentops, Bill and Ben and, yes, the biggest culprit, Noddy, shoulder the blame for Johann’s inability to converse with her archipelagodwelling neighbours.”

As you will know, your Editor is not from Tiree, he is not a Gaelic speaker, he’s not even a Scot!!! He does, however, find the ramblings of Mr Reilly to be offensive, and would love to hear feedback from An Tirisdeach readers.

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