Immediate action to create a new generation of Gaelic speakers is the only way to save the language, according to Minister for Gaelic Michael Russell and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Fiona Hyslop, speaking today during a visit to the studios of Stornoway-based Gaelic broadcaster MG Alba.
Well OK, Mikey. What you gonna do?
To address the issue, Ms Hyslop and Mr Russell announced that the Scottish Government and Bòrd na Gàidhlig will work closely over the next three months to identify the critical steps required to deliver such a challenging outcome. By the end of this year Mr Russell will publish an action plan of radical steps which will deliver an increase in Gaelic speakers and users.
Minister for Gaelic Michael Russell said:
"There is legitimate concern about the condition of Gaelic in Scotland. This Government shares that concern and is committed to tackling it head-on. But there is not the luxury of time. We must take action and we must take it now."
But there is sufficient luxury of time to prepare an action plan of radical steps. Which course of so-called action commits the Scottish Government to very little. The inhabitants of the Western Isles may have their faults but they are well enough able to distinguish between the appearance of immediate action and the reality.
Is there any indication of what these radical steps will involve? No. Is there any indication that the government is prepared to open its purse? No. Will they just go back to Edinburgh and forget about it? Probably.