No, we’re not referring to the Spectator’s awful reheated whine from super-Unionist composer Sir James Macmillan, Knight Commander Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire, in which he takes the audacious step of accusing some OTHER artistes of cravenly kowtowing to the establishment.
We’re actually talking about this:
Because this one’s even older.
Alert readers will recall that we’re no fans of the Gaelic language, but even less fond of cretinous newspaper stories hysterically inflating the supposed costs of “promoting” it. And we’re at a loss as to why the P&J – which also disgraced itself yesterday by carrying the “ferry chaos” story – has chosen to dredge the old chestnut up again today.
That’s some interesting language. “Are being forced” would suggest this was a new development. But in the next paragraph the reality becomes clear:
Because the law “forcing” the Labour-controlled council to act was passed 11 years ago, by a Labour-led administration at Holyrood under First Minister Jack McConnell, with the backing of the Conservatives. We know some Labour politicians in Scotland can be slow readers, but that’s taking it a bit far.
Our previous article demolished the idea of Gaelic signage and so on having a huge cost (normally the effective cost is zero, as Gaelic placenames are only added when signs are due for replacement anyway), so we wondered where the P&J’s headline blaring about “MILLIONS” had come from. We soon found out.
Oh. As it turned out, Labour councillor, finance convener and borderline halfwit Willie Young had pulled it out of his backside.
(In the interests of good taste we’re going to decline to specify which direction Young borders halfwit status from.)
In fact the report that’s referred to in the article, which can be read on the Aberdeen City Council website, was considerably less apocalyptic about the possible costs of implementing the measures:
With regard to being “forced”, the report also notes that nobody has in fact ever been sanctioned for non-compliance with the 2005 Act:
So in summary: these obligations on a Labour council are more than a decade old, they stem from an act introduced by Labour (even though a Conservative MSP describes them in the story as “an SNP obsession”), the suggestion that they could cost “MILLIONS” is complete and utter tosh, and even if the council completely failed to implement them it’s highly unlikely that anything would happen.
Front page lead material, for sure. We look forward to seeing it again the next time the P&J’s staff have been in the pub all night and can’t be bothered coming up with any actual news.
Still, on the paper’s list of the possible onerous requirements that would make up this terrible financial burden on the City Council, we note that “a bilingual logo for the authority” is included. In an attempt to be helpful, we’ve knocked one up ourselves.
We’re happy to let Willie Young have it for £2.50 and a signed photograph of Derek McInnes. He knows where to find us.