Tuesday 3 June 2003

Whose country is it?

Mr and Mrs Boyle wished to give their daughter a Gaelic name but the bureaucrats refused. Now they have relented:
The General Register Office for Scotland has now issued a climbdown. Aoife will be the first in the country to have her name registered in the language which has been spoken in Scotland for more than 1500 years.

The couple were told Gaelic was classed as a foreign language and could not be accepted on the register, but the Register Office yesterday relented after taking legal advice. It is understood that European law which protects traditional languages was a factor.

I don't speak Gaelic and don't think that it should be subsidised by the taxpayer, but it is ludicrous that the Register Office originally refused to register the child's name on the grounds that "Gaelic was classed as a foreign language" and that it needed European law to correct the situation. Listen guys, despite the Auld Alliance, this isn't France. We should be free to name children as we wish.

Incidentally, what would the reaction of the authorities have been if someone had tried to register their child as Osama McBin Laden?