Northern Ireland: Language of inclusion is there...but in English only

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Tue Oct 30 14:22:20 UTC 2007

Language of inclusion is there...but in English only

Those of us who have been arguing for inclusion to be at the heart of
the new government's policies will have been heartened at some of the
language used in the introduction to the programme for government
(interestingly, there seems little argument here over whether the
Executive is a government or not while in Scotland, the British
Government is kicking up about Alex Salmond referring to his similar
operation as The Scottish Government).

The issue now is can the government walk the walk and ensure no-one is
written out of the script as we move forward. It's a shaky start given
that, as far as I can tell, there is no Irish language
translation/version of the programme for government — there was last
time round. What does this mean? Does the DUP have a veto on
translations now? It would be useful if someone in the lofty heights
of government would let the rest of us know.

Meanwhile, I see that Professor Chris McCrudden from Oxford
University, a global expert on how to promote social policy and human
rights through government spending power, is to give a lecture in the
University of Ulster Belfast campus on Monday 12 November on the theme
'Buying Social Justice'. McCrudden's new book, Buying Social Justice,
argues that governments in developing and developed countries can use
their contracting power in order to advance social justice. For
details e.carlin at

Note for the uninitiated: the University of Ulster's Belfast campus is
NOT the Springvale campus, on which the first sod was turned by Bill
Clinton and Tony Blair, bu the revamped former Art College in the city
centre. The story of how the communities of Shankill and West Belfast
were shafted by the university when it ditched its Springvale campus
plan would make the perfect study of how buying power can be used to
disadvantage the already disavantaged.

(Apologies for lack of blog yesterday, day was spent boating down the
Lagan on the Joyce; quite a treat it was too. And I see the
magnificent Belfast wheel is now up and running. Whatever about the
wheel's tourist-attracting capabilities, it has really transformed the

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