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A Makar for Renfrew

11th June 2018

Councillor Andy Doig (Independent) and others on Renfrewshire Council are set to establish a Renfrewshire Makar. As a word used on its own, makar translates into English as “master poet.” Doig and others are also calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a language act for Scots to “eradicate once and for all” erroneous myths about the language, partly in response to recent comments by Aberdeen South Tory MP Ross Thomson. Thomson recently courted controversy in relation to an anti-racism video produced by the Scottish Government which included a voice-over of a poem in Scots, which Thomson criticised as “Scottish slang and colloquialisms.” One Aberdeen councillor, Michael Hutchison, commented “Suggesting migrants don’t understand Scottish slang is as offensive as it is ridiculous. My old flatmate was still using Doric when I visited him in Pakistan last year.” Andy Doig of Renfrew also called on other councils to “bring Scots back into the public arena.” The 2011 census returned 76,503 speakers of Scots in Aberdeen City, 119,078 in Aberdeenshire, 16,107 in East Renfrewshire and 44,607 in Renfrewshire.