Stormont, TheyWorkForYou and Ulster-Scots

Last week I wrote about my ‘mashup’ of Google Maps with Hansard, and how easy it was to throw together, thanks to It’s received several positive reviews around the UK blogs, for which I’m very grateful. But for anyone visiting from TechCrunch UK… I only iced the cake which was baked by Matthew Somerville and co.

Speaking of whom… Matthew has just extended TWFY to cover proceedings in the Northern Ireland Assembly. If you aren’t familiar with Ulster politics (and why would you be?), it can be tough reading. Look out for the occasional use of Irish from SDLP and Sinn Féin members, although it’s usually limited to ‘thank you’; and, in classic tit-for-tat fashion, a bit of Ulster-Scots from the Unionist side.

Now, if you’ve never encountered Ulster-Scots, you’ll need to know that it is considered a proper language, recognised by the EU and everything – and contrary to appearances, it isn’t just a transcription of somebody doing a Rab C Nesbitt impersonation. See this extract for example… and if you can’t immediately understand it, try reading it aloud. (Helpfully, Jim Shannon follows his Ulster-Scots passage with a translation into English.)

It’s great to have Stormont back. I’ve missed stories like this on Monday: a motion opposing equality legislation for gays and lesbians (that’s right, opposing equality) fell thanks to a 39-39 tied vote… and would have passed if it hadn’t been for the vote of a dead man.