THERE is not much better than a Gaelic melody being sung solo to hold a room.

Many are haunting ballads which can’t fail to enchant an audience as the tune rings out and hangs in the air.

The melodic tunes makes everyone appreciate the beauty and longevity of the ancient Gaelic culture.

But very few could say the same about the £5 million-a-year quango which is supposed to promote Gaelic language and culture.

Last week it was branded a “total disaster” by MSP'S after a devastating audit of the Inverness-based quango with one auditor saying it was the worst public body he had come across in his career. It may also be breaking the law by only employing Gaelic speakers.

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A root and branch reform of the body must now surely take place and a proper strategy for the language and culture put forward.

Gaelic has proved to be fairly divisive in recent years and much of the blame must be placed at the door of the Bord which has been allowed to devise strategies with no real accountability and have been accused of imposing the language on areas with no Gaelic tradition.

Pupils attending Gaelic schools get taxis if they live outside the catchment area while their peers at other schools have to walk. This, understandably, breeds contempt. amongst some.

Road signs have also been made bilingual across the country which has led to confusion amongst foreign drivers, and even some locals.

The Bord has also instigated a national Gaelic plan for every public body in Scotland even in areas which have never traditionally spoken the language.

At a time when councils, Police Scotland and other agencies have had their budgets squeezed or cut, surely there are bigger priorities than bilingual cars and literature.

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Meanwhile, despite all the money being spent and initiatives being launched, the number of speakers has actually fallen, which is a spectacular failure in any language.

Gaelic has become almost like a sacred cow to many Scots, with many mistakenly calling it the language of Scotland. It is not and never has been.

Of course Gaelic culture and language should be protected and enhanced, but the sledgehammer to crack a nut approach has failed and must be replaced with a more measured and methodical one.

Only then will the fabulous culture enjoy the future it deserves and flourish in the years ahead.