AS I have said before I am a nationalist and republican, but I don’t want to live in some tartan-covered shortbread-tin romanticised version of a country that only ever existed in Hollywood movies. There is an ocean of difference between preserving heritage and being downright stupid.

Gaelic isn’t now and never was the mother tongue of the majority of Scots and has its origins in Ireland. The 2011 census calculated that a scant 1.1 per cent of the population speak Gaelic, less can read it and most of these individuals are concentrated in the Outer Hebrides. There are probably more residents on mainland Scotland with Polish, Nigerian or Bengali as a first language than speak Gaelic and it would appear that a significant number of Scots can’t read no matter what language is used.

From a tartan tourism point of view it may be quaint to promote the image of an old granny smoking a clay pipe, siting in a rocking-chair in front of a peat fire, chuntering away in some indecipherable babble but it is a fantasy. Nobody wants to prevent or dissuade others from learning and speaking Gaelic but very few of us speak Gaelic as a first language at home and we are not really a bilingual country. We don’t need.

I struggled to learn French and Spanish, and never thought of learning Gaelic. Does that make me unpatriotic? Do the rogue 99% of us have to learn Gaelic to be real Scots? Do we need all our signs in English and Gaelic? Do we need the Police to conduct research into whether all their logos should be in Gaelic tokenism (“Police Scotland looks to add its Gaelic name to uniforms”, The Herald, October 16)?

What a waste of time effort and money. Here was me thinking Police Scotland were over budget and looking to save money.

David J Crawford,

Flat 3/3, 131 Shuna Street, Glasgow.