The Gaelic Language Bill (on which see Nos 388, 429) completed its parliamentary stages and became an Act on 21 April 2005.  Progress from here will probably have to be followed at http://www.bord-na-gaidhlig.org.uk/, the Bord na Gaidhlig website.  Ungratefully the people of the Western Isles, where most Gaelic speakers live, unseated the Labour MP at the Westminster General Election on 6 May 2005 and replaced him with the SNP candidate.

On the same day the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill completed Stage 1 of its parliamentary progress and was commended to the full Scottish Parliament by the Health Committee.  This is the Bill which will make unlawful smoking in enclosed public spaces such as pubs.  Scots Law News took the later opportunity of a visit to Dublin to pub-test the equivalent Irish legislation and found, not only some nice cold pints of Guinness, but also a pleasantly smoke-free and congenial atmosphere inside Davy Byrne’s” (mentioned in James Joyce’s Ulysses