About every fifteen years I get a letter from my father. Last week, was such an occasion. The letter contained this piece from the Western Morning News:
‘Dreckly’ too much for Hansard
It may have been publishing the happenings of Parliament for more than two centuries, but even the merest bit of Cornish slang has proved too much for Hansard to compute.
When Cornish MP Stephen Gilbert asked Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg about the question of Cornish independence, his use of the word “dreckly” was seemingly too foreign for the legendary system’s transcript takers to understand.
In a note to the St Austell and Newquay MP after a parliamentary debate, official court reporters questioned the spelling of the popular phrase in the Duchy.
But clearly having never come across it before, their attempt at spelling it as “directly” was wide of the mark.
Speaking in parliament last Tuesday Mr Gilbert defined the use of the word to his Liberal Democrat colleague.
He said: “‘Dreckly’ is a Cornish expression that means doing something maybe some time in the future, possibly never. Can my Rt Hon friend assure me that in terms of devolving greater powers to the people of Cornwall, dreckly is not an answer he will ever give from the Dispatch Box?”
Mr Clegg, however, was clearly as bemused as the Hansard transcript takers themselves.
“Since I only just heard that term I doubt very much I would use it at the Dispatch Box,” he said. “It is absolutely not our intention to delay further progress on devolving powers and decentralising control over how money is raised and spent across all parts of the United Kingdom, including Cornwall.
“We are doing that in the steps I described earlier: a first wave of city deals, a second wave of city deals, and then implementing the recommendations of the Heseltine review.”