19th July 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Personal bile (Theo Smith)

A great deal has been written in The Shetland Times over the last few weeks about Tavish Scott, a lot of which, in the Readers’ Views, can only be described as personal bile.

This personal attack theme was, to a lesser extent, again evident at the BBC hustings on Friday night when Tavish’s integrity was called into question by three of the candidates.

Tavish is quite capable of withstanding these hurtful and sometimes childish attacks but I often wonder if the people who perpetrate them ever consider the hurt and anguish it causes to his family in this close-knit community.

I have been closely associated with Tavish Scott since he became our MSP in 1999 and have personally seen at close hand the hard work and commitment he has put into his job over the last 12 years, serving his constituents in Shetland without fear or favour.

There must be hundreds of individuals, organisations and businesses in Shetland who can endorse what I have said. Tavish has over these last three terms as our MSP become well known and respected in Holyrood and has built up an impressive reputation for representing and getting things done for Shetland. He has also gained an immense knowledge as to how our country is governed.

His hard work, commitment and loyalty to Shetland cannot be called into question and therefore I would ask the Shetland voters to make sure they use their vote next Thursday to retain our MSP by voting for Tavish Scott.

Theo G C Smith
Election agent
Stenaquoy,
Whiteness.

9 comments

  1. ian tinkler

    Tavis has never once to my knowledge shown one iota of commitment or care for the environment of Shetland. Ecology and protection of habitat and species appear outside his knowledge and interest. Let him prove me wrong by showing some commitment to biodiversity and habitat maintenance. He appears to lack the courage to even have a view beyond commercial interests.

    Ian Tinkler

    Reply
  2. mrs.C. Donald

    It’s a different style of politics and candidates nowadays, Theo, where media hype reflects character more than issues and the coalition was a bad move I thought at the time.
    Shetland is a working island and having visited Holyrood on a tour and seen the Jarl squad picture, then possibly a picture of working industry and present day people in Shetland would enhance issues as the island is not always understood and always have to have someone to come and look at a problem but more importantly where Shetland is !.
    Over many years it is unsure where Liberal are coming from and as a conservative it was obvious that No10 was more appealing to Mr Clegg.
    An MSP can’t afford to be sensitive and good public debate in Britain today doesn’t happen without agression to get noticed. Hecklers years ago were good as stuck to issues.

    Christine Donald(soothmoother)
    Sandwick

    Reply
  3. Welcome to the new style of 21st century politics in Britain, without substance, with distinct lack of style and very little that could pass for wit. It is far too serious for that.

    Instead of debate and discussion, those who don’t happen to share a particular view or views are subject to constant personal attack and abuse, often quite vicious, certainly determined and orchestrated. And this politics of hate covers a wide variety of issues that need to be aired, not stifled.

    I have frequently come under personal attack because I happen to support the Viking windfarm, for what to me are entirely sound, logical, reasons. I also recognise that there are others who oppose this development, but I would never stoop to personal abuse to oppose them. In fact I support their right to have a different view to my own, because that is democracy.

    I have been regularly astonished at how much iof this kind of bile has been tolerated by editors of some news media. They are not always perhaps, as impartial as they ought to be, allowing this new political malignancy to grow in our society.

    Perhaps democracy is no longer held as precious now as it was to previous generations who sacrificed their lives to help preserve it against the dark forces that sought to impose dictatorship, not only on their own peoples, but on the rest of the world as well.

    By its very nature, this type of spleen poliitics is anti-democratic and because it can be so viscious, it can deter people from expressing a view on all manner of issues. The final outcome of these tactics is to stifle all discussion. So what are we left with? Dictat? Don’t let the abusers get away with it. Name and shame them. Do not support anyone who is trying to impose a view on society or even on our community.

    I can now expect to be told that Viking Energy are trying to impose a view on our society. They are not. They are seeking to develop a windfarm in Shetland, as is their right to do so, by due process in our democracy. They do not indulge in personal attacks and personal abuse, but there have been a number of such attacks made in the Shetland media.

    Ian Tinkler seems to have given up his personal attacks on me, but I see he is now turning his attention to Tavish Scott who works as hard as any politician and has certainly served me well on those occasions I have had need to call on his services. With a family background in agriculture I would have thought it was a no brainer to grasp that he is interested and aware of our environment, as I am myself, as are many others. Perhaps the real problem for Mr Tinkler and many of those who are currently gunning for him, is that Tavish Scott has not expressed any firm opposition to Viking’s plans.

    Reply
  4. craig smaaskjaer

    The problem for most folk, Leslie Lowes, is that Tavish has expressed NO opinion on VE. Do you not think he has one? It’s a question of trust, and transparency.

    I would never personally attack Tavish Scott, but I have reluctantly come to question his honesty and his competence. The leadership has been a disaster for him in terms of the politician he once was. An example? A few weeks ago he was only too happy to lambast the government for using public money to help large private firms, yet says nothing about SSE benefiting from the Charitable Trust’s benevolence. When you try to be all things to all people you can only fall and falter. It is sad, but this is where we are. And it is indeed sad.

    Reply
  5. Right now the only person with a view on Viking that matters, is the energy minister after the election, who will have to make a decision on it as a planning application, so it does not matter a hoot if Tavish has formed an opinoion or not. Howver he is well aware of how divisive it has become, telling people he had a greater Shetland mailbag on this subject than any other as far back as he could remember, which is one of the reasons he called for a Shetland referendum on the issue.. To me that sounds like he is anxious to remain neutral, which is quite a ligitimate position to hold – and I am sure there will be more who hold that view..

    Reply
  6. Ian Tinkler

    Do not worry Les, write tripe again and I will be waiting for you. Tavish is a much more bigger target to cut down to size. Sorry.

    Reply
  7. Gordon Harmer

    Tavish Scott is staying neutral to try and win votes, he must have a personal view as far as the wind farm is concerned but he will not voice it in an election where at last his seat is under threat.

    Reply
  8. craig smaaskjaer

    Fair enough, Leslie. I certainly have a different view and think that Tavish is not so neutral behind the scenes, but these are opinions, and this is democratic politics. It is great to see it alive and well right now in Shetland. Its been a long time since there was a genuine election campaign to be fought and the most important thing is that Shetland is well represented going forward.

    Reply
  9. Ian Tinkler

    The only factor that has revived democratic politics in Shetland is Billy Fox. The usual dull suspects remain the same, grey people. Loath him or love him Billy deserves respect and congratulations.

    Reply

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