Why so quiet? (John Tulloch)
An open letter to Yes Shetland:
I can’t help thinking how very quiet you’ve all been since you were caught out, publicly, with your false scaremongering about an autonomous Shetland being restricted to a 12-mile Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ).
Your fingers were badly burnt on that occasion and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn you had all been told to “Shut up!” by your guides and mentors in Edinburgh as a result.
Here then is a wonderful opportunity to win credibility for your group and local support for your cause. All you have to do is make a formal public call for the £40m debt owed by government to SIC to be repaid in full and recommend that all your members sign the associated Shetland Times petition.
Yes, there is a catch. The problem is the whole issue of the £40M debt to SIC was precipitated by your guides and mentors in Edinburgh who decided to keep the Housing Support Grant (HSG) money provided to them by London specifically for the purpose of compensating the SIC for building the houses requested by London during the 1970s oil boom.
The longer you,”Yes Shetland”, stay quiet on this subject the more Shetland voters will come to realise that you are not supporting them, crucially, in their hour of need.
You have the consolation that your credibility is already at zero and can scarcely fall further however you also have this opportunity to restore it by joining the campaign for the return of the £40M.
Will you then dare to cross your guides and mentors in Edinburgh and:
1. Acknowledge the Scottish government’s renege on the HSG
and keeping London’s money intended for SIC is an injustice?
2. Privately lobbying your pals in Edinburgh for full debt repayment?
3. Formally calling on your supporters to sign the petition?
4. Signing the petition yourselves?
And by the way Alex Salmond rolling up in Shetland next month like Santa Claus restoring the housing support grant or even repaying the £40M debt in a blaze of publicity will not wash. We are not so dull as to fall for that little ploy.
Santa doesn’t steal children’s toys and then return them in their Christmas stockings.
No, Santa Salmond will be simply reversing a wrong for which he himself is responsible, a necessary but by no means sufficient condition for winning my own and I suspect many other Shetlanders’ votes lost by his foolish, unscrupulous, action of “annexing” the housing support grant.
I look forward to your early replies and seeing your signatures on the petition.