Women for independence group launched

The newly-formed Shetland Women for Independence held their public launch in Islesburgh on Thursday night.

Around 25 people attended and held a lively discussion on the referendum, setting the tone for future drop-in discussion groups that will be held across Shetland over the summer.

Jen Stout explained the reasons for setting up the group, which is part of the national Women for Independence campaign. “Women for Indy” aims to ensure that women are involved in the independence debate and that their voices are heard.

Ms Stout talked of the momentum and diversity in the growing Yes movement, and the sense of hope and political re-engagement at meetings across the country.

List MSP Jean Urquhart made the case for Scottish independence, noting that September will be the first time the people of Scotland have really had the chance to decide on the country’s constitutional future.

The discussion that followed covered topics such as the media, nationalism and identity, difficulty finding balanced information, and obstacles to political participation.

A planning meeting and subsequent drop-in discussion groups will be announced shortly.

32 comments

  1. Ian tinkler

    A few questions that “Women for Independence” may consider. An Independent Scotland means Salmond’s brand of Nationalism. A view of this is highlighted by Salmond’s recent praise of Russia’s President Putin. Only recently has Salmond commended that nationalistic pride was restored in Russia by Putin. Consider what is happening in Russia , suppression of Human rights, girls horse whipped and pepper sprayed in public for daring to protest against Putin. Persecution and criminalisation of gay people based on raw prejudice. Annexation of Crimea by armed force. Just what of honour is here for the Russian people? How can Salmond praise Putin? A few answers please. Another point of interest, Salmond and his NATs frequently state the Afghanistan war as unjust, and repeatable requested the withdrawal of UK forces. Is it not somewhat paradoxical that a supposed and very vociferous supporter of women’s rights, Alex Salmond, would withdraw UK forces from Afghanistan and allow the Taliban to regain control of that country? I can think of nothing more evil than allowing a regime (the Taliban) to again start mass executions of women by stoning or a head shots to young girls (Malala Yousafzai) just because they want to go to school and become educated . Perhaps the newly formed Shetland Women for independence would care to give this some thought here and give some justification Salmond’s brand of Nationalism.
    References:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-27218692
    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/putin-clamps-down-a-chilling-report-from-moscow-20140430
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFrZfluKDrc
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24379018

    Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      The misreporting and general hysteria over Salmond’s Russia comments this week have reflected really badly on the No campaign, in my eyes. I say that as a No-leaning voter.

      Let’s take a look at what Salmond actually said:

      In his GQ interview, Campbell sought to establish Salmond’s view of the Russian president by asking: “Putin?.” Salmond replied: “Well, I don’t approve of a range of Russian actions, but he is more effective than the press he gets and you can see why he carries support in Russia.”

      “Admire him?‚” asked Campbell. Salmond replied: “Certain aspects. There are aspects of Russian constitutionality and the intermesh with business and politics that are obviously difficult to admire. He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing. Russians are fantastic people, incidentally; they are lovely people.”

      Seems entirely innocuous to me.

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        Robert as a No-leaning voter I think you would be wise to continue in that inclination as Salmond’s venture into international diplomacy proves his ineptness to sit around a negotiation table with the UK government
        and come up with a good deal for Scotland. Even his true disciples might have the uneasy feeling this week that their bungling hero is sounding less like the Great Helmsman and more like the belligerent chap at the end of a saloon bar with an opinion on everything and answer to nothing.

        Putin? Much to be said for him. Makes his people proud. What about his nation of drunks comment?
        “I promote whisky, I do it on the argument that it’s a quality drink, has a worldwide cachet and that its recent great success in markets like China is about social emulation and authenticity, not cheapness.”
        “My argument is that if you are promoting it as authentic and of great worth, you cannot promote it from a nation of drunks”. Scotland, A nation of drunks. (Another large red wine, barman, and a small one for yourself). And as for the EU, we’ll soon show that Spanish fellow, what’s his name, Caruso, which side his fish are battered on.

        In all sobriety, there is a specific aspect of the First Minister’s Bruges speech that deserves pause for forensic scrutiny. Let’s focus on fish and reflect upon the fact that, even before the referendum is held, we are threatening our friends in Europe with maritime retribution and Norway with a blockade. I’m fair bursting with “national pride”. Anyone who has missed this milestone in Scottish diplomacy will wish to know the First Minister’s precise words. The “alternative” to EU entry on his preferred terms, said Mr Salmond, was “the fishing fleets of 12 countries being denied any access to Scottish waters and, as a consequence, their access to Norwegian waters, which is also dependent on Scottish access”.

        This does seem like a startling piece of sabre rattling, not least because it emphatically confirms the precise fear of the Scottish fishing industry, that it would become a negotiating pawn in the bigger game. The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has described Salmond’s claim of EU entry within 18 months as “completely unrealistic” and that was before his day trip to Bruges.

        But how might the chancelleries of Europe respond in the unlikely event of the First Minister’s words having reached them? Would Europe’s leaders pale at the prospect of being denied access to Scottish haddock? Or would they be more likely to wonder: “Who does this guy think he is, already threatening us while demanding entry on terms which break every rule and are not going to happen? Send him to the end of the queue.”

        I wonder if the Norwegians were consulted before our First Minister dragged them into his diplomatic master plan? Presumably, it is of some economic value to Norway that EU fishing fleets have rights there. Since Norway is not an EU member, where are they to go if Salmond carries out his threat to violate their third-party status and deny access to their waters? The United Nations?

        I ask myself is there nobody left in St Andrew’s House who dared to tell the First Minister that the guff he was planning to spout was not only daft but also illegal under international law? While his Scottish Navy could be deployed to stop the 12 EU countries fishing in Scottish waters, pause for further swell of “national pride” they would be obliged to provide free passage to vessels in transit. True or false, Lord Advocate?

  2. ian tinkler

    Duncan, if that was all Salmond said, so be it, however when questioned he elaborated in an attempt to justify his comments. I quote Salmond, “And when I spoke about Russian pride, it was in the aftermath of the Sochi Olympics which I think most people would agree were well run, a success and restored Russian pride.”. Now the enduring image in my mind of the Sochi Olympics is the bull whipping of defenceless girls for daring to protest against Putin. Salmond regards this as Russian pride!!! and will not apologise. quod erat demonstrandum. Now watch the video Duncan and justify that without pontificating, just how innocuous is that to you?
    : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFrZfluKDrc

    Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      Thankfully Ian we do not live in a world of absolutes. One can praise aspects of Putin’s work without condoning all of his actions, some of which are unjustifiable to us.

      That is what Salmond did with this comments in the GQ interview. His follow up remarks on Sochi simply say they were “well run”, which in an operational sense they were; he does say anything about the often unsavoury political climate that surrounded them.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        Quite right, Robert (not!), George Galloway did something similar with Saddam Hussein:

        “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability!”

        We could make the same argument for South African apartheid, even, Hitler, he had an Olympics, too.

  3. Ian Tinkler

    Sorry Robert, Christian name and surname mixed up!! Did not mean to be rude. “Russians are fantastic people, incidentally; they are lovely people.” especially so when bull whipping young ladies. Nice one Salmond.

    Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      I am not precious, Ian, do not worry about it.

      Reply
  4. ian tinkler

    The “Women for independence group” and List MSP Jean Urquhart seem to be a little slow in answering the points raised earlier. I ask again, ladies, do you support a pacifist stand towards The Taliban, thus not preventing, the shooting of school girls and the stoning of ladies for perusing an education as Salmond and his NATs do? Do you agree with Salmond that Putin has restored Russian pride and agree with all that ” Putin’s Russian Pride” entails? Homophobia, public whipping of Pussy Riot, annexation of Crimea, support for The Syrian Regime (poison gas sand all) … the list goes on, ladies you are not magnificent in your silence, that silence speaks volumes!

    Reply
  5. Victor Young

    Well there is little to be surprised at Alex Salmond’s endorsement of Mr Putin. Not so long ago Russia was into vote rigging big time. So taking a leaf out of the Russian book of rules, lets apply it to the present attitude of the SNP to the ? 450,000 Scots who live in the Rest of the UK. They, of course, have made the greatest use of the mobility of labour afforded to them as a part of the Union. They are as entitled to be anywhere in the UK, as the people who were born in the areas they have migrated to. However, they are the least likely to vote for the SNP….The answer ? Well exactly as one would expect from a totalitarian state . They have excluded Scot’s people living in the rest of the UK, as ineligible to vote……I do fear from Scotland !

    Reply
  6. Robert Sim

    Looking at the comments above, I find it first of all quite extraordinary that Gordon Harmer has copied and pasted the following article as if it was his own: http://www.scotsman.com/news/brian-wilson-salmond-bluster-over-eu-policy-1-3397449.

    However a more serious point is the tactical point which Ian Tinkler and other Salmond-haters are missing. Voting Yes is actually your best option for getting rid of him. Consider how Mr Salmond came to power: surely through Scottish voters registering a protest against the tired sameness of the Westminister-based parties. In an independent Scotland, that impulse would disappear and everyone would see through Salmond and the SNP, as you have, leaving the field open for a sensible leader. If you vote No, you are consigning Scotland to many more years of Salmond’s dicatatorship, with the real threat of Russia “doing a Ukraine” on us.

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      Once again, good old Robert Sim rides to the rescue of ‘damsels in distress’!

      I suppose they need a man to speak for them, Robert, to divert the discussion and get them out of a corner, especially, when they are so demure, not liking to ask questions in public – and not liking answering them, either!

      How patronising is that?

      Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      Why do you find it extraordinary Robert? It said what I wanted to say so I plagiarized it. What you find extraordinary is that it is true and you can offer no argument against it. There is no law that says thou shalt not copy and paste or plagiarize.

      Reply
      • Robert Sim

        It’s opinion, Gordon, not truth. Robert Duncan has done an excellent job above in putting the hysteria around this subject into perspective and there is no point in my adding to what he says. I was just taken aback that you should pass someone else’s work off as your own. And I think the law you are overlooking is copyright law.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robert, when Salmond speaks on an international stage he speaks for you and for me; if God forbid we end up with a yes vote he will be speaking for you and me when he negotiates to get us back into the EU. What he said while singing the praises of an autocrat and making threats to the other EU communities who wish to fish our waters will be remembered.

        If independence happens I want the best deal for Shetland and Scotland and that will not be achieved by some one who should be acting like a Eurocrat not a Eurocretin. As our representative an speaking for us on the EU stage therefore making this independence debate about Salmond because he is speaking on our behalf on the subject of independence. We are not talking about grassroots level of debate here we are talking about our future in Europe and when Salmond opens his mouth he speaks for you and me.

        So before you have a go at me for a bit of plagiarism have a think about what our Eurocretin has said on your behalf to all of Europe and tell me truthfully which is the most extraordinary.

    • Gordon Harmer

      I was not going to go down this road Robert but on reflection I think I will. I does not matter what I write or where I get it from you have no answer to it and as on other occasions rather than offer an answer or counter what I say you revert to attacking me and not what I have said. When you do this you immediately loose the argument and other people can see that and that pleases me. I may not have the mental ability to say on paper what is in my head so I plagiarize and copy and paste sometimes because when I do that people read it. It is no different to you supplying a link to an article; I find folk do not always use the link and the argument is not made and is often lost. So I will carry on plagiarizing and copying and pasting I am not ashamed of it but am ashamed for you for making a point of it rather than debate properly.

      Reply
      • Robert Sim

        Gordon, I do have respect for what you have said for example on the Norwegian question and I remember saying so in a previous post. I generally find your contributions thoughtful and well-founded. If I don’t come back on a post it is either because (a) you have made a point that is fair and I can’t argue with it; (b) I don’t have time! or (c) because I believe others should have their turn.

        However I have made the point on more than one occasion that the independence debate is not about Alex Salmond and that is why I have really nothing to say to those who centre their arguments against independence purely on that subject. That is my response to this debate. There will be an election after a Yes vote.

  7. ian tinkler

    “everyone would see through Salmond and the SNP, as you have, leaving the field open for a sensible leader”, now that is one leap into the dark, I for one would not contemplate. Robert Sim, Destroy the Union, dump Salmond and try and find “a sensible new leader”. Have you one in mind, Robert, or are you so prejudiced against the Union any one will do, Donkey, sheep or pig ? (1984 here we go)

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      It’s ‘Animal Farm’ here we go, Ian. Both that novel and ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ are powerful criticisms of the Soviet regime and totalitarian states in general. Of course, since their publication, we have seen the breakup of the Soviet empire and Europe now consists of many more independent countries. Interesting trend that…

      Reply
  8. ian tinkler

    Adolf Hitler was a dog lover, Himmler liked cats, most Nazis loved their children. I wonder what sane, rational or balanced person would praise them. Think about it Mr. Duncan. Still silence from Shetland Women for independence!!!

    Reply
  9. Robert Duncan

    Ian, John, it is hard to take seriously anybody who invokes Gordon’s Law, nevermubd so early in a discussion. For all that unnecessary violence from a state appointed security team is unacceptable, it is not comparable to genocide. As unacceptable as the Russian Government’s homophobia is, it is bot comparable to apartheid (although admittedly a lot closer).

    Of course, none of this is particularly relevant. Salmond simply praised aspects of Putin’s work, to borrow from your respective ludicrous Hitler examples, it’d be like acknowledging in 1936 that the latter was an effective public speaker. It in no way condones every action of the government’s those men lead or led. It is childish to suggest such a simplistic view.

    Salmond’s arms length and caveated respect for a powerful country such as Russia is not alien in the world of politics, let’s not even pretend otherwise. David Cameron himself was recently reported as pleading with Putin to support the No campaign.

    Reply
  10. Robert Duncan

    I posted a comment here the other day, that for reasons I cannot understand seems to have not passed moderation. Perhaps some feedback for censored posts would be helpful. I shall attempt once more.

    Ian, John, it is hard to take seriously anybody who invokes Godwin’s Law, nevermind so early in a discussion. The behaviour of the Olympic security team was something unacceptable to the vast majority in this country, but it is not at all comparable to genocide. The homophobic directives of the Russian government seem backwards to many of us, but they are not as extreme as apartheid. These are childish comparisons.

    Salmond’s comments were of arms-length, caveated respect for the leader of a hugely infuential country. That is not foreign in the world of politics, look at David Cameron’s own attempts to engage Putin in the independence debate.

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      @Robert Duncan,

      Putin’s annexation of Crimea has been likened to Hitler’s ‘Anschluss’, his annexation of Austria.

      http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/russia-will-pay-dearly-for-putins-anschluss/496870.html

      We won’t mention the invasion of Georgia or the assassination of a Russian dissenter in London by the release of Radon gas in a hotel foyer, however, all things put together, it doesn’t make ‘a pretty picture’.

      I wonder if Putin’s finished with illegal annexations yet, Robert, what do you think?

      Do you think Mr Salmond’s comments will enhance an independent Scotland’s chances of joining the EU?

      Reply
      • Robert Duncan

        I’m aware of the Crimea situation. It is not particularly relevant to my own nor Mr Salmond’s comments, as his “praise” was broad enough and sufficiently caveated to make clear to all but the deliberately obtuse that he does not condone many of Putin’s actions.

  11. ian tinkler

    Very good Robert, how very profound. My comments were were actually addressed to Shetland Women for independence whom appear unable or unwilling to answer my points. If you wish to act as apologist to Salmond feel free to do so. I find your comments irrelevant as they are obscure, however feel free to waffle on, maybe someone will agree with your views, however not myself.

    Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      What nonsense. Your comments were on Salmond and his GQ interview, the only relevance to the Women for Independence group was a vague connection to the wider Independence debate. If you wanted to ask a question solely of that group, you could have written a letter to them; you chose to post it on a public forum.

      Reply
  12. Ian Tinkler

    Robert Sim, I quote you, “Europe now consists of many more independent countries. Interesting trend that”…particularly interesting, Robert, if you live in Crimea, Ukraine, Eire, Northern Ireland, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Kosava and Macedonia. Great thing “Nationalism”, just how many people have died for nothing more than national pride and its primitive tribal prejudice?

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      Ian, you have things the wrong way round. In general, the troubles in the countries you mention has arisen as a result of domination by a larger nation – imperialism, in other words. The last 80 years in Europe (to encompass your mention of Eire) has seen the final breakup of imperialism in its nineteenth-century and twentieth-century manifestations (eg the British empire in Eire and the Soviet empire in the Balkans); and in the course of that change conflict has arisen. But the cause of that conflict isn’t nationalism: it’s imperialism.

      Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      A peaceful and democratic decision on independence is not comparable to a unilateral claim, as has been the case in e.g. Kosovo. Attempts to paint the current Scottish Independence campaign as one of dangerous, right wing nationalism are incredibly out-of-kilter with what is actually occurring.

      Reply
  13. John Tulloch

    How galling for the Shetland ‘Women for ‘Independence” to be dependent on the gallantry of Sir Robert Sim of Oban to relieve their ‘House of Cards’ from siege by the villainous ‘Black Knight’ debater Sir Ian Tinkler of Flawton and his rude band of BT thanes.

    Come on girls, what’s the matter with you…”cat got yer tongues, eh?”

    Reply
  14. Shuard Manson

    No women have felt the need to comment.
    Canna think why?

    Reply
  15. ian tinkler

    My original points. A few questions that “Women for Independence” may consider. An Independent Scotland means Salmond’s brand of Nationalism. A view of this is highlighted by Salmond’s recent praise of Russia’s President Putin. Only recently has Salmond commended that nationalistic pride was restored in Russia by Putin. Consider what is happening in Russia , suppression of Human rights, girls horse whipped and pepper sprayed in public for daring to protest against Putin. Persecution and criminalisation of gay people based on raw prejudice. Annexation of Crimea by armed force. Just what of honour is here for the Russian people? How can Salmond praise Putin? A few answers please. Another point of interest, Salmond and his NATs frequently state the Afghanistan war as unjust, and repeatable requested the withdrawal of UK forces. Is it not somewhat paradoxical that a supposed and very vociferous supporter of women’s rights, Alex Salmond, would withdraw UK forces from Afghanistan and allow the Taliban to regain control of that country? I can think of nothing more evil than allowing a regime (the Taliban) to again start mass executions of women by stoning or a head shots to young girls (Malala Yousafzai) just because they want to go to school and become educated . Any answer to these to specific points. Taliban tolerance and Putin praise from Salmond and the SNP.

    Reply

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