21st February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Call for federal Britain as way ahead

Better Together supporter councillor Theo Smith was “obviously delighted” with the referendum result but called for greater devolution of powers, or independence would become an issue again.
Following the Lerwick declaration Mr Smith said: “I think that the margin has been greater than I originally thought it was going to be.
“I think that it was down to the silent majority in Shetland that just get on with it and do not make much of a work about it and I think that’s come through here tonight. The vocal people have not produced the result that they were wanting.”

Theo Smith has some concerns over the direct payment system.

Theo Smith wants a federal Britain.

Mr Smith said that it was necessary for Westminster to now “address properly” the needs of Scotland and I think if they did not do that “we may be coming around with something like this again.”
“I think that there has to be a political change, not only throughout Scotland but in Britain. I would like to see a federal Britain with its own parliaments in all four countries on a federal basis.”
Shetland chairman of the Liberal Democrats Theo Nicolson said: “This has been a tremendous shot in the arm for democracy. At 80 plus per cent there has never been such a turnout in generations.
“It has been a fantastic result for Shetland. As I witness the results coming in throughout Scotland I am sure it will be a no vote tomorrow.”
Highland and Islands list MSP Jean Urquhart said that it was a “really interesting result for Shetland.”We knew Shetland would be a tough nut to crack as resisting independence.”
She added: “I think that politics has taken a bit of a shift. I think the yes movement here as in elsewhere in Scotland has been remarkable. There are a greater number of folk in Scotland aware of the political situation than there were before.”

About Peter Johnson

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as an employed and freelance reporter and editor for a variety of print and broadcast media outlets and as as a freelance photographer and film maker/cameraman. In addition to journalism, I have experience in construction, oil analysis, aquaculture, fisheries, the health service and oral history.

View other stories by »

10 comments

  1. stephen barber

    as an Englishman i am disappointed with the referendum result. It just proves once more what power Westminster can call on when the going gets tough and i hope the Scottish “no” voters haven’t missed an opportunity

    Reply
  2. Johan Adamson

    I think its admirable that Theo thinks a federal UK is possible. I hope he is right but I am completely pessimistic so far.

    Reply
  3. John Tulloch

    There’s no way that plans for a federal UK or any other credible format can be in place before the next election. It isn’t realistic.

    What worries me about this enforced “timetable” is that anything designed to meet it will be a hastily concocted, botched, fudge.

    Whatever that may be, it will be installed and will provide another flawed arrangement for the nationalists to attack – and attack it they will.

    What is needed is a fresh start, to make the Union properly fit for purpose which will act as a long term bulwark against nationalism.

    Reply
  4. Henry Condy

    I the same as thousands of others are now sick to the back teeth of on going politics. This should have been sorted last week, but with the yes campaign up against the newspapers, three English leaders who couldn’t bear to be on the same stage together, and the BBC ,it was always going to be an uphlill struggle. Then when the yes campaign were in front in the polls, out came these promises, what wer’e getting , no one knows so it’s 100% of nothing . I believe this did influence voters . Cameron stabs labour in the back without realising he will have a back bench rebellion of his own. It goes without saying the promises will be renaged on , due to the timescale, so all major parties will be kicked out of Scotland ,come the next election. All that was required to avoid this situation was foresight by politicians, on the eve of the 1979 election Jim Callaghan said whoever wins tonight will be in power for a long time. The Tories won and we had 20years of misery under thatcher. If the oil wealth had been fairly distributed in the UK, and not just in London and to her friends it would be a different world today. But greed is good became the culture, interesting times, and all because of the dirty tricks brigade, They shall reap what they sowed

    Reply
  5. Scott Graham

    Henry, there were a lot of people including my family prospered under Thatcher. Today we hear that in real terms her government spent more on the NHS than what is being proposed by Labour going forward. Thatcher modernised the country and brought us back from the brink of ruin. Centre right politics is the right way to go; no pun intended. The current government has produced growth and jobs at a time when other countries are going backwards. It always surprises that people can’t give credit where it is due. What’s wrong with living in a world where hard work is rewarded, there are always going to be winers and losers in life. It’s my motivation to be one of the winners and I have no respect for people who think the world or the government owe them a living.

    Reply
    • Harry Dent

      That Thatcher spent more on the NHS is a measure of how far to the right Labour has lurched, not how wonderful and fair she was.

      Certainly SOME people prospered under her regime; the great majority did not.

      The current government is also benefiting the fortunate few; the alleged growth is certainly not producing prosperity for ordinary working people, whose wages have tumbled in real terms since 2010.

      Retirement is coming into view for me, and I should be looking forward to it, after many years of hard graft in a number of industries, but the continuing non-choice of Tory cuts or Labour cuts means I’ve never been more afraid of getting old and/or ill.

      Reply
    • Brian Smith

      I’m all right Jack.

      Reply
  6. Clive Munro

    Scott, you seem to be under the misapprehension that Britain is currently a place where “hard work is rewarded”. The reality, however, is that what growth there has been in the British economy over the last couple of years has gone hand in hand with the decline of the country into a low-wage economy. Many people now work full-time, and work extremely hard, for wages which are so poor that the government has to augment them with tax credits. In other words private companies, many of them huge, super-rich mutinationals, who are too greedy to give their employees a decent return for their labour, are being subsidised by the government. Until every full-time worker in this country earns a living wage from their employers (currently reckoned to be around £8 an hour) then Britain, sadly, is most definitely not a place where hard work is rewarded.

    Reply
  7. David Spence

    Scott, would you support a Government whose sole agenda is to support and keep supporting the minority rich and themselves by selling off all state run services to the private sector, whose sole purpose is to provide a half baked service or product for double the price.

    Do you also support that many of these multinational companies originate from abroad or the United States and are only paying a fraction of the tax they should be paying, due to legislation brought in my the Thatcher Government where companies can avoid or pay very little tax whilst you, I and every hard working individual pays all the taxes that we are expected to pay?

    Do you support a system where companies avoiding tax are also treating their employee’s with utter contempt and exploitation (zero hours contracts where the employee has next to no rights and can be sacked immediately without any comeback) and are giving them well below what would be regarded as a living wage, instead of the minimum wage or less in real terms?

    Would you support a system where the key function of the working class is to be totally exploited with the minimum of pay and working rights because it increases the profits of the company?

    Would you support a system where, in many cases, large corporate companies use slave labour in third world countries where those people have no rights at all and in many cases are being payed 50pence or less a day for working 12 – 16 hours in atrocious conditions? Example : Nikki shoes, on average, cost less than $4 to make, but are sold for $150 – $200 here in the west. Giving Nikki 5000% profit.

    Would you support a Government who sanctions ‘ getting rich at any cost no matter how immoral the practices may be ‘ ?

    Would you support a system where people are being charged well over the odds (especially those who are poor or are on benefits) if they go over their bank account by 1 penny and are charged between £25 – £35, when in real terms, going overdrawn costs the bank(s) less than 4 pence, but you are charged £25 – £35. Giving the bank – 87500% profit.

    Do you support the banking system where they reward to the top 1% millions in bonuses, despite the fact it is the tax payer that is the major holder?

    Is the principle in our society, when we keep harking on about fairness and justice to other countries, the survival of the rich and well off at the cost of the many by a Government who obviously who do not give a damn about the people and are more interested in themselves and supporting the elite at all costs to everybody else? Is this the society you would prefer ?

    Reply
    • Scott Graham

      yes I do and I think your extreme brand of socialism is bound to fail. All the issues you identify where the poor down trodden working class people you talk about could be fixed by the individual pulling their finger out and getting on with things.

      On a zero hours contract, get another job.

      Can’t get another job, improve your prospects, by bettering yourself.

      Worried about bank charges don’t go overdrawn.

      What you want are handouts and freebies from the government paid for by people or families who have worked hard and saved for generations. This sort of attitude has given us the benefit culture and generations of people who have the attitude that by doing nothing the state will step in.

      I for one advocate further cuts and measures to motivate people to help themselves.

      Who is Nikki by the way?

      Reply

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

Win a £20 Voucher Complete our survey today
10 Winners will be drawn at random from completed entries
No thanks Take survey No thanks