20th February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Why continue stirring? (Kathy Greaves)

“Yes” voters need to understand – voters in Scotland, in a free and democratic vote of over-16s on 18th September, with not just the terms of the referendum set by the SNP, but also the wording of the one question we voted on, “Should Scotland be an independent country?” – that they did not win the vote.

The majority of voters in Scotland said “no” to devolution and separation from the rest of the United Kingdom, with two thirds of Shetlanders voting against the motion.

The same day that results of the referendum became known Alex Salmond resigned as leader of the SNP; following the defeat of their prolonged and shouty campaign he did not give in gracefully, but sent a deliberate message to his more aggressive followers by adding to his short speech that it was “for now”.

Sorry, “yes” voters, the question was not “Should Scotland be an independent country for now?”, so why do they continue to follow Alex Salmond’s dream by stirring it with their endless programme of protests, disruption and upset amongst families and friends?

Scotland already has control of much of its spending – the Scottish NHS allows huge amounts of its income to be used in providing free car parking at hospitals and free prescriptions to all, rather than on actual medication such as urgently needed drugs for over a hundred women in Scotland dying of breast cancer today.

Who knows what spending they might prioritise if they had full fiscal powers. I would not want any of my hard earned money taken in taxes in any way to cover huge Scottish government overspends such as on the Scottish parliament building – and what are they spending our (Shetland’s) £30million housing refund on?

Kathy Greaves
Caergarth,
Scatness,
Virkie.

70 comments

  1. Ali Inkster

    Well said Kathy, it seems aald Rabbies words still ring true “such a parcel of rouges in a nation”

    Reply
    • Colin Hunter

      The “Rogues” in that particular poem were the ones who took the English gold in order to expediate the signing of the act of Union in the first place. Therefore, they were, and are, the Unionists.

      Reply
      • Ali Inkster

        For the union, against the union, makes no odds as to the general character of the illustrious political elite in Edinburgh. BETTER AFF CLEAR O DA LOT O DEM.

    • Robert A Duncan

      Unionists need to be reminded that the referendum is over ! even today we are being carpet bombed with hysterical, negative, news regarding Scotland and it’s industry, most notably by that lynchpin of The Westminster Government propaganda machine, the BBC: – “oil industry on the verge of collapse !” they trumpet in every news bulletin, never mind that North Sea exploration and production is viable at much lower prices than todays and that 2014 saw record investment there or that an independent Scotland’s economic viability doesn’t hinge solely on it’s offshore industry.

      Reply
      • Robert Duncan

        For the avoidance of doubt, and lest Messers Tinkler and Tulloch again accuse me of fibbing, I’d like to point out this is a different Robert Duncan.

  2. Malachy Tallack

    The majority of voters in Scotland did not say ‘“no” to devolution’, as Kathy writes. They said no to independence. In fact, opinion polls consistently show a very strong majority in favour of significantly increased fiscal autonomy in Scotland – up to and including ‘Devo Max’.

    Perhaps if the vote on 18th September had gone ahead as planned, with a simple Yes/No vote, this might be a simpler issue. However, the ‘vow’ that was signed by the three party leaders days earlier entirely complicated the matter. It is impossible to say how many people switched their votes from Yes to No on account of that vow, which means that the credibility of the result is now dependent on those promises being kept. It is quite right for people on both sides of the debate to keep up the pressure to ensure that that is what happens.

    The No side won the referendum; that is not in doubt. But it does not follow that Yes voters should just go home and shut up. The independence issue has been part of Scottish politics for many decades and it will remain so, just as devolution remained on the agenda after the failed referendum in 1979 (gaining majority support by the time of the next one). That’s democracy. The alternative – ‘go home and shut up’ – is totalitarianism.

    Reply
    • Bill Adams

      Malachy , the failure in 1979 was the failure of nerve by the Labour Government to implement their own legislation, namely the Scotland Act 1978.
      There was a Yes vote of 51.6% in that referendum.

      Reply
      • Colin Hunter

        Yes, and then they moved the goalposts by invoking some rule whereby 40% of the populace had to have supported the motion. They said that had not been fulfilled because of a low turnout at the polls. If that was the case, how many governments have neem elected without 40% support?

    • Henry Condy

      And just to throw this in, it amazes me with all the vote rigging . ( Ruth Davidson opening postal ballots, but only to see how the vote was swinging which is illegal ) with the changing of a straight YES / NO vote to the VOW, promises on tax and welfare reform, which were never authorised by parliament, people thinking if we are getting this , why vote for independence, conned massively , This was not a true honest referendum and anyone who says differently has a higher agenda. ( That being the Union must be maintained at all costs , Last weeks Shetland Times Headline Oil for the next 100 years thought it only had 50 ) On the debate in the House of Commons, the majority of questions were about England, and the chamber was Empty, no Cameron, no Clegg, no Milliband no Alistair Darling,a total disgrace, and an insult to Scotland. Go back two weeks earlier, to the MPs wage rise of 11% , standing room only, nurses being awarded a less than one percent wage increase , a disgrace. So you of the No campaign, you keep believing you won the referendum, fair and square, put on your pointy hats, with the wee bell, take your fishing rods and sit at the bottom of the garden in Dingley Dell. I raised my children , as I am sure others did too, to be honest , fair , have respect, and think of others, the sights and antics of people in power whom are supposed to set a clear example, failed miserably, totally immoral. But my spirits are raised now I know Tavish Scott is on the committee hammering out Scotland’s expectancy from Westminster

      Reply
  3. joe johnson

    Well said kathy. Alex Salmond should honor his pledge in the Edinburgh agreement to respect the result of the referendum. Instead he behaves like a little child and making accusations that westminister tricked voters. Im glad he’s going. Come on all yes voters lets move on. Lifes too short for bitterness.

    Reply
  4. Charles Addison

    Sorry Kathy but all votes are “for now”: that’s why it’s called democracy. I’m grateful that you “No” voters were so douce and quiet during the campaign, never once relying on shouty scare tactics, and I’d hate to seem ungracious, but I think I’ll just keep believing that my democratic future would be better managed by Scots if that’s ok with yersel.
    The No voters were not a cohesive group of like thinking individuals any more than the Yessers, as the kindergarten show in Westminster this week demonstrated. The “threat” is the same one all elected officials face: do what you promise or face the chop at the ballot box. Maybe that’s something the people of Shetland might like to consider when next asked to vote for a Lib Dem.
    Fraternally yours…

    Reply
  5. Erik Smith

    Kathy, on the 18th of September, Scots said NO to Independence. They did not say NO to further devolution. In fact, internal party polling released since the referendum shows that we were on course for a YES vote until the last ditch, desperate, offer of substantial new powers from the panic stricken NO camp.

    Now we are finding out just how empty that promise was as Westminster desperately tries to back-track on what they promised. We intend to hold them to those promises. And we will not shut up until they either deliver, or give us a mandate for another referendum based on their breaking of those promises.

    Oh, and about the overspend on the Scottish Parliament? Is that really the only thing you can find to criticise? It was 14 years ago, and overseen by the Westminster parties. And compared to the obscene £3 Billion proposed cost of the upcoming Wastemonster refurbishment, seems like small change. Of course you are, presumably, fine with that, as it’s what you voted for when you voted NO, along with the third Iraq war, the ongoing privatisation of the NHS in the rUK, the war on the poor, and the continuing growth of the gap between rich and poor.

    You may be happy with no change. I am not. And I will continue to fight for fairness and justice. In or out of the UK.

    Link to the Westminster refurbishment story:- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19386492

    Yours
    Erik Smith.

    Reply
    • Steven Jarmson

      For the millionth time, no promise has been broken!!
      It takes time to pass legislation, just to get it written.
      No specific powers were promised, just more.
      On the other hand, you Yip voters would be crying foul if the legislation was passed quickly. You’d all moan it was rushed and half baked like SALMONd’s crofting legislation, his police Glasgow/Edinburgh, erm sorry I mean Scotland ideas.
      Just accept you lost and get on with it.
      There will be another referendum at some point and that might actually contain the idea if independence rather Tha independence light which was on offer this time
      I just don’t get what your complaints are about?

      Reply
  6. Kathy Greaves

    Of course the vote was for or against independence – more powers are to be devolved to Scotland, but it is not yet a month since the vote. There will be changes in time, but these issues have to be debated and agreed upon – a list of powers transferred to Scotland’s parliament, drawn up hastily, would only incur accusations of it being ‘drawn up on the back of a fag packet’, as usual. I think we have to wait until the end of November before we find out what has been decided. In a fair and democratic way.

    Reply
    • Gaelan Miller

      So the Timetable that was suggested by Mr. G Brown and was included in the “Vow” which clearly says a Draft of new powers will be revealed on the day after the referendum in the case of a No vote was none existent? if they can’t keep to their own “Vow” not even a week after they made it, what makes you think that they’ll give us the new powers? not even a month on and we’ve already entered another war, and there are more talks of English Devolution, than further Scottish powers. I might add that the three amigo’s didn’t even bother to turn up to the Scottish debate, but they all turned up and voiced their opinions on English devolution. I’d have thought that they would want to keep to their promise.

      P.S I’m not against English devolution, Apologies in advance if there is any confusion caused.

      Reply
    • Bill Adams

      If anything has been “drawn up on the back of a fag packet” it was surely the desperate last-ditch “vow”
      by the panickstricken Westminster party leaders to head off a Yes vote.

      Reply
  7. Andy Holt

    Well said Kathy. Sadly, even the so-called Conservative and Unionist party appear to no longer believe in the union. Thus giving succour to those who would seek the breakup of the United Kingdom. No wonder the majority of British voters feel disenfranchised, disillusioned and desperate for political leadership with a vision.

    Reply
  8. Reuben Quinn

    Kathy, you seem to be advocating a pretty unsavory mode of thinking – that those who do not share your opinion should be silent, and accept the results of a referendum won through false promises, intimidation of the elderly and outright lying about our natural resources. That is not how democracy works. Those who believe in a fairer society need to redouble their efforts, and raise their voices, to secure change.
    What a peculiar thing, to suggest simply giving up on one’s beliefs because a small majority disagreed in one finite instance, swayed by misinformation ( 25% of those who voted no did so on the basis of Devo Max promises ).

    Reply
    • Brian Smith

      Hear, hear.

      Reply
    • Steven Jarmson

      Where did you make that number up?
      There’s no way to tell who voted for what and why?
      Most Yip voters I know voted yip to guarantee the vow would be acted upon, in there own words, it was to give a bloody nose the establishment.
      So, perhaps the fictional number of 25% is true, but could have been split on both sides.

      Reply
      • Derick Tulloch

        Steven – the 25% figure comes from exit polls carried out by Lord Ashcroft. It is the percentage of No voters who said they had voted for more home rule.

        Other polling throughout the referendum campaign showed that the percentage of No voters who supported more devolution rose from 47% in May 2014 to 65% by the vote – an increase of 28% in four months. http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2014/09/done-vow-public-opinion-devolution/

        The Westminster parties made the ‘Vow’ to win the vote. Now they must deliver ‘A Modern Form of Home Rule’ in Gordon Brown’s words. Everybody accepts the result of the referendum – The UK will survive for now. But only on the condition that Home Rule is delivered in the timetable set out in the Vow.

  9. Colin Hunter

    The truth is that most of the shouting was done by the Westminster mob of Cameron, Clegg and Milliband. Ably assisted by Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown, both making promises they had no more authority to make than you or I. Doubtless many people were swayed in the last few days, and although I don’t believe that many devoted YES voters moved their stance, I have no doubt that the “undecided” people may well have been influenced by the bombardment of half truths and rhetoric. Brown made much of his assertion that Scotland wouldn’t be able to afford to pay peoples pensions, despite the fact that it would be Westminster that would continue to pay them anyway, at least to the people now of pensionsble age. This from a man who, when Chancellor, taxed many company pension schemes either out of existence, or to the point where they could no longer afford to honour their commitments to the gilt edged “final salary” deals their members had been expecting. The “Fear Campaign” definitely worked, with the over 55s being the people most likely to vote NO.
    And now that “we” have democratically rejected independence, what are the NO voters going to do to make sure that the promises and vows that were made, and that THEY voted for, are actually delivered as stated? Are you now going to organise pressure groups and actively lobby for them to deliver what they said they would, or are you just going to leave it to other people? Or hope it will just go away? Because it won’t. Not now! Not ever!

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      The housing support grant from Westminster was worth the equivalent of £40 million in the SIC’s reserves. That money was seized, unilaterally, by the Scottish government for two purposes, namely:

      1. Sweeteners for the referendum campaign,

      2. To punish the Isles for having Oliver Twist-like effrontery to say, on autonomy via Our Islands, Our Future, “Please Sir, can we have some more?”

      Yet many Shetlanders are still demanding “more” of the same treatment by Holyrood.

      Odd, that.

      Reply
      • Gary Robinson

        Not letting facts get in the way of a good argument appears to be the Argyll way but this I’ll-informed correspondence about the Housing Support Grant (HSG) is beyond the pale.

        Firstly, the Scottish Government was only able to stop the HSG because Westminster had, at some point in the past, removed the ring-fencing that once existed. The grant – which had previously varied according to the interest rates at the time – was also set at a fixed rate when housing was devolved to Scotland.

        It was a cross-party committee of the Scottish Parliament that recommended discontinuation of the HSG before it was stopped by the Scottish Government.

        The housing debt once stood at a sum just shy of £60m but by the time the tripartite agreement was reached this sum had been reduced to £36m. This was achieved through the application of HSG and good financial management on the part of the council.
        Unless the correspondent from Arrochar knows differently, the agreement was always that the UK government would pay for housing for incoming oil workers – not every single council house built in Shetland.

        Consequently, I believe that the deal reached with the two governments whereby Westminster committed £10m and Holyrood committed £10m for new housing is a fair one for all concerned. The council’s own contribution of £10m (which was money loaned to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) in any case) saw the outstanding balance reduced to a manageable £16m. This is similar to Orkney’s housing debt but more importantly is sustainable and means that any rent increases can be kept to a minimum.

        The remaining £16m has been borrowed from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) at a very good interest rate thus allowing the £16m previously loaned to the HRA to return to the council’s reserves where it should earn more interest for us.

        This is a bad deal?

      • John Tulloch

        Removal of Westminster’s ring fencing may have facilitated the seizure of SIC’s housing support grant (HSG) but it did not ’cause’ seizure of it. That was done by the Scottish government (SG) who are still receiving the HSG money from Westminster.

        A cross-party committee may have recommended seizure of the HSG but the SG implemented and are accountable for it. In any case, a cross-party committee is still Holyrood with its bottomless Central Belt “pork barrel” pit.

        We were led to believe the housing debt in question was originally £40 million. That figure was the basis for the SIC’s campaign for reimbursement and is the figure I have always referred to in my comments. I have never suggested reimbursement should be “for every council house”.

        £40 million less £10 million from Westminster is £30 million the SIC is worse off as a result of the SG’s action.

        £10 million from the SG for “new housing to facilitate the “new” oil boom, cannot possibly be considered reimbursement for 1970s housing.

        The SG is keeping the SIC’s HSG, leaving SIC to pay the interest. If the housing debt has shrunk due to good financial management or from the SIC’s reserves, then the money has been taken from other Shetland services to pay down that amount of debt.

        Meanwhile, the SG retains the HSG, I.e. the interest on £40 million – equivalent to actually having the £40 million – while Westminster have paid £10 million to SIC to reduce their “hit” to £30 million.

        In answer to your closing question: “No, it isn’t “a bad deal”, it’s an absolute stinker!

      • John Tulloch

        Gary, As I said above, It is a “stinker” of a deal, however, I would accept it’s the best the council could squeeze out of them in the circumstances.

        Shetland desperately needs an independence/autonomy pressure group to give the council teeth in its negotiations with both Holyrood AND Westminster.

        High time to resuscitate the Shetland Movement!

      • Ian Bruce

        Well said John Tulloch
        “The housing support grant from Westminster was worth the equivalent of £40 million in the SIC’s reserves. That money was seized, unilaterally, by the Scottish government for two purposes, namely:

        1. Sweeteners for the referendum campaign,”
        Just as free Prescriptions was the Sweetener (April 2011)
        to win the last election back on Thursday, 5 May 2011
        I voted no then! And always will vote no regardless of any
        kind of Sweetener, Bribe call it what you will. By any of the
        Parliaments or our local councilors too.

  10. John Tulloch

    If Westminster is as big a baand o’ aetterkeps as Holyrood, dan I doot Ali is richt an’ wir “better aff clear o’ da o’ lot o’ dem!”

    Reply
  11. Eleanor Black

    Kathy, Do not forget that Shetland has the lowest level of poverty in the country. Shetland enjoys a very high standard of living, on average. If you were one of those suffering incredible poverty, you might express a different opinion or, at least, understand the frustration of those who suffer the effects of poverty or witness the suffering of so many. If you were disabled & read/heard the reported view of the lord who suggested that the disabled might be glad to work for £2 an hour, you too might resent Westminster’s control of so much. Kathy, show some compassion, please. Step outside your comfortable cocoon.

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      Eleanor,

      Before you blithely assume command of the moral high ground, you may like to consider the possibility that Kathy, like many others, has worked hard for whatever she has now and if she is now fortunate enough to find herself in a “comfortable cocoon” in retirement, that privilege may have been hard-earned, over many years.

      Reply
    • Scott Graham

      Disability is a desperately sad situation for the individual and their family. I am truly inspired by paralympians and their achievements and I can only imagine how difficult it is for people with disability to go through life. However, in the context of running a business i think it is perfectly fair for reward to be linked to performance and output. Disablilty like ethnicity, gender etc shouldn’t come into play, life is tough and true equality is a two way street.

      Reply
  12. Kathy Greaves

    Reuben Quinn is doing what the SNP did during the months leading up to The Vote, stating that “25% of those who voted no did so on the basis of Devo Max promises”, which is absolute rubbish.

    No-one knows why anyone voted yes or no unless they were asked directly.

    No one asked me why I voted NO, but for the record it had nothing to do with Devo Max promises. I could say that all of those who voted no were against the break up of the United Kingdom, or that Alex Salmond’s policies were either guess work or wishful thinking.

    Why don’t the supporters of
    Reply

    Reply
  13. Kathy Greaves

    Two points here.

    I did hear of the reported ridiculous view of the lord who suggested that “the disabled might be glad to work for £2 an hour”, which, with respect has nothing to do with the subject under discussion. There are no plans for such an idea to be taken up, nor should there be; such statements as made by Lord Freud just goes to show what idiots there are in the House of Lords. Personally I would do away with the system of the House of Lords entirely.

    Having lived in an Arab country for some time where poor and starving charcoal burners lived in the shadow of the walls of of immensely rich sheiks’ palaces, and coming from a cash-poor Shetland background myself, I will have no truck with any suggestion that I might not have compassion for or understanding of the poor and needy amongst us, or that I live in a cocoon of any sort . People forget that it was Scottish landowners who were responsible for the land clearances a couple of hundred years ago – forcing families and communities off their land to replace them with more profitable sheep farming.

    The second point is, and I may be wrong; of the £40 million housing support grant going back to the ’70s, I understood that £10million has or will be refunded to the SIC, via the SNP – Scottish parliament. They’ve kept the remaining £30mil – why?

    Reply
  14. ian tinkler

    Most of the above is so very typical, wildly daft statistics quoted without an ounce of credible reference, for example, Reuben Quinn “25% of those who voted no did so on the basis of Devo Max promises” I would love to know the origin of that gem! Colin Hunter “The “Fear Campaign” definitely worked, with the over 55s being the people most likely to vote NO.” Perhaps it was not the fear factor but the intelligence and wisdom factor, Colin. Anyway enough of quoting the idiotic, how about the following. Last Sundays Independence / SNP rally in George Square , Glasgow was attended by just 6.000 flag waving blue dressed zealots. Rather less than half the attendance of an average football match (Celtic)!! A similar propionate rally per head of population in Shetland would be less than twenty souls!! Perhaps the 45% will never go away “Because it won’t. Not now! Not ever!” But the salient point is nor will the 55% “Because it won’t. Not now! Not ever!”.. Thank God for Democracy.

    Reply
    • Maurice Smith

      Well said, Ian. The emotional appeal of Braveheart and the Tartan Army wears thin after a bit. I had hoped the sore losers would have got at least some veneer of dignity by now.

      The whining Scot with an assortment of chips on his shoulder is not a figure well perceived in the wider world.

      Reply
      • Brian Smith

        It’s funny, most of the whining in this correspondence seems to have been uttered by the No side.

    • Reuben Quinn

      Ian the source of my ‘gem’ of a statistic is the Lord Ashcroft poll conducted immediately after the referendum. I think it involved 2000 people. Though I would agree that polling itself can’t cast light on everyone’s motivations, it is generally understood to be a quite valuable source of insight.

      Your point about the 55% never going away is plain wrong. Take a look at the demographic. Most of them will be dead soon. The change is inevitable as the population becomes more technologically literate and therefore better educated.

      And all this talk of sore losers etc – what planet do you people live on? Do you think this is a game? Nobody watches Braveheart, it’s awful.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        @Reuben Quinn,

        Making the most negative argument I’ve heard, to date, you wrote:

        “Most of them (the 55 percent who voted No – JT) will be dead soon”.

        Setting aside your lack of confidence in the SNP’s future management of NHS Scotland, those No voters who pass away will be replaced by young Yes voters who grow older and wiser, as I, myself, did, gaining the ability to tell the difference between “hope” and economic reality.

    • Derick Tulloch

      I am going to read out three reasons people have given for voting NO. Please can you rank them in order of how important they were in your decision, even if there were other reasons that were important to you? [All those who voted NO]

      Agreed with “A NO vote would still mean extra powers for the Scottish Parliament together with the security of remaining part of the UK, giving the best of both worlds” = 25%

      http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Lord-Ashcroft-Polls-Referendum-day-poll-summary-1409191.pdf

      Reply
  15. Douglas Young

    There are no “overspends” in the Scottish Parliament since it runs a balanced budget.

    Westminster does not and is increasing the structural UK debt every day.

    Holyrood was planned and signed off by Labour’s Donald Dewar.

    Westminster has just put our a £3bn tender to tart up the Houses of Parliament.

    Seeking full democratic control of Scotland’s affairs is what I am seeking and no single referendum result will change that.

    I do not think of myself when campaigning, but all those Scots living in conditions I luckily do not have to put up with in Shetland.

    That Shetland has so many people requiring food parcels and living in fuel poverty is reason enough to end Westminster control.

    The SNP has increased it’s Shetland membership by 370% in four weeks, in other parts of Scotland 500%.

    Devo max is a stepping stone.

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      Douglas,

      1. Is it not true to say that the reason John Swinney “balances the books” is because he is not allowed to run a deficit?

      2. Is it not also true to say that if Osborne was not running a deficit, he would have less money available to give to Scotland and we would all be much worse off than now?

      3. A 370 percent increase in SNP membership doesn’t tell us very much, for example, it could mean an increase from 3 members to 14.

      How many paid up Shetland members does the SNP have now, today?

      4. Didn’t you tell us all, repeatedly, before the referendum that “it isn’t about the SNP”?

      So why are you crowing about the increasing SNP membership, now?

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        Hear Hear

      • Robert Sim

        I haven’t seen a reply to your question about the SNP’s membership in Shetland, John, and so my understanding is that it is currently just over 240. I have no idea what the membership figures are for other parties here.

      • John Tulloch

        Thanks for that, Robert.

        I don’t know about any of the other parties, however, last time I heard, Sustainable Shetland had over 800 members, more than three times as many.

        Their opponents, the pro-wind farm lobby, seemed to think that wasn’t very many?

      • Robert Sim

        Apples and pears springs to mind, John. Sustainable Shetland isn’t one of the mainstream political parties likely to field a candidate at either the Westminster or Holyrood elections.

      • John Tulloch

        Au contraire, Robert.

        Sustainable Shetland define themselves as “apolitical”, however, their former chairman Billy Fox resigned his position to stand as an independent anti-wind farm candidate in the 2012 Holyrood election and came second.

        And surely the well-organised “mainstream parties” should be able to have more members than (forgive me, SuS) an impromptu band of country amateurs?

        As opposed to less than a third!

        Given all the fanfares and trumpeting about the SNP membership, I’d say that suggests Sustainable Shetland have a very high level of support in Shetland.

      • Robert Sim

        John – I did try to choose my words carefully: SuS is not “one of the mainstream political parties”. SuS is a single-issue campaign group – albeit extremely organised and professional in their approach.

        I would imagine that the SNP in Shetland has a higher membership than any other politcial party locally – but, as I say, I am not aware of figures for the Conservatives, Labour or LibDems.

      • John Tulloch

        I take your point that there are differences between a single-issue campaign group, dedicated to Shetland, and what you refer to as “mainstream political parties” and that SuS’s particular interest in Shetland has very likely contributed to them having such a large membership.

        This gives me great heart with my call for the setting up of a Shetland autonomy/independence campaign group to campaign for the interests of Shetlanders.

        Many of the issues we find fault with the council over are traceable to the way local government is set up, notably, finances, which channel the council, willingly or otherwise, into trends like the inexorable centralisation of facilities and services,leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy of de-population.

        Fundamental to those ‘interests of Shetlanders’ is the authority to raise taxes and invest in the local economy and people, throughout Shetland which can only come with constitutional change.

  16. ian tinkler

    The SNP has increased its Shetland membership by 370% in four weeks, in other parts of Scotland 500%. Now why am I not surprised, what difference it has made to SNP popularity dumping Salmond.!! Maybe Sturgeon will be a little less divisive and nasty. Happy honeymoon Nicola, good luck to you, you can hardly fail as spectacularly as your predecessor, but then who knows.

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      Interesting definition of failure, in the light of the increased membership figures.

      Reply
  17. David Spence

    I am intrigued as to why either Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland (Ireland should be united) should ever be part and controlled by another country? It is very obvious that the so-called United Kingdom is for the benefit of one country, and one country only, England.

    Call it what you want, but the fact is, Westminster wants complete control of the other 3 countries (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (Ireland should be united)) purely for economic, political and territorial reasons, regardless whatsoever to what the people of those countries say and feel.

    Is it not rather strange that after the 1707 Act of Union Agreement (not the choice of the people of Scotland but for those in power and dominated by the English) the Highland Clearances should take place. Yes, we are spoon fed the bile that sheep were more profitable, but in real terms, as history has proven, this was a financial disaster in the making. The clearances were purely for the benefit of England and nothing else, despite what propaganda and the history books may say. Divide and conquer was the truth behind the clearances.

    Now, we are brainwashed into believing that we cannot survive without the union being in place, and for those in Westminster to bribe, lie and deceive (remember, they are the vile Tories, so being honest, truthful and decent is a trait seriously lacking) the people of Scotland into a situation where those people (the No Voters) were easily fooled (wool pulled over their eyes – what irony) into believing the vile Tories would actually adhere to the so-called promises spewed out of the mouth of England were ever going to be acted upon, of which they were never ever going to be at all. How easily fooled those No voters were into believing anything from a vile Tory……………..the story continues, as this is not over by a long shot.

    Reply
  18. ian tinkler

    Robert, definition of failure “a person or thing that is unsuccessful or disappointing” what an apt description of Alex Salmond and his Referendum campaign.

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      But you were speaking about the SNP’s membership figures, not the referendum result, Ian. I was simply pointing out that a massive increase in the SNP’s membership figures can’t surely be seen as a failure on Alex Salmond’s (or anyone else’s) part. The opposite, in fact.

      The simple fact is that the increase in SNP membership is down to a proportion of the electorate wanting now to take the movement for independence on to the next stage, i.e. the upcoming Westminster and Holyrood elections.

      Interesting, too, to compare Alex Salmond’s position with that of Johann Lamont. She is resigning in turmoil, rather than dignity; and yet her party supported the No side in the referendum. Interesting…

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        It certainly isn’t “massive” in Shetland, Robert!

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robert, are you afraid to say just what the next stage of this movement for independence actually is and the real reason for the increase in SNP Membership? Reading the comments on social media the general consensus of a large proportion of established members and new members to the SNP ranks is that a majority SNP vote in 2016 will mean independence by the back door.

        They expect a majority SNP government in Holyrood to unilaterally declare independence for Scotland.
        Please do not come back to me and say that with a majority it will mean we can have another referendum because you know as well as I do there is no Westminster government of what ever party or mix of parties that would say yes to another referendum in the next 20 years.

        Comments from people like Charlie Gallagher ” Alistair you have only won the first skirmish the WAR goes on”, and on Radio Shetland a week last Friday “this outcome was not what was wanted” show a total disregard for the democratic process called a referendum which never was and should never be referred to as a war. Along with comments from Douglas Young on this website and on social media “There is absolutely no point in protesting against school closures if you voted No, or didna bother voting”, and “We” did not lose and “you” did not win.

        The above comments along with the surge to join the SNP show two things, a refusal to accept the democratic process and a will to achieve independence by foul means if fair means has exhausted and is not going to be available for at least 20 years.

        You can parcel it up in nice sentences like yours ” The simple fact is that the increase in SNP membership is down to a proportion of the electorate wanting now to take the movement for independence on to the next stage, i.e. the upcoming Westminster and Holyrood elections”, or you can tell it as it is. I presume by “a proportion of the electorate” you mean a minority who have not accepted the democratic will of the Scottish electorate.

      • Robert Sim

        @Gordon, folk joining a political party and peacefully campaigning and voting for its policies is in fact democracy in action, not an avoidance of democracy.

        On that note, I have no idea what an SNP government in 2016 might or might not do; but I would expect that the party will make its main policies clear during the election campaign. Voters can then choose whether to vote for them or not.

  19. Lee Gilray

    Hey Kathy,

    I’m not too taken by your ‘article’ really.

    For one the question of Scottish independence will not just stop dead, as much as you want it to. This has been on the cards since before the discovery of North Sea oil.

    If you, as a clear no voter, could see that this country can be so much better as a solo nation instead of clutching at this ‘great British idealism’ that no voters share then you would understand the fight we are fighting FOR Scotland. I really see the 55% of ‘Scotland’s Majority’ as you folk keep spouting as an illusion of the tricks that were played.

    Also I would add that through this whole referendum that Alex Salmond has stuck to the Edinburgh agreement to the letter… I wish you could say that about the pro union parties. Alex Salmond even with drew his legal advice on the membership of Scotland in to the EU because it broke the ministerial code… He did not lie about this legal advice.

    The dirty tricks that Westminster used to ‘win’ this referendum, that you and other no voters condone by the way, are the same dirty tricks being used to get the backing of the people for tax rises for the poor, for the ‘blaming’ of social and domestic troubles on certain classes and immigrants, for illegal wars, etc etc. When you realise this and actually open your eyes you will see that Westminster are a down right pack of greedy wolves praying on Scotland!

    Such a well written article, pity it was spoiled by bitterness and a lack of facts.

    Lee

    Reply
  20. Ian tinkler

    Strange is it not, Robert that now the spectre of Salmond as the leader of an Independent Scotland has gone that, it not only SNP ratings but all the indy parties have risen, Greens, et al. I feel Salmond was the real fear factor in the Referendum, the thought of him leading an indy Scotland frightened me, as for Nicola time will tell, not quite so scary. All a bit irrelevant for the time being thank God. I feel fairly confident it will outside our lifetimes before this ugly and divisive episode is repeated. Good on the 55% whom rejected Salmond and the break up of the UK. Now lets all get over it, Scotland has made it’s decision. Sour grapes, hot air and endless winging will matter not one iota. As for Lamont, who cares, I do not, just a different type of socialist hitting the ground, Cameron must be really chuffed.

    Reply
  21. Harry Dent

    If Alex Salmond has single-handedly kept the membership of the SNP, the Green Party and the Scottish Socialist Party, not to mention Solidairity and the Socialist Workers’ Party at un-naturally low levels simply through fear of the mention of his name he must indeed be a mighty man, a veritable colossus.

    Of course he’s nothing of the sort; he’s a banker turned politician who found himself propelled to the head of a mass movement he never expected to see, let alone lead.

    The exponential increase in membership of the pro-independence parties rather reflects the explosive nature of that movement and the fact that Salmond and the SNP never truly led it, despite being its largest organised group. Scores of thousands, who for months put everything into fighting for a Yes vote, and were inspired by the movement, are now looking for other outlets for their political energy, other ways to fight for a fairer society and against the unionist parties’ ideology of permanent austerity. Quite understandably individuals are joing the parties that most closely align with their own vision of how Scotland should be run.

    I sincerely hope that those who have joined parties to the left of the SNP can find ways to co-operate with each other, and are not drawn into a flawed strategy of uncritical support for the SNP. Further campaigning for independence is legitimate in my opinion, but it must not be at the price of giving up on the fight against the Con-LibDem-Lab-UKIP shared agenda of cuts and scapegoating.

    Reply
  22. Michael Mair

    Why continue stirring ? Hmm clearly the author has a deft touch with the wooden spoon ! I personally know of no one who rejects the legitimacy of the referendum result . But perhaps the real question is ” what happens next ” . The 45% are an extremely homogeneous group , the 55% much less so, The significance of this will bear great fruit in May when the ballot papers have more than 2 options and the unholy troika have reverted to type , scratching each others eyes out for their share of the 55. So roll on may and keep on stirring.

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      Michael, by homogeneous do you mean you are all nationalists, separatists or cyber nat thugs like the two from Edinburgh who threatened to alter my features for posting my No thoughts on their Yes Facebook page. There again are you all like the leaders of your Yes campaign; strangers to the truth, who tried to hoodwink us with falsehoods about the EU, currency, the Scottish NHS just to mention a few. Those of you who accept the result are not like Charlie Gallagher and Douglas Young whom I presume you do not know personally but are two who have publicly not accepted the result of the referendum but are still part of that 45%. The 55% have accepted the result to a man/woman the 45% have not so I believe the more homogeneous group to be the 55%. As far as scratching eyes out I seem to remember the Greens and the SNP doing their fair share at the beginning of the campaign for independence and were still at it at the finish. I think you have put aside your filleting knife in favour of your own wooden spoon and are doing a far better job of stirring than Kathy.

      Reply
      • Michael Mair

        Hoodwinking and falsehoods were served upon us in great abundance in the last desperate 48 hours of the campaign by the eventual winners of the referendum. And like the 3rd question there was no provision in the Edinburgh agreement compelling anyone of an “independent” persuasion to cease campaigning for a Free and Fair Scotland. Equally the same applies to all “unionists”. I find it very encouraging that the victors still feel the need to do so, after all the whistle has been blown and the result posted. If it was really all over , this particular debate would not even have had a starting point,,,,But its not all over, and Everyone contributing above knows it Yes & No alike,,,I will Never turn my back on what i believe in ,just because the 55 say i should. The demographic inevitability of an independent Scotland is only a matter of time !,,,tick tock tick tock

      • Ali Inkster

        Hoodwinks and falsehoods were served on us throughout by the losers of the referendum campaign, thats why they failed to persuade the vast majority of Shetlanders. Not just on currency but on damn near everything they said, they were all things to all people, and anyone with an unblinkered view could see that. For example we were all going to be much better off yet we were going to be able to get greater subsidies from the EU. Questions on just how this was all going to work were brushed aside and the person asking the question labeled a fearty or worse.
        As for a fairer society with greater autonomy, yet again we can see for ourselves that this is just so much crap, just look how Shetland has fared with hollyrood holding the whip. Since its inception we have lost our meagre 1p / barrel of oil and they hijacked the Total negotiations riding roughshod over the ZCC act and we got next to nothing from that. And what we little we did get was taken away when they hijacked the housing support grant payed by westminster.
        So if you want a fair society your chance of getting it from Edinburgh is probably less than your chance of winning the lottery. Better aff clear o da lot o dem I say.

      • Gordon Harmer

        I find it interesting how you can claim hoodwinking and falsehoods from Westminster when the delivery date has yet to arrive, but there again your rhetoric does not deviate. You should never turn your back on what you believe in but I would advise buying in a good stock of Duracell batteries to keep yours and Yes Shetlands tick tocks going as you are going to need them.

      • Michael Mair

        Gordon, you’re correct my rhetoric will not deviate, unlike your glorious leader who was singing a new song on the steps of No10 within hours of the result being confirmed .

      • Gordon Harmer

        Michael, at least he was singing and accepting the result of the referendum not like your leader who cried into his soup, didn’t accept the result and then fell on his sword.

        By the way why have you not called your selves the 36.8% or the just over one thirds instead of the 45%, because if you add the 15.8% registered voters who did not vote into the equation that is what you correctly become.

  23. ian tinkler

    I personally know of no one who rejects the legitimacy of the referendum result , that I at least share with Michael. Now perhaps “the unholy troika have reverted to type , scratching each others eyes out for their share of the 55%.” Still 55% Michael, the 45% will still only be 45% however many times they jump into bed together, wave flags, unite, scream and shout. Thank God for the referendum, no question about the sovereign will of the Scots, the decision has been made. It is over, now lets get on with our lives.

    Reply
  24. ian tinkler

    In response to Ali “Better aff clear o da lot o dem” is an admirable sentiment but however an imposable dream. We need “em” sadly, defence, health service, police, higher education and currency are just a few services a small population requires help with. However we can follow the example of The Manx, Faroese, and Chanel Islanders, that we can certainly do. It is within our grasp, not only to establish a great future for Shetland and all Shetlanders, but to give a powerful message to southern politicians. Show them that the divided and divisive, Scottish Socialists, SNP and Scottish Labour, of Holy Rude are no more relevant to us than the divided and divisive right wing, UKIP and Conservatives, of Westminster. Both these extremes care little for Shetland and have done and will do nothing in our own interest. Time for Shetlanders to stand up for ourselves Crown Dependency, within a United UK, is the way forward, we only need the courage and leadership to do that.

    Reply
  25. ian tinkler

    within a United UK, errata, associated with The UK, just for those whom split hairs!.

    Reply
  26. iantinkler

    “this is a different Robert Duncan”, no one has accused any Robert Duncan of fibbing. Sadly one Robert Duncan makes statements that defie his own credibility, no comment is necessary there. His words speak for themselves, no more need be said. Happy Christmas both Roberts, have a great one.

    Reply

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