18th September 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Blinkered nationalism (Andy Holt)

Listening with half my usual attentiveness to Farming Today this morning at a quarter to six I nearly missed a fascinating item from our very own John Johnston.

I had thought we had plumbed the depths of the nationalists’ political control freakery with their Named Persons legislation, granting themselves power over every child in Scotland and relegating every parent to inferior status in relation to the state.

But no. They now propose under the direction of the EU that Scottish and Shetland fishermen shall not only be required to land any fish caught over and above their quota but that they (the fishermen) shall be financially responsible for the destruction of perfectly good, edible food. Thus adding insult to injury.

This, to my mind is not only insane but criminally so.The SNP constantly accuses the Westminster village of being out of touch. I submit that the Edinburgh village is guilty of the same, but with less justification.

In his item John pointed out that Shetland lands more fish than the whole of the rest of the UK put together.

This success story is set to be destroyed by the nationalists in their indecent haste to ingratiate themselves with the corrupt and profligate wastes of space who inhabit the Brussels village and whose unaccountable commissioners will actually rule Scotland and Shetland when she becomes “independent”.

Andy Holt
North House,
Papa Stour.

302 comments

  1. Ali Inkster

    In last years referendum I voted NO for me it came down to one thing over the many many other reasons. That reason was UKIP, by remaining part of the UK there is a fair chance we will get out of the EU. Westminster for all its faults and there are many, is light years behind Brussels/Strasbourg when it comes to corruption and prolific waste of public funds.
    We often hear the phrase “red tories” from the SSnp brigade, the rational behind this comment is that labour or tory you get much the same. Well I have news for them, in an “independent” Scotland as part of the EU they will get “tartan tories” or they will get the same results as Greece bankruptcy. The sad fact is no matter who we vote for the end result is laws decided by 27 unelected commissioners rubber stamped by our latest choice of expenses junkies. if you want democracy get out the EU.

    Reply
  2. John irvine

    Well said Andy,
    But anyone with an ounce of sense could have seen this, the rest voted SNP.

    Reply
  3. David Spence

    I am sorry, but if you left the fishing industry in the UK, to look after its own affairs, then the sea’s around the UK, would be sucked dry of any form of fish………….because short term thinking, quick buck mentality and greed is the driving force of this industry now.

    Conservation of stocks, making sure the sea’s have enough fish, complete and utter ban of specific areas of sea for a period of time, giving far stricter penalties to those who break the rules (as in tens of thousands of pounds fine or possession of assets (boat, property, bank accounts etc etc) instead of a slap on the wrist).

    The only real reason fish farming has taken off is because there isn’t enough fish in the North Sea or North/East Atlantic due to nothing but selfish greed and short term thinking.

    Reply
  4. iantinkler

    There is a far greater threat to Shetland’s fishing industry promised by the SNP, indeed the very ecology of our seas is are at risk and being menaced by SNP policies. Let no one forget the plans of the SNP to turn Shetland and her seas into on large green power station to enrich “Indy Scotland”. Over 2000 square miles of offshore wind farm surrounding Shetland. Fishing devastated, wildlife gone, the utter devastation of our unique and precious seascape.
    Referance: http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2011/05/27/five-sites-identified-around-shetland-for-possible-offshore-windfarm-development

    Reply
  5. Robin Stevenson

    I wonder if Andy Holt ever considered what would have happened to all those children that were systematically abused for years by either, employees of the BBC, childrens homes, Westminster politicians, etc etc, had there been “named person legislation” around at that time? Does Mr Holt think that it would have been better or worse for these victims?

    Most children and young people get all the help and support they need from their families, from teachers and health practitioners, and from their wider communities – the Named Person does not change these roles. A health visitor or senior teacher, already known to the family, usually takes the role of named Person. This means that the child and their family have a single point of contact who can work with them to sort out any further help, advice or support if they need it.
    Sound scarey?….Hmm…not to me.

    Incidentally, I wonder who speaks up for Shetland’s fishing quotas in Brussels? would it be our Scottish Government?…nope…OR perhaps it’s our highly efficient pal of David Cameron Tory peer Lord De Mauley who knows about as much to Scotland’s fishing industry as Mr Holt appears to know about Scotland’s “named person legislation”?

    Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      How many westminster politicians were/are involved with child abuse in Aberdeen childrens homes? And why are the SSnp letting the very organisations involved set the parameters of the inquiry? As Andy says blinkered nationalism

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        “How many westminster politicians were/are involved with child abuse in Aberdeen children’s homes?”

        I’ve no idea Ali, do you?…What I do know, however, is that the dossiers of the investigations and cover-ups surrounding various MPs from Westminster were [magically] lost, what I do know is that a certain children’s home in Ireland was regularly visited by many prominent members of our UK Government, both historically and in the not so distant past.
        If you are referring to the abuse that took place in “The sisters of Nazareth” Then I don’t believe there were any Westminster politicians involved in that upcoming case, however, I do believe that the two groups that tried desperately to stop the enquiry being conducted have both got something to hide.

        A spokesman for the support group In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas) branded the court application by the charities “outrageous”.
        Alan Draper, the group’s parliamentary liaison officer, said: “These are the very organisations who will have questions to answer when it comes to the inquiry.
        “These organisations and the Catholic hierarchy have a track record of doing all in their power to prevent victims achieving justice.
        “We are pleased that this application indicates what has been the real agenda of the Catholic hierarchy – that is to use every tactic possible to prevent victims achieving justice.”

        As Andy and yourself will insist, “SNP BaaaD”. regardless. sigh/

      • Ali Inkster

        No Wrobin I am referring to abuse in local authority homes in Aberdeen that hollyrood are doing everything in their power to cover up, up to and including the arrest of investigative journalist looking in to the allegations. So if you are vile enough to wish to use the abuse of children as a political football just be aware your own favourite parliament and party are scrabbling round trying to hide the truth too. not just the catholic church that has things to hide.

      • Ali Inkster

        And since you brought it up Wrobin is this the same catholic church that Salmond was so complementry of when trying to get their votes in the referendum? What was it he said the catholic church was a vital part in building the Scotland of today. It would seem the SSnp don’t care who they get into bed with as long as they get their vote.

      • Robin Stevenson

        I’m afraid Ali, you’ve lost me here? What abuse in local authority homes in Aberdeen, Perhaps you could link the article please?

        There are undesirable elements in the Catholic church, the Protestant church and every other church Ali, but I fail to see your point in holding an entire religion at fault for the indiscretions of the few?

      • Ali Inkster

        So Wrobin what have you to say about this? http://www.ianduncan.org.uk/blog/scottish-government-credibility-line-fishermen-lose-trust Could this be why you would rather talk of anything but the fishing industry and the SSnp handling of it?

    • John Tulloch

      I thought Andy was writing about the fishing? Don’t you want to speak about that?

      Why not?

      Reply
      • Henry condy

        I would have thought children’s safety is more important than fishing, the powers that be have covered it up for years, Thatcher, Heath, Cameron ,even Popes, so instead of trying to score points, actually do something to protect children, before all the Paedophiles die, Cyril Smith, Leon Britton Jimmy saville, to name a few , and don’t put them in cushy jails , put them in with hardened lags, then they will know what fear is.

  6. iantinkler

    “The Named Person” what a truly revolting idea. A total stranger overseeing the welfare of our children. Now pedophiles are very good at getting into positions where they are close to children. Would not the named person be in a perfect position to abuse? The parents’ rights being superseded by this piece of SNP control mania. The more I see these Nationalist and their idiotic agenda the more I wonder just how The Scottish Electorate can be so blinded to just what they are embracing. I am so very glad my children are now adults, I cannot help but fear for my grandchildren, if raised in Scotland. A total stranger appointed to look after their welfare, a priest, social worker, a child worker or senior teacher, Now just how many of those people have been found out as abusers in the recent past? What parent would truly tolerate such interference from an absolute stranger in the raising of their children, it makes me just shudder at such a prospect.

    Reply
    • Johan Adamson

      Calm deesel Ian. Its an additional burden for them, but the Head Teachers are usually the named persons. Before school it is the health visitor, possibly the only people who can notice a child in need, one who has social issues because of what is happening at home or after school or otherwise obviously in need. They no longer can just notice it, but must take some action. This is much better for the child as the worst thing that can happen is that everybody knows there is something wrong but no one tries to do anything to help.

      Reply
      • iatinkler

        Health Visitors policing parents. The named person responsible for overseeing parenting. Nice one Johan, that will really wreck the relationship necessary for a Health visitor to do the job. Incidentally the Health visitors across the whole UK already check the health, development and welfare of every child and entire family in their care. A policing role is not their brief , they if concerned have a responsibility to pass on those concerns without this stupid dictate disrupting their duties.

      • John Tulloch

        Absolutely, Ian.

        Fundamentally changing the relationship between parent and health visitor – the parent frightened to divulge anything negative and the health visitor forced to clipe about anything and everything because they will be held responsible if anything goes badly wrong.

        Same goes for teachers and heads – an absolutely stinking idea.

      • Johan Adamson

        OK Ian, so how would you set up a system so that you take some action to help the bairns and the parents if you notice that a bairn might have ADHD? Or be being abused?

        If we can cut out abuse and bullying in general, we might be able to reduce the number of bullies and paedophiles in future or even the number of suicides.

      • Johan Adamson

        John, why would the parent be unwilling to seek help?

      • Ali Inkster

        Might just be better if they didn’t notice your child had ADHD. http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2014/04/leading-neuroscientist-says-ADHD-is-not-a-real-disease.html

        As for abuse the numbers of kids being abused by adults in positions of public responsibility is enough for any parent to want publicly appointed people kept as far away from their kids as possible.

    • John Tulloch

      Aye, “who’s guarding the guards”?

      Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      “A total stranger overseeing the welfare of our children”,..Huh!!!…Their doctor? Their teacher? Their health visitor?..What on earth are you talking about Ian? If, like Mr Holt, you don’t have a clue how it all works then please read my above post or this link:

      http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright/named-person

      Reply
      • iatinkler

        A brand new baby does not have a teacher Robin, we are so short of doctors here there is no way they could fill that role for every single child on their list, the same for Health Visitors, not that they are qualified for such a role, want it, or have the time to police every parent. Having been a single parent with two children on the at risk register due to severe post natal illness I went through a merry dance at the hands of Social Work. Eventually my “Social Worker” ( named person)was disciplined and suspended due to his ineptitude and dishonesty. He, at case conference repeatedly tried to put my children into care and actually lied to achieve that end. Only a formal complaint, full legal representation, a consultant pediatricians report and my GP’s help, was this man’s antics were stopped. Now the SNP want every parent in Scotland to have “some professional named person overseeing and policing their parenting. Nice one SNP that will make you really popular. Next will come the mind police!!

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin your lack of knowledge about fishing is only superseded by your lack of knowledge of child welfare. Changing the topic of Andy letter to the secondary thread has done nothing but prove your inability to do your own thing but follow the party line as all SNP MP, and MSPs do. You also have stooped to the level of a cyber nat with this comment; I wonder if Andy Holt ever considered what would have happened to all those children that were systematically abused for years by either, employees of the BBC, children’s homes, Westminster politicians. In your attempt to besmirch Westminster yet again, you conveniently forgot to include; a cabal of individuals known as the ‘Friends of QVS’, which was said to include high profile members of Scotland’s political and legal circles. This cabal who allegedly systematically abused boys at a Dunblane school.
        http://www.express.co.uk/scotland/588918/Top-Scotland-school-abuse-claims
        Your knowledge of the Named Person scheme is proved to be limited when you ask infantile questions of others such as; “A total stranger overseeing the welfare of our children”,..Huh!!!…Their doctor? Their teacher? Their health visitor?..What on earth are you talking about Ian”? These people are going to have up to 400 children on their books of course they are going to be strangers to some of them. And they will be strangers to the parents who they have authority over. These people exist already and are a safety barrier for an abused child so why give them new draconian powers.

      • Gordon Harmer
      • Gordon Harmer

        Even more reasons why the (State Guardian) Named Person should be binned.
        http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/guard-against-named-person-notion-1-3822166

      • Robert Sim

        @Gordon – the article to which you link reveals that the police in fact support the Named Person initiative – the opposite of what you assert. The relevant words are: “…the national force, which supports the Named Person scheme…”. It is made clear in the article that they are simply highlighting a specific risk of which the Scottish Government will take account through its consultation exercise.

        Generally in these columns there is a lot of referencing by a few contributors of publications outside The Shetland Times. Not all readers will read the referenced article. It is therefore important to give a balanced account of what is said.

      • James Watt

        @ Gordon, before accusing others of lacking knowledge maybe you should ensure the knowledge you have is based on facts and not the partisan rubbish you read from your favourite “SNP bad” websites and papers.
        As I have 3 young children this is a policy that will have a direct impact on my family so when I first saw the scare stories I naturally thought to educate myself of the facts and as my youngest is only 2 months old I had the perfect opportunity when the health visitor was at our house to see my wife and baby.
        Surprisingly enough nothing the health visitor told me about the policy rings true to your theory on how the policy works, for starters before a child is put on the health visitors books they have to come from a background that would suggest they might be at risk, like having parents or sibling who have already required help from social services, or if the child had been presented at the doctors or casualty with injuries or health issues that would suggest the child might be at risk from harm or neglect. In short the health visitor explained that a child is assumed to be off her books until something happened to put a child on her books, she isn’t expected to look out for every child under 5, only those who have required intervention from social services or hospital admissions with injuries outwith the norm for an active child.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Could I suggest that you read the Named Person pages on the Scottish Government website. The named persons will already have a legal and professional duty of care to the children. The idea seems to be to clarify responsibilities so as to minimise both duplicated effort and missed problems. It also provides children and families with an easily identified responsible person for a wide range of concerns.

        Ian, the “named person scheme” only came about in 2014 [if I remember correctly] when did this “social worker” episode take place? And what was stopping you having your family GP as your “named person”?

        Gordon, I was quoting Ians comments NOT mine. You said: ” These people exist already and are a safety barrier for an abused child so why give them new draconian powers”. I agree, these people exist already they are the first point of contact for both parents and the children, that is the whole idea of the scheme.

        “New draconian powers”?…Here’s what Jean Urquhart [Independent MSP for the Highlands and Islands] has to say on the matter:

        “Highland Council have implemented such a scheme since 2010, and have said that the scheme emerged from parents’ desire for a clear point of contact for services to support their child’s wellbeing or development. This is therefore a roll-out of a tried and tested system. I’ve yet to receive any casework or correspondence from parents who feel that the authorities have over-reached or that liberties have been taken”.

      • Ali Inkster

        Wrobin is it beyond the realms of possibility that the teacher, the doctor, or the health visitor are already in a position to flag up any signs of abuse or neglect? Why not come up with a system to protect kids that are in danger instead of a system that will create an extra workload for the teacher, the doctor, or the health visitor, keeping up on the paperwork on kids that are in no danger whatsoever. Maybe the SSnp will then decide it is the job of their political education officers to be the responsible person in a childs life. In fact this scheme of political interference in family life is more likely to have more vulnerable kids falling through the gaps.

      • Gordon Harmer

        The Scottish Government spent more than £100,000 on PR for the Named Person plans in recent weeks.
        Taxpayers have paid the price for a series of events designed to promote the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) scheme.
        Around 600 people attended three regional events in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth, and the GETLive event at Hampden, where parents received £25 gift vouchers, as well as travel costs and catering.
        NO2NP described the move as a “fortune at a time of grim austerity”.
        He added: “It’s an absolute outrage a government which is pleading poverty can find this eye watering amount of public funds to spend on PR for their own unpopular policy of state guardians.”

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ooh! the evil SNP at it again eh?… Imagine inviting children’s groups and parents to a series of events in order to explain what the GIRFEC Scheme is all about, while destroying the “Myths” presented by our MSM?

        In 2005 the Vision for Getting it right for every child, in the THEN Scottish Executive’s Proposals for Action, stated that Scotland’s children and young people should be successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens. In order to achieve this, children and young people needed to be safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included (initially referred to as SHANARRI indicators in Highland and now more generally known as the Government’s eight Well-being Indicators).”

        Notice the date? It starts in 2005.

        The scheme when it is rolled out nationwide from next year, will have taken a Labour / Lib Dem coalition government, an SNP minority government, and an SNP majority government over 10 years to implement.

        http://spoxy5.insipio.com/generator/sc/www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/11/20094407/3

  7. Steven Jarmson

    Robin, as usual you’ve picked on a side point, rather than the actual issue.
    The issue here is the SNPs unique interpretation of the flowery worded EU directive.
    They have completely ignored the “spirit” of the agreement in favour of costing non-Central Belt businesses money, again.
    The agreement that was reached was that the fishing industry would pick up the “at sea” costs, while the local government, in this case, the Scottish Government, picks up the “on land” costs. That’s the spirit of the agreement.
    I do wonder how the rules would have been interpreted had the majority of the fishing industry been based in Glasgow or Edinburgh?
    Yet another stealth tax by a government residing in the South East of the country!

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      It is all very well for the EU to come up with this “directive”, however, I believe that Richard Lockhart is in negotiation with the EU for some form of compensation for both sea and land costs? Had BBC Radio 4 allowed him to carry on – rather than just cutting him off mid sentence – then he’d probably have pointed this out. But, Hey ho!,,,That’s our public service broadcaster for you.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        Who is Richard Lockhart?

      • Gordon Harmer

        Oh here we go again, the Baaaad BBC don’t like us ploy again. You are getting a bit tiresome Robin with your blame the BBC and Westminster pleepsing.

      • Steven Jarmson

        My heavens, hide behind the BBC.
        They cut everyone off when they drivel rubbish.
        Most of the people at the meetings around this new set of rules has openly said “what is going on in Scotland.”
        The SNP say it’s the EU directive that means the fishermen pay, no one else says that, not the UK, not France, not Spain.
        Why would the SNP pick a fight over something they intend to give to Spain anyway?
        Is it just that the SNP need a fight to feel good.
        They can’t seem to just govern for the people.
        Every decision is “his fault” or “her fault.”
        NO, it’s your fault.
        Stop being so childish, stop tying our councils hands like never before, stop looking for trouble.
        What’s your title within the SNP Robin?
        I know you work directly for them.

      • Robin Stevenson

        “Every decision is “his fault” or “her fault.”
        NO, it’s your fault”.

        Steven, is it the Scottish governments fault that our block grant has been drastically reduced? is the Scottish Governments fault that our entire MSM is anti-SNP? Is it the SNPs fault that the latest budget is impoverishing our sick and our least well off?
        I’m afraid there’s much worse to come, and the more our block grant is reduced the more the Scottish governments hands are tied, who do you suggest we steal the money from to pay for the EU directive imposed on our fishermen? Perhaps the disabled or pensioners, or our NHS? The trouble is, with only so much grant, there is only so much you can pay for, unlike France or Spain [as per your example] they run their own economy, we run our economy based on what we’re given, and each cut has a knock on effect to someone.
        But you are right, the SNP “DO need to fight”,……. For EVERY penny, from those in charge of our purse strings, that’s why we elected them.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Its the SNPs fault, everyone in the UK feels the effects of cutbacks and the only authority in the UK that has powers to reduce the effects of the cut backs is the Scottish government. They can borrow and they can raise taxes and have been able to do so for some time, but refuse to because they have a string of propagandists like Robin who do the dirty work for them and blame Westminster.

      • Ali Inkster

        Dear oh dear Wrobin but you do prevaricate, Why are the SSnp trying to drive the Scottish fishing industry to the point of collapse? Could it be that fishing communities have seen the SSnp for what they are, and are now being punished for not voting yes. Why did the SSnp impose MPA putting the very existence of many rural communities at risk? Could it be as a punishment for not voting yes? What good did it do the fishing communities of the Western Isles having SSnp MP? none what so ever. This has nothing to do with austerity but SSnp imposing laws that are detrimental to the communities affected but make greenies in the central belt feel all warm and fuzzy.

      • James Watt

        “They can borrow and they can raise taxes and have been able to do so for some time, but refuse to because they have a string of propagandists like Robin who do the dirty work for them and blame Westminster.”

        Ok Gordon let’s say that the SNP used their powers to raise tax in Scotland, what would you do if you were a higher rate tax payer who had just seen your tax go up between 5-10 pence more than the Conservatives were setting for the higher rate in the rUK.
        And remember I’m talking about you here, a man who hates the SNP with a passion. Would you sit quietly and pay the extra tax or would you find a way of making it appear you were no longer resident in Scotland?

      • Robin Stevenson

        Good idea Gordon, let’s borrow more and use it to pay every council in Scotland whatever they need, let’s borrow more and and add to our UK imposed £7.6 Billion deficit…Oops I mean “black hole” [as they like to call it] Let’s borrow more and take everyone out of poverty? Not forgetting borrowing more to pay for keeping our oil industry buoyant, along with paying off our fishing fleets sea AND land costs.
        Incidentally, Whos taxes should we put up Gordon? just everyones or? Should we put up council tax and hit the poorest in our society?
        And, once we’re even more debt, on top of a further reduced block grant and further austerity imposed upon us, how do you suggest we pay it all back?

      • Gordon Harmer

        What you pair of SNP protagonists do not realise is that every one in Britain is finding it hard, yet the ones who mump the loudest and constantly go on and on and on and on about how bad Westminster are for doing this to us are the only ones in the UK who have the power to change it. Well Westminster could borrow more and raise taxes for every one and never get the countries debt down, you your selves have said that is not the answer for Scotland so we are stuck with it because if it does not work for Scotland it will not work for the UK. Un-freezing the council tax would help because the people who will contribute more are the better off with big houses the less better of either don’t pay council tax or get help with it or live in smaller properties which means less of a hike in their bill. So we are left with austerity and a country coming ahead at a steady pace; austerity which is a mere fraction of the austerity suffered by the Greeks so a minor discomfort if the truth be told. Austerity which will be over several years before the kind of real hurtful austerity the SNP would impose on us if Scotland is ever granted full fiscal stupidity or heaven forbid independence. Just who would you two blame then? No one because you would both disappear in to cyber space and never be heard of again.

      • Ali Inkster

        wrobin that is exactly what the SSnp are telling Westminster to do.

      • James Watt

        “Un-freezing the council tax would help ”

        Can you tell me how you raise council tax without also raising the the money paid out in benefits for those reliant on benefits to pay their council tax?

      • Henry condy

        john, you are not serious, you do not know who Richard Lockhart is Ye Gods , My Sweet Lord , ! ! ! ! !

  8. iantinkler

    I would like to point out what must be clear to most rational people, this SNP control measure is simply an authoritarian idiocy, so typical of the mindset of the SNP hierarchy. The very people whom do most, to care for children and their entire families are being asked to act as ” the family police”. The Health Visitor, General Practitioner and School teacher already have a duty of care, as a named person they will become accountable and no doubt subject to public vilification and may be even prosecution when things goes wrong. They are not trained for this role and only the narrow legal and authoritative mind would inflict such a role on them. Just why should every child in Scotland have a “named person” outside their own family policing their upbringing? Big Brother looking into our families, not just those at risk, every family in Scotland. Legal mind, authoritative, not the blessed Nicola?

    Reply
    • Johan Adamson

      Its pointless this, as you made up your mind at the outset and you are not about to budge, but you have avoided my question above. What system would you put in to try to ensure that any bairn in trouble will get the help and assistance they need for them and the whole family? The former system didn’t work with teachers knowing there were problems at home or with a child, maybe gossiping about it in the staff room, but not taking any action, or others, turning a blind eye to abuse. Maybe this new system will mean more reporting and sorting out of these problems and giving help where it is needed (and this help might also be recognised as such by the parents, and not as interference).

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        How will this intrusion into family life make a blind bit of difference when a teacher or other appointed person starts this scheme? They are being dumped on with up to 400 extra charges to be responsible for, with no extra pay for the privilege. All this will do is drive badly needed teachers out of our schools and health workers who do not need more responsibilities added to their stressful jobs to a career move. It amazes me how the nats will get behind this government on what ever crazy policy they adopt especially when policy on how to look after our children is dictated to us by leaders of this government who do not have children of their own. Thereby equating to making policy on things they have no experience on, they don’t even listen to vast majority of Scottish parents who think this scheme is nothing but state interference.

  9. Gordon Harmer

    Every child will have a government appointed Named Person, if a parent does not like the governments choice of Named Person there is no appeal, they are stuck with the governments choice. Most Named People will have up to 400 children in their charge.
    Children will not need state interference as long as they follow state approved behavior; state approved behavior, what on earth is that? This sound like something from Hitlers Germany or communist Russia. The State Guardian, or Named Person will have ultimate authority over every child it their care, they will overrule the child’s parents, this is still sounding like Hitlers Germany or communist Russia.
    There is of course an hidden agenda here, as any child who does not like either decisions or discipline handed out by their parents will have the right to run to their appointed person and complain about their parents thereby igniting a chain of reactions which the parent will have no say in.
    So if a Parent will not decorate a child’s bedroom in a way the child wants or will not feed them deep fried pizzas every night for tea off the trot to their state appointed person and get what they want. Then low and behold when they are old enough to vote they automatically think I am going to vote for those nice SNP people who helped me get my own way with my bossy parents. Hence ensuring a single party state for years to come. Cynical, me?

    Reply
  10. Gordon Harmer

    Sociologist and Scotsman columnist Tiffany Jenkin has called for the Named Person scheme to be scrapped.
    Writing in a comment piece for the Scotsman over the weekend, she said: “The named person scheme is an unprecedented and damaging intervention into family life that will direct help away from those most in need. It should be scrapped.”
    She said: “Lumping parental responsibilities on state agencies will mitigate against children’s interests being served”.
    Remarking on the process of childrearing, she said: “Most parents raise their children the same way: according to their own beliefs, hopes and dreams, with all the idiosyncrasies that accompany them, under the pressured, day-to-day realities of their busy lives – but they all do it with love. The nature of domestic life is that it is messy, but even when people get things a little wrong, and that’s not hard, everyone is trying to do their best.”
    Jenkins asserted: “What everyone needs is to be allowed to get on with it. To be trusted to do a reasonable job, and not blamed for problems that are nothing, or not much, to do with childrearing.”
    But she says this, “it would seem, is impossible”
    She explained that, “in the last few decades, the family and the early years of a child’s life have been identified, in political circles, as the breeding ground for social problems. The family is fingered as the place where everything goes wrong: poor educational attainment, obesity, joblessness, stress, addiction, criminality, if not intentionally so, then accidentally so, according to policymakers.”
    Jenkins warned: “Policymakers pose early intervention into a child’s life as the solution to any problem that might arise later. It is a flawed approach that has negative consequences: social solutions to such problems are neglected – structural issues are ignored; and the family has become the focus of intervention, intervention that seems to know no end.”
    She said the assumptions behind this kind of approach “will cause more harm than good”.
    Commenting on the Named Person scheme, she warned: “So every single child will have a named person – someone who is not their mum or dad, a member of their extended family, or in their circle of friends – to watch over them, and watch over their parents.
    Jenkins highlighted: “Up until this scheme, professionals involved in children’s lives had to have a reason to be there: education, health or serious concerns about abuse. Up until this law, state intervention required justification – no longer is this the case.”

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      Great comment.

      Reply
      • James Watt

        She said the assumptions behind this kind of approach “will cause more harm than good”

        That’s strange, this scheme has been working well in the highlands since 2010 yet hasn’t caused any harm, here’s what children’s charity Bernardo’s has to say about it.

        “Mr Alexander’s views were backed by children’s charity Bernardo’s Scotland.

        Director Martin Crewe said: “Evidence has shown that the named person system, already implemented in Scotland in the Highland Council area, has been successful and welcomed by parents. Far from it hindering families, it has been welcomed as an asset.”

        Quote taken from here.

        http://www.whfp.com/2014/02/14/snoopers-charter-or-getting-it-right-for-every-child/

      • Gordon Harmer

        If this scheme is working so well in the highlands, why have families moved from there because of the scheme, one family in-particular who move to Edinburgh. And no I cannot find a link to it as they were on Radio Scotland a couple of months ago

      • James Watt

        Very good Gordon, now maybe try find a link that doesn’t comes from a clearly bias source.
        If this scheme is as misguided and open to abuse as you and no2np like to make out there should be plenty of examples you could provide from impartial sources.

    • Robin Stevenson

      I’m afraid Tiffany Jenkins [like many posters here] Still “don’t get” what the named person scheme is all about. Dear Tiffany – author of “Children should be seen not heard”- waxes lyrically of what’s bad about a named person that both a child and parent can approach in the event of any issues that either may have, while at the same time fails in her understanding of the concept. Never mind, at least as a regular columnist to the Scotsman [No voter and Unionist] she’s [at least] doing her job by keeping up the anti SNP rhetoric.

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        Even those supporting the Named Person scheme, including Robin and James, are failing to coherently answer basic queries about the plans.
        Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Alan Small, Chair of Fife Child Protection Committee, faced questions from presenter Kaye Adams about the catch-all, intrusive nature of the legislation.
        Attempting to defend the scheme, Small said people understand that “at times” families need somebody to turn to, but Adams pointed out that it is unclear to what extent the Named Person will have the power or inclination to interfere or pry into family life.
        When asked if a parent can hang up the phone on the Named Person and say they’re not interested, Small responded with an unconvincing “No. Er… Yes and No”. Hesitating, he said “it all needs to be taken into context with the needs of the child”.
        This caused Adams to ask: “But who decides the needs of the child?”
        To which Small asserted that it would be public services and the Named Person who decide.
        Adams continued to probe asking: “And where’s the parent in that?”
        Avoiding the question, Small instead spoke about “proportionality”, which he says is an important word to be used when discussing the scheme, but he was unable to explain what the word actually meant when pressed by Adams.
        Adams said: “Define for me proportionality.”
        Small replied: “I actually don’t think there is a definition suitable for proportionality… er… proportionality is fairly well understood in public services…”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrJxOLze2zw&feature=youtu.be
        ‪#‎SNPout‬

  11. Andy holt

    Gentlemen, I obviously did not make myself clear. My point is not specifically the Named Persons legislation, neither is it the already admin overburdened fishermen. What I see is a movement, Nationalism, which threatens to curtail that which it claims to protect. Namely individual freedom. This is being achieved by increasing centralisation of power whilst claiming to offer the opposite. Scotland will be less free under the Nationalists and dragged further into a federated dysfunctional European Project. Another recent item in the local news further helps to make my case. Who will be in control of the waters around Shetland and the revenues to be derived from them? The Nationalists are suspiciously silent on this one.

    Reply
    • Johan Adamson

      I think this battle is already lost. Those who post on facebook are already giving away all their personal information, photos and whereabouts. We are already on CC TV where ever we go. And no one worries about 1984 any more. We are all under scrutiny all the time.

      The named person legislation is good from the childs perspective. As a parent I try my best but if someone is better than me at nursing or teaching my bairns I have to accept that help and advice and if we were in trouble I would like to think I would still welcome that help and not see it as intrusion.

      I know of a person who was eventually taken into care and he said that the worst thing was when everybody knew about it and no one did anything to help for a long long time. No one knows when it is right to interfere, now there is guidance.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        “I try my best but if someone is better than me at nursing or teaching my bairns I have to accept that,” Just how do you know they are better than you Johan Adamson? Plenty of school teachers in jail for child abuse, plenty of pedophile GPs around. Care to have Dr. Gerald Shipman as your named person, he was regarded once as a good GP. You must have a pretty low opinion of yourself if you would just accept a state appointee to police you parenting skills. How about a good Bernardo’s man. :http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1472292/Barnardos-workers-jailed-for-sex-abuse.html

  12. Mark Ryan Smith

    Caricaturing Scots in favour of Europe as ‘blinkered nationalists,’ while at the same time taking a isolationist British nationalist position with regard to the EU, is a little contradictory. There is, however, a rational case for exiting Europe, which is currently being demonstrated by the treatment Greece is suffering from. If the EU has simply become a club for imposing Neoliberal economic policies on smaller nations, even if that nation has clearly voted against that way of running their economy, then it’s difficult to see it as a worthwhile institution. The leftist case for exiting Europe hasn’t really been made yet, but it is obvious that progressive alternatives offered by the likes of Syriza or Podemos will be crushed inexorably by the most powerful countries in the union.

    Commentators on the right (who are plentiful here) don’t like Europe for various reasons. But, deep-rooted imperialist xenophobia aside, you’d think that right wingers and UKIP types would be in favour of the free movement of cheap labour and the draconian imposition of austerity. The EU is currently trying to force Greece to slash pensions and welfare payments, curb trade unions, and reduce regulation on businesses and banks. Those are things you guys are supposed to like!

    Reply
  13. iantinkler

    “The EU is currently trying to force Greece to slash pensions and welfare payments, curb trade unions, and reduce regulation on businesses and banks.” Mark Ryan Smith, was it not just the out of control spending on pensions and welfare payments which bankrupted Greece in the first place? However laudable these spendings might appear, if the economy does not generate the funds to cover them, bankruptcy is inevitable. The lessons here are as obvious as the consequences are stark. Sadly “the left” has yet to learn the obvious nor for that matter does the anti-austerity message of the SNP suggest The Nationalists have either.

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      It behoves the left to eschew Marx and read Dickens, Ian – not all of it, just the bit in David Copperfield when Mr Micawber so succinctly describes Route 1 to penury.

      Reply
      • Brian Smith

        Anyone who reads ‘just’ one paragraph in Dickens is missing a great deal.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Bold talk Brian, now I have “Great expectations” 🙂

      • John Tulloch

        Agreed, Brian. But the SNP should read, at least, that one before spouting any more homespun economics.

        They might go on to read ‘A Christmas Carol’ which would introduce them to the concept of “humbug” which they, instinctively, exhibit generously. For example: when they criticise the Tories for being ‘Scrooges’ while simultaneously condoning the under-funding of Shetland’s education system via their own funding arrangement, causing schools to close or be funded from community wealth funds, effectively, siphoning money from Shetland to the central belt via the subterfuge of a mysterious “funding formula”.

        I’ve never voted Tory however I’m afraid they are the only party remotely fit, at present, to be trusted not to wreck the UK’s economy.

        When I was a child my father reminded me periodically, “money dusna grow on trees!” and while there is certainly scope for a more generous safety net, recognition of that basic fact of economic life is absent from, certainly, the SNP’s, and to a lesser extent, Labour’s, policy recommendations.

      • Robin Stevenson

        It’s not for me to disagree with what your father used say John, but perhaps the Rubber industry, the paper industry, the timber industry, the fruit industry, the food industry, the chemical industry and the manufactures of over 5,000 products, may tend to question that old adage? 🙂

      • Brian Smith

        For the very best account of the contemporary Tory handling of economy and society see Dickens’s Bleak House.

    • John Tulloch

      Never mind, come 2020 the “vile Tories” will have introduced the “National Living Wage” to the UK.

      🙂

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        Yep, providing ofc you’re not under the age of 25, in which case you’re onto plums.

        The most recent UK government figures available for average income by age are for 2012-13, and identify the median income for working people in the 20-24 age group as £14,500.

        With a lower minimum wage, no entitlement to housing benefit for anyone under 22 and the savage cuts to tax credits, they’ll just have to make do until they reach that golden age, which works out about £90 per year extra Whoop!!!

      • John Tulloch

        Alas, the principles of economics inform us that having a minimum wage leads to higher youth unemployment. Indon’t like it,meither, but it’s a fact of economic life.

        “Toffee an a’penny, lad, ya can’t ‘ave both!”

      • Robin Stevenson

        I’m not the slightest bit surprised that “having the minimum wage leads to higher youth unemployment”, to be honest John, companies shouldn’t be allowed to take advantage of our youth and pay slave wages.
        While it looks great for the unemployment figures where everyone is in work, what kind of work? how much does it pay? how much needs to be “topped up” just to live and eat? how many companies would take advantage IF the minimum wage didn’t exist?

      • John Tulloch

        Many businesses would take advantage of the absence of a minimum wage – and I’m not saying we shouldn’t have it – merely that its existence tends to increase youth unemployment as, all other things equal, businesses will hire an older person who has acquired more experience and life skills.

    • James Watt

      There was a bit more than just the out of control spending that got Greece into it’s present position. A combination of generous public spending and a lax tax collection regime.

      Public sector pensions in Greece were particularly lavish. Few people aspired to work in the private sector in Greece because not only were public sector jobs comparatively well paid, they had shorter working hours and very good pension arrangements. Young Greeks who might have dreamed of a career in business in another country were generally more attracted to jobs in the police or teaching.

      However, those who did go to the trouble of running their own business found that taxes were extremely easy to avoid. Little effort was put into tax collection and the whole system was so corrupt that paying tax was essentially optional.

      Successful business owners got rich and public sector workers retired early on fat pensions, and the only people expected to pay for all of this were lowly private sector employees typically working long hours for low wages. The sums didn’t add up and government borrowing soared.

      To make matters worse, Greek government debt was negotiated on very short terms. The debt was repayable in two or three years. As soon as the credit crunch kicked in in 2008, the interest rates payable on new loans sky-rocketed and Greece had far higher interest payments to contend with. In combination with ongoing pension commitments these additional finance costs made their deficit almost impossible to contain.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Pity they did not have a Conservative austerity government 20 years back. save the a lot of grief now.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Pity they didn’t have a Government that weren’t completely crooked and did everything in their power to feather their own nest, where tax take was almost “optional”. [for the rich]

        Actually Ian, Greece DID have a Conservative Gov in 1990, 2004, 2007, and jointly with PASOK in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, whether it was the Blue Tories OR the Red Tories made not one jot of difference, much like our own UK Government, “We’ll screw it up and the poor will pay the price”.

  14. iatinkler
    • Johan Adamson

      What is your point Ian? These things happen? What has this got to do with named persons in Scotland?

      Its easy to critisise, not so easy to do.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        The point is Johan, your named person, a comparative stranger, could well be the very abuser whom is putting your children at risk.

    • James Watt
      • iantinkler

        Just to let you know how good a named persons may be, James Watt. General Practitioner, try “Harold Shipman” as your “named person”, forty years a respected GP! May be you would be happy with that, after all you have to follow the Divine Nicola, has she ever managed motherhood? I somehow doubt it , if she had she would not be supporting this idiocy. Have you ever managed fatherhood James? if so maybe you would change your view.

      • James Watt

        “Have you ever managed fatherhood James? if so maybe you would change your view.”

        Not only have I managed fatherhood, I have 3 youngsters who will be affected by the named person policy. And as I stated in a reply earlier on this page, with the recent arrival of my newborn I had a great opportunity to ask the health visitor the facts about the scheme, and surprise surprise, she confirmed that nearly everything I’ve read about it from the 4 prophets of doom on this site has been scaremongering.

        I’m a bit confused as to what Shipman has to do with this debate, had we been discussing euthanasia and palliative care then you might have a valid point. In this situation the fact that one person was capable of the thing Shipman did is irrelevant, by your logic we would need to shut down the whole of Social Services across the UK because in the past people have found a way to abuse the system.

      • Robert Sim

        Now that James Watt has answered your shameful personal attempted dig about fatherhood, Ian, are you going to apologise for it?

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robert why should Ian apologise for asking a relevant question? The sensitivity of some of you is unbelievable.
        James may be a father but that does not make him the undisputed expert in child welfare, I have brought up a family of children and I totally disagree with him. I have a close relation who is a teacher and he says there is no way he is taking on the roll of Named Person, he also thinks this is a draconian piece of legislation. He is a father as well as teacher so doubly more qualified to than James, because he is on the sharp end of this legislation and knows what is expected of him. He says there is no way he is going to out rank any parent in the up bringing of their child. I as someone who was in an orphanage from the age of 8 to the age of 15 have a bit more experience than any of you on the care system and I tell you this will never work, the more layers of bureaucracy the easier it is for bad parents and abusers to operate. What would someone wishing to start a family want to do so in an atmosphere of distrust from an overbearing dictatorial government such as the SNP.

      • Robert Sim

        @Gordon – your “close relation who is also a teacher” won’t be taking on the role of Named Person unless he is a headteacher. I suggest you look at the facts about this initiative dispassionately. You are simply repeating a crude caricature of what the legislation is about.

      • Gordon Harmer

        If what you say is true about only head teachers taking on the role, that means less folk to share the burden and a far greater and stressful role to cope with over and above the role they now undertake.
        The more you try to justify this intrusive draconian scheme the more ludicrous it becomes, it just sounds like another Teflon coated SNP ploy to have a scapegoat in place for when things go wrong. Teflon being the operative word when the SNP are in the mix; the overstretched, underfunded and centralised Scottish Police Force are going to get it in the neck after this weekends tragic events because Sturgeon will make sure that the ramifications of this tragedy stick to someone else.

  15. iantinkler

    Robin, what utter twaddle you spout. Just name one Socialist Government that has not totally screwed up utterly. You have the whole of history to go through. Maybe Cuba came close, even they are now embarrassing the USA. Soviets bankrupted themselves and half of Europe, China, now more capitalist than the USA, Venezuelan at 200% inflation. Poor old UK under Torie Westminster leadership, economic growth highest and arguable the most successful economy in the Western World. A complete contrast to where an indy Scotland would be if Nationalist lunacy had prevailed. Even the Blessed Sturgeon has rejected FFA as she knows exactly where that would lead.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian the point you’re missing entirely is the fact that I – or indeed the SNP – are not “extreme” Socialists they are a “Social Democratic” party, they appreciate that there has to be a balance between supporting and encouraging progressive business without hitting the least well off in our society.

      You ask: “Just name one Socialist Government that has not totally screwed up utterly”. Do you mean economically or socially or how do you define “screwed it up utterly? Would you consider China’s economy “screwed up”? Or is it doing rather well.
      Chile. Indonesia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Romania, Czechoslovakia. have all benefitted at some point with socialist governments. So I wouldn’t be so silly to declare that every country that has ever had a Socialist Government has “screwed it up entirely”. I’m afraid that’s just “utter twaddle”.

      FFA was never rejected by Nicola or the SNP, it was never offered in the first place.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Robin Stevenson, you are truly unbelievable. Socialism in action: China, Tienanmen Square. Military suppression and the deaths of thousands of protesters.
        Yugoslavia, Romania, Czechoslovakia. Years of soviet occupation, suppression of civil rights. Military occupation, hundreds killed. Prague spring et al. Chile. Indonesia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Romania, Czechoslovakia. just what did socialism do here. Poverty , suppression and violation of all we hold dear. socialism, a very bad joke on the arse end of humanity.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Nicola fought the election campaign on FFA but when it was pointed out to her Scotland would be a financial basket case if she was to be granted FFA she shied away from it. Now it is on a back burner until she thinks Scotland is ready for it. But it is talked about and kept alive because the SNP cattle want it whatever the consequences. Exactly the same as fracking; we have a moratorium on fracking to appease the cattle who do not want it and believe the SNP have banned it, but boy do they have a surprise coming after the Scottish elections. With the revenue from from fracking and a possible oil price hike she will be able to go for FFA, and I wonder if the cattle will come along with a steady mush, mush or if they will stampede back to Labour, where they should have stayed in the first place. It will be a bit too late by then and no whip around on crowd funding sites will get rid of Sturgeon and Co.

    • Brian Smith

      Yes, one must contrast the hopeless failure of the Attlee government (NHS, welfare state) with the success of Cameron’s and Iain Duncan Smith’s soup kitchen economy. Ian, would it be too much to ask you to stop writing ill-informed drivel every day of your life? I’m sure there is something productive you could be doing instead …

      Reply
    • Mark Ryan Smith

      Bolivia, since the leftist Evo Morales government came to power, has done pretty well. They have been very successful at reducing poverty and illiteracy, and the Bolivian economy weathered the 2008 crash rather better than many other countries.

      Misanthropic commentators like to imagine that food banks and stigmatizing poor people are signifiers of economic well being. But even mainstream economists like Stiglitz and Krugman point out that the kind of fiscal management practiced by George Osborne and adored by Ian Tinkler is extremely damaging in the long term.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        “Bolivia, since the leftist Evo Morales government came to power, has done pretty well” .Mark Ryan Smith, what planet are you on? “children as young as 10 to work legally.”
        Bolivia | Human Rights Watch
        https://www.hrw.org/americas/bolivia
        The Bolivian Congress passed a misguided bill last week that would allow children as young as 10 to work legally. If President Morales signs the bill into law, …
        Human rights in Bolivia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Bolivia
        Bolivia’s constitution and laws technically guarantee a wide range of human rights, but in practice these rights very often fail to be respected and enforced.
        ‎Basic freedoms – ‎Political rights – ‎Workers’ rights – ‎Abuse of women and children

  16. iantinkler

    (NHS, welfare state) , my goodness Brian. The past election shows just what the population of the UK think of that legacy. Was that not (the Attlee government) when the rot of the UK started. Union power and all that crap. Damn nearly destroyed the UK, fortunately well and truly rejected now. Thatcher, Blair and Cameron slowly turned that round. Good that my ill-informed drive is so close to reality. Funny that my feelings are those of the sane majority. Cameron’s and Iain Duncan Smith’s soup kitchen economy seems to be serving us rather well, hell of a lot better than any left wing government ever did or will. NHS, welfare state, once the envy of world (lol), the very system most of the world tries to avoid mimicking.

    Reply
  17. iantinkler

    Robert Sim, there was no dig at James Watt’s fatherhood, just a simple question, no more no less. You see I can understand those with no knowledge of personal parenthood backing the “named adult ” idiocy. I find it very hard to understand how any responsible parent would accept this piece of SNP control and intrusion. Maybe the cult of SNP blind devotion overrules parental personal care and pride in bringing up ones children and sees no harm in such unwarranted and unpleasant intrusion into ones family life.

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      Ian, it should make absolutely no difference to one’s opinion on this matter whether one has been a parent or not.

      Anyway, as I have explained elsewhere, this is not about “control and intrusion” as regards family life. It is a sensible and non-intrusive initiative. If you want to inform yourself properly as opposed to what certain sections of the media say, this might be a good place to start – it’s a website for parents: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/parentzone/mychild/entitlements/girfec.asp

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        I have had children at risk and had powerful idiots interfering with family life, trying to put then into care. Robert, this is more akin to state interference than child welfare. All controlling centralized family management. How very typical of l Nationalist regimes in the past. We have the bully boys, centralized government, and centralized policing, threats of “days of reckoning” anonymous perverted trolls (actual SNP officials), what next? Perhaps “The Sturgeon Youth” with mandatory membership soon to follow. Sorry but this “Named Person” thing makes me shudder, it is an affront to freedom and individuality. What happens to home education? Is that to be declared illegal?

      • iantinkler

        @Gordon – your “close relation who is also a teacher” won’t be taking on the role of Named Person unless he is a headteacher. Robert Sim, are you claiming the “Named Person” has to be the head teacher. Pity the head of Holyrood Secondary. 2000 children give or take. They really will sleep safe knowing their overseer has 2000 charges. What a load of total codswallop, whom on earth can hope to cover the home welfare of 2000 charges, and be an efficient headmaster?. Pure SNP stupidity, what I find so extraordinary is the clowns whom suport this idiocy.. Are they just Sheep of the Orwellian fold, support everything, however daft, with a repetitive Ba Ba Ba.

  18. iantinkler

    Further to the above, I have now researched, Nicola and Alex have never parented anything. What a combination of genes that would make!!! sorry people, just a joke.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Did you ever consider that Nicola or Alex may not be able to have children Ian? Like many others through no fault of themselves. A spiteful and truly appalling thing to say, shame on you Sir.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Have you no sense of humor Robin, perhaps I have just committed blasphemy against the cult of the divine Nicola.!!!. Just lighten up.

    • Robert Sim

      Are you saying childlessness is a joke, Ian?

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        No Robert, your words not mine. What is a joke is this pair, with no experience of parenting whatsover, intruding into our family lives with the “Named Person” parenting police. A truly bad Joke was the thought of the Gene combination of Alex and Nicola in a clone, truly the stuff of nightmares. Damion eat your heart out. Robert and Robin, now just get of your sanctimonious high hobby horse and lighten up.!! lol.

      • John Tulloch

        Robert Sim,

        May I draw your attention to my response to your query regarding “professional debaters”:

        “No, Robert. The term “professional debaters” flatters those contributors whose main skill and indeed, purpose, is to divert attention away from serious issues on which the SNP is vulnerable by nit-picking about minor details of a comment where they think they may appear to be “defeating” their opponent, as opposed to winning the debate.

        i.e just like you’re doing now.

        Incidentally, there’s no better indicator of the SNP trolls being roundly defeated than a vain “cavalry charge” from your good self – but you’re no different – “they just keep coming in the same old way”, said Wellington at Waterloo.

        Very humiliating for the “professional debaters”, just as their gatecrashing takeover was for the local stalwarts who did so well for you during the referendum. Now, of course, they’re even farther down the heap. 🙂

      • Robert Sim

        As I said in my reply to your other comment, John, the real-life defeat isn’t being suffered by the SNP in Shetland. And as regards your reference to “SNP trolls”, here is a definition of the word “troll” to help you out: “an internet troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response”. I will leave you to decide which messages in this particular exchange fit that definition and which don’t.

      • John Tulloch

        Robert, it’s obvious who the trolls are, “Mike’s Merry Men” who’ve humiliated the local stalwarts by sidelining them while performing so poorly they need you to come to their rescue – they’re the ones who keep their own personal information secret.

      • Henry Condy

        Robert I would not debate, with Ian, he has a quote or a link for everyhing or he half quotes to suit his case, I find most of his comments arrogant, everyone bar him is stupid, on Nicola being childless tellng him what to do, ! ! ! ( This to him a joke what a sad man. ) what of the time Ted Heath was The Top man in the country, what’s his comment on that, a single man as prime minister , Shetland independent , 22000 population, in the eyes of these four guys Scotland couldn’t stand alone , what chance Shetland, wake up and smell the coffee , I often find an underlying theme of Germanies Nazis from him regarding. SNP, I sincerely hope not

  19. Gordon Harmer

    Today I received an amusing email which I just have to share.

    “Hi Gordon,
    As a casual observer of the Shetland Times on line Readers Views and the accompanying comments, I have noticed a trend and wondered if this trend was obvious to you.
    Usually on your side of the argument are, Ian Tinkler, John Tulloch, Ali Inkster and one or two others.
    What I have noticed is that you all argue the same argument from a different perspective to each other and you generally use life experience as well as links, facts and ideology to make your very similar but totally different points.
    Whereas the small group of SNP activists (for that is what they are) who are so very vociferous in their joint cause against you, all read or sound the same. So much so a casual observer such as me would think that they had been indoctrinated or cloned in a laboratory to the rear of Bute House.
    Support for the SNP used to be provided by other commentators who to a man were like your group, all different, but I never see or hear them now. Have they been silenced in order to allow the official indoctrinated clones conduct the debate on SNP official party policy?
    I can say I am not the only one to notice this as it was a topic for discussion last morning at breakfast at the Skipidock with the usual crowd. Where the general consensus was you are being targeted by professional debaters who wish to stifle any debate which is not pro SNP.
    Up and at them old chap, God Bless the Lovat Scouts.
    Yours,”

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Hmm…So this [whoever] person believes that anyone that disagrees with the “Usual suspects”, [which is how you’re known] thinks that they’re all SNP activists, and those “usual suspects”, are, somehow the same, but different? What a load of twaddle, it reminds me of a carry on film “infamy infamy they’ve all got it in-fa-my”. Conspiracy theory paranoia.

      Incidentally, please inform this unnamed person, that debate would be most welcomed, unfortunately though, by the time we deal with most of the vitriolic anti-Scottish government, anti-SNP, anti- anything that doesn’t agree to their way of thinking, it’s rather difficult to contemplate “debate”.

      Reply
      • Ali Inkster

        This debate started is about blinkered nationalism and the SSnps policies on fishing that are so damaging to the communities reliant upon them Wrobin. You are the one that refuses to debate the subject Wrobin not the “usual suspects”. The usual suspects who in each case have strong ties to the islands unlike yourself Wrobin whose motives here are unknown.

    • James Watt

      Well thank you for sharing that Gordon, I am willing to admit that it’s amusing to think that Robin or myself could be part of the topic of conversation at your friends breakfast, and yes to be thought of as a professional debater by some people should probably give me a huge ego boost, but you’ll be pleased to know I won’t let it to to my head, in fact I will dismiss it as completely irrelevant.

      I’m unsure what you feel this email from your friend is going to achieve, your friend obviously shares your views on the SNP, and even parroted your feelings on us being activists cloned from Bute House. It’s almost as if you’d had a conversation with him yourself over breakfast in the Skipidock.

      I can only think its a poor attempt to discredit those who have shown up the constant misinformation by you and your band of merry men.
      Your friend says you use facts and links to make your point yet when I challenged you to prove your claims about the SNP underspend you couldn’t, all you had was bluff and bluster. And that is all this letter is, bluff and bluster to deflect from the frailties in your own argument.

      Reply
    • Robert Sim

      Does “professional debaters” mean folk who can argue sensibly?

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        No, Robert. The term “professional debaters” flatters those contributors whose main skill and indeed, purpose, is to divert attention away from serious issues on which the SNP is vulnerable by nit-picking about minor details of a comment where they think they may appear to be “defeating” their opponent, as opposed to winning the debate.

        Any tactic, diversion, obfuscation and starting a polemic “food fight”, will do as long as they can obscure the real issues from any readers who haven’t already lost the will to live.

        And if I was paying them, I’d be asking how come they haven’t silenced this bunch of country bumpkins up in Shetland, as opposed to losing every single encounter?

      • John Tulloch

        And don’t you take the gentleman’s point, something I’ve commented on myself, that since “Mike’s Merry Men” became involved, the local SNP guys suddenly disappeared and their newly-appointed Press and Publicity Officer mysteriously disappeared from view, providing us with official SNP acceptance of their total defeat.

        Those local guys must be smiling to themselves now, as they watch the carnage being inflicted on the “professional debaters”.

        Oh, where is Mike these days, he seems to have disappeared as well?

      • Gordon Harmer

        Reading your three comments I think she has hit the nail squarely upon its head, especially this exert from Robin; “by the time we deal with most of the vitriolic anti-Scottish government, anti-SNP”.
        Implying that the “WE” are there to deal with anti Scottish government, SNP comments; nice one Robin your mask is slowly being removed.
        James the SNP under spend is well documented and reported, no need for a link and just to be pedantic it now totals half a billion pounds sterling over the term of this SNP government.
        Robert if arguing sensibly means singing from a carbon copy of the same hymn sheet, yes.

      • Robert Sim

        Thanks for your response, John, to my rather tetchy one-liner. However I am confused by your references to the SNP in Shetland “losing” and suffering a “total defeat”. I guess that you can draw whatever conclusions you like from a discussion among a very small group of people on an online forum; but in political reality the SNP membership in Shetland has shot up since last September; the party came within a hairsbreadth of overturning a massive majority in the general election; and I am fairly sure will return an MSP in 2016.

      • John Tulloch

        Robert, I understand SNP membership is now almost a third that of Sustainable Shetland.

        Given the performance of the SNP’s “professional debaters” versus the “local hicks”, it little wonder you say your membership has been “shooting up”! 🙂

      • Brian Smith

        The real question is, how many members does the Shetland UKIP/Tory sect have? Buy the evidence of the Shetland Times online, the answer is four.

      • Robert Sim

        I like your comment, John: “…I understand SNP membership is now almost a third that of Sustainable Shetland.” King Canute would indeed be proud of you! The SNP locally has several candidates to choose from for the 2016 election – I wonder how the other parties are doing in terms of finding someone to stand?

      • Gordon Harmer

        Do you wish to divulge the names of your several candidates Robert, it would make a good story for the Shetland Times 😉

      • John Tulloch

        The other parties will have to speak for themselves, Robert. Maybe Danus will stand for one of them, he’s quite versatile – and fickle.

      • Robin Stevenson

        I think you’re doing yourself – and like-minded others – a disservice John, “Local hicks”, seems a tad unkind and a bit unfair, you and others have every right to air your views regardless of one another’s background, much like myself, and probably James and Robert, just ordinary people [like yourself] that have a different political opinion than your own.

        Just because certain people fail to convince others, or win a particular argument, doesn’t mean you have to put yourself and “your clan members” down? However, IF it makes you feel better about calling me or any other SNP supporters “professional debaters”, to justify a lost argument, then [I guess] so be it.

        Incidentally, who’s Mike?

      • John Tulloch

        Readers may be the judge, Robin. But I’m glad to be one of the “country boys”. 🙂

  20. iantinkler

    Robin, a few social democratic regimes benefiting from socialist governments. Is this the way your SNP endorses?
    https://www.hrw.org/asia/vietnam
    Vietnam’s human rights record remains dire in all key areas
    Human rights in Chile – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Chile
    Problems related to human rights in Chile include discrimination against indigenous populations; societal violence and discrimination against women, children,
    Human Rights Watch finds ‘systematic’ rights violations in …
    america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/5/5/venezuela-protestsabuse.html
    May 5, 2014 – Venezuela’s security forces have engaged in a “pattern of serious abuses” against anti-government protesters — including the use of torture .

    Reply
  21. iantinkler

    SNP energy policy, you just could not make it up. Moratorium on shale gas development in Scotland, yet: Work to complete the biggest shale gas tank in Europe is continuing at the petrochemical plant in Grangemouth. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-33474000

    Reply
  22. David Spence

    This debate is proving to be interesting in regards to the political and social ideologies, but it also brings into question ‘ what exactly is the role of a Government in a Capitalist based economic society? ‘ I would hazard a guess, based on the UK (or the people) being forced into a Capitalist based economy since 1979. Tony Blair was a Tory without a shadow of doubt.

    The model, as it appears, seems to be based on the exact same model as used across the Atlantic, where it is a very small minority of people who control and benefit immensely from such a system, and who will also do everything in their power to maintain, sustain and enforce this power further through politics, propaganda and laws to indoctrinate the population further with extreme nationalism, xenophobia, but above all, more than anything else, selfishness, greed and wealth dictating all aspects of morality (or lack of), decency (or lack of) and social cohesion (or lack).

    A country which consumes 31% of all global resources, consumes 34% of all fossil fuels, produces 25% of all pollution, and yet it is less than 5% of the worlds population.

    This is the social model to which the vile Tories would like the UK economy to be based on.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Indeed David

      The wealthiest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world’s population, according to a study by anti-poverty charity Oxfam.
      The charity’s research shows that the share of the world’s wealth owned by the richest 1% increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% last year.
      On current trends, Oxfam says it expects the wealthiest 1% to own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016.

      The US, is one of the most unequal countries on our planet, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, our [lovely people friendly Tories] are trying desperately to follow suit.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Robin, ” IF it makes you feel better about calling me or any other SNP supporters “professional debaters”, to justify a lost argument, then [I guess] so be it.” Remember last years indy vote? 45% : 55%, somehow that argument was not won by the SNP, remember the general election, SNP got half the votes UKIP got, another lost argument? Cameron won, just who lost that argument? A generation to go according to Salmond (if you can believe a word he utters lol) before a rematch, if it is to be sooner it would now be Cameron’s choice now, just as last time, however much Sturgeon squawks otherwise.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Erm….I think you’re confusing the SNP as a “UK” wide party Ian?…. It’s not, it’s a Scottish party, we don’t have anyone standing for election in England. However, if you want to play silly games, then statistically, with 50% of the popular vote, the SNP would have won a majority Government in the UK by a massive landslide.

        Incidentally I never regarded myself or others as “professional debaters”, it was either yourself or one of your chums that brought that up? [for whatever reason] Cameron & Co may have won the referendum, but at the price of losing Scotland.

  23. David Spence

    Ian, the vile Tories want to get rid of the European Human Rights Act……………for one reason only, complete and dominant power over the people of the UK, without being answerable to anybody.

    Just one more step towards a ‘ police state ‘ (9/11 (inside job) 7/7 (inside job ?????) being used as a means to erode our civil rights further)……..and nothing more.

    Reply
  24. iantinkler

    “the European Human Rights Act,” just my opinion, David, but has not the European Human Rights Act rather been corrupted by the politically correct brigade. I would like to see a UK bill of human Rights first before forming an opinion. Until such time it is a little bit academic to blame the vile Tories, at least they are not advocating “a day of Judgement” or the “Named Person” family police.

    Reply
  25. David Spence

    I agree with you Ian, in that, to a large degree, the European Human Rights Act has been strongly influenced by ‘ Political Correctness ‘ and has also be used in several cases against the UK Government for ‘ certain citizens ‘ to use this Act as a means of upholding their right to reside in this country, despite much evidence to prove they have no claim.

    I must confess Ian, whether there are differences within the European Human Rights Act from one country to another or whether there is ‘ one rule for all ‘? It also brings into question how much of the European Human Rights Act can be amended by a country which is not detrimental towards the citizens of that country.

    I would be highly interested in what form of the UK Bill of Rights this Government would like to incorporate in proportion to this of the European Human Rights Act, and whether or not ‘ reasons to water down the Act (terrorism being the main one) to the detriment of our rights as citizens, and the Government using this to maintain further control.

    The vile Tories always hark on about wishing to leave the EU or (as they have for the past 30 years or so) giving us a Referendum for us to decide, but at the same time wishing to remain within the EU for economic reasons…………..which most people seems to think would be a better option than leaving.

    Reply
  26. iantinkler

    “we don’t have anyone standing for election in England.” that would not make any difference Robin, if you had not many would have voted for the SNP.. If the SNP do not field candidates south of the border they can hardly moan when they are in a minority in Westminster. UKIP out performed the SNP 2 to 1, is there not a message there when it comes to mandates in the UK parliament? Do not be too surprised when your endless moaning draws ridicule from the rest of the UK. As it was, all the SNP did was alienate the majority of the UK, rather than risk a Labour / Salmond alliance, the majority voted for the Tories. Now you have to live with that.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Completely and utterly irrelevant to your first point Ian. Your second point was a sad and pathetic excuse to blame the SNP for Labour’s spectacular UK failure. Statistically it was proved – through umpteen polls – that the SNP influence on English votes in the GE was less than 1%.

      Reply
  27. iatinkler

    “Incidentally I never regarded myself or others as “professional debaters”, Be under no illusion Robin, I never thought of you as more than rank amateur , sorry about that!! I do not care much for Cameron & Co, Robin, just find them rather less obnoxious than the Salmond, Sturgeon, Ewing et al.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Ouch!…Personal insults Ian?…dear o dear 🙁

      Reply
      • iatinkler

        The Times CEO Summit 16/7/2015. To Quote: “Nicola Sturgeon: the referendum was decisive and I’m not planning another”
        The SNP has no plans for another independence referendum. End game. Whoop, Whoop.

  28. Gordon Harmer

    I notice the Three Musketeers side stepped my comment about fracking a couple of days ago, I wonder what they have to say about this.
    http://m.heraldscotland.com/news/13420796.Billionaire__the_SNP_are_not_opposed_to_fracking/
    Another memogate claim will probably be the one for all and all for one consensus.

    Reply
    • James Watt

      Why would we have anything to say about this? From reading the article myself it seems the billionaire Jim Ratcliffe says it pretty well himself using words most adults understand.

      “The Scottish Government] are being quite clear. What they’ve said to us is they’re not against fracking. But what they do need to do is get comfortable with whether they’re happy with the risks of fracking in Scotland. They want to spend a couple of years understanding it in more detail. I think that’s a responsible thing for them to do and say. We don’t need to do any fracking for the next couple of years. What we’d like to do is just drill a couple of holes, do the seismic, and just find out what’s down there”

      To me this seems like a very fair and responsible position for the Scottish Government to take, they are not against fracking but want to make an informed decision after taking time to weigh up the pros and cons.
      The only issue would be, if in a few years they decide to push ahead with fracking when popular opinion and scientific consensus showed it wasn’t worth the risks involved. But if the SNP do make such a decision against the majority of public opinion then they risk losing voters in any following elections.
      Why Gordon, what do you have to say about it?

      Reply
  29. iantinkler

    NP energy policy, you just could not make it up. Moratorium on shale gas development in Scotland, yet: Work to complete the biggest shale gas tank in Europe is continuing at the petrochemical plant in Grangemouth. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-33474000

    The Times CEO Summit 16/7/2015. To Quote: “Nicola Sturgeon: the referendum was decisive and I’m not planning another”
    The SNP has no plans for another independence referendum. End game, enough said for now. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/ceo-summit/?service=rss

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Are you fully aware of what a “Moratorium” is Ian? It means that the prospect of extracting shale gas will be put on hold, until such times that there has been a full and thorough investigation into the pro and cons of this technique, at the moment we import our gas from the US and store at…well…Grangemouth actually. So I’m really not quite sure what point you’re trying to make here? where would you suggest we store it?

      Until such times we have the vast majority of Scottish voters behind independence, it would seem logical not to have another referendum too early, Nicola is quite right about that, unfortunately [according to the latest polls] the 49% still have to convince the 51% that it’s not as scarey as they imagine, hopefully as we see Cameron & Co regularly isolating and talking down Scotland while continuing on this ridiculous austerity agenda, the doubters will eventually realize they can’t put up with another 10 years it.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        I think you’re saying the great groundswell of momentum – 50 percent of the electorate in the GE, YOU said – has been lost? Bit of a climbdown, eh?

        Bit o a “sook in” as we say in Shetland?

      • iantinkler

        “Until such times we have the vast majority of Scottish voters behind independence” I would not hold my breath, if I were you Robin, if it has not happened yet after 8 years SNP in control, it may be a very long wait.
        Just look what you ( the SNP) have done to Scotland’s NHS, Scotland’s police, Scotland’s landscape and Scotland’s Education. It may be a very long weight indeed.

      • Robin Stevenson

        John, I was talking about the latest poll which asked what people would vote for IF there was a referendum on independence tomorrow” [49% – 51%]…NOT the GE, the General Election is a done deal 50% to the SNP hasn’t changed, so there’s No climbdown, you can’t undo what’s already been done?

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ian, we’ve only had one referendum in 300 years and frankly, did rather well achieving 45% when we consider we had the entire mainstream media, newspapers, television, EVERY other political party, [except the Greens] Our IFS, our OBR, our big businesses [that were corralled into Downing St] our bank’s, head of our armed forces, Oil experts, tax experts, world leaders, ALL against Scotland becoming independent, all falling over themselves to tell us how we’re too wee, too poor, too stupid and how “Doomed” we’d all be.

        Fortunately, the Yes camp had the ONLY thing that our establishment couldn’t control and manipulate to their own advantage …The internet….. 🙂

        May 2013 – Yes 29% No 71%
        May 2014 – Yes 39% No 61%
        Sept 2014 – Yes 45% No 55%
        June 2015 – Yes 49% No 51%

        Are you seeing a trend yet Ian? People are beginning to see through the rhetoric, the spin and the downright lies from our UK leaders, it just takes some longer than others to realize it.

      • John Tulloch

        That’s a good one, Robin, we’ve moved from talk of the SNP “declaring UDI” to not wanting another referendum and you’re insisting It isn’t a climbdown?

      • Robin Stevenson

        John, UDI is a perfectly legal option with any majority Government.

        We may well have discussed it, but it certainly wouldn’t be my, OR, indeed the SNPs choice.
        The SNP may well have the backing of 66% of the Scottish electorate, but there is still a lot to do to convince others that’s it’s in Scotland’s best interest to remain as part of the UK.
        We’ve already waited 300 years, let’s just sit back, extend the hand of friendship to our overseas partners, work out our future currency, lay the foundations of an independent state within the UK, and when the time is right, let the people decide.

        “Climbdown”?…I think not 🙂

      • John Tulloch

        @Robin Stevenson, I don’t recall commenting on the legality or otherwise of UDI?

        But you’ve “marched them up to the top of the hill” by feeding your brand new “Ally’s Army” with expectations of full fiscal autonomy and another, early, independence referendum and now you’re, unceremoniously, “marching them down again”.

        That’s a climbdown, alright,… er… your Grace! 🙂

      • Ali Inkster

        66% Wrobin? I suppose it is Saturday so we can pass this off as after a hard day at the bookies and the pub next door the odds on your last losing horse and the losing horse you backed last September have kinda blurred into one. 🙂

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        You keep making these anti austerity claims but you have no answers about how it gets paid for.
        The case for independence has been further weakened by the UK governments anouncement to reduce corporation tax.
        The oil price is still depressed and we are loosing investment and jobs.

        If you want to win the argument for independence you (the SNP) needs to use the powers you have to build a stronger Scotland.
        More business brains and economists and less fighting with locals on forums.
        The plans need to add up, not the uninspired policies and wildly over optimistic income and growth projections we saw last time.
        Perhaps you should go over to Greece and talk to your fellow socialists there and find out what happens when you run out of other people’s money, then you will appreciate what some of us are scared about.
        You are in power in Scotland, let’s see some results.
        Stop the fighting, division and blaming everyone else. This is the SNP’s chance to prove it can be an effective political force. Get on with it.
        Let’s see some SNP MP’s gaining more investment and concessions for Scotland.
        Let’s see improvements in public services, health service and education.
        Let’s see some of the hard work and boring number crunching and less moaning.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Oops, my bad Ali, I was doing it from memory, you’re right, it was only 60% [only says me :)] the 66% was for those that intend to vote and 73% of those aged 16-34 who express a party preference say they intend to vote SNP, against 12% backing Labour.

        John, I’m glad we agree with the legality of UDI, however, If you want to insist that that the SNP are [somehow] “climbing down”, then I’ll leave you with your thoughts on the matter. Personally speaking, as Scotland’s largest party and their ever increasing popularity, they’re now in the process of building bridges and stronger alliances beyond Scotland and to be seen as a capable and competent government that’ll be open for business after independence.

        Gareth, please answer one thing before I answer any of you questions.

        In 2014-15 the UK Gov accounts brought in their biggest EVER tax revenue of £517.7 Billion [£11.9Bn more than 2013-14] Scotland represents 8.3% of the UK [population wise] Now, 8.3% of £517.7Bn = £42,969Bn and yet our block grant was £26Bn last year, [inc our Barnet formula] Perhaps you could explain where the other £16,969Bn went?

        https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/446134/HMRC_Annual_Report_and_Accounts_2014-15__Print_version_.pdf

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        Are you really on one hand asking us to trust you to run an independent Scotland, and on the other asking someone on a forum how governent spending works?
        Now you are really scaring me.

        Off the top of my head;
        Interest payments on national debt
        Payments to EU, IMF etc
        Non devolved governent activities of which there are many (including HMRC who collects the taxes you mention).
        The military
        Foreign aid
        Foreign office activities
        Etc etc.
        Indeed it looks like some of it is going to Greece now.

        Now you have so many SNP MP’s in Westminster, I’m sure someone there could give you the full breakdown.

        The figures you really need to worry about are the the ones that show the total government spending still exceeding the revenue you mention above.

        I’m sure someone in Westminster could explain why they are trying to reduce that overspend as you clearly don’t want to accept it from anyone on here. Indeed you want to spend more, but still don’t explain where you are getting this money from.

      • John Tulloch

        Hear, Hear! Well said, Gareth Fair.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gareth

        I’m merely trying to workout where our money is spent, it’s all very well asking for the Scottish government to stop whinging and get on with it, but frankly that’s as silly as someones household costing £500 per week, when they’re only given £300, then asked “Why not just get on with it and stop whinging?”

        IF you wanted to play a Country down [that you hold the purse strings for] then the best way of doing that is by giving them less than they need, then insisting that they’re the ones that are failing.

        “Interest payments on national debt”… [ Whos debt when Scotland has never needed to borrow?]
        “Payments to EU, IMF etc”….[Without a seat at the table we’re hardly in a position to negotiate a better deal?]
        “Non devolved government activities of which there are many (including HMRC who collects the taxes you mention)”…..[ HMRC who collect Scottish export taxes and then account them towards UK finances rather than Scottish finances [because they leave from English ports/airports]
        “The military”….[Oh! yes, that’d be Trident and the aircraft carriers with NO planes?]
        “Foreign aid”….[0.7% of GNI ]
        “Foreign office activities”…[£0.124m]
        HS2 will cost Scotland [£4.7 Billion]
        £40 Million pa we pay for “Sending” electricity to England?

        These ARE the figures I worry about Gareth. Sure. we’ll make the best with what we are given, but I’d really like to know our “true worth”, Until then, I won’t be holding my breath waiting for an explanation from Westminster.

    • Gareth Fair

      There you have it, ask the SNP to start using their powers to actually work for and strengthen Scotland and this is what you get.
      Make your own minds up.

      Reply
  30. Haydn Gear

    Some people have soft music whilst others read dull books to lull themselves to sleep at night. How fortunate I am to be able to drift through the on-line letters columns of the S.T. with a smile on my face !! Certainly a lot more effective than sleeping tablets. Thanks folks for being such hilarious bundles of fun .Night night !!

    Reply
  31. iantinkler

    ” Oil experts, tax experts, world leaders, ALL against Scotland becoming independent,” I just wonder why?
    “we’re too wee, too poor, too stupid and how “Doomed” we’d all be.” I never said or thought that Robin, just your thoughts and words. Bit of a Chip on the shoulder, perhaps? “People are beginning to see through the rhetoric, the spin and the downright lies from our UK leaders,” Sure Robin, strange Nicola would appear not to agree with you. Maybe in ten years, just perhaps, but I would not hold your breath if I were you.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      The thing is Ian, these [so called] “Experts] were hand chosen to play down Scotland, much like the hypocritical Obama, the IFS and the OBR are both Londoncentric and based their assertions on guesstimates, the “too poor, too wee, too stupid, was the cry of everyone that wasn’t pro-independence or indeed believed the nonsense spouted on our MSM. Why on earth would I have a chip on my shoulder, I didn’t fall for the scare stories?
      While Nicola is playing down independence at the moment, it certainly isn’t off the agenda, but how long is a piece of string? in others words how long will it take to convince 51% of Scots that independence is in Scotland’s best interest? … See above for trends Ian. 🙂

      Reply
      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        It’s not about playing down Scotland.
        We are still in the grasp of a global economic downturn, the UK as a whole is over £1.5 trillion in debt and growing daily, 8% of our tax revenue goes on debt interest.
        Independence for Scotland at this time simply makes no sense. The figures do not stack up, now the oil price is depressed even less so. Just the costs to split the countries apart is something neither can afford at the moment.
        Nicola Sturgeon it would seem realises this.
        You claim all the experts are wrong and are out to get you, this is paranoid nonsense.
        I’m not against Independence, but economically it has to make some sort of sense, even if it means a bit less money in the short term with a credible plan to grow the economy in a sustainable way in the future.
        If you want to convince the 51% you are going to have to do better than this.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gareth,
        I’m afraid you misunderstood me, I did not claim “all the experts are wrong and are out to get you”, I was talking about the “hand picked” [so called] experts, wheeled in to play down Scotland, while at the same time there were experts on the pro-independence side dispelling the myths presented by the pro-Union side, it most certainly wasn’t “paranoid nonsense”, with proper scrutiny, the hand picked experts came up short, was my point.
        Like you, I’m fully aware of our £1.5 trillion debt, along with our £89 Billion deficit, plus the interest on servicing this debt of £52 Billion per year. Scotland has never needed to borrow money, [not only because we can’t] but as for the last 40 years Scotland has paid more into the UK coffers than it’s ever got back, so why are we paying our 8.3% towards a UK imposed debt, caused by their own failure to balance the UK books?….Now, how are our UK government dealing with this?…Borrowing more while making the poorest in our society pay for their failure, “austerity” doesn’t work [de facto]

        You claim “Independence for Scotland at this time simply makes no sense”, I’m afraid I couldn’t disagree more Gareth, with at least another 10 years of Tory rule, further cuts to our block grant and further hardship for the least well off in society, the future for Scotland, does not look good.

        But never mind, at least our MPs are worth their 10% wage rise 🙁

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        As has been pointed out several times now, we have had a referendum. I’m sorry if you don’t like the result but that’s the way it is. Did your parents not teach you you cannot always get your own way? Throwing a tantrum about it isn’t going to change this one.
        The UK government has announced it is reducing corporation tax, this is a great opportunity to attract investment, jobs and wealth to Scotland. Here’s the thing though, business does not like uncertainty.
        Any continued talk of referendums is damaging Scotland at a crucial time.

        As for Scotland paying more in the UK, let’s not forget who’s waters 67% of the oil lies in. Revenue which is far from guaranteed in an independent Scotland.

        As for your MP’s being worth 10% wage rise, well they are if you happen to be an English Fox rather than a person living in Scotland.
        Are the SNP MP’s not going to give the extra to charity like David Cameron? If you are at all concerned about the less well off, surely this is an opportunity to demonstrate that?

      • Robin Stevenson

        It would appear that you’re a little behind the times Gareth? …Every member of the SNP are donating their £7,000 to local charities, where have you been?

        It would also appear that our National press has nothing else better to do rather than go on and on about another referendum,? [much like yourself and EVERY other Unionists]
        So let me try to alleviate your panic:

        The chances are they’ll be an option of a referendum in the SNP 2016 manifesto, that does NOT mean to say they’ll actually be another referendum however, but it allows the people of Scotland the “Option”of declaring another referendum in the event of a material change taking place which is deemed, NOT conducive to Scotland’s betterment, therefore [imo] it should be included.

        “Throwing a tantrum”?….Erm…Sorry that statement is lost on me?

        As far a “business uncertainty” is concerned, perhaps you could explain why foreign investment in Scotland was at it’s highest level during the referendum?

        http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/13215430.Independence_referendum_did_not_hit_overseas_investment_in_Scotland__survey_signals/

        Unless, of course, you naively believed our MSM Gareth? In which case, Welcome to the band of STs “Usual Suspects”. 🙂

      • John Tulloch

        Gareth, I think they’re fed up with losing debates and they’ve retreated to a “safe haven”. ?

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        The SNP MP’s giving up the pay rise is great, the right thing to do and it should be applauded, no question.

        As for investment, I was talking about the effect of a continued debate on independence that many decision makers may have thought was settled for ‘a generation’. This is not going to be positive, especially when uncertainty over the currency persists.
        Anyway we are both behind the times, David Cameron announced no new referendum for the remainder of his term.

        Fairplay, the EY report is encouraging but there are some things for the Scottish government to consider;

        The small decline in project numbers in 2014 was accompanied by a larger fall in the number of jobs generated by FDI , down 15% from 2014. This represents the third consecutive annual decline.

        With projects into Scotland falling back slightly during the year, and overall projects into the UK as a whole rising by 11%, Scotland’s market share of all UK projects secured in 2014 slipped from 10% to 9%.

        The relatively low proportion of Scottish FDI projects originating from new, first-time investors in the UK, as opposed to expansion investments by companies already here.

        Full report here:
        http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/2015_Scotland_Attractiveness_Survey/$FILE/EY-2015-Scotland-Attractiveness-Survey.pdf

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gareth

        Firstly, I appreciate your comment with regard to what the SNP MPs chose to do with their pay rise, it is refreshing that you [unlike certain others] managed to refrain from tying it in with some kind of “ulterior motive”.

        Of course we have to remember that in 2013 FDI was at it’s highest in 16 years, therefore it’s performance in 2014 [albeit still excellent, with it’s third highest number of investments on record] was marginally down from the year before, maintaining Scotland’s position as the UK’s biggest FDI region outside London.

        Jobs fell slightly, [according to the report] due to a shift in the “type” of investments, with an encouraging rise in scientific research projects – which are potentially high-value but generate fewer jobs than investments in some other sectors.

        “The world economy continues to struggle for growth and FDI volumes globally fell in 2014, In an uncertain world, Scotland is continuing to punch above its weight in securing global FDI”.

        All in all, very encouraging and good reading, thank you for the link.

        There appears to be FAR more concern about Scotland remaining within the EU than how it would continue to perform outwith the UK.

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        The main thing to learn from the report IMHO is that the majority of the FDI is coming from companies already operating in the UK, this is not the case for the rest of the UK as a whole.
        It seems to me the Scottish Government should be getting more involved in trade ‘missions’ to Foreign countries, especially Asia. Perhaps by sending a Scottish representative on UK organised trips?
        If we do not lay the foundations now this will become a more serious problem IF we ever have to compete with the rest of the UK in the future.

  32. iantinkler

    Now Nicola is doing a U turn, sorry has done a U turn, Robin. ? Maybe enough said, ask again in ten years.

    Reply
  33. iantinkler

    June 2015 – Yes 49% No 51%
    19 MARCH 2015—YES 51% NO 49%
    Interesting trend Robin, also “The thing is Ian, these [so called] “Experts] were hand chosen to play down Scotland” sure Robin, do you really believe nearly ever world leader whom commented was hand chosen? All but Putin and Kim Jong-un, that is so reassuring, I think not.

    Reply
  34. iantinkler

    ” lay the foundations of an independent state within the UK” Great move Robin. We agree at last. We can do the same for Shetland at the same time. independent state within the UK, well that’s a new one on me.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Thanks Ian, I think it’s a pretty clever idea too. There were overseas commercial partners that were unclear of how exactly an independent Scotland would have affected our present trade? These issues should be dealt with in the meantime while we’re stuck in the UK, the more we convince our International partners that nothing will really change [trade wise]- along with proving ourselves to be a capable, competent Government – the less they’ll have to fear of the continuation of that trade come independence.
      It’s not particularly new, it’s just another stepping stone.

      Reply
      • Graeme Restorick

        Proving yourself to be a competent government Robin? Where has the SNP demonstrated that? Class sizes are booming, NHS spending in real terms have declined by 1% vs a 4% increase under a TORY led government. This despite the fact that Scotland gets a much higher per capita spending than E & W, so this is all down to SNP inefficiency and incompetence.

  35. iantinkler

    “It’s not particularly new, it’s just another stepping stone”. Robin, steeping stones usually lead somewhere. Yours appear to be going in ever diminishing circles. Even Sweet Nicola has seen that!!!

    Reply
  36. Henry Condy

    Here’s a quote to think about, and its absolutely true. . “I care not what puppet,is placed upon the Throne of England, ( Note the England. ). To rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain’s money supply , controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply signed. Nathan Rothschild. And he was finally paid the last payment for the 2nd World War, two years ago, paid for with North Sea Oil Revenues.

    Reply
  37. iantinkler

    Robin Stevenson, “Every member of the SNP are donating their £7,000 to local charities”; what I find is really most unpleasant, is how, all the SNP MPs are their giving a very small proportion of their salary so very publicly and using “their generosity”, with their sycophantic admirers help, for such an opportunistic publicity stunt. Many, many people, far poorer than MPs, give to charity quite privately. No modest person, no half decent person would make their generosity so starkly public, especially to spin some kind of popular advantage over others. Sorry for the rant, if that is the word for it, Robin but your endless sycophantic ramblings enforce what is just not a decent, modest and or an honest way to behave. Perhaps it is as that, the SNP, their SMPs and MPs, with their driving principle of division and the endless denigration of Westminster, have just forgotten or are quite unable how to act with dignity, modesty or decency.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      I would seem to me, Ian, that it is YOU, the MSM and all your pro-Union buddies that keep banging on and on about the SNPs kind gesture?
      Where did you first hear about this Ian? Let me guess, BBC, ITV, every single daily newspaper? So, regardless of whether or not the SNP wanted to donate – quietly – their pay rise to charity, it is the obsessed media, along with the obsessed anti-SNP brigade, that shout it from the rooftops and then Blame the SNP for seeking publicity, much in the same way as you’re STILL banging on about it?…Move on man. it’s not their fault that they embarrassed almost every other MP in the UK for showing them for what they are and donating sod all?
      Where’s the “dignity, decency and modesty”, contributing “Nothing” to the least well off?

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        Kind gesture my foot, they were told to give the £7000 by Sturgeon, and now you and others are trying to capitalise on this non gesture, which in fact is a diktat from above. Robin you and the rest of your cronies will talk about trade with China, will talk about a second referendum, will talk about evil Tories, will talk about imaginary grievances. Will talk about anything except the abysmal performance record of the SNP in governing Scotland!

      • iantinkler

        Robin Stevenson, you could not be more wrong, as usual. i heard about this from Douglas Youngs inane SNP gloat in Shetland News backed up by your intemperate rant. What a surprise, your guess was way out.. now where is Salmons decency drawing and pocketing pensions worth over £100,000 on top of his MPs salary? and the SNPs voting Nicola a salary greater than Cameron’s, fortunately she declined, again with maximal publicity.

  38. iantinkler

    “I care not what puppet,is placed upon the Throne of England, Good to see a contemporary quote from Henry. At the time of the Napoleonic wars, very relevant for a dinosaur perhaps, not much relevance today..

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      It is as relevant today, as it was then Ian.

      Could I suggest you read this article, to broaden your perspective?

      Any President that Would Dare Oppose The Federal
      Reserve Gets Assassinated, in other words, Who’s really in control of our Governments?

      http://www.bushstole04.com/monetarysystem/fed_assassin.htm

      Reply
      • Graeme Restorick

        Conspiracy theories now?

  39. Henry Condy

    Ian it. is more relevant than ever, Remington who made the weapons for the war, found out War is good for business, been that way ever since, Ian what about oil revenues paying the debt of the last war, and since coming on stream, not a payment missed, or Thatcher, using the money to smash the miners union strike, and making her rich friends even richer. What about the queens subjects dying of cold and hunger in their thousands , whilst she is handed obscene amounts of multi millions, What about the cover up of paedophiles, Robin I sympathise with you, every comment by you belittled, there are none so blind.Read Tory Rags you get Tory points of view,Cameron is squeezing the Scottish government of funds, then blaming the SNP, I have never seen two more Sleekit men in my life than Cameron and Osbourne, and Mundell, one Tory Mp in Scotland and he is made the secretary of state, the mans a joke, well thats that rant of my chest, see you later gentlemen, be nice to each other, and only honest comments, ( That’ll cut comments by 85%. )

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Thank you Henry, I appreciate your sympathy 🙂 [I sometimes sympathize with myself tbf…lol]

      Fortunately, there are a few others that contribute and do their best to “correct or educate” the misinformation that Ian and his buddies love to espouse on a daily basis, their regurgitated nonsense spoon-fed to the public through their London based propaganda machine.

      So appreciation goes out particularly to James, Robert and others too, who all seem to have that [seemingly rare] gift of being able to read between the lines and dig deeper than a headline.

      Reply
      • Henry Condy

        Robin, I like to come here and read the comments, some you learn from, but I have to say I am shocked at the insults thrown by so called intelligent men, and the lies told to win a point, sad really but that’s what you learn from your elected Mps. One that springs to mind werecertain Mps that had no children, comments that were insulting and of no one else’s business, but the writer said ” lighten up its only a joke ” I thought it was very cruel

    • Gordon Harmer

      The whole of Britain is being squeezed not just Scotland because we are broke and Scotland is better off than any other part of Britain thanks to the Barnett Formula. Scotland can do more for it’s self by using powers it already has but the SNP refuse to and shrug off any accountability they should have by blaming Westminster.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        Sure sure Gordon, we’ve heard it all before time and time again,

        “We’re being kept by the good grace of our super duper neighbours who ask for nothing and give us everything, EVEN giving us brand new super duper powers to double our economy within a fortnight AND pay off ALL that money that we stupidly continue to borrow, because we’re not bright enough to realize we have to pay it back? ….Shucks!!…How lucky are we?

        i suggest we borrow even MORE and work EVEN harder, along with stopping ALL welfare for the Lazy, while putting council tax up by 1500%, just so we can pay off London’s HS2 of £43 Billion, as a surprise, in order to show our gratitude?

        Is that about it Gordon or did I miss anything out from the above delusion?

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin, you do not want the Scottish government to borrow or raise more taxes with the powers they have, yet you want Westminster to borrow more and raise taxes to give Scotland more money. Because that is just what they would have to do to end austerity and pay back the national debt which would be increased by what you advocate. The politics of grudge and grievance are alive and well I am sad to say, but hey no one expected any change.

      • Robin Stevenson

        I believe this is old ground Gordon, do you actually read what others say?

        The ONLY way the Scottish Government would borrow money is “Solely” for the purposes of investment, much in the same way as they’ve been trying to tell the numerically illiterate Osborne to do the same thing, and grow your way out of debt, much in the same way the UK managed to do after WW2, much in the same way that Roosevelt did to take America out of the Great depression.

        I never said anything about “Not” raising taxes Gordon?….. However, I’m talking about raising taxes for those that can best afford it, NOT the poorest in our society, restoring the 50p top rate on income tax, NOT increasing council tax.

        Let’s not forget who got us into this mess in the first place?…. And let’s try to remember that Scotland’s block grant has already been reduced to £26 Billion pa, while the UK Gov throw away £52 Billion pa on “Interest” alone of servicing this debt?

      • Gordon Harmer

        Old ground Robin, we have been here before apart from who got us in this mess, and the answer to that is Labour. A Labour government voted for by the Scottish people as well as those south of the border. A Labour government who the whole of the UK voted in three times, a Labour government who did some pretty silly things and when the proverbial hit the fan every one and his dog blamed Tony Blair and Co, yet the electorate of the UK and that includes the Scots put them in power.

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        What do you mean by ‘The ONLY way the Scottish Government would borrow money is “Solely” for the purposes of investment’

        Can you give us some examples of the investments the Scottish Government would/may make?

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        ‘Let’s not forget who got us into this mess in the first place?’

        Blair and Brown are both Scottish, I’m not sure what your point is here?
        Who are you blaming for the UK overspending?

      • Graeme Restorick

        Robin, re your rant about HS2, you do realise that under the Barnett formula, for any money spent in England, the equivalent of 10% has to be spent in Scotland? Which by the way, exceeds the proportion of the UK population that resides in Scotland, which is 8.3% of the population?

    • iantinkler

      Henry Condy, I have to laugh here . Not only did your quote never happen, it was a fiction, Rothschild never made such a quote. Do you, however, not find it a tad ironic that Scotland’s largest bank is actually now in public ownership and also that the senior financial adviser to that bank, the very man whom sent written congratulations to its CEO (Fred the shred) for a job well done was our own ex first Minister Wee Alex Salmond. That congratulations was for Fred the Shred acquiring and taking over Danish Bank and guess what, that takeover bankrupted the The Bank. Fortunately our English, Welsh and Irish friends were able to bale out the Royal Bank of Scotland, something an Independent Scotland could never have done. Now back to the dinosaurs perhaps, join robin justifying and quoting the idiotic..

      Reply
      • Henry Condy

        Ian, the collapse of the banking system started in the USA, pure greed, and it still goes on,I like the way you arrogantly put down anyone who disagrees with you, whilst avoiding the pertinent issues, eg Queens obscene tax cuts plus her multi million pound wage rises, three so far this year, £17,000,000. To soundproof her London abodes at taxpayers expense, Ian her subjects are DYING from the cold, because a distant cousin of hers took £50 from their Winter Fuel Allowance, ( Cameron a distant cousin who as PM should not be doing business with her for obvious reasons. ) I would appreciate an honest answer to the above questions, honestly does she need the money. I look forward to your reply, meantime use some of those links to the papers to kick up a dust storm About. Those monies to HM.that would be . a useful use of your time. Oh Ascot, Wimbledon, St Andrews Open, no queueing and All free, its tough at the top.

  40. Henry Condy

    Ian before you accuse someone of making up quotes,Google Nathan Meyer Rothschild, they are there for all to read, and please honesty is appreciated Thank You

    Reply
  41. iantinkler

    Henry Condy, With regard to your silly statements regarding US banks(greed), do not forget Scotland’s very own fat banker whom worked so very well for RBS, our very own wee Alex, now do you not see a tad of hypocrisy here with your intemperate little rant. as this man draws £100,000 pension from the taxpayer? Now for the sake of accuracy you should make some effort to be factually correct before parroting on about the honesty of others. Referancnce:Historical Error #11: A Bogus Quotation from Nathan Rothschild
    ” Nathan Rothschild, who controlled the Bank of England after 1820, notoriously declared:
    I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.[Web of Debt, p. 65.]
    http://www.garynorth.com/public/6917.cfm

    Reply
    • Henry Condy

      Ian, like so much rubbish written here, it’s debatable, as regards your friend Mr Salmond, he is only doing ( which I think wrong and which all MPs do,cheat the electorate , be it through expenses or whatever ) you will tell me if I am wrong, With expenses and salary, was Alistair our Mp not getting £240,000 a year ???. Anyway please once again, answer the questions you dodged. As regards the obscene tax cuts. HM gets and the multi multi million pay rises ( 3 this year ) the chunk of soundproofing Royal residences, (£17,000,000. ) paid for by the tax payer. whilst her subjects are DYING, of cold in winter, Thank you Ian.

      Reply
    • Henry Condy

      Ian on Gary North , he investigated Nathan Rothschild’s quotes, but as usual you only quoted the part that suited you, What you did not say was in America he was regarded as a rambling fruitcake, and wanted the present day world to live by Old Testament Laws, his curriculum to this was 250 dollars, so not so daft then,And once he had enough members , he would deny the enemies of God. The Taliban was the closet cult to this, so Ian, full Quotations or none at all please. Thank Yoy Did you find out if Alistair Carmichael’s salary with expenses was a quarter of a million, per annum, Why do they put a W in front of Robins name and SS in front of the SNP, please clarify , Thank You

      Reply
      • Ali Inkster

        By “they” I presume you mean me. “Wrobin” is a cheeky abbreviation of “Wrong again Robin” he/she/they is/are so often wrong I use it to save time with my replies, if you look through my replies you will find there is one occasion since I started using it that I did not do so on purpose because I actually agreed with something written by whoever was posting under the name at that time. I leave you to figure out the SSnp bit.

  42. iantinkler

    “Anyway please once again, answer the questions you dodged. As regards the obscene tax cuts. HM gets and the multi multi million pay rises ( 3 this year ) the chunk of soundproofing Royal residences, (£17,000,000. ) paid for by the tax payer. whilst her subjects are DYING, of cold in winter,” Quite what the relevance here is Henry Condy and why do you ask me to answer such a question? It is a little beyond me what you are trying to ask. What is the relevance to Nathan Rothschild? and for that matter Scottish Nationalism? I will give you my most honest and full answer when I understand fully what you are prattling on about. In the meantime I will just say, maybe, perhaps and so what!

    Reply
  43. Henry Condy

    Ian just to make it really simple for you, ” Do you agree with the obscene amounts of money the Queen is getting Along with huge tax cuts ” whilst the rest of the country suffers ,and workers are awarded a half of one per cent wage increase. It’s not so hard .

    Reply
  44. David Spence

    Well Henry, it really is quite simple ‘ The vile Tories support the Royal Family, Rich and Well Off ‘ whilst everybody else has to pay to keep a) The Royal Family in their highly privileged and lavish life style, so as they can remind everybody else they are the exception to the rule, and are there to keep us in line with the social standing of what we are in respect too them. This being subjects to their every needs and whims to continue to appraise them, support them and look upto them as examples of what a human being should be. b) Continue with the same theme as the Royals, but reflect this in terms of economics and social standing, where we, the people, are treated as assets and commercial interests to those who wish to exploit us for their own means, and to remain in complete control and power, and lastly c) The political establishment (namely the vile Tories) who represent both mentioned social standings, and make sure by passing Laws, Regulations and any other form of control they see fit in which to make sure we know our place and standing within a) and b).

    Apart from this, everything is hunkydoray. lol

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      David with your politics of jealousy you could start another green party. I can see it now Prime Minister David Spence of the Green With Envy Party gives a lecture on the vile Tories.

      Reply
      • David Spence

        Don’t tempt me, Gordon. lol

  45. Iantinkler

    Henry Condy, Simple answer No, I do not support the Monarchy, I never have done so. I do however find them (the Royal family) infinitely preferable to Nationalist and Socialist regimes. The monarchy have executed no one recently. Last century Nationalism and Socialism resulted in the deaths of tens of millions, one only has to see the hatred and division Scottish Nationalism has stirred up to see the true worth of nationalism..

    Reply
  46. Henry Condy

    Ian didn’t ask if you were a monarchist, merely asked if you agreed on the shedloads of money the Queen gets, whilst her subject starve, or freeze , but your answers are clear enough, to indicate your opinion, as usual the relevant points are not discussed, you should have been a politician, David Spence you have hit the nail on the head.

    Reply
  47. Henry Condy

    I am not to sure of this Barnett Formula, being a simple guy, but surely because of Scotland’s Geography The Western Isles, The Northern Isles, The Highlands, then The central lowlands and the borders, it costs Scotland more to service these outlying areas, than England, so obviously it has to be higher.

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      Henry Condy, why don’t you write to Nicola Sturgeon and remind her that it costs (considerably) more to live in the northern and western isles than it does on the Mainland, especially, in the central belt?

      No point telling us that, people have been flyting about that on here for the last couple of years.

      Reply
      • Henry Condy

        Dear John ,as you probably realise, this politic stuff is new to me, so tell me if I am wrong, Nicola does not set the Barnett Formula, its Westminster is it not , so no point writing to Nicola then thank you, I only write comments when I see the underdog , being bullied, and 12 billion cuts to the welfare system is bullying to the max to the weakest members of society, while the rich get richer, I can see in the future the break up of the Union caused by Cameron and Osbourne , who will emigrate to America.can you tell me what SS in front of SNP stands for please, thank you John

      • John Tulloch

        Henry Condy, if you don’t know that Nicola Sturgeon – the highest paid politician in the UK, by all accounts – is ultimately responsible for the funding received by the SIC from Holyrood, then there seems little point in engaging with you any further.

        Try reading some of my past letters, they’ll give you “chapter and verse”.

        Thanks for your input, though. Do come back once you’ve researched the subject a bit more.

      • Gordon Harmer

        The Barnett formula is a mechanism used by the “Treasury” in the United Kingdom to automatically adjust the amounts of public expenditure allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Barnett formula is said to have “no legal standing or democratic justification” and, being merely a convention, could be changed at will by the Treasury. In recent years, Barnett himself has called it a “terrible mistake” In 2009, the House of Lords Select Committee on the Barnett Formula concluded that “the Barnett Formula should no longer be used to determine annual increases in the block grant for the United Kingdom’s devolved administrations. A new system which allocates resources to the devolved administrations based on an explicit assessment of their relative needs should be introduced. Boy would that not cause some consternation among the nationalists if they only got what their relative needs were worked out to be, they would be claiming UDI in a fraction of a second. Compared to the rest of the UK we are doing OK under the Barnett Formula so no need to rock the boat. Unless of course by getting rid of the Barnett Formula the nats would have another political axe to grind in their bit for separation. Oh and the SS stands for short sighted.

  48. iantinkler

    Henry Condy, what part of the word “NO” is too hard for you to understand? With regard to starvation and freezing to death, that has more to do lifestyle choice than royalty, unless you are in a Scottish NHS hospital then neglect becomes a problem!!

    Reply
  49. iantinkler

    A few statistics for you James Watt, clearly austerity has had no effect whatsoever on mortality as that has dropped slightly since the conservative austerity measures!!. Fuel poverty may well soon have a serious effect if the subsidies on wind farms continue. I mention life style, alcoholism is the single most relevant here, I would believe that fact to be self evident. (references : http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/deaths/hypothermia-deaths/tables)

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      The high cost of electricity due to renewable energy subsidies paid via consumers’ bills leads to increased fuel poverty which brings with it the desperate dilemma “heat or eat”.

      In the absence of “heat banks” people spend their money on “heat” and “eat” at food banks so demand for and use of food banks increases as a result of increasing renewable energy.

      Reply
      • Henry Condy

        John I asked you a question about the Barnett Formula, not Nicola or the SIC ,I read a fuller account from Gordon , ( Thank you Gordon , ,a true gent ) indicating this came from the treasury Westminster, and was worked out for the four countries. I have read your comments in the past many of them enlightening, educational, but sadly , your comments to me were patronising and condescending, thank you John

      • John Tulloch

        Henry, I wasn’t aware you had “asked me a question about the Barnett Formula”?However, you did ask me “what doe the SS in SSNP stands for?” I don’t believe I’ve ever used that expression so your guess is as good as mine?

        However, since you’re pushing me, may I suggest “Slantygirt Slugs”? ? Mind an pit dee pellets oot every nicht, dat fairly keeps dem awa!

      • Henry Condy

        Superbly Scottish, I think

  50. Henry Condy

    Ian, that is callous, are you saying pensioners , the sick , the poor choose to live that way, meaning they spend what little money they get from Osbourne on cheap booze, cheap food, rather than look after themselves properly. The thing is all these people pay taxes which are funnelled through Osbourne to HM who lives in opulence. During Ascot week there was one punter there who bet £100,000 on a horse, thats how the wealthy live, Really shocked Ian that anyone would even think that. Alcohol has always been mans problem , always, and stop saying austerity, say poverty that’s what it is, I have read your statistics, which can be moulded to fit any situation, so I will pass on those wee gems must go and put some slug pellets round my borders

    Reply
  51. iantinkler

    Henry Condy, a few very simple facts for you to consider. Starvation in Scotland is very, very rare. The only deaths I have ever heard of were to neglect within the Scottish devolved NHS, under the care of Nicola and the SNP . A far greater killer is in fact obesity due to over eating, a lifestiye choice called greed, that kills tens thousands and costs many, many of millions. Austerity may well help here!! If you have the ability to look at at the statistics above you will see the number of those being killed by hypothermia in Scotland is actually dropping since wicked austerity measures were introduced five years back. Perhaps you should try a little less hatred of all those who you appear to have an illogical dislike for and try to look at a few actual facts. That big chip on your shoulder seems to be blinding your logic. We actually live longer under austerity, our biggest killers are over eating, alcohol and tobacco, all are lifestyle choices, only the very stupid do not see that. (references : http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/deaths/hypothermia-deaths/tables)

    Reply
    • Henry Condy

      Ian You are unbelievable, a statistic for everything, poverty is good for you, although some will die , but Hey Ho, ( collateral damage ) I suggest you go to ” The Green Benches ” a website by Dr Eoin Clark PhD ,it tells you the truth, not made up quotes or links, about the Tory Party since 2010, Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith, which. damaged this country more than Labour ever did , off to fill my birdfeeders its a fine day.

      Reply
  52. Gordon Harmer

    I WISH, I WISH.
    The ‘Neverendum’, the call by many nationalist to seek a second referendum (and perhaps many more ultimately destabilizing Scotland) has so far not really progressed. Whilst Salmond seeks to stir this sleeping hornets nest at every possible opportunity it appears that the leader herself is less and less inclined to seek one too soon. She prefers to visit other continents in her ceaseless quest for celebrity status worldwide. However at home her sidekick, ex best friend or otherwise just keeps going on and on about it. From where we stand it feels like Salmond is playing to the more radical side of the Nationalist party whilst Sturgeon is trying to keep some kind of balance. I do not mean to praise her, it is more like sitting on the fence than any carefully thought out strategy. But there are whispers and mutterings that many within the SNP are unhappy about the lack of progress towards separation and perhaps before too long we will see the formation of a second Nationalist party. Perhaps they will call themselves ‘The Real SNP’ and from a small group more and more will leave one to join the other. This will indeed be good news for us Unionist who can think of nothing better than a split in the Nationalist vote leading to a weaker and weaker case for separation. Let the in -fighting begin!

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      Maybe, just Maybe.
      SNP leaders are refusing to give activists the chance to debate calls for a second referendum on independence at their conference in October, risking big splits within the party.
      Resolutions have been tabled calling for a second independence poll but it is understood that party leaders have refused to accept any of them in the draft agenda for the conference, which has been sent out to members.
      Senior SNP sources stressed last night that the draft agenda could be changed before the final package is put together. However, if they go through with their decision to refuse any motions on a fresh referendum it is likely to cause divisions within the party.

      Reply
  53. David Spence

    John, if renewable energy, as it is in this country, is based on profit, greed and short term vision, then it is more than likely to fail.

    The vile Tories have stopped the subsidies to renewable energy because, as a guess, their arms are upto their elbows in oil and gas to please their shareholding business partners and to make sure they keep a grip of the market by forcing power stations etc etc to still use fossil fuels………..as I am sure you have guessed, John? lol

    Reply
    • JohnTulloch

      David,

      The only type of energy which has ever been forced on anyone – other than by the principles of economics is renewable energy.

      Fossil fuel energy is the cheapest energy available and if your so-called “vile Tories” are removing the (renewable) “obligation”, defending the fuel poor, then as far as I am concerned, they are simply demonstrating that, unlike the SNP and others, they hae “a corn a wit”.

      Reply
  54. David Spence

    Gordon, I am intrigued as to what you think in regards to the USA, and their obsession with nationalistic ideals and self importance verging on the ridiculous. Forcing a population, from their 1st day at school, to sing the national anthem every single day of their academic life. Once one has left this part of their lives, to be indoctrinated into singing the national anthem at every possible moment and public event.

    When it comes to a country spoon feeding the population into obeying what their Government wants them to believe in, and to gain public support for whatever actions, foreign or otherwise. A Government which morally justifies acts of war and conflict, in other countries of course, as a source of exploitation, and financial and commercial gain. Encourage the act of selfishness and the basic bedrock principles of any society is based on greed, wealth and profit………at any cost. This the moral judgement of a country where the negative aspects of human behaviour are encouraged (lying, cheating, deceiving, dishonesty, bribery………all traits of business in essence) and supported, endorsed as positive attributes in gaining what you want regardless to the consequences, short or long term. A country which is totally obsessed with violence, military might and power………..the exact same psychological traits in the military as they are in running a business.

    The yanks always hark on ‘ God bless America ‘. The only problem with that statement, is religion and capitalism are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of behaviour and psychological consequences. I do not think God would in any way bless the USA, in light of the fact ‘ money is a greater god than god himself ‘.

    This is the regime the vile Tories would love the UK to be under.

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      David, not wishing to be ignorant and dismiss what you say about the USA, I live in Scotland where we are under threat from nationalism which will turn our country into something far worse than what is happening in the USA. Personally I do not have a view on USA politics because it does not directly affect me but having said that your comment on putting money before God does make me think about our situation and if you could, I would like to hear your views on this. Sturgeon has just been to China to forge trade links with this country; trade being a big part of a capitalist society. How do you feel about Sturgeon forging capitalist links with a country with one of the worst human rights records in the civilised world.

      Reply
      • James Watt

        “Sturgeon has just been to China to forge trade links with this country; trade being a big part of a capitalist society. How do you feel about Sturgeon forging capitalist links with a country with one of the worst human rights records in the civilised world.”

        Personally I wish Sturgeon had taken a tougher stance on China’s human rights record, she should have followed David Cameron’s example.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-accused-of-ceding-ground-on-human-rights-to-boost-trade-with-china-8973835.html

        “David Cameron is preparing to water down Britain’s “ethical” foreign policy towards China as a necessary price to pay for increasing trade with the world’s second-largest economy.”

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-33673100

        “Naomi McAuliffe, Amnesty International’s programme director in Scotland, said: “The first minister has made a significant statement of support for equality and human rights in Beijing, and we trust that she will continue a dialogue on these issues throughout her time in China.”

      • David Spence

        ‘Personally I do not have a view on USA politics because it does not directly affect me ‘

        Gordon, if the vile Tories get their way in how the economy of the UK is run, then it will be ‘ Goodbye UK, Hello Little USA.’

        So, in short, it will most definitely will affect you, and everybody else in the UK. lol

      • Gordon Harmer

        David forget the conspiracy theory and the Tories, I asked you a question and as I had the decency to answer yours, how about an answer from you.

      • David Spence

        Hello Gordon, I did reply too your question, but the ST have not presented it on this site. I apologize if I gave the impression I was ignoring you. It was not my intention. I hope the ST, put this answer on?

        As a reaction Gordon, I would say ‘ No ‘ I do not think it is prudent for Nicola Sturgeon attempting to get trade deals for Scotland.

        However, to contradict this slightly, there are many other countries we have trade links with, and we know of their appalling treatment of their citizens and we still trade with these countries economically as well as politically.

        A good example of this is Saudi Arabia, and its appalling treatment of its citizens (where something like 60% are living in poverty) but moreso, the way in which women are treated and socially oppressed by a very dominant ‘ male regime ‘ through religion or direct oppression.

        In an increasingly smaller world, and the age of technology (in terms of financial/commercial progress) Capitalism, regretfully, is the number one priority in most developed countries (whilst at the same time, the developed countries will use and exploit poorer countries (especially the USA, and its strangle hold on the World Trade Organisation) and to prevent those countries becoming economically stronger.

  55. iantinkler

    Perhaps, Henry Condy, the very fact you regard “” The Green Benches ” a website by Dr Eoin Clark PhD , with high regard speaks volumes about you. Sorry to have to inform you but that is about the most discredited source of information you could ever quote. No wonder you find people ” patronizing and condescending”, perhaps really that should be no surprise, sorry about that.

    Reply
    • Henry Condy

      Dear Ian, when I read your comments I burst out laughing, when I put that letter in, I had visions of you over your laptop, finding the good doctor , for you to have a sarcastic rebuff, it worked I am still laughing, thank you Ian, I see Johns a horticulturist to, well done Sir, any hints I am always willing to learn, from a good mentor. Have a nice day Ian Lol

      Reply
  56. Henry Condy

    Gentlemen , at this point, I would ask you to spare a thought for Cilla Blacks family, who are no doubt grieving the loss of their Mum, you know when I hear a song it takes me back to my youth, At the time of ” Anyone who had a heart ” I was a young man courting Violet Davies,. It was a beautiful day, we were walking hand in hand through a forest, the sun shining through the canopy, we were hand in hand and she said , ” Will you carve our initials in a heart, on the bark of a tree. I looked at her and said , ” If you think I am putting HC loves VD, on a tree think again lady, I was apprehended by the police, who asked ” Do you have a criminal record ” I said ” Yes. Alfie by Villa Black ” Nevertheless. RIP Villa God Bless.

    Reply
  57. Henry Condy

    Gentlemen , at this point, I would ask you to spare a thought for Cilla Blacks family, who are no doubt grieving the loss of their Mum, you know when I hear a song it takes me back to my youth, At the time of ” Anyone who had a heart ” I was a young man courting Violet Davies,. It was a beautiful day, we were walking hand in hand through a forest, the sun shining through the canopy, we were hand in hand and she said , ” Will you carve our initials in a heart, on the bark of a tree. I looked at her and said , ” If you think I am putting HC loves VD, on a tree think again lady, I was apprehended by the police, who asked ” Do you have a criminal record ” I said ” Yes. Alfie by Villa Black ” Nevertheless. RIP Cilla God Bless.

    Reply
  58. James Simison

    you wouldn’t think all this started with a comment about fishing. Why do all these post get hijacked by the same people having the same argument all the time?

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      James Simison, I think the clue is in the title “Blinkered nationalism ” . the letter goes just a tad deeper than fishing. Perhaps if you actually read the original comments , you might understand. Try Andy Holt’s comment “I had thought we had plumbed the depths of the nationalists’ political control freakery with their Named Persons legislation, granting themselves power over every child in Scotland and relegating every parent to inferior status in relation to the state.” Not much to do with fishing there, something a little more important !!

      Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      We learn it from politicians James; ask a politician a question and they will go off on a totally unrelated tangent without ever answering your question. Not only that but we have a thing called free speech in this country unless of course you are an SNP MP or MSP where you toe the party line instead of having the freedom to speak ones mind.

      Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      Because the SSnp mouthpiece assigned to troll these pages will change the subject to anything but fishing.

      Reply
  59. John Tulloch

    Here is the divisiveness of nationalism on display for all to see – they imagine reafers are insufficiently intelligent to see through their methods. Here is a comment by me on a Shetland media Facebook page and the response it received from the mysterious SNP supporter Robin Stevenson who haunts the Shetland media forums, day and night:

    “John Tulloch: If you actually read M Simpson’s post, I don’t think he was advocating Scotland should leave the EU, he just wants Shetland out of it and self-governing? Pretty astute, if you ask me.
    Like · 2 hrs

    “Robin Stevenson: Well there’s a surprise John. You know as well as I do that Shetland is made up of various people from various parts, I believe it’s around 50% of people on Shetland are not from Shetland?…. I just wonder what percentage of those and indigenous residents, are keen on Shetland becoming independent from Scotland – or indeed the UK…”

    See how they sow the seeds of their odious campaign.

    Reply
    • ROBERT SIM

      John, Robin’s comment appears to me to be a perfectly reasonable one – unless you believe that the future of Shetland should only be decided by Shetlanders who can prove a bloodline going back a thousand years? Perhaps you do. Those who actually live and vote here are indeed a mixed group from many different places. Ironically, in the light of your anti-SNP line, about the only consistency in folk’s views one can discern is that the the Shetland voter is now hugely behind the SNP.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        Robert Sim,

        Where Shetland voters come from or how they speak or how they vote is of no consequence. They all suffer as a result of Shetland’s lack of local powers.

        When we speak about “Wir Shetland”, its “wis” we’re talking about. There is no “they”.

        Over the centuries vast numbers of people have arrived in Shetland “fae every airt”, most recently, due to the oil industry and before that, the two great wars and the fishing.

        To attempt to drive a wedge between those who arrived in the recent, oil-fuelled influx and those who were in Shetland, already, is a disgraceful tactic and I deplore it, utterly.

      • iantinkler

        Robert Sim, you state “about the only consistency in folk’s views one can discern is that the the Shetland voter is now hugely behind the SNP.” now however can you state that, Danus, manifestly failed to gain a majority, even with the anti SNP vote split several ways. SNP/(Nationalist 33% ) 8500 votes. Liberal/labour/Conservative/UKIP/ (Union) 14000 approx votes, hardly Shetland voters massively behind the SNP!! hardly a massive change from the indie vote, especially considering the Nicola honeymoon idiocy and unpopularity of austerity/liberals/tories etc.

      • John Tulloch

        I notice a sudden flurry of activity here since my post this morning, can’t think why? 🙂

        The SNP may rest assured I shall call out all future attempts to sow division where none exists.

      • Robert Sim

        I may have jumped the gun a bit with you this morning, John. I acknowledge that you see all Shetland residents as the same whatever their origins. That however is a minor point. The really important point is that there is no support (as far as I can see) locally for a self-governing Shetland; whereas there is now considerable support for the SNP. Ian’s attempt to spin the figures ignores the fact that there was a 27% swing to the SNP. That speaks for itself.

      • John Tulloch

        @Robert SIm,

        You write: ” I acknowledge that you see all Shetland residents as the same whatever their origins. That however is a minor point.”

        I beg to differ. It is absolutely central to any discussion about what Shetland’s interests are and how we might advance them.

        As to the popularity, or otherwise, of my views, you may speculate as you wish. I am content to await the results of the Holyrood election, next May.

      • ROBERT SIM

        @John Tulloch – I am not speculating, John: the evidence of the huge swing to the SNP in the General Election in Shetland and Orkney is there for all to see. It would be speculative to assert that the Holyrood election will see that trend in any way reversed.

      • John Tulloch

        @Robert Sim, , Didn’t somebody once say, “A week is a long time in politics”. Revel you away in your past glories, William Wallace won the Battle of Stirling Bridge and was subsequently routed, at Falkirk. Why? Because it was a different day, on a different field, with different tactics deployed, by a different English commander.

      • Ali Inkster

        Robert as has been stated on here before but needs to be stated again for those that failed to comprehend it the first time. Roughly the same folk that voted yes in the referendum voted SSnp in the election. For those that were surprised by the result ie a few thousand Tory, labour and UKIP voters, they are now thinking vote Tavish to keep whatever the SSnp decide to try foist on Shetland out.

      • ROBERT SIM

        John, you can leave me to revel in my past glories and I’ll leave you to take refuge in your wishful thinking.

        And, Ali, can I please borrow your mind-reading equipment?

      • John Tulloch

        I’m not predicting anything, Robert, you’re the one doing that.

        I said I was content to await the outcome of the Holyrood election, next May. In your “Back to the Future” world you may be able to predict the future but to the rest of us, all such activity is pure speculation.

        What I can predict however are my own actions and as I said already, I shall certainly call out all future attempts by the SNP to sow division between Shetland residents on the basis of whether they were born or not born in Shetland,mas I have done on this occasion.

      • ROBERT SIM

        That’s great, John. Of course, your whole approach here is based on a misapprehension, to put it charitably. The SNP aren’t saying anything in this case. You are reacting to a comment made by a private individual. No-one officially representing the SNP has said anything about Shetland residents’ origins and I can’t imagine ever would. I imagine you are above attempting to start scare stories?

      • John Tulloch

        Sorry, Robert Sim, the SNP has “got form”. Remember the vicious campaign against the late Charles Kennedy, conducted by an underground internet troll who turned out to be Brian Smith, an SNP organiser in Skye and personal friend of Mr Kennedy’s SNP opponent?

        At best, some of their footsoldiers are out of control.

      • ROBERT SIM

        John, there are folk conducting odious campaigns of abuse in all political parts of the cyberworld. But I don’t see how you get from that to Robin’s fairly innocuous comment. In any case, the more there are attempts to demonise the SNP, the more likely they are to gain votes.

  60. Henry Condy

    I watched a documentary last night about Prince Philips mother. Lady was totally deaf, so bunged into a mental asylum,. Philip never saw her for years, then when they did get together ,he was eight, they took him a picnic and bunged his Mum back into the asylum, without medical advice, this was her family,war came she was released, helped nurse wounded troops, she sheltered Jews, she ran soup kitchens , sold her jewellery for food for the poor, when the queen was crowned ,she was now a nun, and wore a habit, she’d walk the corridors of Buckingham palace , smoking Woodbines, she eventually opened a convent for the poor, she had no Royal Clothes, no Fancy Tiaras, being deaf she could lip read in three languages, a courageous woman. If only the present day Royalty had one per cent of her charisma, then they would be appreciated. Ma am I never thought I would say it, I salute your bravery in the face of all adversity, God Bless You, you were never an embarrassment believe me.

    Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      An you accuse John of going of topic. 😉

      Reply
  61. Henry Condy

    The Queen Mum who was president of Mencap had two nieces, with learning difficulties Katharine and Narrissa, They were bunged in an asylum, only got nice clothes to wear when they got visitors, which was never, their deaths were reported in the papers in 1940 and 1961 , Forty years before they actually died , What sad lives these girls must have led, their cousin was Queen Elizabeth, their Aunt the president of Mencap. And never a visit from a member of their royal Lineage . How heartless can people be. They spent their whole lives in a mental institution because they had learning disabilities. An embarrassment to the Royal Family.

    Reply
  62. Henry Condy

    I didn’t know this was a politics only forum, and monarchy is mentioned many times by various scribes, merely pointing out the difference between two sets of monarchy, the present lot, greedy ,grasping, selfish, ignorant ,arrogant , ( Harry in a Nazi uniform ) uncaring, not a humanitarian bone in their body, ( Must maintain the firm at all costs ) and Prince Philips mother, a very bright light of hope and courage, in a very dark era ,and a shining example of humanity till the day she died. Her Royal relations complained, that money and jewellery she was given from them , she sold to feed the poor, ( What a damn cheek , giving to the poor ) can’t see the present lot doing that, once again God Bless you Ma’am .

    Reply
  63. Henry Condy

    John any tips on Sweet Peas, mines are abysmal, do you think it just may be the poor summer.

    Reply
  64. ian tinkler

    Robert Sim, please get real, any prophesy about the May election, by its very nature, has to be speculative.
    You must be aware , however much you spin it, the 26% swing in Shetland and Orkney would if repeated, never be enough for strait win in an Independence referendum. Now with regard to Tavish Scott, I would not mourn his passing into obscurity , to be honest, very few would even notice it. I would however want his replacement to have enough balls to stand against VE and the fabled interconector, no SNP MSP lemming would have the guts, independence from the dictates of central control nor mettle for that. The two perspective SNP candidates are just a couple of party of lackeys, hell bent on the destruction of the UK, whatever he consequences. Could you see either of the two stooges standing up to fight VE or standing on principle against “The Green” destruction of Shetland, an issue I know you have had strong views on. Have those views now died for the Valhalla of Independence and division?

    Reply
  65. Henry Condy

    as regards human rights , over the centuries , look at the way Britain treated its empire, hardly anything to be chuffed about, go to any Arms sale , in France wherever, there it is , UK to the fore , selling weapons of death, If I remember rightly it was an Exocet missile ,sold by the French to Argentina in 1982, that sunk a British ship, ( the Falklands, if you asked the population of Britain where they were, 95% of the people couldn’t tell you, a political exercise by Thatcher , ) with friends like that who needs enemies, what did the French think the Argentineans, were going to do with these missiles, and every year in July and August they go on strike, the present one costing us a million quid a day, what does Cameron do , Nada, he wishes they were pensioners, he’d sort them out then, and America Financially controls the world, China , one and a quarter billion people, what a market , get in there,Cameron tried to stop the British,going to the Hague. If that’s not an encroachment on British human rights, tell me what is. Peace Brothers

    Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      A peerie bit o research reveals the names of the regiments and the people involved in the worst crimes of the “British” empire, I would suggest you do a bit of that yourself Henry before you get all sanctimonious about innocent wee scotland. Also the behaviour of the scoti up here leaves a lot to be desired, people in glass houses comes to mind.

      Reply
      • Henry Condy

        G’Morning Ali,, Ali I am confused, not once did I mention Scotland, in my post, I do not understand what you mean by Scots up here, etc, Glass Houses ???, and as for atrocities, all atrocities were committed in the name of the dictator, despot, or monarch of the time , a poor excuse, I know ( thinking of the Nazis ” I was only obeying orders ” ) I don’ t mind talking about things but please, dont put words in my mouth. Why do you not mention trade with China, biggest market in the world, or our French buddies, selling Exocets to the Argies, I think there were 357 British soldiers killed, for a political exercise for Thatcher, in my view , with all the deaths , not worth it, Peace Brother.

      • Ali Inkster

        I’m not surprised that you’re confused Henry trying to decipher your rambling posts has me scratching my head. 🙂

      • Henry Condy

        Ali, just not your day is it, I will type this slowly,as you’re not a fast reader,, in my post , not once did I mention Scotland, you said I Did, you went on about innocent Wee Scotland ,which I never mentioned. And what about the behaviour of the Scots up here ??? ( Up Where ) and glass houses, Ali you have lost me, if you comment on what is written, that’s fine , then we can talk, but to shoot of at an 80% Tangent, commenting on something I didn’t say, I am sure you’ll agree with me , thats really silly, have a nice cup of Horlicks and watch Songs of Praise. Peace Brother

      • Ali Inkster

        Henry it was you that has been rambling on about various unconnected subjects, I was sticking to the subject of blinkered nationalists, who knows what subject you were sticking to. If as you admit you have no clue as to Shetlands history with Scotland then I suggest you find out. Start by asking some locals.

      • Henry Condy

        Ali , finally at no point in any posts did I ever mention Shetlands History, or my knowledge or lack of it , as you said, It never happened, Peace Brother.

      • Henry Condy

        Ali , finally at no point in any posts did I ever mention Shetlands History, or my knowledge or lack of it , as you said . It never happened, in my posts, I never mentioned Scotland, you brought in the Scots into the debate, by mentioning regiments committing atrocities, this was an underhand way of saying Scottish Regiments committed atrocities, Ali throughout history atrocities have been carried out in the name of their leader, or in Britain’s case all done in the name of the monarch of the time. At no point was Scotland mentioned, what do you mean by ” The Scoti up here ????? “. You finally mention ” Blinkered Nationalism ” never mentioned by me in any post, Only you, Ali I am beginning to think you guys are ultra obsessed with the SNP, I am not, I would like to see a fair society, where the poor , the sick are looked after, Osbourne says the UK has the fastest growing economy in Europe, it is certainly not helping the poor or sick, when he is taking £12 billion pounds of them, surely you must agree on that, It is wrong, Peace my friend

    • Henry Condy

      Ali, please , I am sorry ,my initial post was about Britain’s human rights through the centuries, I never spoke of Scotland you did,, I was talking of trade , Britain will trade with any country, as regards weapons, There is no sentiment in business, then you bring in the subject of blinkered nationalists, not once mentioned by me, you quoted Regiments that committed atrocities, ( I assume Scottish ). I told you all atrocities were commited in the name of their ruler, at the time as we ( The UK ) sell weapons to all and sundry, so did our Allies , the French in 1982, sold Exocets to the Argies, these weapens sank British ships and killed many British soldiers. Some Allies, Nicola, fair do’es in my book, trading with chinese, nothing wrong with That, it’s business, you still with me Ali! These, are clear points, not ramblings, perfectly salient points, if you would drop this maniacal obsession about the SNP, read posts, properly, then we could have a good gab. Peace Brother

      Reply
  66. ian tinkler

    “In any case, the more there are attempts to demonise the SNP, the more likely they are to gain votes.”, Robert Sim, if you believe that the sect of The Cult of adoration all things SNP has truly got you. Rational argument is truly a waste of time. Amen.

    Reply
    • ROBERT SIM

      I think you misunderstand me, Ian. My comment was not a reflection of my own political views. I meant that nonsensical scare stories about the SNP in Shetland or indeed nationally will simply make folk sympathise with the party. Negative campaigning like that usually backfires because it implies that the person doing the attacking has no credible alternative of their own to offer.

      Reply
  67. David Spence

    As said previously, if you want an example of where the population of a country are totally besotted by their own patriotic praise and that this country perceives itself to be superior to all other countries based on their own nationalized, xenophobic and rather arrogant attitude, then you only have to look across da loch to see such an example.

    A country which now boasts to be the largest arms dealer in the world, a country which has been implicated in more wars and conflict than any other country in the past 100 years, a country which has used Weapons of Mass Destruction (nuclear, biological and chemical) with impunity and complete disregard to the long term consequences, a country which has been at war or conflict with many, many other countries, but not on its own soil…………the list of hypocrisy and double-standards in its political and economic principles…….then, as said, just look across da loch.

    This country is worshipped, adored, made out to be the best example and totally devolved of any wrong doing by this vile Tory Party, and it is this the vile Tories would like this country to be.

    Reply
  68. Henry Condy

    Gentlemen ,Osbourne is taking 12 billion from the poor. ( 12, 000,000,000. ) or twelve thousand millions, although he brags we have the fastest growing economy in all of Europe, Parliament is falling down, and I mean falling down, how much to repair , refurbish, the mother of Parliaments, yup you got it 12 Billion Quid. Just thought I would say, roll out the stats guys. lol.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Henry

      Depending which paper people read, we’ve had quotes of £3Bn, £5Bn, £7Bn and £12Bn, in other words, they don’t have a clue? One things for sure, that whatever figure they come up with you can probably double it, much in the same way that HS2 started at a cost of £25.7Bn and now stands at £48.2Bn, of course Scotland will be expected to pay “Our share” of projects that don’t have ANY economic benefits at all for Scotland.

      Reply
  69. John Tulloch

    “Blinkered nationalism” warns the headline above Mr Holt’s letter.

    Never have “blinkers” been more tightly-focused on the next election than in the case of the SNP Scottish Government’s ban – against the advice of their own expert panel – on unconventional gas exploration in Scotland.

    The SNP like to blame the Tories for fuel poverty but, ironically, it is the Tories who are doing something to help the fuel poor – “fast-tracking” planning applications for shale gas exploration, a surefire way of producing cheaper energy.

    Meanwhile, the Scottish Government, with its unconventional gas ban, is not only depriving Scottish consumers of a readily available supply of cheap gas, it is costing the Scottish economy a great deal of money in unnecessary imports and denying Scottish citizens a large number of very well-paid jobs.

    Mind you, I don’t expect the ban will last long – not once the Holyrood election has been held!

    http://www.thegwpf.com/green-madness-freeze-on-fracking-could-cost-scots-hundreds-of-millions/

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      John

      This “London based” think tank [that you’ve linked] tells us we should frack Scotland to death for all that lovely lolly.
      Just out of interest, what happened to ALL that lovely lolly that Scotland extracted over the last 40 years? Did Scotland see much of that?

      Can you see the pattern here John, or are you STILL blinkered to the Tory cry of “Give us all you’ve got”?

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        Does that mean the SNP’s ban on unconventional gas exploitation will continue until Scotland gets “Full Fiscal Autonomy”?

      • Robin Stevenson

        What would you recommend John? Frack now and give it all away [again] OR, frack now and whatever profit Scotland manages to claw back will be deducted off our block grant anyway? OR, don’t bother fracking until Scotland is fully independent [or at least has FFA]?…I know what I’d choose. 🙂

  70. John Tulloch

    The “Islands Bill” will be irrelevant to Shetland because it will, simply, reinforce the damaging status quo.

    Given the fact that Shetland’s interests – the need to control fishing and offshore developments – run counter to those of Scotland, the “Islands Bill” may convey a few meaningless trinkets caveated with “with independence and it will be, effectively, worthless.

    The “consultation”, like the “national discussion” on “fracking” is a charade, intended to delay the bad news as long as possible and in any case, until after the Holyrood election.

    Reply
  71. iantinkler

    This “London based” think tank [that you’ve linked] tells us we should frack Scotland to death for all that lovely lolly. Robin get a grip for once. England has more raw energy in its own shale gas reserves than the North Sea has and ever had oil and gas reserves. It is only Scotland that will loose out becoming more and more dependent on English Nuclear, shale and French nuclear generation for affordable energy. Dirty Longannet using coal is soon to close, just what choice will Scotland have when the wind is not blowing. Happy point, imported electricity from South will be a third the cost of Scotland’s Green, good for reducing fuel poverty on still days, otherwise heaven help us paying through the nose on windy days..

    Reply
  72. Henry Condy

    Well I said it then , and lo it has come to pass, in the referendum Alistair Darling , paid one point three million for his services, for the NO campaign , Gordon Brown paid three hundred thousand for his support, I said Darling would be in the House of Lords soon, and Lo so he is , at £300 per day, Brown not even a sniff, if I were Brown I would reveal every dirty secret by the tories and the gang of three and bring them down, Brown was bought cheaply, I dont think he will say a word, in case they, take the cash of him, these guys are the equivellant of the nobles of Wallaces time , betray your country for English Gold, just like to say hello to Ali. Gordon, John and Ian, Peace Brothers , Keep The Faith

    Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      English gold, Scoti gold maks nae odds we hae mare dan enof black gold ta be better aff clear o da lot o dem.

      Reply
      • Henry condy

        Surely with oil prices so low, this must mean there is a glut of oil from other oil producing countries , causing financial instability throughout the world and all that goes with that, governments can be brought down with this method, is OPEC still a fair body overseeing this. Well we weren’t hit by an asteroid , so that’s something, Peace Brothers

  73. Henry Condy

    C ,mon Guys dig out the stats lol

    Reply
  74. Haydn Gear

    I must be a masochist. Having just completed the marathon read of 284 letters I am appalled that so many ill tempered, egotistical and vitriolic views are expressed.These letters do not amount to fair minded debate—-they are pathetic slanging matches. How much of what has slithered out of vile mouths will matter 50 years from now? I think the main perpetrators should take stock and polish up their acts. We all know who they are. Sadly, they may not.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Haydn

      You’re a masochist 🙂

      Although you did encourage me to read a number of them again, as such, I’d like to apologise to my fellow free thinkers for letting you down and not backing up your arguments, sadly I was having issues with my computer at the time, however, y’all seemed to cope with the “Usual suspects” admirably. 😀

      Reply
    • Henry condy

      Hayden , I couldn’t agree more, these guys twist facts to suit their case, don’t answer questions, with their puffed out little chests they remind me of Captain Mannering in Dads Army. They are full of their self importance and pomposity , but most sadly of all have no compassion for those using food banks, saying they spend their money on alcohol and cigarettes. All they want to do is score points any way they can, If Scotland with a population of 6 Million can’t afford to be an independent country, how can Shetland with a population of 22,000 do so, It’s totally ludicrous. and as you say some comments are cruel and hurtful, but according to some ” Are just. A joke ” some folk have no shame, great to see these guys run for political office, but I predict they would all lose their deposits, in Alistair Carmichaels case , should there not have been three judges, what if they disagree , then it’s Status Quo , I looked for the. Blood Moon at 3Am only a silvery one, not to worry peace brothers , Keep The Faith

      Reply
      • Ali Inkster

        We can afford it because it is wir oil, wir gas and wir fish. Also we won’t have 4 million in the central belt trying to run their industry from the power produced by windmills to support.

      • James Watt

        “We can afford it because it is wir oil, wir gas and wir fish”

        Now that’s not entirely true is it Ali, but you’ve never been one for letting facts get in the way of a story.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea

        Under UNCLOS III, Shetland would be regarded as an “enclave” residing wholly within The UKs ( or Scotland’s depending on your point of view ) “Exclusive Economic Zone” (see the paragraph “Continental shelf”), and as such would only have the right to resources within a 12-mile radius of their coastline – of which, in terms of oil and gas, there are basically none, and fishing would be affected in the same way.

      • Gareth Fair

        James,
        As I’m sure you are well aware that isn’t quite so certain.

        An enclave does not necessarily have a 12 mile limit, it is negotiable by both parties or tribunal.

        Scotland’s (or the UK’s) EEZ does not so much include Shetland, rather that it is defined by it. Indeed if Shetland was to leave Scotland, Norway and Denmark would have a case for re-opening negotiations on the boundary. This boosts the need for an amicable resolution.

        If Shetland wanted to retain ties with the UK as it would no longer be in UK waters so could be more like the Falkland Islands which is regarded as a British Overseas Territory. I.e territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom but do not, however, form part of it.
        The Falklands retains the upto 200 nm EEZ.

        If you want Shetland to stay part of an independent Scotland, trying this sort of thing will not help.

      • Robert Duncan

        James Watt, why have you linked a Wikipedia article that doesn’t use the word “enclave” once? See screenshot of my CTRL+F: http://i.imgur.com/sK1W8WX.png

        And why, if Shetland were to become an independent nation, would they not be entitled to their own EEZ like every other independent nation? It would not extend to the usual 200 miles but to the median point between ourselves and whatever territory remained the northernmost point of the UK.

        I always assume when this issue is raised that people have mistaken arguments that came about when there was talk of Shetland remaining in the UK after Scotland becoming independent, rather than Shetland being an independent nation in its own right. I’ve never seen a shred of evidence to support the “enclave” argument in the case of the latter.

      • Ali Inkster

        Oh dear James that old chestnut, nowhere there or in any of the links does it say we would be an enclave in scoti waters, What it does say is that UK territorial waters are 12nm from the low water mark and if you had not noticed Shetland is a piece more than 12 nm from Scrabster. Now EEZ is something else entirely and our EEZ like the UKs and a future independent Scotlands would stretch to 200nm from low water or equidistant to neighbouring states.

      • James Watt

        @ Robert, because the link was to explain what a EEZ was. but that’s really irrelevant as I had made a mistake.

        @ everyone else, I have no problem admitting i am wrong, I got myself confused when i posted, was reading info on Shetland remaining with UK in event of independence, rushing to post during dinner break doesn’t produce my best material for debate.

      • Robert Duncan

        Thank you James, it’s always refreshing to see somebody actually admit a mistake on the internet!

        It is easily done on this issue as unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation floating around.

  75. Haydn Gear

    Robin ,it’s good to know that roses are still blooming in Picardy !

    Reply
  76. Henry condy

    Ali, I think Westminster has taken a different view over the last 45 / 50 years Dream on my friend, the men in the White coats will be here soon

    Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      And now the snp take the same view as westminster, that it is their all theirs. And you are showing the very attitude that leads many here to believe that we would indeed be better aff clear o da lot o dem.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        Yeah!…Good idea Ali, let’s sack Westminster, then sack Holyrood, then sack ALL local councillors for mismanaging funds, then sack those in control of Shetlands resources, then sack ANYONE that even wants to put themselves forward in an attempt to take care of the islands?

        The only problem there Ali, is someone has to be in control? Who would you suggest? Which tier of bureaucracy best suits your ideal?

      • Alistair & Jane Inkster

        As little and as local as possible where the people making the decisions have a stake in the future prosperity of Shetland. Not some faceless bureaucrat in either Holyrood/Westminster/Brussels, who would negotiate away our future because it suits the central belt.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Perfect answer Ali, I expected no less, if every wealthy part of Scotland did exactly the same we wouldn’t need to bother about the least well off? We wouldn’t have to share a bean, if their silly enough to be skint, well, that’s their problem and we’re alright Jack 🙂

        You’re compassion knows no bounds Ali….[p.s. I hope you asked Jane if it’s alright to put her name to that?]

      • Ali Inkster

        So your version of scoti independence would mean sharing scotland wealth with the rest of the UK? How would that work Wrobin.
        And Jane is more than happy to be associated with that statement.

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