26th September 2018
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Autonomy group set to launch next week

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A campaign group looking for self-governing powers for Shetland is launching next week.

Wir Shetland says it wants Shetland to have similar powers to those enjoyed by British overseas territories such as control of taxation and spending.

It argues that once self-government has been attained for Shetland, it would leave the EU but keep the same trading, open borders, free movement of capital and benefits as it does now.

Full fiscal autonomy is essential, Wir Shetland argues, and leaving the EU would restore all fishing grounds in the Shetland sector of the UK economic zone to Shetland’s own jurisdiction.

The group has 70 members which it says are from a broad cross section of the community and political parties.

Among the members are Shetland Islands Council elected members Andrea Manson, Amanda Westlake and Robert Henderson.

It is organised by former Shetland resident John Tulloch, who believes that Shetland could stand on its own “no problem at all”.

Mr Tulloch said: “If the Falkland Islands can do it with 3,000 people and do it pretty well … there’s no reason why Shetland can’t do the same.”

He said the group was not looking for full independence, rather a constitutional arrangement of autonomy within the British realm.

He agreed people were more engaged with politics on the back of the Scottish independence referendum and general election.

“I think a lot of people in Shetland have awoken to the idea that Scotland could be independent and the SNP has done extremley well at promoting their own cause,” Mr Tulloch said. “But everything in Shetland has been centralised; rather than us getting more local powers they are taking more powers away continually.”

He said the group was looking at the council elections “very carefully” but added: “The first eye is on the parliamentary election next year.

“We have to have a discussion with the political parties and the candidates and determine whether we can make any progress through talking to them, or whether we would have to stand our own candidate.”

Mr Tulloch is hoping for a strong turnout next week and encouraged those interested in Wir Shetland to attend.

He said: “Come along, be a founding member of the organisation and hopefully we can change things in a big way in Shetland.”

The group believes Shetland’s interests are markedly different from Scotland and the UK and in the absence of an autonomy deal with Scotland, Scottish independence will be damaging for the isles.

Wir Shetland claims it is not a nationalist group and is not not anti-SNP. However, it may also stand its own candidates in elections and said it will register as a political party “if the prevailing situation at any time demands it”.

Other ideas in its draft manifesto include a gas pipeline being constructed to take heating gas from Sullom to Lerwick to supply homes, businesses, public buildings, and if required, a power station and gas distribution plant.

Wir Shetland’s draft manifesto also states main ferry and transport will be subsidised “to make travel and freight transport to/from mainland UK affordable.

The group argues that will provide a more level playing field for our industries to compete with those in mainland locations.

Mr Tulloch said: “Where reasonably practicable, fixed road links will be installed to all main islands and the remaining inter-island ferry charges will be in line with the cost of driving the same distance, i.e mileafe-related costs, as opposed to the expensive mirage of Road Equivalent Tariff”.

It would also look at ways to restore the Smyril Line’s Norröna service.

Ms Westlake said she was “delighted” to be part of the group and there was no “time like the present if we want to move ahead with this, in the current climate”.

“I just feel that we really need to be doing something now because in the current political climate there just seems to be very little enthusiasm to support Shetland’s main issues,” she added.

Ms Manson said Wir Shetland was “a wonderful idea”.

She said: “I think we should be more in charge of our own destiny.

“We are just being at the moment treated like the rest of Scotland and we’re not necessarily like the rest of Scotland.”

Ms Manson said there had matters that had been to the detriment of Shetland, such as the centralisation of the police force, ambulance service and fire service.

“I feel we should have been made a special case and I feel now is the time to actually try and be master of our own destiny and see what sort of feeling there is locally, for people being Shetlanders and be proud of being Shetlanders and proud of Wir Shetland.”

The launch is on Wednesday at 7.30pm at the Lerwick Town Hall. Anyone is welcome to attend.

About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Press and Journal, The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

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105 comments

  1. David Spence

    I think it is a fantastic idea for the people of Shetland to have the opportunity to try and gain more autonomy and control of Local Issues affecting the islands. There is probably a huge amount of work to be done, but like anything, one has to start off at some point.

    I fully support the group in their aims in giving Shetland a bigger say in its affairs which directly affect everybody on the islands. I would even go as far as to say ‘ The status and autonomy as what the Faroes Islands have. ‘.

    The only problem I see however, is to try and persuade Shetlander’s to take an active role in the groups aspirations. The general impression one gets, to which I hope I am proven wrong, is Shetlander’s tend to do nothing, they are happy with the ‘ status quo ‘, ‘ do not want to rock the boat ‘ mentality.

    It is time for all of us to take a greater role in the islands future, not just for ourselves but future generations.

    Reply
    • Duncan Simpson

      Well said David. There certainly seems to be that mindset with some of the people here. However that mind set was fine when everything was going well and there was plenty of money to go around for expensive services that were introduced as a huge improvement to life here.

      Now however there are cuts all over the place and threats to the industries which keep Shetland going. There are more than enough resources here to fund an autonomous Shetland. Hopefully enough people get behind the campaign and enough voters are persuaded that it is the best way forward for us.

      Reply
  2. Robin Stevenson

    Jeez…This is brilliant

    So, let’s get this right, you’d like More powers of autonomy right?…[Same as Scotland from rUK]
    You’d like more control of your finances?…[same as Scotland from the rUK]
    You’d like Full fiscal autonomy?…[same as Scotland from the rUK]
    You’d like to be in charge of your own destiny?….[same as Scotland from the rUK]

    Therefore I take it everyone of the Wir Shetland group voted Yes then during the referendum, y’know, being empathic to Scotland’s struggle?….

    Hmm…Well I know Mr Tulloch didn’t, but I’m sure the rest must have…right?

    Just out of interest, how many police forces, ambulance services and fire services did Shetland have before the wicked Scottish Government decided to centralise them? And in which way was this to the detriment of Shetland Mr Manson?

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      And we could ignore once and for all Robin Stevenson, SNP mouthpiece Glasgow Whoop, whoop, whoop.

      Reply
      • ROBERT SIM

        Better watch what you are saying, Ian. Are you suggesting someone not based in Shetland has less of a right to comment on matters here?

      • Robin Stevenson

        Aww…Ian, you almost sound as though you just don’t care?

        I wonder if ALL letter writers or forum posters from S&O were “ignored” in our National dailies, or media, would – perhaps – feel a bit miffed?

        Fortunately, we are an inclusive people down here in the big bad Central belt. who recognise that everyone deserves to contribute regardless of what their politics are, or what City, town or even Country they’re from.

        What was it someone was saying about the SNP supporters suffering from xenophobia, divisiveness and racism again Ian?

      • Robert Duncan

        Are Robin’s comments not as valid as those from this group’s Argyll-based spokesman?

        A touch of devil’s advocate there of course, but it seems strange for you to propose such an insular approach given some of your previous comments on nationalism.

      • John Tulloch

        @Robert Duncan,

        My name and address details are well known. Everyody knows who I am and they can even meet me tomorrow evening at the Town Hall if they like. I don’t hide behind internet anonymity.

        Im unsure the same can be said of either Robin Stevenson or your good self?

        Lyndon,
        Arrochar.

      • Robert Duncan

        Fair points that I do not dispute, Mr Tulloch, but anonymity did not appear to be the thrust of Mr Tinkler’s complaint.

      • ROBERT SIM

        @John – Robert Duncan – or indeed Robin Stevenson – isn’t “hiding behind internet anonymity”. You may have noticed that to post a comment on here you are obliged to supply your details to the Shetland Times but that, in common with all other online papers, only your name is shown. If anyone chooses to share their details that’s up to them but it’s not always wise. And in what sense anyway is the other Robert “hiding”? His comments are always direct and logical. You need to answer them, as opposed to avoiding the point he is making by making a personal attack. Is that going to be the tone from WS?

    • Duncan Simpson

      Robin, what anyone voted for in the Scottish referendum last year is irrelevant to this campaign. By your logic I could say that anyone who voted Yes for Scotland should automatically support Shetland autonomy?

      I wish the people of Scotland the best of luck with independence if that is what they end up choosing and I would hope that the people of Scotland would wish us well in whatever route we decide to go down.

      This group and this campaign is open to anyone from Shetland who believes in Shetland autonomy, regardless of their political leanings.

      I am not sure who “Mr Manson” is but most Shetlanders would agree that centralising of powers away from Shetland almost always is to the detriment of Shetland.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        Duncan

        You said:

        “Robin, what anyone voted for in the Scottish referendum last year is irrelevant to this campaign”,

        Therefore I take it that HAD Scotland won its independence your statement would still have stood? In other words it makes not a blind bit of difference whether Scotland was Independent or still a part of the UK, your campaign would have been created regardless?

        Btw, I have no idea who Mr Manson is? But he was quoted on the above article, [third paragraph from the bottom] which confused me.

      • Duncan Simpson

        Robin,

        I don’t see how your hypothetical question regarding Scottish independence is relevant either? I did not create the campaign so I cannot comment on whether it would still have been created or not. The fact of the matter is Scotland did not win its independence so it is impossible to say what would be happening now if it had.

        If you take the time to read the article properly you confusion will be alleviated when you see that it is a quote from Ms Manson, Councillor Andrea Manson who was referred to earlier in the piece.

      • ROBERT SIM

        Duncan, apologies for more questions but I notice on re-reading your post above that you say that: “This group and this campaign is open to anyone from Shetland who believes in Shetland autonomy, regardless of their political leanings.” By “from Shetland”, do you mean a Shetlander by birth or someone who lives in Shetland – or indeed both? Am I to take it that someone who is not a Shetlander and lives outside Shetland would not be allowed to join the group?

      • Duncan Simpson

        Robert I am not sure what your angle is but I did not mean you have to be a Shetlander by birth. I am not saying someone from outwith Shetland who is not a Shetlander can’t join the group, if they believe in our aims and want to contribute then great! However in the event of a referendum on autonomy they will not be able to vote as they would not be on the electoral roll for Shetland.

      • Ali Inkster

        @ Robert Sim why would someone who is not from Shetland and does not live in Shetland be interested in registering for the group? Are you and your mate Wrobin wanting to join? Remember the aims of the group which members are expected to share is BOT status not more control by holyrood.

      • Robert Sim

        @Ali, you say: “why would someone who is not from Shetland and does not live in Shetland be interested in registering for the group? Are you and your mate Wrobin wanting to join?” For your info, I have lived in Shetland for the past 32 years.

    • Steven Jarmson

      Many of the reasons I voted No was because I believe in autonomy for Shetland.
      Under an independent Scotland, Shetland would have stood no chance of gaining autonomy.
      I do however, assume you’re fully supportive of Shetland Autonomy Robin.
      Apparently our goals are the same as yours.
      I look forward to your supportive comments from here on in.
      On the subject of the centralised public bodies service, we now have NO 24hr police station in Shetland. Our Coast Guard service is falling apart due to a Scottish Government enforcer coming up and causing strife.
      The allocation of the North Boats to Serco looks distinctly odd, one bidders application was returned unopened.
      Just little things like that which we feel a bit annoyed about.
      On the surface we look like we want the same things, but I can assure you we want to benefit the many Shetlanders across the isles, not just the few in the Central Belt.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        So basically what you’re saying Steven is:

        1. You want autonomy for Shetland…. [but not for Scotland]
        2. You want more control of your finances?…[but not for Scotland]
        3. You want to be in charge of your own destiny?….[but not for Scotland]
        4. But you want Scotland to wish you the best, despite voting against their same desires?

        Well, that seems pretty fair, and for some bizarre reason you somehow feel that being a part of the rUK as opposed to Scotland you have a better chance of getting all your wishes? [erm…just like Scotland?]

        Good luck with that Steven, although you may have noticed how difficult it’s been for Scotland to get ANY further powers? Let’s take a look at some headlines:… “The Vow has been delivered”…”The Vow has NOT been delivered”,….”Smith commission in full”…”Smith commission diluted to next to nothing”, “Near Federalism”…Hmm…not quite, in fact not even close.

        However I’m quite sure Scotland will be as helpful towards your goal, as you have been towards theirs 🙂

      • Ali Inkster

        Scotland is welcome to independence as long as the same option is on the table for Orkney and Shetland. Why are scoti nationalists like yourself so against us having control over our future just as you wish for yourselves? The reason so many of us voted no is because the very people shouting loudest for an independent scotland denied us a referendum for the very same thing. When the subject is brought up then scoti nationalists like yourself claim that anything outside 12nm will belong to scotland not Shetland yet claim everything to 200nm for yourselves. Do you see a pattern forming here because many of us have, and that is what is good for the scoti goose would seem to be denied the Shetland gander. So lets get it all sorted out in one go we go our way with our full EEZ and you go your way with yours, and we will have nothing left to disagree about.

      • Duncan Simpson

        Robin, I don’t think that’s what Steven is saying at all. I think (correct me if I am wrong Steven) he is saying he voted for what he believed to be the best option for Shetland and it’s chance for autonomy.

        As far as I am concerned the people of Scotland can decide to do whatever they want, and good luck to them, but this is not about Scotland it is about Shetland and our future. I do not have some loyalty towards Westminster and a hatred towards Hollyrood, in my mind both are equally remote and out of touch with our needs. We have been neglected by everyone south of Fair Isle for far too long. I believe pursuing a mutually beneficial arrangement with the UK is our best way forward to securing what we want.

      • Steven Jarmson

        Indeed Duncan, that is what I meant. I’m all up for Scottish Independence, but I feel Shetland is better placed to go for autonomy with in the UK rather than Scotland.
        The SNP have made very clear their desire to centralise power, not devolve it.
        I’ve long held the view Shetland needs its own, different system. Similar to IoM or the Channel Isles.
        Scotland wouldn’t give Shetland a fair settlement, and that’s all we’re asking for.
        If this works out, then the Scots should be happy, less people to vote no at the next referendum, which I believe Sturgeon is planning for 2019/20, she’s just not honest enough to admit that she’s planning it now. Shetland did vote 2-1 against independence.
        Another reason I voted no was the SNP simply didn’t make the case.
        We won’t make that mistake.
        We’ll make a positive case to convince both head and heart. Besides, we’re not asking for divorce, we’re more like a grown adult wanting move out than a bitter ex wanting a fight.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ali

        Neither Scotland nor the UK can deny Shetland a referendum, in much the same way that no politician nor UK government can deny Scotland a referendum, it is entirely up to the people of both our Islands. But let’s look at some facts and figures:

        The Orkney and Shetland Movement 1987:

        “The Scottish National Party chose not to contest the seat to give the movement a “free run”. Their candidate, John Goodlad, came 4th with 3,095 votes, 14.5% of those cast, and it did not stand in any subsequent election.

        “Early in 2013, an opinion poll commissioned by the Press and Journal found only 8% of people in Shetland and Orkney supported the islands themselves becoming fully independent countries and completely separating from Scotland, with 82% against”.

        “In the Scottish devolution referendum, 1979, the Orkney and Shetland Islands council areas had the two highest proportions voting against devolution”.

        “The Scottish devolution referendum, 1997 Orkney was one of only two areas in Scotland to vote No”.

        Not only NO independence but not even devolution?…Cheers!! 🙁

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        I think It helps to understand the history of Shetland to understand the whole autonomy debate.
        Shetlands relationship with Scotland is more like Scotland’s relationship with England than you might realise.

        http://www.shetlanddialect.org.uk/historical

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

        Shetland only became part of Scotland in the 15th Century, the legality of this is still debated today.

        Perhaps even come up to visit, maybe take the ferry to get a real feeling of how far away Shetland is.
        The town names, street names and even house names are often Norse.
        Even the name Shetland is derived from the Old Norse Hjaltland.
        The main festival ‘up helly aa’ is a Norse festival.
        The Shetland dialect retains its Norse roots, indeed people in Shetland were still speaking a variation of Scandinavian well into the 17th Century.

        You are expecting Shetlanders to have the same strong Scottish identity as people in say Glasgow. I’m sure many do but it isn’t necessarily the case.
        The Scottish independence referendum for Shetland may be viewed by some as the same as someone asking you if you would prefer to be controlled by London or Manchester. They are both a long way away, it’s more about who you trust least.

      • ROBERT SIM

        @Gareth – I have to offer one wee correction regarding your reply to Robin on how distinctively different Shetland is from the rest of the country: Up Helly Aa isn’t a “norse” festival, if by that you mean something brought here from Scandinavia. The “norse” trappings were deliberately put in place in the late 19th century, if memory serves.

      • Duncan Simpson

        Robin your array of facts are quite misleading. The poll by a newspaper, which cannot be taken to be a representative view of the population, is referring to full independence not BOT status or similar. Plus at that point there was no credible group advocating a change in our status.

        In regards to events in 1979 and 1987 I do not see the relevance. Shetland is a very different place now and will you not concede that over the span of 36 years opinions can shift?

        Robert I believe you are nit picking regarding Up Helly Aa. You are correct in that the festival itself was not a legacy left here by the Vikings but to deny the norse influence on the modern festival is ridiculous.

      • Gareth Fair

        Robert,
        Thanks, I agree.
        I was just pointing out that the most significant festival in modern day Shetland has its roots in Shetlands Norse heritage.
        I’m not a Shetand historian by any means, I’m just saying it like I see it.
        From the little reading I have done It does also seem that the Scottish Earls sent up to rule Shetland after it became part of Scotland didn’t seem all that popular either but I’m happy to be corrected.
        I was merely pointing out that Shetlands heritage is different from that of the rest of Scotland, in some ways having more in common with mainland Scotland’s relationship with England.

      • Robert Sim

        @Duncan – sorry to come back on this but what precisely is “the norse influence” on UHA? You mean the fact that the Jarl usually takes the name of a figure from one of the Sagas? What else is actually “norse” about it? I don’t deny that it’s (remembering that there are of course a number of UHAs) a wonderful event and unique to Shetland; but the viking angle could just as easily been been attached to any other 19th-century festival in the north of Scotland by the community leaders who thought of it then. It hasn’t come down to us from our viking ancestors, if that’s what you mean.

      • Duncan Simpson

        @Robert. I have no idea why you are fixating on the entirely irrelevant issue of how norse UHA is. I stated clearly that I agree with you it is not passed down from our viking ancestors. I am no expert on UHA, I am from Whalsay so have had very little dealings with it. The Jarl squad dress up as vikings with viking names and burn a viking longboat. Of course it is norse influenced, whether that is due to Shetlands norse heritage or due to whoever devised it at the time I have no idea and I am assuming you don’t either?

        Gareth may have been a bit off the mark saying it is a “norse festival” but he is right to say that Shetlands culture has Norse influence.

  3. iantinkler

    All my pals who care for Shetland folk, time for a real change. Come along or support if you want “The Shetland Islands” for the real Shetland community and people.

    Reply
    • ROBERT SIM

      “The Shetland folk”, “the real Shetland community and people”. You’ll be wanting a test of racial purity next, Ian.

      Reply
      • Duncan Simpson

        This has nothing to do with race Robert. This is a campaign for Shetland and its people regardless of race or religion.

      • iantinkler

        Sorry Robert, Shetlanders are not a race!!!lol!! How do you feel about island autonomy? It would be nice to have some independence without xenophobic nationalism, know what I mean, “no day of reckoning” (Independant Republic of Scotland ala Salmon) , paint your face blue, flag waving idiocy and divisive hatred of Westminster/England..

      • John Tulloch

        @Robert Sim,

        As Wellington remarked of the French, at Waterloo:

        “They just keep coming in the same old way.”

        We have many members, people like yourself, who have moved to Shetland and decided to stay. Where they differ from you is they have sufficiently strong commitment to Shetland’s future to support our campaign and several are members of our steering group.

        And before you trot this one out, we also have members who are members of the SNP whom we welcome aboard, as we do all political parties. Why, if you become committed to Shetland’s future, you might join us yourself?

      • ROBERT SIM

        Ian, my comments were made to highlight the questionable nature of your language: what on earth do you mean by “the real Shetland folk” and the “real Shetland community”? Perhaps you would like to explain. And, Duncan, I understand that it is a quasi-political campaign. I just don’t think that Ian’s language, as a (no doubt vocal) supporter of that campaign, helps,

        Moving on, Ian asks me what I think of Shetland autonomy. I will answer that in a separate post because of the word limit on here.

      • ROBERT SIM

        Ian asks me what I think about “island autonomy”. I presume he means “Shetland autonomy”, since neither Orkney nor the Western Isles are pursuing this. They are working through the OIOF initiative, which has already been taken seriously at Scottish and UK level.

        That leads me on to why I feel that the ultimate goal of Wir Shetland is unrealisable. Ian asks me how I “feel” about autonomy – and his choice of verb is telling: I do think that this aspiration is based more around emotion than logic. On the political front at Scottish and UK level, neither the Scottish nor UK government has any reason to grant any part of its jurisdiction the unique status to which this group aspires; and I cannot see where the political leverage will ever come from to change that. Working with the other island groups looks tactically astute and forward-thinking. This looks to be the opposite.

        My “feelings” then are that we should be continuing to work with our fellow island groups in a practical way. At the very least, WS should be sounding out our neighbours for their thoughts.

      • Duncan Simpson

        Robert,
        In my opinion, while a good initiative, the OIOF campaign does not go nearly far enough. They may achieve some minor concessions from UK/Scotland but they will not address the true problems. Orkney is not pursuing this yet but since they have the same question marks hanging over their constitutional status as we do then it is conceivable that they may opt to join us in the future if they so wish.

        For me the crux of the matter is we will never be governed fairly from Brussels/London/Edinburgh because of our remote location and our hugely differing interests, the fishing industry being a key matter. You say the status would be “unique” but that is not wholly accurate as there are plenty of other examples where island autonomy works well. The UKs jurisdiction is questionable at best and illegal at worst.

        We seek an agreement for self governing powers from the UK. If they are not forthcoming with said powers than we have the right to self determination and could become an independent nation if that is what the people wanted.

      • ROBERT SIM

        @John Tulloch – they do indeed keep coming the same old way, John. Not least when it comes to the not-so-subtle hints and implications in your posts that anyone not backing your particular vision for Shetland’s future is somehow not a bona-fide supporter of Shetland. You’re not going to recruit many members with that sort of unpleasant approach. I was taking issue with Ian’s reference to the “real” Shetland community: you appear to be making his implication even more explicit.

  4. ian tinkler

    What a breath of sunshine. A chance at last for Shetland folk to use our precious resources for the real benefit of our own people. To preserve what is so precious, our seas, countryside, rare culture and all that makes Shetland and Shetland folk so unique.To put a break on the greedy wreckers whom can do little more than line their pockets at such cost to us all.

    Reply
    • Henry condy

      Ian, Shetland Autonomy, in your dreams, where is all the money coming from to kickstart Shetlands Autononomy , you will get from Holyrood, that which Holyrood gets from Westminster , which is as little as possible, are we all going to live on fish , knit jerseys and cut peats, you are living in the past , you say ” IF ” Shetland gets autonomy as my Mother would say ” IF your Granny had a moustache , She would be your Grandad ” It’s not going to happen my friend, and please stop insulting people because they possess a Scotland flag, or paint their face , be it football Rugby or whatever it’s a bit of fun Ian , and it,s Westminster who causes all the ills in the country, tens of thousands of English people on the streets protesting about austerity , these are people who realised they were conned big time by the Tories at the GE and are now moaning. Cameron must be laughing his head off. Ian try and be adult in your comments, I have read them and wonder if you do have any friends with the things you say. Peace Brother

      Reply
      • Duncan Simpson

        Henry, basically every good idea starts off with a dream. If you think all Shetland has going for it is fish, knitting jerseys (gansys du means!!!) and peats then it is you who is living in the past.

        Your post suggests that we live on handouts from Hollyrood/Westminster which is simply untrue. Shetland is a huge net contributor to the UK economy. This revenue has even greater potential if we had full fiscal control and control of our EEZ.

      • Steven Jarmson

        Henry,
        We wouldn’t be taking autonomy from Scotland, it doesn’t have the power to give us what we want, it would be directly from the UK.
        The money would come from the taxes currently raised here, we put in much more than we get back, depending on the source, we put in around (conservative numbers here) £2 for every £1 back, and Scotland moans about a paltry half percent to one percent difference, ours is 50% at least. With that doubling of our budget, the oil would actually just be a bonus. We’d also be able to grow our fishing fleet, which is already our largest financial sector.
        I don’t see why folk could knock the concept.
        Its win win for Shetland.

    • ROBERT SIM

      Perhaps WS will tell us how they envisage major capital projects such as the new AHS, which is heavily subsidised by the Scottish Government, being brought to fruition in the future without national funding? There are many such projects – all much smaller, of course – across the SIC and the NHS which rely on input from the Scottish Government. Or do WS think that the Government will happily decline our share of taxation while continuing to provide a share of the national cake?

      I was interested in John Tulloch’s reference to the Falklands running their services “pretty well”. I see from Wikipedia that there are two schools in the Falklands, both in Stanley, one for primary and one for secondary. By population, that would suggest about half of our schools here could close. The article continues: “Other rural pupils are taught by travelling teachers. Older children can board in a hostel in Stanley so they can attend school there.” Is that the education system John wants to see in the future?

      I look forward to WS’s detailed plans addressing these points. But remember: there isn’t an endless supply of money. We have tried that.

      Reply
      • Duncan Simpson

        Robert all your points will be addressed in time. Regarding schools comparing the Falklands to here is a very simplistic viewpoint. You cannot simply extrapolate population to give you the number of required schools for a completely different island group. Older children boarding in Stanley.. much like older children board in Lerwick now? A general comment about the Falkland Islands to indicate that it can be done with a much smaller population is not a suggestion that we be a carbon copy on a larger scale.

      • Robert Sim

        @Duncan, thank you for your response but it wasn’t me who pointed to the Falklands as an example but John Tulloch. I was merely looking at the detailed reality of it a bit more and education was just the area I happened to pick.

        Detailed reality on their educational vision and other areas is no doubt what we will see very soon from WS. As I say, I look forward to that; and in particular to the answer you promise me to the question I pose in my first paragraph about the funding of various projects, capital and otherwise.

      • Steven Jarmson

        Robert, I really am always disappointed by the farcical arguments people try to use to get off the topic and try to make other look stupid whilst making themselves look stupid.
        John could have said the Isle of Man – would that have meant you would expect a big bikers’ race each year?
        Or John could have said Tahiti, so would you think we’d be promising to be bathed in sunshine all year round?
        The example was simply saying, the Falklands have a tiny population and they manage, so why wouldn’t we succeed with our larger population?
        He could have said any autonomous island group to make the point.
        Childishly picking up on some non-point isn’t advancing anything other peoples ideas about your ability to comprehend a simple example.
        Currently, its not looking too good from where I’m sitting. Perhaps if you’d grown up in the Falklands and had a teacher come along the house you’d be doing a bit better. 😉

      • ROBERT SIM

        @Steven, you accuse me of being unfair in my looking more closely at John’s Falklands example and you say that “…the example was simply saying, the Falklands have a tiny population and they manage, so why wouldn’t we succeed with our larger population?”. However the quote wasn’t just that the Falklands “manage” but that they do things “pretty well”. I was just interested in what John’s concept of “pretty well” was in this context. I hope that clears things up for you 🙂

      • John Tulloch

        Robert Sim,

        In your desperation to find fault you are having to dig ever deeper into the minutiae of what people have said and are, consequently, looking progressively sillier with every comment.

        The Falkland Islands are “managing pretty well” given the challenges they face living next door to a hostile invader, on the opposite side of the world, who does everything they can to make life difficult for the islanders whose oil and gas industry is still embryonic.

        Their situation is not analogous to ours, it’s far more challenging. It’s their powers we envy, not their situation, and we shall do very well, indeed – far, far better than we do now – when we gain similar powers to that which they enjoy.

      • ROBERT SIM

        @John, one day you’ll learn to comment on here without unpleasant wee digs. Shooting the messenger is a sure way to lose friends. Silly or not, my questions remain; and there’s a long way between here and Shetland autonomy. There may be others asking awkward questions as time goes on.

      • John Tulloch

        @Robert Sim,

        What is YOUR and the SNP’s policy for the isles, “island-proofing” 🙂 ?

      • ROBERT SIM

        @John T – You ask: ‘What is YOUR and the SNP’s policy for the isles, “island-proofing”‘? I take it that you are referring to the current consulatation on an Islands Bill?http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Islands-to-have-say-over-their-future-1dbf.aspx. That sounds like an excellent approach by the Scottish Government. What is the UK Government doing again?

        Our excellent local SNP candidate, if elected, will be able to feed the views of WS direct to where it matters and to where Ministers are clearly listening. I take it you will be endorsing his candidature now?

  5. iantinkler

    “Better watch what you are saying, Ian. Are you suggesting someone not based in Shetland has less of a right to comment on matters here?” No Robert, do not get your knickers in such a twist! I said we could ignore Robin Stevenson’s propagandist twaddle. if Shetland gained autonomy his twaddle would become irrelevant. It would give us more time to listen to you!!!

    Reply
    • ROBERT SIM

      Ian, you say that if Shetland gained autonomy Robin’s comments – or “twaddle” as you so politely put it -would become irrelevant. And you do of course chuck in a reference to where Robin presumably resides – Glasgow. So I can only conclude from that that your vision of an “autonomous” Shetland is one cut off from external comment? That’s worrying.

      Reply
  6. David Spence

    Hypothetically speaking, if it were the case Shetland was granted greater autonomy and control of its affairs, what exactly would this autonomy be?

    If, again hypothetically speaking, such autonomy powers were under the control of the SIC, then, in my opinion, giving control to the SIC was would an utter waste of time, given their performance of wasting millions upon millions of Shetland’s money on useless projects or investments which have gone belly-up, and would ultimately end up with Shetland being no better off.

    Reply
    • Duncan Simpson

      David, hypothetically speaking the SIC would be dissolved after autonomy was granted and a new government would be formed and elections held.

      Everyone is aware, given their track record, that you could not just hand massive revenue streams to the SIC and expect them to run Shetland. A new system designed to suit our needs will have to be established.

      Reply
      • David Spence

        Thank you Duncan, for your information.

        It certainly makes you think in regards to the whole issue of the structures involved in a democracy (said loosely) and those who are in power.

        I hope if Shetland does gain extra powers, such powers are under the cover of, as you have said, a newly formed authority (want for a better word).

        However, it does beg the question as to who would have a greater say in a newly form of Governess. Would the SIC still have authority over the newly formed Authority in terms of communications between the newly formed authority to the Scottish Parliament, or would such reference be under the auspices of the SIC, who, I preseume, would still be acting in favour of the Scottish/Westminster Government?

        It leaves open many questions in regards to services which are under the SIC, and whether or not such new powers would be under the control of the Newly Formed Authority? Education, Housing, Ferries, Coastgaurd, Fishing and many more…….Who would have control of these, and where would the money come from to finance them?

    • Steven Jarmson

      That would be decided by the people David.
      My biggest worry about the autonomy group os people creating fear by whining on about past errors rather than looking to the future with optimism.
      Shetland is in a great position to run its own affairs, but ultimately, the finalised settlement would need debated and voted on.
      Anyone wishing to help Shetland create a dynamic and exciting future is welcome to join the group.
      We want everyone on board, not just a marginal majority.

      Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      In the real world (no need for hypotheses) Holyrood/Westminster/Brussels waste £billions of our money every day and nothing we say or do can change that or even bring the thieving buggers to book for it. At least with autonomy we could have accountability in our politicians and officials.

      Reply
  7. iantinkler

    My goodness, does this not tell a story. Just why should ROBERT SIM and Henry condy be getting so very wound up. if this idea is so silly, why lads all the fuss and froth? Just what are you frightened off? Could it be the SNP central control belt are afraid of losing their Shetland cash cow. You know what I mean, all that potential energy, oil, wind (VE) and 1000 miles of offshore, environment destroying renewables.. Straighten your knickers lads, take a deep breath and calm down. If “Wir Shetland” is such a bad idea what are you fussing over, I am sure Cameron must be laughing his head off, really spike indy Scotland’s guns would it not? Is that what is so troubling to you Robert and Henry? Now just calm down lads and take a few deep breaths, get the twists out your underwear after all it is only giving Shetlanders a chance at autonomous democracy. What is so frightening about that?. Cameron gave Scotland that chance 55% 45% if I remember, now would you deny Shetlanders the same choices?

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Wait!…..So is it “Full Fiscal Autonomy” or “Independence” Ian?…55%/45% was for a referendum on independence, sadly, we were never given the choice to have a third option like FFA?

      You said: “Could it be the SNP central control belt are afraid of losing their Shetland cash cow”,

      I see you’re STILL under your misguided impression that the Scottish Government collect your taxes Ian?

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Robin Stevenson, I could not really care less whom does the collecting of taxes. it is the way the Scottish Government make a pigs fundamental of the spending and distribution that concerns me. Great if we can knock the SG/SNP out of the equation totally. Why should that so piss off the SNP? That is what they wanted, knock Westminster away from the equation and be free of the English. Why does that trouble you so Robin that Shetland may wish to be free of central belt Scotland / SNP? Who knows Orkney may soon wish the same for themselves, why should you object?

      • Gordon Harmer

        But the Scottish government would be collecting our taxes Robin if you got your way. That is why we need more say in our own affairs before it is too late and we become your cash cow.

      • Robin Stevenson

        At long last we’re getting somewhere, Ian you said :

        “I could not really care less whom does the collecting of taxes”.

        Exactly, so after months/years of blaming the SNP Scottish Government for stealing all of Shetlands resources/taxes you finally admit that it is NOT the Scottish government after all and yet they’re the very ones you choose to blame anyway?

        Gordon

        Your argument is no less bizarre: “Aah! but maybe “IF” the Scottish government were collecting our taxes they “MIGHT” steal all our taxes and resources and we’d be a cash cow”.

        Speculation, whitabootary and mischief making, based on nothing but a false presumption.

      • Steven Jarmson

        Robin, we don’t want either Full Fiscal Autonomy or Independence.
        We want Full Autonomy, which will bring Full Fiscal Autonomy with it.
        At this stage, wē are neither tethered to the UK nor a hypothetical Independent Scotland. The discussion is along the line of, currently, we have no choice but be a UK autonomous region, similar to IoM, Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar or the Falklands.
        But, there is an open do it approach to who we would go with in the vent of Scotland becoming independent. Our approach is we would discuss it as a community, then vote on it.
        It’s democratic and simple.
        We ARE NOT saying to people “HERE IS THE VISION, GET ON BOARD.”
        We ARE saying, “HERE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE A VISION AND BRING IT TO FRUITION.”
        We encourage debate, not dictate it.

    • ROBERT SIM

      Robin’s reply to you is interesting, Ian. For me, I am just trying to picture a “central control belt”, SNP or otherwise. Is that what Robin and I should use to keep our knickers from twisting in an untoward fashion? I do find your attempted put-downs most amusing.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        ” it is the way the Scottish Government make a pigs fundamental of the spending and distribution (of revenues) that concerns me.” What is hard to understand there, Robin and Robert? I do not find taxation levels unacceptable at all, to repeat, it is the way the SG distributes that revenue which I have a problem with.

      • iantinkler

        Robert Sim states “John, if you start from a caricature view of the SIC and the way it operates, you’ll not get very far. No doubt there will be members of your group who can advise you that reality is a bit more complex.” Advice from Robert Sim, how very pleasant, the great man expounds his pearls of wisdom to John, I am so sure we are all most grateful for his so learned views!! or is Robert Sim just being patronizing and negative, heavens forbid!!

  8. Gordon Harmer

    Just listen to nationalists on here telling us we could not afford to run the Shetland with more say in our own affairs. These same people said that the Better Together campaign was negative, that campaign could learn a lot about negativity from you guys. What really is getting up the nationalists noses is that Scotland’s cash cow wants more say in its own affairs, a scenario that scuppers the very thought of an independent Scotland.

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      @Gordon – “Scotland’s cash cow wants more say in its own affairs…”. Don’t get ahead of yourself, Gordon. This group has still to launch. Let’s wait and see.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Good idea, Robert Sim, first intelligent comment from you., “This group has still to launch. Let’s wait and see”. Why are you, Henry Condy and Robin Stevenson having such trouble doing just that?

      • Gordon Harmer

        You got way ahead of yourselves last year Robert, remember, but it has not quietened your bravado. Its time you and yours realised we live in a democracy, which means self determination is not a right which applies only to nationalists.

      • Robert Sim

        @Gordon – the irony isn’t lost on me. But I am not opposing anyone’s right to argue for whatever political position you wish. If you look further up the page, you will see I was asking some specific questions about the economic practicalities of the idea being promoted by WS. Presumably that’s permitted? I would indeed be interested in your thoughts regarding my question about the funding of capital and revenue projects which at the moment are supported by the Scottish Government, either wholly or in part.

        Ian’s comment that this is “the first intelligent comment” from me worries me. Did you read the questions to which I refer, Ian, concerning the funding of projects? Do you have an answer, other than more attempted putdowns?

    • iantinkler

      “Just listen to the NATS on here telling us we could not afford to run the Shetland with more say in our own affairs” Gordon, do you not see it it is just “Project fear” al la SNP. Nothing new under the sun, just thought they (SNP) may have been a tad more subtle and original. How long before they try Natty version of “Bitter together”, lol. It did not fool anyone before, why should it now?

      Reply
  9. iantinkler

    I refer, Ian, concerning the funding of projects? Easy Robert Sim , just follow the example of The Manx and Channel Isles. I am sure an arrangement for interim funding from the dreaded Westminster could be negotiated, after all Shetland has lots to offer the UK, quite a useful economic and strategic defensive position, especially with the NATS going for unilateralism, pacifism and separation from the UK. We even have Salmond admiring Patin, heaven forbid, what appeasement he minght pursue, if he is still pulling Wee Nippy’s strings!

    Reply
  10. Danus Skene

    It is depressing to glance through the correspondence triggered by the news of the Wir Shetland meeting. When will the Usual Suspects stop screaming at cardboard stereotypes of each other?

    The Wir Shetland initiative is to be welcomed. This is the right time to press Shetland’s interest as the national governance debate evolves. But we will only get the optimum outcome if we pull together so far as we possibly can.

    I shall not be at the Wir Shetland launch as I will be on my way to Aberdeen for the SNP conference. There, my main business will be briefing others, pressing the Shetland interest on many varied issues. Examples are working to secure support for SIC’s internal ferry system and arguing the fishing community’s interest in forthcoming renegotiation of mackerel quotas.

    Meanwhile, I hope the Wir Shetland meeting goes well, and sets up a flourishing forum that brings together everyone interested in arguing that Shetland would be enhanced by having meaningful autonomy. I believe firmly that Scottish independence will enable Shetland to take charge of her own future, but I want to work with those who may have different models in their mind.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Aww…Be fair Danus

      Where would we be if everyone just agreed with everyone else? Bit of controversy, bit of debate, bit of argument, light the fuse and watch Ian blow his top, ye cannae whack it 🙂

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        It is good to see Danus being so positive. Will be great if the other prospective candidates can make a show. Maybe they are hopefully beginning to see the writing on the wall. Robin Stevenson as positive, incisive and intelligent as usual. Shame that some some things never change.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ian

        I am humbled by your kind words, “Robin Stevenson as positive, incisive and intelligent as usual”,…Shucks!!… 🙂

    • John Tulloch

      @Danus Skene,

      Many thanks for your warm words of support. I’m sorry you’ll miss our launch this evening as we welcome supporters of all parties to join us however the opportunity will remain open and we already have a number of SNP supporters with us so you will be among friends.

      I hope you will join us and cordially invite you to do so as there are immediately pressing issues like education under-funding and RET which we could work together on for the benefit of Shetland.

      Reply
      • Johan Adamson

        It is good of Danus, especially since you did not reciprocate and vote for him. You dont believe in self determination for all, just for us? And two wrongs would not make a right now would it?

      • John Tulloch

        Johan,

        I’ll thank you not to put such words in my mouth.

        I have never denied the right of the Scottish people to self-determination. If they want independence they should have it – and so should Shetlanders.

        The only ones denying the SNp’s independence goal is the Scottish people – they voted against it, did they not?

      • Johan Adamson

        But you voted no, did you not, I seem to remember you being on here saying we should vote no so that Shetland could have independence, you ably assisted the NO camp? With your supporters, that act DID deny the Scottish people independence since you were counted in the percentage no vote.

    • ROBERT SIM

      @Danus, I am rather taken aback by your statement that you find the debate here “depressing”. Since you welcome WS, do you mean that it’s depressing to read the opinions of anyone with a different view? That’s worrying.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Robert Sim, you falling out with Danus now, that is really worrying. I can understand my views worrying you, but Danus’ also, a bit of an about turn is it not!!!

      • John Tulloch

        Well, Robert, it isn’t a pretty picture, is it? You and Robin Stevenson clinging together, out on a limb and your parliamentary candidate sawing it off! 🙂

    • Ali Inkster

      While I welcome the public statement from Danus that he supports the idea of more devolution, I am still wary of his parties intent. As Wrobin stated the snp backed the Shetland movements stance in 87, up here at least. But down in their heartland they were claiming even back then that all we would get is 12nm and the rest would belong to Scotland. So Danus while you are at the snp conference maybe you could get your leaders to publicly state that what is good for the Scottish goose is also good for the Shetland gander. And they will recognise our legitimate claim to wir seas, we wir fish and wir oil.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        Ali

        Please try to make sense? How can it possibly be “Wrobin” [which I believe stands for wrong Robin] And then quote me? Either it’s wrong or it isn’t?

      • Ali Inkster

        Try to keep up Wrobin, They may have been saying one thing to us but all the while they were preparing to stab us in the back had John Goodlad been successful.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ali

        Even by your standards, that is utterly ludicrous, How on earth can someone step back from contesting a seat for the “Orkney and Shetland movement” and then “somehow” manage to stab them in the back? How does that work?…Had John Goodlad been successful then S&O would have been represented by John Goodlad who would then have been a part of the S&O electoral alliance, in what possible way could the SNP have “stabbed him in the back?”

      • Ali Inkster

        Wrobin du may wish to go round and round on da Wrobin merry go round, but I can’t be bothered. The answer is above for those that choose to understand.

    • Gordon Harmer

      Danus, is “Usual Suspects” official SNP jargon as this has been used before by your ex Press Officer?
      “The Usual Suspects” you will notice have the democratic right to voice an opinion in this free and United Kingdom. Something denied to members of your own political party where you have to toe the party line, and show no decent to to other members, leaders or even policies of that party.
      I note now that there is a movement to bring more autonomy to Shetland that you are trying to cling on to this band wagon instead of following your normal Scottish, Scottish, Scottish rhetoric. You have even managed to sneak in that old chestnut “Scottish independence” which in fact will crush any move for more autonomy for Shetland and Shetlanders. Your ex SNP Press Officer has proved this with his own comments on last nights meeting over on the Shet News website.

      Reply
      • Robert Duncan

        Danus is hardly “trying to cling to the bandwagon”, he is on record as desiring more autonomy for Shetland and has supported status similar to that of Aland.

  11. David Spence

    I will be going to the meeting on Wednesday the 14th at the Town Hall, as there are many questions I would like to see answered, and what the implications are for the people of Shetland. It is very much early days, but hopefully this may be a start where the Shetland people have a greater say in how Shetland is governed, and where economic prosperity is greater for the islands?

    However, I do admit my knowledge of such a complexed scenario is very limited, but one hopes questions can be answered and one can see a clearer, better picture of our islands future, and how this will be accomplished.

    Reply
  12. Alan Macdonald

    Autonomy for Shetland? This has clearly drawn a lot of debate, we have wandered off in to the influence of Nationalists etc but I would ask a simple question.

    If Shetland gained autonomy, a situation which I would support, who would be our leadership? Present members of the SIC?

    We mostly deride our councillors, we question their decisions, particularly when they are linked to education and saving money and yet autonomy for Shetland would mean that the same people would be in charge.

    Would you want the SIC to be in charge of much more than they do at present???? How about tax raising powers, what about even more powers???

    Stop, think and ask who would run the place? I dread to think it would be the current group.

    Reply
  13. Gordon Harmer

    GOOD LUCK WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE DEVOLUTION GROUP TONIGHT IN THE TOWN HALL, I HOPE WE SEE ROBERT SIM AND ROBIN STEVENSON THERE TO ADD TO THE DEBATE.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Gordon

      Thank you for your kind offer, I really would love to be there, sadly, my work gets in the way, however, I’ll take this opportunity to wish ALL those that attend the very best of luck, and look forward to hearing how it all went. 🙂

      Reply
    • ROBERT SIM

      Thanks, Gordon. I am flattered to get a mention. Unfortunately, I will be on the boat south tonight – and it has honestly been booked for some time! 🙂

      In spite of my scepticism regarding the feasibility of the group’s ultimate aims, I genuinely wish it well and admire the energy of those prepared to set it up. I hope that my questions regarding the practicality of running capital projects and services such as education in an “autonomous” Shetland might help to shape a realistic approach.

      Reply
  14. John Tulloch

    Alan MacDonald,

    The qualities of some councillors, doubtless, leave something to be desired and there are others who are very capable, dedicated individuals. Just because we don’t always agree with their policies doesn’t mean they are fools.

    Councillors are poorly-paid part-timers who have to deal with a range of highly-paid, full-time, specialist officials whose views consequently hold sway. The hands of both councillors and officials are also tied up with red tape and rules from Holyrood and Brussels.

    An autonomous Shetland would have full-time, properly-remunerated parliamentary representatives which would generate a much bigger pool of able candidates – perhaps, you’ll stand yourself? – and red tape from Hoyrood (entirely) and Brussels (partly) would disappear, leaving a relationship of minimal interference with London.

    Thus the new government would be able to focus on governing Shetland, as opposed to being legally compelled to appease remote bureaucrats in Edinburgh and Brussels.

    A similar relationship with an independent Scotland would also be possible however there is little incentive for Holyrood and no sign of any serious commitment there to a policy of autonomy for the isles.

    Reply
    • ROBERT SIM

      John, if you start from a caricature view of the SIC and the way it operates, you’ll not get very far. No doubt there will be members of your group who can advise you that reality is a bit more complex.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        Robert Sim, I’m aware the SIC is complex – far too complex – that’s my point.

        Are you aware that this is a news forum comment stream, not a parliamentary debate with a 300-page report?

      • ROBERT SIM

        @John, you have misunderstood me. I said the reality of how the SIC operates is more complex than your idea that officials are leading councillors by the nose, not that the SIC itself is “too complex”. But it is true that local government across Scotland is a sophisticated thing. Providing services to a modern standard needs a lot of careful work; and a lot of that work is done in close relationship with the Scottish Government. That is something you will have to bear in mind if you want to somehow separate Shetland from that structure. I hope your meeting went well.

  15. Derick Tulloch

    Mr Tulloch said: “group was not looking for full independence, rather a constitutional arrangement of autonomy within the British realm.”

    A perfectly legitimate, aim. But one that would inevitably lead to seabed enclave status, an effective 12 mile EEZ, and no access to fisheries or hydrocarbon income outwith that enclave. The precedent being the Channel Isands. Caveat Emptor

    Amused by the fellow that thinks Up Helly Aa has norse roots. Gaffin!

    Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      Hi Derick, we’ve missed your negativity these last few months. Where have you been?
      I would not get too excited by the thought of Shetland getting a 12nm limit, In this instance (which is a figment of snp propaganda) as your masters would loose the oil and fish too. Norway and Faroe would gain the major fields and your beloved Scotland would get nothing. Also the oil and gas pipelines come through Shetland and would cost £billions to move elsewhere so we could reasonably negotiate with Norway and Faroe to give access to our boats in their waters added to the throughput tax on the said oil and gas coming through Shetland we would be considerably better off. A win for us and our Nordic neighbours and a loss for Scotland so be careful what you wish for.

      Reply
    • Gareth Fair

      Derick,
      You are quite right ‘roots’ is not the right word to use there.
      Ironically the rest of your own statement is somewhat misleading.
      Shetland is not an enclave it is an Island, being within an EEZ does not make it an enclave.
      The Channel Islands have their EEZ equivalent waters outside of the UK’s EEZ, being off the coast of Normandy, see link.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_England#/media/File%3AEnglish_eez.PNG

      Interestingly the Isle of Man signed away its right under international law for its full EEZ.
      In October 1966, the Manx and UK governments entered into an agreement whereby the Isle of Man was to receive a share of royalties and rentals from oil and gas exploration on the whole of the UK continental shelf, through what was then called the Common Purse Customs agreement.
      In return, the Island relinquished any interest it had to oil and gas exploration and production beyond its territorial waters.
      I would imagine Shetland would prefer to hang on to its full EEZ rather than sign it away, so the Idea of Shetland having a 12nm EEZ, instead of the UNCLOS median line as specified under international law, is highly unlikely. The Falkland Islands being a good example.

      Reply
  16. David Spence

    I attended the meeting last night (14th Oct.2015) at the Town Hall, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a rather good turnout. I even had the pleasure of meeting Gordon H. to which Gordon greeted me with the words of ‘ It is that v-Tory supporter ‘ lol

    Putting this aside, I believe Shetland could most certainly do better for itself in terms of economics, but also having greater control in shaping its future with having the same status as other island communities around and beyond the boundaries of Scotland/UK.

    It is early days, but one has to start at some point, and I hope the journey taken will lead to Shetland having a greater say in determining its short and long term future for the benefit of the islands and the people of Shetland.

    Reply

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