21st May 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Not that gullible (Billy Fox)

The front door closes and there is yet more junk mail on the mat. Top of the pile is someone leading the fight on every issue which affects Shetland; with so many unresolved issues one wonders what has been happening over the last 16 years!

“Leading the fight to get fair ferry fares for Shetland” – really? I would contend it is Shetland Islands Council doing that.

Through Our Islands Our Future along with Orkney and the Western Isles the SIC has managed to gain access at a level within the Scottish government which is unprecedented, in spite of, rather than supported by anyone purporting to be “leading the fight”.

Additionally, Transport Scotland, ZetTrans, Hitrans, Shetland Islands Council and Orkney Islands Council are meaningfully engaged on all transport issues, be it internal ferries and long-term solutions to internal links or external lifeline ferries and air service. We have an islands minister and an Islands Bill currently being consulted on, again unprecedented.

The nationalist doctrine is not one I subscribe to but more measures fit for Shetland … yes. To achieve that one must work with whoever is in power and use the political scene to best advantage.

Lambasting any sitting government belligerently will get us nowhere and as we can see you can end up in a political wilderness.

Opportunistic populist politics abounds these days, nowhere more so than in the Northern Isles. When there is a whiff of possible success on any of the issues there is a scramble to take credit where little or none is due.

Folk aren’t that gullible, past records are plain to see and Shetland deserves better representation in Holyrood than we are getting these days. By necessity that is someone who understands and will work with the council, not look to score points at their expense or successes.

Billy Fox
Quarff,
Shetland.

9 comments

  1. John Tulloch

    Billy, it would help if you identified the person or persons to whom you’re referring.

    May I suggest that “managing to gain access to an unprecedented level within the Scottish Government” may well represent a wonderful achievement in the SIC’s worldview however it appears not to have borne fruit in ferry subsidies.

    Given the evidence in the linked table below of Scottish ferry subsidies during OIOF’s lifetime, it would appear that, while the army of highly-paid people you assure us are fighting valiantly for fair ferry fares have served the Western Isles very well, they have served the Northern Isles very poorly, indeed.

    Table of Scottish Government ferry subsidies, 2013 – 2016, courtesy of For Argyll.
    http://forargyll.com/?p=103120

    NB IMO, this is a natural outcome of the overarching system within which local government operates, not necessarily the fault of individuals, many of whom work intelligently and hard on behalf of their communities. Major change In local government is imperative.

    The ferry fares issue exemplifies the need for “Wir Shetland” to exist. The freedom to campaign in a way SIC and OIOF are systemically constrained from doing is indispensable.

    Reply
    • Bill Adams

      John, if you actually lived here (instead of hectoring those of us who do from distant Argyll),
      you would have been a recipient of the junk mail in question and in no doubt as to the
      identity of the person to whom Billy Fox is referring.

      Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      “Billy, it would help if you identified the person or persons to whom you’re referring.”

      As if there’s truly any doubt.

      Reply
  2. ian tinkler

    “The nationalist doctrine is not one I subscribe to but more measures fit for Shetland … yes. To achieve that one must work with whoever is in power and use the political scene to best advantage.” That appears to be quite a turn around Billy Fox! Do you now suport the SNP with its renewable energy policy for Shetland? It so perhaps you should be a tad more honest with those who voted for you. No wonder you let the VE lobby walk all over you and could account for your manifestly feeble efforts to do or say anything regarding the high-jack of the SCT. Just what if anything do you actually stand for?

    Reply
  3. ian tinkler

    “Top of the pile is someone leading the fight on every issue which affects Shetland; with so many unresolved issues one wonders what has been happening over the last 16 years!” What a shame Mr Fox has not tried to lead the fight, come to think of it is there any issue Mr Fox has made a stand on. Remind me if there is anything of merit here.

    Reply
    • Brian Smith

      Mr Tinkler is the Donald Trump of Shetland.

      Reply
      • Bill Hall

        Brian Smith remains very high in my esteem,for posting the most succinct of comments, (and no cutting and pasting either!) however on this occasion I would amend it to “Mr Tinkler is the Katie Hopkins of Shetland.”

  4. Billy Fox

    Mr Tinkler, I would suggest you read my letter again and do not take snippets out of context which you have either deliberately or ignorantly misconstrued.

    The VE lobby walked all over the previous council……not this one.

    Planning was granted, leases were signed (for turbines on the Busta Estate), and Viking Energy ownership was transferred to the Shetland Charitable Trust. All expediently cut and dried prior to May 2012.

    My opposition to Viking Energy remains unchanged, if you had been paying full attention you would have gleaned that from statements I have made in written and broadcast media since being elected.

    I am also no supporter of the SNP, in fact I find it impossible to subscribe to any political party.

    ‘Measures fit for Shetland’ relates to governance and policy, not to industrialising our peat moorland and blanket bog with inappropriate large scale wind farm development (which incidentally, in my opinion, will never be commercially viable). The sooner the Shetland Charitable Trust recognises that the better for Shetland.

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      Just remind us billy, why did you not put yourself forward as a prospective SCT Trustee? You may just have made an impact there.

      Reply

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