28th September 2016
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Crass BBC decision (Larraine Gray)

Why, oh why did the BBC decide to delay the final episode of <i>Shetland</i> until Friday 4th March? This is the second time this has happened.

I think this series has been an improvement in so many ways to the previous two. The earlier series were weekly stories whereas this series is one main story spread over six episodes.

Two weeks in and we were left with one poor guy hurtling off the cliffs having been shot only to be told by the TV announcer that “The next episode of Shetland will be in two weeks’ time”. Why? A football game, that’s why.

The reason this time appears to be a rugby match. Surely the BBC schedulers know when they will need a period of clear weeks to programme their dramas. Perhaps not or is it just Shetland and Dickensian that must suffer.

They didn’t do it to Poldark and they don’t do it to Death in Paradise or Happy Valley. They should schedule all such series when they can be seen in their total length and without interruption.

Living in Shetland, I know how much work went into producing this current series. For ITV, making the series for BBC, the financial commitment would have been considerable.

The storyline in this series has progressed to present, in my opinion, a first class and exciting story with important social issues highlighted and it’s an insult to the programme makers, writers, actors and the public to mess us around like this.

The BBC should be ashamed of themselves. Or do they expect we will all go out and purchase the eventual DVD? Do they really need the money that much that they have to employ such tactics?

I, for one, will be viewing the final episode but it will be out of loyalty to the story, the series and its production crew and not because the BBC has deigned to allow me to watch it.

Larraine Gray
Greenwell,
Gott.

126 comments

  1. Andrew Maywood

    Larraine is absolutely right. This excellent series has been messed about badly. There have been some very good performances notably in episode four, but the cast, director and producers must feel sickened over how their work has been treated. How can the programme build an audience, and justify the further series it deserves, when there is no continuity for the broadcast slots? I am surprised there has not been much more of a stushie about “Shetland” being treated in this off-hand way.

    Reply
  2. fraser cluness

    Would you not be better sending this to the radio times and not the shetland times, dont think many bbc executives read the ST. or contact points of view tv programme.

    Reply
  3. Jayne Linington

    I’m a non-Shetlander, enjoying this series immensely and waiting for the finale, just now discovering that it’s been ‘bumped’ for the Six Nations Rugby and we have to wait another week! Shame on the BBC.

    Reply
  4. Stephen Finch-Nowell

    I have been following the series Shetland with delight.
    Imagine my horror to sit down this evening to view the last episode only to find that the damn BBC has substituted it for Rugby.
    Why! Why ! Why! does sport always take priority over everything else, especially over a fabulous series like this.
    I wish the BBC would wake up and take .
    notice of its loyal viewers.
    I feel betrayed and let down and I’m extremely dissapointed

    Reply
  5. Mary Boyle

    I am disgusted at the shabby treatment of the viewers and of the dismissive attitude of the bbc in the way Shetland has been thrown to the side….. for a rugby match.!!!
    !The viewing public should be asking for an explanation of this treatment. In light of the report into Jimmy Savel and his like, it reinforces the view ,that within the bbc there exists a culture of arrogance …people who although paid with and therefore rely on public money….dismiss the general public as blebs.
    It’s time the pubic spoke up and voted with theyr feet.

    Reply
  6. David Spence

    If the BBC had put on a more intellectually interesting programme, like a good documentary, instead of a sports programme (geee the grey cells are put in overdrive) then one may have, slightly, forgiven them.

    However, I totally agree with Larraine, in the BBC putting Sport ahead of a good drama, which contains, for the better half, slightly more gifted people than somebody kicking a leather ball on a field of grass. I am pretty sure the majority of people would have preferred a good drama than this of the very much, unskilled activity known as football or rugby.

    BBC, just because Shetland (the place) is stuck up there somewhere doesn’t mean that our tv license is of any less value than somebody else in a city on mainland UK.

    Reply
  7. John L Andrews

    Really annoyed Shetland bumped for Rugby Union, the tension of the programme has been wonderful and this fragmentation is appalling. Will now wait for either the box set or see the last episodes on Iplayer, nice to know the BBC thinking of its audience so woefully. Will do this for other scheduled with a break programmes. Shame indeed.

    Reply
  8. Duncan Simpson

    For a bit of balance against some of the OTT posts above. While I am not saying “Shetland” should have been bumped for the rugby I will say that the reason programs get moved for big sporting events is because they are broadcast live, i.e. the time of the match is fixed where as a pre-recorded program can be shown any time.

    Anyone who follows any kind of sport will appreciate the difference between watching the match or event live and watching highlights or a recording.

    And David calling a professional sport of any type “unskilled” is frankly a ridiculous comment. Look up the meanings of the words “skill” and “professional” and you may learn something. Whether you like it or not people enjoy watching sport (educated people also you may be shocked to learn!) so get off your high horse about “intellectual” TV.

    Possibly it should have been scheduled better but I am sure waiting another week to see the next episode is hardly a great hardship.

    Reply
  9. Roger Maidment

    I live in Wales. love watching the internationals but really disappointed that the final episode of Shetland was delayed. Didnt catch series 1 and 2 but series 3 is excellent. Brilliant performances great location. For those that havent seen it try and catch Hinterland set in Aberystwyth.

    Reply
    • evelyn Milligan

      I’ve watched hinterland and loved it! Shetland has been brilliant this series and I was gutted having to wait two weeks for the final episode.

      Reply
  10. John Tulloch

    There is an assumption that any live sport must take precedence over people’s favourite programmes.

    However, while I often like to watch a big fitba match live, it wid be fair to say there’s little demand for it among the remaining 50 percent of the Tulloch household – and trebly so for a ‘bunch o owerweight men tow-rowin aroond athin a holl o gutter, fechtin ower a wheer-shapit baa”; or, for that matter, a bunch of cars that resemble remote control roller skates snorin, lap eftir lap – ad infinitum – around a nondescript motor racing track. Both of which, especially, the latter, even I find difficult to become anywise excited about.

    You need to have some consideration for other folk’s wishes and the BBC has plenty of channels, and plenty of advance notice, on which to programme their live sporting events more sensitively than this.

    Reply
    • Brian Smith

      A self-governing Shetland will not postpone the final episode of ‘Shetland’.

      Reply
  11. Bill Hall

    Judging by the comments regarding the re-scheduling of the drama ‘Shetland’, it appears that “Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells” has washed up on the Islands’s beaches. It prompts me to ponder; who will eventually be the ‘Wir’, in Wir Shetland?

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      I suppose it’s alright for those sitting in Spain, sipping their cafe solos and pina coladas, to pour scorn on people trying to do something to halt the drain on Shetland’s hard-won oil funds, imposed by stealth underfunding of e.g. education – £10Mpa since 2008 – £80 million to date and rising fast.

      Well, Bill, I’m the same as you, sitting in Argyll. It doesn’t affect me one iota – except, that is, it angers me that my home, where I have lived most of my life is being cynically shafted to that degree – £8000 per Shetland household, on education, alone!.

      That is why I spend virtually a full-time job working on Wir Shetland and it’s why Wir Shetland will ensure that this election will be about Shetland and who has helped or hurt the place which, given the actions of their bosses in Holyrood, leaves SNP Shetland in a most unenviable position.

      Enjoy your pina colada.

      Reply
      • Bill Hall

        John, I have advocated autonomy for Shetland for many a long year now. I worked in the oil industry in various ways, my entire working life. When oil first came to Shetland, and Council Executive Ian Clark pulled off the coup of the century, I thought then was the time. Unfortunately after that, greed overtook some of those who should have been the saviours of Shetland. Since then, I have seen nobody coming forward with the breadth of knowledge and experience to run an autonomous Shetland (unless you start encouraging the many females in Shetland who are!) in my time in Shetland I knew and worked with at least six of them.
        My comment wasn’t directed at Wir Shetland per se, it was directed at the dearth of local people capable of running it, and the perils of allowing the ‘carpetbaggers’ to take over. So John, I raise my Cafe Cortado ( not Solo) and slurp my Ponche Caballero (Pina Coladas are for wusses!) and wish you the best of luck in your endeavours, however I fear Shetland is starting to sound ripe for the blandishments of UKIP.

      • john Tulloch

        Bill,

        I take your point about male-dominated local politics.

        We need to attract able people of both sexes to stand and indeed, Wir Shetland’s secretary and treasurer are both women and both SIC female councillors are WS members.

        Plenty of capable people exist, including within SIC.

        Councillors and officials are currently hamstrung by three layers of laws and regulations, routinely ludicrous in local context. Councillors are part-time, poorly paid and expected to command a range of mind-bogglingly complex issues. They can’t lead the officials, they depend on them. That must change.

        We currently depend on people who are retired, own businesses, or have a sympathetic employer, significantly restricting the pool of available talent.

        With autonomy, politicians would be adequately remunerated so that they don’t require other means of support. New people will be attracted and enabled to participate full-time..

        Increased competition will show up the duds and voters will reject them..

        Once enabled to make things happen, people, including voters, will realise they can make a difference. Politicians will be reinvigorated and new candidates inspired to stand.

        The most able people, unshackled and free to determine appropriate locally-orientated policies will transform performance.

      • ROBERT SIM

        John, I am trying to keep quiet here but it is almost impossible when I read things like: “Councillors are part-time, poorly paid and expected to command a range of mind-bogglingly complex issues. They can’t lead the officials, they depend on them.” Is your tongue firmly in your cheek when you write this sort of thing? Or do you actually believe it? For example, what actual evidence do you have for implying a correlation between the level of remuneration for elected members – anywhere in the UK – and their ability to master issues?

        The fact is that elected members in Shetland are all intelligent people. They are dedicated to their positions. They receive reports which set out the options and require them to make decisions. They are not misled or misinformed by officials, as you persistently imply. The reports are all transparent. It’s that simple. One can debate and question the decisions that have been made around the reports but not the process.

        You can’t expect folk to agree with your predictions for an independent Shetland if your view of the present and past is so skewed.

      • John Tulloch

        (Yawn!) Robert, here’s what I wrote:

        “Plenty of capable people exist, including within SIC.

        (The problem is..) “Councillors and officials are currently hamstrung by three layers of laws and regulations, routinely ludicrous in local context. Councillors are part-time, poorly paid and expected to command a range of mind-bogglingly complex issues. They can’t lead the officials, they depend on them. That must change.”

        “Councillors AND officials are currently hamstrung by three layers of…(rules)…”

        How pray is that disparaging council officials?

        And if you insist I’m wrong about wir part-time councillors being unable to lead the officials on 3 x salary, I have only three words to say to you:

        “Whalsay fish factory!”

      • Robert Sim

        John – what is yawn-inducing is your refusal to admit that elected members have final responsibility for the actions of the SIC. And I would quote back to you the “inability” of the SIC not to continually draw on the reserves over many years.

      • John Tulloch

        Robert (yawn),

        The actions of past councils are irrelevant, except that it reinforces the need to attract the most able people.

        The present council cannot be accused of overspending.

        Elected members are charged with final responsibility for the actions of the council, I have never denied that.

        It is right and proper that councillors should lead the officials. Alas, in many instances that is not happening – “Whalsay fish factory!”

        There can be no accountability without proper authority which requires more than somebody in Edinburgh or London saying “You’re in charge, so you’re responsible for what happens!”

        What I challenge is whether they are in a position effectively to discharge that responsibility when they are part-time, poorly paid and required to command a wide range of complex issues.

        If so the organisation will be dysfunctional.

        If you insist it’s councillors’ fault then, either, they are incompetent, ergo we need to attract a wider pool of talent; or they are poorly-equipped to fulfil their responsibilities; or they are simply faced with an impossible task of pleasing three massive bureaucracies.

        I say cut the bureaucracies from three to one by winning self-government.

      • Robert Sim

        John – “Elected members are charged with final responsibility for the actions of the council, I have never denied that.” At last, we are in agreement. You do try very hard to deny it in the rest of your lengthy post, though. It makes the case for self-government trickier if one admits that successive councils have been less than perfect. Maybe councillors in Argyll and Bute are perfect too?

        Don’t you think it odd, by the way, that not a single elected SIC member has ever posted on here in agreement with you (to my knowledge) when you have so nobly defended them?

      • John Tulloch

        @Robert Sim,

        It’s clear from your post that you, either, know nothing about leadership and management in organisations or you are being deliberately obtuse for some imagined benefit to the SNP.

        I need to focus on what the parties are offering to do for Shetland so I’ll leave you with this piece of advice – go away and read up – or get some advice on – leadership and management, then come back if you’re going to speak sense.

        Meanwhile, you could regale us with your version of what the SNP is going to do for Shetland in the course of the next parliament?

      • Robert SIm

        @John Tulloch – “It’s clear from your post that you, either, know nothing about leadership and management in organisations or you are being deliberately obtuse for some imagined benefit to the SNP.” We can discount the latter, John – I don’t speak for the SNP: not everyone has a political agenda. I’ll leave that to SNP spokespeople. So maybe you can point out to me precisely and clearly where my post (or indeed any of my posts) shows a failure to understand “leadership and management in organisations”? To help you, I am saying that councillors in Shetland, like all across the rest of Scotland, lead their council through the policy and decisions they set and make; and officers advise them through reports. I would have thought that was pretty basic knowledge when it comes to “leadership and management in organisations”?

      • John Tulloch

        @Robert Sim,

        Please note my last two comments. I have nothing more to say to you on this.

        I accept that we must agree to differ.

      • Robert Sim

        @John Tulloch – I asked you to point out to me precisely and clearly where my post (or indeed any of my posts) showed a failure to understand “leadership and management in organisations”, which is what you accused me of – and it’s a pretty serious and insulting accusation. And now you have nothing more to say? So am I to take it that you have nothing at all to back up your accusation?

      • John Tulloch

        @Robert SIm,

        I recognise your need for constant attention however I am representing WIr Shetland nowadays and other people want to know our view on things as much as you do – and you’ve had more than a fair ‘crack of the whip.’

        I’m content for readers to look at your posts and mine on this topic and decide for themselves who understands or doesn’t understand what.

        If you want me to engage in debate with you, you’ll need to ask something worth answering, until then it’s “adios, amigo!”

      • Brian Smith

        Wir Shetland is approaching a crossroads. Mr Tulloch says that he has been looking carefully at what the political parties are offering Shetland. But all four of the candidates already selected want to stay in the Common Market. So presumably WS will have to back UKIP, if they stand this time – Wir Shetland has many characteristics in common with that party – or find their own candidate. Maybe Mr Tinkler?

      • iantinkler

        Sorry, Brian Smith, too busy at work to consider politics for now. Some of us enjoy our jobs and do not want to retire at 65 and stand for politics. I realise that is not the UNISON way, where one’s pension rights reigns supreme. My productive ability and contribution to humanity do not end at 65, maybe in union books, but not in mine. I love my work and will carry on for a few years yet. It is all about helping people and improving their health. However I am flattered you should think of me standing as a candidate for Wir Shetland. I remind you, my views are my own, not Wir Shetlands, not shackled to a union or a party, like UNISON or the SNP. I must say, I appear to have made an impression on you, for that I am glad..

      • John Tulloch

        🙂 Good one, Brian!

        You’re right, all four parties advocate the UK staying in the EU.

        Wir Shetland holds that, as things currently stand, Shetland would be better off outside the EU. No equivocation about that.

        However, Wir Shetland is not campaigning, specifically, to leave the EU. We are campaigning for self-government with the power to leave the EU if the democratically-elected government and the population see fit to do so.

        Ergo, the candidates’ positions on devolution of local powers to Shetland and other islands are our focus, not their views on “Brexit” or “Bremain” which are of little consequence to our campaign.

      • Brian Smith

        I see. So if in or out of the EEC is ‘of little consequence’ to Wir Shetland, the two more important matters must be (a) hatred of the SNP (the subject of most of Mr Tulloch’s messages), and (b) ‘devolution of local powers to Shetland’.
        It sounds horribly as if WS is poised to give its backing to Mr Scott and his pre-election ‘island plan’. In other words, as I have suggested before, they will plump for the political status quo.

      • John Tulloch

        My apologies to “Shetland” fans for this continued intrusion into their thread, I can’t get away from ‘neo-Pictish guerrilla warfare’ 🙂 – they’ve chosen this as their field in which to make diversionary attacks.

        “Hatred of the SNP”, Brian? Why, they make Wir Shetland’s job so easy!

        It may have escaped your notice that the SNP are the government of the day, the “power that be’s”, the effects of whose actions on SIC funding, education, ferries, emergency services – and…. and… and.. – have been extremely damaging for Shetland.

        Throw in their unctuous, ‘kicking the can down the road’, response to Our Islands’ Our Future’s Oliver Twist-like plea for increased local powers and you have something which must be campaigned against with every fibre of our being.

      • Brian Smith

        I think we’re getting there, John. Wir Shetland is backing Mr Scott, the Lib Dems and Mr Scott’s vague ‘island plan’. No change.

      • John Tulloch

        Brian,

        That,’s certainly an option and presumably you think it’s a logical one, at least, from Wir Shetland’s perspective?

        Wir Shetland is not ready to announce its electoral intentions.

        (BTW, you’re right, we’re unlikely to back Mr Skene – damn, how did you work that one out?)

        If you were in my shoes, what would be your argument for going the Scott route, as opposed to supporting, say, Labour’s Robina Barton – or even an independent?

        Whatever we do, you may rest assured it will be in what we perceive to be Shetland’s best interests; for we have no other axe to grind, it’s why we exist.

  12. Brian Cole

    Thank god it wasn’t an England match, if it had been you’d have had treble the complaints with the accompanying constant whine of the nationalists!!!!

    Incidentally the programme Shetland should have had a Saturday/Sunday night slot it is so good. From a rather “cottage industry” production of series one to a very sophisticated production in series 3 it has matured like a good wine. Am looking forward to series 4 , should be a 10 parter like the Scandanavian Noir series.

    It’s a bit like the Scottish Rugby team , constantly improving.

    Reply
  13. Brian Cole

    Thinking about it , why couldn’t BBC Scotland have shown it and then fans in England could have switched channels or recorded ? It could then be shown on BBC England at a later date.

    After all that’s what devolution is about

    Reply
  14. Johan Adamson

    I personally was glad to get the opportunity to watch Philomena at 9pm on BBC2 on Friday instead but also cant wait for the last episode of Shetland.

    Reply
  15. Robert Duncan

    The final episode has aired in Sweden, which astute readers may note is the home of perhaps the most well known purveyor of illegitimate media downloads. I don’t wish to say I condone such behaviour, but you’d hope TV executives might eventually catch on that decisions like this are a major driver towards piracy. With the technology now available, fewer and fewer people are interested in serials that force them to wait week to week to watch the next episode at a prescribed time – especially not when they can find it online to watch at their convenience.

    Reply
  16. Bill Hall

    John,
    Your appraisal of the current political system is undoubtedly correct, but your solution seems to be somewhat flawed I fear.
    Because of universal salary scales, civil servants and health care professionals are paid large urban salaries for administering Peerie Shetland. This results, in many cases, ( not all ) in people from other parts of Britain, who have no interest at all in a ‘Wir’ Shetland, running Shetland’s institutions. So we come back to education. Remember that Colonial Britain’s greatest gift to India was the Civil Service, ( plus the railways of course!)
    What in my own clumsy way I am trying to say is, educate and retain the young people of Shetland to fill the civil service and NHS posts, and the Cooncillors can continue to bimble along in their own inimitable way without grossly inflated salaries. Paying the most, doesn’t necessarily get you the best, witness the Financial Sector. Finally, Scotland used to rely on simply denigrating their neighbours to the South, until they learned to beat them at their own game, as did India.

    Reply
    • Robert SIm

      Bill – I am wondering how your “recruit locals” strategy would work within an open and fair recruitment process? There is nothing at present preventing anyone educated in Shetland from applying for any post within the SIC or the NHS in Shetland, as far as I can see?

      Reply
    • John Tulloch

      Bill,

      I’m all for young Shetlanders being able to stay on in Shetland or, even better, returning after gaining experience elsewhere in the country and/or the world. I think it’s a mistake to assume that incoming people are not committed to working for Shetland like ‘natural Shetlanders’ and it’s healthy to have an ongoing input of fresh eyes and fresh ideas.

      An essential condition for motivation is clear direction i.e. clear aims, objectives and rules to work by. The presence of three legal jurisdictions and their associated bureaucracies, all making ‘one size fits all’ laws for much bigger, urbanised regions, by definition, does not satisfy this condition.

      The only way we can escape from the great bureaucratic swamp is by becoming self-governing and, like Greenland, leaving the EU. That would cut the number of regulating/interfering bureaucracies from three to one, enabling councillors AND officials to work together, making local laws to fit local issues, for the common good of Shetland.

      It doesn’t mean, Robert, going off at a tangent on our own. It means we make agreements with our neighbours that we have control of and taking account of those in our locally-made decisions.

      Reply
      • Robert Sim

        “The presence of three legal jurisdictions and their associated bureaucracies, all making ‘one size fits all’ laws for much bigger, urbanised regions, by definition, does not satisfy this condition”. Does that include EU Directives on health and safety at work, which operate in Shetland too?

      • John Tulloch

        @Robert SIm,

        Don’t be silly. You know fine we need, among other things, health and safety laws and regulations. However, there are many sources of health and safety expertise in the world and we do not need to be in the EU in order to have such laws and regulation.

        When we ask questions and receive straight answers it ill behoves us to play silly games and as mentioned in my last post, I don’t have time to indulge in that, I’m more interested in what the parties are going to do for Shetland over the next parliament and frankly, all I’m hearing from the SNP direction are excuses and obfuscation.

        If the SNP isn’t going to do anything to help Shetland and instead, only continue stripping out our oil reserves, then don’t be surprised if WIr Shetland criticises your policies.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Again John, you keep repeating the same myth:

        “If the SNP isn’t going to do anything to help Shetland and instead, only continue stripping out our oil reserves”.

        The SNP [for the hundredth time] DON’T collect oil revenues – Shetlands or Scotland’s – [never has] ALL oil revenue goes to the UK Gov.

  17. iantinkler

    EU Directives on health and safety at work, which operate in Shetland too? What a silly example, “EU Directives on health and safety at work”. Some of these are utterly mindless, maybe Robert, if you had ever worked, for example, in the medical field, you would understand the bureaucratic idiocy of endless silly regulation. As they say, those that can, do. Those that can not _______—-! All the rest join a committee and regulate!

    Reply
    • Robert SIm

      i came across this comment again, Ian. I couldn’t be bothered at the time (I never can, to be honest) to respond to your usual tactic of wildly sweeping statement plus implied personal insult; but, just for fun, how about a detailed list of the EU Directives on Health and Safety at Work which you consider “utterly mindless” in your own area of the “medical field” and why each one is indeed mindless?

      Reply
      • Ian Tinkler

        Enjoy Robert Sim, just the tip of a massive iceberg. Sadly I have not got a month or two to explain them. We actually had some pretty sound regulations of our own before the lunatics took over the asylum.

        http://ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/business_secrets_en.pdf
        http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2002/si/478/made/en/print
        http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2007/si/303/made/en/print
        • SI no 478 of 2002 European Communities, Medical Ionising Radiation Protection, Regulations 2002.pdf
        • Dose Constraints for ‘Helpers’ – 03/09/2004.pdf
        • Fluoroscopic Devices – 03/09/2004.pdf
        • Criteria for Clinical Audit – 11/10/2004.pdf
        • Protocols for Standard Radiological Practice – 09/11/2004.pdf
        • Diagnostic Referance Levels – 03/12/2004.pdf
        • Medical Council Policy Document on the use of Medical Ionising Radiation – 14/02/2005.pdf
        • Core Policy – 9/08/2005.pdf
        • Radiation Protection 99 – Guidance on medical exposures in medical and biomedical research.pdf
        • Radiation Protection 100 – Guidance for protection of unborn children and infants irradiated due to parental medical exposures.pdf
        • SI no 303 of 2007 European Communities ,Medical Ionising Radiation Protection, Amendment, Regulations 2007.pdf

      • Ian Tinkler

        Some of these are a bit Irish, sorry wrong tab hit. Try the simple directions for UK Dental protocols. Note These are just the guidance notes!!!!
        https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/337178/misc_pub_DentalGuidanceNotes.pdf
        Remember at the end of the day a dental radiography (digital, inter oral film) is as dangerous as one ninth of a cigarette. Not nice but reading the regulations will do you more damage.

      • Robert Sim

        All look like eminently sensible regulations to me, Ian. (Not sure why I was referred to an Irish website but I guess it’s the same EU legislation.) You will have to take that month off to explain if you want to persuade me otherwise.

      • Robert Sim

        Sorry, Ian, I didn’t see your follow-up comment about the risks of dental x-ray. I am reading it on a phone and didn’t scroll far enough. I take your point. But the regulations surely keep everyone entirely safe? That must be good?

      • iantinkler

        Sadly, over regulation puts people at risk. Some regulations are wholly sensible, however some are idiotic, if you make something really stupid rule, most people will ignore it. Then there is a real chance they will ignore what actually is important. For example in dental radiography, a record has to be made why the radiograph needs to be taken (handwritten by the surgeon) and then what you expect to find and finally what you actually find. Well one type of radiograph is normally taken to find dental decay, it is taken for no other reason on most occasions. Now after taking it you then have to write up that you see on the radiograph, the radiation exposure (dose) and a score for how good the image is (handwritten by the surgeon) . No problem, a few minutes work, change rubber gloves each time you handle patient card and biro. Just remember however we do thousands of these every year, probably tens of millions across Europe. That equates to thousands of hours work, when we have huge waiting lists for people in pain, perhaps oral cancers waiting to be diagnosed. Hardly a good use of time. Result regulations ignored by many as no more than bureaucracy gone mad.. Save a lot of time if you just noted the pathology seen on the radiograph, that is all that really matters, the reason taken was taken is obvious!!. The nurse could note that, however EU regulations say not!!! Now try this one if full
        The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000, (IR(ME)R 2000), came into force
        on 13 May 2000 IRMER 2000 to implement the European Directive 97/43/Euratom (The Medical
        Exposures Directive). The regulations replaced the Ionising Radiation (Protection of Persons
        Undergoing Medical Examination or Treatment) Regulations 1988 (POPUMET) which have
        been repealed.

  18. Henry Condy

    Just came across another post from the Editor of Wir Shetland (. john Tulloch ) to Robert Sim , ” I recognise your need for constant attention, however I am representing Wir Shetland nowadays and other people want to know our views on things as much as you do , and you have had a ” Fair crack of the whip ” how arrogant , reminds me of Captain Mannering in Dads Army, and this frm a man who has more or less every third letter from himself.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Of course, you’re quite right Henry, Mr Tulloch seems to be quite happy spouting his usual nonsense more than anyone else on almost every subject, while [somehow] being able to turn – whatever subject – into a SNP BaaD article, but doesn’t seem too prepared to either listen or explain direct questions?
      I’m afraid I’ve just become bored and gave up, this forum has become the mouthpiece for Tulloch & Co, it’s been hi-jacked by the loudest and most persistent. As I’ve said on previous posts, constant whinging and repeating the same old ‘SNP Baaad’ mantra maybe boring, but, all in all, when we look at 97% of our MSM doing exactly the same, it doesn’t seem to have done the SNP Scottish Government too much harm?
      ‘Give them enough rope’ springs to mind. 🙂

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        Stoap greetin intae yer beer, son!

        Robin, it should be dead easy to flatten my argument. Just tell us all the good things the SNP has done – if you can find any – and is, “a-hem”, promising to do for Shetland in the future.

      • Robert Sim

        The “which MSP?” argument boils down, as it has done at previous elections, to one very simple point: given the overwhelming dominance of the SNP at national level (the polls are saying 60% support at present), what is the point in Shetland returning an MSP who, on his or her own, can influence no-one and nothing? Much better to have a voice inside the tent than to be shouting impotently outside it.

      • Ian Tinkler

        Maybe time for Shetland to leave that particular tent. SNP Scotland is doing nothing for Shetland, or is it Robert, if so what? Enlighten us.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ian, who do you think was paying the interest on Shetlands historic debt?… That’s right, the SNP Gov, year in year out, dating back to the UK’s reneged promised unpaid bill 40 odd years ago.

        In 1999 – when Scotland had its parliament reconvened – the UK gov passed ‘Their outstanding bill’ onto the Scottish government, [despite what John Tulloch imagines] there was actually NO extra money given to the SG by way of their block grant, the Lib/Dems have sat on their hands for decades, it was only when the interest payment was stopped [by the SNP Gov who were under no obligation to pay for the UK debt] that panic ensued, finally everyone was forced around the table, only then [honest] Ali C was forced to act in an attempt to save face for his and his party’s apathy, the SNP [as a gesture] decided to finally get rid of Shetland’s historic debt and agreed to a three-way split.

      • iantinkler

        Sure Robin . seen the latest figures, “The amount spent per head was £1,400 per person higher than the UK figure, according to the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) bulletin for 2014-15.The deficit ran to almost 10% of Scotland’s output – nearly double the level for the UK as a whole.”. Now stop making up excuses and referances red herrings from the past Robin and answer, where would we be today if Alex and Nicola had won their “Yes” vote (con)?. Assuming the EU would have allowed “indie Scotland” to join the EU (unlikely), Scotland would be a bigger financial basket case than Greece, or outside the EU just a failing third world debt ridden state, like most failing socialist utopias (Venezuela being a good example) .

      • Johan Adamson

        But, Robert Sim, you say “The “which MSP?” argument boils down, as it has done at previous elections, to one very simple point: given the overwhelming dominance of the SNP at national level (the polls are saying 60% support at present), what is the point in Shetland returning an MSP who, on his or her own, can influence no-one and nothing? Much better to have a voice inside the tent than to be shouting impotently outside it.”

        If we applied that logic we would never have change, and we would always support the Tories in the UK (what’s the point of opposition?) Im sure the left wing Labour party tried to shout inside the tent when Blair was in power, but Im sure it was to no avail (but it worked eventually).

      • Robert SIm

        Thanks, Johan – in fact, I am agreeing with you and arguing FOR change at the coming election. If Shetland is being treated less favourably, as is said on here repeatedly, then that is hardly a ringing endorsement of our present MSP. Far better to be part of the majority and have an influential voice.

      • Brian Smith

        Mr Tulloch and his acolyte keep asking what the SNP government has done for Shetland. I have never voted SNP, and never will; but some things can be said in the Scottish government’s favour. Shetland has free care for the old; free prescriptions for everybody; no student tuition fees; the bedroom tax has effectively been put to bed (with support from Labour); our water remains public; NHS privatisation is minimal. Messrs Tinkler and Tulloch rarely if ever criticise the national government, but it won’t escape Shetlanders’ attention that people south of the border do not have these desirable advantages.

      • John Tulloch

        Brian,

        Thank you for alerting me to that false perception.

        My concern is with Shetland not the affairs of Glasgow or Birmingham.

        The primary day-to-day issues which affect Shetland are the responsibility of the SNP Scottish government who, have presided over the crucifixion of SIC finances and I make no apology for my criticism of that.

        I have also – repeatedly – criticised London interference in the planning of SSE’s proposed new gas-fired power station at Rova Head which is preventing the installation of a gas pipeline from Sullom to Lerwick that could be used to supply large buildings and homes in Lerwick and elsewhere along the route with gas at a very cheap price, indeed.

        That is intolerable. Sitting on their backsides down in London, they have no business poking their noses into the affairs of Shetland where fuel poverty is running over 40 percent.

        Shetland should manage its own affairs, including power supplies and needs to be clear of interference from any possible combination of Westminster, Holyrood and/or Brussels.

        I trust that’s clear enough for you?

    • ROBERT SIM

      Thanks for the support, Henry. This was actually John Tulloch’s smokescreen to cover up the fact that he had lost the argument.

      Reply
      • Ian Tinkler

        Come on, Robert and Robin, what has the SNP done for Shetland, just blow away John’s smoke.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ian, I’m STILL waiting for your answer to my question? [I hope you’re not trying to do a John here and deflect?] ‘What exactly have the Lib/Dems achieved for S&O in 72 years in government, both at Westminster and Holyrood?” Perhaps once you or John or anyone for that matter, manages to answer that, then I’ll be happy to respond to you and tell you what the SNP have done in 64 years less. 🙂

      • Ian Tinkler

        Your answer, Robin Stevenson, as pertained to me and my children. Aith school, fabulous rural School, one of the best academic records in Scotland, sadly under threat of closure (rather like all so many Shetland rural schools). I could go on but that will do for now. (Robert Sim, still OK about these planned closures?)

      • John Tulloch

        You’ll need to ask the Liberals themselves what they’ve done, Robin, I speak for Wir Shetland.

        However, neither the Liberals nor anyone else can emulate the sheer scale of the SNP’s “feats” for the benefit of Shetland:

        * £178 million computer bought to handle 14,000 CAP payments – failed, months later, payments still awaited, farmers needing loans and overdrafts.
        * £80 million systematic underfunding of schools since 2008.
        * 14 percent cut in ferry funding versus 41 percent increase for Western Isles.
        * £9.3 million real terms cut for SIC in 2016/17 funding, the WORST deal in Scotland.
        * Etc.

        I’m surprised Danus Skene has the face to stand for election on your ticket, it must be excruciatingly embarrassing for him – always seeking to evade discussion of local issues, as he has done consistently since the start of his 2015 General Election campaign.

      • Robert Sim

        Ian and John – If we are looking at it from the perspective of the coming election, all of the things you list as being detrimental to Shetland happened on the watch of a non-SNP MSP, so what is the point in again returning someone who will remain unable to influence Holyrood policy? Politics is the art of the possible. Shetland needs to have more influence nationally and an SNP MSP will enable that. I don’t understand why you would want anything else.

      • Johan Adamson

        John you forgot the windmills and VE

      • Ian Tinkler

        I see, Robert Sim, so we in Shetland, should always vote for whichever party is in power in Edinburgh. That way we will always have an SMP with maximal influence. How just think, following that line of spectacular reasoning, all of Scotland should vote Tory in Westminster elections! if I were you I would just keep taking the tablets.

      • Robert Sim

        Ian, you say: “…just think, following that line of spectacular reasoning, all of Scotland should vote Tory in Westminster elections!” Good attempt at diversion but this isn’t the Westminster election. And we’ve tried voting for the party not in power for the last several elections and it has made no difference.

      • Ali Inkster

        I was under the impression that a government was there for all the people not just those that voted for them. Not in Scotland it would seem.

      • Ian Tinkler

        So Robin Sim, you advise, vote for an SMP or MP for no other reason than the party they represent is in power. Now let’s see, however “Nationalist”, divisive, dictatorial and centralizing power crazy that party may be, to gain maximal influence, we, according to you should vote for that party. Now if we all did that we would truly have a one party state, Hail victory! Or perhaps Sieg hail! As I said “keep taking the tablets.

      • iantinkler

        The mind police of the SNP? just the thin end of the wedge “Voters reject SNP ‘state guardian’ plan for children, new poll shows!!, but we should in Mr Robert Sim’s logic vote for these jokers so as to gain influence with Nippy and her politburo.
        http://no2np.org/

      • Robert Sim

        Ian, you say: “The mind police of the SNP? just the thin end of the wedge “Voters reject SNP ‘state guardian’ plan for children, new poll shows!!, but we should in Mr Robert Sim’s logic vote for these jokers so as to gain influence with Nippy and her politburo.
        http://no2np.org/“.

        I am a bit taken aback that as a health professional you don’t appear to know that the Named Person scheme is a joint-agency scheme designed to protect vulnerable children and follows some high-profile and disturbing cases nationally where children “fell through the net”. NHS employees are well aware of their role in it.

        And, yes, I think Shetland voters should vote for an MSP who can effectively fight the isles’ corner and have influence at Holyrood. It’s called common sense and not living in cloud-cuckoo land.

      • iantinkler

        Robert Sim, I think Shetland voters should vote for an MSP who can effectively fight the isles’ corner and have influence at Holyrood, but not at the cost of a single party state. You sadly seem to only have “the nationalist blinkers” on, any opposition is simply not tolerated. If all Scotland felt the same and had the same narrow view, no more opposition, just absolute power to the Nats. Is that what you are advocating? If so further argument is pointless. I would like to see how many, if any, SNP people have your guts and honesty to state such a view. Unopposed single party in power, no opposition at all, that is a dictatorship. Be good to see who would endorse that view. Poor old Sillars to be expelled from the SNP, dared to voice a different view from Nippy. O well there goes democracy in Scotland. All animals are equal but some are more equal than others!! Bar Bar, Barr. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14339444.Video__Jim_Sillars_faces_threat_of_expulsion_from_SNP/?ref=rss

  19. iantinkler

    ‘Give them enough rope’ springs to mind. 🙂 Just what Westminster did to Salmond. Cameron played a blinder, so much dislike for the SNP brand of Nationalism outside Scotland rUK voted in droves for the Tories. Resulting in a Tory majority and now “the Yes vote” dropping like a stone (latest poll 44%) Tick Tock splat and Humpy takes another tumble. Now even Dannus is crytical of SNP policy, must be seeing the writing on the wall! No wonder “Wir Shetland” is growing so fast. Nothing to do with Mr Tulloch of course, all down to the SNP and its wonderful performance in Shetland (that was a joke boys, a bit like Nicola’s the new poll tax revamp (headless chicken springs to mind) lol.)

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian, do you actually know how to read the poll?… It’s just that you keep coming up with these bizarre figures? I take it you’re not including the ‘don’t knows’ in your findings?…. Just to give you a hand, here are the ‘real figures’:

      There were 4 polls for Feb 2016, made up from 6 different polling companies, [Ipsos Mori, Yougov, Panelbase, Survation, ICM and TNS-BMRB] Yes = 46%, 52%, 47%, 47%, but as I’ve said before, a snapshot of a month or two is pointless? Otherwise, I guess I could scream out like a clown every time Yes goes above 50%, but ofc, who’d be silly enough to do that, right?

      The other thing you seem to be struggling with is the fact that the SNP vote in Scotland made absolutely NO impact on voters in the rUK voting intentions, as we’ve been told by exactly the same polling companies [above]

      I’m glad ‘Wir Shetland’ is growing for you, it’s important to have a local group fighting for their own constituency, but surely the question is, who’ll represent you on a more National scale? Or does that explain why Tavish was so quick to jump on your bandwagon?

      Reply
      • Ian Tinkler

        Try, http://whatscotlandthinks.org/opinion-polls. A hell of a long way off Nicola’s 60%. Nothing much more to say. whoop, whoop.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Yes Ian, that’s the same website I’m using, which further asks the question, ‘where are you getting your figures from?’ My figures stand and are correct, yours aren’t?

        There won’t be another referendum called until [probably] 2021/22, so the 60% we’re aiming for is a real possibility when we consider that it only took us 2 years to go from mid 20% up to 45% [now 50/50 ‘average’]

        I completely agree with your last line of your post 🙂

      • iantinkler

        Nicola Sturgeon ‘in denial over Scotland’s deficit and independence’
        The First Minister lashes out at Holyrood’s opposition parties for being anti-Scottish after they highlight figures she unveiled the previous day showing Scotland’s deficit was £15 billion last year. Case closed. “Scotland the brave”. Independent Nationalist, “Scotland the broke?” Thank goodness Salmond Sturgeon failed.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ian

        Let us put these daft guesstimates of guesstimates into some sort of context:

        Let’s say for example: If you were offered a dental practice where the previous owners had been absolutely useless – but you knew the clientele were there, the business was there – but because of their mismanagement and spendthrift ways, it was slowly dying on its feet. Their books were presented to you which were either running at a small loss or barely washing its own face. Now you knew that this once good business had the potential to be great again. Would you:

        a. Based on their books, refuse point blank to purchase said business, knowing that every year thereafter were obviously doomed to fail?
        b. Take over the business and change nothing about the way it’s been run in the past?
        c. Take over the business and correct everything that the previous owners had been doing wrong? [As in invest and promote]
        d. Demand that you only see one year’s accounts despite the fact that the business has been trading for 40 years?

        GERS guesstimates are based on the static status quo, they tell us absolutely ‘nothing’ about an independent Scotland.

      • iantinkler

        Sure Robin, my practise is doing fine thanks. Whyever should I copy the SNP model, that is going bust.

      • Robin Stevenson

        That is ‘exactly the point Ian, ‘your model is doing fine thanks’ ..The SNP don’t have ‘a model?’ What they’d like is to put in place their ‘model’ of how best to run their own economy?
        The answer incidentally was:

        c. Take over the business and correct everything that the previous owners had been doing wrong?

        You cannot use the ‘SNP model’ because it isn’t in their hands? It’s a bit like you giving away the rights to your ‘doing fine thanks business’ to your neighbour, then scratching your head in wonder, as they run it down. and bleed it dry. Wouldn’t you just rather have it back and run it properly?

  20. Sandy McDonald

    This reminds me of the time when they cancelled the Scotland International just to air Princess Dianas’ funeral. Absolute shocker – I feel your pain.

    Reply
  21. Haydn Gear

    Ian, I’m reminded of that old, wrinkled chestnut , ” ah, but what did the Romans ever do for Britain?” (Letter March 9th). All too easy to overlook or take for granted.

    Reply
  22. Gordon Harmer

    Scotland is used to being routinely assured that everything about it is and will be ‘world class’. Now there is a less welcome addition to that eminence, a genuinely ‘world class’ budget deficit, one of the highest in the developed world.
    The figures issued earlier this week by Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland [GERS] showed Scotland in a near record budgetary deficit of £14.9Bn for 2014/15 including its geographic share of offshore tax revenues.
    This deficit is 9.7% of Scotland’s GDP, twice that of the UK whose deficit of £89Bn is 4.9% of its GDP.
    The deficit is 17% of that of the UK, where Scotland’s GDP is around 8% of the UK’s, something of a negative double whammy.
    Were Scotland to have been independent in this performance, it would have been in the red by £2,800 per person in Scotland, raising £10,000 per person in tax revenues and spending £12,800 per person.
    This is a deficit per head of 28% between earning and spending.
    What Scottish household could fail to understand the impact of such a deficit on their own domestic finances?
    Where now is the credibility of the always obviously irresponsible White Paper on Scotland’s Future, the indy prospectus authored by the current First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in which she promised that every Scot would be £500 better off in an independent Scotland.
    Were we today thirteen days away from the SNP’s planned Independence Day of 24th March 2016, how would this economic position have felt to those who supported indy?

    Reply
  23. iantinkler

    “how would this economic position have felt to those who supported indy” They would still be painting their faces blue, blaming Westminster, dressing up in flags and wondering if the E U would let them join before Ukraine and Turkey. O yes. and still have the pleasure of Wee Alex running the show. That is if he was not away on another £100,000 a day golf trip.

    Reply
    • Henry Condy

      Ian , I recall you saying you were a supporter of the Oval Ball game, Well England have won the six nations tournament, once again with Scotland’s massive help. Now in the Calcutta Cup, you at home , watching the match, may not have your face painted blue, or drape yourself in a Saltire , but when they sing Flower Of Scotland you must feel pride, and when Scotland are surging forward for a try , find yourself shouting at the Tv. If this is not the case , then you are an England fan, and this explains the reasons for your bitter full of hate posts against the Snp, I accept you are a professional man in your line of work , but to see you address the First Minister as Wee Nippy etc, demeans any posts you may contribute, shows a lack of respect, and basically is childish, I expect better from an intelligent professional.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        Ah, here it comes, the SNP’s adaptation of Norman Tebbit’s notorious “cricket test”.

  24. Henry Condy

    So, on and it it goes , the Snp didn’t do this , the Snp didn’t do that , look at the bigger picture, the Channel Tunnel wasn’t built for Scotland’s benefit , The money being poured into London to make it a Jewel in the Crown for tourism, The money being poured into the City of London, to make it the financial centre of the world, with it’s own Mayor laws etc, the budget next week where The Chancellor is going to claw back 12 billion pounds from the sick , disabled , the weakest in society, whilst at this very moment a rail link round London costing 15 BILLION POUNDS is due to open in 2018, no rail link no black hole , but this will enhance London to high flying financial businesses for London , take a look at any other rail network in the Uk, shabby by London Standards. London will be the jewel , paid for by Uk taxpayers , then callously dumped by Westminster under the banner of giving independance when we have been sucked dry. fight Westminster not Holyrood

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      The Channel Tunnel carries nearly every Scottish lorry taking Scottish exports and goods to the continent and has been a Godsend to Scottish companies.
      The SNP on the other hand are a Godsend to no one but their own over inflated egos. They on the one hand nearly scuppered the long awaited Smith powers because of the no detriment clause in the agreement. Then they follow that up by advocating to a man (baa baa baa) that we should stay in the EU, where detriment to Scotland and the UK is at its strongest and most undiluted. Detriment where we pay millions every day and are “generously” given half back to spend where we are told, not where we want or need to spend it. When asked how she would reduce Scotland’s deficit Nicola replied the same way the UK have handled the deficit over the years. Just how have they done that you may well ask? Austerity came back the thunderous reply, austerity forced on everyone in Scotland by Swinney’s swinging cuts to local councils just for a start, the rest will come after May.

      Reply
      • Henry Condy

        Gordon Once again you pick one small part of a post, then launch into diatribe against the Snp for the rest of that post. your friend Cameron wants us in the EU, the Snp had to fight for decent terms from Westminster , they were robbing us blind, no mention from you of the new London rail link costing 15 BILLION POUNDS or heathrows new runway , it will come, the money to refurbish Parliament ,or the money to refurbish Buckingham place,Or the £ 100 million for security for the palace , hundreds of staff for a handful of people ,700 rooms , one for the corgis , whilst there are thousands of homeless a mile from said building ,what do you expect Nicola to say , the Snp is doing a job for Scotland while Cameron and Co have starved them of funds, and regarding Shetlands 5per cent cut , Nicola is taking from the richest to help finance the poorest sections in Scotland , whilst Cameron is taking from the poorest to make the rich richer. Gordon one of these days you and your cronies will open your eyes

      • Gordon Harmer

        Well Henry at least I don’t do what you do and make stuff up, the Channel Tunnel, an asset to Scottish companies but used by you in your anti English rant. Why have you forgot to mention the everyday cost of keeping up Holyrood let alone the over budget cost of building this white Elephant which if not constantly put back together again would fall down. My diatribe is fact and true unlike your mish mash of made up and plucked out of the air infantile fairy stories. For your information the SNP want and said so in Westminster a further runway at Heathrow instead of other options and they had a political and financial argument to support this. So maybe research is your problem or more like the lack of. But hey never mind why use facts when the truth would ruin a good rant. Just to make a point I have no friend called David Cameron. Finally the SGs financial under spend of several billions over the years would have been better spent on Scotland’s poor rather than ferreted away in a war chest for the forthcoming election which has already shown little carrot’s to gain votes.

  25. Gordon Harmer

    Over the last few days we’ve seen Sturgeon and Swinney humiliate themselves on national TV, they have shown they do not have the answers to the financial problems engulfing Scotland.
    Online Nationalists may claim to have all the answers but they are not party hierarchy and do not write policy this is an important thing to remember.
    The best they have is the dream of another referendum but not the full on manifesto commitment to one, this is the SNP beginning with clever speak to sell their followers a pup.
    So we now have a party with no answers to the difficult financial questions and no referendum on the books.
    Drive these points home and remind them this next election is all about Scotland and who rules in Holyrood, it is not about London, Westminster, the Channel Tunnel, Buckingham Palace, or HS2. Every thing Ms Condy rants on about is a distraction for the failures of the present Scottish Government. He pulls people of track with his Tom and Jerry style of rhetoric as a smoke screen to the facts, “facts” a word he knows not the meaning off.

    Reply
    • Ian Tinkler

      “I accept you are a professional man in your line of work , but to see you address the First Minister as Wee Nippy etc, demeans any posts you may contribute, shows a lack of respect, and basically is childish” Blasphemy no less, a bland nickname for Sturgeon, how awful!. Mr Condy is it OK to refer to people as Quislings, Traitors, Drunkards, Senile fools and the BBC as a Nazi propaganda machine? That was from officers and official candidates of the SNP. I am sorry Henry, look to Nationalist websites to see what the Nats call Westminster politicians, most comments are unprintable, and then take the plank out of your eye.

      Reply
      • Henry Condy

        Gordon I expect ,and it matters not who to speak of people with respect, I was taught this by my mother , when it descends to childish or more serious slurs, then these people command no respect from me. end of .

    • Robin Stevenson

      Gordon

      Have you any idea what you’re talking about? Look, if you don’t understand how ‘basic’ economics work, there’s no need to tar everyone with the same stick? [or brush for the sake of Ian] The ONLY politician that’s humiliated themselves – with regard to economics – is Osborne? In November 2015 Osborne’s OBR claimed there was a £26 bn ‘windfall’, coming our way, only to to announce 2 days ago, Whoops!.. Our mistake, there’s actually a £18 bn ‘black hole, less than 4 months later?

      The OBR [which is what our GERS figures are based on] Have ‘Never’ I repeat ‘Never’ predicted anything remotely correct in their entire history. These are the ‘facts’, it’s no-one else’s fault that you fail to grasp that other than your own? Perhaps you’d like to enlighten us, just how – exactly – does the Scottish government have a ‘black hole’ in their finances when we’ve never been able to borrow money? And while you’re at it, maybe you can explain how Scotland managed to subsidise the UK for 34 of the last 35 years and yet we have nothing extra to show for it?…

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin, if there is no black hole in the Scottish economy why did Nicola Sturgeon in her car crash interview with Andrew Neil say she would fix this black hole the same way the UK government fixed it a few years ago. Like I said before, Over the last few days we’ve seen Sturgeon and Swinney humiliate themselves on national TV, they have shown they do not have the answers to the financial problems engulfing Scotland, but yet good old Robin does.
        Online Nationalists like Robin Stevenson may claim to have all the answers but they are not party hierarchy and do not write policy this is an important thing to remember. Robins condemnation of the OBRs figures should be remembered because the SNP used those figures on oil revenue forecasts to con the Scottish electorate before the referendum, nice one Robin and thank you.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Your welcome Gordon

        Your right, the OBR WAS used by the Scottish government, along with everyone else to predict future oil revenue, and how did that go for everyone? They ALL got it wrong. Once again I reiterate, the OBR have ‘Never’ been right. As I said, ‘and this is what they base our GERS figures on?’…Really?

        The decline in Scottish oil revenue and ‘black holes’ are both red herrings, a deviation from serious discussion, IF Scotland’s [so-called] ‘black hole’ determined Scotland’s viability on whether or not it was capable of being independent, then the UK became bankrupted in 2008/9 and has been ever since.

        Andrew Neil knows this, anyone with half a clue knows this, but it doesn’t stop him asking the same irrelevant questions to impress the gullible. [well done you] It certainly was a ‘car crash’ of an interview, but not for the reasons you imagine. It was a very frustrated Nicola having to put up with Neil repeating the same pointless arguments that don’t and never have held water.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Red herrings are your specialty Robin, if there were no black hole Nicola would not be able to fix / fill it as she said she would. You cannot fix something that is not broken and if Nicola can fix it, it must be broken. All this bluff and bluster combined with distractions to get away from from the truth that the present Scottish government don’t have a clue is all very well but we are used to it. You I have to admit are very good at it but we are beginning to see through you and it. Andrew Neil’s questions hold a lot more water than the very leaky colander style answers from any SNP MSP or MP he interviews.

      • Gordon Harmer

        In this mornings papers, the Tartan Tories, like I said have no answers to Scotland’s finances.

        SCHOOLS in Scotland’s wealthiest areas are in line to receive the biggest funding boost from a reformed council tax that will still hit the poor harder than the rich, impartial research has found.

        A study by Spice, the Scottish Parliament’s research department, shows that Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to increase bills for the most expensive households – as part of moves to raise an estimated £100 million earmarked for schools – would make the system slightly fairer but remain “regressive”.

        Local Authorities in the most affluent areas would see proportionally more of the increased revenue due to the higher concentration of more expensive homes.

        @ Henry, Sorry Henry you lost me with your last comment.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon

        For the sake of clarity:

        A ‘deficit’ [or black hole if you’re Scottish] is basically the money we can’t raise from taxation which needs to be borrowed. Scotland ‘Cannot’ borrow money, therefore this ‘black hole/deficit’. has been handed to us by our UK government that told us they had to borrow all this money [apparently] on our behalf.

        As you’ll note above: “Scotland has subsidised the UK for 34 of the last 35 years”. Therefore you’d imagine that there’d be loadsa money left over, since Scotland has been paying more than their fair share for decades?….Nope, instead all that money [£300 billion] has ‘magically’ disappeared, and we’re left this year with the UK bill of whatever they borrowed on our behalf, [which includes the 40% of Scottish revenue that London retains for spending on important stuff like London infrastructure]

        Almost every country on the planet has a deficit. The term, ‘Black hole’ is a nonsense, IF the UK Gov decided to borrow another £100bn, £200bn, or £500bn whatever? Next week, we’d get another bill for 8.4% of that amount ‘regardless’ of where that money is spent….. No wonder Nicola just shakes her head at the stupidity of Andrew Neil?

  26. Henry Condy

    Oh Gordon, there are none so blind, Gordon I can’t believe that you do not see the monies flowing into London at the expense of the Rest of the UK, hang on Glasgow did get a Squinty bridge Whoopy Doo, over budget , Gordon mines are all facts , the Millenium dome, initial cost 46 Million pounds, cost stated after construction, 670 million pounds, real cost , over one BILLION Pounds, one thousand million pounds, how many schools , hospitals , houses , could that have built throughout the UK, and that’s only one item in London, Gordon I do not understand why the Snp would vote for another runway at Heathrow, but no doubt you will tell me, Gordon I do not have Anti English Rants and you are so wrong there I have Anti Westminster Rants where the Government soaks up UK finances for the benefit of London , yes Scottish drivers use the Channel Tunnel but if you knew the percentage of Scottish businesses that use it compared to English, I would think the percentage small, no doubt you will have a figure. It’s for English business essentially. Gordon all I ask for is fairness to all.

    Reply
  27. Henry Condy

    Gordon as regards the deficit, Osbourne said on Sunday 12 Billion is not a lot in the scheme of things, and the SG will in time work through this, the same as Westminster has done in the past , usually at the expense of the population, so in that respect they are the same as any other party. One thing we do agree on the people will decide about a referendum, not Cameron, and if there are a majority of SNP seats in Holyrood after May, it’s not a one party state, it’s the people’s will, it’s called Democracy, for my self well I am a maybe Aye , maybe Naw, so you could say I am a Liberal Democrat. And if you want to place blame on failure , blame it on every Chancellor in office who since oil came ashore paid of the Second World War, made many Tories extremely richer, did not put in place an oil fund for every country in the UK, they are having the same arguements in Westminster that they had 50 years ago. The NHS, transport, EducationSo this is abject failure by Tory and Labour, Shame on them.

    Reply
  28. Gordon Harmer

    A perfect example from Mr Condy of smoke and mirrors once again, of course there are more businesses south of the border that benefit from the Channel Tunnel there are 60 million more people living south of the border than in Scotland. But that does not take anything away from the fact, and this is a fact Henry, that Scottish businesses benefit immensely from the tunnel. Like I said before these smoke and mirror tactics of Henry’s are to deflect from the poor performance of the present Scottish government. How about you try and rip the figures to pieces in my first comment Henry instead of issuing all this rhetorical clap trap about what happens south of the border. After all this is, unless you had not noticed a Scottish election which is approaching, we did the Westminster thing last year and the referendum (which you lost) the year before. Oh and try some research before you go to print as it is becoming glaringly obvious that you are mounting your unicorn and heading off to cloud cuckoo land for your information.

    Reply
  29. Gordon Harmer

    Henry your comment on an oil fund is not very well thought out, you have obviously been conned by Salmond and Co. The UK has a population of 65 million so the revenue per head of population is pennies compared to what the oil revenue in a country of 5 million like Norway. Next, Norway’s oil fund was not just built on oil revenue, and an oil revenue to boot which is greater than the UKs, it was built on extremely high taxation along with the oil revenue. Then you have to remember that the Norwegian government only take 4% of the interest from the fund (which is invested) and put that back into Norway’s infrastructure. So the UK government if they had had an oil fund would have had to increase UK workers taxes to build a fund with less revenue than Norway. Then invest that cash to earn interest, so have a little think about this and imagine what 4% of the interest from less revenue than Norway would mean to a population of 65 million. A UK oil fund could never have been unless you are advocating taxation on the Norwegian levels.

    Reply
  30. Henry Condy

    on the news at lunchtime ,there is five times more spent on roads etc in the South of England than the North, can this be a smokescreen Baaaaaa Humbug, and Gordon I never lost a referendum, Norway has a triple type pension scheme you can join , and pay as much as you like and are wages not three times higher over there , Gordon regarding unicorns etc, all the figures I gave for Buck House The Millenium Dome etc Are fact all paid for by British taxpayers for the benefit of London as is the new railway, connecting Heathrow , Canary Wharf and central London.

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      Henry, transport is devolved to the Scottish parliament it has nothing to do with Westminster. We have railways and transport systems that only benefit the area they are in, in Scotland and I don’t hear any southerners shouting from the back of their unicorns that this is unfair. Wages for some in Norway are twice what we get paid in the UK and they pay double the tax, but they still have low paid workers and when this happens in a family it is essential both partners go to work. Norwegians take trips to Sweden to shop for their weekly shop because it is cheaper. Car tax is levied at 100% of the price of a new car Norwegians are no better of than we Brits, they have nearly the same disposable income as we do. Norway has just lost more jobs than the 65,000 job losses in the North East because of the downturn in oil prices. Norwegians pay £25 for each visit to their GP and the rest of their NHS such as it is, is free at point of use. Henry, these are facts, properly researched facts not fiction as per your comments try some research please before more than me see the ever gaping holes in your flawed argument.

      Reply
  31. Henry Condy

    Gordon all my facts come from the BBC , Buckingham Palace etc, the ” Dome ” cost over one Billion pounds , situated in London, how many houses , hospital , schools could that have built across the UK if shared fairly. Don’t go on about the cost of Holyrood , a smokescreen from you when you think of the ongoing cost of Buck house, home for a handful of people. An oil fund for the UK countries, as I understand it , Shetland had half a billion pounds in the bank from oil reserves, so Shetland can do it with a population of 22,000 people , but the best financial brains in Westminster can’t , I have stated often times only to be ridiculed by Gordon about the monies spent by the Government in the South compared to the North , yesterday all day on the news on the BBC it was shown FIVE times as much is spent on the Suth as on the North and it will be decades before parity. so Gordon accept honest facts and I may respect you a little more. have a nice day .

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      Probably because the population of the South is larger than in the North and taxes are spent as per head of population Henry. But like I keep saying we are having a Scottish election in May not a general election so please try and stay on track. But just to make a point, A new report by economic consultants Europe Economics has shown that being part of the UK is worth c£8.8bn to Scotland. This has been described as Scotland’s ‘Union Dividend’ by Alastair Cameron, Director of the Scotland in Union campaign. The key findings are:
      · Total public expenditure in Scotland is 14 per cent higher than the rest of the UK – worth £8.2bn, or £1,530 for every individual in Scotland.
      · There is an emphasis on capital spending, which is 34 per cent higher than the rest of the UK, while current spending is only 12 per cent higher.
      · Spending on key public services is higher with 188 per cent more on economic development, 126 per cent more on housing, 11 per cent more on education and training and five per cent more on health.
      · Combined council tax and non-domestic rates have fallen since devolution in 1999 relative to the rest of the UK from £252 per head higher to £118 per head lower.
      · The total ‘Union Dividend’ is estimated by Europe Economics to be worth £8.8bn to Scotland.
      This shows we get more spent on us per head of population than anywhere South of the border, There are close to 14 million people living in Greater London so even with the per person imbalance being in Scotland’s favor more money is obviously going to be spent in the South it can be no other way, unless of course you are a nationalist with nationalistic unbalanced views.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        The point you spectacularly miss Gordon [like SO many others] is, whatever figures are presented to ANY economist on the planet, they will ALL come to the same conclusion. Does this then mean that the figures they were presented with, ALL had to be correct in the first place?

        We’ve already seen – and it has been proven time and time again – that the OBR/IFS figures are guesstimates at best, we already know they have never been right in their entire history, we already know that ALL these guesstimated corporations were politically created by the very people that needed to manipulate economic figures for their own agenda.

        And yet here you are, spouting these SAME old tired guesstimates based on pretendy facts?
        The ONLY ‘unbalanced views’ we have here, are your own, your gullibility is frankly mindboggling?

        Do yourself [and the rest of us] a favour Gordon, look to the source of why, who and where these corporations began? Perhaps then, that elusive light bulb may suddenly click on for that rare eureka moment?… [although I don’t think I’ll hold my breath somehow?…./Sigh]

      • Gordon Harmer

        Sigh all you want Robin, I believe what I wish to believe and you put forward your version of figures. Add in words like spout and tired but they only put me on my guard to your constant I know better than you, Sturgeon and Einstein ramblings. What you lack in facts you make up for in smoke, mirrors, bluff and bluster a few tsks and the odd sigh just for good measure. Maybe you didn’t notice but this new study by economic consultants Europe Economics is not the OBR/IFS, but if you wish to believe it is just you carry on.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon

        That is the very reason why I asked you to ‘look to the source of why, who and where these corporations began?’ Don’t take my word for it – or anyone else you imagine has a hidden agenda – they were created by our London – centric establishment.

        I don’t dispute the findings of the ‘economic consultants Europe economics’, But, much like our GERS figures, they have come to their conclusion based on ‘given’ figures, in other words, who presented them with their figures in the first place?

        The ‘Only’ smoke and mirrors being used are by the very companies supplying us with guesstimates pretending to be facts. You could be the best economist in the world, but you’re Only as good as the information you’re given.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin, If you check you will find the OBR predicted £3.2b for the 1st year of independence 2016/17, the SNP £6.8b – £7.9b. The OBR were at least in the right direction in predicting a fall (North Sea revenues had been £4.8b in 2013), the SNP were being dishonest in predicting a rise in oil revenues as we know from the leaked 2013 memo and from recent events. 2016/17 revenues which would have been £130m until last week will now be negative due to the £1b put in by Osborne in last week’s budget. On average, we have had £9b a year more than we have raised in revenues, that’s £1,700 extra for every man, woman and child in Scotland. Salmond & co knew they were facing an £18b funding gap in 2014 which would now be at least £27b or £100 a week for all of us if we were going independent on Thursday.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon

        Have you ever heard the expression ‘Even a broken clock is right twice a day?’

        ‘The GERS figures published last week were for 2014-15. Three years ago the OBR forecast that they’d be £6bn. A year later it had slashed that prediction by over 33%, to under £4bn. A year later it had cut it by another 50%, to £2bn.
        Over the same period, the OBR’s projections for next year have plummeted from £4.5bn to zero.
        The OBR’s 2013 prediction for 2016-18 oil revenues has now been “revised” from £8.5bn to MINUS £2bn, which is an ludicrous 124% margin of error.

        Now that we’ve just confirmed how every oil expert and ‘economic think tank’ in the world got it wrong, [especially the OBR] would you like to show me the figures over the last 30/40 years?…OR, perhaps you’d like to take a stab in the dark and predict when the price of oil will go back up to $150 per barrel? And, when it does [which it will] does this then mean that independence is inevitable?

      • iantinkler

        Have you not realised Robin Stevenson, Fat Alex, Nippy and Ewing for years now have bleated on about renewable energy and how Scotland will be the Green powerhouse of Europe. What a paradox and how funny, they are completely stuffed economically without a high price on oil. What a ménage à trois of the idiotic. How can you pretend to be Green when depending on oil to run your economy. Only the Nats would grasp at any and all straws and pull in opposite directions with such vigour. Only diehard fools would be seduced by such trio of hypocrites, pretendy Greens, yet pushing for the oil industry at every opportunity, to try and finance their failing dreams of division . You just could not make it up.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ian

        ‘Fat Alex, nippy and Ewing’, …Really?….. I’m not entirely sure what your own issues are, [although I have a fair idea] but to resort to the level you’ve stooped to, does not warrant a civil answer.

        Generally when someone is blinded by their own hatred of a thing or person, they resort to personal insults which have no bearing on the conversation, this is – more often than not – seen as losing the argument.

        Nicola, not having any children [as you pointed out in a previous post] or Alex being overweight, are both irrelevant to their political beliefs…. Sometimes Ian, it’s far better to put your foot into a shoe rather than in ones mouth?

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin, or is it Alex? Oil will go back up to $150 a barrel, when do you think this will happen? Any time soon, I don’t think so, what with the political climate in the far east and oil being discovered in every corner of the world and a large percentage of it being on shore. You not only defend Salmond you sound like him, even if he missed it you surely cannot help but notice oil production has gone through the roof and demand has fallen. Countries who are now oil rich need investment in their third world existence and oil will do that at its present price so I think $150 a barrel is as big a pipe dream as independence. If your pontifications on Scotland’s finances are as Harry Potter esq as you oil price predictions I think the Union is the safest place for Scotland and all who sail in her.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, not a great analogy to make your very poor point. Its meaning is thus; A normally unreliable person or instrument can occasionally provide correct information, even if only by accident. This is more fitting to an industry which is so volatile and unpredictable. Had you listened to the better Together campaign you would have understood the message we put out and realised we were so right. Oh and I exclude Cameron, the OBR and many others from the Better Together campaign.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon

        Personally I thought my wee analogy was rather appropriate, in reference to GERS? “Even a broken clock is right twice a day”, in other words, they get it so wrong so often that by throwing out their figures, followed by their ‘amended’ figures, followed by further ‘amended’ figures, that surely ‘One’ of them have to come close eventually?

        Oh! And your last paragraph is a classic ‘self goal’. 🙂

        “Had you listened to the better Together campaign you would have understood the message we put out and realised we were so right. Oh and I ‘EXCLUDE’ Cameron, the OBR and many others from the Better Together campaign”…. LOL

      • Gordon Harmer

        No defence of your wild oil price prediction then Robin?

      • Ali Inkster

        Yes yes, a stopped clock may be right twice a day Wrobin, but the snp clock is stuck at half past twenty seven, and as such was never going to right even once a day.

  32. Henry Condy

    Once Again Gordon (smokescreen ) doesn’t answer questions but quotes figures on Norway, Google Norways pensions, for true facts not Gordon’s Walter Mitty figures the basic Pension plus a special supplement gives them £1629 per month, and is indexed linked to inflation, he doesn’t mention Shetlands reserves , at one point half a billion pounds, or the £ 15 billion London rail link, or the £ 100 million security for Buck house, or the ongoing upkeep, hundreds of staff for basically two people , when they are there. I mentioned the excellent rolling stock down South, Gordon my point as I have tried and tried to explain to you is the unfairness of London to the detriment of the rest of the UK. Boris is going to build a GARDEN BRIDGE over the Thames ,cost not defined yet , but he fixed it for one company to get the contract by not telling the other two of the full details, Oh he also got a freebie trip to the USA, Gordon I am not going to Comment on your posts as they are from your residence from your garden in Dingley Dell , have a nice day.

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      Henry Condy, You state Boris “Oh he also got a freebie trip to the USA,” I would love to know your sources of information, especially who pays for Boris and his freeby trip. Does it compare to our own “Fat Alex” and his Ryder Cup trip, that was a cool £470,000, mostly on food by the looks of him. Talk about growing fat at the expense of the taxpayer!! NATS in glass houses and Pots and Black Kettle’s, Henry Condy. If you were not being so serious you would be funny. The problem is you really have such belief in Nationalism you are quite blind to the reality of the SNP.

      Reply
  33. Henry Condy

    Bless wee Nippy ,Gordon you should get down on your knees and thank Nicola for FREE prescriptions, free health care for the old , free Tavel , transport , I was showing the discrepancy between the North of England and the South , five times more down South as quoted By the BBC on Wednesday, and the BBC does not lie does it ? ? ?. There’s no one party state in Scotland , it is the Democratic wish of the Scottish people Although I find it rich that Labour with one Mp , And the Tories with one MP rule Scotland .I watched PMQ’s , and all Corbyn spoke about was Air quality, junior Doctors on two day strikes, the most valuable asset in the country ( they are NHS Gordon ) treated abysmally, time we had a General strike to let Your pal Cameron know the people are the power, but thank God his backbenchers are going to rebel against Disabilty cuts. I could go on , but I am finished with your ridiculous posts and fictional links, so you head down with your pointy hat and rod to the bottom of Dingly Dell . ciao

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      Ding ding, Knock out to me, an odd way of accepting defeat Henry, if you fancy a re-match you know where I am. Have a nice weekend 😉

      Reply

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