26th September 2016
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Scott launches campaign as Wir Shetland declare support

38 comments, , by , in Headlines, News

Campaign group Wir Shetland this week gave its backing to Liberal Democrat candidate Tavish Scott for the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections.

The endorsement came in the same week that Mr Scott, who has represented Shetland since the parliament was formed in 1999, launched a campaign seeking re-election on Thursday 5th May.

A Wir Shetland statement issued this weeks states: “We are neither a political party in our own right, nor in a position to field a candidate in the forthcoming Scottish parliamentary election.

“Which leaves the options of supporting a candidate from one of the existing political parties; an emerging independent candidate; or remaining neutral.

“Given our well-documented opposition to the treatment of Shetland by the incumbent SNP Scottish government since 2007, remaining neutral would be neither a realistic nor a credible position.”

The statement continues to criticise the SNP and explains why Wir Shetland cannot back Danus Skene’s party before going on to say that “the Conservatives and Labour have shown little interest and at best, lukewarm support” to the idea of Shetland self-government.

Wir Shetland goes on to say that “Tavish Scott, by contrast, in the tradition of Liberal and Liberal Democrat parties, has long supported the idea of greater local powers”.

Group chairman John Tulloch said: “Tavish is miles ahead of the other candidates in making the case and fighting for Shetland on local powers, education, transport subsidies, NHS funding and we must return him to Holyrood as ‘wir MSP’.”

Mr Scott, speaking to The Shetland Times on Wednesday, said he was “pleased to be endorsed by Wir Shetland”.

Asked about about launching his campaign for the upcoming six weeks he said: “My commitment to the people of Shetland is simple.

“I will put our islands first if I am re-elected to serve Shetland. Reversing the cuts our schools face, reducing the pressure on our GPs, nurses and health staff and cheaper fares on transport are my priorities for Shetland.

“I will fight for our local crofters and fishermen. I will make their case with all the energy that is needed.”

Mr Scott also vowed to employ new techniques in order to compete on the ever-changing terrain on which election campaigns are now fought.

He hopes to run an “open and accessible” campaign which will employ regular online video clips, and actively accept opinions via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

In doing this he hopes to engage the younger voters in an election which will see 16 and 17-year-olds voting for their MSPs for the first time, a move which Mr Scott says he has “long supported”.

Mr Scott said he was looking forward to his campaign. He was “happy it will get him home for six weeks” without needing to twice-weekly get an oft-delayed plane to Edinburgh.

AboutKeegan Murray

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38 comments

  1. Brian Smith

    The Wir Shetland mountain has laboured and brought forth a mouse.

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      Only a few months in being and WS already has more members than Shetland Branch SNP! This is some mouse Brian Smith, just a beginning now but just wait for this mouse to roar!!

      Reply
  2. Donnie Morrison

    I am surprised and extremely disappointed by ‘Wir Shetland’s’ declared support for MSP Scott. It is well known that he, along with fellow Liberal ‘Honest Al’, has worked extremely hard behind the scenes to bring the VE Windfarm to fruition. What this means is that many of the electorate who are against the windfarm, myself included, have had no representation at any political level.
    I had seriously considered joining the allegedly ‘non political’ Wir Shetland – thank God I did not.

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      Donnie, I hate VE every bit as much as you do. “Wir shetland” is neutral on the issue, but we have a general agreement, that all large infrastructure projects should only go ahead after full public consultation and a democratic referendum were undertaken. From inside WS, you could help mould opinion and decide whom should undertake in such a referendum. I am of the belief that those directly affected by the project should have the final word. For example living within 4K of a turbine. I do not speak for WS and that is a personal view. As a member of WS you would be in a position to directly mould views and form policy for an autonomous Shetland. With a SNP sycophant such as Dannus as MSP, forget Shetlanders views, the all centralising SNP/SG would be free to poop on us all, just as they have been doing. Tavish is not perfect, a career politician, mostly sitting on the fence, but he is a vast improvement of the Nationalist alternative. As they say the lesser of two weevils!!! and Scott is the best tactical vote.

      Reply
      • Robert Sim

        “…after full public consultation and a democratic referendum were undertaken. From inside WS, you could help mould opinion and decide whom should undertake in such a referendum.” Lol interesting interpretation of “democratic”, Ian. I am sure any dictator in history would have loved the idea of referendums where you could chop and change who gets to vote each time in order to achieve the result you want. Priceless!

      • iantinkler

        Robert Sim, please do not lie, I never stated or inferred any single individual could dictate policy or chop and change who gets to vote.! Your claim “I am sure any dictator in history would have loved the idea of referendums where you could chop and change who gets to vote each time in order to achieve the result you want. Priceless!” is quite disingenuous.
        Now Mr Sim, “who gets to vote?, was that not exactly what Alex Salmond lobbied so hard for, with his In/Out referendum, Excluding many Scots from voting? (expats for example)
        Incidentally, no Dictator in his story has ever used a sought a democratic mandates from referendums, as a retired teacher Robert, your ignorance of history is extraordinary, not priceless, just very sad.

      • iantinkler

        Robert Sim, I never stated or inferred any single individual could dictate policy or chop and change who gets to votes, within an autonomous Shetland or Wir Shetland. Your claim “I am sure any dictator in history would have loved the idea of referendums where you could chop and change who gets to vote each time in order to achieve the result you want. Priceless!”, was a deliberate misinterpretation and wholly disingenuous. The only person I know whom has lobbied to disenfranchise on entire group of is Alex Salmond, ex FM of Scotland!. That was all Expat Scots in the Indie referendum. Now why did he do that??

  3. Robert Sim

    What I can’t get my head around is what an organisation which is not “a political party” and which boasted at its launch at having members from the SNP and all across the political spectrum is doing taking political sides in the first place? How are the members of WS who are SNP supporters going to be feeling now? I would love to know how widely the membership was canvassed on their views before the statement was made. It also seems a bit of a suicidal move not only to cut off the negotiating route to other parties but to support a candidate who can do nothing but make speeches. Never mind, as long as the Chair is happy.

    Reply
  4. John Tulloch

    “How are the members of WS who are SNP supporters going to be feeling now?”

    Pretty much the same a they were feeling yesterday morning, I should think, as I am already on record saying that, owing to the SNP’s lamentable track record of plundering Shetland’s finances, Wir Shetland would be unable to support Danus Skene this time.

    Given the alternatives available it was a decision that made itself.

    The full press release explaining our position is available on Wir Shetland’s “Community” Facebook page.

    https://www.facebook.com/wirshetland/?fref=ts

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      “How are the members of WS who are SNP supporters going to be feeling now?”

      Pretty much the same a they were feeling yesterday morning, I should think…”.

      You mean that, as Chair, you don’t know, John?

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        “How are the members of WS who are SNP supporters going to be feeling now?”

        Pretty much the same a they were feeling yesterday morning, I should think…”.

        You mean that, as Chair, you don’t know, John? !!!!
        O my goodness, Robert Sim, unlike the divine and most blessed Nippy, no member of Wir Shetland has the omniscience to know how every one of the 400 members thinks at any one time. No sane person would make such a stupid claim, not even in riposte to such a stupid comment “You mean that, as Chair, you don’t know, John?”. Keep the tablets going Robert, you need them!!

      • Ray Purchase

        To be fair to John Tulloch, he does live very far away from most of the members of Wir Shetland so it’s not that surprising he doesn’t know how they feel about the announcement that they are now backing the Liberals.

      • iantinkler

        Ray Purchase , ever heard of the Internet? Far faster way of consulting people than face to face conversation, even if they live next door. However you may have one small point. John Tulloch is about as far from Shetland, as the crow flies, as Edinburgh!! However he is much more in touch with Shetland folk than most of the SG/SNP in Holyrood . Think about it, it is quite simple.

      • John Tulloch

        I’m in Shetland, as we write, Ray.

        I’m retired now, you know – would you like me to stay?

      • Ray Purchase

        Entirely up to you where you decide to stay John. It is a rather entertaining irony though that the SNP candidate stays here in Shetland while the chair of Wir Shetland stays in the central belt and continuously complains about funding being removed from Shetland and directed to the aforementioned central belt. Sure it’s not lost on many.

        If you were to move back to Shetland you could stand in next year’s local elections. If you were elected we could see how Wir Shetland perform when entrusted with some power rather than just sniping from the sidelines. You may even win more than the 5% of the vote Mr Tinkler got when he stood last time. (I found that information on the Internet by the way Ian – thanks for the tip)

      • iantinkler

        You may even win more than the 5% of the vote Mr Tinkler. Sorry Ray, your maths are as credible as your views. I was 40 votes short, not bad for an incomer. Now have you ever stood up and been counted for anything?

      • John Tulloch

        Many things are possible, Ray and you will just have to be patient and wait until they transpire or not.

        One thing you may depend on is I won’t be taking any advice from you.

      • Robert Sim

        Clearly, in the brave new world of Wir Shetland, a sense of humour will also be banned.

      • iantinkler

        The Man of literature “the brave new world of Wir Shetland a sense of humour will also be banned”! Come now Robert Sim, have you actually something intelligent to say, or are you just so intoxicated by your own verbosity, or should that be loquacity. I ask you again, what the point you are trying to make? Could it be you are losing the point, losing “it” or just afraid of losing the argument?

  5. Ian Tinkler

    Come now, Robert Sim, “Wir Shetland”, never made any such boast. Some SNP members did join, they were and still are most welcome. Unlike the the SNP, all views and creeds are welcome in “Wir Shetland”. There is, unlike the SNP, no centralized policy of mandatory obedience. For example, I am no follower of Tavish or many of his views, however, for purely tactical reasons he will have my vote. Like very many Shetland folk, I can see the damage the present SNP/SG is inflicting on Shetland. Dannus, sadly appears to be muzzled to such an extent, he say and does absolutely nothing, but follow the party line. Labour and-Conservative have no chance. Surly, Robert, you can get your head around that?

    Reply
  6. Derick Tulloch

    All that Wir Shetland and Tavish have in common seems to be British unionism and hostility to the SNP.

    It’s a pity that WS have not had the courage to put forward a candidate, which would have allowed us all to see the true level support for their proposals. Which I suspect is negligible.

    Attempting to piggyback on the historic Liberal vote will tell us nothing.

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      Spare a thought for poor Dannus Skene. The Orkney Four, after a nasty and vindictive campaign through the Law Courts, lost their case against Ali C. In doing so enriched the Lawyers by about £300,000. The unfortunate four had to find £200,000. In legal fees. Crowdfunding raised that for them at the expense of sympathetic Nationalists, mostly SNP members if you follow the “Yes Shetland” “Orkney Vole” et al web sites. Now Dannus tried to raise funds for his SNP campaign using Crowdfunding. O dear, dear me. After 35 days the modest target of £7000. was not even approached! A mere £2000 raised by 60 odd backers! Strange is it not, a vindictive and negative campaign raise £200,000, yet a far kinder positive fund raiser, for a, I believe, honourable man, fell flat. It speaks loads about the “Nationalist” psyche.

      Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      Derick Tulloch you have a nerve accusing WS of piggybacking on the historic Liberal vote. In the run up to the general election and again last Friday on radio Shetland Danus did just the same by inferring he was of the same ilk as Joe Grimond. Danus may well have been an ex Liberal or should I say a twice failed ex Liberal candidate but he is now an SNP candidate and it is ironic he has to accentuate his links to the Liberals to try and gain votes.

      Reply
  7. John Tulloch

    “No sense of humour in Wir Shetland,” moans Shetland debate’s own Henry de Bohun. Charging in, missing the point – and the target – only to be ‘axed for what he wants’ – every time!

    ‘Groundhog Day’, Robert, do you never tire of it? 🙂

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_de_Bohun

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      I certainly don’t tire of you reacting, John. Must be a full-time job for you. I am sure we will see a post from Ian now.

      Reply
  8. iantinkler

    The times they are a changing.
    Tuesday 19 March 2013 13.09 GMT
    Scott declared that the islands “are not going to be told what to do by the SNP, nor by any government”, adding that “this is the time to seize the opportunity for island home rule”. “Shetland can run its own administration. The Northern Isles can have their own government.”
    (http://www.theguardian.com/…/shetland-home-rule-tavish-scott

    Reply
    • James Watt

      Two quotes stand out from that link, both leave me asking what do you think this article proves?

      “Nor is it a policy on which Scott was elected back in 2011. It is, purely and simply, a pointy stick that he likes to wave at the government: a threat, cloaked in the nationalists’ own language of opportunity and self-determination. Like a smug adolescent, Scott repeats his slogan: “It’s not your oil” he says; “it’s ours”.”

      “But today, many islanders would root their opposition to further autonomy in this very success. But while the substantial oil funds that flowed in to Shetland have left us with infrastructure of unparalleled quality – schools, roads, ferries, leisure centres, care homes – successive councils have squandered many millions, and failed to leave enough money behind in the bank. Now, it seems, we can no longer afford to keep what we have got. If we’ve made such a mess in the past, the logic goes, why take on more responsibility?

      Scott is clearly not speaking for his constituents on this subject.”

      Reply
    • Brian Smith

      Empty rhetoric.

      Reply
  9. iantinkler

    Whose empty rhetoric Brian, Tavish Scott, James Watt or Malachy Tallack . Have you actually read the Malachy Tallack article, it pre dates WS by years. As I said The times they are a changing or perhaps times have already changed!

    Reply
    • James Watt

      I’ve read the article, I’ve provided quotes from the article, and I’ll ask again what is it you think this proves, and how?

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        James Watt, As I said The times they are a changing or perhaps times have already changed! Quod erat demonstrandum. Point proved.

    • John Tulloch

      Nice one, Ian – “hook, line and sinker, reeled ashore and safely ensconced in your keep net!”

      I so enjoyed watching the spectacle unfold, it’s great when you know what’s going to happen.

      Sir Robert de Bohun missed this one, must be licking his wounds?

      Brian, Robert, Robin and co. used to goad me, incessantly, along the lines of Tallack’s article, insisting “nobody in Shetland is interested” and “why didn’t I start a party to campaign for autonomy”, yet here we are today, Wir Shetland the biggest political group in Shetland. 🙂

      Isn’t there something about credibility being important in politics?

      Reply
      • Ray Purchase

        I thought you said Wir Shetland were a non-political group but now you’re saying it’s the biggest political group in Shetland? Make up your mind man!

      • Robert Sim

        Crediblity in politics is indeed hugely important, John. Unfortunately for you, then, I can’t be the only one laughing at your claim that WS is “the biggest political group in Shetand” when all the publicity around the group at its launch and since has carefully avoided calling WS a political group at all. On your website, the description is “a multi-party campaign group dedicated to winning self-governing powers for Shetland… the option of registering as a political party will be considered if necessary.”

        Believe it or not, I (like many others, I suspect) am neutral as regards WS’s aims. I don’t think they are achievable but that is another matter. What bugs me is all the fuss posting in a rather self-defeating and attention-seeking way on here instead of just getting on and doing what you clearly want to do but are afraid to: putting up a candidate for election. Ray Purchase summed it up in his post of 28 March.

      • Derick Tulloch

        The credibility of a political group that doesn’t have the courage to put their ideas before the electorate is questionable.

      • Robin Stevenson

        You’re correct John,

        I do remember asking you to start a campaign for more a more autonomous Shetland, but I certainly didn’t imagine you being daft enough to back an utterly useless and dying UK party whose only agenda is to make sure that Shetland is ‘hog-tied’ to Westminster? Tavish [like Labour/Tory] will offer you the moon and deliver exactly what they’ve delivered to date? Nada.

        So I applaud what you have done and I’m fully aware you have the best interests of Shetland at heart, but I’m afraid your goal is NOT shared by those that have chosen to jump on ‘Your’ bandwagon. Surely someone – eventually – will look look to their motives and past deeds, and ask themselves, ‘Why has this not been done before by the very – elected – people that are now insisting that this is the way forward? The sad part for you, is these are the guys that are actually being paid [handsomely] to do what you have decided to take on yourself, while dragging them along for the ride?….Weird?

      • John Tulloch

        Robie,

        Thank you for your gratuitous acknowledgment that Wir Shetland is “in the driving seat” however it’s very much a joint campaign and we’re benefiting greatly from the LibDems professionalism.

        I warned you, repeatedly, 2-3 years ago that if the SNP continued on the same path, it would lose Shetland forever. And what did your wise ‘guides and mentors’, down in Holyrood do then, Robin?

        They didn’t just speed up in the same direction, they ‘put the boot down’!

        And now SNP Shetland is faced with picking up the electoral pieces – I don’t envy you, it’s a real bed of nails!

      • Robert Sim

        Oh, Robin – you sook! Not only does John have a pet name for you now but he ignores the rest of us who posted at exactly the same time as you and gives you a big long answer! Something about driving over a bed of nails. I feel hurt. Was it something we said?

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