19th January 2017
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Notable change in tone (Duncan Simpson)

Last year we had a “galling” SIC budget cut of five per cent. This was more than any other area in Scotland.

Seemingly no-one is surprised that the SIC’s budget has been slashed by a further 5.4 per cent. Strange that, a year ago, a five per cent cut was labelled by our leaders as “galling” where as this year it is merely “disappointing”. A notable change in tone.

This situation must seem extremely unfair to many Shetlanders who are aware of the vast sums we contribute to the wider UK/Scottish economy.

The fact of the matter is we are penalised because our council has oil reserves to draw from. This means we are effectively subsidising the rest of Scotland – hardly what the oil fund was designed for in the first place. We should not have to be drawing from the reserves to pay for basic services like education and social care.

The current council accomplished an extremely difficult task in balancing the books and averting the financial disaster that was very much possible a few years ago. Now it seems their efforts are being punished for being successful.

We were not responsible for the financial crisis and since then Shetland’s economy has continued to grow yet we are told we must accept austerity, with even greater cuts than most other areas.

It seems this supposed deal with Transport Scotland to cover the costs of inter-island ferry travel is being touted as a possible mitigating factor.

We are yet to hear any details of this deal which must be of great concern to the service users in the isles.

Will control pass to Transport Scotland? More centralisation? How much of the money saved by the SIC will be invested in the isles currently served by the ferries?

Will the Scottish government then be in control of the service, deciding fares, the frequency of runs etc?

The question we ask is why do Shetlanders continue to accept this? With the resources around these islands, not to mention the resourcefulness of its residents, we should be able to not just sustain existing service levels but far surpass them.

If you want endless cuts, centralisation and unfairness stick with the status quo; if you want something better for your children; then help us forge a new path and support Wir Shetland.

Duncan Simpson
Membership secretary,
Wir Shetland
1 Norrendal,


  1. i tinkler

    The question we ask is why do Shetlanders continue to accept this? May I suggest an answer here? Most do not accept it. However our Council, “Political Leader”, Gary Robinson, after investing so much time and money in pursuing fruitlessly; “Our Islands Our Future” is at this stage rather at a loss for a vigorous and robust response. After four years and many pointless meetings (12 overseas trips ? at great expense) all Gary Robinson has achieved for Shetland, to date, is a great deal of egg on his face. His comment, “The council’s budget blow may be mitigated somewhat by the Scottish Government’s decision to provide greater funding for inter-island ferries, with an announcement expected soon.” Is so utterly wet, as to be truly staggering.
    £8.4 million cuts, over two years, may perhaps, just be, be mitigated by a ferry fare cut in the future!!! If ever there was time for a forceful leadership from f the Council it is now! The SNP/SG is treating Shetland and our people with contempt. A sycophantic, appeasing political leader is the last thing we need at this time. These cuts should be utterly condemned and Shetlands position in Scotland be reconsidered and autonomy perused with renewed vigor. Our Rural Schools, our Health Services, our Social care services and so much more, are all being put at risk by these cuts. Time to fight back, not just express our disappointment.

  2. Davie Gardner

    Can you tell us when there will be a detailed and costed plan to support Wir Shetland’s vision of an autonomous Shetland Duncan; how this will be achieved, financially supported and maintained / sustained via a population (an ageing one at that) of 22,000+ people and how you hope not only to sustain but actually expand the current levels of service we enjoy in Shetland via that. In other words – who actually pays for all this under a Wir Shetland style autonomous scenario and how much per head can the local population expect to pay per annum to achieve this? We have been told of this possible ‘nirvana’ by Wir Shetland for some time now (including the regularly used phrase “better aff rid o the lot o dem”) accompanied by nice pictures of Shetland views, flags and sunsets plus lots of political bluster and rhetoric – mainly via your Facebook site – but very little of real substance beyond that (especially the rhetoric) and even less of fiscal substance or direction to support all this. Just wondering!!

    • Gordon Harmer

      Me thinks you are getting confused with the message for an independent Scotland put forward on sites such as yes Shetland Davie. The phrase “better of rid o the lot o dem’ is one mans catch phrase, not a Wir Shetland phrase. As an ex member of Wir Shetland I have never heard this phrase used in any press release or officially on their FB page. Being a journalist of sorts you must be aware of Shetland’s contribution to the overall Scottish economy. Take that figure and the 22,000+ population and do the maths or does your confusion limit your ability to do simple maths. Next ask yourself how this figure would be enhanced with control of our fishing grounds in a “Shetland style autonomous scenario”. Levels of service are better in Shetland than anywhere in the rest of the UK and you have the richest council in the UK. Those riches and more would grow if Shetland were free of the austerity forced upon it from Holyrood and Westminster and Brussels. Just saying as a free thinking individual with no connection to Wir Shetland, so as to help your confusion and or, designed to mislead journalistic licence.

      • Shuard Manson

        You still avoid the question. Much like SNP economic policy.

      • i tinkler

        This may be a bit tough for some, Shuard, but I hope it is within your grasp.
        “The SIC document “Shetland Input-Output Study/Regional Accounts 2010-11” states that the Shetland Regional gross domestic product was £485 million, and that the trade balance was £131 million. in 2010-11 Shetland generated a positive exchequer balance of £82 million.

        In 2015 the Shetland fishing fleet caught £86.4 million worth of fish while an estimated total of £300 million was taken from Shetland waters. Under independence the Shetland fishing industry could be contributing a further £213 Million to the Shetland economy.

        The UK average tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is 39%. Based on the 2010-2011 GDP of £485 million, an autonomous Shetland would raise in the order of £189 million in tax. When additional GDP from an expanded fishing fleet and the taxation that would be applied to workers on offshore installations within our EEZ, it is clear that an independent Shetland is financially viable.”
        It really is quite simple, if you have the ability to read, understand finance and have half a brain!!!

    • Ray Purchase

      You’ve not answered the question either though have you Ian? What you’ve done is thrown a couple of insults, changed the subject, scattered some irrelevant and obsolete statistics and blustered a bit. Quite the political operator.

      To be fair to you though, and Gordon Harmer, neither of you probably have the knowledge at hand to answer the original question. I’m pretty sure that’s why Mr Gardner put it to Mr Simpson, who should be able to answer it on behalf of the group. A simple ‘don’t know’ or ‘we have no date as yet’ would be a perfectly satisfactory answer if it’s honest. In my opinion Duncan comes across as the sane, sensible and intelligent voice of Wir Shetland – the very opposite of what we hear from many of its other luminaries.

      • i tinkler

        I thought the figures self-explanatory, Ray Purchase. They are the latest comprehensive figures from Shetland Island Council. “Input-Output Regional Accounts. I believe they are produced on an eight-year or ten-year cycle. Clearly, the figures I quoted are the most recent available, maybe Ray, you are ignorant of that? Certainly, they are not “irrelevant and obsolete statistics” simply the most recent and relevant available. It may be of interest for you to know, a majority of Orkney councilors are now investigating an autonomous break from the SNP/SG and the mainland UK/Governemnt. Very similar aims, in actual fact, to Wir Shetland. I hope they are not basing their investigations on “irrelevant and obsolete statistics”. Just perhaps, Ray Purchase, Wir Shetland, and our Orkney counselor friends, know something you do not know or understand.

      • Ray Purchase

        You still haven’t answered the question though Ian. The question wasn’t can you produce figures for Shetland’s GDP from 2010 is Orkney Island Council investigating the question of autonomy. This happens whenever anybody who represents Wir Shetland is asked a straight question, all we get is bluster and whataboutery, and if you’re involved it comes with a sprinkling of insults. Although, really, your unwillingness to give a straight answer to a straight question really gives the answer in itself.

      • Duncan Simpson

        Ray and Davie,

        As you must be aware Wir Shetland does not have the resources to undertake a detailed financial feasibility study as this would be a significant and costly undertaking.

        Mr Tinkler’s statistics are far from “irrelevant and obsolete”. The figures on the fishing industry are only a year old. Granted if there had been a more recent “input/output” study completed for the isles then we would have better raw info to work with.

        We have repeatedly provided rough figures which show it could be feasible. Efforts are ongoing to obtain better figures but it takes time.

        The main aim of WS is to gain support for the idea of autonomy. Detailed financial plans will have to come much later, although I do agree it would be a powerful argument for autonomy if we could have one produced now.

        If the Orkney Islands Council is exploring the option of autonomy then perhaps our own Council could do the same. I suspect if black and white figures can be produced (insofar as is possible with economic predictions) then widespread public support for the idea would be much more forthcoming.

      • i tinkler

        RayPurchase, DV018-app1.doc, DV018-F.doc. That is as detailed as I can get here. Now any other questions?

  3. ian tinkler

    Davie Gardner, I am surprised at this time you have never managed to visit the “Wir Shetland” web site. If you had managed that, your questions may have been a little deeper and a little less simplistic and childlike. Facebook is really not the first choice when trying to gain knowledge, “just wondering”, how you could be unaware of that so simple a fact! Fortunately, most on Shetland are clearly little better informed than you seem to be. Now try, https://wirshetland.org/wp/ and open your eyes. Always time for that!

  4. David Spence

    As far as I can see, as long as Shetland is being a Cash Cow via Sullom Voe, for Westminster, any idea of giving the islands greater power and control of its economy is very much a dream, unfortunately.

    Whether it is the SNP or Westminster, I cannot see such powers transferring control of this Cash Cow, to the local people of Shetland. The Shetland Islands are an economic resource Westminster would rather have total control of rather than giving even the remotest threat to this control to the islands. It seems, certainly for the immediate future, Shetland is going to be an even greater Cash Cow, and with Brexit looming from the horizon, this hold will be even gripped much harder by those fae da sooth.

    OIOF, may seem a great idea, but in reality, those acting on behalf of OIOF, are only pampering to those who really do have the power and greater say in how the economy of these islands is shaped.

    If OIOF or Wir Shetland really, really wanted to stir a Hornets Nest, why not get Scotland to prove the islands do belong to Scotland/UK, instead of all wind but no action.

    • Brian Smith

      Stuart Hill provided a proof why Shetland and Orkney are part of Scotland, in the Shetland Times of 2 December 2016.

  5. i tinkler

    A point of considerable interest. Many on Orkney Council are now minded to pursue an Orkney push for autonomy in our sister Isles. Remember at the forthcoming Council Elections just what the SNP have offered Shetland (division, cuts and broken promises), remember just what the Tory, Liberal, and Corbynite Labour have come to offer and how far they have fallen!! Time to grasp the nettle is it not? A time for a change.

    • Graham Fleming 001

      Both communities you talk about are part of Scotland as set out in the past devolution Scotland act and verified by the democratic majorities in Shetland And Orkney and the rest of Scotland through the establishment of the Scottish parliament.No clauses exist to take wee bits here and there out of that settlement
      The entire settlement would have to be revisited probably by democratic consent by all concerned. Nobody yet states they are either an Orcadian or a Shetland er as per last census or by political engagement through the ballot box. Let’s now start living in the REAL WORLD

      • David Spence

        ‘ REAL WORLD ‘, Graham?

        Would you say the same to the countries which sought independence from the U.S.S.R. after perestroika?

        We, in the west, supported such countries and their right to independence from the U.S.S.R. We also supported such countries joining the EU in 2004, because it was economically advantageous for us to do so.

        However, in light of Brexit (to which England decided because England has 85% of the UK, population) the fate of one country (Scotland) is decided regardless to what the people of this country voted for? Would you truly regard such a process democratic and just because 1 country over-rules the right of another country by population and by a forced unification which happened in the past, and was, at the time, against the will of the people?

        Scotland voted in 2014 to remain as part of the UK, based on false promises and lies. In this respect, history has not changed.

      • Ali Inkster

        I certainly wrote Shetlander on the census for my nationality.

      • ian_tinkler

        Graham, now for the real world. “The right of nations to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law (commonly regarded as a jus cogens rule), binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter’s norms.[1][2] It states that nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference.” Now enjoy, a simple majority vote will do.

      • Duncan Simpson

        Dear oh dear what a misguided comment.

        Historical arguments notwithstanding (of which there is definitely a case to answer) Shetland and Orkney have the right to self determination the same as anywhere else. It is not up to you or Scotland if this “wee bit” *insert eye roll* wants to go it alone.

        I have to assume you haven’t set foot in Shetland since you are not aware that the majority of Shetlanders would identify themselves as just that, Shetlanders, first before anything else (Scottish, British etc).

  6. Douglas Young

    There is no comparison to be made between a grown-up approach to autonomy for Shetland by the Shetland Movement’s previous attempt and the angry, rude Wir Shetland, who have killed the idea stone dead

    A Happy New Year to you all from Yes Shetland’s 14200 ( and rising) followers

    • i tinkler

      Happy New Year to you, Douglas Young. Nice of you to inform me that my rudeness along with others, has killed “Wir Shetland” stone dead. Could you please reference that fact or is it just a wishful opinion? Did Buster, the “Yes Shetland” cat rampant tell you that?. Incidentally is it not funny, at the recent election, the Yes Shetland candidate (SNP) polled only 2,545 votes. Rather less than the 14200 followers of Yes Shetland!! Just perhaps these followers are not Shetlander’s at all or maybe, just spayed pussy cats like Buster!

    • Ali Inkster

      You mean Yes Glasgow surely. If you are going to be honest. As for grown up debate, let people look at each facebook page and decide for themselves whether there is debate allowed grown up or not. 🙂

  7. Graham Fleming c

    What I am saying is stand and BE COUNTED At election census and every time. NOWS the day and nows the hour. Until that day according to the official government records 60% of the people of Shetlaun call themselves Scottish and 51% say they speak Scottish that’s da FACTS AND FIGURES. NO WAN real Shetland er tae be coonted if da troo be kent. In Cornwall Kernow England 17% of natives put down they were Cornish rather than English in the last census how many in the Shetland Isles said they were Shetland er Viking Cattanach Neolithic stane builders broch builders , klingons or even Elfish speakers we jist dinnae ken maybe Yir Shetland and it’s guff mongers could come up wi an answer?

  8. David Spence

    I suspect if Shetland people put down as a nationality ‘ Shetlander or Shetland ‘ such a vote would be dismissed. Our politicians are quick enough to criticise other countries of ‘ vote rigging ‘ their elections……..Who is to say we are not doing the same?

    We boast to other countries about our democracy and the fairness of our political establishments, but we do not truly question such values within our society. Even if we did, would we get the true answer to the question ‘ Is our democracy fair and representative? ‘.

    In many cases of voting, surveys, shopping trends, advertising etc etc many of these so-called polls are indeed fixed and rigged.

    As soon as you put a commercial value to any principle, that principle has zero value. In other words, as is with the USA, commercial interests take greater priority than democracy itself.

    As for the 51% which speak Scottish (I presume you mean Gaelic?) I would correct this and say ‘ English ‘ if by the choice of the people, it would not be the case.

    As they say though ‘ The best way to kill a culture is to kill the language ‘.

  9. Davie Gardner

    Thanks for your straight and honest reply Duncan to what others refer to as my ‘simplistic’ and ‘childlike’ question. Such honesty does you credit – compared to the answer-avoiding, derogatory comments and personal insults emanating from other contributors here.

    I look forward to seeing such figures in due course to effecitvely support Wir Shetland’s call for autonomy.

    I agree my original question was fairly simplistic, that’s why I’m surprised that neither Mr Harmer nor Mr Tinkler were themselves able to give me straight answers to it. Of course attack is often the best form of defence as we all know.

    My question was NOT singularly based on the CURRENT strength of the Shetland economy itself as they blusterly seek to imply here – which of course we are ALL aware is fairly healthy – but more so as regards the fiscal details – together with the mechanism(s) – which will ultimately translate that fairly from Shetland’s existing private / commercial sector into one which also directly supports our existing public services – services which Wir Shetland say could increase still further in the event of autonomy.

    Davie Gardner

    • Alec Priest

      Davie, I agree in part with your comment “I look forward to seeing such figures in due course to effectively support Wir Shetland’s call for autonomy”, but as you must be aware by now, any figures that Wir Shetland produce have and will be criticised by a chorus of rhetoric and propaganda about how Shetland is just a small part of Scotland and must remain so, and any other opinion is blasphemy. This pointless, petty arguing is missing the point, Shetlanders need to know the facts about the options available.

      I know there is a small percentage of vocal people on both sides of the argument who have gotten overly heated about some of the issues involved. Most folk in Shetland that I have spoken with are intrigued by the idea but, like yourself, rightly need to know all the facts about the pros and cons of Shetland becoming an Offshore Territory (Of Britain, unless an independent Scotland is a future option) before jumping to uneducated decisions. For Shetlanders to have enough information to make an educated decision, we need an impartial socio-economic report compiled, answering the issues on level of autonomy, economy (including what percentage of Shetlands multi-billion pound per annum EEZ will be retained by Shetland, 25%, 50%, 75%, etc), healthcare, education, defence options, transport, childcare, pension funds, to name a few.

      But as I said before, if Wir Shetland was to produce this report, it would become yet another victim of social media trolling, we (Shetland) should be pushing the SIC to organise the vital reports as the Orkney Island Council is currently doing. As Orkney seems to have the common sense to investigate the “self-autonomy option”, it is a shame that the SIC has not yet investigated all available options, especially since the massive oil exploration finds/developments to the West of Shetland are within Shetlands EEZ, it would be foolish not to consider the options. Wir Shetland is there to make Shetlanders aware of all the benefits of self-autonomy, and how to achieve it.

      The Shetland public need to contact their councillors to push for the SIC to initiate dialogue with the government and source the impartial reports so that we have solid facts to base a potential referendum case on, which is an option as long as we are part of the United Nations (Democracy… the bane of governments world-wide!)

      You will agree with me that it’s easier to make the correct decision when all the facts are present.

      • Graham Fleming

        Living in THE REAL WORLD Mr Priest when dealing with Westminster the sea territory allocated to any autonomous Shetland will be definitely 3 miles . Unless of course the Islands vote for separation the clean cut case of course is my native Berwick shire it has 3 miles of sea allocated to it the rest is now administered from London any perceived rights Shetland thinks it has will be quickly weeched under the carpet London will thank you very much with no oil and as the sovereign state over 22,000 subjects,with a 60 million people mandate to do so , it under international law is called democracy.

      • Duncan Simpson

        Excellent reply from Alec, couldn’t agree more.

        Graham Fleming, your grasp of the right to self determination and UNCLOS seems to be non-existent. Before decrying others for not “Living in the REAL WORLD” I suggest you get your facts straight.

        Shetland could be entitled to a 200nm (or equidistant with nearest neighbour) EEZ. 22,000 people or 60 million it does not matter, the right to self determination is not conditional based on size of population.

  10. i tinkler

    Davie Gardner, ” CURRENT strength of the Shetland economy, which of course we are ALL aware is fairly healthy “!!! Davie Gardner, are you including the £4 million shortfalls in Health Board funding? The £8.5 million reductions in SNP/SG grant funding to SIC? I can not help but feel my comment about your question being ‘simplistic’ and ‘childlike’’ was a bit of an understatement. Our present fiscal position is dire indeed, all positive fund balances are being sucked out of Shetland by the EU, UK and SG. The actual fact is, our Health Services are failing, Rural School closures are only shelved until after the new Anderson is opened and our Council has to find £8.5 million in savings to cover vital Social Services to just maintain present standards. There is no bluster here, just fact.

  11. Davie Gardner


    Clearly I have touched a raw nerve here – but this answer has only, if anything, added to my initial question.

    When I referred to our economy as being in a ‘healthy condition’ I was of course referring to the islands private and commercial sector (primarily based around fishing, aquaculture and oil) which would presumably be required, by enlarge at least, to somehow support the public services of an autonomous Shetland – although oil of course, as we’ve seen lately, is likely to play a much lesser role in future in this respect.

    You’re right, the local services you highlight here have to be paid for somehow, especially if, as Wir Shetland desire, we divorce ourselves completely from Westminster and Holyrood – not to mention the EU as well.

    So in your and Wir Shetland’s world – which now APPEAR to be two separate things given you’re not standing for the Council under that banner (I wonder why) how will these services, including life-line elements such as transport (presumably incorporating the much desired cheaper fare structures) be provided, paid for and allegedly improved upon within an autonomous Shetland?

    The mechanisms for such would be good to know.

    • Ali Inkster

      What do you think pays for the public sector if not the private sector Davie? The figures show that currently wir private sector more than patys for wir public sector.
      And it may not be the question so much as the number of times it has been asked by yourself and answered on here and other forums if anything that gets on folks nerves.

    • Brian Smith

      Davy, the answer appears to be that you have to vote for it first, then the explanations will appear like steam from a kettle.

      • i tinkler

        “Davy, the answer appears to be that you have to vote for it first,” vote for what Brian Smith? Enlighten us as to what “it” is you are referring to.

    • Duncan Simpson

      I have to (again) point out Davie that Mr Tinkler, and other Wir Shetland members including myself, cannot stand for Council under the Wir Shetland “banner” as WS is not a registered political party. Therefore we MUST stand as independents. This has been explained repeatedly.

      I have to say since we all announced our intentions to stand I have found the calls for us to be labelled as Wir Shetland candidates quite discriminatory, how many former and current councillors have been members of UK political parties but have stood as independents for SIC elections? I don’t recall any calls for everyone else to “stand under a banner”.

      We have all been transparent about our membership of Wir Shetland and our reasons for standing for Council, I hoped that would be the end of it.

  12. ian_tinkler

    Davie Gardner, no sore nerve hit and I welcome your questions immensely. Clearly you lack understanding, others may also, so in words of minimal syllables I will try and answer your questions as simply as practical, so you may understand. Firstly, I will cover your wondering why I am not standing for the Council under that banner of Wir Shetland. You must have missed the articles in The Times and The News explaining why I stepped down from Wir Shetland Committee. I repeat, although I endorse Wir Shetlands aims absolutely in some issues, for example Viking Energy and possible de criminalization of drugs, I have my own views. I would not wish the public to believe my own views were necessarily the views of all Wir Shetland, so out with the committee, I can campaign independently. Further to the above, as has been explained endlessly, Wir Shetland is not a registered political party and as such, under law, cannot field candidates. That is a matter of electoral law, if you still fail to understand that perhaps you should contact The Electoral Commission. I will answer your secondary points in a further blog. Enough for now, I would hat to gender more confusion for you and blog at full length..
    http://www.shetnews.co.uk/newsbites/13701-tinkler-seeking-election-again and blog at full length.

  13. ian_tinkler

    Now again Davie, in words, where practicable, of one syllable. If Shetland was fully autonomous, it would be an Independent Sovereign state. It would pay for all services, by raising from taxes levied on its citizens and businesses. All citizens and business in its EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zones). Just like every other country on Earth, perhaps except for Cuba and Communist dictatorships.
    (The key legislation relating to Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) is the United Nations Convention on the Law Of the Sea or UNCLOS. This law states that independent states have a right to an EEZ up to 200Nmi from their coast. Where there are two nations with overlapping claims then those two nations should negotiate a mutual agreement.)
    I hope that is within your understanding.

    • Bill Adams

      Ian, I er understand from your latest pompous post that what you are advocating is that Shetland should
      become a fully independent Sovereign state (no doubt as a member state of the United Nations).
      That is quite different from the position adopted by our mutual friend down in Arrochar, John Tulloch,
      who is on record as saying that (and I quote)
      “I do not and never have, supported Shetland ‘independence’. I support devolution of local autonomy,
      up to Faroese/Manx levels.” – Dec.23, 2016, 11.08 on “Hotchpotch of Feebleness” (Ian Scott’s letter).
      I am not even going to ask whether one or other (or neither) of these two contradictory positions
      represents the official policy of the non-party group Wir Shetland.

  14. i tinkler

    I advocated nothing, Bill Adams, just explaining to Davie a hypothetical situation as he appears at a loss to understand the most simple facts about economics. Perhaps you should read what was written, if that is within your gift? NB the words “If Shetland was fully autonomous” the clue is in the word “if”

  15. Graham Fleming

    The facts Mr Simpson,Berwick shire Scotland,the Isle of Man, the Channel Isles 3 miles of sea control.An autonomous Shetland would be same and who would argue your case against the sovereign state Westminster at the U.N.?I would maybe give the Argentine Embassy a buzz they have a perceived problem as well.

    • Ali Inkster

      Look at their geography mr fleming, they all lie surrounded by other countries territorial waters we do not.

  16. ian_tinkler

    “sovereign state Westminster” perhaps a quick class in primary school geography may be an idea here.
    Good point about the Falklands, (The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), ) Quad erat demonstrandum.

    • Graham Fleming

      Mr Tinkler the majority in Derry City and probably over half the land mass of northern Ireland wants to leave the United Kingdom and have repeatedly said so through the ballot box.The northern Ireland devolution settlement doesn’t allow for this to happen.Why would Scotland allow any part of its territory to do the same when nobody has a mandate for secession for fantasy island nations and make believe races of people?

  17. Graham Fleming

    But Shetland is NOT a country never has been and has no desire to be one. If it emulates the Isle of Man Jersey Guernsey etc in political status the limit of sea territory will be 3 MILES. Westminster has never been known to be generous to its dependicies before and why would IT want to.Shetland, where’s that ?,O that’s where all the oil and fish is., The three mile ruling it is then and amongst them who would ever want to disagree?

  18. i tinkler

    Good point about the Falklands, (The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), ) Quad erat demonstrandum.


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