Attractions of retirement (Jonathan Wills)
Oh dear. Ian Tinkler is yet again using expressions such as “arrant nonsense”, “demonstrably insane” and “raving bombast”.
This is not the best way to conduct a reasoned debate, I fear. There is, in any case, no point in responding to his latest comments on Viking Energy and the Shetland Charitable Trust.
As for the Common Agricultural Policy, I have never supported the excesses to which he refers and, if he had bothered to make the most elementary enquiry before flaming off, he would know this.
On the contrary, I have often spoken against such outrages (at European Union meetings and other political events), not only during my time as a councillor but also back in the early 1980s, when I worked for the late Alex Falconer MEP and helped to organise publicity campaigns against Europe’s milk lakes and beef mountains.
As for the “substance funds” to which he refers, I suspect he means subsistence. It is not clear whether or not Mr Tinkler knows what will replace the CAP payments to Shetland farmers and crofters after Brexit. I do not. Nor does anyone else I know, in the UK or in Europe.
I imagine that many of his prospective farming and crofting constituents in the West Mainland of Shetland will be rather worried about the prospect of losing half of their income after Brexit, which is why I recently spent nine hours arguing their case in a windowless conference hall at the annual general meeting of the EU’s Islands Commission, at the request of the council and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR).
I do not follow Mr Tinkler’s Facebook offerings (life is too short) but I understand he thinks I should not have gone to represent Shetland at that meeting. If it is any consolation to him, the journey to Gozo, Malta, and back involved six flights and a total of 36 hours’ travelling, during which I caught a severe cold.
He may also be glad to hear that the weather was cold and windy throughout. It is true that I accepted a dinner and a few glasses of wine from the Maltese government, who were hosting the event; it is also true that I managed two 20-minute, early morning walks in a delightful garden at the hotel where the conference was held, and saw a Sardinian warbler. No doubt this will be taken as further proof of my gross moral turpitude and neglect of duty.
One of the attractions of my imminent retirement from the council and the charitable trust is that I will (hopefully) no longer be subjected to Mr Tinkler’s splenetic, ignorant and malicious attacks.
I hope he will one day find an anger management therapist willing to take him on. It will certainly be a professional challenge but surely someone, somewhere, can help Mr Tinkler to see the sunny side …