I wish to thank those who voted for the SNP at the recent general election. I also want to thank those who provided accommodation, in Shetland, campaigned on our behalf and helped in any way.
I wish to congratulate Alistair Carmichael, who will again be representing Orkney and Shetland. Likewise I wish to thank the other candidates for a clean and fairly fought campaign.
I was, however, disappointed with the degree of Lib-Dem misrepresentation of the role and views of the SNP in the ferries debate, given that the original idea to slow down the ferries came NorthLink themselves. Scottish government funding is decreasing and many difficult decisions lie ahead.
However, it is important that everyone with an interest in ferries should get involved in the current consultation. The needs of Shetland are quite different from those of Orkney, although, as yet, not everyone realises this. Funding for everything will be tighter, for years to come.
My views on spin and misinformation are well known. If one has a strong case, then the arguments should speak for themselves.
The campaign was one of great uncertainty, combined with a degree of concern regarding the future and tackling the huge budget deficit.
My thanks to The Shetland Times, Shetland News and BBC Radio Shetland for their part in providing a forum for candidates and allowing us to get our viewpoints across. They also did this in a fair and unbiased way.
The three Westminster leaders’ debates undoubtedly worked against the interests of the SNP and the people of Scotland in general. The Scottish leaders’ debates were much more interesting with greater audience participation.
I also wish to thank everyone I met or spoke to on doorsteps. Almost everyone was polite and friendly. In many cases they asked questions and discussed the issues. I also wish to thank those who generously offered cups of tea or coffee. This was welcome, particularly on the many cold and wet days over the last six weeks.
Finally I hope political leaders can put petty differences behind them and get on with the business of government as soon as possible.
John R Mowat