Independence a risk for windfarm (Ian Tinkler)

Pause for thought. If, as promised, the SNP achieves independence for Scotland, would Shetlanders join Scotland, or wish to stay in what remains of the Union?

The recent very poor showing of the SNP in Shetland would suggest the latter. What would happen to the financial backers, international bankers, UK government grants and tariffs under all of the possible scenarios created by an independent Scotland, with or without Shetland?

Is this the time to press on with the Viking Energy project? However one regards Viking the finances of it have to be thrown into question. In fact with a Scottish independence battle looming, the whole issue may become irrelevant.

Ian Tinkler


Add Your Comment
  • Colin Hunter

    • May 10th, 2011 11:45

    It is not reallly up to Shetlanders whether they become part of an independant Scotland or stay with “the Union” because, like it or not, Shetland is part of Scotland (although Captain Calamity and others may dispute that) and will have to abide by the majority decision, as in everything else. When there was a referendum in 1975 as to whether or not the UK joined the EEC (or “Common Market” as it was then) Shetland and the Western Isles were the only UK constituencies to vote “No”. We’re still in it though, mores the pity! And so it would be with independance. To be fair to the SNP though, I thought they did rather well here, considering the fact that Billy Fox took many, many, votes that may have gone their way, and they did poll enough votes on the regional list to get 6 list MSPs elected for this region. Quite unheard of previously. Overall, the election was little more than a rout and all the major opposition party leaders have now “fallen on their swords”. If you want to slate anyone for doing poorly here, you don’t have to look much further than the two parties which have the best support in England.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • May 10th, 2011 12:22

    It is up to Shetlanders. International law and the right of self determination is very clear. The Falklands and Gibraltar are two good examples. It is undeniable Shetland is too small to stand alone however the people of Shetland have every entitlement to stay in the Union if they wish. I am sure far greater legal brains than yours and mine will determine the truth of the matter but nothing at this time is certain.

  • Colin Hunter

    • May 10th, 2011 13:55

    The Falkland Islands and Gibraltar are “British overseas territories” and, as such, are not a “county” within one of the four countries which make up the UK. We are one, as much as Lincolnshire or Lanarkshire are, even though we are seperated by 100 or so miles of water. Gibraltar has 27,000 people so is not much “Bigger” than us. The Falklands have only about 3,000 and they both seem to manage OK despite being repeatedly claimed by other countries, namely Spain and Argentina. Shetlands populace may well vote in completely the opposite direction to the rest of Scotland when and if the independance referendum comes along, but I can’t see Alex Salmond, or anyone else in Holyrood, letting Shetland, with the bulk of the North Sea and Atlantic frontier oilfields, waltz off singing “Grand Old Viking Centuries” instead of “Flower of Scotland”, can you?????

  • Vee Harvey

    • May 10th, 2011 14:54

    Let’s just have a look at the majority of the Shetland Surnames…They are not English and those that are not Scottish are Scandinavian. When we get sick we are airlifted to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow….all a part of Scotland. When we go to University where do we usually go…. Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee, Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow these are all very much a part of Scotland. I have never voted for SNP but I am glad they won so many seats as these are the very same guys that fought for our free tertiary education, our free prescriptions and our NHS to remain the same… Do you think that London would be interested in assisting you when you get sick, I think not? It is going to cost our children £9000.00 to go to University if we go with the union. Currently in England they cannot even look after their own people how do you think we will be treated. I think that Shetlanders need to think hard and long about who they want to back in this situation. London will try to divide and conquer, as they have always done, do not think that they will not use and abuse us in their fight for control of Scotland.

  • Maureen Bell

    • May 10th, 2011 16:47

    I remember back in 1975 when Shetlanders voted the wanted “no truck with Edinburgh – Whitehall or nothing”. Is it perhaps time we consulted with our Scandinavian neighbours (physically closer to us than Scotland) to whom we might become closer allies?

  • Ian Tinkler

    • May 10th, 2011 17:56

    A bit of a can of worms this Scottish Independence thing. It’s pointless talking down England, Wales, Northern Ireland or London. Free determination is what matters; international law is always the decider alongside the democratic process. Not Alex Salmond, nor anyone else in Holyrood, short of war, could stop Shetland, with the bulk of the North Sea and Atlantic frontier oilfields, waltz off singing “Grand Old Viking Centuries, Rule Britannia , Alleluia or whatever Shetlanders want”, instead of “Flower of Scotland”. As I originally stated, “However one regards “Viking Energy, with a Scottish independence battle looming, the whole issue may become irrelevant.”

  • Richard Moir

    • May 10th, 2011 22:42

    Shetland was part of Scotland before Scotland became part of the United Kingdom, so if Scotland gains independence then Shetland goes with Scotland surely.

  • Peter Dodge

    • May 11th, 2011 13:07

    Oh dear, he we go again, the same auld theme, how wearisome. The fifth column is once again on the march. What tune this time – There will always be an England or Land of Hope and Glory?
    It’s very obvious tae onybody, Shetlander or incomer that the promoter of this line of attack always comes from that behemoth nation tae the sooth of Scotland, never the Poles or the Estonians, the Germans, the French etc….. who arrive, bide and contribute to the community.
    That said, hundreds of English folk have made this their home (used to be 1 in 9 of the population) and take the islands for what they are. Scores of them vote SNP, with many stating that here in Scotland they have the quality of life and government that they could never expect or hope to have in their country of birth. Many have stated their children see themselves as Shetland and Scottish and express the wish that their bairns promote and cherish that outlook for the rest of their lives.
    Contributor Colin Hunter made reference to Captain Calamity and I have frequently heard the young yins expressing the view that Stuart Hill too was advancing “the same auld theme” but had the the wit and subtlety to use other folks money to do so!

  • Ian Tinkler

    • May 11th, 2011 18:25

    .Sorry Peter Dodge, My Mum was born in Glasgow, made me ware a kilt!! I am British and European, not English, but English Scottish name derives from Ireland. You racial stereotyping does not quite fit so perhaps you should contain your racial prejudices about the English (behemoth nation tae the sooth) and keep them private. Prefer to regard myself as part of the human species, could not give a monkeys about national boundaries and tribal instincts. Just wondering how you could divide the assets and depts., between The Union and Scotland in the event of separation. Spare us the wisdom of your provincial mind and tell us how you would divide the assets, depts. and liabilities of say, Royal Bank of Scotland (85% taxpayer owned) equitably between all concerned. I bet you have not got a clue and challenge you to do so publicly. Incidentally also give us your wisdom of the division of the armed forces, back to Clan warfare perhaps.

  • Colin Hunter

    • May 12th, 2011 11:49

    I would have thought that the division of Assets, debts and armed forces etc would have been done simply on a Pro Rata basis, worked out by population, making Scotlands share 5/60ths of all assets & debts. Obviously, Scotland would have no claim to any mineral assets on anyone elses patch, likewise the remainder of the Union would then have no claim on any assets within Scotlands domain. Hopefully we would also see an end to the much hated “Crown Estate Commission” levying “Rent” on the seabed under Salmon & Mussel Farms, Marinas, etc. This could possible be replaced with a much fairer locally based levy to ensure that the money stayed within that community instead of vanishing off to Westminster, never to be seen again!

  • Ian Tinkler

    • May 12th, 2011 13:00

    Scotlands share 5/60ths of all assets & debts. Well stated, does this include the Oil?

  • Gordon Harmer

    • May 12th, 2011 14:50

    Born in iniquity and conceived in sin, the spirit of nationalism has never ceased to bend human institutions to the service of dissension and distress.

  • Peter Dodge

    • May 12th, 2011 15:00

    Analysis of the blatant contradictions in your foregoing response ought to give you more than enough to consider at one time let alone the rational for your initial post which has a parochial/ British Nationalist theme.
    With respect to “wisdom”, Mr Salmond’s victory speech summed that up most eloquently.
    Reflecting on the “assets, depts and liabilities”,negotiations pending; may well have an input in several areas but do acknowledge that vastly superior brains to mine are already installed and quite delighted as a consequence.
    By the way you do recognise that in many of your posts you maintain a policy of ridiculing the intellect of other respondents and contributors. As to whether that is deliberate or subliminal lies beyond my ken but its exploitation does provide humour and allows others to respond accordingly. Sorry, that is a droll cultural trait – environmental rather than genetic, I hope!

    • ian tinkler

      • April 23rd, 2017 18:16

      The Times, May 11th, 2011 13:07 “It’s very obvious tae onybody, Shetlander or incomer that the promoter of this line of attack always comes from that behemoth nation tae the sooth of Scotland,,” Your word, Peter Dodge, so typical, Nationalist xenophobic anglophobia or was “behemoth nation tae the sooth of Scotland” meant as a compliment!.

  • George Smith

    • May 12th, 2011 15:54

    The SNP have always reminded me of a dog that chases the post van – do either really know what they would do when they achieved their aim?

    By way of example, I remember in the 1990s when there was a huge debate over the proposed closure of one of the two major Royal Navy bases. As the debate was between Devonport and Rosyth, the SNP immediately championed Rosyth, trotting out the old claims that if Devonport was selected, it would show pro-English bias etc etc. What they didn’t bother to say was that in the independent Scotland they claim to be aiming for, there would be no Royal Navy base in Scotland – why were they not honest about this, admitting that an independent Scotland would have no need for large, dedicated naval bases? Whether you support their aims or not, it is reasonable to assume that an independent Scotland would have a navy similar to Ireland’s (a handful of aging patrol boats) and that the vast majority of Scottish jobs linked with supporting the RN (and also RAF bases) in Scotland would be lost.

    If the SNP’s aim is to promote Scotland’s interests within the UK (which I would whole-heartedly support), then championing Rosyth would have made sense – but not when they claim to desire independence.
    If Mr Salmond is genuine in his wish for independence, why not hold a referendum on the question next month? Why wait another few years?
    Is it, perhaps, a case of ‘be careful what you wish for?’
    Has the dog finally caught the postie’s van and now doesn’t quite know what to do next?

  • Gordon Harmer

    • May 12th, 2011 17:22

    Think about the notion of perfect love as being without fear, and what that means for us in a world that’s becoming increasingly xenophobic, tortured by fundamentalism and nationalism.
    In the First World War, there was the sudden passion of nationalism, and the killing took place because of these emotions.
    The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?
    Some patriotic societies seem to think that the way to educate school children in a democracy is to stage bigger and better flag-saluting.
    As George Bernard Shaw said, you’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.

  • Colin Hunter

    • May 12th, 2011 19:20

    In reply to Ian Tinkler (once more) When I said that (In my opinion) Scotland would have no claim to any mineral asset on anybody elses patch, namely Oil and Gas reserves in the Southern North sea and any others not within Scotlands area. I also meant, more or less, that I would not expect that the remainder of the UK ( put bluntly, England ) could legitimately lay claim to any seabed asset not on their part of the continental shelf. I mean, The UK has no claim to assets in the Dutch or German areas, so why should they then lay claim to something on Scotland’s bit? If you’re an independant nation that’s what it means. They don’t claim assets in Canada, Australia, or any of the former Dominions which are now independant, so why should they do it to us?

  • Ian Tinkler

    • May 12th, 2011 23:27

    Gentlemen and ladies, my original letter was about the breakup of the Union creating banking problems threatening the finances of VE. It is a real can of worms or a Pandora’s Box, I have opened and I feel at this time there can be no answers, just further questions. Our individual views are irrelevant until a referendum is held. I truly believe we are heading for utter disaster if we pursue a goal of separation, but that is just an opinion.

  • Colin Hunter

    • May 14th, 2011 0:47

    I’m not greatly bothered by the VE windfarm project, simply because I believe it will never get off the ground. It’s not that I don’t believe in the people behind the project, it’s just that I think the present regime on transmission charges is outrageous and that the good old “Bete Noir” of the Crown Estate Commission will simply charge too much seabed “rent” on the proposed interconnector cable to allow the project to be viable. In that way they will ensure that any potential profits will be, once again, creamed off by Westminster. Call me a cynic if you like, but I’ve seen many, many, “Windfall” taxes over the years, levied by successive Westminster governments when they were strapped for cash, so that they could continue fighting pointless foreign wars just to please our so called “Allies” at the other side of the pond! Hopefully, an independant Scotland would be above such foolishness and concentrate more on protecting our own borders against the much more insiduous threat from international drug rings and the like. When you speak of “utter disaster”, think back to our current Westminster Governments last Budget by George Osborne where he hiked a “Windfall tax” of £2Bn on the oil industry to finance a 1p reduction in fuel duty to “Stabilise” fuel prices. Who stood to gain the most from that? Answer – England with 55m people and relatively few oil related jobs. Who stood to lose the most? Answer – Scotland, with only 5m people and many times more oil related jobs per capita. I rest my case! And our 5p fuel duty derogation is still in cloud cuckoo land!

  • Peter Dodge

    • May 14th, 2011 13:59

    George, I would request please that you revisit and study the Rosyth/Davenport debacle which arose courtesy of the Tory Secretary of State for Defence’s Malcolm Ridland in respect of the tendering for the refitting of Trident Nuclear submarines in 1993. That was a very sordid and humiliating affair and please do not try to besmirch the Rosyth workforce, Scotland or the SNP with the slant you have taken since the integrity and credibility of Westminster Government was put to the test on that occasion and found to be seriously wanting. You perhaps owe to yourself that you reacquaint yourself with the facts of the matter since their implications have been relevant in every election since and may well continue to do so well into the future.
    For those of the younger generation reading this, the subject could not be more apposite for study and deserves your attention.
    Basically, a tendering process was initiated by the Tory Government to refit the Trident Nuclear submarines resulting in the two naval dockyards Rosyth and Davenport with their respective private operators submitting for the work. The Labour Party and SNP were united in their approach, being of the view that since the very competitive Rosyth was fully equipped, skilled and experienced in the work and as compensation for the continued presence of nuclear target number1 ie. Faslane, the Scottish yard should be favoured.
    Davenport ,however, lay in a Tory marginal constituency and their bid of circa £240 million was successful, despite calls for closer scrutiny. Rosyth was promised the maintenance of the surface fleet.
    This debacle, in combination with numerous similar actions resulted in the Tories being wiped out as an entity in Scotland.
    Greater humiliation was to follow for Rosyth and Scotland – Davenport didn’t have the essential dry dock facilities to undertake the work and Rosyth had!
    Furnishing these facilities saw the cost to the exchequer rising by millions and very little surface fleet work went to Rosyth. Consequent to this was the appellation of the name the “feeble fifty” to the Scottish Labour MPs who were seen as mere spectators and little better than Tories. Many of the Rosyth Trade Unionists joined the SNP and provide an excellent contribution as indicated by recent results.
    By 2002 ,Labour held power and Adam Ingram tried to gain the updated Davenport cost and concluded a figure of at least £659 million had been spent.
    And the Trident submarine maintenance and refurbishing? Well try the USA!

  • Stephen Gash

    • May 14th, 2011 23:02

    Well Scotland can keep its snout out of Berwick-upon-Tweed and Salmond can desist from waddling down to Cornwall stirring up calls for home rule.

    We in the rest of the UK should prevent Scotland from having a referendum on independence until after we’ve each had a referendum on our own independence and booting Scotland out of the UK. Scotland wouldn’t need to have one then.

    We fail to see why we should be kept hanging around for Scots to decide.

  • John N Oakes

    • May 15th, 2011 13:34

    Shetland could do more by advertising themselves away from Scotland. Such is the effort in trade name branding rights with such Cornish Pasties Yorkshire Pud and Lanchashire Hotpot. True these only reflect food. But signal identity first. Even though your true links are towards Scandinavia than Scottish which I have experience during 18 months at Unst service career. Your own advertisement could improve more in England and globally too. I would welcome seeing a fresher face of the Isles displayed along the likes of Jersey Guensey Isle of Wight Scillys and Isle of Mann. Instead I only most of the Shetland Isles floating around the north sea when the weather needs anouncing. Even the such event you hold for Simmer Dim Northern Lights Up Helly Aa are known by a select few here in England. Let Scotland shoot itself in the foot if it wishes, why let yourselves be carried when you can shine a lot more like the rest if the Isle do here in England.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • May 16th, 2011 17:16

    Put simply, we would become the Portugal of the north. It’s an economic non starter. I’ll wager that for a significant number, a vote for the SNP is more an expression of a strong and proud national identity than a genuine yearning for independence. And it’s likely that all those voters would not support that in a referendum.

    What frustrates me most is the economic drain of talent. The best leave and prosper just about anywhere else apart from Scotland. But then I look at the small town politics, the lack of economic incentives, the journalists that stick the knife in unless you keep them sweet and just a general lack of ambition. And I think why bother?

    It needs inspired leadership, courage and vision to change that and I don’t see any of those attributes in Salmond who is essentially a nationalist for nationalisms sake. A small man with a big chip on his shoulder.

  • Ron Stronach

    • May 17th, 2011 12:48

    I love the idea of an independent Shetland, but I cant see how it could possibly work. A crown dependency I think might be a better option, but if there isn’t a UK then a crown dependency of what?

    Can you really see the SIC being capable in its present format running a Country/Dependency and not going broke?
    Who would protect our Islands, our local TA?
    How about the shores, the local Sea Scout Group (if they still exist)?

    What makes Britain great, England, Scotland Ireland and Wales, all headed up by Shetland at the top

  • James Kelly

    • May 17th, 2011 15:52

    Ian said : “The recent very poor showing of the SNP in Shetland…”

    On the list ballot, the SNP received 29% of the vote, and were less than 300 votes behind the Lib Dems. Hardly that poor.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • May 17th, 2011 20:15

    What makes Britain great, England, Scotland, Ireland Wales and Ireland, all headed up by Shetland at the top. How very true, just imagine 1940 with no UK but a fragmented group of of petite republics. Hitler would be in Norway, no Shetland Bus, countless genocides and an Independent Scotland would be swatted like a midge by the Nazi tyranny.

  • Colin Hunter

    • May 18th, 2011 10:20

    I fail to see how Scotland would have been “Swatted like a midge” seeing as how Hitlers biggest obstacle in invading Britain was the 21 miles of sea water between Calais and Dover. Not to belittle the bravery and dedication of “The Few”, but he just didn’t have the equipment for the job. There are many more miles of ocean between what was occupied Europe and either Shetland or Scotland so that would have been an even greater obstacle to him. Also, I don’t think your simile with the Midge is very appropriate seeing as it’s so difficult to swat them, and how many big, strong men have you seen routed from an evening’s gardening or fishing, by the attention of these airborne tormentors? Having a re-think here! Maybe the Midge is the right thing after all! They’ll win every time!

  • Peter Dodge

    • May 18th, 2011 21:03

    Dear Colin, you are being strung along.
    You will soon learn that there is a unionist theme book that must be strictly adhered to (maybe google has it under “Imperium Brittanica?”).
    The correct answers to all of the following questions can be obtained from newsnet scotland (actually that is not true but you will get much more pleasure reading its contents than answering many of the pretty purile comments on here, some of which are akin to those found on the readers section of the Telegraph!)
    The usual themes to be encountered;
    No.1; Scotland is ower peerie, puir and stupid to possibly equate to being like a normal Scandinavian democratic country, it must be “managed” for its own sake at all times by somewhere else.
    No.2; Shetland is and always has been a totally independent nation but in the event of Scotland returning onto the world stage, Shetland must immediately become a protectorate of the square mile of London.
    No.3; Bwitain fought against Germany twice in the last century and we must continue this fight until the end of time. (no-one please point out that we have been part of the European Union for ~40 years and consequently have lived in harmony with Germany and lots of other European nations too).It is also the case that being bwitish means you must have an utter abhorrence of the French and must always fight them – when not fighting the Germans.
    No.4; Queen Elizabeth 11 is our queen and don’t you forget it. Well really she is Queen Lizzie 2nd of Engerland whose inhabitants are her subjects. (That was all televised away back in the 1950s). It is presumed that she signed the relevant administrative forms which also led to her being Queen LIzzie 1st of Scots. Never have met anybody who witnessed that or who has seen the document! Recalling of course that she is not Queen of Scotland since such a title doesn’t exist. Please also remember Scots are citizens not subjects. If she did get the paperwork right she is the sovereign of the two kingdoms which are not and never were united,(but since 1603 they usually (“maybe”) have a single sovereign).
    By the time you are moving the education programme onto theme 5 the other side are usually severely ratty and you are usually reduced to receiving all manner of abuse. This is particularly the case if you have had the temerity to point out that England is not Britain/UK and that Britain/UK is not England. Also should some smarty pants try to tell you Scotland is not part of the E.U., with reference to the foregoing sentence, just remind them neither is England! (Imagine their renegotiations!)
    Oh life becomes so much more fun when you start to shake the shackles and learn the facts!

  • George Smith

    • May 19th, 2011 8:46


    Hitler’s biggest obstacle in invading Britain was NOT the 21 miles of sea water between Calais and Dover: it was the Royal Navy and the RAF, and – to a lesser extent – the British Army who were ready and wating for them.

  • George Smith

    • May 19th, 2011 9:13

    Mr Dodge

    You are incorrect.

    The debate over Rosyth vs Devonport was NOT over refitting the ‘Trident Nuclear Submarines’ as you claim. Indeed, the first of these vessels only entered service in 1993. It was about having a dockyard for maintaining the entire RN nuclear submarine fleet.

    The point you failed to answer is why the SNP campaigned for such work to be carried out in Scotland, knowing full well that the independent Scotland they claim to so desire would not have a nuclear submarine fleet. Unlike an independent Scotland, however, what ever was left of the UK most certainly would retain a nuclear submarine fleet and I am sure you will agree that they would ensure that these be maintained in their new ‘home country’ rather than what has suddeny become a foreign one.

    Whether Scotland declares independence or not is up to the electorate, but it is disingenuous of the SNP to not be open and frank about what the realities of this would be.

  • Peter Dodge

    • May 19th, 2011 14:20

    Mr Smith,
    On 16th June 1993, the late Mr Phil Gallie, (Scottish Tory MP for Ayr), declared the Government would do the right thing by placing the contract for refitting Trident submarines in Scotland. He was confident that Rosyth would be chosen instead of the English yard at Devonport.
    Previously on 20th July 1992, Sir Ian Lang, the Secretary of State for Scotland, made the same promise.
    Sir Malcolm Rifkind was the Secretary of State for Defence in 1993; the same Malcolm Rifkind after whom the massive crater “Rifkind’s Hole” is named. Examination of “Rifkind’s Hole” could be undertaken at the Rosyth base, being 200m. by 170m by 30m. deep you couldn’t very well miss it. Its purpose, refuelling Trident submarines but never used for such.
    Unfortunately, if you are unprepared to subscribe to very well known historical and documented facts, you may safely conclude that your opinions are not worthy of further examination or response since in all probability you would misconstrue such.
    Under other circumstances you would be presumed to be a Labour spin doctor.

  • George Smith

    • May 19th, 2011 16:02

    Mr Dodge

    I have always thought that when one feels the need to resort to insults, one is losing the argument. You seem to adopt this position as your opening stance. For example, by your constant use of the word ‘Bwitish’, you feel the need to dismiss those in favour of the Union as in some way ‘effete’. No fellow Scotsman can possibly be a Unionist in your eye – despite all the evidence to the contrary, Unionists can only be from the ‘that behemoth nation tae the sooth’, a people who you cite as trouble makers and rabble-rousers, unlike any of the other ‘immigrants’ you then reel off.

    You may feel I am not worthy of further debate, but you have still not answered my point.

    I shall start again, so there is no confusion:

    The MoD was chosing between Rosyth and Devonport as the sole Dockyard for the RN nuclear submarine fleet.
    To safe-guard Scottish jobs, the SNP championed the case for Rosyth.
    However, the independent Scotland the SNP desire would not have a nuclear submarine fleet. If you disagree with this, can you name a nation of similar size to Scotland that does?
    Are we agreed thus far?

    Therefore, if the SNP really desire independence, why did they campaign for the RN nuclear submarine dockyard to be in Scotland? Does it not follow that the remainder of the UK would demand that their nuclear submarines be maintained in their new ‘home country’?

    By way of comparison, the stance taken by the SNP over this is akin to the UKIP demanding that the European Central Bank be based in the UK.

    Can you begin to see the hypocrisy of the SNP’s stance on the issue?

    Please take a moment to read the following links:
    The pertinent line being: ‘It is the base for the Trafalgar class nuclear powered hunter killer submarines and the main refitting base for all Royal Navy nuclear submarines’
    The pertinent line being: “In 1984 Rosyth was chosen as the sole location for refitting the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet (a role it was already specialising in), and in 1986 extensive rebuilding commenced to facilitate this new role. However in 1993, the government switched the refitting role to Devonport Dockyard”
    As you are possibly aware, the RN has nuclear submarines other than the Trident-armed Vanguard Class.

    Perhaps you could also answer my main question: if the SNP really wants independence, why does Mr Salmond not hold his long-awaited referendum next month?
    Extra points will be given if you can construct an email without the word ‘Tory’ in it.

  • Jim White

    • May 19th, 2011 20:09

    Instead of waiting for a referendum, Shetlanders should now consider plans to go it alone, but within Europe and NATO. The natural resources are present, tourism is flourishing and using modern technology and communications, distance can be turned into an advantage in the corporate and finance sectors. Shetland’s population displays higher than average levels of intellect, ingenuity and integrity and truly benefits from the great diversity of its inhabitants. Inspiration can be taken from Leichtenstein, Luxembourg and San Marino, and Ultima Thule could yet become the “coldwater” Caymans!

  • ali inkster

    • May 20th, 2011 0:42

    There’s a bit more than 21 miles of sea between Norway and Germany Colin, Adolf managed to invade Norway without too much bother. I would counter it was the RAF and Hitlers tactics that prevented invasion of the UK.

  • Colin Hunter

    • May 20th, 2011 14:57

    There is no doubt at all that the RAF and “The Few” during the Battle of Britain, were instrumental in denying Goering the air superiority they needed to stage an invasion of Britain. The Nazis were, at that time, massing ships and barges in North sea and Channel ports. These were being attacked on a regular basis by both the RAF and Navy to the point where they eventually abandoned the idea of invasion. Thankfully Britain, at that time, was in the forefront of aircraft design and had two state of the art frontline fighter aircraft as well as a powerful Navy to protect (and paid for by) it’s huge Empire. Norway, on the other hand, was caught wrong footed and was relatively poorly equipped, having spent great efforts trying to remain neutral. There may lie the reason that they were quickly overwhelmed. The main point of my saying that the channel was a major obstacle was that, had it not been there at all, the BEF would not merely have been driven to the beaches of Dunkirk by the Blitzkreig, but perhaps clean clear to London and Hitler may have strolled up the Mall as easily as he did the Champs Elysees a few months later! It was certainly an obstacle to the Allies when it came to D Day!

    Mr Dodge, I am aware of the “Usual” unionist arguments but was trying to stay clear of them. I wondered when someone would mention the numerical inaccuracy of our Monarch. I recall an RAF man singing a song in our house in Haroldswick many years ago when I was a wee boy. The chorus went like this.

    Nae Liz the Yin, Nae Lizabeth the Twa,
    Nae Liz will ever dae!
    We’ll makk oor land republican
    in a Scottish Breakaway.

    It can be found on this website.

    Although I have no great desire to go down the road of republicanism, the site is worthy of a wee read and the song is quite amusing too.

  • S Winks

    • May 24th, 2011 6:50

    Rarely get the opportunity to read the comments on here and how interesting and powerful so many of the comments are on this issue. Spoilt only by racism from Mr. Dodge. As an English woman from an English family here whom all work hard to do their bit for Shetland I find his remarks especially offensive. It was, however, refreshing to read the posts made by those whom did not need to sink to abuse.

  • Derick Tulloch

    • May 27th, 2011 0:05

    Just for information – make of it what you will

    Number of Royal Navy vessels during WW2 = 900
    Number of Royal Navy vessels May 2011 = 80
    Number of vessels Royal Norwegian Navy = 70
    Number of vessels proposed Royal Scottish Navy = 59

    Scotland’s current account surplus (i.e. subsidy to the rest of the UK), 2008 – £1.3 billion

    GDP per head 2010 (dollars)
    Norway 52,013
    Ireland 38,550 (Arc of Insolvency copyright British unionists)
    Iceland 36,621 (Arc of Insolvency copyright British unionists)
    UK 34,920 Face it guys – the empire is long gone.

    Secret plan to deprive independent Scotland of North Sea oil fields

    How black gold was hijacked: North sea oil and the betrayal of Scotland

  • Ron Stronach

    • May 27th, 2011 12:24

    I think you would be hard pressed to find 80 vessels in the Royal Navy today, unless you are counting the ones for cooking!

  • Ian Tinkler

    • June 1st, 2011 23:33

    May be far fewer HMShips. Four have more fire power than mankind has used in all its wars combined. Think on that.

  • Ron Stronach

    • June 2nd, 2011 12:25

    Might have some power behind them for sure, and the best trained people, but its not a lot of use for fishery protection and stopping Iceland and Faroe fishing boats fishing in what’s seen as “local” waters!

    Also from my experience – and I have served in the RN, hoists for shells and the like tend to jam and break down quite often, wouldn’t fancy man handling a cruise missile into its loading bay!
    Missile firing tests can take days!!!

  • Matt Stuart

    • February 7th, 2012 0:16

    What would happen if Scotland voted for independence but Shetland voted not to leave the UK? Would they be forced to leave anyway or would London support their choice as they did with (Northern Ireland). Given that Shetland has a claim to significant chunk of the continental shelf this could become a controversial issue!


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.