Editorial: The Old Rock


Why the sudden urgency among some trustees to rush into the referendum on the future of Shetland Charitable Trust?

Surely it would be prudent first to establish whether it would be legal to ask people if they support the current system, whereby all but two trustees are members of Shetland Islands Council. It is this system, after all, which the charities regulator OSCR is unhappy with. Dashing into a referendum, only to be told subsequently that you had asked people whether they supported a structure open to challenge, would be the height of irresponsibility, especially when the verbal indications from your lawyers are that this may indeed be the case.

The process of reform is already protracted: the council’s convener, who is in Greece (not, we trust, taking counsel on that country’s recent experience with plebiscites), has ensured this with his various interventions in recent years.

The trust is wisely protecting its trustees from themselves.

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It is the time of year when certain men in Shetland become clearly identifiable as members of one Jarl’s Squad or another. But many seem to be counting the days until the last Wednesday in January when they can (we presume) shave their beards off again. Whatever happened to the notion that these hirsute displays were a measure of Viking-style manliness? You’re not going soft, are you boys?


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