26th January 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Pigs might fly (Theo Nicolson)

The people who feel the need to strike on Wednesday want to protest against cuts to their pensions. They will have to give up a day’s pay to make their feelings known.

If the people who receive salaries and bonuses in excess of what they could ever possibly spend were to give up a day’s pay, there would be no need for a strike.

Theo Nicolson
North Road,


  1. Mark Counter

    Poor souls having to give up a days pay, my heart bleeds for them. What about the people who are inconvenienced by their action, the people who will not be able to get to work because of their action, why should they have to give up a days pay. When will people realise the country is on its knees and learn to give give give instead of take take take and at a cost to others.
    This strike will not hurt the government it will only hurt the man on the street, the private sector worker who’s pension fund has been cancelled or failed, do they strike, no they just get on with life.

    Mark Counter,

  2. John Tulloch


    Spoken not so much like a “North Sea Chinaman” as a true “Sheltie Bosun!”

  3. Mark Counter

    Ah Mr Tulloch, in those days people who had jobs considered themselves very lucky and would do nothing to put their job in jeopardy. In a bankrupt country this kind of action will soon have us back there again. For you to throw that kind of scorn on old Shetlanders who’s priority was to provide for their families proves to me any connection between you and reality is purely coincidental.

  4. John Tulloch

    Mr Counter,

    I hadn’t actually considered that comparing you to those people equated to throwing scorn at them, however, now you come to mentionn it, I see what you mean.

    Apart from bankers and the Eurozone wrecking the economy the thing that’s making it worse now is the billions being squandered on renewable energy which is, frankly, of no practical use to those in fuel poverty who have a choice of “heat or eat” and is causing businesses to close their doors, putting thousands more on the dole. That’s why the country is bankrupt.

    None of that is the fault of public sector workes.

  5. Mike Smith

    I just love these people who assume that all public sector workers were born and die public sector workers with no real idea of what the hard working private sector workers do; absolute rubbish!
    Personally I began work on the YTS scheme earning a massive amount of £25 per week, before deductions, and after a number of years I changed career to become a public sector worker/civil servant – and I took a pay CUT to achieve that; At the time I didn’t think to myself “I’ll join the civil service because thats a cushy number” far from it. Furthermore it’s not a cushy number, so I am a little fed up with hearing from people that basically have no clue, presumably through having worked in private industry all their lives or have been brainwashed by the Tories who blame everyone and anything but themselves when it goes wrong, e.g. they are now blaming the mess in the eurozone whereas 2 or 3 years ago in opposition the mess they eventually inherited from Labour was all Labours fault with absolutely no possibility that the world wide economic mess could have at least been slighty to blame. Funny that, I bet they’re laughing now with their banker chums.

  6. Mark Counter

    No John lets get it right, the economy was wrecked by the Euro zone, the bankers the Labour Party for baling out the bankers with public money and not imposing controls on what are essentially our banks. Also by the Labour Party for inventing thousands of public sector jobs to bring down unemployment and make themselves look good at a terrible cost to the country. Now those jobs are going, at a terrible cost to those being put on the dole and having their pensions messed with.
    Money spent on renewable energy is a fraction of what has been wasted by the last government but I know nothing on the renewable energy subject so will not pursue it.
    As you are so in favour of taking from the rich to give to the poor why don’t you enlarge on your philosophy and take those who are making the heat or eat choice and share what you have on the banks of Loch long. Live by your socialist philosophy John, bring some unfortunate family from the east end of Glasgow and let them rub shoulders with the rich and elite of Arrochar as you do. Take them down to the Village Inn buy them a pint or two share what you have with those who have nothing. Show them around your village let them see your neighbours half million and million pound mansions let them see how you with your socialist values live.
    I doubt you will as socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery not wealth.
    Climb down from your ivory tower John join the real world, don’t sit up there preaching a fantasy.

  7. John Tulloch


    You’re making an awful lot of assumptions about someone you obviously know nothing about.

    What makes you think I’m a socialist and/or that I support Labour?

    What makes you think I want to take from the rich to give to the poor?

    In fact, none of those things applies to me however I like to think that “fair’s fair” and much of the criticism levelled at public sector workers is completely unfair. I’ve commented on another thread (Tracy Leith) about pay injustices and won’t repeat that here.

    Nor are you as well informed as you think you are about Arrochar.

    While there are certainly million pound houses on and around nearby Loch Lomond for the likes of Bjorn Borg, I am unaware of any houses anywhere near that bracket in Arrochar and there are plenty of rather down-at-heel council houses, too. While there are some well-heeled retired people and commuters, I wouldn’t need to import unfortunates from Clydebank or the “East End” if I wished to take up your sneering suggestion.

    Arrochar managed to get a village hall about 2 years ago, following heroic fund raising by the local community which helped them win grant support. I would struggle to think of a community in Shetland which hasn’t had a hall “aa man’s mindin..” A children’s playpark is currently being constructed – nothing like that existed here before so perhaps it’s the Lerwick and other Shetland “elites” who are better placed to cater for the disadvantaged an tak dem fir a pint ta Busta or da Shetlan’ Hot-L?

  8. Mark Counter

    I’m not the only one to make assumptions John as I don,t live in Shetland I would struggle to get to Busta Or the Shetland Hotel. But I have been through your village on many occasions so I know you are trying to pull the wool over my eyes on several points. There is a million pound house and stables not far from your abode with a nice forest just outside its back door.
    But I can tell you the reason Shetland has so many village halls it is because they have an open mind about having an oil and gas plant on their doorstep. They will continue to have these kind of facilities, and more, when they reap the benefits of having sources of renewable power on their doorstep.
    Some people are willing to give and they receive, things like public halls and play areas in return, something you and the public sector workers should maybe think about.

  9. Colin Hunter

    I think that some people assume that it’s taxpayers money which pays the pensions of public sector workers. That is not the case. All public sector workers have the opportunity to join pension schemes to which they contribute quite sweetly. Their employer also contributes a percentage of their wage to the scheme. These costs to the employer are part of the overall remuneration package and the employees contributions are free from income tax, in line with any other pension contribution. These monies are invested in a fund which is administered independently and many pension schemes are major investors in industry. When a person retires their pension is calculated from their years of service in that position.
    How would you feel if you had contributed for many years, only to be told that you wouldn’t be getting what you had been led to expect and that, in order to do so, you would have to contribute more of your salary and then still receive less. You wouldn’t be too chuffed would you? It’s like putting money in the bank and being told that you won’t get it back unless you pay in some more!
    It’s not as though the pension schemes are short of money and can’t afford to meet their obligations, it’s just a cash grab by the Government in much the same way as Gordon Brown devastated the Private sector schemes by taxing them by £5Bn per annum until they could no longer meet their obligations to their members.
    So Pink or Blue? One is just as bad as the other in my opinion. The sooner we, in Scotland are free from the UK the better! Salmond for PM!

  10. ian tinkler

    It’s taxpayer’s money which pays the pensions of public sector workers. It’s also taxpayer’s money which pays the wages of public sector workers. If the economy fails which it surely will, if we do not reduce borrowing, there will be no wages, pensions or work for public sector workers, or anyone else for that matter. Salmond could not alter that, no politician could. Think about it when you go on strike.

  11. Colin Hunter

    So! Mr Tinkler! What the hell have I been paying my contributions into for God Knows how long?? And who has been sending me yearly statements regarding how well the “scheme” has been doing, and keeping me updated on what benefits I can expect when I retire? Are you going to tell me that the Royal Navy isn’t already paying you some kind of pension and that you don’t expect to receive one, probably worth MANY times as much as the average public sector worker, from the NHS when YOU retire? And that you expect to get all that WITHOUT paying a penny???? What part of cloud cuckoo land do you actually inhabit sir?
    I grant you that the taxpayer ultimately funds public sector pay, Why else do we pay taxes, other than to fund the services those workers provide? But I repeat. The Taxpayer does NOT fund the pensions, other than by funding the pay, and therefore the contributions in the first place, if you wish to be pedantic!
    If successive Westminster Governments refuse to listen to people, and treat them disgracefully, what other recourse do they have but to reluctantly withdraw their labour?

  12. Ian Tinkler

    A few simple facts. I was RNR, formerly known as RNVR, a volunteer reservist, no pension. I am a self employed private practitioner now. Note self employed, no holiday pay, no superannuated pension and absolutely no sympathy for strike action, it achieves nothing but hardship for all, including the strikers. As stated, if the economy fails we all are left with nothing. A prolonged strike might just make that happen; it certainly is a pointless exercise, just a futile protest, there is no money, and we are living longer. Just where will the extra pension money come from?

  13. Colin Hunter

    The last self employed private dental practitioner I knew was so poverty stricken all he could afford was a seven bedroom house in Farnborough with a swimming pool, and a brand new Audi every year. I really felt sorry for him! It really is a shame when people fall on hard times like that!

  14. ian tinkler

    Well Colin, this dental surgeon is part time, raising children as a single parent; I am also a registered Crofter. I have been a sequestrated, when wife became so ill she unable to care for kids and I had to stop work to care for children. Five years on income support, not really your business Colin. That chip on your shoulder must weigh you down a bit, is there anything you do not bear a grudge about, or are you jealous of anyone you perceive as more successful and intelligent than you? Now go moan about your pension and how Westminster has done you and yours down. I notice you do not try to answer my question, I repeat it for you, “there is no money, and we are living longer. Just where will the extra pension money come from?

  15. Colin Hunter

    Mr Tinkler. Rest assured that I am neither interested in, nor envious of, your (or any other persons) personal circumstances. I therefore cannot bear a grudge about something I don’t really care about. I am certainly not jealous of anyone who earns their living guddling in other peoples mouths. I merely told you about my friend’s father in Farnborough because he was the only Dental practitioner I have personally known. Please excuse me for thinking he was the “norm”.
    My personal perception of “success” would probably surprise you, in that it cannot be measured in monetary terms, but merely that if someone is content with what they have and isn’t bothered about “Keeping up with the Joneses” then they are successful. After all, you don’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations but your own, and judging by the cant of your last posting, it is not me that is the jealous one! Also, I fail to see what relevance another person’s IQ has to do with public sector pension schemes! I’m actually quite happy with the 137 I scored in an online test out of curiosity!
    Westminster has not personally done me down as you put it. Well, no more than the other 5.5 million (or so) people who live in Scotland. Regarding the source of Public Sector pensions, I repeat to you, that they are provided by schemes funded by individual contributions, and not by the state, as “Old age” pensions are. They are part of peoples wages and conditions and it is the proposed changes to those contractual agreements which are the basis of the grievance.


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