SNP attacks outgoing council’s ‘serial incompetence’ as it launches election campaign

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The Shetland branch of the SNP has launched its campaign for May’s local elections with a stinging attack on the outgoing council, saying the community deserves better than the “serial incompetence” and “mismanaged vanity projects” of recent years.

Two SNP candidates are seeking election on 3rd May – Danus Skene in Lerwick North and Iain Morrison in Lerwick South. SNP politicians Alyn Smith and Jean Urquhart, who sit in the European and Scottish parliaments respectively, were in Shetland today to launch a “new team” for the islands.

Nationalist figures in Edinburgh have begun to recognise the importance of establishing a stronger presence in Shetland and Orkney, particularly following MSP Tavish Scott’s call last month for a debate on greater autonomy for the Northern Isles ahead of the planned referendum on Scottish independence in October 2014.

Mr Smith delivered a hard-hitting message, saying the waste of public money and high-profile political mistakes made by the SIC in recent years were “simply inexcusable”. He suggested the backing of a party machine could help make councillors perform more effectively.

“The islands deserve better than the serial incompetence of the outgoing administration,” he said. “In my experience, having worked with councils the length and breadth of Scotland over the past seven years that I have represented Scotland in the European Parliament, independent politicians, with a few honourable exceptions, simply lack the resources and support, and often the discipline, to be effective.

“I think this is borne out in the sorry tale of the outgoing administration, which seems to have been characterised by mismanaged vanity projects and waste of public money. Some of the errors made in recent years are simply inexcusable.”

Mr Skene said the islands needed “a new approach”, and promised that if elected he would “put the interests of my constituents above all others”, and to “work constructively with others across Scotland to share experience and ideas to Shetland’s benefit”.

Mr Morrison added: “People all over Shetland have been telling me how willing they are to consider change. We deserve better. While we do have a tradition of independents in our local politics, there is a lot to be said for professionalism and competence too!

“The SNP approach that has seen such a focus on delivery could be of real use in the islands and I’m proud to be part of an SNP team.”

Ms Urquhart, who came third in last year’s Scottish Parliament contest in Shetland, said she had been “delighted to work with Iain and Danus” and was “struck by their hard work and commitment to seeing Shetland live up to the potential these islands have”.


Add Your Comment
  • Ali Inkster

    • April 4th, 2012 10:21

    The SNP talking about mismanaged vanity projects, a bit rich coming from them. the Edinburgh tram ring any bells, or the Edinburgh parliament building.
    Da Scoty can make just a big if not bigger arse of things than the Shetland council.
    And lets face it they really only give a damn about us for the oil that comes with us.
    They want to remain in the EU so that means our fishermen playing second fiddle to every other fisherman in europe,
    They want to retain the pound so fiscal policy set in London by the bank of england, or will it be just like the euro, a common currency with no common fiscal policy and we have all see where that leads.
    Yes the council have made mistakes lots of them but I don’t see the SNP as any better. Always looking to Edinburgh to see whats best for them and not what is best for Shetland.

  • Tom Robinson

    • April 4th, 2012 10:50

    “The SNP talking about mismanaged vanity projects, a bit rich coming from them. the Edinburgh tram ring any bells, or the Edinburgh parliament building”.

    You are out of touch with the facts. Both of the above were forced through and mismanaged by unionists. The SNP were outvoted by an alliance of Tories, Labour and, yes, LibDems when they tried to strangle the ludicrous trams project at birth.

    As for the Holyrood building, this was the pet vanity project of the late Labour First Minister, Donald Dewar who opposed the SNP support for using the Old Royal High School on the grounds that it would become a “nationalist shiboleth”.

    A cap was eventually put on the costs (which are reputedly meant to have been
    worked out by Dewar on the equivalent of the proverbial back of a fag packet 🙂 by the involvement in supervision many years after commencement of the SNP’s George Reid (former Presiding Officer).

    Therefore both the projects you mention were the responsibility of the old, now failing, hegemony of unionism-they failed all the people of Scotland, Shetland not excluded!

  • Cameron White

    • April 4th, 2012 10:55

    Excuse me Ali, I think you’ll find that both of those projects were
    Scottish Labour disasters handed down to the SNP in an already diar state.

  • Ali Inkster

    • April 4th, 2012 12:40

    The SNP were part of the parliament that passed them and my point being that Edinburgh just like the toon hall can make a complete arse of things, and Edinburgh will carry on doing so without a thought or care for Shetland.
    The SNP have been very quick to say that the people of Shetland and Orkney are not going to get a say in their future that is a privilege reserved exclusively for Scots, acting more like national socialists every day.
    I would also note that none of you have come to the defence of their fiscal policy or should I say lack of one. or the fact that they intend to keep us mired in the EU with its failed fisheries policy, its failed farming policy both of which are doing damage to Shetland on a daily basis.

  • Callum Pottinger

    • April 4th, 2012 13:56

    I agree we Ali Inkster. I will not vote SNP. Ever. The reason being the simple fact myself and many others in Shetland feel that we are not Scottish.
    If we’d let the Jocks get involved with the oil in the 70’s you would find that today, the standard of life to which we have come accustomed would in fact be very different. In a bad way. For example the high standard of schooling, leisure and road networks would not exist not to mention all the jobs that have been made as a result. If the SNP had their way that would all belong to BP share holders!

    To give you an example of just how out of touch the SNP are, it wasn’t that long ago that they wanted to put Gallic names up on road signs in Shetland. Because we all speak Gallic don’t we?!

    So vote SNP if you wish to help fund “Eat a haggis day” Scottish propaganda is all of which they are capable of, we’ve all seen what like Alex is at running Scotland, Do not want any of them near Shetland!

  • Brian Smith

    • April 4th, 2012 15:34

    You are Scottish, Callum. As Scottish as the Daily Record

  • Tom Robinson

    • April 4th, 2012 15:37

    Pottinger & Inkster. Thanks for your contributions which I am sure will have helped the SNP.

    In particular, for Inkstar, voting against something does not make you complicit in something happening that you opposed e.g. the SNP OPPOSED the Edinburgh trams.

    In particular for Pottinger, “Gallic” is a word relating to FRANCE, perhaps you meant “Gaelic”.

    Anyone who thinks Westminster has more genuine interest in Shetland than the Scottish Government must have had a logic and memory bypass!

  • Gordon Harmer

    • April 4th, 2012 16:31

    Robinson, Thanks for your contribution which I am sure will have ensured that any would be SNP voters will now vote Monster Raving Loony.
    Again for Robinson, Inkstar is an ink jet solution, Inkster is a surname which is common in the Shetland isles.
    6% of Shetland voters voted for the SNP in the last election I think that says better the devil you know, as far as Holyrood and Westminster are concerned.

  • Jim Fraser

    • April 4th, 2012 19:06

    I didn’t hear any mention of serial incompetence on the Radio tonight regarding the outgoing Council from Fergus Ewing on their decisions and conduct supporting the Viking Energy proposal, quite the opposite in fact!

    Let’s hope the hypocrites don’t come canvassing on my door step.

  • John Lind

    • April 4th, 2012 21:00

    Hi Gordon – just to point out 12.1% of voters in Shetland voted SNP at the Scottish Election. 🙂

  • Douglas Chapman

    • April 4th, 2012 21:50

    Whatever your politics, Danus and Iain sound like a breathe of fresh air and even in windy Shetland, that’s sometimes what is required.

    Good luck to you both and well done to Alyn Smith MEP for making the trip.

  • Ali Inkster

    • April 5th, 2012 0:13

    SNP approves the wind farm yet more proof that all they care about is Salmonds vanity projects

  • Callum Pottinger

    • April 5th, 2012 2:53

    Gaelic then Robinson. So what. I made a mistake what’s your point? Is it that I have improved the SNP’s chances by making a simple error while commenting on a news story? In that case, I hope a decent bunch of boys come along so I can cover that news story in incorrect word choice and spelling mistakes and get them in the council…

  • Christopher Ritch

    • April 5th, 2012 11:16

    Actions speak louder than words. Here are some of Michael Russells words:

    “The delivery of education in rural communities is about much more than a school building, it is fundamental to the social and economic make-up of a community. That is why it is the right of individual communities to have genuine consultation based on accurate information and why there is, and will remain, a clear legislative presumption against closure.”

    SNP speak with forked tongue and I will never support them.

  • Christopher Ritch

    • April 6th, 2012 0:55

    @John Lind – Gordon is correct. Shetland electorate = approx 17,500 voters, Jean urquart polled 1134 votes, barely over 6%.

    People in Shetland are not stupid and understand arithmetic as easily as SNP hypocrisy.


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