I was interested in your leader “Not proven” in The Shetland Times last week.
The revenues of the UK tax office and the Crown Estate for oil and gas drilling licences and for the gas and oil extracted plus the future revenues from offshore tidal, wave, current and wind sites currently goes to the UK government to help pay the subsidy per head for London (which get a higher subsidy per head than any region excluding the costs of the Olympics).
If Shetland became independent these revenues would accrue to the islands and could be used to pay the accumulated debt due to past extravagance by SIC (eg a museum built to win architectural prizes rather than just show exhibits, a new Mid Yell High School when only a small extension was needed and the unnecessary Mareel for example, plus top salaries in the executive comparable to those for authorities over 10 times larger).
The SIC cannot be trusted with independence but it could negotitate with the UK government and Scottish Executive to see who would be willing to allow most of these revenues to go to Shetland to meet the current debts due to past extravagance with the threat of independence as a forcing issue.
James A Whitworth
2 Old School,