Speculation indeed! (Billy Fox)

The newly appointed chairman of the Shetland Charitable Trust, Bobby Hunter, said there is “no given that the trust will invest more money” in Viking Energy.

Mr Hunter, who is also chairman of the Shetland Community Benefit Fund Co-operative, admitted in similar vein when asked about the downwardly revised profits of £20 million, that “everything at the moment is speculation”.

Speculation indeed! Isn’t that what the vast majority of the Shetland public has been saying for the last six years as we watch our £10 million disappear?

Billy Fox


Add Your Comment
  • Gordon Harmer

    • February 22nd, 2013 16:50

    Come on Billy the only bit of speculation here is in your statement, “the vast majority of the Shetland public,” what!
    Such an unsubstantiated claim is playing the market a bit is it not.

  • Billy Fox

    • February 22nd, 2013 20:10

    Past figures speak for themselves Gordon and I won’t go over old ground.

    There is certainly no speculation that the change of governance within the Shetland Charitable Trust has not rid it of conflict of interest, appointing a chairman who is a founding member and spokesman for the Windfarm Supporters Group!

    I’m sure a number of folk will be watching carefully to see how that is handled in future debate.

  • James Mackenzie

    • February 22nd, 2013 20:53

    The vast majority of people who have actually expressed an opinion on this matter did indeed think that the profits, let alone environmental and social benefits, were speculative (e.g., petition to SIC, public SIC meetings, representations to the Energy Consents Unit).

    As for the ‘silent majority’, or those who couldn’t care one way or the other, or those who for reasons of contract could not speak out, we can indeed only speculate as to their motivation, or lack of it.

    It’s much the the same in any parliamentary election or by-election – sad but true – I believe.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • February 23rd, 2013 21:11

    I do not disagree with you on that point Billy; I would personally like to have seen an elected body looking after the trust. That would have ensured a democratically elected body reflecting the views of the true majority of the Shetland voters.

    I am saying that both you and James use the phrase vast majority to overstate your claims to support from the Shetland public. “Vast majority” possibly the most over-used, tired and tautological phrase ever used in the English language. Majority, the greater number, a number more than half of the total, vast, great in size, number, amount, or quantity. Hardly representative of the support you command when you deliberate about our money invested in the wind farm.

    James the “silent majority” a presumed moderate majority of the Shetland public who are too passive to make their views known. Most definitely not a group known as those who couldn’t care less one way or the other. These people are allowed to have an opinion and keep it to themselves, the same as some have a view and they publicly declare it. It does not mean because they have not expressed their opinion that anyone can claim they are speaking for the majority. Neither does it give the vocal minority the right to claim they are a majority and definitely not the vast majority.

    Had we had a democratic election to vote for trustees and the turnout was similar to the turnout in the parliamentary election your statement would nearer the truth.

  • john Irvine

    • February 24th, 2013 10:04

    I cannot agree with you more Billy, I would think that the majority of the Shetland people would be against this insane project. After all who is going to gain? maybe the few at the expense of all the rest, they don`t care about the rape of our landscape, the damage which will be done to our unique wildlife or all the people living near these monstrosities who`s quality of life will be ruined not to mention the value of their homes which will then be worthless.

  • David Spence

    • March 4th, 2013 3:32

    I have been following this fiasco of VE and the monstrous project being proposed, and looks like it may go ahead despite public opinion.

    As an investment of VE, it seems as though the CT’s accountants and advisor’s are ill advising the CT in investing in such a project with such a limited, unsecure return.

    £20 million a year on a project that may cost (lets face it, predicted costs and final construction costs can be vastly different, if the Dome (5 times over budget), Scottish Parliament (10 times over budget) and the mess of the Trams project in Edinburgh (3 times over budget) is anything to go by) upto £500 million, but more than likely over £1 billion with a return of 2% or less.

    So, even in the projected life span of the project, it is more than likely the CT will not get its money back……if you take into consideration all the other investors wanting their share of the pie.

    Why does the well known phrase ‘ White Elephant ‘ come to mind when the Council gets involved in dodgy investments (Smyrll Line being a good example).

  • Johan Adamson

    • March 4th, 2013 9:32

    And, DS, whilst recruiting Trustees recently, it looked like the CT chose candidates who worked for the public sector who knew about doling out charitable funds. They did not recruit to get any Trustees who knew anything about investments. So how can they judge if this is a good investment or not?

    In a recent letter to this paper someone said why did no one stand for these positions. Well they did, at least 50 people, and that excluded anyone without public sector experience, and the competancies did not ask for investment experience at all, presumably this is because they can trust their advisors completely, and their advisors do not mind explaining about investments and providing training on how to make and understand investments.

  • james A. Pottinger

    • March 11th, 2013 19:44

    Not sure the current TV series Shetland will do much for the Shetlanf tourist industry. Could they not found at least one sunny day to film, only good bit of scenery was the opeining shot of the Trondra bridge!


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