Tavish baits Salmond with ‘it’s wir oil’ claim

Tavish Scott has called on Shetland and Orkney to have home rule separate from the rest of Scotland.

The Shetland MSP said the isles should have a right to self-determination when he addressed the Scottish Lib Dem conference in Dundee on Saturday.

A motion proposed by Mr Scott, and backed by his Orkney counterpart Liam McArthur before being unanimously passed by the party, insisted the two island groups should be able to determine their own future.

Mr Scott insisted those who cared most about the Northern Isles were those who lived there. The burden should rest on their shoulders, he said, to decide their future.

The call comes ahead of an anticipated statement by First Minister Alex Salmond in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, when the date of next year’s Scottish independence referendum is due to be confirmed.

One possible outcome of any constitutional change could be a self-governing crown dependency, similar to the Isle of Man.

Mr Scott said: “The Northern Isles are vibrant, distinctive, with our own dialect, language and Norse festivals. Orkney and Shetland both fly their own flags. Our history looks east more than south.”

“That is my point; Shetland and Orkney want to use this period of intense constitutional navel gazing to decide what we want. We are not going to be told what to do by the SNP, nor by any other government. This is the time to seize the opportunity of island home rule.

“We don’t want more centralising, know-it-all, top down nationalism. This SNP government couldn’t care less about the outer extremities of the country – they’ve centralised our police and fire services, left crofting law in shambles and removed support for vital air links to the islands.

“What next? Those who care most about the future of the Northern Isles are those who live there, and they should decide their future.

“If that mantra is good enough for Salmond and Sturgeon it is certainly right for Scott and McArthur.”

Mr Scott insisted SNP plans to take billions of pounds in tax revenues from North Sea oil were premature – not least, he said, because Shetland had a say in the future of the much-valued reserves.

“Two thirds of the North Sea and west of Shetland reserves are in Shetland coastal waters. The Northern Isles don’t need nationalists negotiating Scotland’s oil share, it’s wirs. We have plenty of our own leverage.

“Shetland and Orkney may never have a stronger opportunity to negotiate a future for the islands.

A future that benefits the economy, culture and our identity in the wider world for the advantage of future generations of islanders.”


Add Your Comment
  • Mark O'Sullivan

    • March 18th, 2013 15:05

    This proposal was around at the time of devolution, but never got that far at that stage. If SIC were to hold a referendum at the same time as the Scottish Independence referendum, the results might be hard to resist.

  • Billy Fox

    • March 18th, 2013 16:50

    “I discussed the importance of Shetland’s energy resources on Monday with elected members of Shetland Islands Council.

    “On this there is no doubt – it’s no your oil Alex, it’s wirs.”

    This was the quote on Shetland News on the 12th March the day after Tavish Scott attended a constitutional seminar in the council chamber.

    By this statement he was in my view implying that the Shetland Islands Council is four square behind him.

    I attended that seminar and while members are fully aware of the need to consider what Shetland’s position may be after the independence referendum, in my opinion I did not consider members were giving him any sanction to make this statement. In any case he left the meeting before it concluded to catch his flight back to Morningside.

    Yes, Shetland does need to consider where it may stand post referendum on whatever outcome and, as a council we will also consider what bargaining power we may have. But I for one do not support any form of home rule, nor would I have truck with any MSP using Shetland’s future to make mischief in Holyrood.

    Councillor Billy Fox

  • Johnny Smith

    • March 18th, 2013 17:30

    Well said Tavish. I totally agree with what you say.
    If all Shetlanders were to be united on this, then not only will the oil revenues hit the Scottish parliament very hard, but we have other assets too which will make all of Shetland rich and that is the wind turbines and others which will generate millions to the Shetland economy. Just imagine selling electricity to the mainland and at our own prices? If they decline to pay, then all of Europe is crying out for electricity and so the UK mainland as a whole will lose out. Even here on the East Side of Bressay we too can erect many of these turbines…!

  • JohnTulloch

    • March 18th, 2013 19:10

    Tavish Scott can’t claim SIC backing however if the legal advice presented at the “seminar” was “It’s Shetland’s oil, not Scotland’s oil” then he is entitled to say so and also to say where he obtained his information.

    Unless, of course, it was confidential “a la mode de Cooncil”?

    As for rejecting home rule for Shetland, we have seen the frustration of wind farm protesters at the railroading through of that project by the Scottish government, aided and abetted by the last council, and also the “inexplicable” U-turn by OSCR – need I say more?

    I don’t know whether I would support or oppose home rule because I have insufficient information to make a decision however if we announce our position now in the absence of proper information we are simply adopting a dogmatic position based, presumably, on some sense of loyalty to Queen Elizabeth II or possibly, to the future King Alexander IV.

    I am far from an automatic supporter of Tavish Scott however he is right that Shetlanders should have the right of self- determination so let’s not have the SIC deciding first what they want and then telling the people what they’re getting.

    A comprehensive study of the possibilities and consequences of home rule, a fully-informed public debate and a referendum are essential, this opportunity will not come again in any of our or, indeed, any of our grand children’s lives.

  • james pearson

    • March 18th, 2013 19:31

    Its shetland oil ok.

  • iain jikdmen

    • March 18th, 2013 19:43

    Maybe Mr Scott feels he has a guaranteed job for life and that all his views should be followed because only he knows what is good for the Shetlanders

  • Leslie Lowes

    • March 18th, 2013 20:19

    “Methinks the lady doth protest too much,” Billy!.

    In no way do those quotes imply SIC is foursquare behind Tavish Scott, but he has a point about the wealth of energy resources in our part of the North Sea and North Atlantic that are there to be exploited, so I think we should have a major say in how they are exploited and used. After all no one else is going to speak up for us, are they?

    The oil industry can now make choices about how to transport their extracted oil without reference to Shetland for example, so every time Sullom Voe terminal is by-passed our community loses millions in revenue and a major source of income for the SIC becomes a liability, because we still have to fund the tugboats and pilots etc. We could compel some resources to come our way if we exerted control over them.

    We have a compromise ocean going tug in the shape of an oil industry vessel to protect our shoreline, but it is not really as satisfactory a solution as it should be. It’s a perfect example of ill-informed decisions taken at Westminster that we are also likely to have taken in Edinburgh in future if Alec Salmond’s vision of an independent Scotland comes true.

    So why can’t we use a bit of muscle and let ourselves be heard at Westminster and in Edinburgh and use that to advantage to secure better more appropriate governance over those issues that matter to us. We don’t need to have a Tynwald like the Isle of Man to look after our interests, but we do need recognition that we have a sphere of influence and where we should have final say in what goes on here, or are we just a Scottish colony? Perhaps it is time to press for another ZCC Act, to make it clear to all and sundry where the boundaries of power lie in Shetland waters.

  • James Mackenzie

    • March 18th, 2013 20:52

    Well said Billy. This sort of politics is infantile, sadly reminiscent of PM’s Question Time in Westminster; like kids in a playground arguing over to whom the ball found by someone in a wasteland belongs.Though even children might well be wiser with their relative innocence.

    Where and when does Tavish think we are: in Dublin in 1916?

    Can we please have some rational mature debate about diminishing resources, such as we might find in our European neighbours’ parliaments that both the SNP and Tavish Scott think are so great?

    And by the way; ‘wir’ oil, ‘wir’ wind, ‘wir’ waves and ‘wir’ tides, please remember they belong to all the creatures of the land, the sea and the air, as much as to ‘wis’ humans.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 18th, 2013 22:03

    Billy, Just where do you stand. Your statement is so negative, you sound a bit like Tavish now. How about something with a bit of balls!!

  • Derick Tulloch

    • March 18th, 2013 22:58

    A, Tavish – bitterness and spite are not attractive characteristics.

    People have go to be aware of the EEZ implications of this Crown Dependency tosh. These being ‘enclaved’ status with a 12 NM EEZ.
    See the map on page 29 of Prospective Anglo-Scottish
    Maritime Boundary Revisited. The bubbles are Shetland and Orkney’s EEZ in Crown Dependency status. The lines past Fair Isle are the joint EEZ of Orkney&Shetland.
    It is utterly irresponsible of Mr Scott to take a very big risk with Shetland’s future – fishing, oil, marine renewable energy: all at risk with these ludicrous proposals.

  • James Rattray

    • March 19th, 2013 9:27

    Does Tavish ever speak to Michael Moore?

    Moore commissioned legal advice very recently about devolution and independence. One of the unintentional outcomes was that the self-determination argument is not recognised in International law apart from in Colonies. Orkney and Shetland have no automatic rights to self-determination. Shetlanders need to watch out where someone so clueless and bigoted is leading them.

  • Allen Fraser

    • March 19th, 2013 10:45

    There will be ‘Home Rule’ for Shetland the day the Liberal Democrats flit their constituency office to a small island in the north end of Papa Sound.

    If Shetland can’t live within its means today with the all the Government subsides and oil revenues we receive at the moment then we certainly won’t if we try to ‘go it alone’. No UK or Scottish government will continue to subsidise NorthLink or the Air Discount Scheme for an ‘independent Shetland’. If Shetland was to have ‘Isle of Man status’ we would have to leave the NHS and fund our own health and education services and there would be no EU subsides.

    As far as I know all the oil in UK territorial waters belongs to the oil companies and, (unless Stuart Hill is right,) we have no more right to tax it independently or use it as a ‘negotiation lever’ than any other county in the UK. In the 1970s the oil industry needed Shetland more than we needed them; in a Home Rule situation the reverse would be true. Unfortunately it’s ‘Dir Oil’ no ‘Wir Oil’.

    So with a population of just 22,000 on an island group where the biggest single employer is local government, no subsidies and no oil taxes, perhaps Scott will tell us how exactly he would build a self sustaining Shetland economy.

  • Craig Dunain

    • March 19th, 2013 11:12

    So Tavish Scott thinks centralisation is a bad thing. Does he hold this same view when considering the huge centralisation of decisions about Scotland being made in Westminster as he leaves early and scuttles back under his rock in the fairly centralised fur coat and no knickers district of Edinburgh? Tavish presumably knows all about centralisation – having seen his party sell its soul in order to jump centre stage with the Tories in a move that can only be viewed as willing to sell their granny for a bit of power.

    It seems a bit coincidental that this man – who not long ago was bleating about falling on his sword in 2011 after the LibDems very poor showing in the Scottish Parliamentary Elections now wishes to support the notion of independence and agrees people should have self determination. I would have thought such an important concept for Shetland would have been raised a lot earlier before now, and not as a conveniently poor and shameful BritNat attempt to generate division between the Shetlands and the rest of Scotland.

    Tavish Scott should pause for a moment from wallowing in his own self importance and contemplate that his vote perhaps doesn’t come in the fact that people want to vote for his party, but for him as a person and let’s recognise that he no doubt does some very good local work… as a local MSP. But in assuming that he speaks for all (in a strangely similar Big JoJo Lamont style), then he not only does himself a disservice, but also a disservice to the people of Shetland. Perhaps next time you crave some publicity and assume to speak for the people Tavish – you should maybe consider consulting them all first?

  • Daryl Baptie

    • March 19th, 2013 11:28

    I think the Home Rule debate would be a good one to have for Shetland however I would ask people to ask themselves where was Tavish’s calls when the Lib Dems where in power at Holyrood for 7+ years? What was done to advance the discussion then?

    The Lib Dems have been in coalition for around two years at Westminster. Where have the calls been from Kennedy and co?

    It is clear that Tavish is solely playing political games to try to bolster the no vote next year so he can continue on the path to the House of Lords for a comfy pension.

  • John McPhail

    • March 19th, 2013 13:52

    Tavish Scott has alaways struck me as a man who nver sticks his neck out and let’s be honest hasn’t achieved very much for Shetlan. Here now, what we see is the pandering to the chip on the shoulders of a few SHetlanders who hold the “we hate Scotland” at any cost.

    Tavish talks about centralisation but was okay centralised London (Not even England) control. He rarely says boo with regards to the centralisation of everything in Lerwick and the destruction of the outer island communities in Shetland. Until it is polically expedient to do so. He is a politician who keeps his head down until he has dipped his toe and then out he comes having guaged the prevailing mood and determined that has the greatest political advantage and least chance of damage for him.

    The anti-scots thing I just don’t get. Much of what I have heard and read comes from a parochial and ignorant view of elsewhere or some old historical moan. If Tavish now wishes to pander to the nasty bigotry that this entails fine. Liberals I thought were not meant to be xenophobes but the rhetoric used against a government voted for by a majority (Which the Scottish parliament was set up to prevent) betrays his bigotry. It is an anti mainland Scots view.

    Problem is , that just with Gypsies or Jews or any other community singled out with such attitudes you can’t get away with it without being called out. Scots (the nationality), which we as Shetlanders are, is made up of many peoples living in many special places of which Shetland is one of them. To lump them all in some simplistic “central belt” and “us” lump is lazy, dishonest and distructive.

    Tavish brings forward the partition of Scotland. Bear in mind Shetland is part of Scotland and went into the UK as such. In this respect the determination of Shetland’s position in Scotland is not for Shetlanders alone but for Scotland for it is about the split up of Scotland we are talking about. Likewise it is not a UK issue but a Scottish one.

    Tavish is playing with fire. AS they did in the 70’s their hatred of the SNP lead them to play with the constitutional status of Scotland. It shows how much contempt they have for the country that they continue in this vane today. All because the Scottish government is presently run by someone else. It is utterly self indulgent and betrays their lack of democrqatic credentials. Yet Tavish calls himself a democrat. He threatens my country because he doesn’t like the government a majority of people voted for. He threatens the country because his government was rejected. Baby and pram.

  • James Morrisey

    • March 19th, 2013 14:46

    If Shetland became Independent its very clear that it would be worse off, why, because it would lose its oil fund as it would have ZERO OIL. As reported in a few publications the Northern Isles would be an enclave in Scotland’s continental shelf and would only have claim to 12 miles around its coast line.

    This is explained by the Rev Stuart Campbell in the web publication Wings Over Scotland. ”

    The reality could scarcely be any more distant from Tavish Scott’s transparently inaccurate posturings. International maritime law (specifically the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS, which is signed and ratified by the UK) is extremely clear on what the situation would be with regard to Shetland and Orkney’s ownership of North Sea Oil in the context of an independent Scotland – it wouldn’t have any”.

    “Under UNCLOS III, the islands would be regarded as an “enclave” residing wholly within Scotland’s “Exclusive Economic Zone” (see the paragraph “Continental shelf”), and as such would only have the right to resources within a 12-mile radius of their coastline – of which, in terms of oil, there are basically none”.

    “Tavish Scott knows this

    The “most optimistic estimates” of Northern-Isles oil rights aren’t “estimates” at all, but fantasies with no basis in law or reality”

    Tavish Scott is using the Northern Isles as pawns in the British nationalists propaganda war against the yes campaign.

    The people of the Northern Isles should realise that Westminster cares for their interests no more that they did for the people of the Chagos Isles whom they evicted to make way for a U.S airbase.

  • william McCuaig

    • March 19th, 2013 19:01

    Can someone please let me know the distance to the nearest off-shore platform from Shetland the oil platforms are no where near shetland they are around one hours flight from shetland by chopper and as Shetland sits on the Scottish continental shelf and is an enclave of scotland shetland are entitled to all mineral rights upto 12 miles from its coast over 12miles it’s Scottish waters

  • william McCuaig

    • March 19th, 2013 19:03

    Shetland was gifted to the people of Scotland as a dowery for the marrage of the Maid of Norway

  • Ben Leiper

    • March 19th, 2013 20:22

    Dear Tavish

    During your time spent as Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats from 2008 to 2011, what did you do to further the case for Home Rule for Scotland? After all Home Rule for Scotland has been an issue for your unionist party for the best part of a century. (and we are talking about more than the weak devolution we have now, no?)

    No one (including the Scottish Government) is denying Shetland, Glasgow, Aberdeenshire or any other part of Scotland the right to self-determination, but first there has to be popular public and (genuine) political will. The referendum in 2014 is not about the Northern Isles any more than Aberdeenshire or the Western Isles.

    If the folk of Shetland want to pursue more self detemination from the UK or an Independent Scotland they would benefit from having a popular campaign, a party with candidates and a manifesto which could deliver a referendum in Shetland, about Shetland.

    At the moment there isn’t even a popular campaign on this subject, in spite of unionists trying to invent one for the last 40 years, but only when Scottish independence is mentioned.

    “Indeed it was part of my standard sales patter” so said Bernard Ingham, Thatcher’s spin doctor

    “the last thing the northern isles want is to be ruled by Glasgow trade unionists and Edinburgh lawyers”, so said Jo Grimond, an eton/oxford educated lawyer from fife! Who in the end became a life peer.

    Sorry Tavish but I don’t think you can even fill Stuart Hills boots on this issue. He at least comes across as sincere.

  • JohnTulloch

    • March 19th, 2013 20:50

    This isn’t about Tavish Scott, it’s about the future of Shetland and until we know more about the legal position and the consequences, be they positive or negative, it isn’t possible to take a firm view on it either way.

    Those who are ranting about Tavish Scott’s motivations or “hating the Scots” have already decided for their own reasons which may or may not include the very bigotry and fear to which they refer.

    I live on the Scottish mainland and I like both the people and the place -very much, as it happens. That is irrelevant to what is best for the long term future of Shetland.

    This is the first chance we’ve had to debate this meaningfully in, at least, three hundred years and it may be another three hundred years before we get the chance again.

    Let’s hear it now.

  • Sandy McMillan

    • March 19th, 2013 23:29

    Why should Shetland hand over what rightfully belongs to us Islanders, only for either Westminster or Holyrood, to do as they want with what is not there’s, Only for David Cameron and Alex Salmond to do as they wish neither of whom have set foot on Shetland, at the moment the UK Is in a near state of bankruptcy, if they go we go as well then what, we will get none of the freebees we are getting, I cannot see any reason why Shetland cant stand on its own two feet, at least if we go down there will be no one to blame but our self’s,
    Now that our MSP Tavish Scott has become involved hopefully he will make the SNP sit up and listen, the SNP know exactly what the wealth of our Isles and surrounding waters holds, at this moment we hold the ACE card in the pack but we must play our cards right, and hold out for some sort of home rule, if there is a YES vote, or if there is a no vote all the more reason to go for it alone, is there any legitimate reason why we cant stand on our own, smaller Isles around the Globe have gone on there own and never looked back, with the proper people in charge, yes I mean intellectuals who know there right from there left, I seriously think Shetland has it all, Shetland in my estimation is like a huge Diamond sitting in the middle of the North sea and the Atlantic, what we need is some one like Tavish Scott or similar to push for our rights, I am not a Lib Dem by any means, A guy like Tavish Scott who knows Shetland in side out, is the type of person who would make a excellent Governor, or what ever the title would be, Shetland would need to think very hard on which way is the best way forward, Shetland has three options, Either stay with Westminster, David Cameron and Nick Clegg in charge, or a yes vote and go with Alex Salmond, or go it alone and look after our own affaires.

  • Christopher Ritch

    • March 20th, 2013 2:24

    Interesting link Derick, but I see the proposed enclave is just one possible solution, and not restricted to 12 miles.

    “This enclaved zone, however, does not have to be restricted to 12 nautical miles. Rather, it can be left to the parties or the tribunal to decide the various widths of this zone taking into account other elements such as historic rights and fishing rights. It is also important to note that an equitable solution should not deprive the Orkney and Shetland Islands of mineral deposits off their coast” (page 27)

  • JohnTulloch

    • March 20th, 2013 11:07

    That the “Economic Exclusion Zone” (EEZ) argument is a red herring is made clear when we look at Faroe and Iceland’s 200 nautical mile EEZs.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • March 20th, 2013 13:54

    Why do the Nats keep referring to an EEZ of only 12 miles for Shetland, an EEZ is not written in blood it is negotiable. There is no reason why we could not negotiate anything up to a 200 mile EEZ, just the same as The Faroe Islands, Falkland islands and Iceland. After all we have a significant right to these waters as we have fished them for years. Whats good for the goose!

  • Robin Mouatt

    • March 20th, 2013 14:29

    @ William McCuaig
    Check you history, the Maid of Norway has nothing to do with it.
    It was when Margaret of Denmark was married to James the 3rd of Scotland that Christian the 1st of Denmark’s assets in Orkney & Shetland were pawned (not gifted) to the Scottish Crown.

  • Stewart Mack

    • March 20th, 2013 14:30

    I remain to be convinced that the EEZ is a red herring, it is, in my view, quite clear in maritime law what is, and what is not considered an Enclave- . John, the reason that Faroe and Iceland have 200 miles is fairly simple, they are seperate countries not just an enclave, so are you proposing Shetland’s entire independance from both Scotland and the UK to be a seperate Country within(or outwith) Europe? – that is the only way a 200 mile limit could be even a possibility. Yes it is up for negotiation the exact limit, but if anyone on here thinks that 1)Salmond or 2) Cameron would voluntarily give up their entitlement to North Sea Oil and the revenues that flow from it (whatever they might be) because Shetland asks for it, or even demands it you might want to have a chat with Tavish, he will no doubt be looking for a scapegoat to take the fall when his “claim” backfires and is about to bite him on the posterior

  • David Spence (Lk)

    • March 20th, 2013 15:10

    Its all fair and square when it comes to Shetland wanting to have some independence and greater autonomy in dealing with issues more directly related, but, but should we first of all determine for FACT whether or not Scotland has a legitimate right over the Shetland and the Orkney Islands. Do we have written documented proof or is it all been done behind closed door under a gentlemans agreement….basically, a handshake and say no more. Time and time again people always say ‘ oh, not that again…..go and ask Captain Calamity ‘…….Well, if Shetlander’s were that interested in Shetland and being a Shetlander this issue of sovereignty would have been settled a long time ago. The typical shetland attitude, laxed as it is…..oh, if it isn’t broken, why fix it…..that’s not the point……the point is to determine your own future and rights as an independent sovereign state or to be part of Norway, Denmark or Sweden……..get this sorted once and for all

  • Ian McCormack

    • March 20th, 2013 17:49

    I love Shetland, I love Scotland, Shetland is my home, Scotland is my country. Could Mr Scott please stop playing silly beggars with this great island, and her people’s future. I’ve never understood why people keep voting Lib Dems, 1st they jump into bed with labour in the holyrood, Then with the Tories in Westminster. They just want power at any cost. Does he fancy the job of President of Shetland? Vote NO to this latest publicity stunt

  • John Tulloch

    • March 20th, 2013 20:19


    Thank you for acknowledging Christpher Ritch’s point that the EEZ is up for negotiation.

    As I said above, I haven’t decided my view yet because there isn’t sufficient information in the public domain. You, yourself exhibit this when you describe faroe as a “separate country”, it isn’t one, it’s under Danish sovereignty.

    According to “VISITFAROEISLANDS” website,

    “Since 1948, the Faroe Island­s have been a self gover­ning region of the King­dom of Denmark. It has its own parlia­­ment and its own flag. It is not, however, a member of the European Union and all trade is go­ver­ned by special treaties.”

    I think you’ll find that Greenland enjoys a similar arrangement and that both communities have substantial mineral rights within their 200 nautical mile EEZs.

  • Eyðbjørn Einarsson Jespersen

    • March 20th, 2013 21:08

    @Mr Stuart Mack
    Iceland is a sovereign republic state – however, Faroes have Homerule just as Greenland has.
    That does not forfeit us our 200 nm EEZ, being a part of Denmark.

    I learned in school, that we had the same rhetorics and quarrels as you do now for 50-60 years ago. All I can recommend you, is to set up parameters dead straight for a possible public vote on the issue. We mucked our public vote up, and people are still arguing over who’s right or wrong.

    There is is no reason why Shetland couldn’t make a favorable deal with Westminster, if Holyrood has already claimed your EEZ – and your oil.

    Kind regards
    Eyðbjørn, Tórshavn

  • JohnTulloch

    • March 21st, 2013 7:54

    I think we may safely say the SNP’s EEZ yarn is one red herring which has been netted, rejected and sent to Heogan on the “Gut Boat.”

  • Christopher Ritch

    • March 21st, 2013 10:05

    Stewart, do you think that Cameron will voluntarily give up the entitlement to North Sea Oil and the revenues that flow from it (whatever they might be) because Scotland asks for it, or even demands it?

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 21st, 2013 10:52

    At long last Tavish has been forced off the fence and is talking Crown Dependency. About five years late Tavish, but the prospect of electoral annihilation has woken you up, at last. Nice to see you have come round to my view on this, even if a bit late. Is it not fun to see Jean Urquhart and assorted Scots Nats running around like headless chickens panicking at the prospect of Shetlanders no longer lying supine while Salmond and assorted Yes campaigners try and dictate their narrow views on Shetland. Interesting times ahead. Shetlanders grasp the nettle; take control of your own destiny, your own fishing and seas, your own fabulous resources and environment. Wind, Wave, peat, rocks, oil resource and Crofts. They are not Salmond’s bargaining chips. They belong to Shetland and Shetlanders.

  • Stewart Mack

    • March 21st, 2013 14:02


    That was my very point, I don not think either Cameron or Salmond will give Shetland an Inch. And whilst i fully accept the arguements above re Greenland and Faroe (you learn something new every day) I do not believe that their increased entitlement was negotiated from a position of weakness. Nor do i believe that the abundance of resources now known to exist in the North Sea were knwon at the time. Who in their right mind say “yes chaps, have home rule and here, take all the resources we have from the north sea to set you up, have fun and enjoy” – I do not see it happening, not now, not while there is a barrell of oil available for extraction. Exactly rhe same reason UK is so keen to keep a hold of the Falklands, But of course i stand to be corrected

  • John Tulloch

    • March 21st, 2013 17:55

    Some people seem to imagine that David Cameron will yield nothing to keep Shetland part of the UK, as opposed to join an independent scotland. If that’s the case, he is unlikely to be able to persuade Shetlanders to vote “No.”

    Minerals, strategic location, sea lanes, fishing, naw, he won’t care about losing any of that, ….will he?

  • Sandy McMillan

    • March 21st, 2013 22:28

    Why condemn Tavish Scott MSP, he seem to be the only one with the gloves on fighting from the Shetland corner, to keep hold of what is rightfully Shetlands, oop’s sorry Captain Calamity you certainly have tried your best for Shetland, and may still do so,
    Tavish Scott surely is in the best position of all to get information on the future of our Isles, Alex Salmond talks plenty about the wealth of the North sea and the Atlantic, but not a word about what he has planned for Shetlands future.
    The way it looks at the moment we will end up the pawn between Westminster and Holyrood, instead of Shetland being the jewel in the crown, so come on give Tavish Scott MSP a chance to see what he can come up with, I dont see any other one trying to find out.

  • Joe johnson

    • March 22nd, 2013 14:00

    Stewart mack, you commented that the U.K is keen to hold on to the Falklands because of the oil. I respect your opinion but the Falkland islanders want to remain British and recently voted overwhelmingly to remain British. My father was in the Falklands for 4 months in 1988 when he was in the RAF and I remember him saying that the islanders really hated the Argentinians for what they did and wanted to remain British. This was long before they started drilling for oil.

  • John Tulloch

    • March 23rd, 2013 14:45

    This week’s paper contains an “Opinion” piece by Malachy Talack nit-picking among Tavish Scott’s statements and lambasting him for “mischief-making.”

    Well, maybe so however Tavish is an experienced politician and will understand that by such “mischief-making” he could be “sowing dragons’ teeth, broadcast,” it could run out of control.

    Mischief or not, it pales in comparison to the antics of Yes Shetland and Jean Urquhart MSP who are “sprikklin’ away” trying to shake off the ignominy of being caught, red-handed, peddling a scare about home rule for Shetland leaving us stuck with a 12-mile Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ).

    Thanks, Derick Tulloch, for drawing our attention to the excellent article which debunked that myth.http://www.ejil.org/pdfs/12/1/505.pdf

    Tavish Scott’s motivations for speaking out are irrelevant however what he said is important. Here’s what he actually said in his speech;-

    “So is the Northern Isles future as a crown dependency?
    Or to negotiate additional responsibility over key public sector areas?
    Or to follow Faroes relationship with Copenhagen?”

    He has also told the Shetland Times he doesn’t mind the outcome (neither do I), rather, he believes we should have more autonomy and we need to know more about the options and their consequences before we can decide.

    That is the correct interpretation of current developments, a public debate is both urgent and imperative.

    I’m heartened to hear SIC Convener Bell saying Shetlanders mustn’t “sleepwalk” into the coming constitutional change, some of which is likely to happen regardless of the referendum result and that a project is under way to initiate debate in the community.

    It bears repeating that this opportunity to think about and discuss what is best for the future of Shetland may not come again for a very, very long time so let’s hear it now.

  • JohnTulloch

    • March 27th, 2013 8:14

    It’s growing wings, already!

    “The emerging exploration of independence from the UK and Scotland by the Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland, now joined in a trinity by the Western Isles, leaves the SNP in a serious bind.

    A movement founded on the right to self-determination and the political philosophy of keeping power close to home is staring blankly at a cluster of islands becoming assertive of their own rights and interests in just such a position.

    The SNP/Scottish Government cannot honourably campaign for Scotland’s right to independence while telling the Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles ‘Don’t do as we do. Do as we say’.”


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