To be repeatedly attacked by a professional curmudgeon, particularly one who enjoys Sandy MacMillan’s standing in our community, must be counted a singular honour.
However, for the benefit of those readers who may still be unaware of Mr MacMillan’s true worth, I was not “gallivanting around Europe” in April: I was chairing a fisheries group meeting where coastal communities from all around Europe unanimously supported Shetland’s detailed and constructive crticisms of the proposed new Common Fisheries Policy; at the European Parliament I presented a paper on compensation for pollution from offshore oil and gas fields; with colleagues I also attended business meetings with European officials who handle issues affecting Scotland, the Highlands and Islands, Europe’s coastal communities, regional aid policy and environmental conservation.
I do plead guilty to spending an hour in a Brussels park, half an hour in an art gallery, and to enjoying a couple of pints with a Shetland delegation to the European Seafood exhibition that coincided with the visit. Some gallivant, that, but perhaps Mr MacMillan imagines that flying to Brussels via Heathrow Terminal 5 is some sort of treat.
Perhaps Mr MacMillan would prefer it if Shetland’s case were not presented in Europe. Perhaps he thinks he could do a better job himself. If so, there’s an election in 2017.
As for his latest slur on my performance as his councillor, I have made it clear to him that I decline to represent any constituent who becomes personally abusive. His complaint to the Ethical Standards Commisson, against me and other councillors who displeased him, was dismissed.