The local pro-independence group Yes Shetland is to hold a public launch meeting on Thursday evening in Islesburgh Community Centre.
The event is intended to offer a range of arguments in favour of a “yes” vote for Scotland, and to demonstrate the support for independence from across the political spectrum.
Speaking at the meeting will be the chief executive of Yes Scotland, Blair Jenkins, the cabinet secretary for education Mike Russell, and the treasurer of Labour for Independence Celia Fitzgerald. A statement from fiddler Aly Bain will also be read out.
According to Ms Fitzgerald, her own support for independence was born from a simple realisation.
“It’s become obvious” she said, “and it’s been obvious for some time, that Westminster is completely out of touch with the issues of Scotland … I know the Scottish parliament is not perfect, but at least they have much more idea of what the issues are for the Scottish people”.
Support for a “yes” vote within the Labour party is continuing to grow, Ms Fitzgerald added. A poll taken in February showed support of around 12.5 per cent in the party, but since then, “it seems to me and to my colleagues as though a huge amount of traditional Labour supporters have come over to the idea of independence”.
A spokesman for the Yes Shetland group Brian Nugent confirmed that support locally was politically diverse. “The local group is made up of SNP folk” he said; “there are some Scottish Socialists, there are quite a few who are non-party political, then there are one or two who are Free Scotland Party”.
“All are welcome” at Thursday’s meeting, he added. “Obviously we’re hoping for ‘yes’ folk to come along; but equally we’re looking for undecided and people who are currently ‘no’ voters.”
The hope is for a “big turnout, good speeches, some debate arising from the question and answer session, and hopefully a few more people committed to the ‘yes’ cause”.
The meeting will be in Room 12 of Islesburgh Community Centre from 7.30pm.