SNP keen on greater isles autonomy, says First Minister in ‘Lerwick Declaration’

A new ministerial task force will be set up to examine how Shetland and the other island groups can gain greater autonomy as part of a “Lerwick Declaration” by First Minister Alex Salmond yesterday.

First Minister Alex Salmond speaking at a Q&A session in Mareel yesterday. Photo: Dave Donaldson
First Minister Alex Salmond speaking at a Q&A session in Mareel yesterday. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Mr Salmond said he was particularly open to the idea of devolving control over the foreshore, currently under the control of the  UK-wide Crown Estate, to the islands.

He also said giving Shetlanders greater input into the drawing up of ferry contracts was a “huge issue”, while it would be useful for the three islands to have a stronger voice in the European Union.

“What I’m doing today is making a ‘Lerwick Declaration’,” he said. “it seems obvious that a government that believes in the people who live and work in Scotland running the country also believes in subsidiarity and local decision-making.”

Speaking after the SNP Cabinet discussed the matter in Lerwick Town Hall yesterday, Mr Salmond said the government was making a “very friendly response” to Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles’ joint “Our Islands – Our Future” campaign.

The three islands are seeking greater control as part of a wider constitutional debate ahead of next September’s referendum on Scottish independence.

SNP finance secretary John Swinney said the creation of a working group would pave the way for more powers to be devolved to the isles.

In response, SIC political leader Gary Robinson said yesterday: “The Scottish government announcement that they are prepared to set up a working group is most welcome.

“From the perspective of the three islands, this has to be seen as a positive development as we seek to get the best out of the change that will inevitably happen beyond the referendum in 2014.”

Earlier this month a challenge was laid down by the three island councils for their different needs to be recognised, with a series of questions fired off to political leaders in Holyrood and Westminster.

Mr Robinson added: “While our campaign is politically neutral, we certainly welcome the opportunity to engage with the Scottish government and are very pleased that a working group will be set up, and that our campaign is being taken seriously.

“We need to ensure that, whatever the outcome of the referendum, we have secured the very best future for the three islands and their communities.”

Mr Robinson’s comments were backed by Orkney Islands Council convener Steven Heddle and Western Isles leader Angus Campbell.

After the meeting Mr Swinney said: “Scotland’s island communities are an invaluable source of energy, creativity and talent.

“They are made up of people with rich and diverse backgrounds who all contribute to making Scotland as a nation flourish. One of the great advantages of the independence debate is the opportunity to reflect on the sort of Scotland we wish to see.

“I am pleased to confirm that the Scottish government has agreed in principle, jointly with campaign leaders from the three island authorities, to convene a new ministerial working group to consider the issues it raises.”

The group’s remit and working arrangements will be agreed in the coming weeks with a view to holding the first meeting shortly after.



Add Your Comment
  • Douglas Young

    • July 25th, 2013 16:47

    Mr Salmond, speaking to around 300 in the Mareel, was candidly honest when talking about the referendum being for the people to decide what kind of Scotland they wanted to see, pointedly allowing for the outcome that the SNP might not be part of the political scene, although he hoped it would.
    In other words, the referendum is for us, not him, not the SNP.
    All the politicians appear to be enthusiastic about their roles and there was applause from the audience several times.

  • John Tulloch

    • July 25th, 2013 17:00

    The ministerial working group will be set up “in the coming weeks”. And will report when – in the “fullness of time”, perhaps?

    This mustn’t be allowed to be “kicked into the long grass, out of sight” beyond the referendum.

  • Derick Tulloch

    • July 25th, 2013 18:57

    Gritted teeth there John. Set aside prejudice and see things wi fresh eyes, and honestly. No Government is perfect, but some are less imperfect than others.

  • John Tulloch

    • July 25th, 2013 19:38

    I’m all for them having a working group, Derick.

    Promises made by politicians in the warm glow of electioneering or rather “referendumeering” aren’t worth the hot air they’re puffed out on.

    I’ll be very pleased IF AND WHEN they actually deliver the goods.

    Meanwhile, if it’s all the same to you, I’ll try to keep my eye on the pea while Mr Salmond is moving the cups!

  • Ron Stronach

    • July 25th, 2013 20:31

    I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. Nor any of the others either.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • July 26th, 2013 9:00

    Salmond has pulled more U turns than a London Cabbie and has proved to be a stranger to the truth on many independence issues.

    He made no firm promises and only agrees in principal to us having more autonomy, political speak for I will string you along to get your vote until my separatist / independence dream is fulfilled.

    I also see he has a protege in Douglas Young who is learning to massage figures, “around 300 in Mareel” followed by “about 180 in Mareel”, which probably means there were 50 in Mareel.

  • Scott Miller

    • July 26th, 2013 11:51

    Certainly the Mareel session was well attended. and there was a lot more than 50 people there (not sure of the actual figure). I would’ve expected you to be there Gordon. It would of been an ideal time for you to put the ministers on the spot over the u-turns that you accuse them of.

  • David Spence

    • July 26th, 2013 12:09

    lol Gordon, actually the Auditorium at the Mareel was nearly full. I was there. As for figures, not so sure, but there was more than 200 at it, I think.

    I do, to a certain degree, agree with what you have said in politicians saying what we want to hear but their actions being completely different (as the Lib Dems and the vile Tories have proven……..but that’s an aside lol)

  • Vivienne Harvey

    • July 26th, 2013 12:25

    All politicians, including the ones who oppose Salmond, say what the people want to here that is what politics is all about.

    The issue is not with what they all say it is with what they all do!

    Currently we are sitting with a situation where:

    The NHS is being privatised in England with talk of paying to see Doctors etc. Our Blood bank has already been sold to a private operator. We have held this off in Scotland so far but with new promises from Westminster to cut our funding you have to ask yourself “How long can any government in Scotland keep this service available to us on the pocket money we receive.”

    In Education we currently have some off the greatest universities at our disposal fully paid for by our Government and International Paying Students. This is also under strain with current Westminster policy as funding is cut and study permits are refused for immigration problems south of the border.

    In defence our current budget far exceeds our actual defence received. We are paying for the renewal of a Trident system that was put into place in the years of the cold war, if you look around I would think you will find we no longer have a need to attack Moscow or anywhere else for that matter, so why is Westminster insisting on renewing it. If we are to be forward thinking people we should be looking to our distant relatives in Scandinavia and the disarmament of WMD’s.

    My favourite new Westminster policy has to be the privatisation of the Postal Services, come on! This goes against all the principles of every person I speak to. Yet this is what we are looking at, With love and regards Your Friendly Westminster Government.

    Lets not bash each other, the facts speak for themselves.

    If you can honestly say that you are happy with the prospect of the above Westminster Policy then by all means listen to the Politicians and the Fear factor of the No Campaign.

    With policies like the above,the least of our worries is seeking greater control for the Islands, we should be uniting with whichever sources we can to stop the continued break up of the institutions that we so deeply require on the Isles.

    Lets try something new, its time!

  • David Spence

    • July 26th, 2013 13:59

    I agree with Vivienne. This Tory Government is hell-bent of privatizing everything which is under state control. They are, in affect, trying to finish off the job Thatcher started when she was in power.

    The Tories do not give a damn about the people of this country. All they care about is ‘ what money they can make out of the privatization of the local authority services (back hands, shareholders, board members etc etc) ‘, and supporting the rich and well off people, who in turn, sing the same song in ‘ not giving a damn about the people ‘.

    Devolution is an absolute joke. I am sure Alex Salmond and the SNP could, if they wanted to, prevent, delay or stop any action this vile Tory Government is doing in terms of the privatization, and the complete and utter destruction of all the services under local authority control.

    Will we, as a society, be better off in terms of the private sector taking over local authority services? I very much doubt it, if the railways and the water and sewerage industries is anything to go by.

    There will, of course, be some people who praise the private sector and who think of nothing else except for getting richer and richer at any cost as long as ‘ they are alright (another trait of capitalism needless to say) and to hell with everybody else ‘.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • July 26th, 2013 14:45

    @ Scott, Salmond’s U turns include his stance on NATO, his stance on wind farms near beauty spots, His stance on the currency for an independent Scotland.

    I would not put myself in a position where I would ask Salmond a question only to be lied to or have my question not answered. Or as in his FMs questions get an answer that turns out to be a rhetorical party political speech on behalf of the separatists whilst blaming Westminster in the process.

    @ David, lol if you read what I said properly I was not suggesting there were only 50 folk there I was ripping apart Douglas’s figure massaging. Something which both he and Salmond are both in the bottom of the class at.

    @ Vivienne, Tell me whats new about Salmond and the SNP they are as bad as Westminster. For instance the Scottish NHS is falling apart, there were more nurses in our hospitals in 2008 than there are now. Education; falling apart, the new curriculum for excrement, hated by teachers and students alike. It is so bad that both students and parents have written letters to the Shetland Times condemning it. I have friends and relatives who are teachers and they will not speak about publicly because they have been threatened with their jobs if they do.

    Dictatorial actions from the present Scottish government who will not change in the event of independence. Also education and the Scottish NHS are two services that are under direct control of Salmond and the SNP so blaming Westminster will not wash.

  • Martyn Fisher

    • July 26th, 2013 16:05

    Well what can i say usual twits trying to make a difference in something they seem to be confused about.. Bring it on girls..

  • Vivienne Harvey

    • July 26th, 2013 21:42

    @ Gordon. I think you like many are confused with my political alliances… I am not voting for a party I am voting for a country. We have problems, there is no doubting that, but must we continue to extend those problems with the continuous warmongering, bank bailing, self profiteering Westminster Gang or do we have the balls to take this into our own hands and try and improve it.

    2014 is not a vote for the SNP it is a vote for the right to govern ourselves. To write a constitution that protects the rights of the people against tyrannical governments.

    Work on the re-building of the NHS. Like I said one can only do so much with the current powers we have. How does one support these foundations on depleted financial support. With fiscal power we can decide.Education changes in curriculum etc happen all the time and on each occasion we complain and moan and then we get used to it and we see the benefits in it or we make the necessary changes to fix it.

    Nothing will change without us making the change.

    I know that this is a very simplified breakdown, but I would advise that you research exactly what Westminster is spending your money on. Not to mention the amount of times we have voted in Scotland to stop certain policies only for it to be passed in Westminster.

    So with that in mind, and having researched all sides of the story, I have the balls to make that change and I am not gonna hide behind Alex Salmond as an excuse not to embrace change. I will vote Yes for my children and their future in this country, not for the SNP.

  • John Tulloch

    • July 26th, 2013 22:39


    Too much information!

  • Douglas Young

    • July 27th, 2013 1:49

    Vivienne is correct in pointing out that a vote in the referendum is not a vote for the SNP, it may be difficult to grasp for some people as it is a very rare occurrence to vote for one’s country and not a political party. There are 14 months to get the message across. After which there may be no SNP. So what? We get to chose ANY party we want in the elections of 2016.

  • Iain giblin

    • July 27th, 2013 9:17

    Before you vote no in the referendum consider the consequences of yet more Tory rule despite Scotland not voting for this party. The postal service is the first target and the nhs will follow. It’s fundamentally wrong that Scotland can be ruled by a party it did not choose at the polls.

  • Vivienne Harvey

    • July 27th, 2013 9:44

    @ John.

    Last time I checked Information and knowledge gives a person the ability to choose wisely.

    Maybe it would be preferable for one to keep silent or maybe we have a nation of people suffering from Stockhome syndrome.

    Whatever the case I choose information and knowledge over blind aligence to anyone.

  • John Tulloch

    • July 27th, 2013 11:48

    The Argyll news outlet “ForArgyll” is covering the SNP cabinet visit to Shetland and warns Shetlanders and Orcadians not to celebrate too soon over the promised ministerial working group on autonomy, pointing out some Salmond double-speak.

    Argyll apparently made the mistake of falling for a similar arrangement over ferries at Dunoon. Full piece available at:

  • Vivienne Harvey

    • July 27th, 2013 13:46

    Interesting article john, not overly impressed with the assumption that all of us in the Northern Isles want to be independent of both Scotland and the rUK.

    As I said in my first statement politicians do what politicians do all of them,they say what the people want to hear, Alex Salmond does not hold the rights to this.

    People need to read the facts not the opinions of others and the writer of this article is just another opinion and as the saying goes opinions are like …. We all have one.

    Reading the facts not the newspapers, who all have opinions, will give one knowledge.

  • Robert Sim

    • July 27th, 2013 14:18

    Thank you for your excellent contributions, Vivienne, here and elsewhere on this site. As you and others rightly point out, this is not about the present political scene, with all its predictable maneuverings, machinations and cast of goodies and baddies, but about a much bigger question – whether the Scottish nation wishes to assert its right to self-determination or not. It is important, therefore, not to get bogged down in what the Scottish government is or is not saying at the moment and whether we can or cannot trust that. Come independence, we will be starting with more-or-less a clean sheet. Without a “yes” vote in 2014, nothing will change, and that is the really important point, in my opinion.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • July 27th, 2013 16:21

    @ Vivienne there is no depleted finacial support to the Scottish NHS the most recent figures put the NHS spend per person at £1,900 per person in England – well behind that for the devolved administrations, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). In Scotland health spending in 2010-11 was almost 10 per cent higher than in England, at £2,072 a head. The figure in Wales was £2,017 and Northern Ireland £2,106.

    Health matters are now largely devolved, with the administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast decided how much they spend on the NHS and how they organise it. Therefore any shortfall in services provided by the Scottish NHS lies squarely with the SNP who are the present Scottish government, not with Westminster.

    I don’t know how you work out that a yes vote next year is a vote for the right to govern ourselves (this being one of Salmond’s slogans). Next year you will put a cross on a piece of paper and that will your only input until the next general election and then you are back to square one you will put a cross on a piece of paper. What will follow is no different to what we have now except the fact that Scotland will always vote in a socialist government. As you know both Labour and the SNP are socialist by nature if not by name therefore making an independent Scotland a socialist state.

    Britain is still trying to recover from fifteen years of socialist mismanagement thanks to Blair, Brown and Darling and yet you wish this on your children. You may have the balls to make a change, but what you really need are the brains to realise when you are being led up the garden path.

    @ Douglas, you obviously cant see the wood for the trees, a YES vote is a vote for the SNP as they are the authors of the referendum. Architects of the referendum would have been a better analogy but architects develop things with clear plans, good foundations and sound structural design. Where authors put pen to paper and use any befuddled thoughts in their heads to create fiction. It has always amazed me how many people can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • July 28th, 2013 5:29

    I notice a distinct assertiveness from the YES brigade to try and distance them selves from the SNP on this thread. I would have thought after the visit of the instigating nationalist / separatist they would have been full of euphoria and proclaiming a future victory.

    Maybe it stems from the fact that he said nothing remotely convincing to make Shetlanders want to go down the independence road. Vivienne, Robert and Douglas are going out of their way to say the a vote for independence is not a political vote.

    Next years vote is the most important political decision we will make in our lifetime, as it will determine the political future of the country we live in. This is such a massive political vote that it even divides socialists and brings together politicians from the right, left and center of politics.

  • David Spence

    • July 28th, 2013 5:32

    Gordon, if a YES vote means we are not under the rule and control of this vile Tory Government from Westminster, then as far as I am concerned, that vote, in many ways, is justified.

    Cameron and his cronies are only thinking of themselves (a typical trait of capitalism) and what they can do and gain for themselves rather than what is best for the country or the people of the country.

    The privatization of all Local Authority Services is most definitely not for the greater good of the country but to only serve an exceptionally small proportion of the population, where they will become wealthier and better off than the majority.

    Privatization or leaving it up to ‘ market forces ‘ has proven, if you take the banks as an example, to be disastrous in all aspects of society.

    The sad think about it, it is the banks who are still prospering despite the fact it was them who created the 2008 crisis themselves, and not, as we are led to believe by this vile Tory Government, the previous Labour Government borrowing too much.

    This vile Tory Government’s justification in cutting/slashing the budgets of the Local Authorities, revamping and renaming benefits where those who are eligible will get a vastly reduced benefit, but for those people who are working, your taxes and national insurance contributions will either remain the same or go up. At the same time this vile Tory Government still managing to give the biggest crooks in society, to date, over £141 billion pounds of the Tax Payer’s money.

    This £1.2 trillion debt has not reduce at all in proportion to what this vile Tory Government has borrowed itself, but a large percentage of this money is not going to where it is most needed, instead, it is going to prop up certain private businesses and the preparation for the privatization of all local authority services.

  • Iain giblin

    • July 28th, 2013 17:02

    @john. The reason the nhs spend is more in scotland is poverty and resultant ill health. This poverty is in part due to a long standing Tory legacy.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • July 28th, 2013 17:12

    So David, you would remove democracy from the Shetland population to satisfy your hatred of capitalism by advocating a yes vote. An increasing majority of yes voters claim they don’t get the government they vote for. This only happens when a Tory government is elected, as when a Labour government is elected it is usually with with the help and blessing of the Scottish electorate, so no real argument.

    As for the Shetland electorate; they never vote for a socialist government whether it be Labour or SNP. The usual Shetland vote generally goes to the Lib Dems, only twice in recent history has this vote deviated. Shetland voted Tory in 1835 and again in 1935. In an independent Scotland, we would be forced into suffering a continuation of socialist governments, resulting in Shetlanders never getting the government they vote for. To satisfy your obsessive fixation with capitalism you would remove a consequential democratic right from the Shetland electorate by voting yes.

    This yes vote will create an independent Scotland which claims to be able to finance its ambitions with the revenue from oil receipts. In my book that is independence based on capitalism, David, you want your independent cake and when you eat it it will taste of capitalism.

    Capitalism has worked very well for a united Britain, it will also have to support an independent Scotland so if you want to move to North Korea you are welcome.

  • Vivienne Harvey

    • July 28th, 2013 19:09

    Hey Gordon as per amount received in Pennies/ cost of upkeep the value of what we receive has depreciated. I am not comparing to rUK. We have free prescriptions etc… Interestingly enough though a big push going on south of the border to cut our pocket money for education, NHS and transport.

    “Choose to govern ourselves” A Salmond slogan or not (probably been used a lot in history) I choose it with a Yes.

    By the way Gordon I have no intention of fighting for independence to repeat the same old mistakes. Have a read into Iceland, these guys are trying to move forward in the right direction, still a bit to go but they are trying.

    We need to try and work on a new truly representative democracy and we now have the chance to make it happen.

  • John Tulloch

    • July 28th, 2013 21:29

    @ Iain Giblin,

    Why are you telling me all this?

  • Gordon Harmer

    • July 28th, 2013 21:50

    Yes Vivienne,”We need to try and work on a new truly representative democracy and we now have the chance to make it happen”, at what cost.

    Free prescriptions for the masses and most can afford to pay for them. Look at the true cost of this heathen policy which is that terminally ill patients are not prescribed expensive medication and often die in agony just so you can have your freedom, because the Scottish (SNP governed NHS) can’t afford it.

    For someone who claims not to be voting for the SNP you are fairly sucked in by their carrots dangled on the end of their separatist sticks. You even speak in in SNP rhetoric with anti Westminster scaremongering propaganda without a hint of a neutral thinkers accent.

    Just think, a few months after Scotland has voted for independence there will be a general election, and there is a more than 50% chance Labour will win. CRASH BANG; wake up Scotland we are back in the days when Westminster was run by Blair, Brown and co. You can look to Iceland as much as you want but it will be too late, because nothing will have changed. Your ideological views, your vision of a better Scotland for your kids, all down the drain. Vivienne, get over it, you can keep it.

  • David Spence

    • July 28th, 2013 22:34

    Gordon, it is not a case, as such, that I object to capitalism, as mentioned previously all societies incorporate an element of both political ideals. My argument is that we have a Government whose agenda is purely based on a system where it is the minority which dominates and controls the basic structure’s of our society and where they put profit, greed and selfishness ahead of anything else. In such a system, this vile Government fully supports and advocates to the detriment of everybody in society except for those, including this vile Tory Government, who will most benefit.

    This vile Tory Government’s agenda, as mentioned, is to lie, cheat, deceive, bribe and be totally dishonest towards the electorate, as Cameron said prior to the election ‘ The NHS is safe in our hand’s ‘ and is doing his best to totally fragment the NHS by the back door and sell it off to the highest bidder within the private sector. Such traits within a system are only too common within capitalism and a system where economic benefits benefit the few at the cost of the many. It is not only the NHS being broken up and fed to the vultures of the private sector, it is all aspects of state run services from housing to education to defense and even our prison services. All of this under the guize (lies) of ‘ we are improving these services (once we have totally slashed the budgets) for the greater good of the country ‘ when in reality, it is causing greater destruction (divide and conquer scenario) overall rather than any benefits to the population as a whole.

    If our economy is totally based on the greed of the minority, this country is very much doomed and will be taking 1 step forward but 2 steps back. It will not improve the lives of many, many people, but as long as we have a vile Tory Government in power, why should they care as long as they benefit and become better off (selfishness) at the cost of the majority.

  • Robert Sim

    • July 29th, 2013 8:28

    Gordon does not have to worry, I would say, about Shetland not getting the government it wants under independence. In Scotland, Most parties are of the centre or centre-left now – old-fashioned socialism in the way you portray it does not exist in Scotland. The political scene is more complex. And of course there are a lot of rural areas in Scotland which vote the way Shetland does.

    The only real extremists in the UK are right-wing parties based outside of Scotland and with no foothold here. A fringe benefit of independence would be to free ourselves of their influence.

  • Iain Giblin

    • July 29th, 2013 9:33

    @gordon. I would like to see that previous emotive statement “0ften die in agony” through being denied expensive drugs being backed up by a shred of evidence. Why should tax payers (who previously paid prescription charges) be charged an additional tax when they are ill?
    If an independent scotland votes for the Labour Party then that sounds very democratic to me. An additional democratic benefit would be no House of Lords blocking a democratically elected government’s policies.

  • David I Smith

    • July 29th, 2013 12:49

    On the point regarding free prescriptions, My understanding is that this was introduced because when the SNP were elected they discovered that the cost of administering the prescription system actually cost more than providing it for free. By taking this decision they have actually freed up more money for other areas of health care.

  • John Tulloch

    • July 29th, 2013 15:38

    @Vivienne 27th July,

    I agree with you regarding the extravagant assumption that all the people in the Northern Isles want independence, it detracted somewhat from the rest of the article however the main point is important, namely, that it must be clear what is on the table as opposed to Mr Salmond’s double-speak of trying to pawn us off with “control of the foreshore” while letting us think he means control of the sea bed within the continental shelf.

    Those who do support greater autonomy for Shetland will do well to heed the
    warning in the article and insist on clear conditions with guarantees before we go diving in to vote either “Yes” or “No” depending on whether Edinburgh or London is doing the offering.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • July 30th, 2013 6:57

    Robert, what is the hoo-ha in Falkirk all about if not extremists in the Scottish Labour party.

    David, Smith before you write such codswallop please do some research and be factual.

    Iain, I cant find the story I refer to but here are three links that are relevant.

    My last comment for the next three weeks, so you guys have plenty of time to drum up some fictitious denials about the totalitarian state that will be an independent Scotland for when I get back.

  • Douglas Young

    • July 30th, 2013 12:14

    “A Yes vote is a vote for the SNP”
    Most 16 and 17 years olds have a better grasp of a referendum than this.

  • David I Smith

    • July 31st, 2013 17:54

    Codswallop? You started it Gordon, but if you really want to free up £40 million for health care in Scotland vote for independence. We wouldn’t send MP’s to Westminster, that would save us £50 million. Of the 9.9% of tax revenues which Scotland presently sends to the London exchequer we only get back 9.3%, that equates to another £4.5 billion (official GERS figures) at our disposal. We’d also stop spending £230 million per annum on Scotlands share of Trident costs. All those would be better options than reintroducing your Tory tax on sickness.

  • John Robertson

    • August 1st, 2013 15:46

    So Douglas Young says a yes vote is not a vote for the SNP, So what is this desperate bit of campaigning about then Mr Young.

    For months Alex Salmond’s independence campaign has claimed that Labour for Independence is a group of pro-separation Labour party members. Today it was exposed that it is nothing more than a front organisation for SNP activists.

    As part of an extraordinary attempt to deceive Scots voters, photos published on twitter and Facebook today show SNP politicians and members posing as Labour party members. The photos include the SNP leader of a local council and the SNP Deputy Leader of another council posing as Labour activists.

    Further proof that they will say anything and do anything to break up the United Kingdom.

  • John Robertson (former reporter)

    • August 1st, 2013 17:11

    I really do wish The Shetland Times would improve its comments section to require people to identify themselves more clearly. It is rather important in this small community.

    For instance, there are John Robertsons in Shetland of all shapes and flavours and I certainly don’t want to be mistaken for the one with the views above!

  • John Tulloch

    • August 1st, 2013 21:30

    @ the John Robertson formerly known as “Reporter”, are you saying John Robertson’s report isn’t true or do you mean you are condoning that sort of thing?

  • Douglas Young

    • August 1st, 2013 23:22

    I could never mistake John Robertson, former reporter, of not understanding that a Yes vote in a referendum is not a vote for the SNP. He is well aware that there is no political party being voted for in the referendum and that both a yes and no vote will mean the SNP will continue in power.
    I hope he is not the only John Robertson in Shetland who comprehends the difference between a referendum and an election.

    Douglas Young
    (The Sumburgh one.)


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