Not good representation (Donnie Morrison)

Could I ask isles MP Alistair Carmichael how he intends to represent the large percentage of his electorate who object to the Viking Energy windfarm?

Pointing out his delight at his fellow Liberal Democrat’s (Ed Davey) decision to back island windfarms he declared “he had lobbied hard behind the scenes for this to happen”.

Mr Carmichael told the BBC: “This is an issue on which I have campaigned since I was first elected to parliament.”

I had naïvely assumed that MPs were paid to represent all their constituents, not just some, and I now realise that with regards to the windfarm, I and many others have no representation either in Edinburgh or Westminster.

Donnie Morrison


Add Your Comment
  • Johan Adamson

    • October 7th, 2013 12:44

    I think our councillors and MPs all think they are delegates, not representatives these days. They are also promoted it seems, for doing so.

  • Linsey Nisbet

    • October 7th, 2013 14:31

    I think Mr Morrison need not worry. The wind turbine plan has been thoroughly killed for the forseeable future. Our islands will have to be ‘sustained ‘ by carbon fuels for a long time to come. Shetland has lost the chance to help reduce the destruction of our planet by using natural resources. Pity help us when the gas and oil runs out. What then? If we have a planet left at all…!

  • ian tinkler

    • October 7th, 2013 16:26

    Linsey, we can easily be carbon free on Shetland. All that has happened is the Ratter/ Wiles get rich quick scheme has been sunk. Plenty of scope for small scale Green energy production that will not ruin Shetland and kill its wild life.

  • John Tulloch

    • October 7th, 2013 17:07

    Quite so, Ian. Anyone who can afford to pay for so-called “green energy” will be free to do that so need for everyone to run around like headless “Chicken Littles” crying out “The sky is falling”!

    That particular matra has been chanted to us ad nauseam for many years now yet there is not the slightest evidence of any risk, either, to “the Planet”, the “sky” or, indeed, ourselves or “our grANDCHILDREN”!

  • rosa steppanova

    • October 7th, 2013 21:49

    When the VE windfarm plan was first mooted I, like Linsey Nisbet, believed it would help save the planet. I’ve since learned better. While wind energy plays a role in our switch to renewables, some wind farms, VE amongst them, do not mitigate climate change, but can actually contribute to it. Carbon payback figures are often “massaged” by the industry to give their projects green credentials.

  • ian tinkler

    • October 7th, 2013 23:37

    A carbon free energy future for Shetland. All the electricity we could ever want. Almost costless and 25 years supply. Tried and tested for 30 years plus. Thousands working in confined spaces within feet of energy source, not a single causality or illness of any type recorded. More energy than Viking Energy could ever hope to produce whatever the wind does. Well children, Trident is about to decommission. Now those reactors, wow, they have been of our shores with a few others, Soviet, USA and French for some time now. Time for a Carbon free future. Many a truth spoken in jest. You have to know simple science to understand what I am saying. Regrettable our most of our leaders are scientifically castratos, as for our greenies! A joke, to think about it. Now Greenies and anti-atomic, how about some hysteria. ( I should take more water with it ! Shame its the truth)

  • Sandy McMillan

    • October 11th, 2013 0:11

    Surely Alastair Carmichael has to listen to the folk he represents especially those with a grievance over these Wind Farms, He has to listen and act on what the public are saying, Shetland does not want these monsters destroying our country side, those worried about the Gas and Oil need not fear, It will probably be hear for not 40 years or 50, it will run into 100s believe you me there are more Oil wells and Gas that have been drilled and plugged waiting for the right moment to remove the cork and get them on line, Shetland can do without the wind farms, get them out in the North sea or Atlantic Ocean

  • Gordon Harmer

    • October 11th, 2013 13:30

    Sandy, you have answered your own question in the other thread, don’t worry about wind farms as the SNP will sort it, go run to your mate Salmond and get him to stop these monsters we don’t want.

    “Gordon, no need for Alastair Carmichael to get it out of the SNP, the SNP know exactly what they are doing, the SNP has every thing in hand to see to the needs of Scotland and Shetlands requirements”.

  • Victor young

    • October 11th, 2013 22:37

    Nothing wrong with wind farms pe se, the problem is every body wants them to be on somebody else’s land . Its a nimby problem not a technical one

  • Ian tinkler

    • October 12th, 2013 10:54

    Nothing wrong with wind farms per se, as long as you do not mind damaging the health of others killing rare birds, transferring money from the poor to the already wealthy (ROC money to landowners/landlords). Just a tad more than a NIMBY moan. Mind you have to have more than half a brain to see the obvious, unless you are getting the money!

  • Ewen Adamson

    • October 13th, 2013 9:38

    Donnie, how can an MP/MSP ever represent everyone? Think about your argument logically. What if 40% of their constituents supported a development, and 40% were against it, and 20% were undecided. Who should they represent? No project ever has 100% backing from the population, so what would you have them do? Sit on the fence? Would this satisfy you? What is your suggestion here? If you were in his position would your oppose Viking Energy? In which case would that not make you a hypocrite, as you were going against all those in Shetland who support this development. You whole argument is completely full of holes, as is that of everyone who agrees with you.

  • Evelyn Morrison

    • October 13th, 2013 13:02

    Ewen Adamson has said Donnie’s argument is ‘full of holes’ (?) but there is no argument. He is simply pointing out that we have never had any representation – percentages or otherwise. Fence squatting is what Tavish does well..
    As for Victor Young’s comment about NIMBY’s – where does he live? Would he be happy to have his health compromised + his property rendered worthless for the sake of a select few? Has it not dawned on some folk why the electricity bills are rising? To subsidise the green revolution maybe?
    Linsey Nisbet has his opinion but maybe he should read about the pollution and ill health caused by the mining in the far east of some of the raw materials used by the ‘green’ wind turbine industry.
    Natural resources? For the ‘green’ spin about saving the planet – read big business making money.

  • rosa steppanova

    • October 13th, 2013 19:42

    May I remind Ewen Adamson that we live in a democracy? Our local elected representatives at the time promised us the windfarm wouldn’t go ahead if we didn’t want it. The same administration passed a minority decision – against the advice of its own planning authority – to give planning consent. Shetland Islands Council held a series of consultation meetings regarding the Viking windfarm in various Shetland locations. At each one a show of hands signaled a clear majority ( 70% and over) against the windfarm. Objections to the Energy Consent Unit outnumbered letters of support (computer generated by the V.E website) by about three to one.
    Democratic expression could hardly be clearer – there is no ‘what if’, as Mr. Adamson suggests. The majority of Shetlanders is not represented by their MP and MSP in the case of Viking Energy.
    I further doubt a majority of Shetlanders is in favor of privatising Royal Mail, cutting benefits to the bone, or introducing the bedroom tax. I sometimes wonder what planet our MP lives on. He most certainly doesn’t represent me.

  • Ian Brown

    • October 13th, 2013 20:20

    Entertaining as surely is to bash AC about a wind farm in Shetland, I feel compelled to remind folk that the matter is reserved to the Scottish Government. AC did not stand for election to that body and therefore his views, if any, carry the same weight as anyone else here. If AC wishes to ‘take the matter further’, he needs to talk to his MSP and there being more than one for Shetland, it does not have to be Tavish.

  • Brian Smith

    • October 14th, 2013 8:03

    (1) 2 June 2009. ‘The MSP and MP have outlined three key questions on the Viking Energy project. Tavish Scott and Alistair Carmichael said, “The representations we have received on this issue, both in our mailbags and at surgeries, show that there are three main issues of concern.’

    (2) 16 September 2013. ‘Northern isles MP Alistair Carmichael expressed his delight at his fellow Liberal Democrat’s decision to back island wind farms, pointing out he had lobbied hard behind the scenes for this to happen.’

  • James Mackenzie

    • October 14th, 2013 12:29

    I think it would be helpful to be reminded what the three main issues of concern were that our Lib Dem representatives received in 2009 – then at least we might be able to decide if they still are held by people, and whether or not they were, and are, justified.

  • Brian Smith

    • October 14th, 2013 17:47

    “The first is that of the impact of the scheme on Shetland and on the communities most affected by the windfarm. The very real concerns raised need to be addressed by Viking Energy. There is a widespread feeling that the consultation to date has failed to do this. Whether this is true of not, it is a widely held perception which needs to be addressed.
    “The second is the question of whether or not Shetland can afford to invest in the project and worries about whether it will indeed be the community project it is supposed to be. The capital costs are rising and it is now beyond the ability of the Charitable Trust to fund Shetland’s share. The project may end up being largely, or wholly, owned by a multi-national energy company, with the Council’s role reduced to that of landlord and most of the promised profits heading overseas. People need a clear assurance that this won’t happen.
    “Finally, there is issue of the conflicts of interests the Councillors find themselves in. They sit on the Charitable Trust, they have planning responsibilities, and they are representatives of their constituents. One of the constant themes in the representations that we have received is a frustration that councillors are in an impossible position, struggling to carry out their duties to represent their constituents, because of the restrictions imposed by their other duties. This is a massive deal for Shetland and our councillors must be free to represent the views of local people.”


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.