Two levels of debate (A Williamson)

The pending referendum concerning Scottish independence will involve Shetlanders in a very important decision. Before voting I would advise a rehearsal of our Scottish history. If they do I am sure that most of them will arrive at the same conclusion as did the Shetland Movement; viz that it is not possible to discover any benefits accruing to Shetland from a political association with Scotland.

The latest referendum will be launched on two levels. Firstly the emotive one – “We’er aa Jock Tamson’s bairns” – kilts bagpipes, tartans, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace and aa that, “come and join us”. This is a version of origins aimed at the intellectual level, of the supporters of a football team.

At a more intelletual level, political, cultural and financial levles will be considered. At this level it will be easily demonstrated that Scotland’s attitude to its remoter areas has been, and still is undemocratic, repressive and exploitive. The clearances, the massacre of Glencoe etc. are proof of this and the recent acquisition of the udally held shores, although a minor matter, is indicative that nothing in their modus operandi has changed.

This being so I have little doubt that Shetlanders, not being Jock Tamson’s bairns, will put their cross in the right place.

A Williamson

13 Anderson Road,




Add Your Comment
  • Brian Smith

    • January 13th, 2014 18:07

    Na na, Andrew, it wis da Better Together o da day dat promoted da massacre o Glencoe an da clearances. Du never got da hang o yun history.

  • Victor Walker

    • January 14th, 2014 0:00

    I think you have hit the nail on the head there. Unfortunately the underlying reason for seeking devolution is oil. The separatists reason that they will be able to keep the oil revenues ‘ for Scotland’. Thus, as you say, what will the Shetlands get out of it. Really the whole thing is based upon greed
    For Shetland’s taxes they will probably get a Scottish fishery protection vessel, and a Scottish airforce of Sopwith Camels.

    The latest argument by the SNP supporters is that if Shetland stays within the UK, then they will become an enclave in Scottish waters, only entitled to a 12 mile limit, which conveniently makes Shetland’s oil Scottish !
    It is an arguable point, however, that if Scotland were out of the UK, but Shetland remained in, then it would be Scotland which would become the enclave because the UK is both South and North of it

  • Joe Johnson

    • January 14th, 2014 12:08

    I’m still voting no this September. I’m still not convinced Independence is best for Scotland. Alex Salmond gives me the creeps! I don’t really believe the SNP have thought this through. But I respect the fact that everyone has their own views on independence

  • David Spence

    • January 14th, 2014 21:53

    It does not surprise me that the Acts of Union Agreement in 1707, the Highland Clearances should take place soon after, whereupon that old cliche ‘ Divide and Conquer ‘ prevails and where economics dictated such actions. It was believed that sheep were more profitable than what was there before (personally, sheep were just used as an excuse to clear the lands and for those in power to claim those lands as their own) thus the justification of the clearances.

    If you look at the economics and the benefits of being with the Union (lets not beat about the bush, under English rule) then it proves without a shadow of doubt, Scotland would be far better off on its own, economically speaking.

    Yes, and this is what I find baffling, Alex Salmond is still keeping the English currency (the pound) as Scotland’s currency, despite the fact Scotland already has its own currency (although the English do not recognize this (so much for the Union eh lol)) and is still going to acknowledge the Queen as Head of State.

    If you asked the question : Is Scotland a country ? I would suspect most people would say ‘ No, it is part of the United Kingdom ‘. Next question, What is the United Kingdom comprised of in terms of internationally recognized territories ?

    It seems that the only country (said very loosely) which does not recognize Scotland as a country is the very country which has oppressed it, forced its will upon it and subjugated the people too its ways through oppressive measures (example : Thatcher using Scotland as a testing ground for her policies) is the country of England, who also do not recognize Wales (despite many other international organisations doing so) as a country but a principality through the powers of the oppressive rulers (English kings and queens) throughout the ages.

    So, I would say Scotland is a country in its own right, and should be entitled to govern itself without another country forcing its ways upon it (aka United Kingdo, ) aka England)).

  • John Tulloch

    • January 18th, 2014 22:31

    Whit wye is da Shetlan’ fokk sae taen up wi’ Vikins an Gelleys, I nivver tink dir muckle Scottishness aboot dat?

    • Sandy McMillan

      • January 19th, 2014 22:16

      Do is dead right John there is nothing Scottish about Galleys and Vikings, reason is the Vikings or Scandanavians are our fore fathers, we should not forget that we are neither English or Scottish, but the pendulium swings towards Scotland, and closer still towards Shetland, Oil or no oil Shetland can survive on its own, the Faroe Islands survive without oil at the moment, Shetland should have been a very rich Island, if these 22 guys in the Town hall had not squandered our money, this they cant deny,
      Why is Gary Robinson our political leader not pushing to see what is in the lucky bag for Shetland, it is not long until September and we do not know what we are getting from either Holyrood or Westminster, when it does come to the waters around Shetland if it is a YES vote, as i hope it is, we will surely reap some of what is brought ashore, why should what is Shetlands oil end up in Westminster.

  • Chris Laurenson

    • January 19th, 2014 10:01

    You just can’t change history John, it was part of what we are now, the Picts, the Vikings then we became part of the English domination when we were supposedly Scottish but even worse we are now controlled by Tesco’s and CO-OP Ha Ha so we can’t change that either. Cheers from Chris in Australia.

  • iantinkler

    • January 19th, 2014 12:50

    “Firstly the emotive one – “We’er aa Jock Tamson’s bairns” – kilts bagpipes, tartans, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace and aa that, “come and join us”. This is a version of origins aimed at the intellectual level, of the supporters of a Scottish football team.” “became part of the English domination” QED !!!

  • brian hodgkinson

    • February 17th, 2014 10:16

    Scottish Independance. Shetlanders have an independent spirit and need to consider what possibilities.
    Who is to say you cannot be a territorial island within the UK if that is what you wish? Don’t forget that 98% of Gibraltarians recently voted for just that. How could Salmond and his cronies enforce a takeover if he doesn’t have a Shetlands majority nor any marines forces. Don’t get me wrong. We don’t want to loose you,but its getting time to stand up and be counted

    From-14,gwel-y-don, Pentraeth,Isle of Anglesey.

    • John Tulloch

      • February 17th, 2014 12:44

      Well said, sir!

    • Brian Smith

      • February 17th, 2014 18:04

      Hot air, sir!

      • John Tulloch

        • February 17th, 2014 20:15

        Hot air from you on 26th February, Brian – I hear you’re to be Master of Cermonies at Stuart Hill’s book launch, is that true? 🙂

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