23rd October 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

The gap is widening (George W. Pottinger)

, by , in Readers' Views

Bob Holman, author of Woodbine Willie: The Unsung Hero Of World War One, argues (Sunday Herald, “Essay of the Week”, 30th March) as Britain commemorates the centenary of the beginning of the First World War that “… in a class-ridden Britain, privately-educated recruits were often promoted well beyond their capabilities – and the lowly troops paid for their mistakes”.

He further states that: “Today, 100 years after 1914, material and social inequality still dominates Britain. The gap between rich and poor is widening … The Westminster cabinet is virtually a club for former public schoolboys.”

He concludes: “I do not believe that greater equality is possible until these powerful positions are open to all. One reason I will vote for independence is that if a new Scottish Parliament reflects the present one at Holyrood, then its contingent of MPs will have social diversity. It is much more likely it will combat inequality than Westminster.

“I want a government that rests with the people, not with public-school elite. The lesson from the First World War is that inequality led to many more deaths than necessary and ensured that the rich remained rich and the poor gained little.”

There is, in my opinion, no need to go further back in history than this to find a better reason for voting “yes” for Scottish independence on 18th September 2014.

George W. Pottinger

Isles View,



  1. Geoffrey Hay

    See point 4 in this link George. You might have chosen a more accurate example!


  2. Stuart Hammerton

    Hi Geoffrey,
    I think George’s point is still valid regardless of the article. He was not questioning the casualty rate, rather that simply the vast majority of the officers were of a higher socio-economic class. Interesting article all the same but you have to read it with the knowledge that Dan Snow is a revisionist historian, with everything that entails.

    • Bob Robertson

      The higher socioeconomic class were more than likely better trained to lead men and nothing wrong with that. I would suggest the same is true today, better educated and trained people are better suited to leadership roles. To me it says more about education system and the fact that public funded systems cannot match the quality of privately funded education. It should be an aspiration that schools in the public sector reach the quality of the private sector. Discussion about class and opportunity simply detracts from the real work that needs to be done.

      • John Tulloch

        I think that leadership is both innate and learned and the geniuses of leadership probably had qualities in both.

        It’s instructive that the army training was that the leading officer should be the last to lay down his head at night, having checked that his men were reasonably comfortable, wherever they may be.

        Shackleton was a ‘toff’ and it’s well worth reading the story of what he did in the South Atlantic – because it was amazing!

  3. iantinkler

    To quote George W. Pottinger “There is, in my opinion, no need to go further back in history than this to find a better reason for voting “yes” for Scottish independence on 18th September 2014.”. George W. Pottinger, must you so distort history with your argument? your facts are fallacious.. Try the truth, it would be a refreshing change from the advocates of the YES vote. Incidentally the highest proportion of battle field casualties WW2 was the army rank of Captain, not exactly a rank draw from the working class. The Highest proportion of civilian casualties per capita of local population was , Shetland men, (Merchant Navy). I think you will find they serves and died for freedom, Britain and The United Kingdom, note the word United.

    • Iain giblin

      Ian Tinkler, how many Shetland men had their freedom taken away by press gangs sent by the United Kingdom?

  4. Geoffrey Hay

    Stewart, Bob Holman is more left wing than Ryan Giggs! Not much balance there. You could argue Dan Snow is revising revisions. I don’t see how the ‘class war’ debate is relevant to anyone voting for an independent Scotland. How do I know the politicians, top civil servants, military officers, whatever won’t largely be made up from Watson’s, Heriot’s, Gordon’s, etc.?

    • Ali Inkster

      Much better that the people making decisions for Shetland are graduates of Aith, Brae, Sandwick and the Anderson High. Who better to know what Shetland needs and act accordingly than those brought up and educated here.

  5. David Spence

    It does not surprise me that the differences between the classes and moreover the gap between the rich and poor has never been wider than what it is today.

    In a capitalist based political system, this vile Tory Government’s, based on the privatization of the Royal Mail and the fragmentation of the NHS (as well as many other atrocious acts this vile Tory Government has done in the past) agenda is to support their own interests as well as those in close business with them (whether as shareholders or part of the board of directors of the company).

    Capitalism, by its very nature, creates social division, selfishness (the need to maintain power, wealth and to sustain this division) support of a system which emphasizes this division through religion and royalty, support the elite through acts of power and wealth (divide and conquer). It also invokes the necessity to encourage war and conflict as well as brainwashing the population into nationalism, patriotism and support of the Government for further expansion or of greater control through war and conflict (usually under the guise of Foreign Policy).

    The Conservative Party do not in any way represent the people of the country. Their sole agenda is based on supporting the rich, maintaining and creating division within society and to fan the flames of segregation, prejudice and xenophobia for their own selfish reasons and control.

    When it comes to a political system which emulates what the bible says about ‘ for the want of money is the root of all evil ‘ capitalism (including the banking system) is the true personification of this.

  6. iantinkler

    Stuart Hammerton, I note your point about during WW1 the vast majority of the officers were of a higher socio-economic class than ratted men. I think you will find today that ratio of has in fact dramatically reduced. Rather the opposite to George W. Pottinger rather silly and disingenuous argument. The gap has narrowed, not widened here with regard to service personnel and indeed politicians.. A very good reason perhaps to vote NO. Just strike a blow for honesty and reject the dishonest NAT dogma.

  7. iantinkler

    David Spence, I quote you.”It does not surprise me that the differences between the classes and moreover the gap between the rich and poor has never been wider than what it is today.” What a load of utter codswallop. What are you talking about, education, ability to eat and care for oneself, or purely financial wealth? Try being a slave in Roman times, A serf in Norman Britain. David Spence just occasionally try a bit of truth instead of your socialist inspired garbage and pseudo political fantasy.

    • John Tulloch

      Indeed, Ian, or even, a Shetland crofter before they were freed by the English Liberal William Gladstone, in 1886.

      • Derick Tulloch

        Tut Tut John
        As I am sure du kens, Gladstone was heading off the Land League and the Crofters Party. And then took the credit despite diluting their aims. Typical Liberal really.

      • John Tulloch

        The Land League’s and the Crofters Party’s names speak for themselves. Gladstone was PM for the whole country and pushed it through, against the counter pressures.

        Nobody did that before him.

        Diluted or not, it was was warmly welcomed by my great grand-parents and their peers and it changed the run of play in the isles, dramatically. Isles people haven’t forgotten it, either, Liberal candidates are ‘wining and dining on it’, as the saying goes, to this day.

  8. David Spence

    Ian, if you care to look at the differences in western society between the rich and the poor, the gap is becoming greater and wider……..with fewer of the rich having greater control over the overall wealth of a country…….I believe, and correct me if I am wrong, something like less than 1% of the population of the UK, have control of atleast 65% of the wealth……..and this has increased over the past few decades where a minority have more say, control (politically as well as economically) and have greater influence in every day matter’s concerning the running of the country……….especially when its a Government in power that pays more attention and credence to business rather than this of the people, and designs its agenda on the greater goal of the Government and their business interests benefiting more than doing the job it was elected to do.

  9. iantinkler

    Iain giblin, what silly question and what is its relevance here?. For your information , the press gangs operated throughout Britain, they were not exclusive to Shetland.. Without them, there would have been no Royal Navy, Free Britain, Scotland or any free Europe as we know it today., just invasion by France under Napoleon. No democracy, just a pure and true oppressive military dictatorship, rather like Hitler and perhaps now Putin in Russia. Just what is the point you are trying to make, Iain, if any? I dread to think what independence would leave Scotland to defend its peoples and Shetland with, with no Royal Navy.!!

    • Iain giblin

      Ian Tinkler please stop with the history lessons, I’m well aware of how the press gangs worked and it is a very relevant point as it was you who brought it up “The Highest proportion of civilian casualties per capita of local population was , Shetland men, (Merchant Navy).”etc. The Napoleonic Wars ,what we know from facts and did happen, thousands of people died, it
      paved the way for the British Empire to march in to other countries plundering their resources, destroying cultures ,”millitary opressive” I think you called it. At one point the empire had control over one fifth of the worlds population. The atrocities under the British Empire still have massive repercussions today. You can never justify people losing their lives when they didn’t want to be part of it no matter if its England, Scotland,Shetland, France, Germany or Russia . You worry about Scotland not having a navy and defending itself, I worry about more illegal/legal wars that we will be roped into.

  10. Iain giblin

    Ian Tinkler, please stop with the history lessons, I am very aware of what the press gangs did. My point was to show what the United Kingdom had done for Shetland after your “United” tripe. And you can NEVER justify people being captured and taken to war to fight or die against their will no matter what country! As for the Napoleonic wars, after Napoleon was defeated it paved the way for The British Empire to invade countries and plunder them for their resources killing the natives and destroying culture after culture. At its peak it had control of a fifth of the population of the world how is that democratic! Still to this day we see the repercussions of the Atrocities committed by The British Empire. You worry about not having a navy to defend? I worry about what illegal war we will be dragged into next against our will.

    • Iain giblin

      Apologies Ian I thought I deleted the first draft by accident!

    • Ali Inkster

      Ian have you been to any of these former colonies or are you quoting from some magazine article or some chat with like minded souls. because I have and the former colonies that suffered most from colonial rule were those of our continental EU partners, Genocide theft pillage and rape, South America suffered all this and more from the Spaniards, the same with South East Asia, and Africa from France Germany and Belgium their records are appalling and you want Shetland to be tied even closer to these EU countries while splitting away from the UK because of their record, and a record achieved with full participation of the Scots, a record of colonisation and trampling on the rights of the native inhabitants begun in Shetland and Orkney in the 15th century. You might even say it was the Scots that sparked the UK desire for expansion as it was only after 1707 that it really took off.

  11. Iantiunkler

    Good to know where you come from Iain giblin. What an advert for the Yes vote you make. You give a whole new dimension to the SNP line, I salute your candour, I just wish Salmond and Sturgeon were as honest as you. They seem to keep their motivation for separation rather less honest.

    • Iain giblin

      Ian Tinkler, I would imagine an Independent Scotland’s defensive strategy would be have been not to arm these countries in the first place. Margaret Thatcher arming Saddam, the Taliban against Russia.Afghanistan was not a defensive strategy and don’t put WW2 in the same argument as it is a silly thing to say. You have very skewed ideas of what you think independence is about and please stop making it about Alex Salmond. I don’t want the country spending billions on a nuclear deterrent when 1 in 5 children in Scotland are brought up in poverty .I’d rather see the money on health and education but Ian Tinkler I do see the need for a navy, army and airforce. I disagree with the snp on lots of things but I think Scotland/ Shetland will be better off in the long run through Independence.

      Ali the majority of scots did not support it in 1707, it wAs however the First Estates. The only reason I brought the British Empire up is because it does annoy me when people say that it was fighting for freedom when the real goal was world domination, economic gain at any cost and at no point did I say the scots didnt have a part in it.

  12. Geoffrey Hay

    We’re going further and further back in history now! What next, Bannockburn? I can’t see how looking back with 21st century hindsight to events of 100+ years ago are relevant to the upcoming referendum. I’m also weary of those who think we should be continually “ashamed” of events in British history as if it was the only nation involved, what were the other European nations up to? How many Scots were involved, pro rata, in these “atrocities”? Is every legacy of colonialism negative? How are those countries faring now? In any event, What’s the relevance to September?

    • Ali Inkster

      The only relevance is that Shetland and Orkney are colonies appropriated by fraud and now they are worried about losing the only cash cow they have left.

  13. Iantinkler

    Iain giblin, It is good to see your views on UK defensive strategy. Salmond and the NATs are being a bit quiet here. Let’s look at a few wars the UK has fought in and review the consequences of following NAT policy of supine indifference to dictators. Afghanistan still controlled by the Taliban with execution of any female child daring to go to school, usually a shot to the head. Saddam Hussien still in control of Kuwait, threatening Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iraq, still nerve gassing anyone whom opposes him. Leopoldo Galtieri still occupies the Falklands and inflicting tyranny in Argentina, 10,000 people plus murdered or disappeared by 1980, how many more now. Sothern Korea under the heal of Pyongyang one of the worlds nastier dictatorships! Now Nuclear armed and still murdering any opposition on a whim. O yes, then Hitler and the Nazis. Sorry about the history lesson, clearly some of Salmond’s Nationalist should learn a lesson or two from history.

  14. iantinkler

    Ali, regarding former colonies, I have visited some, not many but have many dear and close friends from University days. Chinese, Malayan, Maori. Indian, Pakistani, Afrikaans, Pilipino , Canadian, Eire and even from The USA (Black and white). That is only a brief list. They all loved the UK and found the religious and racial tolerance in the UK often far more tolerant than their now freely independent countries. Just walk through London and meet a few of our citizens from former colonies, you may learn a lot, remember we are in the 21st century now. Life was very cheap 200 years ago, wherever you came from. The UK record is far better than most, certainly over the last 150 years.

  15. iantinkler

    Iain giblin, get your facts straight and less bull please. The UK did not arm Hitler, No Uk weaponry ever went to the Taliban direct from UK sources there weaponry during that war (NATO) was predominately Soviet and Pakistani , Argentina was predominantly armed by France and the USA, North Korea was Soviet and Chinese armed. Contrary to myth no nerve agents went to Saddam from the West, very little if any of Saddam’s weaponry was UK supplied, mostly Soviet and French.. With regard to Salmond a YES vote gives us Salmond and his NATs, no more no less. Salmond’s NATO policy is now to allow any NATO nuclear armed vessel into any Scottish or Shetland ports without question . That includes Lerwick and Scolloway. An independent Scotland would have next to no influence on the deployment and use of NATO nukes. The United Kingdom has absolute control of Trident, wicked as that prospect is it is still a very strong deterrent against what appears to be an aggressive Putin. Not scaremongering here , but Putin appears to be becoming a dictator, maybe out of touch with reality (Angela Markel’s comment).Look to Ukraine to see Putin at work, ever heard of the Sudentanland? Certainly not a good time to disband Scottish defences. With regard to Scotland’s poverty, 14 richest place on earth! Salmond’s Nats are governing here at present, children in poverty? look where Salmond spends Scotland budget. The is certainly some blame there.

    • Iain Giblin

      Ian Tinkler yet again you misenterpret what I wrote. I did not say we armed Hitler!!!! I said Taliban and Saddam and ill send you the links where I got this info. I’m not sure how good a deterrent trident actually is, didnt stop Argentina invading the Falklands. You talk about nuclear armed vessels coming into ports what about the people that have lived next to faslane for years!

      Ian you really need to stop your absolute B S and read what I wrote and stop misconstrueing it.you do realise we can have lib dem, labour or even a Tory Govt if it voted for.
      “The Government has a statutory requirement, enshrined in the Child Poverty Act 2010 , to end child poverty by 2020. However, it is predicated that by 2020/21 another 1 million children will be pushed into poverty as a result of the Coalition Government’s policies.” This is from Bernardos web page!!!!

  16. David Spence

    No Ian, it was predominantly US Banks which helped Hitler into power……..despite the fact they knew fine well Hitler was in breach of the Treaty of Versailles…….but as long as capitalism and the biggest representatives of capitalism, the banks………make their profits……who cares who they support, defend, empower as long as the banks are making lots of lovely profits………….oh, yes, and it was US Banks which made huge profits after WW2 under what was called the Marshall Plan. Who was it that said ‘ There is a lot of money to be made in war ‘?

    By why should a countries Banking System purely dictate that countries Foreign Policy, eh?

    Far be it for me to say ‘ For the want of money is the root of all evils ‘…….or was it the Bible ? lol

  17. iantinkler

    Iain Giblin , you actually said “Afghanistan was not a defensive strategy ” That is a odd and strange comment seeing as Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden were under Taliban protection in Afghanistan at the time of that war. It must be obvious to anyone the UK and NATO involvement was defensive and protective for our peoples. Publish your web links please regarding UK arming Saddam/Taliban, probably posted by Al -Queda, have you thought to check the origin!!!” With regard to Faslane, I have served there as an RNR surgeon(D), alongside thousands of others, no problem whatsoever, never a single health issue regarding the HM sub base, submariners and general public , in fact far less illness than in Glasgow per capita of population (less pollution).. Your comment ” 1 million children will be pushed into poverty as a result of the Coalition Government’s policies, by 2020/21.” This is from Bernardos web page!!!!” Coalition Government’s policies? Also under SNP policies. Policy here applicable to Scotland under Salmond and the SNP, a devolved issue no less! Also please note by 2020/21 we perhaps may not still have a con/lab coalition, talk about speculation.

    • Iain giblin

      Ian Tinkler, I was born and brought up in Rowerdennan Loch Lomond, not far from faslane and I have worked there many times but the point I was making was not illness through radiation leaks but more through being a bloody big target or something going wrong !. Ian I do apologise as I meant Iraq and not Afghanistan, sorry about that it was a stupid genuine mistake , I know you will say it was defensive anyway but I disagree same as the majority of the country who also thought it illegal.
      The problem through this whole debate about Independence is you can always get evidence to back up either side so it just comes down to who you believe and want to believe in the end. I know I don’t trust a Tory government and never will. Ian do you actually want the Tories in power and I don’t mean rather than snp.“Child poverty has fallen more rapidly in Scotland than any other part of the UK. But without independence we remain at the mercy of Westminster cuts.”

      • Iain giblin

        Ian the point Bernardos are making is that more kids each year are in poverty, I don’t think it really matters about how long they forecast it, it just means its still getting worse just now. Why did you not get that from it?

  18. iantinkler

    Iain, ” a bloody big target “; One that no sane person will ever shoot at, to do so would result in a guarantee of your own death. (Mutually assured destruction, MAD). Now if Salmond removes Trident, every city, air base port and military base becomes an undefendable target. NATO can deploy anywhere in Scotland and the new Independent Scotland would have absolutely no ability to retaliate, defend itself or deter a nuclear attack, from any potential nuclear aggressor, such as, Iraq, North Korea, Russia, Pakistan, India, USA or whom knows where the next threat comes from. Not a very clever move or a good way to protect your citizens in a dangerous and unstable world.

  19. iantinkler

    Iain, a final comment, you ask, ” do you actually want the Tories in power” the answer is no, what I want is a strong United Kingdom. A Shetland as a UK Crown Dependency and Scottish Nationalism, and for that matter UKIP, confined to the dust bin of history. Just the same as Nazism, Racism, Xenophobia, Tribalism, Elitism and all that crap. Forgive the language, just a point of view. A YES vote! why not, just let’s all go back to the Clans, and loads of competing divided tribes.

    • Iain giblin

      To compare scottish nationalism and the desire for an independent Scotland to xenophobia is a wilful misunderstanding of the facts. What a very arrogant man you are. Look forward to September 18th

  20. Sandy McMillan

    The two of you are gibbering when it comes to Scotland and Trident, The base can stay with the Submarines and warships, lets put the Warheads down over the border,
    And let the Millionaires bury them into the side of a hillside in England, or better still put them in dungeons under the Houses of Parliament, (solved)
    The main object is to get as far away from Westminster as we can, as we all know Scotland is the 14th richest in the world and I believe England is ranked 28th
    Does that not tell which way to go, the only way forward is with a yes vote, also lets get a yes vote for Shetland.

    • Ali Inkster

      I wonder what ranking an independent Shetland would have. After a few hours independence we will of paid off our share of the UK debt. Although why we should pay any is beyond me, we have been subsidising them for centuries, even before oil was discovered. But the big question all of us in the isles should be asking is this. Will either Westminster or Edinburgh let us keep enough of our income to carry on our way of life after the oil has run out? The simple way to figure out the answer to this is by asking. Do they let us keep enough of our income now to maintain our way of life? And the answer is no neither have shown that kind of willing while they extract £billions from our seas. Unless the Scottish government gives us our own referendum we should reject theirs. sign the petition foe
      r a fair share of our own resources http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/GettingInvolved/Petitions/islandgroups

    • Ali Inkster

      Sandy the base and the subs are worthless without the warheads.

      • Sandy McMillan

        The Warheads at the this time are buried in bunkers miles from the base, probably in the middle of the Highlands, I think if England want to keep hold of the Trident missiles they would soon find or erect a bunker across the border, I dont want nuclear warheads in Scotland this would make Scotland a high risk target, if the English cant agree give them the lot, They have taken every thing else from Scotland, Scotland as a country and soon to become a nation is very popular Country around the Globe, dont let that change because of Westminsters scaremongering

  21. iantinlker

    Iain, thanks for the insult. I see you are true to NAT tactics, when devoid of argument throw insults, typical cyberNAT tactic. Very well done to illustrate my argument so well. Now just use a dictionary and thesaurus and look up the word “nationalism” I suppose the dictionary and thesaurus is arrogant and misunderstands also.
    Sandy McMillan, Just what is the point you are making. Hardly looks as if the UK is exploiting Scotland as the NATs so claim. Scotland seems to be doing rather well as part of the Union by your reckoning, does it not?

    • John Tulloch

      Bang! Straight through their own foot, every time!

  22. Ali Inkster

    Who’s gibbering now Sandy the submarines are worthless without the warheads. The English are not going to pay the wages of the Scottish military so Scotland would be left paying for worthless hardware and a toothless military.
    Also where would an independent Shetland be on the league table of wealthy nations and what effect would that have on Scotlands ranking?
    An independent Shetland would pay of its share of the national debt in the first few hours, though why we should pay any is beyond me, Shetland has been subsidising the UK and Scotland before that for centuries even before the oil was discovered.
    People ask what will happen to an independent Shetland when the oil runs out?
    When the question each and every Shetlander needs to ask is what will happen to Shetland under Edinburgh or Westminster when the oil runs out?
    Will they be willing to give us enough of our resources to fund our way of life? Well the easy way to see the answer to that question now is to ask, ARE EITHER OF THEM WILLING TO DO THAT NOW? And the answer is NO.
    We are closing schools, cutting back on public transport, gritting, maintenance, care, etc etc all at the same time that the oil companies are spending £billions on infrastructure to exploit the vast oil and gas reserves in our waters and paying the tax to Westminster, and after a yes vote the only thing that will change is Edinburgh will take the prize.
    If you want not just a brighter future but any future at all for your descendants in Shetland you will sign the petition to get a referendum for the isles. You may disagree with me on what you want the outcome of the referendum to be, but that is democracy at work. You may disagree about the willingness of either Edinburgh or Westminster to give us a fair shake of the stick. but no matter your views on the outcome of the Scottish referendum you can’t disagree that by signing the petition you are putting both parliaments on notice that Shetland will no longer accept being fobbed off with the crumbs from our own table.
    It has been said that there is no call for a referendum in Shetland but with 70 out of 77 folk signing the petition in one shop it is quite clear that we would like a chance to have a say in our future. Now I don’t have the time to go round each and every one in the island and ask them all but opinion polls work on asking a few and extrapolating the result. Just under 90% support is not inconsequential.
    Sign the petition and show your support for Shetland and democracy.


    • George W. Pottinger

      Ali, How many of the 70 of 77 of your customers did you brow-beat into signing like you tried to do with me?

  23. iantinkler

    Sandy, the subs (SSBNs) are armed,24/7, 12 months, year in year out. With regard to nukes , every UK military base, RAF, perhaps army, certainly Navy will have a contingent of tactical nukes, Air to air, depth bombs (anti sub), stand off or whatever. They are s not consigned just to Scotland, England and Whales also have their share. Now in the event of a YES vote every NATO base and port in Scotland will also have a share of tactical nukes. Not only SSBNs are so armed, so are, SSNs, frigates, destroyers and most strike aircraft carry or have the potential to be so armed. You delude yourself if you believe otherwise. Salmond wants to clear Trident out the Clyde, just for PR purposes and then welcome NATO into Scottish bases. Just the way to fool the voter into voting YES on a nuclear free ticket, just a Salmond con, NATO nukes will still be in Scotland, however he seems to have well fooled you though.

  24. Christopher Johnston

    I have no experience with RN nuclear submarine bases, but I have experience with USN nuclear submarine bases. The warheads in USN bases are stored in bunkers on base for two reasons, (1) ready access when needed and (2) increased security. I would be surprised if RN practice were different.

  25. Ian Tinkler

    The majority of RN Trident warheads are deployed at sea on the Submarines. The remainder on base, for maintenance etc.. A few are stored at strategic depots around NATO all allies for use if principle supplies are lost. If Salmond closes Faslane, as all the Trident Subs are part of NATO they under treaty agreements the could could be redeployed in any Scottish port with immediate effect. Salmond has every intention of joining NATO and has absolutely agreed to all NATO protocols. No nuclear weapon free Scotland will result in a YES vote, just a redeployment of forces, just a Salmond con!!

  26. Stewart Mac

    So Ian,

    “every UK military base, RAF, perhaps army, certainly Navy will have a contingent of tactical nukes, Air to air, depth bombs (anti sub), stand off or whatever” – Quite a statement, false, but quite a statement. I can think of a few “UK military bases” that don’t have tactical nukes on them, and as far as I am aware never have, but hey who am I to cast doubt on a sweeping statement of military arms deployment such as that? You are plainly privy to some top secret military planning that the rest of us simply don’t have the security clearance to obtain (well until it pops up on WikiLeaks anyway)

    Although I do like your idea of whales having some (perhaps mounted on their backs?) presumably this is so all the submarines equipped with tactical nuclear missiles dismiss the whales as biologic signatures rather than a threat? How do you plan to get them to swim where you want them to? 🙂

  27. Iantinkler

    Stewart Mac, try : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_dolphin. Now on a serious note, all NATO nations allow nuclear assets in all NATO facilities. That is Salmond’s little treat for Scotland! (Scotland would operate ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’) That is why Jean Urquhart resigned from the SNP. Strange how Salmond the NATS keep quiet about that.
    references: http://nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/issues/nato-nuclear-policies/index.htm

  28. Stewart Mac


    you seem to be confusing “allow in all facilities” with your earlier statement that all UK bases had nukes. Is this simply to help emphasis your point? I see in an earlier post in a differing thread you asking the contributor for less “bull”, can we have the same from you please? “allow” in no way can be construed as “must” or even “will”.

    You made the statement in this thread that “every UK military base, RAF, perhaps army, certainly Navy WILL have a contingent of tactical nukes, Air to air, depth bombs (anti sub), stand off or whatever” which I firmly believe is incorrect so please either provide the evidence behind your statement to show that they ALL “will” have a nuclear presence on site or retract it as being incorrect/inaccurate/slip of the pen – call it what you will.

    You also seem to have confused “could” with “will” in respect of closing Faslane and the potential for redeployment of nuclear submarines elsewhere in Scotland. Yes they very probably could find a way to re-deploy them elsewhere in Scotland but does that mean they will? I think it does not. I think it means exactly what it says “Could”. There is significant geographical considerations in siting a submarine base as well as significant cost implications in doing so. If Faslane is “lost” then there are other sites more suitable to relocate to, unless of course you believe that NATO would do things out of Spite to Scotland, much like could be said for an eminent Prime Minister a few years ago. Or do you expect NATO to re-site the subs elsewhere in Scotland on your say so?

    You “Could” win the Euro-millions Lottery tonight Ian, but I would strongly suggest that you don’t go on a spending spree on the strength of a “Could”. Wait until your numbers come up first. If you vote “No” in September then good for you, your conscious is clear. Do not however make the assumption that everyone else will or even should follow just because you say so. Particularly with such sweeping generalisations Ian, you are not doing as much for the “No” vote as you may think that you are.

    • Ali Inkster

      Stewart you are picking hairs, All NATO facilities are potential nuclear bases, Don’t ask don’t tell is official NATO policy so anti nuclear governments can deny nuclear weapons are on their territory. You and I and even King Eck won’t know where they are but you can be damn sure the folk that you don’t want to know, will.

      • Stewart Mac

        Hi Ali,

        Yes indeed it is splitting hairs. I am very sorry about that but the rants of one Mr Tinkler are becoming tiresome. Particularly where he starts to portray his own opinion as a fact. Its hard sometimes but I will try to refrain from rising to his bait in future

  29. Ian tinkler

    Thanks for that Stewart. It is good to read such profound and intelligent comment. I will head your advice. Incidentally have you read Swinney’s latest comments on Trident. A bit like Salmond’s volte face on the Monarchy, idiotic, anything for a few extra votes. All good fun, lol . ref:

  30. iantinkler

    “Particularly with such sweeping generalisations Ian, you are not doing as much for the “No” vote as you may think that you are.” Are you omniscient Stewart Mac? You must think yourself very, very, very special to know how I think! Now read my references and you will realise what I know, as a signatory to “the Official Secrets act” I can say no more of what I know as fact, from my time with the Service at Faslane. [ http://nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/issues/nato-nuclear-policies/index.htm

  31. Stewart Mac


    I do not, in any way, consider myself to be special (very, very, very or otherwise). I am certainly not omniscient although from many months of reading your posts I fear it may be coming as I often have a very good idea of what you are going to say in response to almost any subject. I suspect its likely others on here will be developing similar “powers”

    “as a signatory to the Official Secrets act”? What pretentious clap trap.
    Ian, as you will no doubt know from the tombs of privileged information to which you now have at your fingertips, being a signatory to the act does not somehow impart you with the knowledge of the universe. You are not the only signatory to the act on these pages so please do not try to pretend that you are somehow within the proverbial body of the kirk when it comes to matters of national security. Those that are, I would summise (yes Ian, I accept when I do not know for sure!), would likely not be so crass as to advertise the fact on these pages. Try, just for once, to keep your self to your opinions rather than making statements and then trying to insinuate they are facts.

    I think the honourable thing to have done here would simply have been to say “sorry, perhaps not all bases” but hey ho

  32. iantinkler

    Sorry Stewart, at all bases, I repeat at all bases, however for obvious reasons, which bases at which time is secret. sorry about the pretentions clap trap just matter of fact, unlike some I have been there and done that.

  33. ian tinkler

    Further to my comment above, for Stewart Mac and for the benefit of those fooled by Salmond’s Trident ruse (nuclear free Scotland, a little more information.) Nuclear weapons , depending on circumstances could be deployed under the NATO protocols at any military base deemed to be under NATO control. That would include all ports, air bases , reserve basses, (Naval, RAF and Army)’ and perhaps any properties under MOD jurisdiction. In the sad event of hostilities the least likely of venues would be used, that should be obvious and the reasons why, even to the most stupid. I refer to Salmond’s NATO policy as a reference here. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/26/alex-salmond-snp-stance-nato-nuclear-weapons

  34. Robert Sim

    I dread getting involved with this; but as usual a whole argument against independence has been erected on the statement by Ian Tinkler above that “With regard to Salmond a YES vote gives us Salmond and his NATs, no more no less.” While it might be true that the SNP would form the government up until the first post-independence elections, no-one (underlined) can say what shade of political colour the first and subsequent governments would be after that election. A Yes vote “gives us” an independent Scotland – that is all, no more, no less. I therefore cannot get excited over speculation about defence policy in an independent Scotland, because it will evolve longer term.

    • Brian Smith

      You needn’t bother, Robert. Shetland’s No-voters are so fixated on Salmond (I actually think they love him, without realising it) that you will never get the message across.

  35. ian tinkler

    Robert Sim. “I therefore cannot get excited over speculation about defence policy in an independent Scotland”. Please do not excite yourself, Robert, but just look what “Nationalism” is doing to Ukraine. A few Soviet flags flapping again!! I have just a slight fear defence may be becoming just a tad important. ” To quote your good self, Robert, ” I therefore cannot get excited over speculation about defence policy in an independent Scotland, because it will evolve longer term.” How long Robert?

    • Robert Sim

      Defence policy is always important, Ian. I was merely pointing out that your assumption that Scotland would be dominated by SNP policy post-independence may not be true; and it is important to remember that when voting.

      • Ali Inkster

        Yep Robert central belt labour will rule the hollyrood roost, Now when did Shetland last vote labour? The nationalist argument for making sure we never again get a government we didn’t vote for makes sense to me. Sign the petition to get a say in your future. http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/GettingInvolved/Petitions/islandgroups

  36. Ian Tinkler

    Robert, It is wholly understandable the YES lobby is realising, Alex Salmond, his dishonesty and his ever, volte face, changes in policy and supposed beliefs, are becoming something of an electoral liability. The fact remains however a YES vote would destroy the Union and give us Alex Salmond. Look at this man’s history for a record of a duplicitous and amoral changes of views and opinions to seduce the public into voting for him. For example, to see the true Salmond, just research “Group 79” ( committed to a socialist and republican Scotland). This leopard forever changes his spots and would do and say anything for a vote.
    A true prostitute to public opinion! Socialist Banker! Republican now supporting the monarchy!, anti nuclear committed to joining a nuclear NATO!, Anti Westminster as to far and remote for Scotland wanting to join the EU and caught lying about it.

  37. Stewart Mac

    Wow Ian,

    I am really touched, how sweet of you to post a comment for my “benefit”. For the record, and to be plain, I simply do not believe you. I do not believe that “ALL” (not some, most or even the majority) but “ALL” based “Have” (not are capable of holding, are in the cycle, or on the “list”) nuclear weapons stored within their facilities. Not only don’t I believe you but in this instance you are demonstrably and completely incorrect. Obviously being “a signatory to the Official Secrets Act” (as strangely are a lot of people including previously all posties that’s how exclusive the “club” is) I cant go into how I know, but I, like many others KNOW.

    I am however still at a loss as to the level of arrogance required to be unable to utter/type or otherwise acknowledge the only 3 words which are appropriate here.
    The 3 little words that would have saved you digging an even bigger hole for yourself on this topic and allowed you to at least acknowledge that your generalisation had gone too far. This surely elevates you to the levels reserved for our top flight politicians who have the same aversion to the 3 words in question. I would perhaps expect a call from Mr Cameron’s Office, or even big Eck himself for some advice to bolster their mastery of avoidance techniques. I expect it from politicians, as they have a mandate from the electorate and god forbid had to utter the horrible 3 words. Just like some politicians there comes a time when only the 3 words will suffice however.

    Just to be clear, the 3 words you should have mentioned in your response were “I am wrong”

    As with most topics to which we receive the benefit of your wisdom there seems little point wasting any further text/time/effort debating matters with someone when they point blank refuse to accept a sweeping generalisation such as made earlier could, possibly be anything other than 100% accurate in all regards, even in the face of challenge. But the electorate will decide who is right and who is wrong, not you or I, whether at the ballot box in local or national elections or indeed on the appointed day in September. The nation, not Ian Tinkler will decide and I for one thank god almighty for that.

    Enjoy your evening

  38. Robert Sim

    So, Alex and Ian, we should vote No because central-belt Labour will rule the roost after independence; and we should vote No because a Yes vote would give us Alex Salmond. I guess that contradiction reinforces the point I was trying to make, which is that the referendum is not a general election.

    • Robert Sim

      Ali – my apologies for getting your name wrong.