Embarrassing suggestion (Cameron Smith)

I read with interest the Scottish government’s paper on empowering Scotland’s island communities, but was struck by one thing: it seems the Scottish government has been labouring under the “Forvik falsehood” for some time, only to have just recently seen the error in its ways.

Aside from the sweeteners and promises one has come to expect from papers produced in the run-up to the referendum (ignoring, as the government also chose to, that many of these ideas for the future are already within the gift of Holyrood at present) one of the central pillars of the paper presents a real difficulty.

It is proposed that following independence a new Scotland would enshrine consideration of the isles in its constitution and through specific legislation.

It is suggested that this would revolutionise the way in which the Scottish government operates both domestically and abroad, including in Brussels. Decisions taken will always include an isles focus, protecting the particular situation of the isles from one-size-fits-all solutions. The troubling part is that the isles are already a part of Scotland.

The special characteristics of the isles are not new. The suggestion we need new legislation or a constitutional guarantee in order to get Edinburgh to consider us is something the Scottish government should be embarrassed about, rather than promoting.

There are lessons and ideas in the paper which would undoubtedly benefit the isles, but gimmicks to cover up that the orange-coloured isles on the electoral map are largely ignored by Edinburgh should be treated with the contempt they deserve.

Cameron Smith



Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • June 20th, 2014 14:07

    I agree 100 percent about the embarrassment to the Scottish government (and SIC) implicit in the isles ’empowerment’ document, however, I’m intrigued as to what you mean by the “Forvik falsehood”.

    If you mean that, contrary to Stuart Hill’s claim that Scotland/UK is unable to demonstrate that they have legal (de jure) sovereignty over the northern isles, they actually do have such sovereignty then, presumably, you know the date and by which agreement between the countries, legal sovereignty was acquired?

    That would be an interesting piece of history I haven’t as yet discovered.


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 editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk 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.