Yes Shetland challenge to Scott – let’s debate

Yes Shetland has welcomed what it called Tavish Scott’s “belated” entry to the referendum campaign.

The group has issued a challenge to Shetland’s MSP to debate the length of the isles with both sides making their case for the vote on 18th September.

Yes Shetland chairman Brian Nugent said: “To date Yes Shetland has held seven public meetings in the islands, in Scalloway, Burra, Sandwick, Brae, Bressay, Aith and Staneyhill.

“Yes Shetland has made a public commitment to holding meetings in all the islands and as many local areas as possible on the mainland.

“Mr Scott and Yes Shetland both want to make the positive case from our different viewpoints, so just let us know the day, date, time and venue and Yes Shetland will be there. Meetings with both sides will mean a real debate about our future.

“He talks about a brighter future, he might want to explain how that ties in with foodbank Britain. It is bad enough that there is the need for foodbanks but worse that there is no political will in Britain to do anything about the causes.”

Mr Nugent said there was a “constant refrain” from the MSP about centralisation but when you looked further that was not the case.

He said: “Michael Keating, professor of politics at the University of Aberdeen and director of the ESRC Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change, pointed out at the SCCC meeting in the town hall that politicians always talk about centralisation in opposition but once in power quickly forget about the issue. Mr Scott was in the audience; he did not disagree.

“Mr Scott is right – independence is not like a general election. The current problem is that in Scotland at a general election, if you do not like your government then you can indeed vote, but then you have to hope that another bigger country, down the road, elects a new government that you can be comfortable with. It is time to elect our own governments.”


Add Your Comment
  • Ali Inkster

    • July 23rd, 2014 0:04

    “Mr Scott is right – independence is not like a general election. The current problem is that in Scotland at a general election, if you do not like your government then you can indeed vote, but then you have to hope that another bigger country, down the road, elects a new government that you can be comfortable with. It is time to elect our own governments.”

    And just how does this not apply to Shetland we have to hope that several million folk totally disconnected fae wis will do da right thing be wis. If they vote Yes in September the yeSSnp have promised so much that the only way they can deliver is to cut funding to peripheral areas like Shetland and Orkney spending the money from our resources on their own needs.


  • Michael Bilton

    • August 3rd, 2014 2:37

    “Beware Greeks bearing gifts”…for that is what Mr. Salmond is offering the people of Shetland…. but the cash he is dangling could turn to dust. Economics experts believe that a Yes vote in September will lead to the biggest outflow of capital Scotland has ever seen – mirroring what happened in Slovakia, when it broke away from the Czech Republic. The reason is clear – the start-up costs of independence are massive whereas the economic future remains uncertain. North Sea oil revenues are declining; interest rates are likely to rise sharply; the currency question is toxic and Scotland would be outside the EU. Entry for new countries is barred for five years and it is a racing certainty Spain will bar Scotland’s membership – not wishing to spur-on Catalonia and the Basque region who are seeking independence. The price of Scotland joining the EU way down the line will be to sign up for the Euro. While Mr. Salmond at the Yes campaign minimise the difficulties of independence – the economic realities for an independent Scotland are potentially very damaging. By the same token the UK Government is promising much greater autonomy for Scotland if it votes “No” including tax raising powers. The world is a dangerous and difficult place right now – the future is uncertain. Safeguard your children’s futures and stay with the UK.

  • Derick Tulloch

    • August 3rd, 2014 21:23

    The start up costs of completing the Scottish State (remembering that we already have most of the required departments) are in the region £200-250million. Scotland subsidizes the UK by four thousand million pounds a year. The payback time of the ‘start up costs’ is therefore around three weeks.

    Half the value in the North Sea is still to come. The West of Shetland fields are not insignificant.

    Scotland will use the pound, as we have been doing since 1412, 300 years before the Union. As McCrone noted action will need to be taken to ensure that the Scottish Pound does not become too hard. Norway did it. So can we.

    We are not a ‘new’ EU state: we are already in the EU and already conform to all necessary regulations. The biggest threat to our EU membership is the rise of UKIP in England and the probability of rUK voting to leave.

    We were promised more powers if we voted No in 1979. Those promises were not fulfilled. Indeed we got the dubious delights of Thatcherism shoved down our throats for 15 years. Why should we trust the den of dubious characters in Westminster this time?

    The future is always uncertain. That is the nature of the future. The question is, is that uncertainty best managed by the people of Scotland, or by Westminster? Uncertainty with power, or uncertainty with power handed to a den of chancers. Choose.

    • John Tulloch

      • August 4th, 2014 21:58

      “As McCrone noted action will need to be taken to ensure that the Scottish Pound does not become too hard. Norway did it. So can we”

      I take it you mean by this we won’t be using the pound as it is now i.e. there won’t be a currency union?

      • John Tulloch

        • August 6th, 2014 12:10

        In which case:

        “What is your ‘Plan B'”, Derick, Douglas, Brians, Nugent and Smith?

      • Brian Smith

        • August 6th, 2014 18:00

        I was tickled last night when Alistair Darling knocked Alex Salmond off balance with his question about Plan B. Salmond should immediately have asked Darling what his Plan B is if there’s a Yes vote, just as John Tulloch must outline his Plan B if Stuart Hill isn’t sanctified. It’s an idiotic question that anyone can ask anyone about anything. But I noticed that James Naughtie was exclaiming about Darling’s brilliant performance on the Today programme this morning, and on STV David Clegg of the Record was accusing Salmond of ‘philandering’. Oh for the days when we had competent newshounds. Brian Walden, please come back …

      • John Tulloch

        • August 6th, 2014 22:02


        How do you think your above comment would have gone down with the late Mr Walden? He certainly wouldn’t have permitted you to go off at a tangent with red herrings about Mr Hill.

        I realise talking about the economy doesn’t cut much ice in “Little Moscow”, however, if you want to win elections or referenda, they do say:

        “It’s the ECONOMY, Stoopid!”

        The reason why Alex Salmond won’t (and can’t) countenance a ‘Plan B’ is because other options will all be damaging for Scottish businesses.

        Only a currency union will keep the ‘Yes’ campaign off that spike and problems associated with currency union include:

        1. Interference in Scottish sovereign affairs i.e. financial arrangements like government borrowing and interest rates by what would be a ‘foreign’ power.

        We have seen the results when free-spending governments in southern Europe handed over their levers of economic power to the European Central Bank!

        2. That interference will mean broad synchronisation of economic policy with the rUK which, by virtue of Scotland’s becoming independent, will have a more or less permanent Tory government, without the much-maligned Liberals to force left wing fig leaves on their policies i.e. no “Little Moscow”, after all.

        Ironically, we have this arrangement now, except with intermittent Labour governments and Liberal participation and yet Brian Smith and his left wing comrades in the “Yes” campaign want to hand over Scotland’s economic levers to a permanent Tory government, into whose clutches they will, accordingly, deliver their erstwhile rUK “brothers”.

        International socialism, “mon derrière”!

  • Robert Duncan

    • August 4th, 2014 10:47

    I see dates have been set for Carnegie Hall and Tingwall Hall. Anywhere else?

    Will Tavish Scott’s meetings have any sort of entry/exit polls? Or is that not the done thing for a one sided talk?

  • peter smith

    • August 5th, 2014 12:46

    Interesting that the SNP claim start up costs for the new Scottish state will be £200 million. Must be doing it on the cheap, seeing as they told us setting up Police Scotland is costing £157 million over 3 years, and that was with basically everything there that was needed.


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.