Billy Fox complains that “Not once in past councils or this one have we specifically debated and taken a decision with regard to an interconnector cable and its implications”.
He had the opportunity to have such a debate three times: when the SIC Development Committee considered the policy on the cable; when the Policy & Resources Committee did likewise; and when it came before the full council. On each occasion he remained silent and the policy was agreed, unanimously.
Council policy can be changed, of course, but not within six months of being decided. So all Billy has to do is wait a while, then organise a secret meeting of his informal group, where they can all agree to vote against continued support for the cable (without listening to tiresome arguments at the council meeting), and he will get what he wants.
What Billy wants appears to be this: no connection to the National Grid for Shetland, ever; the loss of the charitable trust’s Viking investment of £10m; the collapse of plans to develop wind and tidal power in the North Isles; the permanent loss of between £10m and £20m a year to the charitable trust; and our continued reliance on polluting, climate-changing oil and gas – until it runs out, of course.
How many people share this wish list? One way to find out would be for Billy to stand on an anti-grid connection ticket in next year’s general election. I’m not sure how he’d get on in Orkney. They’ve got a cable to the National Grid already. Maybe it should be disconnected?