12th November 2019
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

What a dismal sight (Ian Selbie)

Looking at the front page of The Shetland Times (3rd October) I initially thought the photo was of an old whaling station until I read the article and discovered it was the plans for the new Anderson High School.

What a dismal sight, with millions spent and more to come. Surely a plan for the 21st century would have been more appropriate.

Also, when will the defeated “yes” voters stop whinging and scheming? And when will Charlie Gallagher open his eyes to the fact that “soup kitchens/food banks” are worldwide, or does he fantasise that a yes vote would have solved the problem?

I have seen some of recipients of the Shetland/Aberdeen food banks who can still afford their fags, etc.

Ian R Selbie
17 Twageos Road,


  1. Steven Jarmson

    Also, as was established in the referendum debate, the Scottish Parliament has powers which could end the need for the poor to need free food. Strange that they SNP “government” haven’t used them.
    Totally agree with you on everything in this letter Ian.
    The new AHS looks terrible. How much will it cost to paint the wood building every year??

  2. Louise Miller

    Looks like it is a two storey Nissan Hut not a whale.

  3. Allen Fraser

    Spot on Ian.
    Trust the SIC to pick a design reminiscent of Shetland’s whaling tradition.


    (Stromness, South Georgia, Image Credit Flickr User Amanda Graham)

  4. Isabel fraser

    Yes I agree with everything said above it does look a Nissan hut I airways thought it was a ugly building not like the new Kirkwall Grammar school in Orkney

    • joseph niven

      I entirely agree with mr selbie, however i must point out that nissan is a japanese car manufacturer and the hut is a nissen hut which is semi circular in shape and does not look like the proposed school. perhaps the design is influenced by buildings erected during the herring industry such as albert building on the esplanade and gutters hut at north ness?

  5. James Paton

    Your perfectly happy with foodbanks then Mr Selbie. Shame on you. I would have thought that you of all people would have recognised that change only comes if you argue and fight for it, it is never given by those who hold power. I just wish you never have to face impoverishment in your old age or have to pay for private medical care.

    Re the school, if it looked beautiful you’d be complaining about the cost! A whaling sattaion look might be most appropriate given some of our fathers went to the whaling and our historical relationship to the sea. I’m sure Shetland creative talents can come up with a good couple of murals or maybe Smirk could get stuck in.

    As for your accusations of ‘whingeing’ by other contributors, have you read or appraised your numerous contributions to the Shetland Times over the years in the archives, be worth a look. Those who live in glass houses really shouldn’t throw stones.

    • Ian R Selbie

      good to hear from exiled young Jimmy Paton after all these years, the question as to whether I was happy with food banks was a poor attempt at a sarcastic question to belittle me when in fact you well know that no one is really at ease with food banks but you and YES voters know full well that the SNP Executive could have dealt with the problem BEFORE the referendum. Ever been to one James, go and observe the recipients with their cigarettes at £9s+ a packet and very often travelling by car instead of buying food.

      • Robert Duncan

        What do you suggest the Scottish Government does, within its currently devolved powers, to help those in need of food banks?

        Do you recognise that policies such as Discretionary Housing Payments to those worst affected by the “Bedroom Tax” have provided greater support than those in other parts of the UK might expect? What do you think the SNP is doing wrong on this issue?

  6. ian tinkler

    Paton et al, Food banks will be here to stay, irrespective of the colour of Government. No longer can a strong man sell his labour, cheaper to use hydraulics. No longer can a clerk sell his or her filing and bookkeeping skills, cheaper to use computers. No longer can highly skilled technicians (dental for example) use their hands and art to make a denture, or crown, cheaper and better to use a computer and automatic milling machine. Unskilled, semi skilled even highly skilled are being superseded and replaced by machines. Yes, when unused food exists, food banks should be there to help to help those whom cannot manage without. They will always be those in need, it is just a bit close to home now, and absolutely nothing will change that.

  7. Ali Inkster

    My pal is a taxi driver in Aberdeen and he tells me that he has seen a huge increase in the numbers of folk using food banks, but he can’t understand why if they are in such need that they use his taxi to collect their free food. he is almost always told to wait while they collect the food before running them home again. He also noted that most folk using the food bank also smoke. Quite a few are junkies and are bemoaning the fact that it is getting harder for them to leach of the rest of us. Now not everyone falls into this category but enough do to make me highly sceptical of claims made by the bleeding hearts.

    • Brian Smith

      ‘My pal Dave the taxi driver.’ I thought it was Ali G. for a moment.

  8. David Spence

    I agree with you Ali. The food banks should be for the most needy in society, but I suspect some people are using them because they want to save money or to use that money on other stuff/their habit?

    I also think that some of the people using the food banks as a means of exploitation (which would incorporate people who are rich enough but are taking advantage of the opportunity regardless to the fact that more needy people may require the food in getting something for nothing, even although they are well off enough to not require the food bank, but hey, just think of yourself and stuff the more needy (a most common selfish trait within a capitalist ideology)).


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