No need to be personal (Chris Bunyan)

One issue often raised since the recent court decision about Viking Energy is how do we try and repair any divisions in the community.

There is no simple answer to that, but a start might be trying to respect each other’s opinions and accepting that someone on the other side of the argument can have as genuinely held views as yourself.

This would mean accepting that people supporting the windfarm, for example, did care about wildlife, the environment and the islands and were not just interested in making money for themselves.

There have been personal attacks or comments on people simply because they hold views someone disagrees with. Challenge opinions by all means – but it doesn’t need to be personal. If we can stop that it will be a start.

Chris Bunyan


Add Your Comment
  • Ali Inkster

    • March 2nd, 2015 14:58

    How about the minority respecting the views of the majority Chris or is that too much to ask of you?

  • Peter Long

    • March 2nd, 2015 19:59

    Your gentle words do you credit Chris. The difficulty is that many will live to see the turbines installed but not live see their dismantling. For the rest of their lives they will be assailed by the products of a political decision they naturally oppose. Thankfully most political decisions do not bare a daily visual statement but wear away in time, unless they contain a genuine quality. And as the effect of the politics fade people can forgive and forget. In this case alas, the turbines will be a lifelong thorn in the side of many decent people.

    • Robin Barclay

      • March 3rd, 2015 12:15

      Why would you think they would be ever be dismantled and removed, and their sites restored? Surely, if this is such a good idea and there is a continuing, even expanding, need for wind generated electricity, they will be replaced as they wear out, not removed.

      • Johan Adamson

        • March 3rd, 2015 13:26

        Whether they are dismanted or replaced, needs money to do it. I hope they have this provision in the business plan. So 25 years lifespan is 10 years to repay the capital outlay and another 10 to replace so only 5 years money left for SSE and SCT. Nothing for us.

        Most likely to be dismantled as it will be overtaken by new technology, hopefully something like tidal energy

      • Steven Jarmson

        • March 12th, 2015 13:12

        Wont there be an environmental impact with wave energy?
        What about the fish!!! :/

  • Michael Garriock

    • March 2nd, 2015 20:59

    While I agree with Mr. Bunyan that personal attacks or insults have no place in the debate surrounding VE, or any other debate. Perhaps he might wish to elaborate on his apparent claims that such attacks exist in any meaningful way and are a problem, and that divisions exist within the community over VE which people have concerns about attempting to repair.

    Personally I have been aware of very few personal attacks or insults being traded within the debate, and the few which have been almost without exception have eminated from a very small number of characters in their frequent and ongoing utterances. Which Mr. Bunyan might have considerable more success in addressing by engaging those same characters in one to one discussion rather than involving everyone, the majority of whom are neither perpetrators nor appear to share Mr. Bunyan’s concerns.

    As regards any divisions within the community perceived by Mr. Bunyan, I am aware of none, nor am I aware of anyone expressing a wish to repair them, should any exist. Shetland is frequently split in two over most issues or any significance, with a hard core camp on each side, being such does not necessarily, in fact it rarely does, cause each side to send the members of the other to Coventry, Almost everybody is grown up and mature enough to carry on with life engaging those they interact with on the subjects they agree on, and simply avoiding the subjects on which they don’t.

    One thing is arguably true however, and that is if someone continues to state something is without evidence of proof, such as a community division in this case, more and more people will go looking to find one and start believing one does exist. If Mr. Bunyan is genuinely concerned about the welfare of the community at large, perhaps he would be better spending his time identifying the community’s undisputed interests and strengths and working towards making them stronger, than keep banging on about any wounds he perceives it has. Nurturing that which still remains good can only help diminish the negativities of anything which may possibly cause or have caused disagreement, but obsessing on the perceived wounds of any areas of contention can only make them fester, grow and eventually envelop and destroy any positivity.

  • Suzy Jolly

    • March 3rd, 2015 22:51

    I’ve just joined Sustainable Shetland. I’ve been meaning to for ages. Cheers for the reminder! 😉

  • Johan Adamson

    • March 4th, 2015 9:04

    “This would mean accepting that people supporting the windfarm, for example, did care about wildlife, the environment and the islands and were not just interested in making money for themselves.”

    OK Chris, I accept that, so can you now please tell me how you are helping wildlife, the environment (of Shetland) and the islands? It would seem to me that any positive environmental impacts are struggling to outweigh the costs of all that peat (carbon) disturbance and all that concrete and excavation. How are you so sure of your green credentials?

    • Johan Adamson

      • March 5th, 2015 9:12

      Can you also please tell me how you think this is good for the islands – apart from the perceived financial benefit which looks doubtful, and will be examined by the investment expert brought in by SCT anyway?


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