No enthusiasm for OIOF (Donald S Murray)

Poor, poor Danus Skene. I note in his election address that the SNP candidate for Orkney and Shetland claims that “the SNP Scottish government takes seriously the Our Islands, Our Future initiative” and wishes to “get significant decision making powers back to the islands”.

This must be in serious doubt, especially as this promise is fatally undermined by the attitudes of his counterparts for the SNP in the west. In the SNP campaign literature for the Western Isles, there is not a single mention of the initiative.

It is also the case that, as Mr Skene and the many from Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles will undoubtedly have witnessed at the event promoting “Our Islands, Our Future” some time ago in Kirkwall, there was little enthusiasm for the idea displayed by either of the SNP island representatives from his party.

In fact, anyone who attended will recall Angus B MacNeil – currently standing for the SNP in the Western Isles – only making one contribution to the proceedings. It would be stretching truth to breaking point to describe it as either helpful or wise.

On this basis, I might be forgiven for my cynicism about Mr Skene’s promise to “get significant decision making back to the islands”. Since the SNP became the Scottish government, the movement has been entirely in the opposite direction.

There doesn’t appear to be any evidence either of his island colleagues helping to put this into reverse.

Donald S Murray


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