New dispensation? (John Tulloch)

SNP candidate Danus Skene is quoted in the online Shetland Times article: “The process I’m trying to describe about a new political dispensation up here is something I feel I’ve contributed to with this exercise, and that’s what should be happening. But it’s not a question of ‘me, me, me’.”

Mmm, “a new political dispensation”? It’s defined as “a general state or ordering of things; specifically : a system of revealed commands and promises regulating human affairs.” (Merriam Webster Dictionary).

With respect, Danus, you hadn’t a lot to do with it.

You’ve barely uttered an unscripted word. Permitted to appear at a couple of hustings, you’ve also made occasional, pre-processed media statements, like some waxwork that periodically comes to life in an episode of Dr Who.

You and SNP Shetland have studiously avoided important local issues like rural school closures, precipitated by Scottish government under-funding of Shetland’s education system via an arrangement they have with Cosla (local authorities body). Despite the high profile involvement of SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie in support of parents, you ignored the schools and focused instead on stories of bogeymen, like “austerity” and “missiles on the Clyde”.

Danus, your silence on local issues is deafening.

How many years is it that Shetland’s inter-island ferries have been missing out on Road Equivalent Tariff’ (RET) on the SNP’s watch? Seven … eight?

For five years NHS Shetland was “short-changed” by a net £2 million per year before the SNP finally admitted, weeks before the election, that Shetland had been under-funded versus its true need. NHS Shetland is £10 million out of pocket, shouldn’t that loss be restored?

In reality Shetland is many tens of millions out of pocket from seven years of SNP government and it isn’t because “every council faces cuts”. No-one is complaining about that. It’s because island communities have much higher costs of living and providing services, a fact ignored by the SNP Scottish government.

Thanks to Alistair Carmichael, Westminster now recognises these higher costs and has enshrined that recognition in departmental guidelines designed to “island-proof” new legislation.

Similar recognition by Holyrood should end controversies over under-funding, RET exclusion and the like, it would all be sorted out “fairly”, at the outset.

Alas, interested in Shetland only for themselves, the SNP have coveted the SIC’s oil reserves and are busy transferring them, by funding ‘sleight of hand’, to their Central Belt heartland.

Were they honest brokers, the isles and all their vast natural resources and strategic importance could be theirs forever but they’re too greedy. All they can see is the ‘main chance’.

In the best traditions of Scottish administrations since 1469, the SNP are ‘carpetbaggers’.

The “new dispensation”, Danus, has nothing to do with you and flies in the face of the SNP’s abysmal track record. Something else has intervened, sufficiently powerful to compel many to vote against Shetland’s interests. What might that “something” be?

It’s the unparalleled ability of the spinners of SNP folklore yarns to create a Tolkien-esque post-independence alternative reality; a “Promised Land”, from which “austerity” and poverty have been banished forever and where there’s no need to fret over inconveniences like ‘making ends meet’ and having to service our national debt.

The “Revelations of St Alex” are then evangelised by legions of activists with a zeal that would be the envy of the great Christian preacher Billy Graham. Voters troop forward to be “Saved”, stepping blithely through the ‘wardrobe’, into the magical land of ‘Blarneyia”.

A new fervour, a “tsunami” of quasi-religious hysteria, has gripped the nation. Hysteria not seen since “Ally’s Army” headed for Argentina to watch “Scotland win the World Cup.” Enough said.

New disciples, beguiled by the righteous bonhomie of having abolished poverty and war forever, dream of singing of Wallace and Bruce around the ‘Stone of Scone’ while chomping generous portions of “pie in the sky”.

John Tulloch

Lyndon, Arrochar


Add Your Comment
  • Brian Powell

    • May 10th, 2015 15:31

    Wasn’t it the Scandanavian invaders who were effectively carpetbaggers? After all out of a seven thousand year history they were here for 700 years.
    Only after the invaders repeatedly carried out raids on the Norwegian coast were the islands take under official control of the Norse king.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • May 10th, 2015 17:03

      Indeed Brian, but it was “Surely” the SNP [Scandinavian National Party] that encouraged the Nordic invaders in the first place, led by the notorious Alrek Stalman [Alex Salmond] ……. 😉

      Anyhoo, Mr Tulloch has been spouting most of this vacuous nonsense for months, and there is simply NO point in even trying to correct him….sigh/

    • Robin Barclay

      • May 13th, 2015 0:32

      Are Shetlanders not still the Scandinavian invaders? We never left (and according to some we slung out any residual Picts, like it or not, but that is controversial). We seem to have been bartered away by the Scandinavian royalty, and had a Scottish feudal system and carpetbagging lairds foisted on us, and should retain a healthy scepticism of rule from central Scotland. That attitude seems to be diminishing – nobody of my generation in Shetland would be seen dead in a kilt, yet it seems common for the next to get married in one.
      I’m glad there are a few left to oppose the latest lot, since it is not good to have no criticism, constructive or otherwise. The SNP may be flavour of the month, but they are by no means perfect – and we need to be able to criticise without being accused of heresy. Here in Midlothian I see the SNP council implementing Holyrood SNP policy uncritically where there are clearly issues of concern to local folk – but nobody is listening. That clearly isn’t good.

  • David Spence

    • May 10th, 2015 17:02

    Just an aside………..I would prefer Shetland to be under the Norwegian or Danish autonomy of Government.

    I would also like Scotland to give 100% proof that it has sovereign rights over these islands……but alas, as proven by a certain Mr Hill………the Crown played its ‘ Ignorance is Bliss card ‘ to silence any question on its rule/control.

    I would also like to hear ‘ a legitimate reason why Scotland should not have control of its internal affairs ‘ and I do not mean answering the question with either ‘ We are better together ‘ or ‘ We are the United Kingdom ‘ or some other feeble/xenophobic answer to the question.

    I know it is contradictory to what I have said, but there are two separate issues here.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • May 11th, 2015 16:04

    Brian Powell and Robin Stevensons don’t seem to know what “carpetbagger means”

    “Definitions of carpetbagger
    1. [n] – an outsider who seeks power or success presumptuously

    Quotes – Example use of the word carpetbagger

    1. after the (American) Civil War the carpetbaggers from the north tried to take over the south”

    Seems about right to me.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • May 11th, 2015 22:33

      That’s rather strange Gordon, I seem to remember being called a “carpetbagger” when I tried to reap the rewards of having shares in various Building societies [that I’d had for decades] looking to gain from their demutualisation?…Or does that not fit into your selective definition?

      • John Tulloch

        • May 12th, 2015 12:01

        Trying to erect a ‘smokescreen’, Robin? It won’t work and no, your twee example was never referred to as “carpetbagging”, as you well know.

        Please drop the obfuscation and address the arguments.

        Shetland has been shafted by the SNP and yet many Shetlanders have voted for Danus Skene.

        I find it astonishing that people living and working in Shetland, settled with their families would not only vote for a party which has done such terrible damage to Shetland but also stand as a candidate and act as election organisers, evangelising a fantastic yarn to win recruits for their ‘Tartan Army’.

        I would never do that in Argyll.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • May 12th, 2015 13:11

        Robin,you would be lucky to reap the rewards of a one horse race, your knowledge of mathematics is abysmal. You seem to think that 50% of a 71% turnout in the general election is greater than 45% of a 84.6% turnout in the independence referendum. Your spin has got the better of you, you had better sit down until the dizziness subsides.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 12th, 2015 14:19

        John, I love the way that when you don’t know a certain thing, that it automatically HAS to be wrong. In this case, [once again] you’re quite wrong.

        The clever voters of S&O have had the wisdom to realise that in order to be properly represented in Westminster then they’d be far better off with the SNP, as opposed to an ineffectual Lib Dem, while I appreciate that you do your level best to pretend that EVERY problem in S&O is the SNPs fault, it’s very comforting to know that there are a great number of people that now realise that this simply isn’t the case, which, in turn, now questions a great number of your [anti SNP] posts John?

        Like Argyll, the voters have obviously realised that SNPs Brendan O’Hara best represents them by voting him in with a massive 22,959. 🙂

      • John Tulloch

        • May 12th, 2015 16:15

        @Robin, Mate, I don’t know what you’re on? Here’s what your link says:

        “About 10 years ago I opened several accounts with £100 in the hope of carpetbagging a windfall or two. These include the Cheshire, Chorley, Furness and Beverley Building Societies. …. Is it worth hanging on to these accounts or should I just close them?”

        This is an example of “carpetbagging”, as per the definition supplied i.e. “An outsider who seeks power or success presumptuously.”

        Another example might be a political candidate who changes parties and moves, opportunistically, to a location they have had little to do with before.

        And little different, if I may say, from the SNP trying to take over Shetland politics; first, parliament then the council, by posing as saviours while stripping Shetland’s assets – the SIC’s oil reserves – by under-funding “sleight of hand”.

        Now, kindly address the argument: the SNP is shafting Shetland – £10M a year in education, alone – and Danus Skene avoided talking about it, just like you’re doing now.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • May 12th, 2015 16:33

        Robin the clever voters were out numbered by the even cleverer voters in Orkney and Shetland that is how Alistair got to be our MP and you didn’t.
        I have always maintained that the SNP think the electorate are stupid and your comment has verified this for me.
        You are on a level with Nigel Farage who claimed the BBC audience in the debate were not the full shilling; you insinuating over 50% of voters in Scotland are not clever does your corner no good at all.
        Especially when you are unable to do elementary mathematics.

  • iantinkler

    • May 12th, 2015 14:55

    Further to Robin’s maths he appears have the most simplistic approach to running a business. I quote Robin Stevenson, the business brain of the year. “IF I have to increase wages to a basic “Living wage”, then I increase my prices [of whatever I’m selling] to compensate for the extra expense. . . Happy staff, more productivity, fewer days off, happy times staff, more productivity, happy outcome” Now just to point out the utterly obvious as Robin Stevenson seems back in kindergarten again, If I increase my prices [of whatever I’m selling] to compensate for the extra expense, my customers will simply purchase elsewhere, where the cost has not increased, for example an English company, which has remained competitive with lower running costs. I am now priced out of the market. My business goes bust, my staff are redundant and I will restart my company outside of Scotland… Nice one Robin. The SNP’s business plan in action! Reference:

    • Johan Adamson

      • May 13th, 2015 9:21

      Yes, it will be good when the rest of the world catch up and stop exploiting workers and pay them living wages and not expect to be creaming off millions to pay for that expensive work of art.

      • Ali Inkster

        • May 13th, 2015 11:39

        It’s not the big corporations that you need worry about but the small companies that pay the most tax and employ the most people that Ian is describing, once they go then the workers really will be at the mercy of the multi nationals and their political puppets and god help us all when that happens.

  • iantinkler

    • May 13th, 2015 11:18

    Johan Adamson, Probably one of Scotland’s super rich Lairds using wind farm subsidy money, the monies so endorsed and enabled by the SNP green energy policy. You know, that extra bit on our electricity bills. Thank God the Tories are ending onshore subsidies, if nothing else that will save the workers some cash.


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