Stealth under-funding (John Tulloch)

How entertaining to witness the SNP jumping up and down, beating their breasts and shaking their fists in the air with rage, following Alistair Carmichael’s admission that he authorised the leak of the now notorious memo from the Scottish Office.

And it’s true, it was a pretty ignominious performance and one for which Tavish Scott, through no fault of his own, may well reap the electoral consequences.

So why do I find the SNP entertaining? Simply because I enjoy their “theatre”, their feigned outrage, as if they would never stoop to such levels – “nay, nay and thrice nay”, perish the thought!

Alas the SNP are the self-same crowd who sent MSP Mike MacKenzie to Shetland to oppose the SIC’s school closures and lambast the council, knowing full well that Shetland’s education system has been systematically under-funded by up to £19.3 Mpa since 2008.

The SNP like to blame the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), who have been tasked with distributing government funding “fairly” since 2008, under an agreement between them and the SNP Scottish government which has seen money siphoned away from remote rural authorities to big city councils.

Indeed, Danus Skene fought his entire election campaign keeping this hidden from the electorate, aided and abetted by the feeble performance of his opponents who could easily have highlighted it to their own advantage.

Having cut education spending by £10Mpa, the SIC has no option but to make up the remaining £10 Mpa from their oil reserves, something the SNP has repeatedly criticised Westminster for doing – using oil money to fund day-to-day spending instead of investing it, wisely.

What the SNP say, however, is no guide to how they behave themselves. And in this case, it rather suits them to siphon money south from Shetland’s oil reserves to their central belt heartland, an ongoing feature since 2008 which is set to continue into the foreseeable future.

What amazes me is how the SIC has allowed this “stealth under-funding” to prevail for so long without blowing the whistle.

The whole, sorry saga emphasises the urgent need for a new, pro-Shetland political party to be formed to hold both the SNP Scottish government and the SIC to account.

John Tulloch


Add Your Comment
  • Sheila Tulloch

    • May 23rd, 2015 11:39

    Nothing particularly to do with the SNP John. Its the timing. Would you not expect the outcome of the election could have been different, if this ‘admission’ had emerged beforehand? I think any politician from whichever party could expect the same outrage.

  • David Clark

    • May 23rd, 2015 12:01

    The SNP establishment has been stealing Shetlands oil reserves by stealth since they bullied the SIC into reporting the trusts accounts as though we’re council funds; forced the Trust into ending the councillors control of the trust as should have been protected under the ZCC act 1974 and kept the housing loan payment from the Westminster government. Shameful, disgraceful and they continue to get away with it.

  • Johan Adamson

    • May 24th, 2015 8:37

    John, see his letter in this paper re labour MPs election smear campaign:

    • John Tulloch

      • May 24th, 2015 9:22


      I’m pro-Shetland, that’s how I make my political choices.

      I supported Alistair Carmichael on the basis of his considerable achievements for Shetland, the 180 degree opposite, if I may say, of what the SNP has done during their 7 years in government.

      Given that unequivocal support, I’m bitterly disappointed by this news and I’m not defending his actions, they’re indefensible and are likely to severely damage, if not sink, Tavish Scott and Liam Mc Arthur, who had absolutely nothing to do with it.

      As I said above a new, pro-Shetland political party is needed, urgently, to challenge the SNP Scottish Government and the SIC and hold them to public account.

  • Brian Hughson

    • May 24th, 2015 18:39

    Nae bias there then John. Ah cannae tak onybody seriously that is perpetrating the ‘bluster and the rant.
    Ethicacy and honour is truly dead!

  • Robin Stevenson

    • May 24th, 2015 22:35

    Andy, do the world a favour and google PR [proportional representation] It’s what the Scottish government use as our voting system, it’s to prevent a “One Party State”, even if every constituency in Scotland votes for the SNP, there will STILL be representatives of Labour, Conservative, Lib/Dumbs and greens in Holyrood. It’s called democracy in action…..Ooh!…and btw, it’s not “Feigned outrage”, it’s genuine.

  • Andy Holt

    • May 26th, 2015 7:57

    I’m flattered by Robin’s assertion but not convinced that the world takes any notice at all of my “kranky Krofter” rants and less than enthused by PR or Patronising Representation. I neither need nor want some B list politico foisted on me to make me feel better about a system which appears bankrupt of ideas and no longer fit for purpose in the post-modern world. The idea of a new political party, right of centre libertarian, compassionate and ethical would be my preference but I’m not holding my breath. I acknowledge that some folk will be genuinely angry at Alistair’s actions but I believe too that there’s an awful load of humbug and political opportunism involved in this spat. I wonder how much energy and time is wasted by our politicians of all hues in unnecessary spin, plotting and point scoring that could be more fruitfully employed in sorting out the huge problems facing us, locally, nationally and globally.


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