Has Danus forgotten? (Gordon Harmer)

Listening to BBC Radio Shetland on Friday evening I heard Danus Skene, the SNP candidate for the forthcoming Scottish election, proclaim he would hold an SNP government to account over matters pertaining to Shetland.

He seemed to be under the delusion that being an SNP back-bencher in an SNP government would give him some kind of super-human power over the SNP’s dictatorial leader.

Danus has conveniently forgotten the diktat which came down from high some time ago: “No member shall, within or outwith the parliament, publicly criticise a group decision, policy or another member of the group.”

In other words Danus as a back-bencher will sit down, be quiet, do and say exactly as he is told, as it has been so, both in Westminster and Holyrood, since Nicola Sturgeon took hold of the SNP reins.

Danus went on to say that the SNP had done good things for Shetland and singled out the appointment of an islands minister in the form of one Derek Mackay.

Mr Mackay has several portfolios and islands minister is just one of them, making this post a part-time position.

Having a part-time islands minister just shows the importance the SNP attaches to the Scottish islands.

Mr Mackay and his “Our Islands Our Future” initiative, which has produced nothing concrete after goodness knows how many meetings with islands leaders, shows just what the SNP government thinks of us.

Gordon Harmer


Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • March 27th, 2016 16:41

    The appointment of an Islands minister? Was that it?

    That may please those who think “gaining access to the highest levels of government” is, in itself, an achievement. however most people would be looking for something of value to result.

    To date, 3 years, 12 “summits” and 3 electoral polls on, OIOF cannot point to a single tangible gain. Nothing – zilch!

    In reality, Mr MacKay is, simply, a bulwark to keep those ‘pesky Vikings’ at bay by making them think they’re going to get some worthwhile concessions – “Aye, keep talkin taerem, Derek – but give them ‘NUTHIN’!”

    Meanwhile, “they just keep coming in the same old way” – ransacking the SIC’s finances!

    • Brian Smith

      • March 28th, 2016 7:36

      Wir Shetland is baffling. They fulminate against the SNP for not achieving anything, and at the same time back the Lib-Dems to the hilt for achieving nothing. It’s surreal.

      • Duncan Simpson

        • March 28th, 2016 12:25

        Brian we are not backing the “Lib Dems to the hilt”. We are endorsing Tavish Scott for this single election for the simple reason that he has publicly stated he supports many of our aims and because we believe him to be the most suitable candidate.

        Is it really baffling that the one politician who has positively engaged with us and shares at least some of our aims gains our support?

        It is not permanent, unconditional support we are pledging – we are endorsing him for this election but that does not mean he will be immune from criticism if we think he is doing a poor job.

  • John Tulloch

    • March 28th, 2016 11:04

    Oh, the SNP have achieved plenty, Brian. That’s the problem, too many people can’t see what they have achieved, because they’ve done it by stealth – on top of all Westminster-inspired cuts. For example:

    1. £10Mpa underfunding of Shetland’ education, since 2008.
    2. 14 percent cut in Shetland and Orkney ferry subsidies versus 41 increase for the Western Isles.
    3. £5Mpa (5.1 percent) flat cash cut for SIC while Holyrood received a small cash increase.
    4. Etc.,

    Little wonder Danus Skene thinks the island minister is so wonderful.

    This is why the SNP richly deserve their “Tartan Tory” label and as if to confirm this conclusion, Nicola Sturgeon has reportedly rejected the idea of a 50 percent tax rate for high earners.

    And it’s why this election must be about the damage done to Shetland by the SNP Scottish government.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • March 28th, 2016 13:03


      Your stance [as Brian points out] is utterly ‘bizarre’, on one hand you refuse to tell us what the Lib/Dems have done for Shetland in the last 66 years by telling us ‘ask them yourself’, which indeed I have done, and ‘still’ wait for an answer? And on the other hand the evil SNP in their 9 years in power, have apparently done nothing but bring hardship to these islands.

      So, as WIR is supposedly a ‘non political’ organisation, it promotes an…er… insignificant political party, that no-one seems capable of pointing out what good they have managed to do achieve even while being in government? Instead Danus is constantly attacked, [by you and others] despite not even being Shetlands MP, MSP or even local councillor?
      The ‘Westminster inspired cuts’ [£12 billion] were imposed by the Lib/Dems along with their coalition mates, the Tories. EVERY council in Scotland have had to bear the brunt of these cuts, [not just Shetland] Why you seem to imagine that ‘all of a sudden’, Tavish et al, are somehow going to magically start fighting Shetland’s corner is beyond reasonable logic? …’Surreal’ is a rather apt description.

  • John Tulloch

    • March 28th, 2016 15:37

    The Liberals must defend their own actions over the last 66 years, Robin, I speak for Wir Shetland and as Duncan Simpson has patiently explained, we are concerned about the present, in particular, by the damage being done in Shetland by the SNP.

    That is the topic we shall pursue for this election.

    However, as you have been so earnestly persistent and keep being disappointed, I’m happy to continue that tradition by reminding you of Jo Grimond’s Zetland County Council Act, 1974, without which there would be no SIC oil funds for the SNP to pillage, as all the oil money would have gone to London.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • March 28th, 2016 17:01


      Let’s not be coy here, I think you’re fully aware why Jo Grimond was ‘gifted’ its Westminster sweetener? As I’ve already pointed out this ‘oil fund’ [a fraction of what the UK Gov could get away with] was merely a gesture in the pretence that the UK gave a damn about Shetland. The real reason – ofc – was simply because London panicked at the prospect of Scotland declaring independence in the 70’s, and the age old ‘divide and conquer’ imperial powers rule came into play. Shetland was Hoodwinked then, and hoodwinked now. played like an old violin….. Sadly, You continue to peddle the myth. 🙁
      Once again, I have to remind you, Scotland don’t – and never have done – received ANY oil revenue whether from Shetland or indeed the rest of the North sea. And all the money ‘DID’ go to London.

      It does strike me rather sad that in 66 years of Lib/Dem’s in Shetland, all that’s been achieved in 42 years was their ‘pittance’ to keep you eternally grateful and subservient? And this is – seriously – a party you’d choose to be associated with?….As I said…’Bizarre!!’

  • Gordon Harmer

    • March 28th, 2016 16:27

    Robin which planet are you on at the moment, “Instead Danus is constantly attacked, [by you and others] despite not even being Shetlands MP, MSP or even local Councillor”? Danus is a candidate for the Scottish election in May, he has been through the weigh in and has now donned the gloves, of course he is going to be attacked. Everything he says will be scrutinized and ripped to pieces by those who oppose him, that, Robin is politics. Why are you unsuccessfully trying to attack John and Co for being Wir Shetland while supporting Tavish? When what you condemn John and Co for is no different to what Danus has done in the past. Goodness knows how many political parties he has belonged to and unsuccessfully stood as a candidate for. He himself has said “When it comes to membership of political parties, I’m a serial offender”. Danus is a candidate for the SNP and as such will be attacked for what he says and does I am sure he accepts this, you need to get over yourself and get with it because you all so will be attacked not just for your politics but your discriminatory spin.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • March 28th, 2016 17:28

      The difference is Gordon, Tavish IS the locally ‘elected’ MSP, Carmichael IS the locally ‘elected’ MP, they are the ones who have been ‘elected’ to look after Shetland’s best interests, NOT Danus or any other prospective candidate, who may or may not be elected? Have we heard from Scott or Carmichael on these pages EVER? Apart from sniping from the sidelines, how has your community benefitted by Tavish’s input? IF there are issues, surely the best person to question would be your elected representatives? Not someone who isn’t even in power?…. This isn’t ‘spin’ this is common fact’.

      How Tavish can blame the Scottish government for ‘cuts’ when it was HIS party that signed up to these £12 billion ‘cuts’ in the first place is mindboggling?… He moans about RET, education, fishing quotas, NHS, police, you name it?.. Surely the question is, WHY Didn’t he – and his pal Carmichael – sort out these issues between 1999-2007 while he WAS the SG, or Carmichael was Secretary of Scotland?… Is it just a case of ….’We failed miserably, but let’s just blame the next guy for not doing what we ‘should’ have done, in the first place?’

  • Gordon Harmer

    • March 28th, 2016 20:15

    Robin we are in the middle of an election campaign and Tavish is a candidate, just the same as Danus. Tavish has a record as a Lib Dem and he can be judged on that record. Danus on the other hand has no record, but the party he is standing for (I forget which one as he has stood for that many) has a record and Danus will be judged on that.
    If Scott or Carmichael did come on these pages and air their views we all would know who they are and we could take issue with them either on these pages or face to face because they are known. Just the same as me, John, Ian, Ali, Robert and others are known. Tavish and Alistair hold surgeries where we can take issue with them if we wish, these surgeries are where hundreds of us have been and had our issues either with them or other government or private bodies sorted to a satisfactory end. Yet you, Robin Stevenson, comment on these pages all the time but none of us would know who you are if we met you, making you an anonymous commentator. You therefore may not be sniping from the sidelines but you are sniping from behind fully camouflaged cover, which is not only worse but somewhat cowardly.

  • iantinkler

    • March 30th, 2016 9:28

    Strange is it not, a vindictive and negative campaign raised £200,000 (Crowdfunder, Orkney four) , yet a far kinder positive fundraiser, (Crowdfunder, Dannus Skenne, campaigne) fell flat. Just £2000 after 30 days, attempted for £7000, only 66 contributed!! Surely a real embarrassment for SNP Shetland branch?. Does that not speaks loads about the “Nationalist” psyche and the Scottish Nasty Party. Poor Dannus, with friends like that, who needs enemies?
    Nota bene :” “No member shall, within or outwith the parliament, publicly criticise a group decision, policy or another member of the group.” SNP policy dictate, perhaps Dannus has already said too much!!

  • ian rselbie

    • April 11th, 2016 11:57

    is my memory playing tricks or did not Danus Skene previously decry the SNP.


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