More substance, less vitriol (John Jackson)

I was disappointed to see in last week’s Shetland Times (“…As Scott gets support from town residents,” page seven) one or two comments being attributed to Tavish Scott while canvassing in Lerwick.

To liken former first minister Alex Salmond to American presidential hopeful Donald Trump is an exceedingly low blow. I understand some people do not like Alex Salmond, hey we live in a democracy, but to compare one of Scotland’s more competent First Ministers to Donald Trump, an alleged misogynist, racist (anti-Muslim), xenophobe (anti-Mexican) and homophobe among other things is just not acceptable.

To also read in the same article that one voter apparently held Angela Constance (education minister) accountable for the Edinburgh schools fiasco, an assertion to which Tavish replied?

I’m sure Tavish set the record straight and pointed out that this was actually the legacy of a Public Private Partnership scheme favoured by Labour/Liberal Democrat administrations at Holyrood for funding big building projects pre-2007.

Tavish would have backed this up by saying any current problems would be resolved by the Edinburgh Schools Partnership (Contractors) following due consultation with Edinburgh Council (the client); in fact, this fiasco has nothing to do with the Scottish government.

Tavish would have finished off by informing the voter that the Scottish government scrapped this expensive method of procurement when the SNP came to power in 2007. However, given the tone of the piece I doubt the above was said; why let the truth get in the way of a good “spin” opportunity?

The local Lib Dems have been over reliant on this type of electioneering in recent times, for example, Gaelic teaching in Shetland schools (whatever happened to this non-story?). What about the fish discard ban which according to Tavish is due to the Scottish government but is actually an EU directive?

I know things can get a little passionate in an election campaign but we the public deserve better than this. Let’s have more substance and less vitriol.

John Jackson


Add Your Comment
  • Gordon Harmer

    • April 27th, 2016 13:52

    John it is the way the Scottish government are letting the Scottish fishermen down by not supporting them, the discard ban was introduced by the European Union, but the significant issue now is how to implement it and how fishermen complying with the rules are supported in their best efforts to meet a difficult obligation.

    This question of implementation and support is where the Scottish Government are letting fishermen down. They continue to wash their hands of the possibility written into the rules for governments applying the rules to give support by facilitating storage or finding outlets for fish that has to be landed, which could directly help our fishermen meet the demands placed on them.

    If the SNP want to stand up for Shetland’s fishing fleet and the men who invest heavily in it, they need to start working within the possibilities and flexibilities given to them, not only as usual stamping their feet and claiming it’s all Westminster’s fault, or as you say, its the EUs fault.


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