Unfortunately, some nationalists and politically-motivated, or perhaps just ignorant souls, have taken it upon themselves to do everything they can to defame and criticise Wir Shetland and its membership in the media.
Such criticisms disparage Wir Shetland and its members in many ways. These posts, are mostly childish twaddle, such as climate change deniers, angry men, ultra-right wingers or portraying Wir Shetland members as “abusive trolls”. Such critiques speak more about the authors than the targets of such banal comments. Understandably, the prospect of a truly independent Shetland horrifies the Scottish nationalist, as without Shetland’s resources an independent Scotland would be economically unsustainable.
Be that as it may, any new organisation, especially with pioneering, radical ideals and ideas, such as Wir Shetland, can expect criticisms, both daft and constructive. Such censures, can indeed, make Wir Shetland stronger and help gain membership.
Sadly, some critics, portray Wir Shetland in a far darker way. Accusations of being ultra-right wing, racist and anti-immigrant often appear in social media. Even in moderated formats, such as The Shetland Times, the infantile comment “Wir Ukip” is often forwarded by the prejudiced and politically motivated.
At this time, in view of the recent Brexit vote, such stupid comment, either by design or accident, has caused considerable anxiety and trepidation amongst sections of the Shetland community. I refer specifically to our immigrant population, all EU, Commonwealth and world citizens.
I would like to reassure these groups of peoples, you are valued and most welcome. Wir Shetland holds you all in great esteem and has absolutely no wish to compromise your freedoms and position in “our” Shetland community. “Our” being all of us, whatever colour, creed, original nationality or place of birth.
As an individual member of Wir Shetland, I am setting up a small group of interested folk, specifically to cater for and encourage overseas friends to join Wir Shetland.
My first two friends, wishing to endorse and join such a group, are, Marinda Beyleveld, born Namibia, a resident of Namibia and South Africa and Sakshi Dhingra, born India and now a resident of the USA, both former “health professionals” in Shetland.
I do hope these ladies will be the first of many.