Hotchpotch of feebleness (Ian Scott)

As much as I enjoy every Friday catching up with the weekly goings-on within the Wir Shetland family, I think someone should tell them that the good ship “SS Non-Politics” set sail many years ago.

Indeed we are enjoying the fruits of its very voyage as we breathe. Our SIC councillors have long since trumpeted its non-political complexion, but in reality, this non-political complexion results in a hotchpotch of Tories, Liberals and other feeble minds, believing that, by denying their own political beliefs, they present a middle of the road, steady as you go approach. What guff!

It is quite incredible to think that, when facing the greatest assault on our living standards in over 60 years, all Wir Shetland can offer the voters is: “We are not political”. It is akin to being a pacifist in the face of Nazi aggression.

Confronted with this odious Westminster government’s vicious cuts – not savings – in our health service, our welfare provision, our youth services et al, what are we offered by Wir Shetland – more of the same. Something to look forward to I am sure.

The very name Wir Shetland betrays the insular and parochial nature of the group, but perhaps a coalition with the Shetland Movement might well give them that much-needed credibility. Perhaps the Udalers might lend a hand too.

And to those people who bleat on about there being no money, I would ask them to consider this: billions of pounds for Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament – I don’t suppose anyone knows how much our own Lerwick Town Hall is going to cost – where did these billions suddenly appear from?

There are £300 million, yes £300 million, in our reserve fund and yet our services are being severely compromised. Our services have to be saved.

And in conclusion then … our SIC councillors non-political …Wir Shetland non-political … aye right!

Ian Scott
Braehead Cottage,
Braehead Lane,


Add Your Comment
  • Duncan Simpson

    • December 21st, 2016 15:15

    This whole obsession about this “non political” thing is nonsense. We are a political campaign group. We have consistently had to repeat the FACT that we are not a political party but that is far from the same thing. Maybe Mr Scott should figure out the difference between the two before attacking us.

    He bizarrely states; “Confronted with this odious Westminster government’s vicious cuts – not savings – in our health service, our welfare provision, our youth services et al, what are we offered by Wir Shetland – more of the same. Something to look forward to I am sure.”

    When in our short history have Wir Shetland EVER offered cuts to anything? We have been consistently opposing cuts from the very beginning! Our last letter questioned why Shetland should have to sustain any cuts.

    The only “guff” and “hotch-potch of feebleness” here is this letter!

  • i tinkler

    • December 21st, 2016 15:44

    Just out of vague interest, Ian Scott, what and who do you support and stand for? I notice your dislike of “odious Westminster government” and your comment ” our SIC councilors non-political …Wir Shetland non-political” after such incisive criticism from yourself, what if anything do you believe in and represent, apart from yourself?

  • Michael Garriock

    • December 21st, 2016 19:58

    A great deal said about what is preceived to ail us, but proposed solutions seem to have been witheld for at least the moment, pending a Part II perhaps?

    Knocking what is, without offering viable alternative(s) tends to be generally dismissed as “Moaning Minnie’ness”, rather than helpfulness in moving forward.

    Falling for Godwin’s Law right from the start tends not to assist in positive debate either.

  • paul barlow

    • December 21st, 2016 21:47

    your apart of a party face it. if you continue to pretend that your just a movement with a broad spectrum of party support. but in reality your ex leader nailed your group to the lib dems.

    • John Tulloch

      • December 22nd, 2016 10:49

      Paul, “sour grapes”.

      We were not in a position to register in time for the election and it was important that a competent MSP should not be replaced by a compliant party hack, representing a party that has done such damage to Shetland – the SNP.

      Whether to stand or back another candidate is Wir Shetland’s prerogative, not yours. Too bad you didn’t like it but pleasing the SNP was not one of our priorities.

    • Michael Garriock

      • December 22nd, 2016 16:04

      Paul Barlow, either you’re highly ignorant of what you’re talking about, or are purposefully misrepresenting it so as to give validity to your own opinions. Only you know which it is.

      WS supported Tavish Scott at last May’s Scottish election, note, WS supported Tavish Scott, WS DID NOT support the LibDems at last May’s Scottish election, and despite being unavoidably interlinked, they are two very different things. Who WS may or may not support at any future election is unknown and will be decided at that time. Tavish was judged to be the “best for the job” from what was on offer at that time, and WS support terminated the second the ballot closed.

      WS had had no particular association with Tavish prior to offering him their support in that one specific election, and have had no particular association with him since he won it.

      WS is a highly political organisation, as politics is its business, however it is non-PARTY political. There is no blind adherence to any currently recognised party’s dogma, WS transcends all current political colours, if it further group aims, its worthy of consideration, wherever it came from.

  • paul barlow

    • December 22nd, 2016 8:07

    Ian and Duncan your the ones that needs to answer that after all your the ones standing. whatever Mr Scotts political beliefs are is unimportant. What our council member really believe in is very much relevant. if our community leaders are to ashamed of their political beliefs to stand for them do we really want them to stand to represent us. If your a Tory, Lib, Lab or an evil nasty Snp stand for them. for the wir Shetlanders well after your last support for the lib dems you best just stand as lib dems. If a group acts like a party, lets its members stand for election and have leadership and policies then my dear mr tinkler and simpson YOUR A PARTY.

    • Duncan Simpson

      • December 22nd, 2016 12:40

      You are woefully ignorant about the make up of Wir Shetland Paul. I answered this nonsense letter in my above comment even though I probably shouldn’t waste my time on such drivel.

      I am far from ashamed of my political beliefs, I have repeatedly made them clear through various mediums. Wir Shetland is not “letting” me stand for election, it is entirely my decision. By your definition of what constitutes a party then there are probably hundreds of parties in Shetland alone. Anyone who is a member of any kind of organised group which has leadership and policies are members of a political party, who knew?

      What I believe in will be outlined in my manifesto. I am not a supporter of any political party so that will not feature in said manifesto. My well known involvement in Wir Shetland will be discussed but the main focus of the document will be about what I believe in for the North Isles and Shetland.

    • Michael Garriock

      • December 22nd, 2016 16:25

      Paul Barlow, perhaps you live in a world where everyone without exception can be neatly pigeon-holed as either some sort of Communist, Centrist or Fascist. Indeed many people feel comfortable to identify themselves with such pigeon-holing, however many do not.

      If you really want to know what your potential political leaders believe in, perhaps you’d be best to study their individual manifestos, as within them there should be the information which tells you far more concisely and clearly what that person is about, rather than some almost arbitary “Party” label, and if they don’t, then it might be wise to take that as a sign that person isn’t particularly well suited to hold office.

      Personally speaking, were I considering standing for public office, I would have no choice but stand as independent, as I am not, have never been, and will never be a member of any current recognised political party. The reason being that I can see numerous right-wing, centrist and left-wing policies in largely equal number that are worthy of support, but at the same time I see numerous disasterous ones from all three in largely equal number as well.

  • ian_tinkler

    • December 22nd, 2016 12:11

    Paul Barlow, what are you on about. I have never been a member of a political party in my life. My vote has always been for the candidate whom I share most views and the usual elimination of the most obnoxious candidates. I am a Member of Wir Shetland as I believe in the core belief of “Autonomy” for Shetland. I am also a member of the RSPB and RSPCA, I fully support their core beliefs also. As an Independent candidate in the forthcoming election should I stand for, RSPCA, RSPB, RNLI and Wir Shetland party? Now would you please tell me, in your considered opinion, a definition of a political group and a political party, with the important differences between the two. I am actually at a loss to know the difference and the point you are attempting to make and are so concerned and aggrieved about..

  • ian_tinkler

    • December 22nd, 2016 14:25

    My Dear Paul Barlow, I will stand as an independent, as I previously stated. By a definition entirely of your own, my paties are, SRSPB, PDSA, RSPCA, Dental Shetland, NHS retired, GDC, BDPA and Wir Shetland. Also Shetland Jazzercise and several more, in fact too many to mention.

  • Douglas Young

    • December 22nd, 2016 14:29

    Wir Shetland are a political group and supported Tavish Scott, and now are standing candidates but as non-Wir Shetland candidates

    They are asking a lot of questions but have not yet got the hang of local politics where it is their job to answer them

    They were the brainchild of someone from Arrochar called John Tulloch who then resigned, who detests the SNP and independence for Scotland but embrace it for Shetland

    Try asking them a simple question and you get one asked in reply, let me show you what I mean

    Dear Wir Shetland, you have told Shetland what it’s huge GDP is, many times, so what is your detailed costings for buying in National Health Services for your independent Shetland?

    • John Tulloch

      • December 22nd, 2016 18:30


      And a merry Christmas to you, too.

      I don’t detest SNP Shetland, at all, their new leaders are very intelligent, reasonable people with whom I am happy to communicate from time to time.

      I assume their new press officer, whom you insisted did not exist, runs their Facebook page. It’s a credit to the SNP, unlike the hate-fuelled conveyor of utter drivel run by you at Yes Shetland. I’m not surprised they wish to distance themselves from that, it must be a major embarrassment.

    • John Tulloch

      • December 23rd, 2016 11:08

      May I point out that I do not and never have, supported Shetland “independence”. I support devolution of local autonomy, up to Faroese/Manx levels.

      There is no reason, given the political will in Holyrood, why that should not work under an independent Scotland and ultimately, the people of Shetland must decide their own destiny. However, the SNP does not “show willing”; quite the reverse.

      As for Scottish independence, I would prefer to avoid having hard borders between Scotland and the rest of the UK however I have long supported greater powers, up to the level of federalism. So my position is quite consistent.

      While the new local and national SNP leaderships are a marked improvement, it remains a big ask for anyone concerned with Shetland’s welfare to vote for Scottish nationalism. The SNP’s track record is lamentable – and worsening – as this year’s and last’s SIC grant cuts testify.

      As a result, SIC is now funding around 20 percent of its services from its own reserves, while paying its way handsomely in terms of taxes paid versus funding returned.

      • G Fleming

        • January 27th, 2017 18:16

        Shetland has 40% public sector employment twice the British average.With 3 mile control of the sea in an Isle of Man styled autonomy where else does Shetland expect funding. The islands are very fortunate to be able to fund such lavishness compared to the mere mortals elsewhere in these islands it’s time you moved into the Real World, and be pleased with the subsidy you get.

      • i tinkler

        • January 28th, 2017 11:09

        G Fleming, clearly from your comment you are not a Shetlander. ( be pleased with the subsidy you get.) Why does Shetland Autonomy so phase you? Could it be you are afraid the SG/UK may be about to loose the Shetland cash cow? That would be a real killer for the Indy2 set, would it not, is that your motivation?

  • ian_tinkler

    • December 22nd, 2016 16:06

    Come on Douglas, that may change deepening on demand. However, latest figures for last two years core budget, the core budget for NHS Shetland in 2017/18 had increased by £700,000, or 1.5 per cent, up to £46.5 million from the previous year’s £45.8 million. Now those are based on NHS costings. I would hope to use better provisions by offering people a choice of overseas services where shorter waiting lists and better services are often available. As an autonomous Shetland funds, could be transferred from reserves etc, where necessary. Shetland would no longer be in the SNP/SG administered straightjacket which sadly this year leaves a £4 million deficit in Health Board funding. This is a very brief answer as such budgets need more time than I have, at present, to give exact costings.
    Referance: (

  • David Spence

    • December 22nd, 2016 17:19

    In today’s world, or the perception thereof, no matter what social ideology you may believe in, it all boils down to a pyramid of social hierarchy. These principles are supposed to be based on the greater good for the islands and the people, but, as the Conservative Political Party aptly demonstrates, it is on the individual or individual group. In this case, the Conservative Political Party.

    This is, as far as I can see, a common trait on a political system governed and controlled by commercial necessity rather than acting on behalf of the greater population.

    I do feel Shetland has a great opportunity to have greater control of its fishing, economy and the well being of the islands. However, I do think, it will be difficult to accomplish without external political forces wanting a piece of the pie for their own sake and not for the islands.

    It would be great if Shetland and Shetlander’s stood up and be counted, and to have an inner strength to give Shetland and Shetlander’s a far greater say in determining their own future and the economic potential of thriving for the greater good of the islands for many years to come.

  • Duncan Simpson

    • December 23rd, 2016 11:01

    OK Douglas I will bite to your nonsense, most of which has been explained to you repeatedly already.

    We backed Tavish Scott for the May elections on a case by case, one off basis as we believed he was the best candidate.

    We CANNOT stand candidates as we are not a political party (how many times must this be said?). I am standing independently for the North Isles first and foremost, my involvement in Wir Shetland is secondary to that.

    WS was not the “brainchild” of John Tulloch. You were not involved in the inception of the group so are not qualified to make sweeping assertions about our origins.

    Expecting a fledgling campaign group to provide “detailed costings” for a hypothetical health service under a hypothetical new constitutional situation is ridiculous. Exactly how health services would be delivered would be up to the new Shetland Government – not us.

    Our position is that Shetland could feasibly have enough funds to get any sort of health service it wants. You must be blinkered to the current and potential revenue streams in and around these islands if you are not willing to consider that possible.

  • Ali Inkster

    • December 23rd, 2016 18:09

    Considering that £1000 / year will get a 45 year old man gold standard medical insurance with all the extras including dental and mental health treatments with all new conditions covered and £750 / year for a 25 year old woman we could buy in private health care that would be free at the point of treatment for every islander for a hell of a lot less than we currently pay for nhs scotlands woeful service.

    • Brian Smith

      • December 23rd, 2016 19:18

      Wir UKIP.

      • Michael Garriock

        • December 24th, 2016 15:24

        Your point, Brian. Or is this some sort of current local Communist chant only understood by the ‘faithful few’?

        Communists, who now nationally thankfully seem to have some sort of fledgling check and balance on them in the shape of the UKIP.

      • i tinkler

        • December 24th, 2016 16:45

        Good to see Brian’s massive intellect back in action. “Wir Ukip” what an incisive, funny and original jibe… Now if Bryan is inferring, “Wir Shetland” is too right wing, and full of UKIP supporters, perhaps he should join “Wir Shetland”, and that way, help mold its very policy. He would have the same voting rights as every other member of “Wir Shetland” and for once in his life could actually make a positive and meaningful political contribution towards the welfare of all the people of Shetland. I somehow doubt he would have that courage or common sense to do that. Incidentally, I am not Ukip and have many EU, Commonwealth, and overseas friends, whom absolutely endorse “Wir Shetland” and its core aims. I for one would welcome all, of every political persuasion to join “Wir Shetland”, as long as they have the fundamental belief in an autonomous Shetland and their beliefs that are just and humane. My personal view is that I dislike all political extremes. Rabid Right Wing, Extreme Left Wing, Loony Greens and most xenophobic Nationalist, however, all may join, the beauty of democracy is in a free vote, that way, and the extremists cancel each other out. “Wir Shetland”, is one member one vote political group. Pathetic jibes, a la Brian achieve nothing apart from perhaps, Brian, belittling himself!!

    • i tinkler

      • December 23rd, 2016 20:44

      Just a point of interest. The NHS, as administered by the SNP/SG, devolved to Scotland for eight/nine years now, is actually, truly awful. Sadly, outside Dental Surgery, there is precious little choice for Joe public!

    • Mike Grant

      • December 23rd, 2016 21:22

      Your hypothetical 45-year old would only pay as little £1000 a year if he was in good health – if he had a pre-existing condition or was much older he’d have to pay a lot more and might even be refused coverage altogether, a common occurrence in countries with wholly private services, such as the USA.

      • Ali Inkster

        • December 24th, 2016 17:35

        The 45 year old male is taken as the average, of course there will be some that are dearer and some that are cheaper. But then we have not taken into account the massive savings coming from buying in bulk. So if anything it will be much cheaper on average than the £1000/year/head.

      • David Spence

        • December 25th, 2016 2:06

        I was watching a documentary of the Health Care System in the USA, and the example they used was ‘ a joiner cuts his finger doing his job, his insurance company would not cover it as they believed it wasn’t a serious injury, so the person went to a private clinic, received cleaning of the wound, anaesthetic, 3 stitches put into the wound (each stitch costing $150) his final bill for 3 stitches onto his finger, $3,800 (just over £3000.00)

        The same operation in France, less than £200.00, if you are going to a private clinic.

      • i tinkler

        • December 26th, 2016 14:20

        Mike Grant, who would wish to emulate the USA in Healthcare? Who would wish to emulate the Scotish devolved NHS for that matter? Shetland Health board starved of funds with a £4 million shortfall this year! A system where public Health services are fussed with private insurance has to be the better option. A comprehensive safety net for the vulnerable and a free choice of where to purchase the best of care. The Norwegian type system seems to work well, the UK system is notorious for poor service and sometimes near criminal neglect of staff and patients, especially our elderly, left to die of dehydration on understaffed wards.. Local control is the answer, not an over administrated, uncaring, faceless bureaucracy.

      • David Spence

        • December 28th, 2016 10:11

        ‘ A system where public Health services are fussed with private insurance ‘

        I am not so sure about this, Ian. Afterall, if you look at the USA Health Care System, it is, in most cases, the Insurance Companies which dictate what medical treatment you get and what medication (the Insurance companies, Pharmaceutical and the medical industries are hand-in-hand to maximise profits) you get as well……….and in most cases, a sub-standard service where you are still paying, and getting medication with little or no regulation (literally).

        As well as this, Insurance Companies will use every trick under the sun to refuse paying. They will investigate their client (the person paying the Insurance) for any anomalies in their medical history, previous insurance claims (not related to anything medical) and their credit ratings in the past. In one case, an Insurance Company refused to give a woman life saving cancer treatment because she did not declare she had the flu when she was 17.

        If our Health Care System is based and controlled by the Insurance Companies, then we really are going down a slippery slope, I think.

      • Ray Purchase

        • December 28th, 2016 11:15

        Hmmm – Ian Tinkler the private dentist running down the NHS and telling us how great private healthcare is. Seeing a chance to make some money in an independent Shetland? White man talk with forked tongue. Nobody should profit from suffering and pain.

      • ian_tinkler

        • December 28th, 2016 13:30

        What a typical ignorant and nasty comment from Ray Purchase. Firstly, regarding his criticisms of myself, I worked NHS on Shetland for 20 years,. until forced to retire from the NHS due to Alan Owen’s retirement. Only last year did a General Dental Services (NHS) practise open on Shetland, at that time, I was passed retirement age! Be that as it may, rather than draw a NHS pension, I decided to continue part time in private practise, however I have offered my services to Shetland Health board, both at the time of Alan Owens retirement and more recently again June last year. At the time of Alan’s retirement there was no St. Olaf. St practise, closed due to NHS regulation, as unfit for purpose and no dental position as an independent NHS practitioner available on Shetland. Today, I am utterly confounded by regulations with regard to me taking on an NHS list at present. I understand, it is necessary to take a three-day course costing, myself £900, just to learn the latest batch of NHS regulations. Hardly an encouragement, but that is a SNP/SG mandated regulation, no problems with my clinical ability but I must learn the regulations and latest bureaucratic form filling protocols.
        Secondarily, with regard To Ray Purchase’s accusation of me to running down the NHS, let the facts speak for themselves.

      • ian_tinkler

        • December 28th, 2016 16:57

        David Spence , I understand your reluctance to embrace private insurance and private medicine, however, rather sadly, in medicine and surgery, as in most walks of life, you simply get what you pay for. Most, wholly state run institutions, often fail and fail spectacularly. Whatever one’s ethical principles, it is my belief that everyone should have a freedom of choice whether to have private treatment or not. I note, very few choose NHS glasses and often find £100s for fashion frames. Would you, David, ban private practice for all, including opticians? I would go for a mixture of Private medicine, especially where the NHS falls short, but always maintain an excellent safety net service, ideally far better funded and administered than what the SNP/SG offers at present. Shetland Health Board has a £4 million shortfall in funds and that is after 9 years devolved control of Scotland’s Health services to the SNP/SG, mind you we get free prescriptions however wealthy we may be, is that sensible?!!!!

      • David Spence

        • December 29th, 2016 11:42

        Well Ian, if you are advocating private medical treatment and private medical after care (medication, further trips to a clinic for further treatment or assessment) for people based purely on the size of their wallet, then yes, I am totally against such practices. The USA proves without a shadow of doubt a 2,3 or even 4 tier medical service based purely on greed, profiteering and discrimination.

        A classic example of this was a private drug company selling a drug to treat HIV victims, where it was making over 5,500% profit. Thankfully this greedy B****** went into bankruptcy shortly afterwards when a competing company provided the same drug with only a 31% profit margin.

        When it comes to modelling our Health Care Service, the USA would be the last place I would go too………….plus………if the Conservatives are hell bent of modelling our Health Care Service from the USA (because they selfish, capitalistic B******s) then we will be taking several steps backwards and not forward.

        The Conservatives always use ‘ Give people greater choice (bullshit) ‘ to justify privatisation – In realty, it never ever works to the benefit of all, just the few (Capitalist ******** ).

      • i tinkler

        • December 29th, 2016 16:34

        David, sometimes, sadly it is private treatment, saving lives or no treatment and imminent death when it comes to our NHS. Many treatments are simply not available under the NHS, costed out as too expensive, by the powers that be. Wir Shetland, using medical insurance and safety net funds (SCT?) could finance those treatments. I am not referring to all those nice aesthetic dental treatments, like mercury free tooth colored fillings ( mercury based fillings, banned in the rest of the EU as toxic), but the real life savers, for example, Kadcyla, (advanced breast cancer treatment) too expensive for the NHS and thousand of NHS patient denied modern treatments freely available abroad. It is a sad fact many socialists would ban private care and rather neglect people to death, just to follow their narrow ideal and outdated dogma. Free at the point of need or just go away and die!!!

      • David Spence

        • December 30th, 2016 11:50

        I take note of what you have said Ian, but I think many people (of all classes) would still prefer to have our NHS rather than going down the road of privatisation. Yes, there may be treatments the NHS may find difficult to do or offer, but the private sector, I would say, is not the answer.

        In fact, I would go as far as to say ‘ many people would not go for treatment knowing they could not afford to pay for it ‘, especially if such treatment was at the behest of the Insurance companies. It would, literally, be a case of survival of the richest. This would be the case of a privatised national health service provision.

        A field of medicine which is becoming more prevalent is cosmetic surgery, and a classic example of where, almost upto 25% of private treatments, end up back on the NHS due to such an industry having no or very little regulation (certainly when people go abroad for such surgery). It also highlights the cost of such a procedure being well beyond most peoples pocket on the basis of profiteering rather than ‘ real costs ‘.

      • ian tinkler

        • December 30th, 2016 12:56

        David, you seem to be missing the point. No one has suggested medical treatment should be rationed by wealth as they are is at present. It is, sadly, a fact, that the NHS is not performing well and far better treatments, with better survival and cure rates are available elsewhere. Often purchasable from non-state run (private) hospitals and clinics at far less cost than our NHS can compete with. Take sports injuries, we have excellent facilities on Shetland, outwith the NHS. We have no available, NHS Orthopedic surgeon or sports physio resident on Shetland offering any kind of comprehensive treatments. However, we have many private facilities, Sports injury, dental, hypnotherapy, pilates and several excellent psychiatric councilors (et al), sadly the NHS offers a very basic service if any, after a colossal wait for treatment!

  • John Tulloch

    • December 24th, 2016 8:39

    A proper investigation would be needed to pin down healthcare costs accurately however similar island situations e.g. the Isle of Man(IOM), are of interest:

    NB. “Back of fag packet” analysis.
    The IOM health and social care bill (2014-15) was estimated at £184 million. Stripping out the £50 million social care component leaves £134 million; population = 88,000.

    Adjusting for Shetland-size population (22,000) gives £33.5 million.

    The NHS Shetland 2016/17 budget is £45.8 million. Stripping out £8.5 million for integrated health and social care gives £37.3 million, moderately higher.

    Shetland’s remoteness and economies of scale for the larger IOM population may explain the difference.

    An IOM/UK reciprocal healthcare agreement is in place, so no problems there.

    It seems an autonomous Shetland’s healthcare should not cost radically more than now and given its healthy 2010/11 exchequer balance (taxes paid less funding received) – probably even better, now – an autonomous Shetland should be able to afford improvements in the level of care.
    isle of man population 2015

  • paul barlow

    • December 30th, 2016 10:41

    ive known folks from the channel isles that could not afford the cost of the treatments their kids needed. in fact they moved to the uk mainland because of it. its not an equal system. if you are looking to copy it then your are going to hurt the poorer folks. if we were to look at say the Canadian system. my drugs bill would be unaffordable. to be honest if in England I could not afford my medicines.

    mr tinker tell us who would lose in your system. because their will be losers.

    I imagine if your planning the health service like the crown dependencies the social security will be the same as well,

    once you’ve answered that tell us about education. as a parent with a number of kids in higher and further education. please tell me the impact on say my daughters costs its costing her 9000 a year in tuition to study in wales(no course in Scotland) would this go up or down just a hint dentistry is 20k a year parents are expect to pay 40% and up.

    would my contributions go up or down. but we know what your answer is going to be you dont know. its not important yet. BUT it is important why start on a route that will cost more and will provide worse services.

    • Michael Garriock

      • December 30th, 2016 14:09

      Paul Barlow, either you’ve not yet acquired the ability to think outside the box, or you’re purposely looking for obstacles to oppose any change from the status quo.

      Its all very well to harp of about the costs and provision of services, which are vitally important, there’s no doubt about that, but thats only half the story. Any self-governing Shetland would have the opportunity, if the people so wished, to develop countless new ‘non-conventional’ income streams. Income need not just be restricted to current/conventional means only, as you seem to think/suggest. We would not be constrained by what is/isn’t legal in the UK, or by a tax system that encourages/discourages anything unless in a way that is to our benefit.

      If the population insist on retaining current legal/illegal standards and current UK taxing philosophy, it will result in one balance sheet, but if they are open to embracing other legal/illegal and taxation systems, any one of as many other, and almost certainly healthier balance sheets as you can think of will result.

      You cannot cost what can be afforded without first costing your income, and that can’t be done without knowing what income streams the people will accept.

    • Ali Inkster

      • December 30th, 2016 17:13

      ” BUT it is important why start on a route that will cost more and will provide worse services.”
      You say this but support the snp.
      We have a huge surplus Scotland does not yet you seem to think Scotland could afford to keep you yet Shetland could not. Go figure!

  • ian tinkler

    • December 30th, 2016 12:34

    Paul Barrow, We could simple buy our health services and mental health services from wherever we chose. That could be the the NHS, Norweigion, European or any private provider. Any health service could and should be fully integrated into social care services, a vast improvement on what we have at present. I will write at length shortly. I am sure you are well aware of the awful to non-existent provisions we have for child mental health on Shetland!!!
    The prison services and higher education services could be provided that way. for once, at last, our high flying scholars would have a real choice in education and if able enough, could attend World leading Universities, sadly precious little choice of that at present (STEM Leaders, Oxbridge, UCH, Imperial, Harvard, MIT for example). A real choice being the name of the game, not the mediocrity we have on offer today.

  • Douglas Greig Young

    • January 9th, 2017 16:25

    Well I tried to ask a simple question and look what happens?

    If you can all remember it before the angry ones launched into irrelevance about Yes Shetland, SNP bad etc etc it was:-

    “Dear Wir Shetland, you have told Shetland what it’s huge GDP is, many times, so what is your detailed costings for buying in National Health Services for your independent Shetland?”

    • Ali Inkster

      • January 10th, 2017 16:29

      £25 million per year could provide a far superior service than that currently proved by NHS Scotland for £46 million. The £19 million per annum saving could be put towards all manner of things Douglas, including better care at home, increased pensions, etc etc.

  • i tinkler

    • January 10th, 2017 11:29

    Douglas Young, you seem to be asking the wrong question. The Scottish NHS and Social Sare system is so poor, is highly improbable much of worth would be purchased from those failing systems. Probably, closer to us and far superior treatments (shorter cancer treatments waiting time, infinitely superior mental health services) could be purchased from the Scandinavian countries. Costing these without quotation is simply not practical at this time.

    • Bill Adams

      • January 11th, 2017 13:22

      So Ian, just unsubstantiated claims without any “back of fag packet” financial analysis such as proffered by your Wir Shetland friend John Tulloch. Not very convincing.

    • G Fleming

      • January 30th, 2017 21:11

      As somebody who has strong Shetland roots and a human being I am worried for the islands following a crown dependency model most of your supposed g.d.p would never materialise for the benefit of the islands.Only independence,seperation,sovereignty call it what you may could Shetland ever afford a much superior lifestyle than the rest of these islands.I have never met many islanders who have ever called for that,most are very contented with the status quo.

  • i tinkler

    • January 31st, 2017 9:11

    “most (Shetlanders) are very contented with the status quo,” Really? In that case, G Fleming, why are you writing. What could possibly be the reason for your many critical epistles if Shetland is so happy with the status quo? Do you really believe the £8.5 million in cuts from the SG/SNP, the threat of School closures, the loss of Social Care threatened and the endless centralisation of vital services away from Shetland is something we are happy about? You may have distant roots in Shetland, G Fleming, but your care for Shetland and our peoples is somewhere else. In a building far, far, away!

    • G Fleming

      • February 1st, 2017 18:36

      I care for all my country Scotland,from Selkirk to Shetland and always feel it’s home from home when I visit the northern isles( sad to admit Orkney just pipped it last year though as the best holiday ever am sure Shetlaun will be fair braw again this year as it always is and I be praising it no doubt to all and sundry again.
      . Why not break,London away from England as most of your fellow Londoners are very unhappy about Brexit and the impending exodus of jobs out of the city.We all think we are better than others and should receive more than the next Joe. Shetland 40% public sector the rest of Scotland 21% I think that is a fair settlement for the islands and just can’t see anything improving unless you go Independent.


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