Astonishing choice (John Tulloch)

With Alistair Carmichael at his weakest, I’m astonished the SNP has selected such a weak candidate – a 25-year-old party apparatchik with little experience outside the ‘Westminster bubble’.

Take the other female candidate, Robina Barton (Labour). In stark contrast to Ms Brett, she offers a wealth of life experience and commitment to the community.

From her 2016 election pitch: “After gaining a degree in archaeology and ancient Hebrew, working with homeless people in Glasgow, and a brief spell as a HGV driver, I moved to Shetland for a career in heritage.

“Most recently I coordinated the activities of Shetland Unesco Global Geopark and chaired the Scottish Geoparks Partnership. I live with my husband and my cat Evy and am currently setting up a tourism business. I enjoy adventure sports, reading, dancing and singing. I am secretary of Shetland Heritage Association, secretary of Bressay History Group, vice-chair of Bressay Development Ltd, a member of Shetland Tourism Association, and a hostess for Sound School Up-Helly-A’.

“I was formerly secretary of Climb Shetland, secretary of Sustainable Shetland, trustee of Shetland Arts Development Agency and vice-clerk of the national charity Quaker Homeless Action.”

All other things being equal (i.e. no Indy2 and no national Labour chaos), which of these women would you entrust with protecting Shetland’s interests?

John Tulloch


Add Your Comment
  • Gordon Harmer

    • May 1st, 2017 15:56

    Jings John, got to disagree with you on this. I think the SNP have the candidate who will win this election hands down. She is going to appeal to all sections of the Shetland community. This has to be a master stroke pulled of by the SNP at this time. Alistair’s popularity at an all time low because of what happened at the last election and his total disregard for the fishing community after Brexit. There will be no tactical vote to save him this time and the non SNP vote will be split four ways so I am afraid the SNP have outplayed everyone with their choice of candidate.

  • Kathy Greaves

    • May 1st, 2017 16:20

    I sincerely hope your candidate does not win, Gordon, an SNP win would be disastrous for Shetland. It would give them the excuse they need to swoop in and steal our oil funds (which they are doing anyway). Shetlanders know better than to vote for SNP, regardless of how pleasant or appealing their candidate is.

    • Gordon Harmer

      • May 1st, 2017 20:30

      Kathy, she is not my candidate, I am just saying what I see happening. It saddens me to say what I have above but it is what I see. An SNP MP will always be bad for Shetland, the proof is evident in your comment.

    • John Jamieson

      • May 1st, 2017 20:54

      Can’t follow you logic. Surely it would be an SNP Scottish Government that would have a more direct effect on Shetland than another SNP MP in Westminster.

  • Scott Miller

    • May 1st, 2017 16:22

    As much as I don’t normally agree with Gordon. I have to be honest and say, I agree 100% with his analysis.

    The SNP have played this one well. Sometimes we have to trust the younger folks, they can view things in a new light that those of us older can’t see.

  • Lilian Cameron

    • May 1st, 2017 17:02

    Having been at the Labour Party Conference in Perth and having seen their map of Scotland I really don’t think Labour have any chance whatsoever in Shetland!
    Perhaps if they did a wee bit of research and could produce a map which includes Shetland …………..

  • Colin Hunter

    • May 1st, 2017 17:37

    Kathy, if the SNP had wanted to appropriate Shetland’s oil funds, they would have done it long ago. In fact, they would be more likely to do something like that if they didn’t have a sitting MP (or MSP) because then they would have nothing to lose. The Tories have only one MP in the whole of Scotland, and it hasn’t stopped them, or Labour, from taking whatever they liked from Scotland, or even Shetland. Remember who it was who reneged time and time again on Shetland’s housing debt, and remember also, who ended up paying some of it off!
    I completely agree with Gordon for once, as I truly believe this young lady will be very good indeed for Orkney & Shetland, not least because she was born and raised here, and I hope they can find someone just as good for Shetland when the next Scottish Elections take place.

    • Steven Jarmson

      • May 2nd, 2017 18:29

      What utter nonsense.
      The SNP policy of austerity max is hitting Shetland hardest, austerity double max, because they think we’ll spend our oil fund topping up their measly allowance for Shetland.
      The SNP have been worse for Shetland than the Tories ever were for Scotland.
      23% cuts for Shetland whilst areas like West Lothian have only suffered 6% cuts over the same time period.
      Where’s our Barnett formula??
      Cheap ferries for the Western Isles whilst Shetland is promised a deal that will cut fairs. What do we actually get? A freeze in fairs, not the promised cuts.
      We have no 24 hour police station anywhere in the isles.
      We have not yet received the crown estate powers the Smith Commission said Shetland should be given despite SNP demands the Smith Commission must be delivered IN FULL.
      We have been promised so much by Scotland, but we get nothing but empty SNP promises and a government we didn’t vote for.

  • ian tinkler

    • May 1st, 2017 17:52

    I think this goes a little further than SNP versus the rest. Mirian is an excellent choice for a Pro Indy, Pro EU and hard Socialist nationalism vote. As far as I can see all the others are Pro-EU also, apart from a rather toxic UKIP choice. Let us wait until after the Council elections are over, then see if we can find a pro-Brexit candidate with no taint of UKIP, sorry UKIP supporters, too far right for me, Mirian is too far left, opposite sides of the same unpleasant coin.

  • Alan Dow

    • May 1st, 2017 18:20

    I agree with Gordon & Scott, the SNP have a great candidate. A young lady who was brought up and has lived here, she knows what Shetland requires and being youthful will have the determination to fight for the electorate if she is elected. I think Alistair Carmichaels’ time is up after the lying in the last election. Did he not say that the 2015 election would be his last?

    • Steven Jarmson

      • May 2nd, 2017 19:26

      No SNP MP or MSP can have a view other than that of Sturgeon on any issue.
      Win or lose, this young woman won’t be fighting for anything she’s not been given permission to fight for.
      I still think Carmichael will hold the seat.

  • Kathy Greaves

    • May 1st, 2017 18:56

    When the oil funds have all been appropriated by the SNP, what will fill the big void – deficit in Shetland’s income, which is reducing year on year anyway – to pay for this young generation’s ‘luxuries’, the leisure centres, funding and grants to individuals and groups, all the ‘luxuries’ they benefit from now?

    People of all ages need to think long and hard about the consequences of their vote.

    • David Nicolson

      • May 2nd, 2017 18:43

      Hmm think the Crown has stolen half the oil wealth, SCT run by Queens council !

  • Brian Smith

    • May 1st, 2017 20:40

    Tulloch and Graves are expecting a Tory landslide in Shetland. Chuckle!

  • Peter Hamilton

    • May 1st, 2017 21:13

    Interesting prejudices on show here. Miriam Brett is pre-judged by John who knows little about her other accomplishments and Kathy has long ago decided the SNP intend to steal Shetland’s oil wealth.

    As someone who has been very close to economic policy making in what will inevitably be Scotland’s largest political party, Miriam would be very well placed to ensure Shetland’s needs are heard.

    No disrespect to the Labour candidate, but Miriam Brett is a proven sharp and original thinker, a great communicator, clearly has ordinary folk at heart and, having known her family a bit over the years, I am quite sure she will have heaps more to offer.

    So, should Orkney and Shetland’s Labour voters vote tactically to eject a pro-austerity, past his use-by date, proven liar?

    For all Alastair has done parts of his job ably enough, he has been well paid for it. Vote tactically to get shot of unreliable representation? It’s a no brainer.

  • Shuard Manson

    • May 1st, 2017 22:12

    Are we going to get a well thought out critique on the men standing for election
    John? Or is du just gluffed by clever women?

  • Johan Adamson

    • May 2nd, 2017 9:30

    What a great situation we are in, two young women standing up for us. Interesting times.

    • Steven Jarmson

      • May 2nd, 2017 22:29

      Why is the gender of a candidate relevant to the debate?
      Would it be less “great” and “interesting” if we had 2 young men as candidates?

      • Johan Adamson

        • May 3rd, 2017 13:20

        No, that would be great too. Just pointing out they are both young and that would be a worse situation with a lib dem who was unlikely to go and no one interested in standing.

  • John Tulloch

    • May 2nd, 2017 10:01

    For years we have railed against the “career politician” – the Blairs, the Camerons, the Osbornes – who “never did a day’s work in their lives” but went straight from university into well-connected policy jobs in parliament, becoming MPs without ever having any real experience of the world outside the “Westminster Bubble”.

    It’s incestuous and it’s how you get leaders who are “out of touch with ordinary voters”. It’s what led to Brexit.

    Two years ago she was a fourth year student…. now she wants to become an MP?

    But hey, it’s the SNP doing it now so, suddenly, it’s the “order of the day”.

  • James J Paton

    • May 2nd, 2017 13:10

    Mr Tulloch niavely trying to promote a split in the anti-Lib Dem/ Tory/ UKIP, vote to favour the Tories? Where’s the Wir Shetland candidate Mr Tulloch? He must think the electorate stupid, as well as ageist. Trying also to avoid the sexist tag by ‘supporting’ (?) a no-hope Labour candidate. How many women, compared to men, are in Wir Shetland? We should be told.

    Tulloch almost implies he’s going to vote Labour, which I’m sure, if he were to admit, he’s never done in his life.

    People who are both liberal and democratic would surely vote for Miriam. The Lid-Dem Party should have insisted on PR being introduced in the name of democracy, never mind self- interest, when they climbed into bed with the Tories in 2010 and backed the worst austerity in the country since the 1930’s, hitting the poorest and wesjdsf hardest.
    Can’t believe the O&S Labour Parties are being so stupid in fielding a candidate, as intelligent and capable as she may be. Miriam Brett’s social democratic credentials are impeccable.

    • Derick Tulloch

      • May 2nd, 2017 15:06

      It appears that Stuart Hill will be flying the flag for Shetland Independence. He’ll mak a fine proxy Wir Shetland candidate. I have to say this news has made my day.

    • Steven Jarmson

      • May 2nd, 2017 20:35

      James J Paton, the SNP are neither liberal not democratic.
      Any party that bans internal discussion and dissent can never claim to be liberal nor democratic. The rubber stamping of the fuhrers views by members just shows how blindly nationalists are when it comes to tearing Shetland (& Orkney) kicking and screaming out of the UK.
      Any party that says a vote is binding and “once in a generation” then says we don’t like the answer so lets try again isn’t democratic. Unless they meant within generations of a hamsters.
      The SNP are a top down autocratic menace to both Scotland, the UK and the colonies of Shetland & Orkney.
      I’ve never understood this politically correct thing about how many female or male members there are in a particular group. Wir Shetland is open to all, there’s no mandated limits on either gender.
      The stupidity of this “point” is only out down by its irrelevance.
      I truly hope the SNP do not get O&S at the election. It will be an utter disaster for us.

      • Steven Jarmson

        • May 2nd, 2017 20:54

        Oh, and there was a national vote on changing the voting system.
        The people said no.
        I cited for change, but, unlike within the SNP, in a democracy, you’re allowed to say “no.”

      • Stuart Hannay

        • May 5th, 2017 9:34

        Comparing the leader of the SNP to Hitler? Is this the level of debate here?

    • Johan Adamson

      • May 3rd, 2017 8:56

      People who are both liberal and democratic would also surely be pro choice. Or maybe we should just ban elections in Scotland all together and have an SNP totalitarian state?

    • Duncan Simpson

      • May 3rd, 2017 9:26

      Mr Paton. John Tullochs views are his own and are NOTHING to do with Wir Shetland. As has been explained about a million times in regards to the Council Election, Wir Shetland is NOT a political party so cannot field a candidate for anything.

      As for the gender make up of Wir Shetland, what exactly are you getting at? As membership secretary I could get that information but as far as I am aware there are as many women as men on our list, it has not been filtered in that way because why would it? Why should you be told anything? I filtered the list geographically for statistical purposes before our last AGM but what relevance does gender have? We do not discriminate by age, gender, race, sexuality, nationality or even political allegiance. To suggest otherwise is simply incorrect and to state otherwise is potentially libelous.

      Disagree with Mr Tulloch all you want but leave us (and the 400+ members of Wir Shetland) out of it.

    • John Tulloch

      • May 4th, 2017 7:29

      James J Paton,

      Unlike my letter, my friend Duncan Simpson’s reply to you is only partly true.

      I stepped down from the WS committee one year ago, tomorrow. It follows that all views developed and progress achieved since then are their own work and indeed, NOTHING to do with me.

      However, as long as the group continues to follow the policies and arguments i presented in the WS public launch presentation, plus others developed by me, I’m afraid, “aa da watter ida well will never waesh dem clear” of my views”.

  • Graham Fleming

    • May 2nd, 2017 20:20

    I wonder who the font of all knowledge – the daily express will be supporting in the northern Isles. It will be spoilt for choice the official tories,ukip and now calamity jane. Hopefully all three and their nonsense will be sunk somewhere south of Fair Isle with a triplicate of lost deposits.
    Shetland expects everyone to do their duty!


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