21st November 2019
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

It’s a dirty business (James J Paton)

It seems John Tulloch can try to dish out “advice” through your pages, but can never quite seem, on any occasion, to take it. Physician heal thyself?

Mr Tulloch seems to demonstrate arrogance, ignorance and insularity in one sentence about existing bodies of law, EU or otherwise.

Bodies of law can indeed be changed. It’s called democratic reform and has been going on, although very slowly and with many steps backwards sometimes, for over 300 years in the British Isles home nations and across the EU.

Reform would be hastened in the EU if the directly elected European Parliament, and not the EU “House of Lords” (the EU Commission) wielded executive legislative power.

Aspects of both the CFP and CAP legislation have been changed since their inception, but certainly by no means far and fast enough – Miram Brett’s point entirely.

It is a pity Mr Tulloch cannot turn his, what seems very narrow and blinkered view, to the CAP for just a minute. Subsistence farmers and crofters would long have been out of business in Shetland and Orkney, and those in subsistence farming who need the support, have, relatively, been ripped off by the lion’s share of subsidy going to the biggest, wealthiest individual and corporate land-owners and related corporate intetests.

There is not a peep from Mr Tulloch about this travesty. (Before you start your reply Mr Tulloch, I have over 30 years of direct experience of the EU, its treaties – mostly signed up to by Tory governments – and past and current operation. The latter is why I voted to leave on both democratic and anti-austerity economic reasons – not on xenophobic, anti-immigration ones.)

You cannot have it both ways Mr Tulloch. Appearing to back Brexit for the sake of Shetland’s fishing industry – which has had huge amounts of EU and Shetland oil money poured into it – and trying to stop the SNP, at all costs, by singing the praises of the highly ineffectual, yet most pro-EU Lib-Dem representation at both Westminster, where they bedded the Tories, and at Edinburgh, where they bedded Labour.

I don’t mind coalition and consensual politics where it is progressive – like Greens supporting SNP on some things, but not when it is self-serving and damaging in the case of Lib-Dems’ behaviour.

Politics is certainly a difficult, if not dirty business, and it doesn’t get any dirtier than the behaviour of the Lib-Dems, Tories, and indeed Labour, in Scotland and the anti-Corbyn Blairite MPs in England, over the past seven years.

Who will Mr Tulloch be voting for at this election? I think we have a right to be told, given all his apparent misogynistic, ageist and vacuous anti-SNP rhetoric.

You’ve got to be in it to win it. Alistair Carmichael well knows, when he played with the devil (Cameron) and lost on a very dodgy hand. The Lib-Dems are certainly not in it, if they ever were.

While the true and ultimate test has yet to come for the SNP, post-independence, at Westminster, the SNP has been providing the most effective opposition oratory and positive proposals for UK, never mind Scottish prosperity.

Although a Green supporter myself, I have more hope and belief in Ms Brett trying to do the right thing for Shetland and Orkney, than dodgy, sell-out Westminster Lib-Dems and their greedy Tory pals.

Through their austerity regime over 2010-15, they enjoyed kicking the most vulnerable when they are struggling already – the disabled, the young poor (lack of training, decent jobs and fair-rent homes) and elderly poor (bedroom tax, lack of care provision, more NHS privatisation, rip-off energy bills), impoverished by the Tories’ friends in banking, finance and dodgy global non-tax paying corporates, such as those in the oil/fracking and arms industries.

Finally, in singing Mr Carmichael and Tavish Scott’s praises, if that indeed what he is doing, to get his Tory/UKIP pals to back their old, very much former Secretary of State for Scotland, pal Alistair, is Mr Tulloch not aware that the Lib-Dems are the most pro-EU at these elections?

“Oh what a tangled web you weave, when you (attempt) to practice to decieve” – to appropriately attribute in your case Mr Tulloch, albeit amended words of Sir Water Scott – Marmion, canto vi. stanza 17.

James J Paton
4 Milton Street,
North Yorkshire.


  1. John Tulloch

    Thanks, James Paton, for this fine example of “debate by blunderbuss”.

    Like the SNP, I admire Robert Burns and will continue to follow his admonition:

    “Facts are chiels that winna ding
    An downa be disputed”

    Indeed so. Especially, when presented as a logical progression, without personal attacks.

    • Graham Fleming

      Aye auld Rabbie -the gift tae gee ya the way others see ya – sik a parcel of rogues – at a polling station!

  2. James Paton

    Now then John ( Tulloch), as you well know, politics are personal. Political parties aside, I have challenged your attack of Ms Brett, on the basis of your personal political rational, or lack of in your case, and therefore it inevitably is, and rightly, taken personally, particularly in the absence of any logical, coherent, strategic, sensible ideas from your good self or the abject failure of your political brainchild (?), Wir Shetland.

  3. Ian Tinkler

    “the abject failure of your political brainchild (?), Wir Shetland.” Three Councillor members of Wir Shetland now, not bad after a couple of years. How many Greens, none!! A few closet SNP, but that’s after 40 years plus, and none of them admits being SNP. That is until they retire and dare to show their true colours.

  4. Peter Hamilton

    James asks a reasonable question. “Who will Mr Tulloch be voting for at this election?” Interesting that former Liberal backer John replied without an answer. Maggie T had a word for it. Frit. Whilst we are at it, the ever so vocal Mr. Tinkler might also let us know where he stands. Speak now boys, or forever hold your peace.

    • ian tinkler

      I already have said who I am voting for Peter. Unlike your good self, I will not point in two directions at the same time. Will you be putting up Labour posters and voting SNP again? You never can tell when we have so many closet SNPs coming out.

      • ian tinkler

        Just for Peter Hamilton. I will not be putting any posters up!
        I have had more than enough of politicians who do no more than endless parrot on about wicked Torie austerity, how awful Brexit is and does the sun not shine from the Salmond/Sturgeon fundamentals with the Valhalla of Indie2 their Holy Grail… As long as we are Indy2 and who cares about Shetland anyway! Miriam, will not get my vote. I always vote to exclude the most obnoxious party by policy, then annoying character. Ukip never, now I am leaning, Captain Calamity, at least he is a man of conviction and will do no harm. Let’s face it they are all a load of comedians, and Stuart Hill at least has a sense of fun and originality, he deserves to keep his deposit.! Incidentally we have all had enough of Idndy2 so Nicola and Miriam represent the pointless Party for about a generation. Whoop, whoop.

  5. Peter Hamilton

    If Ian excludes the most obnoxious character before voting I wonder who he voted for in the recent council election. Boom boom!

    If I can put him out of his misery momentarily, Ian, I put the Vote Labour posters up and then decided last minute to vote SNP, no regrets. Hopefully they encouraged Shetland’s voters to vote Labour with their second vote where it really mattered. Rhoda Grant is an able and hard working list MSP and has been supportive of Shetland in many ways over the years. Postergate over.

    However, the liberals blew their chance to reform voting for Westminster elections and with it any chance of securing a sensible future for the UK. There is no second vote to get out in this election. The so called LibDems had but nine MPs last time round and one of them lied to be there.

    Progressives have to take the road to progress. That road does not run through Westminster. All my Labour voting English friends would vote SNP were they living north of the boarder. Enough already.

  6. Peter Hamilton

    Surely the best way to secure the promised reduction in ferry fares is for Orkney and Shetland to return an SNP MP, preferably one with economic savvy? The SNP win would only be an SNP hold thereafter if they deliver.

  7. Ian Tinkler

    “preferably one with economic savvy? ” You jest Peter Hamilton, Miriam, has no qualifications of any type in economics. No undergraduate qualifications in economics, no postgraduate qualifications in economics, she has never worked in industry, a bank or even run a till in a shop if her resume is to be believed. I have no idea why the SNP gave her a grand title of “Senior Economic Adviser” for what looks like a political junior post of an internship. It brings new meaning to the phrase “Girl wanted, no experience necessary!” I just love to think of her advice to Salmond with his weighty qualifications and vast expiriance.

  8. Peter Hamilton

    What a dull approach Ian takes. Miriam plainly has the capacity to wrap her head around new thinking. Is his negativity based on ageism, sexism, ignorance, envy, malice or all of the above? People can develop Ian. You might want to try it sometime.

    • John Tulloch

      Here’s some “new thinking” for Miriam to “wrap her head round” – the Common Fisheries Policy is non-negotiable for new applicants to the EU.

      What will it take to get the SNP to admit they are telling a “porky pie”?

  9. ian tinkler

    “Miriam plainly has the capacity to wrap her head around new thinking”, now just how would you know that Peter Hamilton? I have known Miriam and her family for many, many years. She was a great teenager and went to school with my children. However much she has developed, one thing she is not is one with economic savvy. She simply has not had any professional training or experience in economics. It would be disingenuous to claim she had, however much the party machine hypes her abilities up. I hold no malice for Miriam as a person, but some concern for her regarding the manipulative people she has been working with and some of the camp followers, like yourself, extolling her many virtues, imagined, real or make-believe.

    • Shuard Manson

      Your dyslexia seems to have cleared up Ian. Well done you. What’s your secret?

  10. Peter Hamilton

    Are these pair Carmichael’s attack dogs or Statler and Waldorf ?

    • Ian Tinkler

      Such humour, Peter Hamilton, pity no intelligent comments or arguments, just reverting to cheap insults, how very SNP. (“negativity based on ageism, sexism, ignorance, envy, malice or all of the above?” Well done, Peter, SNP arguments at their best! Sturgeon and Miriam will be so proud of you.) No more need be added here.

  11. Peter Hamilton

    When Ian contributed “Girl wanted, no experience necessary” he hit a new personal low. Condescending, ageist, sexist and an insulting attack on an educated and accomplished woman (not girl). Btw. William Pitt the Younger became Prime Minister age 24 and doubled up as Chancellor of the Exchequer some time before Ecomomics was taught to undergraduates.

    If Ian doesn’t want to be regarded as a cantankerous old fart I suggest he stops behaving like one. Perhaps he’d like to apply himself to the challenge of avoiding ill-based personal slights for the next three weeks. Alternatively he could attempt to contradict my previous point that a SNP win would only become an SNP hold if ferries are made more affordable.

  12. Ian Tinkler

    O dear me, Peter Hamilton, you do seem to be getting a bit touchy. Lost your sense of humour? Now you are really going kindergarten. Now calm down, incidentally just how old was Miriam when she was anointed ” Senior Economic Adviser” to the Westminster SNP MPs. I thought Salmond might have been better qualified for that post, but then he was a bit wrong about congratulating Fred Goodwin on his fabulous job of bankrupting RBS. That RBS that Salmond had been an economic adviser to and that the Westminster mob had to bail out to save the economy of Scotland and the UK.

  13. Ian Tinkler

    PS. Was not William Pitt a Tory? Whoop Whoop.

  14. Peter Hamilton

    More Statler than Waldorf I think.

  15. Ian Tinkler

    Not bad for one who so hates austerity! Expenses claimed by Mhairi Black, 1 Dec 2015 — 30 Nov 2016, £70,383.69. That figure does not include basic salary, £67,060. The number of debates Mhairi has spoken in, just nineteen! For every speech Mhairi makes it costs the taxpayer over £7233! Senior Financial Adviser to Mhairi Black, Miriam Brett. It is no wonder Miriam Brett is Mhairi’s friend, £7233 for every speech! For a pair of friends who hate Torie austerity and campaign for the poor,
    what a pair of hypocrites, you just could not make that up. This is the true face of the SNP.


  16. Peter Hamilton

    Definitely more Waldorf than Statler this time. Can we use this bizarre calculation to measure the worth of a Tory leader who avoids live election debates too? In the world according to Ian a politician is only as good as their live pontifications – forget any other aspect of their job. On this basis Ian must rate himself a lot higher than those in the west of Shetland rated him of late. No wonder he has so much to say for himself.

  17. Ian Tinkler

    The difference here Peter Hamilton is that Miriam and Mhairi campaign fighting austerity and the plight of the poor. Mhairi Black seems to be a great waste of public funds. The figures speak for themselves. I will enjoy informing as many as I am able. £7233 pound for every one of nineteen speeches, just another champagne socialist. I wonder how much advice in claiming expenses Miriam Brett gave her?.


Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.