9th April 2020
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Government must stop putting isles in a box, demands Scott

3 comments, , by , in News, ST Online

MSP Tavish Scott wants the Scottish government to guarantee its maps will not put Shetland in a box.

Legislation should be passed that stops Shetland being put “in a box” in official Scottish government publications.

That is the view of isles MSP Tavish Scott who says the geographical error is not just irksome but would show the government takes “island proofing” seriously.

Mr Scott has tabled an amendment to the Islands Bill that would ensure that official publications put Shetland in its rightful place. The bill focuses on provisions designed to strengthen and protect Scotland’s island communities.

The MSP says he has seen Shetland on official maps placed in a box either in the Moray Firth or just off the northeast coast of the Scottish Mainland.

He said: “Shetlanders are rightly irked when they see Shetland placed in a box in the Moray Firth. I strongly believe the Scottish government should portray the country it serves with accuracy.

“The principle is important here.

“A recent Scottish government strategy on loneliness made this geographical mistake. I asked Scotland’s most senior civil servant to correct the error.

“But from now on, I want to ensure that mistake just cannot happen. Putting Shetland in its appropriate place would go some way to rectifying the perception that the islands are an afterthought. It will visually align the government with its stated political commitment to island proofing.”

The Islands Bill amendments will be debated next Wednesday in Holyrood.


  1. Steven Jarmson

    The legislation should cover weather reporting too.
    Recently both BBC UK and BBC Scotland have taken to cutting us out altogether!
    I’ve seen the weather four times in the last 7 days, the South mainland was just visible on the “full” UK map, and non-existent on the close ups.
    Irksome is one way of putting it.
    But, I suppose it’s just a reflection of the neglect Shetland suffers at the hands of the our southern colonial masters.
    I’m quite sure when it comes to getting our taxes they’ll very quickly find us!

  2. Ronald Young

    OK, I’m a “Southerner” – from Derbyshire, but until I first visited Caithness, then the two wonderful island groups to the N of Scotland in the 1970’s, I always thought that they were somewhere in that area that’s labelled “Moray Firth”

    And something that’s just as bad – some road atlases show both Shetland and Orkney to a much smaller scale than the rest of the UK.

    Lets get the Northern Isles not just where they are, but also shown to the correct scale!

  3. David Spence

    Yep, it is a bummer when the boat gets close to the edge of the box, and we have to pay a toll to get out. Reminds me of Blazing Saddles, when they had to pay a toll at the gate, and only the gate, in the middle of the desert. lol


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