20th September 2019
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Wills condemns war memorial graffiti

SNP candidate Tom Wills has said he was “appalled” after the Lerwick war memorial was vandalised with the word ‘SNP’.

Photos emerged on Thursday morning of the vandalism, which appears in large letters on a concrete block at the left of the memorial.

Mr Wills said on Thursday that he was “appalled, outraged and hurt” by the vandalism.

“Needless to say this attack has absolutely nothing to do with my campaign or the SNP.

“Whoever is responsible should be ashamed and subject to the full consequences of the law.

“I strongly urge anyone with information to contact the police so we can find out who is responsible for this mindless act of vandalism.

“Local volunteers are on site just now to see how best to remove the graffiti.”

Photo: Andrew Simpson.

Police confirmed on Thursday morning that they had received a report of the vandalism.

This comes a week before Shetland goes to the polls to decide who will replace Tavish Scott as Shetland’s MSP, with Mr Wills seemingly a front-runner in the race.

The war memorial commemorates those lost in both the First and Second World Wars.

Lib Dem candidate Beatrice Wishart said: “I’m absolutely appalled. There is no excuse for this.

“We all know that emotions run high during an election but vandalism of this sort has no place in our community.

“This is not how politics is done in Shetland.”

Scottish Conservative candidate Brydon Goodlad said: “This is an appalling act of vandalism and a sign of total disregard for those who bravely fought and died for this country.

“It is also a sad indictment of the state of our politics in Scotland today. I hope all candidates in the by-election will unite in condemning this.

“I would appeal to anyone with any information about this to come forward and contact the police immediately.

“Those responsible should be met with the full force of the law.”

Johan Adamson, Scottish Labour candidate, said: “Along with other prospective MSPs I am also appalled and deeply saddened at the graffiti at the war memorial in Lerwick and would also urge anyone with information about the incident to contact the police.”

More in this week’s edition of The Shetland Times.

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6 comments

  1. Paul Wusteman

    Given Shetland’s distinct tradition and history, and the pleasure of having it in the UK, and what has been going on in Scotland of late, can I ask what would Shetlanders’ views be if the UK government offered a Referendum in Shetland with the choice of Shetland remaining part of Scotland (ie SNP Scotland for the foreseeable future) or taking up some special unique position in the UK eg something like the Isle of Man or a Country Palatine – a county which has special, unique powers, not part of England, but part of the UK.

    Reply
    • John M Scott

      The Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom; it is a Crown Dependency, owing allegiance directly to the Queen in her role as Lord of Mann ( correct spelling for this title).

      Similarly: Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark are the last remnants of the Duchy of Normandy, where the Queen is Duke of Normandy. Under ancient Salic Law a female can’t inherit the title, so Her Majesty is an honorary male.

      A Palatine County, such as Lancaster, Durham, Cheshire and Cornwall, had the right to levy their own taxes and mint their own coinage.

      If Shetland went down the same route as the Channel Islands, the Lord Lieutenant would be replaced by a Lieutenant Governor as representative of the Queen of Shetland, and Shetland Islands Council would become a Legislative Assembly.

      Reply
      • Paul Wusteman

        I was aware of the points you make but Shetland IS in the UK whereas Man and the Channel Islands never have been.

        Obviously, there are many options and Shetland would be sui generis. Scotland is a lost cause as part of the UK, nothing the English/Welsh/N Irish can do about what is happening there and the English will not put up with it for much longer – but it would be very sad to lose that close contact and family relationship with Shetland.

      • John M Scott

        I understand your points Paul, which is why I deliberately made reference to the Queen of Shetland; the Shetland Islands in fact becoming a sovereign and separate entity within the United Kingdom.

        At the end of the day, I would hate to see the breakup of a 300 year old partnership that I believe, on the whole, has worked pretty well.

    • David Clark

      I think Shetland becoming a crown dependency is an excellent idea. In fact – is Scotland has another referendum – Shetland should be offered that option too in a referendum before the Scottish one – so Scotland would know how much of shetlands wealth it would have to spend

      Reply
    • John Tulloch

      Given Shetland’s significant Exchequer Balance (£80 million p.a. at the last reckoning), money which could be used by a Shetland government to invest in infrastructure projects like fixed links and other measures to improve the issues highlighted by Shetland Inequalities Commission, coupled with control of fishing grounds and planning of on land and offshore developments that should be a very attractive proposition for islanders.

      Reply

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