Letters / Viking folly

An open letter to Viking Energy

Dear VE,

If Shetland was a kleptocracy in central Africa it would no doubt generate its share of despairing editorials in the surviving literate fraction of the press. The Economist (my weekend reading each weekend since September 1960) would run a piece on bad governance standing in the way of economic development.


But Shetland is not a kleptocracy in central Africa, in spite of the best (or rather the worst) efforts of its scandalously dysfunctional Islands’ Council.

Even so the manner in which VE has run rings around the ‘parish council’ that is the greedy-eyed SIC in regard to the appalling Lang Kames project deserves a wider audience in mainland Britain. I hope this wider audience can be reached and engaged as the VE Lang Kames folly plunges on.

Shetlanders and you must know that what makes money does not always make sense. In all likelihood the Lang Kames project, if it does finally go ahead, will make neither sense nor money.


I remind my daughter, who works in Shetland and is transfixed by the catastrophe bearing down on the place she loves, of Barbara Tuchman’s book ,’The March of Folly’. Herein ‘folly’ is defined as going ahead with something against all the evidence that it will end in tears.

Inviting the Greek wooden horse into Troy is (in every sense) a classic example of folly. For the Shetland Islands, accepting VE’s whirling (whirling taking place when the wind is not too little or too great) gifts will easily match the bad judgement of the Trojans.

Yours despairingly

Colin Rendall
17 Moor View