I am sorry if my comments caused offence to anybody involved with the Norwegian prime minister’s visit to Shetland (Embarrassing snub, SN 19/5/12) and I accept John N Hunter’s rebuke (The significance of 17th May, SN 20/5/12).
I guess the problem with lacing one’s letters with irony is that it can be too easily misunderstood.
For clarity, I am fully aware of the significance to Norwegians of 17th May, 1814 and I extend my congratulations to everyone involved in the creation of the Scalloway Museum and in organising its opening by the Norwegian prime minister on Norway’s National Day.
Make no mistake, this will be seen to be an historic event in the Shetland-Norwegian relationship whose significance for Scalloway and Shetland it is hard to overstate.
I was certainly not suggesting Jens Stoltenberg’s visit “should” have been delayed; I was poking fun at Alex Salmond for, once again, being left out in the cold when he had likely arranged his Norwegian visit to coincide with National Day.
Mr Salmond knows only too well the consequences of Mr Stoltenberg’s visit to Shetland. It’s a huge honour for Shetland and it will go far in strengthening the existing links so assiduously cultivated by people like Mr Hunter – that’s why Mr Salmond tried to limit the damage to his referendum aspirations by announcing £10M for the Dales Voe oil rig decommissioning base on the same day.
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