Letters / I am disappointed

How on earth did all this begin?

Ah, yes, it was that article about Viking Energy (VE) earning no return before 2020 and declining to become involved in compensating residents of the wind farm area for devaluation of their property (No cash from Viking until 2020; SN 15/11/12).

The article quotes Sustainable Shetland (SS) chairman Andrew Halcrow:


Andrew Halcrow said: “Viking Energy seems to be in the habit of citing lack of precedent. The same sort of argument was used for the ditching of its Health Impact Assessment.”

Dr Jonathan Wills, vice-chairman of Shetland Charitable Trust (SCT) then wrote (Not ditched; SN 16/11/12):

Andrew Halcrow of Sustainable Shetland is quoted as saying the study into the alleged health effects of windfarms has been “ditched”.

No it hasn’t, Andrew. You made that up.

The charitable trust made a commitment in good faith to investigate this problem and that’s what we’re doing.”


I’m sorry if I appear dim-witted here (Sorry to disappoint; SN 23/11/12), however I didn’t realise that VE and Shetland Charitable Trust were one and the same organisation?

Actually, I know they are not the same – at least, not now that they are run by different people.

So why would a long-standing member – vice chairman, if you please – of SCT conflate the trust and VE as being the same thing?

You’re right, Jonathan, I am disappointed, not by the absence of your apology, rather by the fact that you have chosen to initiate a trivial dispute designed to anger your opponents and lure them into an exchange of bickering about, frankly, a lot of tripe.


I am disappointed, in particular, because some undesirable effects have resulted. 

First, attention has been distracted from issues of proper concern, namely:

* that neither the trust’s £6.3 million nor future moneys committed will earn a crust before 2020;
* VE have declined to consider compensation for residents who suffer property devaluation;
* the Scottish Parliament’s inquiry report into the SNP’s renewable energy targets – already described as “an unbelievable whitewash” – has just been released.

Second, while your criticisms of existing health studies may or may not be valid, you seem to be paving the way for a further delay, apparently kicking SCT’s own health impact study “into the long grass”.

A hand of “PR-five-hunder” appears to be under way and while intrigued to discover which cards will be played between now and SCT’s December meeting, I shall be pleasantly surprised to hear of genuine progress on SCT’s health impact assessment.

John Tulloch
G83 7AG