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Letters / What is it you are debating?

Your report on the Our Islands Our Future conference (Vote offers chance for grown up debate; SN, 19/09/13) contains a couple of interesting quotes from Convener Robinson:

“We are not going to step outside the family of local authorities in Scotland”


“This is the first opportunity in many years to have a proper, grown-up political debate in Orkney and Shetland and I am quite excited.”

1. If Shetland is not going to step outside the family of local authorities in Scotland then we’re not looking for Falkland Islands or Isle of Man status within the UK if the referendum vote is “YES” but Shetland votes “NO”.

This begs the question “Will we get to know how Shetlanders vote or has that idea been ruled out as potentially “inconvenient”?”

2. Shetland is not looking for anything resembling Faroe/Aland status in an independent Scotland if Scots and Shetlanders both vote “YES”.

Far from it, we’ve got our begging bowl out to Salmond for alms of broadband and the right to pick the NorthLink ferry contractor!

Exactly what is it that we’re going to be debating in Orkney and Shetland in a “grown-up” way now that you’ve given away your negotiating position and we know that what we get will be less than this effete, fawning request?

After all the talk the “Grand old Duke of York” is “marching us all down again”!

If this is the kind of democracy we can expect from an autonomous Shetland government (a stitch-up; and we already know what to expect from Edinburgh) then we will be better to stick with Westminster – even with the House of Lords and all the crap that goes with monarchy.

Convener Robinson says he’s excited” about this wonderful debate we’re going to have but I’m not excited. There’s another day to go but I’m dismayed and on this showing, I’ll be voting an emphatic “NO!”

John Tulloch