Election letters 2019 / The system is broken and can’t be fixed

Having attended the BBC Radio Shetland’s by-election hustings event at Mareel on Monday evening, I couldn’t help noticing that no matter what subject matter was put to the candidates, all the answers were broadly the same.

All but the odd question were on issues and concerns caused by money or the lack of it. Irrespective of the source of funding, be it central government in London, Scottish Government in Edinburgh or our own Shetland Islands Council, all the issues were because of insufficient funding.

It then dawned on me that as this has, is and will continue to be the problem until the corrupted and worn out political system we have, tied with the unjust system of taxation which allows so many wealthy businesses and unscrupulous individuals to avoid their contributions, there is nothing much the candidates or their parties can do.

Pretty much every vote was for the continuation in one coloured hat or the other of the present system and its unavoidable underfunding of essential public services.


If we want a better system that addresses the funding of our public services, we are not going to get it by voting for the continuation of a failed system.

There is a chance to radically change Scottish politics with independence and there are only two parties that seek this, the SNP and the Scottish Green Party.

I’d like to say I’m confident – no slightly optimistic that independence would radically change things but I don’t see it in the SNP.

Oh yes, they are undoubtedly for Scotland and its self-determination but all I see in my vision of an independent Scotland is a political system much the same as before but just in a kilt.

Like it or not, the only party suggesting  – nay! proposing a whole new radical and fairer system of political governance, taxation etc and of course the real big issue of climate change is the Green Party, but most folk think that’s a wasted vote so where are we going? What is the vision?

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Returning to Monday night’s hustings. It was very sad to hear pretty duplicitous responses to the public’s questions on so many troubled local issues.

All the candidates more or less repeating each other saying that they would do their best for Shetland and I don’t t doubt each and everyone of them meant it, but the system will not allow them access to more money as there isn’t anymore in the present system.

The present system of governance is broken and can’t be fixed. It needs scraping and a radical new and fairer way of doing things brought in.

Vic Thomas

A recording of the BBC Radio Shetland by-election hustings can be listened to here, and our own report of the event can be read here.

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