Monday 18 March 2013


With The Liberals now apparently passionate about a parliament for the Northern Isles, let's take a look at the party's track record on devolving powers, bearing in mind how dedicated they are to federalism and greater autonomy: 

*First Scottish General Election, 1999* 

1999: in coalition government with Labour: nothing 

2000: in coalition government with Labour: nothing

2001: in coalition government with Labour: nothing

2002: in coalition government with Labour: nothing

*Scottish General Election, 2003* 

2003: in coalition government with Labour: nothing 

2004: in coalition government with Labour: nothing

2005: in coalition government with Labour: nothing

2006: in coalition government with Labour: nothing

*Scottish General Election, 2007* 
out of power

*UK General Election, 2010* 

2010: in coalition government with Tories: nothing 

2011: in coalition government with Tories: nothing 

2012: in coalition government with Tories: nothing 

Hmm... Good one, guys. 


  1. Tris

    The Liberal Democrats and in particlar, Rennie, Moore, Cable, Clegg, Alexander and Swinson or whatever the annoying womans name is, are obnoxious flawed individuals who have given up, I believe, everything they once believed in and know that there is no going back.

    They have made decisions that have killed their party and the only way for them to even hope they can recover is some miracle in the economy, the referendum etc etc.

    If I were a member of that party I would be livid with what they have done to it. You could add Campbell the saviour of Leuchers ( oh nothing happened there ) he hasn't even opened his mouth. Scott who is preaching that the Islands should declare federalism to try and save the oil and gas for the UK, and Charles Kennedy who I would have thought would have resigned by now given that 300 years ago his party leaders would have been known as traitors to their country. I atcually think they are now but apparently if you believe in independence you can't call them that because they love their country too. I don't doubt it, their country is England and they will do anything for it, as Moore said we ceased to exsist in his eyes.

    As I have admitted before I consider myself a liberal but the sooner this party is dead or taken over by real liberals the better. The liberals are really catching up with my real dislike of the other two tory parties. What a sad state of affairs when the three so called main parties are all the same and those of us who want change are denegrated by the press while they can rob from the poor to feed the rich, can lie and cheat and do anything to talk down their people and their country and the media say nothing. What a sad sad country we live in, breaks your heart.


  2. Hypocrite is being kind as they have shown that they prefer the chance of ermine over everything else and would be hanging from boughs in days gone bye.

  3. The Liberals like Labour before them have decided to put privileges before principles. Despite ostensibly being opposed to the Iraq invasion they still staayed in the coalition with Labour who supported the war. They could have struck a blow to Labour and gained some credibility by refusing to stay in the coalition.

    I understand that, in the Daily Mail, they were advocating that the Outer Hebrides would stay in the UK after Scottish independence - that would be, literally, over my dead body.

  4. The Liberals like Labour before them have decided to put privileges before principles. Despite ostensibly being opposed to the Iraq invasion they still staayed in the coalition with Labour who supported the war. They could have struck a blow to Labour and gained some credibility by refusing to stay in the coalition.

    I understand that, in the Daily Mail, they were advocating that the Outer Hebrides would stay in the UK after Scottish independence - that would be, literally, over my dead body.

  5. Hypocrites to the left...hypocrites to the right! And how is Tavish doing in his little fiefdom of Shetland? Surely him and the Liberal Democrats are doing very well for them to be so sure that they have their finger on the pulse of what Orkney and Shetland want? Unfortunatley Tavish's share of the vote dropped by 19% at the last election, hardly a ringing endorsement now is it!

  6. Scott
    An odious, Groundhog Day Carsonite.

  7. Sir E Scott school Harris indy poll Should make interesting reading for Tavish

    1. Harris pupils back independence in mock referendum 18/3/13
      A huge majority of students voted for Scottish independence in a mock referendum at Sir E Scott school in Harris.
      The secondary school’s ballot took place in the week the bill was published paving the way to permit 16 year olds the right to participate in the 2014 vote.
      About 75% of senior students participating in the test ballot favoured an independent Scotland. Thirty senior pupils voted Yes while ten were against breaking up the UK. Three were undecided.
      Prior to the informal poll on Thursday afternoon, pupils quizzed SNP councillor Philip Mclean and Labour councillor Donald John Macrae during a debate on the pros and cons of independence.

      I think that's the one John talked about too fairfor. Sorry, I missed your comment until now. Yeah, I think they should be very careful. Things a slipping away from their negativity. People can see that what they have is crap, and there's a good chance it will get better in Scotland, but none whatsoever, just worse, with the UK at the helm

  8. I think many of us Bruce, would be happy to be described as liberals, or even Liberals. No-one that writes on here is a nationalist in the accepted use of the work.

    But none of us want anything to do with illiberal and, it would appear, undemocratic party in the dying throes in Scotland, or England for that matter.

    The appear to be most interested in their own progression, presumably initially onto the government Mondeo level, dinner at Buckingham Palace, and finally the red benches of the English House of Lords.

    I've no time for most of them.

    There seem to be though a few good men there. Two Liberal Democrats who fight on their blogs for LIBERAL and DEMOCRATIC policies, Andrew Page (Scottish Liberal) and George Potter (Potter Blog), still have a great deal of my respect, but the rest seem to tow the party line never mind how illiberal and undemocratic it becomes.

    Caron Lindsay, with whom I have rarely agreed, has, however, put up a spirited fight against the secret trials policy that the leadership has adopted despite it being utterly against everything that the party stands for (and of course against the votes of their members).

    I think, though, that at the next election in the UK, they will all but disappear, as they have in Scotland (losing more than 2/3 of their votes).

    It's a pity because after that there will be three right wing parties left at UK level...

    I just hope we're gone by then.

  9. That' pretty much it CH. Self that everyone who has been a junior under minister for making the tea gets a seat in the Lords.

  10. John... My mum says you are not to lay down your life for the islands.

    We all seem to be agreed that the Liberals have put themselves before their country and their followers, and have been, and will be rewarded appropriately.

    I wonder how many seats they will have in 2015.

  11. Amazing drop in numbers in Shetland, Munguin, the very home of Liberalism.

  12. LOL Yeah... which is their day, David?

  13. Putting aside the blatant hypocrisy of the LibDems, there is a fair issue surrounding self-determination.

    Orkney has never been part of the celtic fringe, and has precious little historic ties to lowland Scotland either. There is an extremely valid argument the SNP need to answer here.

    1. Why should 'Scotland' get the right of self-determination (which I support by the way, lets have the vote on it) - but deny it for Shetlands, Orkney?

    2. If they believe in geographical shares of oil and gas revenues, why should the islands up north not get their geographical share to a devolved assembly?

    I for one would welcome a highlands and islands assembly inside the UK or inside an separate Scotland. We are seeing since 1999 a dangerous Edinburgh-pull. Centralisation leading to absurd policy failures (i.e. both Labour and SNP messing about with crofting laws!!!!!)

    Is there an SNP answer? Nope, just criticism, ridicule and obstinacy. Evidence of a party in trouble.

  14. Dean, you're talking mince again.

    This was posted in a comment by Tris on my blog on the same topic (with the kind compliment removed, I don't like to brag.) Seems fitting that I repost the post Tris posted to answer your, erm, post.


    1. In response to the Calman Commission Shetland Islands Council (17th September 2008) wants oil revenues devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

    "A key contributor to the Shetland economy over many years has been oil and gas. The regulation of oil and gas is reserved almost entirely to Westminster and consideration should be given to the issue of devolution of control over oil and gas perhaps by means of giving the Scottish Parliament control over oil and gas within Scottish waters."

    "The country has changed and Shetland has changed, so I suspect that these are arguments are not as relevant now as they were. Proportionality and the extra member, I believe, will assuage these fears," he said.

    2. The 2001 census shows there is a greater proportion of people in Shetland & Orkney who opted for Scottish identity than in some mainland local authorities. The options of "Other British" or just "Other" were available. 85.18% of people in Shetland declared themselves as Scottish – more than Stirling, Highland, Dumfries & Galloway, Borders, Moray, Argyll & Bute and Edinburgh. 84.15% of people in Orkney declared themselves as Scottish – more than Dumfries & Galloway, Borders, Moray, Argyll & Bute and Edinburgh

    3. Shetland voted yes to both questions in 1997 – and with a greater %
    of support than some mainland authorities.
    62.40% in Shetland for a Scottish Parliament. More than Dumfries &
    Galloway, Perthshire & Kinross and East Renfrewshire.
    51.60% in Shetland for tax raising powers. More than Dumfries & Galloway, Borders, Perthshire & Kinross and East Renfrewshire.

    4. In the 2011 election the SNP came first in the combined regional vote for Shetland & Orkney with 5,594 votes (32%) – 557 ahead of the LibDems.

    5. On 12th March 2012 Lord Peter Fraser’s response to the referendum consultation argued that Orkney & Shetland could remain part of the UK with Scapa Flow in Orkney becoming the base for Trident.

    Shetland Island Council is also a member of the nuclear free authority organisation KIMO.

    6. Orkney & Shetland became part of Scotland in 1472. This followed King Christian I of Denmark and Norway pawning his personal interests in 1468 to the King of Scots in 1468.

    1. That will be 'Ass whole mince with no added preservatives!'

  15. Well Dean. There are a lot of answers, probably most of which can be answered by reading the Wings over Scotland article on how these things work.

    I'm suffering from a fever, so I'll add my additional points briefly if I may, Dean.

    Scotland is a country. Orkney and Shetlands are Norse islands given to the King of Scotland as dowry payments.

    They have never been a part of England.

    If they can apply for some special status then why not Caithness; why not Thurso; why not Aberdeenshire; why not the East coast, why not Birmingham?

    I agree that devolution is a fine idea. Devolving power downwards, at least to a certain extent, is a grand idea. (We can't have the people of Papa Stour deciding to be a nuclear state!! and maybe we don't want the people of Dundee's Hilltown having diplomatic relations with a town in central Russia, or declaring war on North Korea.)

    I'd be happy to hear of this after independence.

    Wherever in the world there will always be complaints of smaller and low population groups feeling left out.

    There is huge bad feeling in England at the moment that there is London and the rest of the country. In Scotland that there is Edinburgh and central belt ... and the rest of the country.

    In local councils there are always part of the country that feels it doesn't get as much money/attention as the county town... and of course, if the islands became self governing I'm sure that the two capital cities would soon be accused of centralising everything in Lerwick and Kirkwall, and we'd be wanting independence for Yall.

  16. Fancy you quoting from such learned sources Pa!! :)

  17. 'Scotland' - no such country. Its frankly an artificial creation; much like modern 'England'.

    What of Cornwall? What of Gaels, Picts, and Orkney particularisms? Not to mention Wales and the Welsh-English borderlands.

    Fake nationalisms all round.

    Only one solution, abolition of nationalisms so to save our cultural diversity.

    1. Only one solution, abolition of nationalisms so to save our cultural diversity.

      First on the list is British Nationalism through independence.

    2. Scotland' - no such country.


  18. Dean,

    The nationalism put forward by the SNP is inclusive and encourages cultural diversity, a view sadly not exactly shared by other parties.

    All this nonsense about Shetland's independence would not arise if it were not for their proximity to oil and gas resources and you can be assured that if it were not for that these islands would be dismissed and disregarded by the UK Government.

    As it is, perhaps you can explain why the "oil-rich" Shetlanders pay around £1.50 a litre for fuel whilst oil-less Londoners pay around £1.35 a litre for the same fuel?

    Incidentally, the vote in my local school by those who will be eligible to vote was 30 for independence, three for status quo and three don't knows. Hardly grounds for optimism in this area for Darling's alliance.

  19. Grand news John...

    The truth is that if they stayed with England, they wouldn't get any oil at all.

    They can only go independent and then ask for dependency status in England.

    They would probably get it, being rich and independent, but of course they would them ruled by London, not Edinburgh. Not local.

  20. From what I can gather from friends who went to university rather the the Glasgow School of Art, where legal issues were too complicated for simple minds, is that the only way they could be independent is if Scotland was not. If Scotland was independent then they would have rights over Shetland's waters.

    If they both decided to go independent at the same time then international courts would get involved and the odds would be in Scotland's favour as a former country rather than a region..

    If they decided that they wanted to remain in the union they would be an enclave of the RUK and would only had rights over a limited area which did not include oil rights thus being an unwelcome burden on the RUK without much to contribute.

    To be fair, this was discussed in the pub after a few spritzers so perhaps one of your more intellectual contributors, such as Niko, would unravel the tangled web involved and I will sit in the corner with my pointed hat on?

  21. LOL @ John.

    Thanks for your arty piece, gleaned from your uni mates...

    Anyway, as I see it, or rather have read about it because I've no more legal idea than fly in the air, your uni pals have summed it up.

    They could remain an enclave of the rUK, but their territory would only go 12 miles into the water. The oil would be Scotland's.

    As a part of the UK I think it's probably unlikely that they could become crown protectorates/dependencies like Jersey, Man or Guernsey.

    If they did then its likely the oil would be theirs, but as their own government(s) would control it, I think the English or rUK government would be unlikely to take on responsibility for them in terms of health/higher education/defence/social security, etc, with no payback...

    Let's be honest. Tavish hates and detests Alex and the SNP with a weird and scary passion. He knows it won't happen, but he's clever enough to know that it will generate a few "SCARE" stories..., so that will do.... and that they will get coverage because there were 25 LDs meeting in a small room in Dundee and the press sent someone to cover it... probably for a laugh.

    1. Frankly, after Tavish's disastrous leadership, losing over 2/3 of his party's seats and resigning (and yes, I know the UK factor was part of that, but Tavish was too stupid to reject and disown what Clegg as doing), I'm surprised they let the idiot speak at the conference. I'd have had him in a sealed box somewhere lest he say anything else stupid and lose yet more support.

      Still given the decision making ability of Willie Billions of Treaties Rennie, nothing about this set of jokers surprises me.

  22. And now for something different

    Oh and it seems that 7 Labour MPs voted against the bedroom tax meaning that voting Labour gives you a Tory government after all.

  23. yeah CH, I saw that.

    It's worse than that.

    They can now change the law retrospectively.

    If they need money they can say that it was a terrible mistake that they paid that extra amount of pension, or gave a tax reduction or whatever, and simply change the law to take it all back.

    Doesn't matter what the courts say...they don't like it, they change the law.

    No written constitution and spineless gutless criminal MPs.

    Better Together my arse.

    It occurred to me that if someone sent me to work for nothing in Poundland, I wouldn't perhaps be the best employee in the world. Now I'd not do anything dangerous or illegal, but then, I'm just a wee fairty.

    There are those who would...

    Another good reason for refusing to use these shops. You never know what their "staff" did with the goods they put on the shelf!!

    1. Aye it was the retro rather than the bedroom tax, my mistook, but shows that Scottish unionist MPs are better together and two fingers to all of the voters even those who vote for them.

      Looking on twitter more and more people are turning from no to YES as they realise that the union is dead (corrupt) and not fit for purpose. Bring it on.

    2. Bring it on...

  24. Marcia sent me a video... which I note must have been full of embarrassing stuff, because Better Together have slapped a private on it:

    Imagine being so proud of your content that you let no one see it.

    Another pile of Ryans wee bloody sausage rolls no doubt!

    If you can give us a few details for a laugh Marcia, we'd be obliged!!! :)

  25. @Dean

    "Scotland' - no such country."

    Only if you ascribe to the ridiculous notion proposed by the UK Government recently that Scotland was "extinguished" in 1707 and became merely an appendage of England. Besides the historical fact that two countries singed the Treaty of Union in 1707 that formed the current UK says otherwise.

    1. Yep ...a corker of an idea Anon... but it seems that the UK government don't care much for laws, and when they find something that displeases them they simply enact retrospective legislation to obliterate it, with, it seems, the connivance of the Labour Party.