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100 Days to Scottish Independence Referendum


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This is my first post on here and probably my last. I created my membership so that I could make this single post in response to some of the comments given and the result of the referendum. None of you will find what follows pleasant reading.

 

First of all, I'm not from Shetland, I'm from Scotland. I didn't realise so many of you regarded Scottish people as some sort of foreign enemy until I came on here. Knowing that actually helps explain things but I would never have guessed that my customers in Shetland thought of me like that. More on my Shetland customers to come...

 

I'm from Glasgow. I'm pretty well off, to tell the truth. I don't drink, don't take drugs, and am reasonably boring really. I also don't watch or take any interest in football. In all that I'm quite an odd Glaswegian. I run my own business, keep myself to myself, and am devoted to my family. I have two kids.

 

Glasgow and so many other places are in a desperate state right now. The austerity and the recession have taken a toll. I voted yes in the referendum because I wanted someone to address issues of poverty above all else. Since it pains me to see child poverty and food banks on the rise just about everywhere, you might argue that it was selfish of me to vote Yes and I wouldn't argue.

 

So, it looks like almost two thirds of Shetland people voted No and that puzzles me. Shetland was actually one of the staunchest supporters of No, in regional terms. Very odd. The people I know from Shetland seemed very reasonable, like most others. I've actually helped a few of them out in ways that go beyond business too. For example, one of my customers has a son studying at Glasgow university and without going into detail, I went out of my way to help with advice and providing a van to move stuff when he moved into a flat here.

 

There's no nice way of saying this though. As of Monday, I will not be doing business with anyone from Shetland. I will also not be helping anyone from Shetland in any other way. If I meet someone from Shetland, I will be either very curt or very nasty to them. If I had the power to speak for Glasgow as a whole, I would advise you not to come here. Obviously I feel very let down by what has happened but that is to say I think Shetlanders are a let down.

 

I don't expect many of you to lose any sleep over some bitter foreigner in Glasgow. That's fine. My advice to you is to push for Shetland independence because I don't think I'm alone in thinking the way I think about this stuff. As for the few who voted Yes and the injustice of collective punishment, I'm afraid I don't have time to filter you out for preferential treatment. At the end of the day, you might have done more to convince your neighbours to vote for Yes.

 

As for your sons and daughters, they ultimately are the ones who will need to live with your decision, as are mine. You might think you have some sort of strategically superior position with regards to oil etc., but I think you mistaken in that respect. Based on what I've read, many of you can barely afford to heat yourselves and I can't see that changing any time soon with power now firmly in the hands of Westminster.

 

I will be honest with my Shetland customers when explain why I am boycotting them. Honesty matters to me and I am looking forward to those discussions.

 

Okay, firstly I didn't find your post in any way unpleasant to read. Generally speaking we're a reasonably tolerant bunch up here near the Arctic Circle, especially where any criticism is directed from a (perhaps very understandable) position of misconception.

 

I won't pretend I'm speaking for all Shetlanders, as I'm not, I can't, and I don't want to. While you may have gained the impression (and I can see why you may have done so, given that many posts here are worded in a way that assumes the reader already knows the history and back story involved) that Shetlanders see Scots as some sort of "foreign enemy", the situation is very far from being that simple. Generally speaking Shetlanders have nothing against the "(wo)man in the street" Scot, any more than they have anything against her/his counterpart in England, Wales, Ireland, or just about any other country on this planet. However, the same cannot be said for the "Scottish Establishment", be that old King James III of Scotland who back in 1492 began a trail of shenanigans with Shetland as one of his pawns, the current Scottish Parliament, its predecessor in the shape of the Scottish Office, or whatever else has constituted a "Scottish Establishment" over the rest of those 500 odd years inbetween.

 

Throughout those 522 years the "Scottish Establishment" in whatever shape it took, be it the minor Royals and "nobility" and their lackeys who came first, the "professionals" (lawyers/ministers etc) with aspirations of power and wealth that followed them, to the present day "politicians". Largely without exception have established and maintained a reputation of taking from Shetland as much as they could, giving as little as they could get away with, and frequently throughout history leaving behind them a trail of abuse, dirty-dealing and carnage in their wakes. Shetland has survived and occasionally thrived thus far, despite "Scotland", not because of "Scotland" - and I'll hasten to add, by "Scotland" I mean the Royalty, Nobility and people in positions of power and/or influence within Scotland, no one else.

 

Its little more than 100 years since the taking advantage and the abuse of Shetland and Shetlanders by the parts of "Scotland" that had direct influence over us was finally brought to an end - by nothing to do with Scotland, but by the United Kingdom. Since then, we've had to endure the tender mercies of such things as the Scottish Office and the Scottish Parliament, who despite dressing up their dealings in prettier clothes than their predecessors, failed to manage to hide that they still saw us as a place and people who were "out of sight and out of mind" unless we had something they wanted, just as their predecessors right back to 1492 had done. The current crop who've been trying to sell Scottish Independence to us have had done nothing to help change our minds, Edinburgh feels equally remote and out of touch with us as Westminster does, so why would we consider changing for change's sake? Westminster with all its faults is at least the devil we know, Edinburgh has never given any indication in its past 15 years of existence of being good for us, the empty promises of political propaganda pre-referendum didn't even hint at any change in that.

 

Then if you throw a little practical history in to the mix, it just racks the reasoning up a little higher. Shetland was Scandinavian until 1492, Scotland ceased to be a seperate nation in 1707. The vast majority of Scottish history isn't our history, and thereby by default the vast majority of Scottish culture and identity isn't our culture and identity. In the last 1014 years Shetland has been Scandinavian for 492 years, Scottish for 215 years (during which Scotland only had relatively minimal influence on the ground in Shetland) and British for 307 years. Granted although we were still technically tacked on to Scotland throughout those 307 years of being part of the UK, the whole show was run from London, not Edinburgh, so any direct Scottish influence on us wasn't particularly great. Then throw in to the mix also that its only been for the last 150 years or so that we've had any great deal of import/export contact with Scotland, prior to that the greater part of Shetland's trade in both directions was with the Continent, and that up to around a century ago Shetlanders leaving the isles to start a life elsewhere in the UK were equally if not more likely to choose an English destination than a Scottish one.

 

Take all of the above together, and I think its reasonable to ask why would "Scotland" expect us to align ourselves with and support them in an independence bid. "Scotland" may well be who we've been tacked on to for 522 years, but that wasn't our choice, and for the last 307 years it didn't matter all that much, as the UK was in overall charge anyway. Shetland has around 700 years or so of shared heritage and culture with Scandinavia, albeit a long time ago, we have 215 years of being exclusively "Scottish" almost as long ago and during a period when the Scottish influence wasn't particularly great, we then had a century or so despite being British that arguably we were influenced equally as much by Dutch culture, and finally the last century or so of shared culture and heritage with the UK. Scotland may well have been around in the background for a long time as far as Shetland has been concerned, but as far as shared heritage and culture goes, there's next to none. Depending on your point of view we're either a cosmopolitian beast that identifies with many, but because of that finds it difficult to align totally with any, or are an obnoxious little bar steward hanging around on the peripheries annoying everyone.

 

Bottom line, Shetland and many Shetlanders seem to have difficulty identifying with and understanding the Scottish nation and psyche, and feel Scotland and many Scots have equal difficulty with understanding Shetland and Shetlanders' psyche. Certainly, Shetlanders and Scots have common ground, but not enough for us to genuinely feel we belong in "Scotland".

 

Speaking from a purely personal viewpoint, I would suspect Shetland returned such a high percentage "No" vote, because we were asked the wrong questions, giving us no choice but vote tactically to achieve the same end by other means.

 

Whether Scotland is an independent nation or not I do not feel is any concern or business of mine, as a Shetlander I don't identify as a Scot nor do I feel any particular affinity to Scotland any more than I feel towards England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Being asked to vote on whether I felt Scotland should be an independent nation or not, I felt a bit of an interloper and fraud, and would have preferred to have abstained, but as Scotland was insisting we came along wherever they went that really wasn't a viable choice.

 

Despite your assumptions, Shetland's vote was nothing personal against your average Scot, who we see as no different to any other Brit, or human whatever nationality. It was against a Scottish establishment who we feel have always been and still are as bad for Shetland as you appear to believe a British establishment is for Scotland. As I said Edinburgh is as remote and out of touch to us as Westminster is, and probably feels as remote and out of touch with Shetland to us, as Westminster does to you. Once you put more than a couple of hundred miles between points, especially north/south points, you're as remote and out of touch that it doesn't matter whether you go a few more hundred miles further or not, the understanding and connection has largely been lost and the bit extra really makes little difference.

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Gortch ,  you will also be boycotting the 52 % who either voted yes or didn't vote , surely that would be unfair and bad for your business ?

As for the 48% who did vote no , perhaps many of them are proud of their Scottish connections and it would be rather unfair to boycott them for the sake of some comments on this medium which is not to your liking.?

 

Whilst I suspect you may be * takin da pish" , if you consider what I have just stated you may see the ignorance of your position ?

 

But go for it old chap ! Boycott all No voters and enjoy the 55% drop in earnings !

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Gortch

 

Why don't you tell us who you are and what your business is?

 

That way, we could avoid the embarrassment of a refusal by avoiding you altogether....  I'm sure that there must be other people who can/would provide/supply whatever it is that you do and, I would hate to try and give such a spiteful, mean minded person as you my business..

 

Vague threats will not get you anywhere here unless, of course, your aim is to waste people's time.

 

NB;

YOU LOST A VOTE.  NOBODY DIED.  GET OVER IT..

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Everything you say here confirms my suspicions that elements on your island are anti-Scottish. I've read a few of your posts on here and I'm glad you responded because you exemplify the type of person in Shetland I want to take aim at.

 

On the presumed substance of your post which is ill-considered and wrong in many parts, we can say the following;

 

1) you clearly are anti-Scottish

2) you don't regard yourself as Scottish

3) you ask what has the Scottish parliament done for Shetland. And interestingly obtuse point but let's consider it with seriousness.

 

You might ask what the Scottish parliament has done for any specific region though, and what do you assume it has done for say Glasgow in particular? I can assure you I'd struggle myself to answer that. But let's be clear that the Scottish parliament has very limited powers in many areas. Let's also be clear that it's only been in existence for about 15 years and in about half those years was dominated by Labour.

 

The Labour Party stabbed the whole of the UK in the back, took us into an illegal war that resulted in literally millions of innocent people dead, and totally wrecked our economy with its light touch approach to letting big business do what it wanted. We all suffered.

 

I think the SNP compares favourably with the Labour Party. The SNP he put emphasis on the NHS and is committed to its protection, despite limits on its power and budget. That has and will benefit shetlanders. We can debate waiting times etc, if you want, I have all the details to hand.

 

Thanks to the SNP, prescriptions are free and council tax has been frozen. This has benefitted shetlanders too, I would argue. And how about the policy of reducing cost on ferry services, has that no benefitted Shetland? I went to the isle of bute last year in a van and it cost me £145 return, are you suggesting that's preferential treatment for the central belt? It's a 20 minute crossing.

 

The SNP have not taken our sons and daughters into illegal wars. The SNP haven't wrecked our economy and handed it on a platter to big business. On the contrary, they opposed those things at the time. Think about that, it's important, they attacked a British government before and after the invasion of Iraq.

 

I could go on and on about student fees and other things but we all know the Scottish parliament has no teeth in most areas and a limited budget so I won't bore you.

 

Suffice to say I am more solved to boycott Shetland than I ever was after reading your comments. And I'll be talking many other foreigners in Scotland to do so too. A lot of us will. And I repeat, do not expect any welcome from people like myself in Glasgow of which I hope and think there are many.

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Gortch

 

Why don't you tell us who you are and what your business is?

 

That way, we could avoid the embarrassment of a refusal by avoiding you altogether....  I'm sure that there must be other people who can/would provide/supply whatever it is that you do and, I would hate to try and give such a spiteful, mean minded person as you my business..

 

Vague threats will not get you anywhere here unless, of course, your aim is to waste people's time.

 

NB;

YOU LOST A VOTE.  NOBODY DIED.  GET OVER IT..

Trust me, shetlanders will soon find out what business I am in. As will people from Orkney and Aberdeen. You will suffer for this treachery. If I was minded to tone this down, it would be on the basis that you lack understanding if anything but I don't make any such allowances for thick people down here so why should I single Shetland out?

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Gortch:

 

Watch the door doesn't whack you on the ass on your way oot.

 

 

And what's the betting that Orkney and Borders are getting the same post with their location on it?

Enjoy the attention and make fun of it by all means. But know this, I and others are serious. We will get you back for is. We will have another referendum soon, within ten years, and when we do the vast majority of us will see the Westminster pledge was a lie and the scaremongering for what it was.

 

By a process of political gravitation, Shetland will fall into the hands of the Scottish people like a ripe apple and when it does this will be remembered.

 

Tomorrow I return to business as usual. But trust me, there will be boycotts and shetland will be on the list. This is not over.

Gortch

 

Why don't you tell us who you are and what your business is?

 

That way, we could avoid the embarrassment of a refusal by avoiding you altogether....  I'm sure that there must be other people who can/would provide/supply whatever it is that you do and, I would hate to try and give such a spiteful, mean minded person as you my business..

 

Vague threats will not get you anywhere here unless, of course, your aim is to waste people's time.

 

NB;

YOU LOST A VOTE.  NOBODY DIED.  GET OVER IT..

And plenty have died.

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Gortch ,  you will also be boycotting the 52 % who either voted yes or didn't vote , surely that would be unfair and bad for your business ?

As for the 48% who did vote no , perhaps many of them are proud of their Scottish connections and it would be rather unfair to boycott them for the sake of some comments on this medium which is not to your liking.?

 

Whilst I suspect you may be * takin da pish" , if you consider what I have just stated you may see the ignorance of your position ?

 

But go for it old chap ! Boycott all No voters and enjoy the 55% drop in earnings !

Almost two thirds of Shetland voted No. You are all being collectively punished and it's my democratic right to do that. It's up to the reasonable people there to put pressure on the idiots and I will be helping them do that as I see it.

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