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    Where women glow and men chunder...
  1. But that's the kicker. Unless you're very clever about how you cut - and wear some expenditure - you're going to be in a position where you have to cut again in the medium term. For example, cutting ferries to the outer isles will have a negative effect on businesses, if they shut down or move out, Shetland loses the commercial rates they pay and the spiral continues. Similarly, Lerwick based businesses customer base is around 50% rural. Lose those customers and you start to lose businesses and services in town. Probably what you need to do is develop some sort of hierarchy of need with services that businesses depend on being maintained to keep the economic machine ticking over and the "nice to have" stuff like cinemas and music venues being first to go.
  2. We're all ver fond of holding up Orkney as some sort of examplar of public expenditure but we'd prbably need to understand they dynamics of their economy a bit better before we do that. How's their population? Aging? Declining? Young and economically active? What are the majority of the populaton employed in? What impact does proximity to the mainland have? How's tourism, agriculture, fishing doing? etc, etc, etc. What's the impact of their geography? Less multiple ferry runs involved? And so on. It's probably the case that they have a smaller council because they have different needs rather than just because they have a smaller bank balance. Worth looking into - but we'd need to take a bigger picture view.
  3. Your family do sound like they're at the extreme end of the spectrum but when facilities are provided in town on the risible pretext that they're provided for the whole population of Shetland (many of whom are then prevented from using them due to distance or ferry timetables) you have to accept that they have a point. It's not that country folk are actively prevented from using them, you're quite right there - it's that they've been used - by Lerwick based decision makers - as a pretext for building something that's really intended for a much more select audience. It's cynical, incompetent and infuriating. On the other hand, maybe we isles folk should start using that rationale to defend ferry spending. The Fetlar ferry is, after all, available for the entire Shetland community to use - not the Fetlar folk's fault if they choose not to use it...
  4. Or we can cut indiscriminately and in 5 years timewe will only have 10% of the schools, oldies homes, other provisions we have now, we'll still be in debt to Scottish government and Shetland will be a run down area. Somebody help me out - I'm having a hard time understanding the difference. Additionally, I'm having a hard time understanding why some folks think that huge cuts to services are consequence free.
  5. Maybe I'm being a bit dim here, but is it not already community owned? What you're suggesting is effectively double dipping. Even worse, it would then belong to a corporate entity belonging to a minority of the community rather than the community as a whole.
  6. Oh. Well that's all right then. Cheers. *squints furtively around for semantic logic trap....* I'm not too sure about that either - but it does provide a decent counterpoint to the Prius-bumper-sticker view of Tibetan nationalism.
  7. Calm down - I don't check in here that often nowadays. I get a little tired of this old canard that only those with personal experience of any given social or political situation are entitled to a view. On that basis none of us would be allowed to express an opinion on the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and we all know how het up we get about the Black Hand Gang. Who says my statements are definitive and authoritative? (although if you want to consider them as such go right ahead - I'll take my notes where I can get them) It's an opinion (you get a lot of these on the internets I've found) based on a bit of reading of the likes of Michael Parenti and a hearty suspicion of theocrats. I think the deification of the DL needs counterpoint, we're tempted to be a little one dimensional in our view of history and tend to forget that just because one lot are on the losing side it doesn't mean they weren't a bunch of villains to begin with. There's a lot of glorification of the underdog in popular culture - and the moment something is a feature of popular culture, it's a good time to begin challenging it.
  8. That was kinda my thinking. Or are they considering building a hostel at Gutcher for the days the ferries can't sail?
  9. Ach, Colin - you're confusing what's right, fair and just with what's legal. A common mistake. The former, more often than not, has little to do with the latter, but there's only one that's enforceable in a court. (And to segue elegantly back on topic) And speaking of courts, there's no chance of the new CE ending up in one is there? Because, if not he should be left to to earn the approbation of the community in his own sweet time - as he no doubt will.
  10. Just out of interest, would a route involving a ferry crossing be classified as multiple pick up route? In the case of the Baltasound pupils going to Mid Yell (Or the Mid Yell pupils going to Baltasound (why not?)) multiple buses and ferries would be involved, hardly a short hop. As for boarding bairns at the hostel - presumably from 12 years old - I rather thought we'd left that nonsense back in the 1960's.
  11. Well no, it's not. But it is Council's job to run the services they do deliver responsibly and effectively. Paying for education isn't subsidy - it's operating cost. This gets blurred however, when the two issues of costs of the education service and the best model for education (more or fewer schools, staffing, curriculum) become hopelessly muddled as they generally do in this debate. There's a reasonable point in there somewhere, and I'll let you off with 'Shelties'. Parochialism is an issue, but it should be remembered that these concerns are as much driven by experience of living with a centralising authority as it is a concern at having a school in the area for the sake of it. Local control? Frankly for some of the rural areas, the choice between an appointed commissioner and an unconcerned council is not at meaningful as you'd think.
  12. Ah yes, Scandinavia, that pine scented, low tax paradise.... er, hang on a minute.
  13. The Dalai Lama and his feudal cronies had quite a bit of help from the CIA back in the day - the working class Tibetans (ie, everybody else) didn't want a bar of it. They did reasonably well under the Chinese initially, although I admit, things have been less rosy of late. Besides, you really want to take on the Chinese? Gaun yersel', we're right behind you (quite a long way behind you in fact!)
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