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Everything posted by Ghostrider

  1. To be serious for a minute. The regrettable thing about this is not what has been decided will be, going forward, but the way that decision has been taken. Something of this magnitude should really have gone in front of a Mass Meeting and been voted on, not decided by the elder statesmen. UHA for over a century has been a pretty good example of a working democracy in action, the Committee were organisers, overseers and spokespeople, who brought any matter beyond housekeeping issues before a Mass Meeting for instruction. With taking it upon themselves to make this decision in isolation the Committee have effectively added the role of dictators to their duties, which is almost never a welcome or beneficial step for any organisation. The Committee's apparent confidence that they are on the wavelength of the ranks and have the backing of the majority is admirable, lets just hope its not arrogance and foolhardiness in disguise. As Spinner72 points out, if there is to be change, now, after a two year hiatus is probably the best time for it. However, there is a flip side to that coin, and that's few if any participants have worn their UHA hat seriously or actively gotten together with their squad specifically for 'squad business' in two years either. Who knows who will turn out and what opinions they may express when squad meetings restart and people re-engage UHA mode. *If* the Committee has indeed gauged the majority opinion within the ranks accurately, and the ranks are happy they took it upon themselves to make the decision how and when they did, then all good and hunky dory. If not, there could well be a quite 'lively' Mass Meeting (or two), and the Committee put in a spot where saving face is going to be very difficult for them to achieve.
  2. I'm just surprised that nobody has asked 'How will we tell the difference', considering some past suits have been quite convincing.
  3. ^ In your opinion attaching a bicycle to a lamp-post isn't vandalism. In my opinion it is vandalism. We disagree as we hold polar opposite opinions. You point? Whether or not anyone has, or hasn't be prosecuted for vandalism for attaching a bicycle to a lamp-post is irrelevant. Prosecutions only follow where something can be proven beyond reasonable doubt to have occurred that is specifically legislated against. The applicable legislation only defines what the meaning of the terminology is in the context of what is is prohibited under the statute, it does not specify an all encompassing definition of any given term. Just because an act is not specifically prohibited under statute as 'vandalism' doesn't necessarily prevent it from being defined as 'vandalism' (albeit vandalism folk just have to live with with ill grace as the state does not permit them to seek redress), any more than an act specifically prohibited by statute as 'vandalism' is necessarily vandalism (its just something folk have to live with with ill grace, as having made their minds up the powers that be don't give the first flying fig for any other opinion).
  4. ^ We're going in circles here....... Attaching a bicycle to a lamp-post is vandalism, damaging a bicycle, whether it is attached to a lamp-post with a chain, or not, is vandalism. Just the same as attaching electioneering material to a lamp-post, or damaging electioneering material already attached to a lamp-post are both vandalism.
  5. ^ Lamp-posts aren't there for folk to attach bicycles to. Besides, what's being discussed here doesn't involve theft, there's been no suggestion so far the electioneering material is being removed from the site, only moved at the site, during which it usually sustains damage.
  6. Public property belongs to everybody, regardless of political or other persuasion, or none. It shouldn't be hijacked to give any individual or group any kind of 'advantage' over any other, so IMHO tearing down electioneering material from lamp-posts is no more, or less vandalism than putting them there in the first place. If somebody wants to advertise whatever, let them buy space in the local media or come to whatever arrangement with business owner(s) in their desired catchment area to display it. That's where you expect to meet such things, not be assaulted by them randomly when you're minding your own business doing your own thing on public property. A note to those who believe in sticking, especially election notices on lamp-posts etc, have you ever tried to quantify if doing so actually achieve a net gain in the end? While it may draw the attention of some to whatever it is you're promoting, there are also folk who might have been prepared to give you a fair hearing, who through the normal run of things have had your poster/whatever shoved in their face, daily, or maybe multiple ties daily, have gotten so fed up and tired of seeing it and/or have developed a feeling that they're being ordered/dictated to that they've long since said 'F**k 'em', sick of 'em.
  7. Whit ails him wi Sannik? He;s a Sannik half-breed, ur Husik onywye.
  8. ^ Unfortunately 'experience' in and of itself is worthless, the PUSA is one of the most 'experienced' politicians in that country, and look at it....... 'Experience' only acquires value when it is viewed in conjunction with something tangible such as a track record, and in that light most of the outgoing leadership is best gone. The previous political leader got turfed out on his ass at the last one, so while in terms of bums on seats we may be getting rid of more this time, in terms of influence and control its no different than last time, given the previous political leader's dominating, domineering and near dictatorial style of operating. On the contrary, some of the unopposed very much have seen to many things, there are existing Councillors being returned unopposed on that list, one of whom at least I wouldn't trust to tie their own shoelaces. Of the newbies getting in unopposed, again, based on their own public contributions over some decades, there's at least one I wouldn't get anywhere near with a freshly disinfected 40ft bargepole.... Likewise, it is very much a case that the SIC would not have me. There are certain criteria which has to be adhered to for nominees to be eligible to stand for election, due to an extremely long running and apparently unresolvable dispute between myself and the SIC I do not meet that eligibility criteria, so old Jan-Robert would immediately bin any nomination papers bearing my name. BTW, that paragraph was intended as an attempt at flippant self-deprecating humour, which obviously failed. My point(s)? Last time, one way or another a slew of Councillors went across the board, and were replaced with perhaps new faces, but nothing else new. Still a dominating, domineering borderline dictatorial leadership, still a large mostly silent majority, and too few voices of dissent (reason?) to force debate or stimulate discussion. This time has all the appearances of being exactly the same, those with 'experience' seeking re-election and who have shown any aspirations up to now of 'leadership' interest, are all very well versed in the 'dominating, domineering and near dictatorial' mould. The 'known unknowns' among the potential new faces do not readily inspire confidence in anything changing, and the few 'unknown unknowns', even if they are all elected and they all turn out to be the most vociferous opponents of what will almost certainly be another dominant, domineering and borderline dictatorial Holyrood puppet leaderships. it won't be enough to stop their railroading. There is a very definite sense of we're doing exactly the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome with Council elections..... A sense that is greatly reinforced, when you discover that you broadly agree with someone who you've always found yourself at the polar opposite end of the political ideology with previously. https://www.shetnews.co.uk/2022/03/31/i-shall-not-bother-voting/
  9. Can somebody remind me why we're having this election, its looking very much like deja vu of the last election, aka rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. We lost a few of the rotten apples, but not enough, but we also lost a few of the more sensible, we gained a few who we'd be better off without, and a few reasonably okay, but nowhere near enough. This looks like being exactly the same, even at this stage, the unopposeds have seen to that, and even where an election is scheduled, its slim pickins in some wards. I would have stood, but the SIC wouldn't have me, and the rest of the population probably couldn't stomach me.
  10. That's a fair assessment for the most part I think, and the few things I have decided upon about the Council would have a high probability of getting me arrested if I should ever choose to act upon them, so probably best they stay in their box for the foreseeable at least.
  11. ^ NATO has nothing to do with trade, and whether it has anything to do with someone 'wanting to join' or being sweet talked and cajoled in to joining is very much open for debate. Yes, things have gone OTT, *if* the media are to be believed, but its not like there haven't been plenty of warning shots over the years. Every time a nation on Russia's western or south western border has crept a little closer to getting in to bed with the west, Putin has done something, but the west have taken little notice. Sooner rather than later his patience was going to run out and he was going to come out all guns blazing. Don't poke the bear...... Russia has the same paranoid fear of the west as parts of the Continent have of Russia, both with good historic reason. *If* the west had had the good sense to leave the former Soviet satellite nations well alone after the break up, Russia and the West might just have managed to ignore each other as those nations provided a 'no mans land' buffer 'fighting zone' for both sides. All Putin is doing right now is taking control of one of them and attempting to create his own 'no mans land' buffer 'fighting zone' to prevent the west via the EU/NATO from making that same nation their own 'no mans land' buffer 'fighting zone' by stealth, right on his own border. Putin and the EU/NATO are using very different methods, his is outright short, sharp shock violence, their's is a long game of assimilation and dominance, but the end result is little different.
  12. It'll end wherever Putin decides it'll end, its not like there's any credible opposition outwith the Ukraine. It wouldn't have happened in the first place had the EU/NATO not been empire building, but there you go....... The News sources will do what they do best, sensationalise and scaremonger trying to get as many people as possible wound up tighter than a cheap watch. The re-named flu that was Covid had given them two good years but has been wrung for more than its worth until it is all but run dry. How fortuitous for them that the wee mannie Putin should entirely coincidentally kick of with throwing his toys out of his pram now, otherwise viewing/reader figures surely would have slumped disastrously.
  13. Presumably so, as its just about the only arrangement that is practical and makes sense, but as I can't recall having come across the Association prior to EM mentioning it, confirmation from him would be helpful. On a different point entirely, while I won't argue that the Committee could have been more pro-active in addressing the protestors, I'm also beginning to wonder if the protestors themselves are not equally guilty of not approaching and handling any of this debacle as well as they might have. Who the current Committee members are is no real secret, they were listed online last I noticed. Have any of the protestors ever tried to engage with and discuss the subject with either an individual member or the collective? From the public's view, there's no sign of it, its all been gesture protests in public and letters to the paper. An apparent MO of trying to get weight of public opinion onside to force change, which is basically the waving a big stick at people approach. These aren't always a good idea, as often dangling the carrot in the first instance achieves better and more harmonious results. The longer this rumbles on, the more I become convinced that in the minds' of at least most of the most vocal protestors, UHA is run on a similar relaxed, casual and informal basis to something like the Summer Carnival, and as a consequence it should be 'no bother' and 'no big deal' for the 'organisers' to mess with what and how it is. While some rural UHAs may operate in such a manner, the LK one is about as far from that as you can get. Wheelsup used a phrase I'd forgotten, but which was regularly used by UHA enthusiasts when I was mixing among them regularly, and that is 'served their time'. It really is a very exclusive club for all participants, regardless of role, where personal contribution, loyalty, longevity and consistency are the key attributes and only currency. Until someone has 'served their time', however it happens that they do so, they are just another face in the crowd, but when somebody has they have gained the respect and support of a number of other participants. Consequently without a broad support, or at least acceptance across the board, sudden/significant change, whether it be actual or theoretical just isn't going to happen, as there are too many within who if they have an opposing opinion, have the backing of too many others within for it to be forced through. Whatever else anybody may think of the LK UHA, it is a enviable model for democracy. Things can only be messed with as far as all participants are willing to accept at any one given time, as the whole thing depends 100% on all participants willingly staying with the program to keep it from crossing the thin line between orderly and chaotic
  14. Technically, you're right. But in one post EM did state membership of the Lerwick UHA Guizers Association was open to males only, and in another, that only the UHA Committee had the ability to change the rules concerning membership of that Association, which pretty much says 'no female guizers', just in a roundabout way.
  15. The issue, I suspect is going to rot and fester, whatever the Committee do, or don't do, and I don't believe allowing female fiddle box carriers, or female any other roles is going to help. Quite the contrary in fact, as there's a good possibility that if having done so, the argy bargy will just move on to be every year getting random female(s) shouting, 'Well, I tried to join a squad, and they wouldn't let me and I believe it was coz I'm a woman......' Rather than it being the far more likely reason, that that's not how squads generally work accepting a new member. Or, if an all female squad is formed and tries to register, but fails, it'll be because they were women. Rather than it being that there were other squads on a waiting list ahead of them. The problem, as I see it with those who are protesting at the moment at least, is that, or so I am led to believe, it is being 'led' quite ironically by a white knighting male Scalloway resident who seems to be on some crusade of personal martyrdom by self-appointing himself as unofficial spokesperson for whatever 'rights' cause takes his fancy at any one given time, and a significant percentage of the remainder do not participate in UHA in any capacity, and have no intentions in participating in any capacity even if the gender issue was resolved in their favour. They are just lending their support to 'right a wrong' as they see it. In all probability the Committee has kept silent as they do not believe they owe those who are making the noise any kind of explanation for anything. The LK UHA is very much a 'them and us' thing. If you're in, you're in, and the Committee has obligations to those who are in, but don't owe those who aren't in one damn thing. As long as UHA is operating legally no amount of pressure from folk who are not involved with it in any way is going make a blind bit of difference to how its run, as the only thing on the line is how (un)favourably the general public views UHA, and that is a long way down the list of priorities compared to having the kind of event those who are participating want to have. There seems to be this notion that if the Committee or the SIC or somebody 'ordered' UHA to allow female guziers that it would just 'happen'. At best I think that's highly naive. Would an existing squad member really want their significant other/daughter/mother whatever in their squad, and would the significant others of all the rest of the male squad members be happy that a female was in their man's squad. Some might, but for the most part it would just be trouble and strife. That is the reality of it though, as the only realistic way in to UHA for a long time has been to join an existing squad, and to do that you need to be known to and vouched for by at least some existing members. If/when the time is right UHA will go genderless seamlessly and without fuss, as it will be happening because its what those in UHA wants to happen and/or believe needs to happen. Meantime if those protesting are truly sincere, maybe instead of pointless stunts risking pneumonia by camping out of the Town Hall steps for a day wearing a face that looked like somebody who'd just realised their ass was frozen solid to an iceberg, join a squad, or join the hist/hostesses and educate those who are in a position to effect change why 'they're doing it wrong' just now, be educated in why they believe 'you don't know what you're talking about, and show some commitment to helping make the event a success rather than just jumping up and down waving 'Down with this kind of thing' placards.
  16. ......and they're usually wise enough to put it to a mass meeting if its likely to make waves. Which going from gendered to ungendered almost certainly would. Which brings me back to my earlier point, that nobody on the Committee is going to back the change unless they already know it has significant support within the ranks, and the only way that's going to happen is if the women already involved with UHA in whatever capacity decide in any number they want in on everything............far, far too many divorces otherwise.
  17. So, who has the ability to decide upon and change the 'rules' of the Lerwick UHA Guizers Association? As presumably changing its member status from 'gendered' to 'ungendered' would appease the protestors at least, just not so sure about anyone else......... Does the Lerwick UHA Guizers Association have any other 'rules' besides the gender one, does the Association exist permanently, or only between squad registration night and UHA night? I'll stop now before I stir too any pots.
  18. I don't know whether there's more of it or not, but what is seems to all be coming from a very loud minority. I take their points about the SIC appearing to condone and support the status quo by allowing public facilities to be given over to it, and agree that the SIC top brass taking a 'nothing to do with us' attitude is a wimpish cop out. Outside of that all I'm seeing is a perception problem, which I'd argue needs addressing and settling as a prerequisite of addressing the gender debate. Its billed as a 'community event', fine, but who exactly are the 'community' that is spoken of? The critics of the status quo seem to define that 'community' as the public, although whether that be the toon public or the entire Shetland public, I've yet to establish. The supporters of the status quo seem to define the 'community' as those who are involved with and/or support UHA itself at whatever level. There can be no debate held or resolution reached until or unless what 'community' is, is defined and agreed upon by at least a majority. Add to that, that we, at this stage anyway, presume that the final decision will be made, by whoever eventually makes it, in a democratic manner, and the fact that probably the majority of toonies and Shetlanders don't give a stuff one way or the other about UHA, and the water gets even muddier in the bay. This all started as random drunken rabble dragging burning tar barrels along the street and the random discharge of assorted firearms two centuries ago, and stayed exactly that for almost a century until the sensibilities of late Victorian era life was having their noses put out of joint too much by it. Reinventing itself as an organised Viking themed parade to attempt to salvage something of the old that was going to fly in the 20th C. was a gamble which could have gone either way. Those who supported the new were lucky, in time it took off, the old die hards of the past either had to assimilate or accept that what they wanted to continue to do was not going to be allowed to happen any longer. Its lasted exactly like that for fully another century, and its no real surprise that 21st C. sensibilities have now discovered issues with it just like the Victorians did in their time. It *could* be modified to address those issues quite easily and successfully as is demonstrated by the numerous country versions, but only *if* the plan is successfully sold to the masses first. There are those among the supporters of change that try and say its no big deal, if the Committee would just amend the rules everything would be fine. They're not necessarily wrong, just demonstrating a woeful ignorance of their subject matter and of how touchy a large number of UHA fans (fanatics?), regardless of gender, are concerning anyone messing with their baby. What they seem completely oblivious to, or choose to ignore is just how little power the Committee actually has, and how thin a grip they have on that little which they do. They cannot dictate, they can attempt to lead, but in effect they can never do more than attempt to guide the masses and facilitate whatever it is the masses decide. Individually or as a collective the Committee relies on the majority of participants to trust and respect them before they can function, as without it they may as well stand on the pierhead and shout at Bressa telling it what to do, and it'll have more effect. Any change, however big or small needs to be known to have been sold to the vast majority before anybody on the Committee with any wit is going to be willing to stick their head above the parapet over it. It's one thing bringing in a change that pisses off up to a handful of squads and/or squad leaders, as if they feel strongly enough individual participants or squads can withdraw and there are plenty waiting in the wings to flll their boots. However, UHA is big enough that it would only take as few as 10-15 squads breaking away to be able to form a rival UHA that could be big enough to be successful, and than what? In true 'This town ain't big enough for the both of us' style, there would be a period of rivalry and in the end at least one, perhaps both would fail. Massive changes to tradition occurred something over a century ago, and the 'new' UHA that exists today won out in the end. Some may see, or claim that they see, the changes being proposed now as 'minor', but plenty of others will see them as equally massive to those which gave birth to UHA in the first place, as they completely rewrite the whole blueprint and baseline dynamic half of what UHA is based on. History is rather starting to repeat itself on this, much of the gamble in creating UHA was in that it was a small number of vocal toon gentry who disapproved most of tar barrelling, not those who participated, and likewise the UHA blueprint was for the greater part the design of others than the working class who were the vast majority of the participants. That gamble paid off in the end then as in time the working class embraced the 'big man's' plans. However, just because it went that way then that is no indication that what is being proposed now by what appears to largely be a vocal non-participating minority is any less of a gamble, or that their success is likely to mirror any previous 'success' by others.
  19. I can't say I've noticed Arfski claiming to be an epidemiologist or anything else medically qualified/experienced for that matter, so who knows where they got their opinion from or whether or not it has any credibility beyond anyone else's. Regardless where an opinion comes from, the old maxim 'don't believe everything you read/hear' is usually worth considering. Demonstrable, provable facts, which seem to be becoming increasingly rare in the 'science' of today, are one thing to bandy about. Opinions, as someone allegedly said, are like a-ss-oles, everybody has one, and the only one that really matters to anyone is their own.
  20. Er......How about don't be a hypocrite, and apply your first sentence to the remainder of your paragraph. That, and some advice, you probably won't take, but whatever. Addressing people with made up and meaningless, but implied derogatory names, just because their OPINION differs from your own, isn't usually condusive to establishing a mutually respectful and productive debate. Just sayin......
  21. The Councillors are no longer the problem (or otherwise) they have been turned in to largely irrelevant figure heads, whose sole remaining purpose is to rubber stamp decisions already taken by others elsewhere to give them a faux sense of legitimacy and pay lip service to 'democracy'. We are being run in all but name by Holyrood, via their hordes of sycophantic minions in the SIC upper management roles.
  22. Its quite possible, as fare as the Sandwick one goes at least, that that may not be all that inaccurate. As I've said before on here, I'll be surprised if many from outwith Sandwick itself uses the new shop. Some from Levenwick and Bigton probably will as its not all that far away, relatively speaking, but anyplace else south of Sandwick, I'd expect very very few will. Once you've driven as far as Sandwick, you may as well go right through to LK and be done with it, unless you're stuck for time. With Cunningsburgh already having a shop, and the rest as near/nearer to LK than Sandwick, I can't imagine more than an occasional one would choose to head south instead. Meanwhile however, the existing Sandwick shop is seeking planning permission to expand its retail side, so the Coop may get a run for its money yet.
  23. Two very slim chances. 'Shetland Auctions', who are what the saleroom has evolved in to in the present have a Facebook page, it might be worth contacting them and see if they'd be willing to put a copy of the item details on a post of their page. Some of whats left of the regulars from the saleroom back in the day still keep up and check that page from time to time, it might ring a bell with somebody. Likewise, it might be worth asking Darren Odie who has the collectables shop at the boddam of Church Road, he would sometimes buy at the saleroom to sell on, and might remember it *if* it was something that passed through his hands.
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