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Davie P

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Everything posted by Davie P

  1. I expect it would need to be somewhere more central to cover the town centre
  2. I believe it was trialled on the Bressa and Whalsa routes but hasn't been rolled out for the other isles? I haven't been on a ferry for months so I'm not the best person to advise you! It does seem a little slow off the mark though. I'd have expected it to have been in place years ago.
  3. I'm sure there will be folk drawing parallels between the windfarm and councillors refusing planning for a mobile phone mast near the Town Hall “just five metres lower than the Town Hall clock face” that would “look and feel out of place”. I, however, agree with the councillors and don't want to draw those parallels https://www.shetnews.co.uk/2021/02/22/lerwick-phone-mast-would-be-a-monstrosity-meeting-hears-as-appeal-is-denied/
  4. I was pleasantly surprised to find out we have unlimited online photo storage/sharing as part of our Amazon Prime subscription. I believe even 'normal' members (i.e. anybody with an account) gets up to 5GB free.
  5. From a personal point of view, I've been to England many times and I can't think of a single instance of an English person being 'against' me because of where I'm from, so I don't think I'm part of that 'us' (I've had plenty of friendly jibes from other Scots and Shetlanders though!). I suspect that if someone has a xenophobic mindset then it would be natural for them to assume that the 'other' people have the same biases against them. From my own perspective, if someone doesn't like me because of where I'm from then so be it - it doesn't mean I dislike them back, and I certainly wouldn't base my Independence vote on something so puerile. I hope that people make up their minds on how to vote based on facts and aspirations for a positive future, rather than using their vote in an attempt to perpetuate centuries old bigotry.
  6. You appear to be determined to drive the 'us' vs the 'English' agenda George, but won't answer straightforward questions when challenged. So who is the 'us' that you are speaking on behalf of?
  7. Some sense, and some not-sense. E.g. the comedian claims Scotland has a 'debt' - our debt is a proportion of UK debt. It's pretty much a moot point. An independent Scotland might end up with a budget deficit and/or increasing national debt, or it may not, so it would be more sensible to talk about that, but at the moment we are tied to UK debt. E.g. drawing parallels between a logo featuring a bird and comparing it to Nazi party imagery is lazy commentary and false equivalence. Beware of Godwin's Law! E.g. Siol Nan Gaidheal members, at best a fringe political movement, have been banned from the SNP since 1982. They've turned up with banners at pro-independence rallys, as is their right, but the SNP have consistently distanced themselves from their message. It's bad judgement, or unawareness, that SNP members have been photographed around Siol Nan Gaidheal banners. As with any party or political movement, there will be individuals who hold more extreme views than others. Personally, I don't see the SNP as anti-english, but there's no denying there are some SNP supporters who are anti-English. I'm not a paid up member of the SNP (or any party) but I'm considering voting for independence based on the simple fact that Scotland consistently votes differently to England - my position is not anti-english in the slightest. Trying to demonise the SNP as racist in its entirety is very unhelpful when there are serious discussions to be had and decisions to be made.
  8. You can rent them on Amazon Prime but it's quite pricey https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/video/detail/B07NK6HB8M I think I can remember watching some of them on iPlayer but they don't stay up there for long.
  9. This is indeed a hot topic! I’m sure the answer will be somewhere in this research which Google through up The Effect of Castration and Age on the Development of the Shetland Sheep Skeleton and a Metric Comparison Between Bones of Males if you want to display your crofting knowledge and win back the admiration and respect of the agricultural world, try casually dropping in a couple of phrases from that research at the next Cunningsburgh Show “Yis Magnie, sex seems to be an important variable influencing the age at which epiphyses fuse. Thus females fuse earliest, followed by males, and castrates are much delayed. The delay in epiphysial fusion in wethers and absence of delay in dental replacement, bodes well for Payne’s suggested method for recognising the remains of wethers in archaeological collections.”
  10. The new Viking community engagement manager has her work cut out. It’ll be a key role so best of luck to her https://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2021/02/14/feature-we-need-windfarms-new-viking-community-engagement-manager-says
  11. 2 of us had a very pleasant coffee and a snack in Coffee Culture at Harrison Square (next to Lerwick DIY) the other day. Friendly service, good coffee and a straightforward menu.
  12. Trump is almost guaranteed to be let off because of the fact that a significant number of the 'jury' (i.e. Republican Senators) could be implicated if he is found guilty. Senator Josh Hawley, for example, was one of the most active 'stop the steal' conspirators, was at the pre-riot rally firing up the troops and started a fundraising campaign during the actual riot, and has reportedly not even been ion the Senate floor to hear the evidence against Trump. But he gets a vote. How many Republican Senators would be willing or able to listen impartially to the evidence without considering their own political careers and their loyalties to colleagues? 17 of them need to vote against Trump, the most popular (populist?) Republican candidate in a generation. IMHO the US impeachment process isn't fit for purpose. It should really be a matter for the Supreme Court as they are (on paper) free from political influence.
  13. It doesn't feel fair, but it could be argued that the UK is managing the pension liability by making lower payments. We have an ageing population with an ever increasing draw on the pensions, and a not-particularly-buoyant economy to replenish the pensions (Covid, Brexit etc etc), so having lower payments, together with increasing the pension age, is a straightforward tactic to manage it.
  14. Indeed @Rasmie, the government seems to treat pensions like a Ponzi/pyramid savings scheme. It works fine as long as more people keep paying in at the bottom. But it goes wrong when people live too long at the top!
  15. Pension liabilities are the economic elephant in the room for many (most?) countries and many companies too. Generous pensions are a popular vote winner and sweetens many an employment contract negotiation, but the future financial liabilities are building up across the board. And, as you allude to Colin, it's a cozy myth that governments pop some pennies in a piggy bank until we're ready to put our feet up - most governments have deficits and are operating on borrowed money so current pension payment are coming from taxes paid by the current working population. It's a completely unsustainable fiscal policy, and I'd hope Holyrood would take more long term view than Westminster. -- I'll leave this provocation here...... pensioners have the highest disposable income level of any demographic so it's unfair to expect the current working population to pay for them. Discuss
  16. An interesting article from the Sidney Morning Herald https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/from-camberwell-to-shetland-in-search-of-my-family-s-story-20200603-p54z5h.html
  17. Here's Alistair Carmichael's opinion on Independence https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/independence-would-be-brexit-20-and-make-things-even-worse-lib-dem-mp-claims-3125931 [Spoiler alert: he's not in favour]
  18. I'll take up the challenge of refuting the claim, but with a dose of devil's advocacy thrown in. The tension inherent with a democratic government is that from a philosophical point of view, giving people a direct say in how their government operates is generally considered a good thing, but from a logistical point of view there needs to be parameters and limitations. The ultimate form of philosophical democracy is giving every member of society a direct, equal and ongoing say in every issue that affects them. From a logistical point of view, that's at best impractical, hence why we've arrived at the compromise of 'representative democracy' whereby the population delegate authority to MPs who are elected via regular popularity votes. Talking very broadly here, but... populations change their minds regularly, are easily swayed, vote based on emotion and instinct, and generally think in more short term and individualistic way than members of parliamentary parties built on core principles and long term collectivist policies. Giving the population more regular and/or direct say could (would?) lead to a less stable and less effective form of democracy. If, as a population, we decide to have regular referendums on the sovereign status of our country then in my opinion we must accept the upheaval, instability and short-term-ism that may result. If we agree to have another independence referendum now after 6 years, should we agree to have referendums on our sovereign status every six years? And if not, why not? After-all, in a perfect democracy we'd all vote every day on every subject. --- Bit of a footnote here... over the past century or so democracy has been considered by many people to be unquestionably the best form of governance, but for much of modernity, democracy was considered with great suspicion - Plato warned that democracy was one step from anarchy.
  19. Yes indeed @Windwalker. One of the challenges is that referendums are not ‘native’ to the UK/devolved parliaments’ legislative systems in that they’re not particularly regularly used so have few legal precedents, and each time they are used they need the rules to be agreed beforehand. Another challenge is that ‘democracy’ itself is a loosely defined principle rather than an off-the-shelf set of processes. It all sets the scene for claims and counter claims that referendums, their results and subsequent processes are either democratic or undemocratic. It’s understandable that the public might see it like that (most people don’t have an interest in the finer points of legislative systems) but it’s shameful when politicians, who are elected and paid to understand legislative systems, manipulate and deceive the public regarding referendums - Brexit was a prime example of how to use a referendum to debase a legislative system and manipulate the public which has led directly to another referendum which may well lead to the demise of the union that Brexit sought to embolden. It’s almost poetic!
  20. This is an interesting and quite readable article that goes into detail about the legalities https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/second-referendum-scottish-independence
  21. My understanding is that the Scottish Parliament can hold an advisory referendum on anything it wishes. The Scottish Parliament would only need approval for a legally binding Independence referendum because the constitutional position of the UK is a 'reserved' matter for Westminster. It's quite a distinct difference and would need to be made abundantly clear to avoid the post-Brexit referendum fiasco.
  22. Shetland aims high in wake of Brexit - an interesting article from The Herald I saw on the national sources news section. It’s quite a good summary of Shetland’s post Brexit economy
  23. This is a fascinating article if you're interested in the Shetland Bus or modern covert naval operations - https://warontherocks.com/2020/12/the-modern-shetland-bus-the-lure-of-covert-maritime-vessels-for-great-power-competition/
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