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Equality Street

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  1. So then, what about transgenders? Or those who identify as gender fluid? Can they be Lerwick UHA guizers regardless of whether they are CIS-gender females but now identify as FtM or gender fluid or Gender X (Gender X now accepted in more than one country as opposed to F or M)? Careful now with the equal pay scenario - just when did any large employer last consult with its workforce regarding having the following day off work especially if it's a 'private party' folk have attended? See, there just might be some folk who object to the whole isles being subjected to post offices closures, etc.; how does that pan out? Is that at extra day's holiday in addition to other annual leave or is it a day forced upon employees? Either way, the country UHAs don't result in mass closures of establishments for 'private parties'. What a time to be alive! The internet gives you the joy of complaining about a day off people have enjoyed for the best part of a century, and now we're being chastised for not factoring in gender-fluidity into a p1ss up I for one welcome our trans-sexual future. What a glorious day it will be when some wag shouts "grip his surgically accentuated clitoris!" before the torches fly in !
  2. I'm dunno, Mr. Brown. I think it could be argued that Amsterdam has a forward thinking and liberal reputation. They also have some excellent 'coffee' houses...
  3. Imagine you're organising a stag do. You're the best man and you're all flying to Amsterdam. The groom is a pretty popular guy, but he's only wanting 22 pals to come away with him (for whatever reason). One of the boys drops out so your wife suggests one of her female pals that would like to come along. Does saying 'no' to that idea make you a backward, sexist, misogynistic dinosaur? You can attach all the tradition and gravitas you want to Up Helly Aa, but for most of us it's a p1ss-up comparable to the scenario above, where the best craic is on the bus where you spend most of the night singing, drinking, making crude jokes and talking sh1te. While I know for a fact that there are many women that excel in this pursuit as much as men, I suspect most of us would rather just keep it as it is. To conflate the dynamics of this boozy party with the Equal Pay for Women issue, or even the vile treatment of women by abusive, powerful men from Westminister to Hollywood is disingenuous and ridiculous. In doing so we cast both male and female participants in this fantastic festival as complicit villains or meek, subservient spectators of sex discrimination. There are more men wanting to go out in squads than there are places. There are more lasses wanting to go to halls than there are tickets. A few shrill letters to the Shetland times have not diminished their enthusiasm for the festival. Be 'offended' all you want, but come next Tuesday men and women will be dancing the night away and not giving a flying... torch.
  4. Welcome. I recommend joining some of the many facebook sites devoted to the isles. Shetlink used to be awesome and I still check in from time to time, but a few years back it became clear that a few folk were dominating the forum and their negativity has deterred most folk from getting involved to the extent that they used to. Not intending to put you off, just best to be aware that the forum isn't really a representative sample of the wider Shetland public! Good luck
  5. So this is the cost of Brexit? Being forced to cozy up to delusional megalomaniacs? Maybe all those 'straight bananas' weren't so bad after all...
  6. There are videos online, but Scalloway Garage were great when I somehow immobilized my VW Golf a few years back.
  7. A fair and balanced comparison. Meanwhile, back on Earth...
  8. Oh merciful Ghostrider, thank you for restraining your mighty wisdom for the good of the festive throng! We know that, at any time, you could unleash your powers and "nothing about UHA will ever be the same again." Praise be to Ghostrider! Your place in Valhalla is surely assured.
  9. I suspect the wider society doesn't really give a flying torch as to how a boozy spree on a small island in the middle of the North Sea is conducted. Spectators may have their axes to grind (or not!), but it's the men and women involved (including guests) that choose, through their continued endorsement of the event, how it is run. While tickets to the halls are in high demand and the limited places in squads are always filled, those keen to impose their own preferences and opinions on attendees, who are perfectly happy with the status quo, will have some way to go before the change they sanctimoniously espouse is effected.
  10. It does absolutely matter how many. If the those involved, men and women alike, are happy with the current setup why should it change to suit one person, or a small minority? As I said, if enough women wanted to join it would happen.
  11. Fascinating reading the 'debate' on Facebook. Never ceases to amaze me how the professionally shrill and the habitually offended get so outraged online, but in real life contribute nothing to the fun of Up Helly Aa. It's not a great leap to suggest that, in some cases, being highly vocal about 'exclusion' is symptomatic of a reluctance to actually embrace the festival due to their own misanthropy, but that's just a personal observation. Perhaps one of the perils of the gentrification of Up Helly Aa (an absolute spree and p1ss up that's been elevated to the status of High Culture by some commentators), is that the modern world must impose it's morals upon it. Maybe we should also castigate those at Hayfield for allowing a festival that tacitly supports alcoholism to leech into our schools? Christ, the Jarl is even promoting cider - the favoured drink of the adolescent in the park . Could he be any more of a corrupting influence on our little darlings? More seriously, , having been in the company of 2 stewardesses as this debate unfolded, I can assure you that the overwhelming irk is not their exclusion from squads. Their gripe is from the utterly patronizing tirades coming from the usual suspects as if the women and girls involved in Lerwick Up Helly Aa were so co-towed and mouthless that it had never occurred to them to rise up and protest, until shown the way by the enlightened few. If there is sufficient appetite for women to join the ranks it will happen, but most of us actually involved in the festival - guizers and guests alike are quite happy the way it is.
  12. People seem to be drinking less. Folk at work that go out at the weekends are the exception rather than the norm these days. Our healthcare professionals will assure us that this is a good thing - people are caring more about their bodies and are worried about the harm alcohol can do mentally and physically, which is all very commendable.   But, in my uninformed and highly unscientific opinion, it does folk good to cut loose once in a while. More people seem depressed than I can ever remember. I'm sure the endless anti-depressant prescriptions being issued by our doctors are all well and good (and I'm certainly not suggesting booze should take the place of perscribed medication!), but I find that a good pi$$-up is the best antidote to the  9-5 routine most of us find ourselves in.   Sure, it's not for everyone  - I know from experience that there are some people who absolutely should not drink. Happily I'm not one of them, and despite the increasing magnitude of the hangovers as I get older, a life completely free of booze is a grim scenario which I have no wish to entertain.
  13. I know someone who was assualted at the start of the New Year and the cameras were unable to identify the perpatrator because of the poor quality of the image. However, with very high quality digital video cameras available at a fraction of the cost these days it makes absolute sense to me to upgrade the exisiting system. About a month back there was a big fight outside the Thule during the day following an Auld Firm match. The police arrived too late and the thugs involved got away with it. High Def footage, admisable in court, would have insured these kind of people were identified and sentenced accordingly.
  14. As someone who routinely criticises the Town Hall mob, do you really think an elected body in Shetland would be effective? Sod that.
  15. To an extent, yes. Members were split on the vote. "Given concerns about the carcinogenicity and endocrine disruptive properties of the herbicide glyphosate, used in many farm and garden applications, the EU Commission should renew its marketing approval for just 7 years, instead of 15, and for professional uses only" Worth noting that the UK voted to re-approve the use, whilst the French were against. Doubtless there would be no safeguards on use had the commercially inclined British Government had it's way. Be interesting to see it's legal status in the UK in a few years time.
  16. Hardly, the EU was only formed on 1 November 1993. OK Mrs Pedantic. This whole debate refers to the community we've been living in since the 70s, as confirmed when Ghostrider mentioned 1972.
  17. Well the remain voters were fairly well informed on the ramifications of being in the EU, having actually experienced it for 40 years.
  18. Certainly a lot were. A lot more than were swayed by the fisheries policy I'll wager. But no, of course there are people who didn't really think it through, were mislead, believed the lies (NHS money anyone?) and thought that the cowards Boris and Farage were to be trusted. And there were some who just genuinely thought it was for the best I'm sure. Needless to say I disagree.
  19. The fisheries policy is the only genuinely bad piece of EU legislation to my mind that has adversely effected Shetland folk, and I can understand frustration with it. That said, I suspect here are a LOT more multi-millionaires in Whalsay etc now than there there were in '72 - a fact that I don't require a Europhille Historian to verify... Still, it's a crappy piece of legislation. However, It's worth noting how poorly some of our own elected MEPs, who had as much say as any other country, did at representing our interests with their lackluster attendance and ineffectual sideline-sneering (whilst still collecting their cheques). Their woeful participation is as responsible for Brussels's poor decisions as any of the much-maligned bureaucrats. However, the fact remains that we are now out. It'll be interesting to see how effectively we can steer our own ship - I fear that those hoping for a better fishing quotas and boundary control will be shouting in a vacuum, with no representation where we could really have made a difference as one of the biggest players in Europe. I hope I'm wrong. "In our view leaving the EU single market is like smashing a crystal flower vase and then trying to glue the pieces back together again. You may be able to do it, but the result may not hold water, will not be pretty and the flowers will have wilted in the meantime" - JP Morgan statement, July 2016
  20. No, I am a young whipper snapper at the tender age of 39. If I was my age back then I'd now be 83. As for the vast majority of history books being written by Europhiles, that's a fairly ridiculous assertion that I'd be impressed if you could evidence in any remotely meaningful way.
  21. Sorry, but there really is no question that the leave campaign was highly misleading. I've personally spoken to several people here in Shetland that regret their decision now that they are "better informed". Editorials in publications like The Economist (hardly a "lefty" paper) warn that the impact of this ill-conceived referendum and our inevitable exit from the EU on the world's financial markets will be considerable and far-reaching. Anecdotal evidence of a rise in hate crime has already been backed up by data from the police. The National Police Chiefs’ Council said that reports of hate crime to an official website increased 57 per cent on Thursday-Sunday compared with the same period four weeks earlier. Meanwhile, the vanguard of the 'Brexiteers' Farage & Borris have all scattered, like cockroaches under torchlight, back to their toff's dinner parties with the like of Murdoch, or their £250,000 columns in right wing broadsheets. But what do we expect from the likes of Farage? A man who's old school master warned of his extreme fascist and racist views in a letter to his headmaster back in '81, A guy who 'marched through a quiet Sussex town singing Hitler Youth songs'. Even his own party colleague was shocked when, on the topic of enlisting ex National Front candidates to run said "'There's no need to worry about the ###### vote. The nig-nogs will never vote for us.". And what are we left with? A torn, divided country, that to the dismay of the international community, seems inexplicably determined to turn Great Britain into Little England. And the response from the leave voters? "Oh stop moaning! Get over it! You've lost! Democracy has spoken! It'll not be that bad!" Well, we shall see. We shall see when the redundancies start to mount, the house prices increase, the NHS is gradually privatised and an economy that relies on the EU for the lion's share of its trade takes the hit from not being able to deal with its closest trading partners on a level playing field. Almost every expert agrees that this was a terrible move. But I forgot, you're sick of hearing from "experts", eh? Far better to base your vote on Sun editorials, racist billboards and some absurd longing for a bygone Britain that never was.
  22. "Really, it's no surprise he's such an expert on famine; he has after all been dining out on 'I Don't Like Mondays' for thirty years"
  23. Cheers folks - Any official line on this Mods? PS - Panama/ISIS/Bomb/Kill the President etc
  24. Hey, was wondering if it was possible to delete old posts? I've written bruck that's a bit of a cringe looking back. Can I remove it or am I condemned to stand by my old rants forever?
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