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Everything posted by Malachy

  1. The biography of Woody Guthrie by Joe Klein is incredibly moving in its description of Guthrie's decline from Huntingdon's. Such an incredible waste. It passes mostly from father to daughter to son, I believe. Woody's mother died from it and one of his daughters too.
  2. I'm not quite sure what the last bit of this means, but I've no desire to be threatened for expressing my views, so that's the end of my contributions to this thread. I guess this is why folk use pseudonyms then.
  3. Well that's a slightly misleading suggestion, and while I don't wish to discuss my financial situation in detail on the internet (or to have it discussed), I will say that I earn well under half the national average wage for the UK, so I don't exactly consider myself a high earner. But then I have sheep, which obviously makes a difference. Certainly I accept that poverty is still a big problem in the UK, but I also believe that many people on low incomes (and higher incomes) see food as an extra cost, to be cut down as much as possible. People expect to be able to buy music, DVDs, computer games, mobile phones, widescreen tvs etc, and then go and buy their food with what's left over. Most people see our current excessive lifestyle as somehow necessary, and count food as an extra financial burden. That is an attitude problem that is far too prevalent today. It's not people's own fault of course - our entire society is screaming at folk constantly that this is how we have to live, so you can't blame anyone for believing it. I don't own a TV, so I consider myself a wealthy man
  4. I think you paid sheepshagger a compliment that his post did not deserve by actually bothering to respond to it Trønder. What a load of ignorant, zenophobic drivel.
  5. The idea of Tesco coming to Shetland to 'shake up the fat cats' is hilarious. This is a company that has 31.5% of the UK grocery market, and around 3% of the UK's total GDP. To suggest they are some kind of consumer freedom fighter is utterly ludicrous. The company is known to go into new areas and use their massive wealth to deliberately target specific competitors, with the intention of closing them down. That they should be applauded for destroying small local businesses is very, very sad. Shetland may well pay a bit more at the supermarket than other parts of the UK, but we are still not paying 'over the odds'. Tesco et al can sell their food cheaply by mercilessly ripping off producers - I don't think anyone should feel pleased about that. We have grown used to paying very little for food in the west; the proportion of our income spent on food has been decreasing for decades, but that strikes me as a very dangerous state of affairs. We no longer place any value on food. But this is likely to change soon (though for the wrong reasons). Anyone who expects food prices to remain this low indefinitely, even as the price of oil skyrockets, is living in a dream world. The wholesale price of many goods has almost doubled in the last year, and these increases will be transferred to the consumer. I think over the coming years, people will have to get used to spending more of their income on necessary things like food, and less of it on superfluous luxury goods. Unfortunately, I don't think food producers will get a better deal out of it, but companies like Tesco will manage to maintain their immense profits. People should stop whinging about having to pay a few pence extra for a can of beans and start thinking a bit more about the value of what they are buying and where they are buying it from.
  6. Well it's really a flawed way of looking at it. Much of the money that comes back is in direct grants to various projects etc. So administration costs and so on are paid outwith the UK, and therefore appear to be 'lost' monies: part of the missing 25%. But if we were outside the EU, the administration costs be paid by the UK, and to be honest I'm not sure if this country is any more efficient in terms of beurocratic excess. This is not really the thread for EU discussion, but I think there are a great many reasons for being in the EU: not least because it has (so far) helped to stop us killing each other, which Europeans were in the habit of doing previously. There are also obvious trade and travel benefits. That's not to say there's nothing wrong with it, and that there isn't plenty could be improved (or that we shouldn't seek more autonomy in certain areas) but the idea of the EU is, as far as I'm concerned, a good one. I'm also quite happy for some of our money to be going to, say, Eastern Europe, to help improve economies there, just as I'm happy for some of my taxes to be going to help folk less fortunate than me.
  7. Er, this is clearly a massive exaggeration. The 'majority' of laws in the UK still come from Westminster and Holyrood. This is not true either. I don't know where you've got this figure from but it's not correct. If I remember correctly, it's actually about the other way round - 75% comes back to the UK one way or another, and places like Shetland tend to do relatively well, since we are rural and peripheral, and therefore, in an EU sense, disadvantaged. The actual figures are pretty complicated to quantify I think, but I'll try and find them - Office of National Statistics should have them.
  8. I believe though that in the Act of Dissolution (or whatever it was called) in 1814, when Denmark and Norway separated, it was Denmark that retained the (theoretical) rights to Shetland, along with Faroe, Iceland and Greenland.
  9. You missed this one: http://www.blurringlines.com/stuart.htm
  10. Is it not Stuart Hill satirizing himself? He wrote another letter under the name " Cedric Swick" in January http://www.force10.co.uk/sn_test/archives/letters_01_2008/100%20per%20cent%20proof.htm which provoked this reply http://www.force10.co.uk/sn_test/archives/letters_01_2008/Come%20out,%20Mr%20Swick.htm Domain Name:SHETLANDAGAINSTREALITY.ORG Registrant Name:Stuart Hill Is he bonkers? I don't think either of the Swick letters can be Stuart Hill. Why on earth would he start a campaign of satire against himself? The letters are too funny to be him, and too well-written. Surely someone else has just taken out the domain in his name? Or he's taken out the domain after reasing the letter. The site is certainly not as funny as the letters. If Stuart is Cedrick Swick though my opinion of him has skyrocketed.
  11. Satire is not dead. Hooray! http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/letters_03_2008/Viva%20Gondwanaland.htm
  12. I'm going to southern Greenland in May. Can anyone recommend any good tapas restaurants?
  13. SHETLAND Life magazine has launched its first Shetland Wildlife Photography Competition, and is inviting entries from photographers of all ages. The competition is open to pictures depicting any aspect of Shetland wildlife – birds, animals, plants or wild landscapes – and will be judged by Hugh Harrop, Shetland’s most widely-published wildlife photographer. Many of his pictures can be viewed online at www.hughharrop.com, and a gallery of his photographs from the Arctic will be featured in next month’s magazine. There will be three prizewinners and five runners-up in the competition, and all eight winning photographs will be published in the June edition of Shetland Life. The first prize is a £60 voucher from The Camera Shop, Lerwick, and the winner will also receive a framed copy of their photograph. Entries for the competition should be posted as prints or on CD to: Shetland Life Photography Competition, The Shetland Times Ltd, Gremista, Lerwick. They can also be sent by email to the magazine's editor Malachy Tallack at m.tallack@shetland-times.co.uk (please do not send very large files by email). Digital pictures must be at least 300dpi, and major digital alterations and enhancements should be avoided. Photographers can enter up to four photographs each. The closing date for entries is 10th May. More information on the competition and prizes can be found in the most recent edition of Shetland Life.
  14. It's called Last Man Standing. It'll be on the next album. There's a free live recording of it on my website though - www.malachytallack.com , then go to downloads, live tracks...
  15. Thanks Tomblands, well I did write a song on this subject a couple of years ago, but I feel it would be a little self-indulgent to post the lyrics here (I think they're floating around somewhere on t'internet anyway). Basically, what concerns me about much of the "remembrance" coverage is two things: firstly, that people are encouraged to remember some things, particularly the courage and heroism of soldiers, but persuaded to forget others: that many thousands were forced to fight and die against their will, that many were shot at dawn for being frightened, and the utter horror of war, and the lessons that we (particularly governments) should have learned from it but clearly didn't. By turning remembrance into a celebration of bravery we have forgotten the most important lesson, which is that war is a terrible thing, and that people's lives should never be treated with such contempt by their leaders. The second thing that bothers me is the use of individual soldiers to represent the lives of others. This talk of commemorating the 'last soldier' as if his life as an individual is less important than his symbolic value is pretty offensive, and it is born of exactly the same attitude that sent them to war in the first place. It is very easy for politicians to send thousands of people off to war, so long as those people are just numbers and statistics; it is far more difficult to ask people to face death on your behalf when you know their name, you know they have children and family that love them, you know that their lives are a complex, intricate web of connections, relationships and emotions. Each of those millions of soldiers that died was an individual, and their attitude to what happened to them and what they did is their own, and it should not be hijacked for the sake of instilling a sense of patriotism in others. Many veterans, I'm sure, will have been tortured by guilt over what they did for the rest of their lives; they may have been haunted by the things they saw; they may have harboured intense anger at the government (and even the country) that sent them off to war. Individual soldiers cannot be represented by a symbolic event that celebrates their "courage" for that is just a tiny portion of who they were.
  16. This shouldn't really be in the gigs thread, but there doesn't seem to be a dedicated LGM thread. Anyway... There's an article on the band, and Shetland music more widely, in the new Shetland Life. You can read it for free, here: http://www.shetlandtoday.co.uk/shetlandlife/content_details.asp?ContentID=25468 If you want to comment on the article, please be a kind person and stick your comment in this 'ere thread: http://www.shetlink.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=71141#71141
  17. Politicians are paid to read, understand and make informed decisions on matters like this. If the public were to be given a referendum they would not be voting on the content of the treaty at all, because 99% would not bother to read it. They would be voting on already existing beliefs and prejudices, most of which are created by a right-wing press that is determined to distort the truth about Europe. People only demand referendums when they think politicians disagree with their own opinions. To be honest I'm a bit confused by the Lib Dems position on this. They are a pro-European party, they want to stay in the EU, but they also want a referendum on leaving the EU, which would be voted on by a public that is currently shamefully ill-informed and biased in the other direction. Nick Clegg's position on this particular vote was also quite peculiar and self-defeating in the end.
  18. Any ideas when the results are meant to be announced?
  19. I think SIBC has been very supportive of local music, where it fits in with the business as they run it, and that is completely understandable. There is no obligation for them to play every Shetland band that can press record on a tape player. Ian has certainly been very supportive of me, and playlisted a track from my last album, despite the fact that I don't play 'pop' or anything like that. There are plenty of others too. If you look at their website, they give prominent position on their front page to a list of local acts that they play: Clearly there is lots more music going on in Shetland than that, but the point is that most of these acts are getting support from SIBC because they are local. They are not getting playlisted on radio stations outside Shetland.
  20. I have problems with some sites (Shetland News site is the worst - it just about crashes my computer, and that's on broadband). I've noticed Shetlink taking longer and more effort to load the last couple of days, though it is fine this evening.
  21. Er, I'm just getting an error message when I try it. I could be doing something wrong, but the form seems simple enough that I should be safe. Any suggestions? Are we being halted in our quest? Or am I being thick? (EDIT: Ok, got it now. It didn't like one of my email addresses for some reason)
  22. Malachy

    Trout Fishing

    Still looking for your thoughts on sea trout fishing in Shetland over at this thread here: http://www.shetlink.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=67794#67794
  23. Actually, it seems likely that the state will pay for this particular battle.
  24. I think you very much overestimate how revolutionary what you're saying actually is, Westmoother. Nothing you have written so far has in any way surprised me or made me want to run away from Scotland or the UK, which is obviously the aim. I, along with just about everybody else in Shetland, am fully aware that the legal issues surrounding Shetland's transfer to Scotland are very cloudy, and could quite easily be challenged. But what people would be far more interested to hear would be convincing arguments as to why we should challenge it. Almost everything you say is met with, "Er, yes, I knew that." But you are not providing a reason to move from that position to one of directly challenging our position within the UK.
  25. No, just that I'm not sure exactly whose toes are going to be trodden on. It seems to me that it would be within national politics that your arguments would find most opposition, so I'm not sure why you, being new to Shetland, would be any less aware of the owners' toes (if you see what I mean). Unless you actually think that it is our local archivist and a terrible band of similar local evildoers who are behind the entire conspiracy? To be honest I don't see why anyone's toes would be trodden on at all. You present an argument, if it's convincing people will believe you, if not they won't. I don't see how local ignorance would help. I think you are well aware that I don't believe that. What I'm saying is that you go about your business in a strange and unnerving way. The Shetland Movement was once an important part of Shetland's politics. It was a grassroots movement, which was essentially after the same aims as I think you are. The people involved with the Shetland Movement were not worried about any imaginary toes to avoid. They said what they thought, and they gained some popularity. They were Shetlanders who believed in increased autonomy, and had some very sensible arguments behind them. They did not spout conspiracy theories. But the movement died away as support of its aims waned. I don't think you are going to win back any of that support by preaching and ranting as if you are talking to a bunch of timid, stupid natives.
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