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Posts posted by Malachy

  1. Well I've read that article, interesting but also vague. You know statistics.


    I decided to look up the postcodes (on the site below) used to justify their statistics over such a diverse and unique a place as Sheltand guess what....their study only gathered info from ZE2 9DU, one postcode to cover everything from Lerwick to Unst?!


    You're talking about two different studies aren't you? One by the government one by the council. The council one discussed in the paper was very specific in terms of the areas it found poverty to be worst.

  2. First, I think you should establish the level of poverty in Shetland, so that we can comprehend the scale of the problem.


    How do you define poverty? What are you comparing this against? Shetland is very fortunate to not have a high level of poverty al la Glasgow etc.


    I presume Mattie is responding to this article in the Shetland Times, which shows that Shetland does indeed have a problem with povery. http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2009/11/27/dramatic-rise-in-poverty-in-isles-with-one-in-10-now-deprived

  3. I have been trying quite hard to find real reasons for staying within europe but am struggling to think of any. Please feel free to suggest some.


    Today is rather an apt day to be asking this question. We can complain all we want about the EU, and there are many things wrong with it, but in its original purpose it has been very successful. Less than a century ago, two wars were fought within Europe and millions of people died; today we squabble about incompatible national interests and pointless beurocracy. The second option may not be great, but it's definitely better than the first. Political and economic integration makes war within Europe so unlikely as to be virtually inconceivable.

  4. I'm not sure about other airlines but i know that BA provide free hotel accommodation for passengers, if a flight is cancelled/postponed and you are forced to spend a night away from your home.

    They only provide accomodation if you are in transit with BA. If it's just the one flight you're making then they don't have to provide anything except another flight the next day.

  5. I don't get why the default position seems to be anti-windfarm and pro-climate change denial and every other opinion is deemed to be part of a massive conspiracy led by VE and Al Gore


    Well, I think it would be a serious mistake to lump these two things - anti-windfarm and climate-change denial - together. A great many people who acknowledge the climate change science, and who believe that we need to make serious changes to our lifestyle, do not support Viking Energy. I'm one of those (for reasons I've outlined on the VE thread, in Shetland Life etc), and there are numerous others on this forum. Equally (and perhaps more interestingly), as the recent Shetland Times poll showed, there are a significant number of people who support Viking Energy even though they believe it is bad for the environment.

  6. KOY, unless I'm very much mistaken about the identity of Falkner then I can vouch for them being a real person, a long term Shetland resident, and certainly more than capable of having their own opinions. You can't devalue someone's posts by accusing them of being a 'recruit', as though they've arrived under false pretences. People are entitled to post on whatever topics interest them, whether they agree with you or not. Indeed, it's great to read posts in which the views are based on scientific research rather than just taken wholesale from far rightwing and conspiracy theory websites.

  7. I'm not a clever edinburgh lawyer, but shouldn't an investigation PRECEDE the decision to release (or not)? Stable doors and horses spring to mind...


    They were only able to release him because he dropped his appeal. And they could not relaunch the investigation until that time either, if I understood the situation rightly. The investigation will, I imagine, focus on discovering who he was working with, if he was indeed guilty.

  8. Nick Griffin had a good line, which Jack Straw had no answer when they were speaking about Churchill, was to point out that whilst his own father had served in the RAF, Straw’s father served jail time for refusing to fight fascism!


    I didn't think that was a good line. It was irrelevant and deliberately intended to be hurtful rather than respond to the actual point. It got a boo from the audience and quite rightly so. The actions of one's parents have no relevance.

  9. I guess what this all goes to show is that like so many words used to describe a "category" of people, the meaning and interpetation of soothmoother is constantly changing.


    Quite right (just to bring things back to where we're supposed to be). My initial interest in writing about it was because of the controversy itself, and the apparently wildly differing views on the word. I would argue that those who say 'no offence, end of story' are really simplifying the matter too much and dismissing others views without really thinking about them.


    Words change their meanings, surely, and they pick up new connotations depending on how they're used. Two good examples would be gypsy and eskimo. Both were once used universally, but both picked up negative connotations and so are generally used with more care nowadays, or alternatives are used.


    What is particularly interesting to me is that some contributors here have described soothmoother as an entirely neutral or even affectionate term. It's almost as though no anti-incomer feelings had ever been widely expressed in Shetland, and as though that word were not, invariably, tied up with those feelings and that expression. But would anyone say that was actually the case?

  10. look at all da murders, rapes, and especially bombings 98% of it all is done by non british origin dilinquants.


    Can you give us a source for this figure please? 98%? Really? Are you sure about that? Sounds to me like a lie.


    all i have to say is me and all my family will be voting BNP and all my friends will be doing the same roll on the BNP for election.


    get the bad people out and let the british do the jobs as they should be able to, not the way it is just now with all the immigrants getting jobs and houses handed to them and the people who have a right to be here cant get nothing.


    good luck to the bnp.


    You sound like a silly person. The BNP deserves you.


    Gibber et al, please stop the distracting sideshow. Koy's nuts. Ignore him. This new person's worse though. Have a go at partan. He's a proper Nazi.

  11. Going back to the question of origin, soothmoother is actually used in parts of Scotland too, to refer to someone with a southern accent, most especially an English person. It's not as widespread as it is here, but it certainly exists. This does beg the question of whether it has been exported and delocalised, or imported and localised. It would make certainly make sense either way.

  12. Being called a Ness Man, Toonie, Cungle, Burra Man, Australian, Soothmoother is really no different, no? When said with a lilt in ones voice and with a derogatory term next to it those terms will themselves become derogatory. Point a finger at someone and say the term angrily ... it instantly becomes xenophobic!


    There is a difference though in that Australian is a self-defining term ("I am Australian"), whereas soothmoother is a term created externally, to label a particular group of people ("You are a soothmoother"). Okay, some incomers would now describe themselves as soothmoothers, but that seems to me a way of trying to assimilate, by taking on the lingo. Many others would never ever describe themselves as such. They have personal identities (English, Scottish, Irish-Jamaican, whatever) which 'soothmoother', in a sense, strips them of. It is not an identity, it is a lack of one. And, as you point out, someone who considers themself a Shetlander and yet is called a soothmoother is not going to be happy about it.

  13. ...for those of us who's first choice of phrase is 'fae sooth'; rather than soothmoother, a black person from within the UK would not normally be described as 'fae sooth', but in terminology that was appropriate to their racial appearance



    Definitely. To me, "mind, he's a soothmoother" is affectionate, inclusive terminology, whereas "mind, he's fae sooth" is more dismissive and exclusive.



    I was never aware of an racial emphasis regarding color/religion or otherwise.



    It's very interesting how people have quite set ideas of the use of the word, and yet these clearly differ from person to person, some subtly, some quite distinctly, as your comments (above) show. The definition of 'incomer' just doesn't cover it.


    Hope some of that helps in some way Malachy - look forward to the article.



    Thanks, this is all helping. And it did start off as an article - my own personal opinions on it - but it's gradually ballooned into something much bigger. Who knows what it'll end up as: an encyclopedia perhaps.


    Keep coming with any comments at all. I'll keep throwing in questions I'm interested to hear your thoughts on, but do add anything you want. ...


    One more question at this stage. EM suggested above, and Ghostrider, and others in the previous soothmoother thread, that people who are offended by the word are being overly sensitive, or perhaps even trying to be offended. Would you stick firmly to that? Do you think there's no sense in which the word might have been abused over the years? Maybe used as an insult a bit too often? Or do you think people are really just being soft? And if so, why do you think some Shetlanders object to it? I am aware of some (and have spoken to some) who quite seriously dislike it. Are they just overly politically correct also? (I'm not trying to be provocative here, just wanting to establish your thoughts.)


  14. Illogical as it may seem, "fae sooth" means "Caucasian people from just about anywhere else". Only Scandinavians/Northern Europeans, who are usually referred to by nationality (He's a Norski, Russki, Finn....etc), and folk who are visibly of another race wouldn't be included.


    So a black Glaswegian or Londoner is not a soothmoother? That I didn't know.

  15. I think usage is mostly related to situations involving "ignorance" rather than "stupidity" (and in my opinion people who think those words mean the same are in the latter category). So, for example, one hears things like "yes, but remember he's a soothmoother." This doesn't mean the person is stupid, but rather that allowance should be made as they are not likely to have got the hang of living here yet, and all that means in terms of weather, etc.


    That's interesting - a positive use of the word.

    How about distinguishing between similar terms. Would you say there was a difference in meaning between "he's a soothmoother" and "he's fae sooth"? Even a subtle one?

  16. The way I'd see it is that "f**king" is the insult part of the phrase, and "soothmoother" is the descriptive term for the individual it is applied to. No different to someone calling me a "f**king Ness man" or me calling someone a "f**king Lerrik man" etc.


    Hmm, as I say, I don't want to get into a t*t for tat about this right now because I know it's impossible to get a consensus on it, but...

    I see what you're saying: "F**king Ness man" sounds like an insult, but it's a bit confusing unless you understand the connotations. It sounds a bit odd. Likewise, if you take a neutral description: "F**king brown haired person", it sounds ridiculous because there's no clear context for the insult. It would be hard to be insulted by it. But if you say "F**king black person" or "F**king Jew" then the context is obvious - you are relying on pre-existing prejudices and widely-understood connotations as the context. And the fact is that, in Shetland, particularly in the immediate post-oil period, there were significant anti-incomer feelings being voiced. And those feelings provide the context for the potentially insulting use of the word soothmoother.


    [The ludicrous censorship here is due to Shetlink's swear filter - "t*t for tat" appeared as "moomin for tat", which was very confusing]

  17. It was a term virtually exclusive to the town before the very late 70's/early 80's in my experience, it remains still pretty much that in the 40/50+ generation.

    To some extent that's the impression I get, yes.

    There was a PhD written after research in Cunningsburgh from '77 to '79 and 'soothmoother' seems to have been very widely used there at that time. So much so that the American author uses it herself as a synonym for incomer (though she is also writing about the negative connotations of the word).


    The only way someone might see the term as a stand alone insult as far as I can see, would be that its use could suggest a level of non-acceptance/non-inclusion by identifying the person concerned as "different". But anyone doing so, is IMHO being paranoid and/or over-sensitive, and is ignorant of the older Shetland mentailty.


    This is actually a pretty complex subject. I can personally attest to the word being used as an insult (ie "f**king soothmoother), sometimes in my direction. That strikes me not just as an expression of difference - there is clearly the suggestion that there is something negative about being a 'soothmoother' (whatever you might define one of those as) otherwise that phrase doesn't make sense.


    But...I have to say that, at the moment, I'm less interested in going over this particular part of the discussion (it's covered quite well in the already existing thread). I'm more keen to hear about origins, uses, and unusual uses of the word. Perhaps also specific definitions (this seems also to be controversial). A newcomer is far more likely to be called a soothmoother than a well-integrated incomer, yes?

  18. Dammit, I'm not quite technologically minded enough for this. I was on Shetlopedia earlier, looking at JAS's politics pages, but now when I try to go back to Shetlopedia, Spyware Doctor says that a file on my computer is trying to communicate with the page and it's blocking it. The risk is low - Adware - but I don't like it, and I'm not keen to disable the block if there's something going on.

  19. Thanks. The geographical origin (ie sooth mooth of the harbour) is almost undoubtedly correct, though it has certainly expanded in its reference since then.


    I suspect, though it's very difficult to be sure, that it had limited use, particularly outside Lerwick, until the 1970s. Once oil arrived and immigration increased, it was very widely used. I'm keen to know if I'm on the right lines with that though.

  20. [mod]title changed to 'Origin of the term - "Soothmoother"' from 'Soothmoothers' to better reflect his particular thread and the direction it is intended to take 22/10/2009[/mod]


    I'm doing some research on the word "soothmoother" and I'm trying to gather together some information and opinions on its origins and its use.

    From what I've been able to gather, the word doesn't seem to be particularly old. I'd be interested to know if any older Shetlinkers remember hearing it before, say, 1960?

    I'm also keen to hear about its use, either as a description or as an insult. I'd like to hear any anecdotes about how you've heard it used (I heard the phrase 'soothmooth Shetlander' for the first time yesterday, and I'm not even sure quite what that means). Any stories or thoughts would be interesting.

    (Mods, I know there's a soothmoother thread already but I thought since this query refers to specific research I'm doing, it would be better to separate it. If you disagree, feel free to act accordingly).

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