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EM

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Everything posted by EM

  1. They have been charged with crime because crime was committed, and they are suspected of being responsible. There has been strict regulation of where drones can be flown for years. It is getting tighter, and I expect, will get even tighter. The main limit which affects the various people who want to use drones on UHA day or night is the horizontal distance constraints. This includes the stipulation that drones must not fly within 150m of crowds. When this matter first came up several years ago, drone pilots seemed to think they could fly anywhere on UHA evening because they claimed to have various certificates. Hearing of the multiple plans, the Police made it clear that they were having none of this and stated they were defining all Lerwick as being banned airspace for drones for the day. After being challenged over this interpretation, they have since reduced the banned space to be closer to the dense crowds, but with the 150m rule, this still means drones flying above the procession route are clearly in breech of the regulations. I was aware of one operating from Lower Hillhead/Union Street, and another was apparently being flown from next to the flower park. My understanding is that a third was being flown legally over to the west, but seems to have been the target of a rocket. Now that is a story.
  2. Yes. Off hand I don't remember the year, but it was certainly pre-WWII and probably pre-WWI. Very true, it could be said to have a tradition of gradual change. The key to this is the intangible “Spirit of Up-Helly-Aa.” Organisation and governance is consensually based rather than an adversarial system as familiarly used in Westminster. The Committee's remit is to the guizers and they are completely in tune with how the guizers interpret the “Spirit of Up-Helly-Aa.” Consequently, when changes do happen, they are never controversial. Exactly so. Tedious indeed. It is completely pointless and only engenders ill feeling. Something which dilettante UHA attackers really miss is the "have your cake and eat it" angle. All the UHAs are different, so taking part in two is not the same thing done twice. Many, many women like to both guize in the rurals, and also enjoy the very different Lerwick formula. When you can have two different types of event, why would you want just one?
  3. The following is not the case: I don't think anybody would disagree that male only guizing is an accepted custom of the Lerwick festival. The instruction "it is the duty of each Guizer to conduct himself at all times in accordance with the “Spirit of Up-Helly-Aa” with goodwill and strict adherence to accepted customs." is therefore quite clear.
  4. ... or indeed those who do like the Lerwick festival. I have stated previously that I believe it would be a very good idea for yet another UHA. Not a feeble weemins Lerwick trying to fit into the already chocabloc winter season, but an annual summer event similar to the Hamefarin burnings. This is something which would positively address the desires of the tourism sector, and generally be a good thing. Seems to me to be a far more fruitful endeavour to be involved in than just seething and moaning about something which can not be won. If anyone is keen, I am ready to support with all my technology and whatever advice I can provide. You are turning me into a cracked record! The legal situation is not shaky or grey, it couldn't be any clearer. Prior to 2010 your comments would have been valid, but all the legalistic wiggle potential has been removed. Indeed that was the main point of the legal reform. Instead of having loads of different acts all dealing with discrimination differently, a single act was made law which is consistent and easy to understand. I've read everything I can on the relevant law, and discussed this material with numerous lawyers and academics. If the situation was grey there would be "On the one hand it says this, but it could also be argued that..." type comments. Wearing my most sceptical hat I can see no soft area which could be challenged legally, and neither can any of the experts I am aware of. They all say it is watertight. The act is not as daunting a read as might be expected, but even if you only read the guidance notes, a layperson should be in no doubt. Cleverly it uses Golf Clubs to illustrate what is legal and what is not. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/85018/private-clubs.pdf What most people just do not grasp is that there is discrimination, and there is unfair discrimination. The law defines precisely what is deemed acceptable. Lerwick UHA ticks all the boxes.
  5. ​Mainly the latter, but there have been "Is this OK with you?" mass meeting moments. Guizer opinions are typically "totally boring topic," or "no way." Hostess opinions are almost invariably "no way" or "absolutely no way." Certainly true, but I don't think you'll find any participant who believes the general feeling is anything but overwhelming status quo. Getting to the crux of things here. Lots of people want UHA to be lots of things, but just do not understand what it really is. It is certainly a community event, but that is a very broad term. It is something people do for its own sake, not for tourism, not for PR, not for gender equality. As many a UHA stalwart has stated, "We'd still do it if nobody watched." It is fiercely independent and focused on doing what it does best. If the wider community likes this, then fine, but it has no interest in most of the ways the wider community tries to co-opt it. For an event of its scale, this independence is remarkable. The arrangements concerning the various Jarl's squad jaunts vary enormously. It totally depends on how interested the Jarl and squad are in the specific event. What is always the case, however, is that such trips are entirely squad matters. The committee organises UHA, subsequent Jarl's squad activity is up to the squad itself. I've no idea what the specifics generally are for the Edinburgh trips. Purpose? They enjoy them. All the issues about promotion and advertising are an unintended consequence.
  6. ​Mainly the latter, but there have been "Is this OK with you?" mass meeting moments. Guizer opinions are typically "totally boring topic," or "no way." Hostess opinions are almost invariably "no way" or "absolutely no way." Certainly true, but I don't think you'll find any participant who believes the general feeling is anything but overwhelming status quo. Getting to the crux of things here. Lots of people want UHA to be lots of things, but just do not understand what it really is. It is certainly a community event, but that is a very broad term. It is something people do for its own sake, not for tourism, not for PR, not for gender equality. As many a UHA stalwart has stated, "We'd still do it if nobody watched." It is fiercely independent and focused on doing what it does best. If the wider community likes this, then fine, but it has no interest in most of the ways the wider community tries to co-opt it. For an event of its scale, this independence is remarkable. The arrangements concerning the various Jarl's squad jaunts vary enormously. It totally depends on how interested the Jarl and squad are in the specific event. What is always the case, however, is that such trips are entirely squad matters. The committee organises UHA, subsequent Jarl's squad activity is up to the squad itself. I've no idea what the specifics generally are for the Edinburgh trips. Purpose? They enjoy them. All the issues about promotion and advertising are an unintended consequence.
  7. I refer to changing the membership eligibility criteria being "done completely." Lerwick currently maintains a legal discrimination. SMUHA (I believe Delting to be in this category too, there may be more.) has no gender discrimination. If Lerwick were to change it would need to remove all gender discrimination in one sweep. It has to remain legal, so partial introduction is not an option. Just to clarify, there are rules, but no constitution. That is not entirely the case, but can be taken as a workable simplification of how it generally works. The argument presented by yourself and Wheelsup has one fundamental practical flaw. For there to be a change in the criteria for guizer eligibility, there would need to be a widespread, indeed overwhelming, desire amongst the guizers for this to happen. This is certainly not the case for various reasons. Sticking with just your "getting a berth in a squad" aspect, turkeys do not vote for Christmas. Guizers are not going to change the status quo unless they are given a very, very strong reason for doing so. That is how things happen with UHA. Even if the committee wanted to change the gender requirement, they'd have no chance of doing so, unless the guizers could be convinced the festival would be threatened otherwise. Prior to 2010 I could easily have envisaged small incremental changes happening, such as permitting female musicians. That would not have been particularly controversial. Since the law was reorganised that kind of incremental change has become unfeasible.
  8. It is very simple and all about what kind of discrimination is permitted in society. The various UHAs fall into three categories: Some, like SMUHA, are completely gender transparent.Lerwick restricts guizers and squad musicians to be male.Most others permit females to participate but with restricted rights. The latter is now explicitly forbidden, but Lerwick's status is 100% legal. Were Lerwick to try to permit female guizers, it would need to be done completely. All or nothing, anything else would constitute unfair discrimination. In the past things could have gradually changed, as UHA has always done, but this is no longer an option. It really is over.
  9. Simply not true. Can you clarify which law you claim would be infringed? Yes I do. Not true either. Widely believed, but not true. If you check the facts you will find that they came to a fudged compromise whereby women would be permitted to ride at the back, behind the men. Ironically such a solution would now be considered illegal. You are sure? Well, I'm sure about this matter too, but I think I have reason to be surer than most. Having read the legal texts and discussed details with relevant experts, I see no way Lerwick would be able to admit female guizers now. It is over. Since the law changed in 2010 we have the remarkable situation where most of the Shetland UHAs infringe the law, but Lerwick is completely squeaky clean. It has to be.
  10. No. Or perhaps imagine a country, inhabited by a significant number of Protestants, celebrating their ancestors' torture and grisly execution of the perpetrators of a foiled Catholic putsch. An event at one time formally endorsed by the state, which still involves the burning of effigies of the Papists. Seems to me that Guy Fawkes Night should perhaps be somewhat higher up your reformist priority list. After all, there are more Catholics around today than embittered Picts. As we keep saying, UHA is not particularly about real Vikings, it is about UHA Vikings. Quite a different animal, and far more fun. There's nothing stopping you. Have a go, and if its as entertaining as UHA, hip ho, even more fun. It is not a zero sum game.
  11. A few years back I ended up stuck in Bressay for several hours due to the ferry having to stop for weather. So, having had enough of Maryfield, we embarked on a touristic tour of the isle. Obviously the gut factory will be high on anyone's list of highlights , so there we went. I was amazed to find it operational. As others have noted, I've not noticed a whiff from Heogan for many, many years. I had actually assumed it had closed long ago. Turns out that forcing the plant to clean up its emissions was SEPA's first achievement in Shetland after being established. Back in the 70s the smell was indeed byocking, but the stinking oil in the harbour and on the beaches was even worse. Clothes affected had to be dumped.
  12. Not at Mareel but they are playing Islesburgh this evening from 21:00. Support from The Dirty Lemons, Scaldin Bragg, and DJs Lyall & Nadia. £12.
  13. For a long time I have had my doubts on that ubiquitous belief. Consequently, I was very interested to learn of Denis Dutton's theory of beauty, which entirely rejects the notion. He presented it in a TED lecture a few years ago. Very thought provoking, as well as being a particularly well presented and entertaining presentation. He has certainly convinced me: A Darwinian theory of beauty
  14. I agree, no more Owerweel would be a miss. I also agree about the dog picture, and I am not at heart the biggest of dog lovers.
  15. Yes, that is the impression I had. The following quote pretty much says so: I am reminded of a tale within Kundera's "The unbearable lightness of being." He relates how a journalist in Czechoslovakia is removed from his job, and banned from publishing. This seriously affects the character's state-of-mind, as he had become dependant on having an audience. He then realises that his flat has been bugged by the secret police. Instead of pissing him off further, this proves to be a very happy epiphany. He has a new audience! Regardless of whether the audience is positive or negative to his views, just having people pay attention makes him entirely contented.
  16. One of the best German films of the 90s (indeed one of the best films of the 90s anywhere) was "Lola Rennt" (released as "Run Lola Run" in UK). It featured Franke Potente running across Berlin three times trying to source a pile of money in 20 mins to save her boyfriend from being killed. When you are familiar with Berlin, the sequence of locations she runs past are quite bizarre. Completely "wrong" from a tourism point of view. She'll round a corner and suddenly be on the other side of the city. Does it matter to the plot or dramatic intensity? Not a bit. The film works wonderfully, and "accuracy" would not improve it at all.
  17. Not even close. Clearly Spanish I would say.
  18. A few years back I got a minimal letter from insurer telling me that they had decided to stop insuring the house forthwith. I phoned to enquire why. After a brief wait while the lady investigated, I was told it was because the building was "on a cliff." Bemused I told her it was not on a cliff, but was certainly in the sea. She said "On a cliff? In the sea? Same thing." Quite funny I thought. While most of my neighbours flood regularly, thankfully my lowest floors are just a bit higher and the house has never flooded.
  19. GR, have to rush out just now, will reply to your query when I get back. Yes, this is happening. Both are correct, as is "Up-Helly Aa" and probably a few more too. It has never been standardised and none is fixed as the definitive, even today.
  20. Not really an issue. Identifying who is in front of a camera is fairly trivial, at least which squad is involved, and that is what matters. Flack? Hardly. Not a squeak on the matter from any Guizer at the Mass Meeting, and I haven't spoken with anyone who has any disagreement with any of the sentiments expressed in the Committee's communication. As much of a non-story as it is possible to conceive.
  21. ^ An excellent idea. How hard can it be, krangs wash up around the world quite regularly. Mind you it would need to be a big beast.
  22. Second last Tuesday again, so, as usual... Mass meeting 19:30 at the Anderson High School Games Hall.
  23. Of course not. Just another attempt to stir up discord where none exists. As part of its role in managing the many aspects of the festival, the Committee routinely keeps the squads informed of procedural changes, as well as issues needing to be addressed. This has always been going on, and is perfectly sensible, particularly with matters relating to safety. In certain respects it always has been. It is many things to different people, amongst which is a collection of parties. Although the guests at the halls come from the public, technically, other than the Town Hall (or the TA at one time), they are all private parties. On the other hand, UHA activities which take place in the streets are clearly, of and for, the public. Certainly not. This seems to be the ST agenda generally these days. To be expected I suppose, given the disintegration of the local press industry more widely.
  24. Last Tuesday time again . Mass meeting tomorrow (Tuesday 29th Oct), 19:30 at the Garrison.
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