Sunday 10th February 2017
The shock results of a poll jointly commissioned by the Shetland Times and The Orcadian, released today show that 67 % of the northern islanders would vote for independence...................from Scotland. The results of the poll have left the Scottish Government in Edinburgh reeling at the prospect of the islands separating from the mainland and re-newing their historical links with the Nordic countries they were once part of before being ceded to Scotland.
Gordon McPhail of the breakaway Island Freedom Party proclaimed in Lerwick the time had come for the islanders to have their own say in how to deal with the issues that are relevant to their lives. Too long, he states, they have had to suffer at the hands of incompetent, power mad politicians down in Edinburgh dictating policy that is not relevant to the unique way of life in the northern islands. 82% of Scotland's revenue from oil, gas, wind and tidal energy systems, fishing and agriculture come from the territories belonging to the islands, but the Scottish government sat so far down south only commits 8% of that revenue on sustaining the islands. Mr McPhail condemns the Scottish Government for squandering billions of Scottish Pounds on wasteful government buildings, MP's expenses and statues, and on costly full scale re-enactments of the Battle of Bannockburn on 24th June every year.
Mr McPhail is appealing to Alex Salmond for a referendum amongst the islanders in 2018 on the 1200th anniversary of the Battle of Dumbarton Rock when the Vikings defeated the Picts. Mr McPhail has promised that if there is a 'Yes' vote on Day one every 'Yes' voter will be made a multi-millionaire as the island government will generously share out the oil and gas revenues which will rightly be earned, solely by the islanders. Those who vote 'No' will be shown where the land of Promise is, in a southerly direction.
A shocked Scottish Government in Edinburgh was understood to be in crisis as the poll results were leaked to them ahead of the headlines hitting the press. Could the islanders be allowed to claim self-determination and claim all that lies within their territory? Could the revenue conveyor that the recently separated Scotland had counted on for its very survival be switched off? Is there anything that mainland Scotland could do given it's own recent history?
What Scot who voted for independence from the rest of the UK could deny the right of the islanders to have the right to separate if a majority should wish it. As Mr McPhail quipped, "We're only following the same process that the SNP followed. It is our right to self determination under the Scottish Constitution. No one can deny that to us."
Of course I have just made this up, but what if? What if Scotland gained independence, what if the people in the Orkney's and Shetlands then decided they wanted to separate, how would you feel? The islands are part of your home, yet in this scenario (but who knows what might happen) someone wants to take part of your home, and part of your security, away from you. If the people of those islands decided to separate from Scotland and take all those oil, gas, wind and tidal energy resources, fishing and agriculture off Scotland, would you support them? Would you think they were selfish? Would you demand some say in the matter, so that you might be able to say, '"No" to their demands?
I hope this starts to give you some inkling of how I feel