By G.A.Ponsonby
A bid by an unelected Tory Peer, Malcolm Sinclair, to prevent Orkney and Shetland from remaining part of an independent Scotland has today been dismissed as "bizarre" and "extreme".
According to Sinclair, who is a hereditary member of the House of Lords and once served in Margaret Thatcher’s Government, a win for the Yes campaign in the independence referendum would not automatically include the island group, which could be forced to remain under London control.

In a series of House of Lords amendments to the Scotland Bill, the unelected Peer has demanded that in the event of Scotland voting Yes in the independence referendum, the islander’s poll be considered separate and if more islanders voted No then the region be placed under Northern Ireland style partition and be governed by Westminster.

The Tory Lord has also insisted that the Scottish result will only be deemed binding if it is confirmed in a further UK wide referendum.  Sinclair, also known as Lord Caithness, has also proposed that the disputed rocky outcrop of Rockall be placed under the governance of London. 

If his plans are implemented, the legislation would see Westminster take ownership of Scotland’s oil and gas fields as well as the region’s renewables resources and result in £100s billions flowing direct to London.

However the land grab bid by the Tory politician has been ridiculed and dismissed by MSP for Caithness, Rob Gibson, who called it “bizarre” and “extreme”.

Mr Gibson said that islanders would enjoy greater personal prosperity under independence, and urged them not to succumb to what he called "a London raid" on the area’s natural resources.

The SNP MSP said: “The Earl of Caithness has never once stood for election.  His views have never, ever been endorsed by the voting public.  He is a man who has had to apologise for his past parliamentary ethics, and was a key player in Margaret Thatcher’s government.

“Northern Islander’s will no doubt be laughing-off his bizarre contribution to the independence debate as I speak.  His opinions have left him isolated, and have been widely ridiculed in Caithness and the isles.”

Mr Gibson said the days of local nobles telling the Highland’s what to do were “well and truly over” and demanded the Tory Peer “butt-out”.

“The truth is, residents of the Northern Isles need only look east to our Scandinavian neighbours for a vision of the personal prosperity they will enjoy under independence.  The Northern Isles have reaped limited rewards from North Sea oil, but things could be so much better.” he added and went on:

“I have a great love for the distinct Norse identity and culture in the Northern Isles, and many of my islander friends would describe themselves as ‘Norse first, Scottish second’.  However, I have never once come across a Northern Islander with a hankering for London-rule over respect in an independent Scotland.

“My message to the Northern Isles is this – do not let London plunder your vast, vast natural resources any longer.  Let’s channel the Isles’ potential to build a more prosperous Orkney and Shetland, because these two great island groups are as much Scottish as Thurso or Tain.”

Lord Caithness has courted controversy before and was recently forced to apologise after booking parliamentary facilities as part of an advertising campaign.

In 2009 the sales brochure of holiday company R Crusoe and Son featured Lord Caithness apparently promoting holidays to the UK.

"We gather in London, England for a private tour of Parliament with Lord Caithness, who introduces us to several colleagues over lunch.  The Lord Speaker, Lady Hayman, or the Leader of the Conservative Party, Lord Strathclyde, joins us for a chat." said a section of the brochure.

Caithness was reported to the Commissioner of Standards who accepted his apology which read:

".. the website of the travel agency could be construed by a reasonable person as suggesting that I had a financial interest linked to showing paying guests around the House of Lords. That was not the situation as I have explained and I never received, or anticipated receiving, any payment arising out of my use of Parliamentary facilities. The visit as advertised by the travel agency never took place and I reiterate my regret that its actions raised concerns about the proper use of House of Lords facilities."


# call me dave 2012-01-24 17:42

I'm away to the dark room to cool down.
I'll try a rational comment later.

# rgweir 2012-01-24 17:55
Every day brings a new story of desperation.
Hold the door for me.
# Frankly 2012-01-25 11:46
Not so new. Déjà vu:

"Documents detailing secret government plans in the 1970s to prevent Scotland laying claim to North Sea oil have been seen by The Times. They show the extraordinary lengths to which civil servants were prepared to go to head off devolution, which was seen then as inevitably leading to independence.

The proposals included suggesting to Labour ministers, for whom devolution was a manifesto commitment, that progress towards a referendum should be delayed, in the hope that enthusiasm north of the Border would wane.

Treasury officials also advised that the boundaries of Scotland's coastal waters should be redrawn and a new sector created to “neutralize” Scotland's claim to North Sea oil – a step that was taken.

One Treasury official even proposed that a local campaign for independence in Orkney and Shetland should be encouraged so that Scotland would be denied access to more than half the North Sea oil. The idea was that the islands would prefer to throw in their lot with London rather than Edinburgh." (Magnus Linklater and George Rosie, The Times, February 14th 2009)
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-01-27 22:28
Actually there is nothing new in this, its an old idea from the 70s. this article is reproduced from one that appeared in the [now subscription fee] Times [london] a few years back.

Secret plan to deprive independent Scotland of North Sea oil fields
Documents detailing secret government plans in the 1970s to prevent Scotland laying claim to North Sea oil have been seen by The Times. They show the extraordinary lengths to which civil servants were prepared to go to head off devolution, which was seen then as inevitably leading to independence

One Treasury official even proposed that a local campaign for independence in Orkney and Shetland should be encouraged so that Scotland would be denied access to more than half the North Sea oil. The idea was that the islands would prefer to throw in their lot with London rather than Edinburgh.

It does however show that the unionists have no new ideas so they have to dredge up 40 year old ones
# Macart 2012-01-24 19:19
Here's the key, I've had a lie doon already. :0(
# dundie 2012-01-24 21:40
It's getting a bit crowded in here of late!
# Macart 2012-01-25 07:06
Sshhh! Turn aff the light. ;0P
# whitburnsfinest 2012-01-27 19:47
Wheesht, all o' ye! Don't make me come down there....!

Besides, there are nae lights in here. I'm a SCROUNGING SCOT, you see.... I nicked the lightbulbs :-D
# maisiedotts 2012-01-24 19:53
This Lord Caithness lives in Chipping Norton near neighbour no doubt is a certain David Cameron.
# Christian_Wright 2012-01-25 00:55
Wouldn't the noble lord's actions be retroactively considered treason by an independent Scottish state?

Whilst I personally would consider this a hanging offense, surely the least we could do is repatriate those lands and properties in the keep of Malcolm Sinclair, to the People?

No chance this could be augmented by a period compassionate and nurturing, "re-education" for His Lordship I suppose?
# MAcandroid 2012-01-25 11:10
Great idea - the land originally belonged to its people but was progressively stolen but those who had the ear of the court and legal profession.
# gaisgeach 2012-01-25 13:24
The point is that Shetland is an integral part of Scotland just as is Glasgow or Eriskay or anywhere else. It was colonised by Norsemen, annexed by the Norwegian Crown and then transferred back to Scotland over 600 years ago. It never has been an independent territory nor has it had any special relationship with the Scottish state prior to the Union. This reductio ad absurbum type of argument shows indeed what a bampot Caithness is. Presumably, he would argue that if Shetland voted yes but Yell voted no, then Yell would become an English possession.
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-01-27 22:53
Actually Shetland was pawned to Scotland when the "maid of norway" failed to show up for marriage due to contarcting a sudden attck of being dead.

The 1965 drawing of the dividing line through the north sea between norway and Scotland would later mean the Norwegians would have the last laugh.
At the time the division caused raised eyebrows in UK senior civil service circles as it was thought that the UK was being over generous giving away more North Sea than was nessesary.
This was before anyone knew about oil or even had the tech to recover it.
This meant that oil fields that would now be in the Scottish sector are now in the norwegian sector.
History does have its twists
# Islegard 2012-01-28 00:06
The Shetland question doesnt exist. London is trying to make it exist to meddle and divide and rule. Turn the argument on its head. Post independence is the Isle of Wight, the Scilly Isles going to seek independence from England.
# rhymer 2012-01-25 20:41
Quoting call me dave:
I'm away to the dark room to cool down.
I'll try a rational comment later.

With independence we get rid of all of these parasites from the House of lords
and we will save millions too.
Another BIG benefit of independence.
# Ard Righ 2012-01-26 17:07
I know exactly how you feel.

Lord Caithness with his thick English accent, port stained tweed waistcoat and general imperial bearing, what planet are these people on?
# bringiton 2012-01-24 17:54
Not for one second will the people of the Northern Isles agree to direct government from London.
This is an old idea which this idiot is resurrecting in the hope of causing more doubt in the minds of Scottish voters.
As far as I recollect,the legal situation with regard to international recognition of ownership of Rockall specifically mentions that it is within Scotland's territorial waters.
If there were any remaining doubts about this odious bill then there are none now.
# Sleekit 2012-01-24 18:04
Agreed!!!!!!!!! !!
# oldnat 2012-01-25 01:05
International Convention on delineation of waters suggest that an uninhabitable rock far distant from the mainland, wouldn't normally be capable of being used to extend the Exclusive Economic Zone. While the UK and Ireland have agreed a delineation based on Rockall, Iceland and Denmark (on behalf of the Faroes) disagree, and the issue has not yet been determined.

It is absolutely clear, of course, that if Rockall is Scottish, then we claim the surrounding seas as of right. If it is anyone else's than we will resist their claim to the last skua! :-)
# Frankly 2012-01-25 11:51
The United Kingdom declared Rockall to be part of Inverness-shire, under the terms of the Island of Rockall Act 1972.
# forfar-loon 2012-01-25 12:25
Indeed, though it is viewed (like St Kilda) as part of the district of Harris, and therefore comes under the jurisdiction these days of the Western Isles. See
# thomsor 2012-01-24 17:56
This should be a good story for the BBC Scotland and Scotsman to run with. Pure unadulterated rubbish from another unelected bampot. He has clearly lost the plot if he thinks that Westminster can break off bits of Scotland. Mind you they did suggest the same in the 1970s so no change of policy in 40years from the Brit Nats.
# Sleekit 2012-01-24 18:08
The BBC is stating that...

A former Conservative minister has said Orkney and Shetland should have the right to remain part of the UK if Scotland votes for independence.

The Earl of Caithness has tabled amendments to the Scotland Bill, which gives further powers to Holyrood.

He said a referendum vote favouring independence should not be binding on the Northern Isles, unless the majority of islanders voted "yes".

Even now, they cant bring themselves to call it for what it really is!
# bringiton 2012-01-24 18:50
Yes Sleekit,we now see that the purpose of this Scotland Bill is to damage our economy.
Who would stand to gain by so doing ??
Should anyone in Scotland be tempted to vote for a continuance of London rule,they should consider their economic record.
Turning a £300b + windfall from North Sea oil into a £Trillion + debt in a matter of three decades is no mean feat.
I doubt even I could manage that !
# Triangular Ears 2012-01-25 12:00
It's funny how the so-called Lord thinks it's possible to break off bits of Scotland, yet Hammond thinks it would be impossible to break off bits of the British army "like pieces of chocolate".

This is proposed theft, plain and simple. This Lord should be prosecuted for conspiracy of a theft.

In all seriousness, there must be international precedents of this to refer to.
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-01-27 23:00
@ "It's funny how the so-called Lord thinks it's possible to break off bits of Scotland, yet Hammond thinks it would be impossible to break off bits of the British army "like pieces of chocolate"."

Excellent observation..wish i'd thought of that, but then thats why i use newsnet

# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-01-27 23:08
# Sleekit 2012-01-24 18:03
If Shetland and Orkney vote NO to the Independence referendum and the remainder of Scotland votes Yes they would be transferred to Direct Westminster control.

This needs spelled out to the Islanders as they now dont just have Status Quo and Independence, thay also have REGRESSION.

I'm sure that the islanders dont really want privatised NHS and Schools, lets face it, the logistics to the island would make it heartbreakingly expensive.

No, I thnk they could negotiate a good settlement for being more autonomous within Scotland. I just dont think they would get any concessions out off Westminster.
# Alx1 2012-01-24 19:09
Hi Sleekit,

Seems you have a fellow Shetlander (or maybe you?) over on the TAMB.

New Hugh wrote;

"FFS....not this again.

We (Shetlanders) are as Scottish as anyone in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Ayr, etc. and we want to stay part of Scotland post-independence. (EDIT: can't speak for Orcadians, mind you!)

Who the f**k is this Earl Of Caithness anyway?"
# Sleekit 2012-01-24 21:52
Hi Alx 1,

I'm Aberdeen not Shetland, but had old flatmates and friends from the island.

Aberdeen is main transport hub (boat or air). If you have to go there take the plane, the boats a Ba****d, but there is a bar.

Work in the Oil Industry so take an interest in North East and Islands.
# bringiton 2012-01-24 20:07
Sleekit,I would hope that,post independence, we would see democracy being devolved locally (once we have safeguards at Holyrood about guaranteeing our sovereignty as a nation).
I cannot see e.g. Holyrood wishing to disrupt the current arrangements between the Shetland Islands Council and the oil companies.
If you are in a position of having to negotiate with a government which is a busted flush then I am not sure what the outcome would be (that is where the REAL uncertainty lies).
# Sleekit 2012-01-24 21:55
My guess is that they ask for devolution of the island but remain part of Scotland to get support in education (Scottish Curriculum and examinations), defence, and NHS support for buying / logistics.

If they got Salmond to agree to that they would have a great deal to go the referendum vote with.
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-01-27 23:26
Heres a long shot hypothetical.
Shetland declares independance [UDI], Edinburgh makes moves to bring them back into the fold , then England occupies Shetland under the guise of "peacekeepers"

Anything there sound familiar?

[2008] Shetland chief calls for independence

Shetland Island Resident Declares Independence from U.K.[or "oi nutter"]
# Auld Bob 2012-01-24 22:05
Aye! But! What happens if the mainland Scots vote NO and the Islanders vote Yes?

Will they be ruled as an independent nation but Scotland will not. Methinks the Noble Lord, is muckle doolallie.
# Christian_Wright 2012-01-25 00:45
I don't see that bits of Scotland get to opt out of the country because a local polity voted against independence - that way lies fragmentation and chaos.

My view is that O&S do not get a pass on this any more than Aberdeen, or Ayr, or Aberfeldy. To concede for a moment that it might be otherwise would be a grave error.
# Holebender 2012-01-25 05:28
I think they have the perfect right to secede from Scotland if they so desire, but only after following proper procedures. First the whole of Scotland must become independent, then the islanders can campaign for independence if they so desire.

An independence referendum for Scotland cannot be used as a vehicle for any part of Scotland to secede from Scotland. How would the ballot question(s) be worded to even make this possible? It certainly wouldn't be the simple unambiguous yes/no question Dave Cameron tells us we must have. Would a Shetlandic "no" mean no to independence or no to remaining part of Scotland?
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-01-27 23:03
@ "If Shetland and Orkney vote NO to the Independence referendum and the remainder of Scotland votes Yes they would be transferred to Direct Westminster control"

# Fungus 2012-01-28 00:02
Quoting Dances With Haggis 1320:

# BeltaneFire 2012-01-24 18:05
No partition of Scotland, under any circumstances!

I cannot envisage even Scottish Unionist politicians at Holyrood going down this route.

How do people with such a disregard for their own people get into positions of influence like this?

I'm beginning to understand better the mentality of revolutionary France.
# nchanter 2012-01-25 00:20
Quoting BeltaneFire:
No partition of Scotland, under any circumstances!

I cannot envisage even Scottish Unionist politicians at Holyrood going down this route.

How do people with such a disregard for their own people get into positions of influence like this?

I'm beginning to understand better the mentality of revolutionary France.

I believe that fatal piece of machinery used at that time was a Scottish invention.
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-01-27 23:46
From the Scottish Unionist Party website
Independence for Shetland!
Interesting logo, though Wales as usual does not get a look in on it but the E.U flag does. I wonder how well that would go down in Cardiff
# brh206 2012-01-24 18:08
Is this really an issue? i can't imagine that it really is other than yet another incorrect scare story that our shameful excuse for a media publish in full without any sort of research or argument. I have noted before that this debate will get dirty as time goes on, I am a little surprised it has so silly so soon. It's just the same old rubbish like Clegg on Sunday about demanding answers from the SNP. Is he bloody ignorant the answers have been coming for years, what doesn't he get by the answer of we will have a defence force. The make up of that will and should be decided later and is not a pressing issue right now. The unionists will sttop to any level to instill fear into the Scottish people. Two years ago we were subsidy junkies who needed to leave, now they will do anything to make us stay. Their fear is not losing Scotland, their fear is losing their seat on the UN, their assumed status in the world. All crap really, they don't get it. To coin Clinton, the people will decide stupid.
# McHaggis 2012-01-24 18:33
Its real alright...

Read this idiot's suggested amendments in full and try to keep your mouth closed as you wonder at the sheer audacity of the man.
# ButeHouse 2012-01-24 20:52
Just read Caithness' amendment. It's bonkers. Either the man doesn't realise this odious Bill, as someone called it, has to be passed by the Scottish Government, of which there is no chance without any amendments never mind with.

Or he is so desperate for attention he'll say anything to get it.

# Soixante-neuf 2012-01-24 18:09
In a series of House of Lords amendments to the Scotland Bill, the unelected Peer has demanded that in the event of Scotland voting Yes in the independence referendum, the islander’s poll be considered separate and if more islanders voted No then the region be placed under Northern Ireland style partition and be governed by Westminster.

Those English - do they never learn?
# oldnat 2012-01-25 01:08
The English are learning - give them time. The Earl of Caithness is British to the core (especially a drilling core).
# Legerwood 2012-01-24 18:10
Agree with what has been said above BUT keep a watch on this story because today's news of a refinery down south filing for bankruptcy may just make some people down south think Sinclair's idea has something going for it.

Do not underestimate what mischief the pro-Union side will get up to however far out it may seem.
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-01-24 18:10
Not so much angry, as holding my sides laughing.

The Shetland and Orkney's are part of the sovereign Scottish people - it is the old the island's are not Scotland's crap(To which the question is: how so? They were given to the Scots Crown as a dowry payment and the crown is subservient to the Scottish people in Scots Law).

Here's a beltie ca'd a laird seeing himself back where his forbears were in 1706 - keeching his breeks that the sovereign Scottish people will take over his lands at independence, just as, in 1707, they were about to reposess his forbears land to redeem the mortgages upon them.

The man, the House of Lords and Westminster are in severe panic if they think this will have legs and become 'Law' the more hysterical they get, the more the Scotland Act Amendment Bill is down the pan..

You just have to laugh at their presumptiousnes s and the ever increasing 'yes to independence' ground swell they help generate.
# alisdair 2012-01-24 18:50
Very well said, MJM you have it exact!!
# Macart 2012-01-24 19:21
Spot on Mad Jock.
# Auld Bob 2012-01-24 22:19
Just had a thought. If they can come up with such a silly scare story we should turn it back upon the numpties. Say we will acept that ammendment if the Isle Of Scilly, Canvey, Portsea,Wight, Sheppey, et al are also made independent is the Scottish Islands are.
# Edna Caine 2012-01-25 00:06
Don't forget the Isle of Dogs.

Oh, sorry. It is already.
# Holebender 2012-01-25 05:32
What does the noble Earl have against the Hebrides, eh? He wants them to stay part of Jockistan while depriving them of any economic benefit which might accrue from having Rockall within their local government area.
# Scrog87 2012-01-24 18:10
So Westminster has learnt nothing from the gerrymandering of Ireland and want to do the same with Scotland. They should not be allowed to cause Troubles in Scotland like they did in Ireland. I am all for self-determination and if the people of the Northern Isles want to start a political movement to leave Scotland and either join the UK as a signatory of an Act of Union, or want to become a crown dependency of Scotland, or even full independence from Scotland then that's fine by me. But it will be done by the people of the Northern Isles ,NOT by Westminster breaking up Scotland. If the Islanders want to have a referendum on leaving Scotland before the independence referendum then they can, however the Scottish government would need a say in the renegotiation of the Treaty of Union. As for Rockall... Don't be rediculous, there is nobody living there so how could it be British. It is geographically Scottish and only British as long as Harris remains in the UK.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-01-24 18:11
Leaving aside the rest of the idiocy, how should Northern islanders vote if they actually want Scotland to stay in the UK, but in the event of independence would prefer to stay part of Scotland?

The guy is completely barking. He calls himself chief of clan Sinclair for God's sake. If this is what Scotland's clan chiefs have come to, using their position in the English House of Lords to try to rob Scotland of territory and assets, then there's only one way to go.
# snowthistle 2012-01-24 19:08
parcel o rogues?
# wee e 2012-01-24 18:14
Hello from a lurker-turned-newbie - and thanks for writing this!

What's scary is - who's to stop this amendment actually being passed? And can anyone explain to me what "Lord" Wallace is up to with his amendments?

(*I owe my shift from "probably devo max" to "independence, no-brainer" to David Cameron's china-shop antics the other week, and my brand new subscription here to m'lud His Grace The Earl of Caithness, (tug, doff, curtsey).

All these unelected drones and tory toffs are great recruiters.
# Scottish republic 2012-01-24 18:51
Welcome - wee e

Glad you're here.
# Macart 2012-01-24 19:25
Welcome wee e. Good on you! In answer to your question, we can stop it. They could force the bill on us but they know the SG will fight it tooth and nail. Equally within this term will be a local govt elections, a referendum and a GE. If they force it through it would be electoral suicide and they know it. I reckon they'll play the long game in the hopes of discrediting independence and wrecking the SNP first.
# Sleekit 2012-01-24 21:58
Welcome wee e,

nice to have a new persons input.

I agree with your sentiments.
# Auld Bob 2012-01-24 22:30
Hi, and welcome wee e. The obvious answer to the all those really daft ramblings is that these numpties are just very ignorant of the real facts. They actually believe their own party propaganda diatribes that they have spouted since the 1707 Treaty of Union.
# Angus 2012-01-24 18:15
Yes, the Brits have tried this before, but they must remember one thing that all the Scots have in common, from the borders to Shetland, from Aberdeen to Lewis, that is the Picts, the base of all the Scottish people, then we have a mix of norse, Gaels etc in varying proportions.
# art1001 2012-01-24 18:18
Alex wants a Scandinavian Scotland. That must be right for the Northern Isles as well. They would move along with us to closer economic and cultural links with Scandinavia. They will then also be at the centre of things - not at the extreme periphery.

Surely they do not want to become effectively English counties? Why would they choose London rule over being with us to create a new future? It is to a large degree the fault and the plan of the Union and its London centric media control that Scotland knows so little of itself and therefore we are less cohesive and more easily divided. They really are an evil shower down there.
# Sleekit 2012-01-24 22:03
Maybe it will get Cameron to admit that you wont need passports to get to Scotland though as the boat / airplane goes to Aberdeen.

Its not exactly a big selling point if you try and say you'll need your passport to go to the mainland.

Agree with your comments re: scandanavia.

If the islanders do really feel at home with Norway then a Scandinavian alliance will give them more of what they want culturally.
# fifeslim 2012-01-24 18:18
Haud yer fire. The guy's a bampot fishing for a reaction. Even the most cursory look at this guy's past show the type of character he is - a chieftain and a lord in nought but name.

First time poster, long time reader by the way. Cheers for the entertainment and the education.
# Alx1 2012-01-24 19:16
You could have a point there fifeslim. This could be just another scare story designed to make the less strong minded in Scotland think again about Independence.
Que the unionist supporters saying 'well I don't know about voting Independence as England will not let go of the Shetlands and how are we going to afford Independence after'.
I can hear it now. A nice little niche for the feart ones to run too.

A big welcome to newsnetscotland to you and wee e.
# creag an tuirc 2012-01-24 21:43
Welcome fifeslim and wee e. Keep posting even if no one responds, because I can assure you that many people read every single post on here and assimilate all the information into a collective wisdom.

I would urge as many lurkers(readers only) to post their thoughts as they are more than welcome.
# Sleekit 2012-01-24 22:06
Welcome fifeslim,

Yes I noticed that.

Lord of Caithness...

Lives in Chipping Norton...

Neighbours are Jeremy Clarkson, David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks...

Definately a friend of the locals of Caithness then!
# Independista 2012-05-24 19:50
I could be wrong, but did the noble Lord not compete in the Upper Class Twit of the Year some time back? Nobody finished, so take your pick which coffin Caithness is in!!
Brilliant fun though!
# Auld Bob 2012-01-24 22:46
Looks like there is a growing number of Fife folk coming over to NNS. As a guy thrown out of a Willie Hamilton meeting where Willie claimed the Fifers would vote for a Collie dog if it had a red rosette on its collar and me saying, "Aye! Willie I know and I'm looking at it". I used to think getting any Fifers away from Labour was a thankless task.
# tartanfever 2012-01-24 22:53
Welcome along slim, always great to have another poster.
# thomsor 2012-01-24 18:22
This looks like a stushie to deflect attention from Alex Salmond's speech at the Guardian in London tonight as well as the SNP presentation at Hollyrood tomorrow.
# Scottish republic 2012-01-24 18:53
Keep posting - it's an old ploy from the 1970s that the Westminster politicians had cooked up in 1974...
# bigbuachaille 2012-01-24 18:23
Is the Earl of Caithness the full shillng? Judge for yourself:
# gus1940 2012-01-24 18:27
That's another few thousand YES votes from today's contribution to The Anthology of Ludicrous Unionist Threats and Scare Stories.

O/T - For anybody who missed last night's Panorama an interesting snippet was the £850 million being spent on a revamp of Reading Station.

Yet another chapter in the ongoing saga of Billions of taxpayers' money being poured into SE England's Transport Infrastructure as Scotland and the rest of The UK are bled dry.

How much longer are we going to tolerated this situation which is nothing less than robbery?
# scotintun 2012-01-24 18:36
Just a thought, what if some of the English counties want to become part of Scotland, its got to work both ways.
# bringiton 2012-01-24 19:33
Good point scotintun.
We should start with Berwick and work our way south.
Most of the people in the north of
England would rather be governed from Scotland than by the cesspit which the Palace of Westminster has become.
# deepwater 2012-01-24 21:37
Berwick is not LEGALLY English, by treaty its part of the Scots realm permitted to pay tax in England.

Covers the surrounds as well.
# Sleekit 2012-01-24 22:11
This anomoly has caused havoc with the sea border and allowed Blair to annex 6000 sq miles of Scottish waters.

Be interesting to see what the UN take on it will be because I think that one is going to court on independence. Cant see it being resolved amicably.
# Auld Bob 2012-01-24 22:54
Correct deepwater, By the way, Berwich is still legally at war with Russia due to that treaty. When the peaceas signed Berwick was not included as part of either Scotland or England. Mind you the Ruskies did say some years age they considered the war was over.
# Edna Caine 2012-01-25 00:31
Sorry Auld Bob, the 100 year war is over -

"A peace treaty was only finally signed by a Russian diplomat and the the Mayor of Berwick in 1966. As the mayor said at the time: "You can tell the Russian people that they can now sleep peacefully in their beds"."
# oldnat 2012-01-25 01:16
Alas, the original story of Berwick v Russia was a myth, which Berwick has (very sensibly) used as a tourist attraction.

More importantly, those supporting independence should probably stop using the "claim to Berwick" even as a joke. It would give traction to a counter argument from the Brits that any council area which didn't vote Yes would be absorbed into rUK.
# Holebender 2012-01-25 05:40
Hear hear.
# Marga B 2012-01-24 18:37
Has anyone commented on what appears to be a BBC website section dedicated to:

Scotland's Future
# Fungus 2012-01-24 19:45
Quoting Marga B:
Has anyone commented on what appears to be a BBC website section dedicated to:

Scotland's Future

Brian Taylor is on comment.
# GraemeB 2012-01-25 11:58
Not exactly balanced opinion, is it?
Not one positive news item there.
# bigbuachaille 2012-01-24 18:37
Well, it is either as a result of the pressure of complaints or else pigs have taken wings, but BBC Reporting Scotland actually started with the FM's speech to be made tonight. Keep complaining, folks. And also register your strong objection to the removal of Newsweek. Click here:
# TheVoice 2012-01-24 18:43
# Jimmy The Pict 2012-01-24 18:47
Question, would the Earl of Caithness still be an Earl post independence?
# parsonrussell 2012-01-24 19:54
He would still be an Earl, but would have no birthright to meddle in democracy in an independant Scotland.
# highlander 2012-01-24 18:49
We must at all costs start saying it like it is, the end of the treaty between England and her extra bits and Scotland. If people understand the UK will no longer exist these claims will be laughed at!

The UK, it's parliament etc is over. The remaining England, Wales and NI can hardly claim territories that were on totally foreign land at the time the treaty was signed.

Without this basic fact that England, icl. Wales and N Ireland will remain and not a pre-existing state, the UK gov't will lay claim to everything and get lots of support for it.

We should refer to the topic as ending the union with England as much as we do with the term independence. This "leaving the UK" bollxx is potentially very dangerous.

We're ending the union. What was before 1707 will be again. No question. Let's hope our countymen (and bints) vote for it!
# Auld Bob 2012-01-24 23:08
Yes,highlander, but one wee addition. Pre-1707 there was indeed a, "United Kingdom", for 103 years. That was when the King of Scots also became the King of England. As The King Of England he also wore the crown of Ireland and, as the, "Prince of Wales", wore the crown of Wales, the Principality was an English principality, the Prince was the King's subject. That meant That the King of England rules over Wales & Ireland. It is the Treaty of the Union of the Parliaments that is ending and that is what Westminster is NOT. So England has ne elected parliament to take over as all MPs, including from Scottish constituencies, cannot claim being elected as English MPs - there are no such animals as English parliament MPs.
# Holebender 2012-01-25 05:54
Stop it! There was no United Kingdom before 1707. How can two independent countries be one kingdom?

Are you ever going to answer this simple question or will you keep on with this pre-1707 kingdom nonsense?
# wee e 2012-01-24 18:53
Not to mentionhis Earliness's next amendment (my scary asterisks, obviously) just to make sure if the benighted northern peasants fail to vote no, the oil-grab is still on:

Insert the following new Clause—
“Amendments to the Island of Rockall Act 1972
(1) The Rockall Act 1972 is amended as follows.
(2) In section 1, after first “shall” insert “for administrative purposes”.
(3) After section 1 insert—
“(1A) Rockall is owned by the United Kingdom and, *****in the event of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom, it shall be owned by the United Kingdom.”.”****
# creag an tuirc 2012-01-24 18:53
OT: More turkish delight in The Telegraph. Spinning old news into, well, the usual.
# Fungus 2012-01-24 19:47
The SNP leader was later forced to apologise for misleading parliament.

No he wisnae, he left the chamber found out about it and was straight back in to say sorry.

Anybody know a good builder, we need another darkened room in here.
# Dougthedug 2012-01-24 18:55
On the one hand it's infuriating that an unelected hereditary member of parliament can start adding amendments like this to legislation.

On the other hand this amendment would have to get voted in both by the House of Lords and the House of Commons before it would become part of the Bill. I don't think that it will make it through to the final Bill.

This issue of independence for Shetland or Orkney frequently rears its head on articles and blogs on Scottish independence and it's always raised by unionists, usually based in England, in the gleeful hope that Scotland will be penniless if it becomes independent and Orkney and Shetland leave.

The fact that the Orcadians and Shetlanders have not been pressing for independence or that the British State ever encouraged Orkney and Shetland to leave Britain and strike out on their own before Scottish independence became an issue is disregarded by the commenters.

The idea that England should retain control over resource rich parts of Scotland if Scotland gains independence is however, new.

I hate to disappoint the esteemed Lord Caithness but according to a document

Which was linked to by the commenter Angus McLellan on the Wingsland blog

Even if England retained Orkney and Shetland they still wouldn't get much oil as the islands would be treated as outlying detached islands and would not have as much of an impact on the extent of Scotland's territorial waters as Lord Caithness seems to think.

There's a map (Map 2) on page 105 of the pdf which shows their likely waters.
# Sleekit 2012-01-24 22:23
Thank you for the link.

Very interesting read.
# VFR 2012-01-24 18:56
The outcome of the Scottish Referendum will be determined by which side gains the majority of the Scots votes. Why would the result of the vote in a part of Scotland ie Northern Isles be treated any differently from the result in Edinburgh area for example. It's whatever the majority vote for that matters. I'm also surprised an SNP msp suggesting the natural resourses belong to the Northern Isles when they are in Scottish waters and should be for the benefit of all Scots including the Northern Isles.
# Auld Bob 2012-01-24 23:19
It's just daft. The obvious thing that would happen is that the independent Islands would find themselves isolated as, if they were not part of Scotland the basic things like telephone links, electric cables and landing rights on the foreign shores of Scotland would make life a wee bit more difficult for the Islands
# Holebender 2012-01-25 06:00
Never mind cables and such, what about specialist medical facilities, further education, etc.? Would islanders need to pay fees to access medical treatment in Scotland? Obviously island students would have to find nine grand per year to attend a Scottish university.
# Rusty Shackleford 2012-01-24 18:57
And once again a Tory ignores the lessons of Ireland's history.
# seven 2012-01-24 19:12
Fortunately it won't be like Ireland but it raises a question. If your area votes yes can we declare a (your area) free state?
# Dowanhill 2012-01-24 19:04
I think this story should be treated as irrelevant mischief making by an unelected hereditary pier. It's smacks of just headline grabbing and yes being in the Scotland bill as an ammendement, no doubt Newsnight Scotland will be running it. Instigated by the unionists to obviously create an impending chattering chaos from the undicided electorate. I was incensed when I first heard about this, this afternoon. It is exactly the reaction the unionists want to exploit. Don't give them the satisfation, laugh and ignore it.
# Angus 2012-01-24 19:07
Lords, Earls, nobles, what a waste of money, these spongers are out of date and out of touch and Scotland would do better to be like other modern European states who are not governed by people sleeping in some rustic, retarded parliament whose occupants still think in terms of Victoria's reign. I doubt his Lordship asked anybody if they want to be England's northern provence.
# seven 2012-01-24 19:09
From wiki

In 2009 the Earl said "...I do not believe there is an obligation towards the clan in any formal sense. For many years I took no interest in the Clan because I was too busy earning a living and bringing up the family...If a chief can give the time, particularly to the Diaspora, then there are huge rewards for everyone and I would hope that most chiefs can do that

So to paraphrase YE I'm chief if there's some money in it.
# dundie 2012-01-24 22:20
Let's face it, the only reason clan associations exist these days is to prise money out of gullible Americans. Do you know anyone in Scotland who belongs to one?
# Holebender 2012-01-25 06:02
Erm... my wife.
# Teri 2012-01-24 19:10
I'm sure the residents of the Northern Isles will want a say on whether they are part of Scotland or not. As it stands, they elect MSPs to the Scottish Parliaments and the monies to run their local governments comes from the Scottish block grant. Had they ever wanted to be independent I;m sure they would have made their wishes clear by now.
This is just another desperate attempt to scupper the Independence referendum. As for the Scotland Bill, he and the other peers can add as many amendments as they like, it will not be accepted by the Scottish Government.
This is exactly why there will be no Lords in an independent Scotland.
Incidentally does the Earl of Caithness ever live in Scotland?
# snowthistle 2012-01-24 22:32
Someone said he abides in Chipping Norton
# xyz 2012-01-24 19:11
Divide and rule ... No underhand methods will be missed by Westminster. Including overwhelming a population with unionist voters .... They have until 2014 after all.
# rog_rocks 2012-01-24 19:13
"Lib Dems back Scottish 'home rule'"

# mato21 2012-01-24 19:16
So vote no and this is the promise of jam tomorrow I take it
# rog_rocks 2012-01-24 19:20
maybe more like; would you like to come with me... and see my puppies :-)
# mato21 2012-01-24 19:25

As in puppies
# seven 2012-01-24 19:22
Im there LOL do they think we have the attention span of a dead goldfish?
# J Wil 2012-01-24 19:49
"Lib Dems back Scottish 'home rule'"

Never believe their lies!
# Triangular Ears 2012-01-25 09:52
Maybe they mean "second home rule", i.e. Scotland will be ruled from their second homes in London.
# 1314 2012-01-24 19:17
Some things are best ignored - there have been quite a few this past fortnight and this is one of them.

While a quick refutation might make sense, there's no point using up energy over every bit of nonsense that turns up.
# Wee-Scamp 2012-01-24 19:19
What to do about the HoL is interesting because of course although appointments to the HoL are made on the recommendation of the prime minister they are actually made by HMQ. As an independent Scotland will retain HMQ then how does that leave those Scottish appointees or indeed Scottish hereditary Lords?
# Corm 2012-01-24 19:39
Quoting Wee-Scamp:
What to do about the HoL is interesting because of course although appointments to the HoL are made on the recommendation of the prime minister they are actually made by HMQ. As an independent Scotland will retain HMQ then how does that leave those Scottish appointees or indeed Scottish hereditary Lords?

Australia, Canada and New Zealand managed pretty well im sure we can work it out. Maybe we get rid or maybe they time out/retire/stand down. I dont think it will matter, it really wont be our problem =o)
# ScotsKiwi 2012-01-24 21:14
As a Scottish Kiwi I would say let the Leaders of the Clans be that Leaders of the Clans.

Let the Lairds of the Land be that keepers of the land but let everyone man have one vote and no stupid house of lords bollocks.

What scares these English buggers is the fact Scotland can win this without losing anyone unlike the past only England has something to lose and all it will take is a vote so make sure you vote.

Alba Gu Brath
# farrochie 2012-01-24 19:22
Troublemaking pure and simple, no honest attempt to do what is best for Scotland. We can expect every dirty trick to be employed.
# Macart 2012-01-24 19:30
Another ridiculous scare story in a long list just in the past couple of days. They've added so many ridiculous amendments to that bill I doubt if even they take it seriously anymore.

Roll on 2014
# Concerned Scot 2012-01-24 19:41
Apoligies if this is already common knowledge:

Another scare story collapses.Spanish Foreign Minister says story Spain would block Scotland's EU membership is "strictly false." - John Swinney!/JohnSwinney
# Macart 2012-01-24 19:57
Pleasure working on his kit! A voice of reason.
# clootie 2012-01-24 19:42
They hit rock bottom with this one. They cannot believe that international law and convention can be dismissed in this manner. I am neither amused or angry - I'm just stunned that we tolerate idiots like this having political position by birth!
# Macart 2012-01-24 19:58
If it walks like a duck..... :0)
# Siôn Jones 2012-01-24 19:35
Where do they get these clowns from? No sooner has a Hague or a Hammond boosted the independence cause, then they dig up a moribund laird to cause even more harm. You have to ask yourself - are these people sincere about saving the union?
# wee e 2012-01-24 19:35
Gulp - showing my ignorance here - I don't understand what folk are saying about this all having to be passed by Holyrood. Some of the amendments (one I saw quoted in Michael Moore's "consultation" document) seem to be about limiting the powers of Holyrood (e.g. amdendment to the Act, so that only one ballot paper & one question permitted per referendum). So how would Holyrood have anything to say about amendments that limit its own power?

Isn't this a Westminster-only bill?
# oldnat 2012-01-25 01:26
Technically, the Westminster Parliament claims the right to do anything it damn well wants, whatever conventions exist.

However, there is a convention (which is how the UK works) that anything in UK legislation that significantly affects devolved powers, also needs to have the approval of the Scottish Parliament.
# J Wil 2012-01-24 19:47
It's understandable that the hereditaries are going to fight back. They know if Scotland gains its independence their time is definitely UP!

It's akin to the French Revolution, without the blood letting.
# Keep UTG 2012-01-24 19:49
What was the result of the Referendum in 1707,did the Islanders vote to be ruled from London,were they asked or was it just assumed they were part of Scotland,what has possibly changed that makes the Northern Isles a bargaining chip for 2014 in the mind of some inbred? ;-)
# oldnat 2012-01-25 01:29
Inbred? With the British aristocracy, any assumption that the genetic input came from the husband and not a ghillie or footman, would be a dangerous one to make.
# parsonrussell 2012-01-24 19:51
So would that mean a 3rd question then?

Maybe it would the3 ballot paper will be like....

"Do you want Scotland to be independant?"

"If independance doesnt get voted for, do you want devomax?"

If you stay in the northern isles and Scotland decides to go independant, do you want to remain part of Scotland, or would yopu rather stay a part of the UK?"

One minute the Unionists are only wanting a straight yes/no question, then they are throwing all sorts of permitations into the hat, their desperation knows no end!
# Legerwood 2012-01-24 20:02
O/T You HAVE to get over to the Guardian. One Willie Bain has an article here:

Just crying out for some comments.
# Macart 2012-01-24 20:36
Just dropped over there to leave Mr Bain a little ray of sunshine. :0)
# GrassyKnollington 2012-01-24 20:06
slightly OT but I've just been called by a market research company in London and asked to answer a few questions on Scottish independence.

To say the questions they asked were seriously loaded is an understatement. These aren't verbatim but are as close as I can remember,

"If David Cameron removed all military bases from Scotland would you be more or less likely to vote for independence?"

"If the European Union said there could only be 2 questions Yes or No in the ballot would you be more or less likely to vote for independence?"

" If David Cameron said Scotland could no longer use the pound, would you be more or less likely to vote for independence?"

"If the European Union said that Scotland could no longer be a member would you be more or less likely to vote for independence?"

There were others including,

There follows a list of names. Can you say whether the following people have or have not got Scotland's best interests at heart.

Danny Alexander

David Cameron

George Osborne

Michael Gove

Alex Salmond

Ming Campbell

Charles Kennedy

Michael Moore

Jim Murphy

Gordon Brown

Douglas Alexander

Alasdair Darling

I wonder who commissioned the poll and I feel sorry for the poor market researcher who listened in bewilderment at my increasingly loud snorts of derision as he read through that list.
# Auld Bob 2012-01-24 23:35
Who cares who commissioned it. They are very obviously total idiots with no idea just how stupid their questions are.
# scottish_skier 2012-01-24 20:09
The SNP have always had a good working relationship with those supporting an autonomous Shetland, including agreeing not to stand against the 'Shetland Movement' candidates when these stood in elections of the past. The SNP respect Shetlanders as they do all the people of Scotland; London tories do not, as evidenced by todays shenanigans.
# roguesquadron 2012-01-24 20:28
Complete nonsense as usual...worrying thing is however, there are loads of these BS stories delibrately muddying the waters and confusing an undecided electorate.

What to do, what to do?!
# Jim Johnston 2012-01-24 20:38
I can hardly contain my apathy.

Sinclair was born into the "Lords", once "worked" for Maggie, and has never been elected to anything. Enough said.

Sinclair, - Another brain dead one, certainly not wired up right who shouldn't be let out of nanny's sight.

He should be greatful it's only Scotland being Independent he needs to worry about, some less civilised countries would hang him by the heels.
# ianbeag 2012-01-24 20:45
Link to an edited extract of Alex Salmond's Hugo Young Lecture in London tonight- 'Scotland's place in the world' Good positive stuff and some sound advice to the English. Looking forward to his presentation on the Referendum Consultation in Holyrood tomorrow at 1.35pm. Things are moving.
# balbeggie 2012-01-24 20:47

An article by Stephen Noon

- it will cheer you all up.
# Basil Metabolism 2012-01-24 20:52
Deja Vu all over again!
What will he call these "Northern Islands" -- Oilster?

It all sounds terribly familiar!
# Holebender 2012-01-25 06:15
Oilster... like it!
# Edulis 2012-01-24 21:10
Amidst all the stupidity from his lordship, does he realise that the Scotland Bill has to be agreed by the Scottish Parliament. What an excuse for a supposed decision maker. This must be a displacement reaction caused by the blind panic at the prospect of losing his £300 per day.
# Hirta 2012-01-24 21:41
# Hamish100 2012-01-24 21:46
Lord Caithness OBN lives in Oxfordshire, England. So much for the West Lothian question.

How many more unelected (offensive language removed. – NNS Mod Team)
do we need to hear from?

From an earlier comment

Lord Wallace
Lord Steel
Lord Robertson
Lord Forsyth
Lord McConnell
Baron Nicol Stephen
Sir Malcolm Rifkind (or is he a Lord?)
Dame Liddell or is it Vera? (bag carrier for Sir Robert Maxwell )
Lord Foulkes (by popular demand)

Sorry if I have missed out a Lady or Lord, or lesser being here.

How lucky we are as a nation to have so many Lord's and other OBN's providing us with so much drivel over the past few weeks.

A bunch of hasbeens telling us how undemocratic the Scots Parliament is and ignoring the Sovereignty of the People.

Still waiting for Lord Reid (infamous for puting our troops into afghanistan where it would be unlikely they would need to use their guns!)

I think the SNP should have a 1 page advert SHOWING THIS LOT-- I am sure votes would pile in for Independence.

For Burn’s Night

Ye see yon birkie ca'd 'a lord,'
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that?
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a cuif for a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that,
The man o' independent mind,
He looks an' laughs at a' that.
# Embradon 2012-01-25 01:03
There is an obvious reason for the antipathy of their Lordships.(Apart from the obvious patronising and arrogant ignorance)

No unelected upper house in Scotland - how will the r-UK view the likes of Wallace, Robertson, Foulkes and Forsyth?

P45s all round.
# km 2012-01-24 21:53
Malcolm Sinclair's amendment is the clearest statement yet that Westminster would be quite happy for Scotland to be independent, as long as they get to keep the oil. They would steal our resources, and cast us adrift while stealing a major part of our economy. There is a word for that: Plunder.

They can hardly claim it's an altruistic position, where they would be concerned about the welfare of parts of the population under independence. They don't go around saying, "If the good citizens of Kilmarnock don't vote Yes, then they would come under direct Westminster control".

The other particularly idiotic aspect to Sinclair's amendment is that it assumes the wording of the question. "If the referendum results in a “yes” vote"... How the hell can you write law like that, when you don't even know the question?
# Auld Bob 2012-01-24 23:57
Do you think we should grab that ammendment with both hands and fiddle the results to offload all the constituencies with unemployment, low life expectancy, drug addiction problems, high crime statistics, lots of Auld Firm Supporter, tory voters, former LibDem electors and so on. If it's good enough for the Northern Islanders then it must be good enough for the problem areas. You just cannot do more than laugh at these panic measures by the dependand Britnats.
# Holebender 2012-01-25 06:19
It's not just the oil. Consider the renewables potential of the Pentland Firth! A big chunk of that would go with Orkney.
# Talorcan 2012-01-24 22:01
Ach awa an bile yer heid Sinclair. Shetland and Orkney are part of Scotland. They're no nations but regions within a Nation sae there's nae parallel atween thaim and Scotland an England. Gie them some proper say in their ain affairs certainly, providin it's whit the true islanders want and no whit interferin Johnny-come-lately incomers frae the deep sooth want, but aw this stuff is jist baloney an cauld kail het again. Sinclair...yer a glaikit gomeril wi a brain like a trow. Awa back tae yer pals in Lunnon an sit quate like a guid laddie.
# .Scot 2012-01-24 22:22
I expect that the Scotland bill (Murphy promised to introduce many of it's acts by June 2009) will be another on the list of Westminster backlogs to be held up until after the referendum date. Westminster intend to impel Trident on Scottish soil even though they would never permit an independent Scotland to do the same. Westminster intend to build three new French publicly owned Nuclear power plants in Scotland but cannot mention it until after the referendum. Westminster plans to of Scottish Healthcare (made mandatory by the vile European version of Stop Online Piracy Act called ACTA). Westminster also plan to punish Scots even further by removing more industries from Scotland to the North east of England.

Welsh Conservative MP David Davies, chairman of the Welsh Affairs committee, has likened the United Kingdom to the Titanic and claimed it is now "just a question of how long it takes to sink". He made the claim after taking evidence from a commission looking at devolving more powers down to Wales. Labour MP Peter Hain says Tony Blair and his team never gave Wales "proper respect and attention," Meanwhile the Labour First Minister of Wales states "When you have opposition parties who have no ideas, all they're going to do is complain about the government." How very right you are sir????
# Angus 2012-01-24 22:34
Quoting farrochie:
Troublemaking pure and simple, no honest attempt to do what is best for Scotland. We can expect every dirty trick to be employed.

O/T I saw you on Labours hame, you ve done a braa job, specially sorting out that clever fool Hotersall, good to see it Farrochie
# Angus 2012-01-24 22:43
I know many Shetlanders, they are canny people, very doubtful they'd wish a union with England, if the rest of Scotland was independent.
Shetland came as a part of Scotland to the union, and so will leave the union with Scotland.
If the Shetlanders wanted to be Independent from Scotland I dare say they would have their a referendum.
My feeling is that the Shetlanders see themselves as Scottish, but with strong Norwegian connections, but, and I appologise if I m wrong, as I saw it on a TV programme, their DNA showed them to be 10 times more likely to have come from the Picts, than the Norwegians. My time spent in Shetland made me think that they were really very friendly and open people.
# Jimbo 2012-01-24 22:53
So, if all of Scotland votes YES, and the majority of Glaswegians vote NO, will this fool Sinclair demand that Glasgow be partitioned from Scotland and remain under London rule?
# tartanfever 2012-01-24 22:59
Jimbo - depends if there is £250bn in oil under the Clyde.
# mealer 2012-01-24 23:04
Orkney and Shetland were part of Scotland when union came about and will be part of Scotland when the union ends.
After independence,if the people of Orkney and Shetland dont want to be part of Scotland they can make other arrangements.
# grumblingtummy 2012-01-24 23:21
Some light bedtime reading on the Earl of Caithness and his seedy abuse of privilege:
# Jim1320 2012-01-24 23:30
As a means of guaranteeing that the Scotland Bill is rejected by Holyrood he couldn't have made it any easier. Presumably he wants the Bill off the decks.
# Auld Bob 2012-01-24 23:46
Then we have the last verse of that, my favourite Burns work.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

Indeed - it's coming yet for a' that.
# Diabloandco 2012-01-24 23:51
Caught the what the papers say at the tail-end of Newsnicht.
I think the Scottish Daily Mail has a death wish - and goody ,goody say I!.
# fittie 2012-01-25 00:44
Whats next ,the black and tans?
# Edna Caine 2012-01-25 00:45
An Earl called Sinclair, eh?

Some have been known to assert, allegedly, that the Sinclairs are hereditary Grand Masters of the Knights Templar.

Anders Breivik claims he is proud to be a Knight Templar.
# Jiggsbro 2012-01-25 00:46
To be fair, Anders Breivik is mad.

Whether he is more or less mad than Lord Caithness, only a trick cyclist can judge.
# deepthroat 2012-01-25 01:03
The House of Lords has 827 members, all unelected. That means there are nearly 30% more members of the House of Lords than there are MPs. Today the vast majority are party nominees plus the residue of hereditary lords like Sinclair. What are they really concerned about when they propose these amendments? Could it be something to do with the fact that if there are no MPs from Scotland in the Commons after Independence there is also not longer a reason for there to be Lords with Scottish titles. This could be part the Scottish independence dividend to England.
# Am Fògarrach 2012-01-25 02:19
The Earl of Caithness has been meddling against independence in quite a few areas. See and scroll down to the earl's wish list.
# Holebender 2012-01-25 06:32
Trivia... apparently the Earl's ancestor, Alexander Sinclair, Ninth Earl of Caithness abstained in the Parliament of Scotland's votes on the Treaty and Act of Union.
# zorbathejock 2012-01-25 06:52
Should the Orkney islands remain part of the UK then William Hague would have to promote Highland Park Whisky in the Embassies against his statement that they would stop promoting whisky if Scotland were independent.
On another thread I commented tat if O & S were part of the UK then Scotland would not need to provide feries sso they would possibly have to travel to Newcastle to land in the rump UKI don;t think they would vote for that.
# Holebender 2012-01-25 07:41
Ahh... but if the Orkneys cease to be Scottish Highland Park would cease to be Scotch!
# Robert Louis 2012-01-26 18:26
Excellent point.
# cokynutjoe 2012-01-25 09:40
HB, by the time of the Union the Earls of Caithness had lost their Caithness estates to the Campbell's of Breadalbane through massive debts. This brought about the last? (a couple of contenders here) clan battle at Aultimarloch on the Wick river, which the Campbell's won easily despite having marched from Perthshire. The Sinclairs, having discovered the Campbell's cairry-oot, were in no fit state to fight.
From that fiasco it was downhill all the way for this family, whitch died out in the main line. This present home counties lord is but a shadow of a shadow of the Earls of Caithness.
# Jimbo 2012-01-25 10:18
I don't understand why some people here are discussing 'What if?'.

The Orkney and Shetland Islands are Scottish - end of. Sinclair is not the first idiot to come up with this scenario, and I dare say he won't be the last in the lead up to our referendum.

For years the Unionists have been telling us our oil is worthless. They've also told us that those who seek independence are selfish, and it's because of the worthless oil we think we can afford to be independent. I would point out; SNP members past and present were campaigning for independence long before oil was discovered, and if it stopped flowing tomorrow we'd still be campaigning for our independence.

Well now we're seeing it from the other side. For the Unionists it really is all about the oil. They couldn't survive without it, and they want to make sure they keep it all for themselves in order to keep London and the SE of England in the manner to which it's become accustomed.
# Triangular Ears 2012-01-25 12:12
Ah, but the UK remnant wouldn't buy our Scottish oil, remember? Just like they won't buy our green electricity.

They'll be sitting in the dark, freezing, just to teach us a lesson!

You are totally correct. Such meddling demonstrates that it's UNIONISM that's all about oil. If Scotland really was Albania I would still want independence. Only then can something be done about it.

Unionism is about:

1 Maintaining the free gas tank in the North Sea. It's not so much the revenues (although they are clearly useful), but the fact that oil doesn't have to be imported from elsewhere (the loss of oil is a double whammy) and the ability to mortgage against it.

2 Shoring up Britain's dwindling importance in the world. Any significant change to the makeup of the UK (or indeed it's total dissolution) means a repositioning/renegotiation for 'Britain' (whatever that will be) on the international stage: UN, NATO, Security Council, Gx, EU, etc.

3 Avoiding having to compete with Scotland. London knows that Scotland is uniquely positioned to prosper in these islands. Again, a double whammy for London. Not only do they struggle to compete in the world as is and have to rely on being the biggest casino and biggest tax haven and dodgy money hole in the world, but they cannot compete against Scotland on many levels.
# cokynutjoe 2012-01-25 15:08
Shetland & Orkney are counties not countries. The Cornish & Cumbrians might be interested in Sinclair's enthusiasm for county independence!
I had an Orkney grannie and she had a Shetland maw, I'm sure they were as Scottish as anybody else. And a damned sight more than this so-called clan chief!
# rhymer 2012-01-25 20:49
RUMOR - The islands in the middle of Roukinglen Park pond have declared UDI.
A spokesduck representing the junta has commented that the local council had been lying to them and feathering their own nests for years and that now their supplies of birdfood were being rationed becaused they had the nerve to complain.
# Robert Louis 2012-01-26 18:24
I think all these very silly scare stories are well described in the Kinlochbervie Chronicle.

As for even thinking about partition, I say one thing, Ireland FFS! Do these clowns in London never learn.

# Kinghob 2012-01-27 23:15
They are talking bollocks.

The Scottish islands of Scotland will be judged under International. Lw as existing because Scotland in the union allowed the uk to be involved in the first place as far as, say, taxation is concerned!

That's it.

The international community recognises what is called "Scottish"!

Orkneyish for instance never existed in the firs place, the fact that the British treasury can't milk Sottish resources doesn't make parts of Scotland suddenly regional and no longer officially Scottish last time anybody looked!
And this isn't up to Westminster the aggrieved bunch of snooty types......oh no..........this is International law on self determination.
# derick fae Yell 2012-01-28 01:54
Observe. Learn. Advise if you hae onything ta add. NB But do not breenge in.

weirdly, da Telegraph website is fairer in allowing comments, provided not offensive, as the Shetland Times is. More biased than the BBC! that's the 'liberals' for you!!!!
# derick fae Yell 2012-01-31 09:40
The cyberbrits have landed - Jowly Eck

how noble of them

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