Letters: Shetland & Orkney Belong to the People of the Islands

Dear Orkney News,

Overheard in a Lerwick shop: “I thought I would check if Stuart Hill is right about only 10% of Shetland being pawned, so I went to the Archives and they put me straight. The pawning document says it was the King’s lands of Shetland, so it was the whole of Shetland”.

In fact, because under Norse law, everyone owned their land outright, King Christian could only pawn his personal property. He could not pawn something he did not own. The Archives continue to give out this misleading information. We should be able to expect better of our ‘experts’.

What the establishment really don’t want us to know is what happened to the other 90% – you won’t find that anywhere except in my book Stolen Isles. That 90% was owned by the cream of society, The Lords of Norway. They owned their land outright, elected their king, had their own parliament and made their own laws – the most complete definition of sovereignty.

Those rights were passed down to their heirs and successors – the present day legitimate owners of houses and land. I say ‘legitimate’ because the estates built up by Scottish lairds were based on charters given by a monarch who did not have them to give. All those lairds sit on pretty dodgy titles. The incoming Scots subjugated the local population to little more than serfs – something the Shetland psyche has never recovered from.

Shetland and Orkney belong to the people of the islands – something we should bear in mind next time we are thinking of giving away our power once again when asked to vote in an election. The UK and Scottish parliaments are simply a means to take away our power. Both governments know they have no authority here, but they rely on us to keep sending representatives to their parliaments to validate that non-existent authority.

It is a ludicrous proposition to expect that an MP, as one of 650 others on a fat salary, but with a small voice, can make any difference over the next five years. If we kept the power here, we could take all the candidates and achieve all their ‘policies’ in a month.

Yours, Stuart Hill, Shetland


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