Letter: Catalonia and Shetland

Dear Orkney News,

Whereas the Spanish constitution expressly forbids the human right of self determination, in the Shetland the same result is achieved by more subtle means. Bit by bit we are being made more dependent on Scotland. There is a gradual shift of vital functions to central control, ensuring that the ability to stand on our own feet is gradually diminished. Look at police, ambulance, water, power – all are, or will be, taken from our control.

Our innate sovereignty, although never openly taken away, has become a distant memory for most. Every legitimate Shetland land owner (and there is nothing to stop that description applying to everyone here) is sovereign in their own right because of Shetland’s unique history. If we should seek to assert that sovereignty, we find that the iron fist of those who would rule us is soon revealed. As long as we do as we’re told, there’s no problem, but step out of line, or ask the wrong questions and you can expect no mercy from the state – as I have learned to my cost. The government that should be there to protect and serve the population, now sees its first duty as protecting itself and acting as ruler, not servant.

There is still hope. It remains the case that no court, when challenged, has been able to hear any proof that Shetland is part of Scotland. Those exercising power here know they are in a delicate position and have nothing to back that power apart from naked force and a compliant population. The sole delicate thread by which the UK and Scotland claim authority here is the fact that we send elected representatives to their parliaments. In other words, they claim the authority to hold elections because we keep voting! By that circular logic they maintain the illusion of legitimacy.

Freedom is a precious thing, but it is slipping away and we must remain vigilant to stop that happening. The easiest to imprison is he who cannot see the bars.

Yours, Stuart Hill, Shetland

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