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Tim: In the interests of accuracy, I never …

Comment posted RSPB Scotland ‘disappointed’ by Scottish Government consent to Shetland Viking wind farm by bill jardine.

Tim: In the interests of accuracy, I never said or even implied that Billy Fox was a ‘one-dimensional candidate’.
There is, as you are certainly aware, a world of difference between ‘one-dimensional’ and ‘single issue’, and it’s not uncommon for individuals to stand for election in the latter category when they feel strongly about local issues such as hospital closures.
I happen to know Billy Fox rather well; he’s an intelligent principled and well-respected individual, and to tag him with such a description is highly insulting.
It was in fact the BBC who described him as an anti-wind farm candidate during its coverage of the Scottish parliamentary elections, and to my knowledge he has never challenged that description.
An unfortunate feature of postings on this website – apart from the ritual exchange of insults – is the practice of attributing quotes to people that they never actually said, and you do yourself no favours by indulging in it.
Perhaps it’s germane to quote Billy Fox’s own view as chairman of Sustainable Shetland on the Viking project:
“I actually feel ashamed that we are going to allow this to happen to our islands, and that there are folk that are prepared to desecrate their environment like this just to turn a penny, a very speculative and dubious penny at that.
“They have no sense of what the hills or the environment mean.”
This quote is from the online Shetland News website where the rest of the article may be found.

bill jardine also commented

  • “I don’t think you read my post correctly. I described Mr Fox clearly as NOT one-dimensional (by which I meant exactly ‘single issue’)”
    No you didn’t, Tim: You described him as “not JUST a one dimensional candidate’ which, as you are certainly aware, has a rather different meaning. If you meant ‘single issue’ you should have said so – there’s a world of difference between the two.
    And with equal respect, comparing the result of an opinion poll with the result of an election is hardly comparing like with like.
  • Tim asks me – ‘surely the fact that the project will export power to the mainland grid is the means by which it will earn the islands an income?’.
    The short answer is probably yes, but of course it depends entirely on who actually gains from the income, and whether it really benefits the community in the long term.
    And I think, to paraphrase WS, that the jury is out on that one, as it is on the whole philosophy behind wind turbines.
    As a matter of interest, I lived on Shetland for 12 years – in fact the first wind turbine I ever saw was an experimental one sited at Voe.
    I’m not about to get into this debate, which seems to be getting more acrimonious, and personal by the minute, but I do believe the comment in my previous postng re the result of the last Scottish Parliamentary election is a better measure of public opinion than snapshot polls.
    If a single-issue candidate can give the incumbent MSP such a close run for his money, then that is surely an indication that their is a strong groundswell of support for what he stands for.
  • “This wil be one of the most productive windfarms in the world. There will not be many days in a year when it is not producing enough to supply the islands.”
    But there will also be plenty of days when it’s producing too much, forcing the turbines to shut down. Apart from anything else, it’s not designed to serve Shetland, but to export power to the Scottish mainland.
    And I believe you are being optimistic in the extreme if you believe that this project is going to replace the existing diesel station in Lerwick.
    Its rather counter-productive to argue in favour of wind power by describing diesel generation as ‘inefficient’; tit may indeed be anachronistic and dirty, but unlike wind turbines, tit can at least meet demand as and when required.
    And if you think that this project enjoys anything like wholehearted support from Shetlanders, have a look at the Shetland Times website, which is a pretty good barometer of public opinion in the Islands.
    Shetland has an economy greatly dependent on tourism, and irrespective of any arguments over visual pollution, a forest of wind turbines will do little to sell the islands’ image as an unspoilt tourist destination.
    And it’s also relevant, in terms of measuring public opinion, to note that in the last Scottish Parliamentary elections the incumbent Tavish Scott was run a very close second by a candidate standing on an anti-wind farm platform.

Recent comments by bill jardine

  • MCA serves Argyll Ferries with improvement notice
    Since you chose to personalise the debate with childish insults,then it’s valid to point out that if my views are indeed mince, they match your spelling standards.
    ‘Only then will you be able to state as a fact that providing a vehicle servicecan be done on a non-subsidised basis’.
    Western Ferries have been doing just that for thirty years.
    I rest my case.
  • MCA serves Argyll Ferries with improvement notice
    ‘Widely accepted’?
    ‘By whom’?
    By whom?
    This is a lousy service by any measure, and that’s been widely observed and accepted.
    If that represents ‘a negative view of public passenger transport’, then I suggest that there might be the slightest hint of justification for it.
    There are two options available.
    A passenger only service ‘fit for purpose’ which will require larger and more seaworthy boats to do the job, and which will almost certainly require a higher operating subsidy.
    A passenger-vehicle service – for which the linkspan at Dunoon was constructed in the first place – which, if run on an unrestricted basis will almost certainly have no negative impact on the public purse.
    That’s not a negative view, it’s a statement of fact.
  • MCA serves Argyll Ferries with improvement notice
    This issue was raised by a retired master mariner and former Calmac Marine Superintendent.
    Unlike FA he has extensive knowledge gained from practical experience.
    Unlike FA, he knows what he is talking about.
    The highly partisan, not to mention patronising, approach taken by FA on this issue does it little credit.
    Nor does it benefit from presenting its highly coloured opinions as facts.
    For instance: ” This (the Calmac service) became unsustainable financially, in European Law and in competition law.”
    There is nothing in European law to prevent an unsubsidised vehicle service.
    This has been proven, and has been common knowledge for some time. Why do you persist in saying the opposite?
    Equally, the Calmac was rendered unsustainable because of the restrictions placed upon the service. (not to mention some of the bizarre operational practices of the company on the route, such as abolishing onboard ticketing on so-called ‘security grounds’).
    As I understand it, the vehicle-carrying part of the service actually made a profit.
    It absolutely does not follow that it would be impossible to run profitably two competing vehicle/passenger services betwen Cowal and Gourock.
    On what evidence do you base your contemptuous dismissal of this?
    What is clear is that any passenger-only service will require the taxpayer to bail it out for evermore, and larger and more seaworthy passenger ships can only increase the pain on the taxpayer.
    A bit of grown-up reporting on this wouldn’t go amiss.
  • Pilots concerned on wind farm generated air turbulence
    “you really do seem to believe you speak with great authority, and when others pick holes in what you’e said you sometimes resort to the sort of rudeness that’s really rather childish”.
    My God – talk about pots and kettles!!!!
  • Possible weather disruption to Gourock ferry services 14th and 15th June
    I’M obsessed with the past?
    The boarding facilities of forty-year-old ferries may well be worthy of comment, but have as much relevance to this debate as the access provision for elephants on Noah’s Ark.
    Have you been reading your posts before you put them online?
    Do you read the posts – or more to the point grasp the content – of others before you accuse them of being ignorant, intolerant or stupid?
    Has it occurred to you that the very personality defects you attribute to those who disagree with you might more accurately be applied to you?
    You seem to think you are the only person who’s ever sailed on a ship or ferry beyond the Clyde.
    I’ve been on one or two myself – in the USA, Germany, France and extensively in the Greek islands, not to mention the English Channel and the Northern Isles – but just because I’ve sailed on them doesn’t make me an expert or give me the the right to an opinion which is any more valid than the next person.
    You persistently miss the point – I suspect deliberately.
    It’s simple.
    Passenger-only ferries do not make money. Vehicle carrying vessels do.
    Combine the two and you will at least lower the cost to the taxpayer of operating the ship.
    The provision of larger more sea-friendly passenger ferries, whether they come alongside jetties, pontoons or the dark side of the moon, will inevitably cost the taxpayer more money – and that’s an inescapable fact.

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