/ Shetland or Orkney Independence
Would they have to be part of an independent Scotland for an intermediate period?
And assuming these groups get the choice to leave Scotland, where would the line be drawn on other areas of Scotland wanting to break apart from the rest? E.g Outer Hebrides, or Skye, or Aberdeenshire, or some block of flats in inner city Glasgow?
That reminds me of what P.J. O'Rourke wrote about states breaking away, "Georgia is, of course, claiming independence from the Soviet Union... Something called South Ossetia is trying to secede from Georgia. I'll bet South Ossetia starts having trouble with South-Central Ossetia soon..."
When we were on Orkney in 1969 there was a quite vociferous Orkney independence movement, though they seemed a bit mixed in their aims, some wanted total independence and others wanted to cede to Denmark (I think on the grounds that Copenhagen was nearer than London). When I returned to the Islands in 1997 there was no sign of it.
I've heard of the Danish link before. They have quite a strong relationship with the Faroes I believe too.
I've only been once, in 2004, but have family on Orkney and they say there has been much more debate recently, for obvious reasons.
Quite what way they would go in a referendum I don't know, but the principal of my question remains the same - where would the line be drawn in offering a referendum?
You don't draw a line. If people want to vote on independence then let them. Trying to resist it is all very dying-imperial-state stuff.
Those would be pretty strange grounds - Copenhagen is further from Orkney than London is.
Ok, maybe it was The Faroes then.
A one man referendum would make it rather one sided.
The micronation of Forvik was created in June 2008 by the island's disputed owner, sole occasional occupant, and Cunningsburgh resident, Stuart Hill when he unilaterally declared Forvik to be a British Crown Dependency. Although Hill asserts the matter is for the Monarch to decide, a spokesperson for the United Kingdom Ministry of Justice stated that under the Constitution of the United Kingdom, Forvik is part of the Shetland Islands and as such is subject to United Kingdom legislation. The Shetland Islands Council Convenor Sandy Cluness has not dismissed Hill's actions out of hand and said official bodies would wait and see how it progressed.
Hill has instituted various forms of citizenship - Shetland residents may apply for one square metre plots of land with voting rights, whilst others may apply for honorary citizenship on the promise of a share of future income. Both classes of citizenship are offered on the payment of an annual tax.
Although Hill admits that the amount of seabed he is claiming is small, he is inviting well established companies to negotiate for oil exploration rights.
I've just had a read of the official Forvik website. Mr Hill seems to be quite the character.
TBH I think its more likely they'd vote to remain part of the UK. they were the only areas in the Highlands and Islands to vote against Scottish devolution back in the 70's.
When I had friends there, I got the impression that they felt quite ambivalent about being part of Scotland. One guy from Unst explained that many of the Shetland absentee landlords were Scottish. I don't know how true this is (At the time I was very,very drunk)
Drunk in Shetland? :-)
Yeah I found the same, they spoke about independence, but I got the feeling they just didn't want interference yet not independence. So they fairly much managed their own fisheries etc..
But they are a huge exporter and that was there main issue.
I think I read that he was English.
That would be interesting if the first person to break away from The UK was English ;)
In Wales we had a junior fell race through a dangerous quarry, the organiser put signs out directing the kids, but they were just in english, against the bilingual policy, a local went out removing the signs so kids were lost in cloud in a very dangerous area. They were alll found and the police were involved. It turned out it was an english guy who had moved to the area..
I was there year past September, and travelled all over, spoke to a woman who said she was related to a council member and she seemed to think that the first step would be for Shetlands to become a Crown Dependancy . Others, as mentioned were less interested, but there are a lot of 'Soothmooths' there just there for the oil jobs, not always easy to talk to the native Shetlanders
I spent a few rainy days in the Shetland Museum , there are Danish connections , but I think that Norway is more likely for the Shetlanders, not sure about Orkney.
"Shetland's connection with Norway has proven to be enduring. When Norway became independent again in 1906 the Shetland authorities sent a letter to King Haakon VII in which they stated: "Today no 'foreign' flag is more familiar or more welcome in our voes and havens than that of Norway, and Shetlanders continue to look upon Norway as their mother-land, and recall with pride and affection the time when their forefathers were under the rule of the Kings of Norway.""
That's what my impression is from what I've heard from family.
Would they have to be part of on independent Scotland until voted otherwise?
Seems a bit unfair.
So often the case! It's like in New Zealand the people most bothered about changing the flag are immigrants from the UK...
So you would have independent cities within Scotland, e.g Aberdeen, or Glasgow? Then why not towns or villages, then housing estates, then independent farms.
The line would have to be drawn somewhere, surely.
It's the anti-metropolitan thing. Scotland (and much of Britain) feels short-changed by London. Highland Scotland feels short-changed by the Central Belt. Rural Shetland feels short-changed by Lerwick.
Twas ever thus.
It's odd how the subject of independence for the Northern Isles (separately? together?) only seems to comes up in the context of Scottish Independence. If it's a good idea then it's presumably at least worth considering right now? You'd almost be forgiven for thinking that this question isn't being raised out of concern for the people of Orkney & Shetland, but rather as another argument with which to raise doubt in people's minds come polling day in September.
Like some people on this thread I've been to both sets of islands many times and I'll be going back to both this year. I don't claim that having been there gives me any particular insight into local opinion, though it's clear that most locaI people there have a very strong sense of their Shetland or Orkney identity. I did for many years commute with a native Shetlander and he painted a less-than-rosy picture of the islands' finances. Not that that should necessarily matter.
There have been meetings (most recently in Lerwick) about increased autonomy within the current set-up for the Northern and Western Isles Councils. In the event of a Yes vote in September, they may be happy with that - they may not. But I've yet to hear of any serious proposals for a split from Scotland, either for complete independence or for the Northern Isles to remain with the UK.
A regular complaint here in Aberdeenshire too!
"The Sagas tell us that the first Vikings left Norway and settled Shetland because they resented the taxes that their king – Haraldr Hárfagri or “Fairhair” – was levying on them. Unst appears to have been their first landfall in Shetland and the first island that they settled in the group."
"Orkney and Shetland initially formed one earldom – the Earldom of Orkney. While all had to obey Norwegian laws and pay tax to Norway, the earls had a great deal of power and autonomy. This all came to an end in 1194 when, following another unsuccessful plot to overthrow the Norwegian king, Shetland was taken from the earldom as punishment and ruled directly from Norway until it became part of Scotland."
Do we really want to go into past history and nastiness?
I dont think many countries, even the great Scotland, have a great history... Glencoe for one?
But the Shetlanders clearly associate closely with Norway, what's their main festival?
There was talk a while back of remaining in the UK.. but generally I agree, the view I got was serious independence wasn't wanted, but greater autonomy was.
They want to have closer control over local issues leaving immigration et al to others but maybe even take more from the oil..
The same question could be asked for England itself, do you really believe the North is happy with the status quo? I know plenty of Northerners who want change.
Change to what?
The North East were given a referendum under Labour for their own Assembly, which they strongly voted against?
There is no coincidence there.
From what I have heard, at least on Orkney, locals would rather be part of the UK than an independent Scotland.
Oh well, that's conclusive then!
That's not particularly fair, I haven't said it was conclusive. I, like you, have just mentioned my personal experience.
What I am asking is should they be given a choice, and if so, who else should be?
They may well back being part of an independent Scotland for all I know.
Apologies for the sarcasm.
I think there's possibly a clearer case for Orkney and Shetland than there is for other parts of Scotland (or the UK). Other than that, I don't know.
Agreed probably clearer than other parts of Scotland but more so than Wales or Cornwall?
These were historically "independent" too.
I was excluding Wales on the basis that it already has a devolved Assembly.
Can't really comment on Cornwall - have no knowledge of the situation there. I should really shut up now. :-)
"From what I have heard, at least on Orkney, locals would rather be part of the UK than an independent Scotland"
I have heard that all over Scotland..
The direction their whole country (England) is heading in. London is essentially its own state and doesn't represent the rest of the UK beyond the M4 corridor.
In Sheffield you don't get the impression people feel closely linked to London.
I'm not sure cornwall is that serious, or a vocal minority..
I think Wales want devolution, but not independence. I just cannot see how it can work. Even devolution has to be careful. Scotland/England border is actually pretty sparse.. Wales/England border is heavily populated, almost all through, I just cant see how we can act alone.
Glencoe wasn't a good example...the man responsible for that atrocity was one of the Unionist campaigners back in the day...he advised King Billy to do it.
"John Dalrymple the Master of Stair (born 1648 – 8 January 1707) was a Scottish noble who played a crucial role in the 1707 Treaty of Union between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, that created the Kingdom of Great Britain."
The Isle of Man is not part of the UK and prints its own money (the £1 notes were plastic when I was last there) but still keeps the pound.Bit about its history here
" In 1266, the island became part of Scotland, as formalised by the Treaty of Perth. After a period of alternating rule by the kings of Scotland and England, the island came under the feudal lordship of the English Crown in 1399. The lordship revested into the British Crown in 1765, but the island never became part of the kingdom of Great Britain or its successor the United Kingdom, retaining its status as an internally self-governing Crown dependency."
How about that for Scotland?
wow... so a Scot who is a unionist isnt a proper Scot.. so that was why he was a nasty bastard...
I would guess that too. But they probably have as much a historical claim as Orkney or Shetland.
Maybe Northern Ireland would be the obvious example I missed.
I don't know. There's plenty of Nationalists about. Generally speaking not as nice a bunch as the Scottish crowd from experience and obsessed with Welsh language.
I just think they are a lot further away from a sensible independence debate than Scotland. But if Scotland does vote in favour, momentum could certainly change.
They were plastic when I was there in 2011...
But more to the point it is the pound, but not actually legal tender in the UK, not like the Scottish notes, which are (obviously).
However, banks are generally willing to change free of charge, hence some vendors may accept Isle of Man currency (or channel island, Falkland Island etc).
You have to be recognised as a Nation of people rather than a group of people from within .
It is difficult for example to see how a referendum for the Falklands can have any validity. They are British, not a Nation within.
If Cornwall have a better claim, then by all means they should have their day at the polls.
All be it very distant (Falklands) in some cases maybe 9 generations?
I guess it depends on when you decide a nation was born in a historical context to when it was settled.
For example, if Otago wanted to be independent of New Zealand by your reasoning it would not have a right to do so because it was only settled in the 1860s (by British/Scottish)?
So far then we have an independent referendum for Scotland, Orkney, Shetland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Cornwall.
Any others? ;-)
Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia.
Scottish notes are not legal tender in England (or Scotland for that matter.)
Why would they be? They live in the same country, speak the same language but that's all, why should they feel "closely linked"? I, for example, do not feel closely linked to Salford, should I?
Logically it should be reunited with Eire, the problem being the majority there who have always voted against it. That's why the island was portioned at independence.
Recognised by who?
Well there you go...
I am corrected.
Trust you to ask that Bruce, I will now need to find that source again.
I think it was on a page relating to the Falklands .
But I will trawl the net and find it, since it is you.
"There is a nice wee island called Kerrera 200 metres off Oban , that was once ruled by Norway, maybe the 34 people there will go for it .
"in 1249 King Alexander lI of Scotland mustered his mighty fleet to start the invasion to reclaim the Hebrides including Kerrera which were then under the rule of Norway.
Kerrera remained under Norway's rule for sometime and later in 1263 Horseshoe Bay was to house a Norse fleet of one hundred and twenty longship galleys. "
So we now have Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia and Kerrera to add to the ever growing list.
FAQ number 24
Given that decisions which affect our lives are made in London/Westminster, the apparent disconnect is less than helpful, both for political engagement and possibly good decisions being made as well. Probably more the former, though. There's a strong sense that London is something of a different world.
Isn't that a reason why some countries opt to have a separate political capital to the financial capital?
If we are downgrading London's status though, best make sure the new capital is not in Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Northern Ireland, Wessex, Mercia or East Anglia (incase they vote for independence).
Parliament is physically in London but the contact with the population of London is minimal, it could just as well be in Coventry as far as the average Londoner is concerned. The same can't be said of the City of London, financial and insurance markets etc. I bet most Londoners have never even visited the Houses of Parliament, I certainly haven't... we don't have the same accent either!
> I'm not sure cornwall is that serious, or a vocal minority..
Sorry to take so long, had to go out last night. I could not find my original source, but this might do a similar job.
Looks like to become independant you have to be recognised by the United Nations
So where does that leave Orkney and Shetland?
It would seem to rule out most of mainland Scotland.
In sixteen years here, I have not yet seen anything in Cornwall that merits any sort of special case. There are rural communities that have an identity and a vocabulary, but no more than anywhere else, so far as I can see. Cornwall has had rebellions which have been brutally put down, but so has every other part of the UK, if you go back far enough, and you have to go back to the sixteenth century to get to the one that is made most fuss of in Cornwall.
The idea of Cornish people knowing what's best for Cornwall is quite frightening, actually. Who are the Cornish, anyway? Would I count, would I get a vote? Not by some locals' reckoning, I wouldn't. Cornwall is the place, remember, (Wadebridge, to be specific) where a long standing local councillor said that disabled people should be put down, and then got reelected in the elections that happened soon after. He has subsequently stood, down, but it took a while and a lot of pressure before he did. And what of those who thought him worthy of reelection?
The more local devolution happens, the greater the danger, so far as I can see, of swings towards extremism, once the moderating power of a larger electorate is removed. I don't know quite how best to strike the balance between village madness, as I saw happen in Switzerland when I lived there, where the local community could act out its prejudices and have the school teacher sacked, or a central dictatorship, but I would certainly not be confident that local issues would be more competently dealt with in a more devolved future than they are now.
The is a nationalist party here called Mebyon Kurnow. I don't know what it is really like, having only met two people who were standing for it in local elections. One had spouted racist bigotry at me in a pub the one time I met him, the other was a gentle former student of mine who was interested in local history.
I used to work for him when he lived in Suffolk - Captain Calamity just about sums him up. His aptitude for business was marginally better than his sailing.
As you say, Cornish nationalism, like most nationalisms, attracts the weird, dodgy and unpleasant
Not really, recognition and admission by the UN comes after. The first step is to take real and effective control of the territory concerned, then usually individual countries will recognise the newly independent country and when this attains a reasonable number the UN will accept your request for membership.
> So where does that leave Orkney and Shetland?
> It would seem to rule out most of mainland Scotland.
Well maybe Shetland might have more of an issue, but as it was part of a Nation (Norway/Denmark) previous to Scotland even, then they might be ok.
Scottish Mainland seems to be ok as the Referuendim has been granted, it would seem that they have jumped the first hurdle, and of course it was also a nation on its own before the UK, so not ruled out, but to be tested.
Sorry, I meant individual parts of Scotland breaking away following Scottish independence.
But as Bruce says, recognition could follow if you had a strong case surely?
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