21 - 05 - 2022 / Your Story


Back when the British Merchant fleet was the biggest in the world, British Shipbuilding was booming and, between them, they employed thousands of people. We had British Steel, British Coal, British Rail, British Airways, British Gas, British Power, British Telecoms, and many more, all owned by the state and run, not for profit, but for the good of the country and its people.

In 1982 as a proud Shetlander, I was deployed to the Falklands to 'do my bit' even though the fisticuffs were long finished by the time I got there.

When I returned in early 1983, Thatcher had started the first of her 'Privatisations' and went on to wage war against the coal miners. The Miners’ strike was in full flow while I was at college in Hull in 1984 where I met my late wife, who came from a family of coal and steel workers in Rotherham, S Yorks.

The devastation Thatcher created in that area and others by the closure of pits and steel works has still not recovered to this day. Whole villages were built around the mines that she closed, and almost every working man in them thrown on the dole.

By the time Thatcher had finished, there were 2.5 million people out of work, and it was all paid for by Scotland's Newly discovered oil which was and is squandered by subsequent UK Governments.

Over this period, my Britishness slowly dissolved.

I was initially elated when ‘New Labour’ won the election in the late 1997, but very soon came to realise that Blair and Brown were cast in the same mould as Thatcher and the changes that I and many other socialists were anticipating, never materialised.

The only good thing Tony Blair did was introduce devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

I was initially opposed to this for Scotland because with Labour in power both in Holyrood and Westminster all that would happen was that one would simply regurgitate the policies of the other without doing anything worthwhile for Scotland.

And it wasn’t until 2007 the SNP were elected to be the next Scottish Executive and it was a breath of fresh air, suddenly changes that Scotland had been desperate for started happening.

Then came the referendum in 2014, a chance for our country to stand proudly on the world stage as an independent nation.

Well, we know what happened.

We were made to believe that there was no way we could afford to be independent. The UK Political Parties made vows and promises which predictably evaporated like the morning mist once they had secured a No vote.

And now we are suffering under yet another group of self-serving Westminster politicians who are set on tearing the UK out of the EU against the wishes of the Scottish people, who voted to remain by 62/38.

Even after telling us that the only way Scotland could remain in the EU was to remain in the UK.

And people wonder why I want Scotland to be an independent country.

Colin from the Shetland Islands