By a Newsnet reporter

Commenting on the publication this afternoon of the Scottish Affairs Committee’s highly critical report into the Crown Estate in Scotland, SNP MSP Rob Gibson has said that Michael Moore has been left “isolated on the wrong side of the argument”, and must use this report to deliver a step-change in the UK government’s approach to the Crown Estate’s assets.  The report calls for control of the Crown Estate in Scotland to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

The damning report by Westminster MPs says that the Crown Estate Commission operates with a “lack of accountability and transparency” in Scotland and accuses the organisation of acting like an absentee landlord.

The report said: “At best, [the Crown Estate] has little regard for those needs and interests other than where it serves Crown Estate Commission’s business interests.

“At worst, it behaves as an absentee landlord or tax collector which does not re-invest to any significant extent in the sectors and communities from which it derives income.”

The report adds:  “The CEC’s responsibilities for the seabed, the foreshore and other ancient rights in Scotland should be devolved then decentralised as far as possible.

“Devolution to Holyrood should be conditional upon an agreement between the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Scottish Government on how such a scheme of subsidiarity to local authority and local community levels should be implemented.”  

Labour MP Ian Davidson, who chairs the Scottish Affairs Committee, noted that the Crown Estate raises millions of pounds in revenue from Scotland which is not reinvested in Scottish communities.  He called on the Crown Estate Commission to be stripped of its responsibility for marine and coastal assets in Scotland.

In preparing its report, the Committee took evidence from communities in the Northern and Western Isles, Caithness and Argyll.  Mr Davidson noted that the evidence from local people and organisations was highly critical of the Crown Estate Commission.

Mr Davidson said:  “Considering the nature and extent of the problems identified to us, almost exclusively in relation to the marine and coastal assets in Scotland, we have had to conclude that the Crown Estate Commission should no longer be the body responsible in these areas.

“The point is to conserve these assets and maximise the benefits to the island and coastal communities most closely involved with them.”

Gareth Baird, the Crown Estate’s Scottish commissioner, said that the organisation would consider the Scottish Affairs Committee’s report.

Mr Baird said: “Our commitment to Scotland and its economy remains full and whole-hearted, and we’ll be studying the report’s recommendations closely, looking at how we can build on the work of our world-class renewable energy team in supporting the offshore ambitions of the Scottish government and local communities.”

The Crown Estate manages a diverse property portfolio, including mineral and salmon fishing rights, and controls half of the foreshore and almost all of the seabed.  The development of renewable energy projects in Scotland is expected to increase the revenues of the Crown Estate, money which currently goes to the Treasury in London. Renewable energy sources on Crown land in Scotland are forecast to generate up to £49m a year by 2020.  Little of this money returns to Scotland.

The Scottish Government believes that the Crown Estate in Scotland must come under the control of the Scottish Parliament in order to better promote the development of this vital economic sector.

When speaking to the Scottish Affairs Committee last December, Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore ruled out devolution of the Crown Estate and said that it must remain a UK-wide body.  However this contradicted the previous position of the Liberal Democrats, who had supported the devolution of the Crown Estate to Scotland.

In November 2010, Lib Dem MSP for Orkney Liam McArthur called on the UK government to review the role of the Crown Estate and use the Scotland Bill to devolve control to Scotland.  Mr McArthur said:  “The Scotland Bill provides an opportunity to help coastal communities and our aquaculture and marine renewable energy industries. The UK Government should review the Crown Estate’s role in Scotland and look at using the Bill to devolve powers and control over the seabed.”

While leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, Tavish Scott MSP also backed the devolution of the Crown Estate to Scotland, saying:  “The UK Government could give Shetland’s harbours, the aquaculture industry and local marinas a real boost by putting the Crown Estate under local control. […] The days of conflict […] would be put behind us, and Shetland’s maritime future would be all the more secure, if control of the seabed was wrestled away from the Crown Estate.  The proposed changes to the Scotland Act […] give a great opportunity to make this welcome change.”

The Scottish Secretary’s views reflect those of the Conservative led Coalition Government, which opposes the devolution of further powers to Holyrood other than those already detailed in the Scotland Bill.

Mr Gibson – MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross and a long-term campaigner for devolution of the Crown Estate’s assets, commented:

“This is just the latest in a long line of parliamentary inquiries which have backed the devolution of the Crown Estate’s assets to Scotland.

“The two-stage model of devolution proposed by the Scottish Affairs Committee has already been backed by the Scottish Parliament and is the best way to get money invested back into local communities – including those in my own constituency.

“There is now overwhelming support for this to happen – including from the Liberal Democrats themselves.

“The irony is that Mr Moore’s own party was the one UK party that prior to the UK elections was actually agitating for devolution of the Crown Estate, and now even MPs from the other parties are expressing support for devolution, leaving Mr Moore isolated on the wrong side of the argument.”



# Marga B 2012-03-19 17:01
Depending on how this is played it could be a double-edged sword.

Giving Crown estate land back to communities would sideline the Scottish government once again. Isn’t it the State Lottery that “administers” benefits for some communities at the moment?

Let’s wait for the small print.
# Alphenscot 2012-03-19 17:13
Reading about yet more theft of Scotlands natural resources by the wastemongers down south does not surprise me.I think this is going to be a very dirty referendum played by the unionists and hopefully the people of Scotland will open their eyes,ears and hearts to the truth.
So much information to read and evaluate about the lies they are spreading.It has to be yes to independance for Scotland to save more people and children to escape poverty.Guaranteed if we don,t go for freedom this time then our country shall be ravaged by engerland for having the audacity to try and escape their shackles and chains.
# edinburgh quine 2012-03-19 17:14
Marga B

If local communities are the ones affected by whatever the crown estates do (and what that is, I have no idea, other than to collect revenue), the local people should benefit, not central government.

And if local councils can do good things for their communities – they certainly know better than central government, whether that be Holyrood or wastemonster – then that is to the overall benefit of everyone in Scotland.

Of course wait for the small print.
# Marga B 2012-03-19 17:48
I think that it would be a big mistake to give this land straight back to communities without the Scottish parliament having a chance to decide on some rules agreed by everyone.

The Scottish Parliament is not the enemy, it is represents the population of Scotland and it has a job to do.

Otherwise there is the risk of ex-crown land being administered in one way and land beside it in another way. Also I don’t think unpicking a centuries old arrangement should be done on a piece-meal community-by-community basis.

Local communities may know what is best but there should be rules in place for how the land is used to safeguard everyone’s interests.

I’m not suggesting the Scottish Government should replace the Crown Estates but it must at least have an oversight at the initial stages. My worry is that it will somehow be denied that oversight, and that would be in nobody’s interests.
# Ericmac 2012-03-19 19:22
My thoughts exactly. Call me cynical and untrusting, but any opportunity to derail Scottish Parliament in any issue will be jumped on by Wastemonster et al.
# alasdairmac 2012-03-19 20:23
I think, Marga B, that the report does suggest that the Crown Estate is devolved to the Scottish Government in the first instance and for it to then be down to parliament to devlove it down to local authorities. Presumably that would let Holyrood write some rules for its implementation, use of funds etc.
# Marga B 2012-03-20 14:17
Yes, Alasdairmac, but it says that the session to the Scottish Government is conditional on its devolving it down.

It would be nice if just once, the UK government could treat the Scottish Government as part of the same state mechanism, not an untrustworthy underling.
# Hugo 2012-03-19 22:24
Local people AND central government should benefit. INMHO.
# Angus 2012-03-19 17:22
Slightly O/T
Tavish Scott was on Radio 2 stating that he will keep Shetland in the union because Shetlanders are not Scottish.
Rob Gibson of the SNP (Ross, Sutherland, Caithness)also on the programme, put Shetland’s situation in a more realistic light.
Tavish came across as twisted.
# Briggs 2012-03-19 17:32
I didn’t know Tavish was the owner of Shetland?

‘He will keep’ …………he should lie down in a darkened room.
# Marga B 2012-03-19 17:52
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a wee “Liberal-landia” in Shetland? Don’t think there’s much future for them on the mainland. Noises are being made, however, so again, let’s wait for the small print.
# alasdairmac 2012-03-19 20:25
What the Shetlanders really want is a bigger slice of the cake. Some sort of new Shetland oil fund such as they very successfully screwed out of the oil companies setting up there 30 or 40 years ago.
# rhymer 2012-03-19 18:16
Quoting Briggs:
I didn’t know Tavish was the owner of Shetland?

‘He will keep’ …………he should lie down in a darkened room.

Tavvish is suffering from “delusions of adequacy”.
# edinburgh quine 2012-03-20 00:20
Well in that case Tavish Scott is not Scottish either so what is he doing at Holyrood.

His arguement is purile nonsense
# Hing em high 2012-03-19 17:46
Come on Moore – get on with it! Get rid of the Crown Estate!
# Fungus 2012-03-19 19:15
They are trying to do with us what they did to Ireland.
# 1314 2012-03-19 17:51
A power isn’t devolved if you tell the devolved parliament how the power should be used.

This is saying – we don’t trust the Scottish Government to do the ‘right’ thing, the right thing being what we decide.
# Marga B 2012-03-19 18:07
Could it be tied to accepting the Scotland Bill, perhaps? If it does come it won’t come free, that’s for sure.
# J Wil 2012-03-19 17:54
Mr Baird said: “Our commitment to Scotland and its economy remains full and whole-hearted, and we’ll be studying the report’s recommendations closely, looking at how we can build on the work of our world-class renewable energy team in supporting the offshore ambitions of the Scottish government and local communities.”

How can that be true in the face of this report? Also, his comments suggest that he does not want to let go of the organisation.

Very surprised that this committee seems to be doing something of direct benefit to Scotland. However, we must realise that the Unionist parties will expect to get back into power at some point, so it will be for their own benefit too.

15% of the CE revenues paid directly to the Queen as well.
# Marga B 2012-03-19 18:12
J Wil, that committee is committed to thwarting Scottish independence or as they call it “separation”. The word “seems” sounds wise in the circumstances.

Anyone who has read the minutes of any of the meetings of this Scottish Labour-run committee will be waiting for the down side for independence supporters.
# J Wil 2012-03-19 19:29
I have watched some of it but it is like an endurance test. The separation word is used copiously by the committee members. As I have said before the SNP should turn the word back on the unionists as a demonstration of how the unionists want and have applied ‘real separation’, in policies and assets, to Scotland. Even now, as we speak, they would like to do the same.
# Dowanhill 2012-03-19 18:01
‘I didn’t know Tavish was the owner of Shetland’. Ecellent Mr Briggs. I heard about this on the BBC late last night on first edition of morning papers. It’s origin is from the Daily Telegraph on the front page. I missed the BBC 2 response by the SNP MSP so if anybody could enlighten me to what was said , it would be appreciated. I wonder if this is the appraoch the unionist are now going to pursue with vigour. Resembles very much the partioning of Ireland and resulting history is all to well documented.
Is this the scare tactic that the unionists hope will dis-persuade the people of Scotland to vote independence and undermine the whole drive for full fiscal autonomy??
# Legerwood 2012-03-19 18:11
However this contradicted the previous position of the Liberal Democrats, who had supported the devolution of the Crown Estate to Scotland.

Have the LibDems stuck with any of their past policy positions? Have they abandoned every policy they have ever put forward?

The whiff of the ministerial limo has really gone to their heads.
# rhymer 2012-03-19 18:15
I am constantly amazed by the arrogance of these people –
Hasn’t anybody told them the days of the “raj” are over ?
They treat us like a colony who is too stupid to administer it’s own affairs. I wonder how much of the revenue is actually spent on Scotland an how much is grabbed by Westminster.
The Scottish Government should be in charge of this resource and decide the rules regarding dispensing it and have a say what projects are decided upon.
# Katie Beardie 2012-03-19 18:18
The following article from Scot. Gov. Gives a detailed account of the current situation:…/1

If you wish to read how Danny Alexander intends to put the money’s raised from Scotland’s Crown Estates into the ‘Big Lottery Fund’ to benefit the whole of the UK the link to:…/…

We are getting ripped off once again.
# UpSpake 2012-03-19 18:24
Why is the Governor General so adamant that Crown Estate remains wholly within the UK ?. Could it be more than his hostility to Scotland in general ?. Another Scots tax taken and held in London. If we add all of these up and stick into the UK mix the huge net contribution we make to the EU along with the cost of the decimation of our fishing industry by being a member of this corrupt organisation, think of the rebate to the Scots people in substantially lower taxes and or, no CUTS !
# art1001 2012-03-19 18:38
The attitude of the LibDems really depresses me. Years ago when I was growing up they had a nice, enlightened image. Now they have turned into a bunch a nasty, vindictive hard nosed Brit imperialists.

Whatever Tramish Scott is he is does not behave like a civilised, enlightened Scandinavian would. I am sure the good people of Shetland will rapidly start to have the same impression.

The Unionists seem to be trying to stir up divisions and potential hatred where none exists. That should be regarded as actionable under the law. The guy is a trouble maker.
# garyjc 2012-03-19 18:56
So, the conclusion I derive from Tavish’s argument regarding the Northern Isles must be that every region of Scotland that votes yes becomes independent, every region that votes no remains dependent. Aye – right. I look forward to seeing a country partitioned like Galardia – if any of you remember Carlton Browne of the FO; the current situation is beginning to resemble it more and more with any number of characters able to play the Terry Thomas – or Peter Sellers roles
# garyjc 2012-03-19 19:11
In fact – it might all be a cunning LibDem plot. Allegedly they have always been the party of small local government so maybe by going down this route they will be able to set up a multitude of small statelets; like Shetlandia, Orcadia, and I can see any number of small Labour fiefdoms in and around Glasgow, e.g. Lamontia, that well known veil of tears.Then they could truly have their own little Passport to Pimlico scare stories to their hearts content
# Hing em high 2012-03-19 18:59
Out of criousity, How many distilleries are on Crown Estate Land?
# Robert Louis 2012-03-19 19:26
Well my reading of this report, is not so optimistic as that in the article. What the unionist Scottish affairs committe in London has effectively said, is that London running the Crown estates is bad, AND the Scottish Government would be no good either. It seems they are insisting the crown estates role is returned to Scotland, but not to the parliament.

Let us never forget, the Scottish affairs committee has no mandate to determine such a thing. They can say it is to be devolved to Scotland, but they DO NOT have the power to tell the Scottish parliament what to do as a consequence.

More colonialist minded thinking from the anti independence Westminster MP’s. It is sooooooo offensive, and patronising, it beggars belief.

The SNP should tell the whole lot of them to go swivel, as in two years time it will be none of Westminster’s business anyway.
# thomsor 2012-03-19 19:27
According to wikipedia Tavish was born in Inverness 1966 so you could safely say he is not a true Shetlander only an incomer. You always know when the Unionists are loosing the argument, they drag out the old untrue scare stories. Tavish is feart he loses his job simple.
# thomsor 2012-03-19 19:30
If Tavish thinks Shetland is not part of Scotland why is he taking tax payers money to represent the good people of Shetland in Holyrood.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-19 19:55
The people of Wales didn’t vote for the current UK government. Does that make them part of Scotland?
# Robert Louis 2012-03-19 19:59
Let’s make sure the final part of what Tavish Scott said isn’t missed;

“The proposed changes to the Scotland Act […] give a great opportunity to make this welcome change”

Ah yes, the Scotland bill aka Calman ultra lite, which will take away more powers than it gives to Scotland. If I remember correctly, such a transfer of power over the Crown estate, does not require the Scotland Bill, it can be done with the stroke of a pen.
# Marian 2012-03-19 20:00
Westminster is so far gone with its deceitful ways that anything they do always has an ulterior motive.

On the face of it a proposal for devolution to Scots local authorities is laudable but for the fact that this committee is composed of unionists who would sell their granny’s if they thought it could damage the powers of Holyrood in any way.

Tavish Scott is simply trotting out that age old tactic of “divide and rule” that brought about and sustained the British empire for centuries in order to try and keep a large portion of Scotland’s oil as a cash cow for Westminster. Shetland folks would be complete mugs if they ever trusted Westminster to give them a better financial deal than they would get from their ain folk in Scotland as Westminster’s track record is such that they would renege on any deal they had struck with the Shetland Isles at the very first opportunity.

What is so disgusting about all of this unionist propaganda is the fact that Davidson and Scott and their chums at Westminster think that all Scots are completely stupid and gullible.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-19 20:05
They’ve had 300 years to form that impression, it’ll take more than 4 to change it. 6 should do nicely.
# naemairleesplease 2012-03-19 21:06
“What is so disgusting about all of this unionist propaganda is the fact that Davidson and Scott and their chums at Westminster think that all Scots are completely stupid and gullible.”

Problem is, too many of us are!
# Hamish100 2012-03-19 20:09
BBC Radio 2 broadcasts a load of piffle today about Orkney and Shetland being part of England (not UK as it will not exist if Scotland votes YES)
Tavis Scott says they feel Norweigian –(but do they feel Cockney?)
Based on his juvenile attempt at spoiling the debate ably asisted by the British Broadcaster for Colonialist’s should Argyll or other areas vote YES can they declare UDI?
# Independista 2012-03-19 20:19
We have all been here before and thanks to George Rosie, and that remarkable documentary ‘Diomhair’ (still available on Youtube), we now know that documents detailing secret government plans in the 1970s to prevent Scotland laying claim to North Sea oil. They show the extraordinary lengths to which civil servants were prepared to go to head off devolution, which was seen then as inevitably leading to independence.
Treasury officials also advised that the boundaries of Scotland’s coastal waters should be redrawn and a new sector created to “neutralise” Scotland’s claim to North Sea oil – a step that was taken.
One Treasury official even proposed that a local campaign for independence in Orkney and Shetland should be encouraged so that Scotland would be denied access to more than half the North Sea oil. The idea was that the islands would prefer to throw in their lot with London rather than Edinburgh.
Among those advising Labour ministers was Sir David Walker, who investigated the banking crisis for the Labour Government.
The documents – letters, memorandums and briefing papers from the Public Record Offices at Kew and in Edinburgh – show that some civil servants were alarmed by the threat that devolution posed to North Sea oil revenues, which were servicing Britain’s external debt.
One paper, by Graham Kear, under-secretary at the Department of Energy, suggested that the Northern Isles might be hived off from Scotland. He wrote: “If Scotland and the Orkney and Shetland Islands are both regarded as states, separate from the rest of the United Kingdom, median lines can be drawn to divide the United Kingdom Continental Shelf between Orkney & Shetland/Scotland and between Scotland/England.”
One way of doing this, according to civil servants advising Anthony Crosland, the Environment Secretary, would be to realign the subsea border between Scotland and England, so that it ran northeast instead of east.
Mr Kear’s doubts were shared by his political boss, Tony Benn, the Energy Secretary.
Just think for a moment, if that was a threat in the ‘70s, what bigger threat does independence pose to the union?
They will stop a nothing to protect it.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-19 20:35
Quoting Independista:
They will stop a nothing to protect it.

Apparently they will stop, just before telling us the positive case for the union.
# km 2012-03-19 21:19
I think it was Bernard Ingham in the Diomhair documentary that admitted to manufacturing discontent in the Orkneys and Shetlands in the ’70s to halt the independence movement then.

Nothing changes, except that it is the likes of Tavish Scott and Michael Moore taking on Ingham’s role.

Does Michael Moore have any positive vision for Scotland?
# alisdair 2012-03-20 19:52
Hi Independista, can you provide a link to the youtube site? I refuse to have a telly because of the BBC bias and in truth I’m not really sure of the whole you tube thing. There has been a lot of comment on this programme on this site and to be honest I feel I’m being left behind.

Many thanks

# Independista 2012-03-21 00:41
Apologies Alisdair and others. I should have put in the link to ‘Diomhair’ (Secret).Here it is…/.
Its in Gaelic and in six parts, but well worth persevering with.
# 1314 2012-03-19 20:31
Which communities is the committee talking about?

Communities within a certain distance from the foreshore: by town/city/island/local authority?

How will it be decided which bit of seabed or foreshore goes with which community?

Will the communities close to the East Coast border assert their right to the sea bed under the sea policed under English law?

Will Rockall be inhabited entirely by millionaires?

Since they don’t want the Scottish Government to be involved, I hope the committee sort out all the detail. I get the feeling they haven’t quite thought it through.
# Wee-Scamp 2012-03-19 20:36
I’ve been to the Shetlands. They’re about as much Norwegian as I am Martian. Just because they burn a longship and wave a few axes around once a year doesn’t mean a thing. In fact if you asked them you’d probably find most of them are from outside the Shetlands.

Tavish Scott himself was born in Inverness not the Shetlands.
# scottish_skier 2012-03-19 21:14
Liam McArthur is from Edinburgh I understand.

Torygraph going with this of course.…/…

Their residents have traditionally been extremely hostile to Scottish independence and preferred Westminster government to that from Holyrood. They were part of Norway, not Scotland, until the late 15th century. “

Results of Scottish Devolution referendum 1997. Shetland Yes = 62%. Orkney Yes = 57%.

“When Shetland’s local authority held a referendum 35 years ago asking if residents wanted to be part of an independent Scotland, the result was nine to one against.”

At that time, only 15% of the total Scottish population wanted full independence, so hardly a big difference between that and 10% in Shetland. Maggie hadn’t arrive yet and set the UK on course for long term economic failure and eventual break-up.

I guess Westminster is thinking:

Oil still needing sucked dry
Nuclear submarine base
Nuclear waste disposal site
# Wave Machine 2012-03-19 20:45
What Tavish is proposing can be summarised thus;

An Independent Scotland will build a new society, modelled on Scandinavian principles. It will be fair, balanced and healthy.

Shetland will remain in a union with England, governed from London. Shetlanders will continue to be active participants in illegal wars. They will continue to welcome corruption within government, they will welcome an erosion of society, where the rich get richer and avoid taxation, while the poorest, most vulnerable members of society will see their lives made even more miserable.
Shetlands natural resources will be plundered to pay for London government excesses, mismanagement and greed.

London’s representative in Shetland will be richly rewarded for his loyalty with a seat in the House of Lords, with access to business contacts and lucrative expenses revenue. Just so long as he continues to be a “Yes” man and turns a blind eye to his constituents being ripped off.
Oh! And he’ll have to keep quiet about the corruption in government.

I wonder who that representative will be? Perhaps Tavish has someone in mind?
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-19 22:08
Quoting Wave Machine:
An Independent Scotland will build a new society, modelled on Scandinavian principles. It will be fair, balanced and healthy.

Shetland will remain in a union with England, governed from London…

…because it feels more Scandinavian, apparently.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-20 00:15
This thing about Shetland and Orkney is just nonsense, to scare people in Scotland. The very fact that certain people in Westminster talk about such things should be more than enough reason for Scots to vote a resounding YES, but in addition, if Scotland chooses to become independent, I cannot think of any reason why England would somehow have a claim to Shetland. I also cannot think of any reason why it would be beneficial for Shetland to become part of England.

It is a classic colonial move. They did it with India, then they did it with N.Ireland, and we all know how well that turned out. Fortunately with Shetland the law would be on Scotland;s side.

Superficially to the dimwits of Westminster, it sounds like a great idea, but the reality is something very different. As somebody pointed out above, just because people in Shetland once a year celebrate a MADE UP festival which originally had nothing to do with vikings until late 1870/1880, does NOT mean people in Shetland regard themselves as not Scottish.

Of course to many in London, their is a belief that ‘up helly aa’ (a made up name) goes back to viking days in Scotland – but it really, really doesn’t. It’s good fun and good for tourism, but that is just about where its authenticity ends. The other aspect which the ‘ignorati’ in London don’t understand, is that at one time vikings ruled large parts of the entire North and West of mainland Scotland, as well as the Hebrides. Does that mean those areas are all not Scotland as well??

It’s actually a pretty hair brained idea, dreamt up by people who know very, very little about Scotland, and its history.
# Holebender 2012-03-20 06:08
Quoting Robert Louis:
The other aspect which the ‘ignorati’ in London don’t understand, is that at one time vikings ruled large parts of the entire North and West of mainland Scotland, as well as the Hebrides. Does that mean those areas are all not Scotland as well??

Shhh! You’ll be putting ideas into their heads. ;D

Seriously, don’t be surprised if someone tries a Highland v. Lowland division.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-20 10:32
You’re right. I’m surprised they haven’t done a highland Vs Lowland thing.

What a dirty bunch.
# alisdair 2012-03-20 20:48
Well said RL, Up Helly aa is very losely based on the accounts of the Arab Ibn Fadlan who was secretary of an embassy from the Kalif of Bagdad to the people of the middle Volga in the 920’s. He witnessed the funeral of a Scandinavian trader/warrior known as a Rus, who was regarded as one of their ‘outstanding men’ the details are quite extraordinary and well worth a wee google hit. Nevertheless as someone who has been lucky in excavating the most complete Viking burial on the Mainland Uk (please see the Ardnamurchan Transitions Project website)I can affirm that nothing like the festival happened in either the Shetlands, Orkneys, Western Isles, Caithness, Sutherland or Argyll to my limited knowledge or indeed the Isle of Man, of course it would be interesting to find out it did! Having said that the sight of the bold Tavish walking backwards buck naked covering his arse with his hand to throw his torch in the ship will appeal at whatever level and to whatever adjenda, personally I think not.
# banditti 2012-03-19 21:25
I don’t want anything to do with davidson and the rest of westminster we have a chance in 2014 to rid ourselves of them for ever. Looking forward to the long faces on bbc north britain when scotland votes yes
# FREEDOM1 2012-03-20 21:04
banditti you better watch what ye say about davidson he migh sneek up on ye and gie ye a Doin
# albafreedom 2012-03-19 22:04
Sorry to be off topic but yet again Westminster strikes…/…
# Independista 2012-03-19 23:06
The link doesnt work. Is it the right one?
# Hirta 2012-03-19 23:11
# Roll_On_2011 2012-03-19 23:11

Sorry to be off topic but yet again Westminster strikes…/…

Your link does not work… I may be wrong but is your link meant to be….…/…
# Pictavia 2012-03-19 22:16
Tavish is doing what he can to join his bosom buddy Baron Wallace of Tankerness as Baron Scott of Bressay – Tory Poodles nothing more nothing less.
# nemo 2012-03-19 22:16
Surely if independence can make sense at the geographical and population sizes of Shetland and Orkney then Cornwall should be asked whether they want to be a separate country or join with us? How about Wales? Isn’t Tavish’s position one huge smelly red herring (possibly salted)?
# Hugo 2012-03-19 22:22
Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore ruled out devolution of the Crown Estate and said that it must remain a UK-wide body.
Must remain! Why?
# Edulis 2012-03-19 23:06
As a licencee of the Crown Estate, I have mixed feelings about this. It is important that the CE is dealt with at a strategic level. Therefore by that reckoning there is great merit in a straight forward transfer to the SG and then for the SG to design the system of devolution where relevant. Making a transfer to local communities without central government oversight is a recipe for chaos and unstructured development and management.
# Marga B 2012-03-20 01:02
Excellently put, Edulis.
# peter,aberdeenshire 2012-03-19 23:22
I heard Tavish on the radio today, most of the points he raised for the Isles could be used to promote independence, is he really that dim that he could not see it??
The unionists really have not got a clue.
# Roll_On_2011 2012-03-19 23:23
When you are ill… you will obviously go see a doctor.

When you want advice on the CES or land in Scotland you go to Andy Wightman at his site ‘Land Matters’:…/?p=711

The report is brief, concise and to the point. It recommends devolving the Crown Estate Commissioners’ (CEC) responsibilitie  s to Scotland following agreement between the Secretary of State for Scotland and Scottish Government on scheme of further devolution to a local level.

Given that the Scottish Government is already committed to such a scheme, this should be welcomed by Ministers in Edinburgh.

See the Scottish Governments commitment paper to Local Devolvement here:…/…
# Wee-Scamp 2012-03-19 23:36
O/T but it won’t get reported anywhere else because it’s not football but I thought you’d all like to know that Inverness driver Dave Newsham and Team ES Racing topped the times during the British Touring Car Championship’s test day at Silverstone.
# gorbals caley 2012-03-19 23:55
O/T Evening Ladies and Gents – Have noticed several billboards in Glasgow advertising and a new campaign to save some bus services – It links to a page on the FirstGroup Web site.…/…

Who appear to be having a real go at the Scottish Government.
It is unfortunate that this successful Scottish business with a Global footprint released an accounts statement in Nov 2011, showing revenues had increased by more than 3% to £3.2bn and adjusted profit before tax was up 9% to £84.5m appear to be working with a discredited Liebour party or maybe just maybe they did not ask the politicians did not ask the Company ???
# the wallace 2012-03-20 00:17
Did we realy expect anything less from this clown scott,they have toying with this,the northern isles will stay british crap for months.
# alicmurray 2012-03-20 00:24
Going off line article re BBC programming to Scotland.…/…
# Marga B 2012-03-20 01:09
“However, a senior BBC Scotland executive said internal research shows Scottish viewers get more from the corporation than they pay in licence fees” among other things.

What a hostile and openly biased article. BBC getting its own back for complaints?
# freeussoon 2012-03-20 01:50
And yet again…too contentious to allow comments!
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-20 01:03
To make a long opinion short:

“Why is an ancient Scottish Royal Park about to be flogged off for a million quid?”…/…

Because the Crown can.
# alicmurray 2012-03-20 01:29
I can hardly believe that the Crown Estates would have the cheek to do this. Those loathesome LibDems who are enabling the philistine Tories to behave like this in our country should not be allowed in decent company.

And for that Tavish person saying Shetlanders are not Scots he should be run out of town.
# art1001 2012-03-20 07:58
I commented some time back that the SNP should make an issue of this. During the run up to independence, to prevent us from being looted, any sales of land or other assets of the Crown Commission would be declared null and void after independence. Anyone who attempted to ‘buy’ said assets would have no legal title after 2014 and dubious title beforehand.
# Marga B 2012-03-20 11:09
If you look at the Crown Estates own page, it describes the Stirling park as “agriculture, leisure, golf course, residential”, and “Ancient possession added to by purchase in 1972.”

Rural estates all have a “managing agent” which in Stirling is.

Robert Gladstone
Smiths Gore
28 Castle Street
01387 263 066

Here is a quotation from the Crown Estates page on “Home Land”:…/…

“All the Crown Estate’s rural property holdings are managed by locally appointed agents. Their role is to be involved actively in the management of the estate and to be responsive to the requirements both of tenants and of the wider local community.”

Maybe Mr Gladstone is not responding too well to Stirling residents’ requirements.

But the more you read about Crown Estates (latest real estate developments in central London, for example) the more surprising it seems as a concept.
# roger 2012-03-20 02:28
crown estates= dick turpin, stand and deliver….
# Marga B 2012-03-20 11:40
By the way, did anyone see this reference to local authorities in the BBC article yesterday (response of the Scotland Office)? I certainly didn’t. Not that I’m doubting the BBC ;)) more likely my memory:…/…

A Scotland Office spokesman said: “We will consider the Scottish Affairs Committee report and provide a full response but it is clear the report does not support the Scottish government’s position as it claims.

“The call for devolution from the committee is to local authorities rather than the Scottish Parliament.

“The UK government has already taken a major step towards putting Crown Estate activity at the heart of Scottish life through the Coastal Communities Fund.”

Local authorities not local communities, whatever that means …
# Rannoch 2012-03-20 12:26
From ScotGov June 2011:The administration and revenues of the Crown Estate in Scotland are reserved (although the Scottish Parliament can legislate over the extent and nature of Crown property rights)……….It follows if the Scottish Parliament legislated to amend or abolish any of the Crown property rights in Scotland, there would be nothing for the CEC to administer nor any revenues to remit to the UK Treasury.
# UpSpake 2012-03-20 13:59
Art1001. From May 2011 immediately the SNP announced the demand for self-determination, that was the line in the sand !.
# Independista 2012-03-21 00:44
I missed posting this at the time, so here it is again.
Apologies Alisdair and others. I should have put in the link to ‘Diomhair’ (Secret).Here it is…/.
Its in Gaelic and in six parts, but well worth persevering with.

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