Colin Kennedy and the Holy Grail

i-am-your-kingThe Scottish Farmer today gives space for Colin Kennedy, Convener of the Crofting Commission, to tell them about his “crofting crusade!”. This follows hot on the heals of a huge press offensive on his part over the past week with appearances/articles in Sunday Politics Scotland, The Oban Times and BBC Radio Highlands & Islands.

The story is the same: He is right and everyone else is wrong.

He has again stressed that his sole motivation is:-

to uphold crofting law, and defend the statutory rights of ordinary crofters

It has been shown that this is very much his own interpretation of crofting law and not one supported by the Scottish Government or by his fellow commissioners.

He has, however, again rounded on the Scottish Government and the cabinet secretary responsible for crofting, Fergus Ewing MSP, with The Scottish Farmer reporting Mr Kennedy as:-

bluntly accusing him [Mr Ewing] of perpetrating a cover-up of ScotGov’s historic role in a quagmire of maladministration.

He labours on about his views on the illegalities of common grazings obtaining SRDP funding which, as has been pointed out many times before, is not any business of the crofting regulator but a matter for the Scottish Government, the EU and crofters.

Mr Kennedy claims that:-

The commission has taken legal advice from Sir Crispin Agnew QC and it is my understanding that a grazing committee does not merit claiming subsidies, as only individual shareholders with grazing rights are eligible, provided that they comply with the provisions of the legislation for such activity.

Does Mr Kennedy have the approval of the Board of the Crofting Commission to discuss in public this legal advice obtained by the Commission? If not he is breaking that code of conduct again that he was keen to discuss on BBC Radio Highlands & Islands. This is, of course, true in relation to much that he has said over the past week.

Obtaining such a legal opinion was probably outwith the remit of the Crofting Commission in any event. It is understood that Mr Kennedy was instrumental in having it obtained. It is further understood that whilst the Board may have considered this legal opinion when produced they did not use it as a base for any decisions made.

The Scottish Government stated that it “wholly disagrees” with the views on SRDP funding held by Mr Kennedy. This would appear to include the legal opinion that he still clings to.

Those views, like his ones on VAT registration, were potentially all about depriving crofters of funding and had nothing to do with upholding crofting law and defending the statutory rights of ordinary crofters.

well-i-didnt-vote-for-you

Mr Kennedy again showed the huge divide between himself and the Crofting Commission Board and the fact that he was not in fact supporting decisions taken by the Board such as accepting the Government’s position on SRDP and disbursement of funds.

Mr Kennedy proceeded, in his interview with The Scottish Farmer, to attack the former Upper Coll Grazings Committee stating that they:-

have a lot to answer on behalf of shareholders.

Again this is completely at odds with the position taken by the Scottish Government and the Board of the Crofting Commission who have issued an apology to the grazings committee in question.

Mr Kennedy’s position in such circumstances is completely untenable.

mandate-from-the-masses

On the subject of Colin Souter, the grazings ‘constable’ at Upper Coll, Mr Kennedy denies any involvement in his appointment or that he is “his man“. He points the finger on Chief Executive, Catriona Maclean, for the appointment “without reference to the agreed board process“.

However, Freedom of Information requests reveal evidence that Mr Kennedy’s version of events may be one painted through rose tinted glasses. His memory again may not be serving him well.

A document produced by the Crofting Commission states:-

Following the Board meeting on 9th May the Convener, Vice Convener, and CEO met by phone to agree who should be appoint4ed [sic] to the post of Grazings constable in the Upper Coll Common Grazings.

So Mr Kennedy was very involved in the selection process.

The selection committee considered four potential candidates for the job and concluded that:-

Mr Souter has experience in working with crofters and grazings committe4ss [sic] through his time in the Police. An ex-chief inspector and force negotiator who comes from south Usit [sic] Mr Souter has both the skills and experience to deal with this matter and therefore he was selected to be appointed constable.

So Mr Kennedy was in fact party to and appointed Mr Souter to the post in question.

There is also evidence of direct communication between Mr Souter and Mr Kennedy. For example an e-mail from the former to the latter on 24 May 2016 which reads:-

Hi Colin

In looking to progress a meeting with the shareholders at Upper Coll, in the near future, I wanted to ensure the venue was appropriate and given you’ve been out there, I wondered if you had an idea on the best venue option and perhaps a secondary one, if circumstances require?

Kind Regards

Colin

Colin Souter

No evidence was produced from the Freedom of Information request as to whether or not recommendations were given by Mr Kennedy to Mr Souter on the comfort of the chairs at possible venues in Upper Coll. But this exchange does prove that there was indeed direct communication between the two as previously suggested on this blog.

Furthermore Mr Kennedy was taking a direct interest in matters by requesting to see minutes of meetings held by Mr Souter at Upper Coll, all as disclosed from information obtained through Freedom of Information.

Mr Kennedy in discussion with The Scottish Farmer refers to the whole grazings committee issue being “a can of worms” but stressed that to his knowledge it was only a problem specifically on Lewis. He is reported as having “quipped“:-

as previously stated in the board room things are often done differently in Lewis.

What about in Lochaber? Has Mr Kennedy also forgotten about the grazings committee he and his fellow commissioners put out of office there? Has he forgotten about how instrumental he was in ensuring the appointment of a grazings ‘constable’ there who would do his bidding?

It has, however, been commented on before that Lewis appeared to be a particular target for the convener. It is unclear why. But perhaps that will eventually come out in the wash.

Mr Kennedy is quoted by The Scottish Farmer as saying:-

But now I’ve put my head on the block in trying to get to grips with the truth. I know people are queuing up to get me out but I am not letting this rest. I’m not going to jump, so I will probably be pushed. If that happens my solicitor is standing by.

That solicitor will have a difficult hill to climb. The evidence seems to me to be firmly stacked against Mr Kennedy and has been since my first blog post on ‘The Common Clearances‘. Subsequent events and revelations from Freedom of Information requests has just fortified that position.

im-invincible

Mr Kennedy’s version of events, as given to the press this past week, appears to show a selective memory with many gaps to fill. I and others who post comments attempt to fill those as best we can on this blog.

Mr Kennedy, like Mr Souter, appears to be searching for a justification for his discredited actions. I doubt that he will ever find it.

Brian Inkster

Image Credits: Monty Python and the Holy Grail © Python (Monty) Pictures

29 thoughts on “Colin Kennedy and the Holy Grail

  1. Joyce

    As an add is CK taking lessons from Donald Trump. He certainly exhibits a fine example of narcissistic personality disorder. Thanks again for the blog post.

    Reply
  2. Linda Brackenbury

    You know Joyce I myself was just thinking that 🙂 Trump and CNK would without a doubt be the perfect bed partners, with all that pent up bluster and fuss they make when things don’t look like its going their way, and yes also, thank you to Brian Inkster for not only what is an excellent blog but for giving the man on the ground a rare insight into the mindset of the man they put in place to lead them..

    Selective memory indeed Brian, Mr. K is indeed the proud owner of such a mind, like any one of our dogs, they choose what they want to hear, bark at or just plain choose to block out altogether..

    The few friends he has are chosen for what use they can be to him.. it might be they are well off, well thought of, from area he knows no one, from a background with some clout.. he surrounds himself with “friends” from every authority in Scotland and beyond, these would be the experts he regularly consults, the lawyers (and shame on those who do), who give advice, the farmers or crofters of some repute.. landowners who may be in agreement with he.. Colin Souter I fear is no different.. somewhere down the line these two would have had some sort of association.. I’d bet my last penny.

    The Scottish Farmer is a disgrace, clearly grasping at any story they can print without comeback. Once upon a time, I remember it was a well respected rag, a copy being opened by every farmer in Scotland (I got mine on a weekend).. not any more though.. in my ranks its way down alongside such as the sun.. not that that will bother Kennedy, him being a regular sensation in the News of the World! way back then.

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  3. Roy Pentland

    Oh my granny on Tiree once showed me the cuttings she had of Colin Kennedy taken from the News of the World Sunday paper. What a disgrace he is. The entire village on Coll hated him for what he was doing to the island (and a puppy) All documented and in the public domain likewise his other court cases. (My granny kept everything about Coll and Tiree)

    And apparently nothing much has changed except he’s an old man now who darent challenge the younger, stronger Coll men being the coward he is.

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  4. Kenny Macdonald

    The successive committees in Upper Coll did wisely pursue and expend on improvements, as many grants as could be accessed. Having obtained the approval of shareholders, these committees have managed to put together shareholder assets for the use of present stockholders and potential stockholders. None of this would have been possible without taking a considered business approach to each scheme of improvement. It is fanciful to imagine that townships can be properly run without basic business practices. The committees answered to the shareholders and have nothing to fear from any enquiry.

    You will note that the Commission led investigation that was expected to find evidence of embezzlement etc has produced nothing that would justify the Commission’s decision to constructively dismiss the serving committee. Such evidence would have of necessity, to be found in the first year of accounts of the 5 year audit that they unlawfully demanded. This audit cost the crofters whose interests he is keen to safeguard, £1200, and was immediately binned. That is the least of the losses brought about by this law breaking regulator, with CK at the helm.

    Oddly enough, by the way, the Commission managed to put 5 active crofters and 3 others out of office in Upper Coll. This was to promote crofting and look out for crofters?

    Our township is vat registered as many others are. This is necessary as we will soon enough be selling the timber from the woodland schemes, the establishing of which required registration in the first place. In what way does CK imagine it to be in our interest as crofters not to have vat back when possible?

    Maybe we should turn the spotlight on his own grazings committee in the Isle of Coll. Being as he is such an erudite clerk, I can only imagine we have a lot to learn from what happens there. How many crofters are there? How many crofts and apportionments are there? Whose are they? What about apportionments that recently changed from 15 year to life? Were any grants applied for? Sorry. Stupid question. Who benefits most from use of the common grazings? What initiatives are there to encourage others to consider crofting on Coll? Vat registration? Maybe another silly question. Any significant local developments to bring benefit to all these crofters whose interest is so close to his heart? What about souming policy? What kind of regulations are there? What about the audited accounts for Coll? Is there full consultation with all the shareholders? Is all income immediately divided?
    Is anyone able to fill out these gaps in our knowledge? Feel free to answer these and the questions I have not asked.

    Russia has a whole ministry devoted to the fog of war. They are expert at denying the obvious and fogging the main issues. Fortunately for us in Upper Coll, the marsh mist being generated by CK does nothing to hide the colossal monstrosity that messed with democracy and destroyed trust.

    We call for the immediate removal from office of a man of whom we can say, that not in the history of living memory in crofting, has so much contempt been shown to so many by so few. We call for the removal of the investigator pretending to be a constable. We call for the return of our records and bank accounts. The words of an apology are cheap. What we need is action. Now.

    Reply
  5. Donald Macsween

    This confirms to me, once again, that Mr Kennedy has an issue with the collective working that takes place in many Lewis townships. I fear he is about the individual and cannot comprehend working together for collective good.

    Denying CG committees access to SRDP funding would also deny CG access to CAGS funding, which is what is used for fencing, as well as funding for things such as forestry & machair schemes.

    I believe this is his way of attempting to encourage crofters to apportion areas of common grazing and apply on an individual basis. Given that crofts in Lewis are large in number but small size, there isn’t actually much space for development of schemes on in-bye land.

    Another growing area of concern is the attitude of The Scottish Farmer. Their articles seem to be totally out of touch and appear to have a bizarre attitude towards the whole situation. My subscription recently expired and will never be renewed.

    Reply
  6. Linda Brackenbury

    In reference to the Tiree chap, many people keep newspaper clippings, myself included… I haven’t a one that shows the convener as being right or good in any one of them.

    Reply
  7. Scunnered

    I’m not a crofter but write this comment after being left incredulous after reading the CK article in this week’s Scottish Farmer. (The last issue we will buy)

    The article left me so enraged that I am willing to volunteer loading a trebuchet with you know who and launch it toward the Minch….unless Fergus Ewing does it first.

    Reply
  8. Linda Brackenbury

    Kenny Macdonald, there was only ever one crofter on Coll, he referred to himself as the lone crofter, or the poor crofter..he fought with the Crofting Commission for many years to have remedy, with regard to the common grazings….he was also for a time the crofting constable on Coll…
    CK had proposals to the Crofting Commission..a F.O.I request will give you all you need in the respect of Crofting on the Isle of Coll.

    Reply
  9. Katie Kirk

    It is an established fact that the members of the Upper Coll grazings committee did not read their own regulations. This is bad enough in itself, but there is a deeper underlying problem: the committee also seemed unaware that there are actual laws that govern the running of common grazings. The tragedy is that the crofting act has excellent fail-safe clauses that ensure no shareholder is disadvantaged, and if the law had been adhered to there would have been no cause for complaint.

    It is abundantly clear from Mr Kenny Macdonald’s lofty stance that he still does not think the law applies to Upper Coll common grazings; he appears to believe that grazings committees have the right to withhold shareholders’ funds and to use them to run the common grazings as a business. This does not accord with the crofting act, which is plain with regard to the allocation of land resumption monies. Anyone who has needed to take legal advice will be wearily familiar with the words, “maybe”, “possibly” and “not necessarily”, which makes the following excerpt truly exceptional for its clarity:

    Crofting Act Scotland 1993: Section 21
    Resumption of Land

    “(4) Where the land so resumed forms or forms part of a common grazing:

    (a) the share of the value of that land payable to the crofters sharing in the common grazing shall be apportioned among such crofters according to the proportion that the right in the common grazing of each such crofter bears to the total of such rights;

    (b) any sum so apportioned to such a crofter shall be deemed to be the share in the value of such land resumed to which he is entitled under subsection (1) above, and

    (c) the share so payable shall, if a grazings committee or a grazings constable has been appointed under section 47 of this Act, be paid by the landlord to the clerk of the committee or the constable for distribution by him among the crofters concerned:
    Provided that, if any crofter wishes the proportion of the share payable to him to be paid directly to him by the landlord, the landlord shall comply with his wishes.“

    This is perfectly clear. And, according to the Scottish Government’s own Rural Payments website, the rules governing eligibility for EU schemes are clear:

    “Eligibility for Agri- Environmental Schemes (SRDP)

    If you are a grazing clerk, submitting an application on behalf of a grazing committee, your application must include the following supporting information:

    • the written consent of a majority of the crofters with shares in the common grazing

    • evidence that notice of the intention to submit an application and the proposed division of the grant amongst the eligible crofters has been issued by the grazings committee or constable to all shareholders sharing in the common grazings

    Please note: any application for funding will not be considered until the documentation outlined within the relevant sections above has been submitted. “

    I believe that what Commissioner Kennedy referred to, with regard to these EU schemes, is that the point and purpose of them is to fund individual shareholders who participate. It is clear that the proposed division of the grant among eligible crofters must be issued to all shareholders and also be submitted along with the application. It is obvious from this that the money is to be apportioned among the eligible shareholders.

    Many such schemes involve grazing plans, and in order to be eligible a crofter must have livestock that can graze; a cat and some hens will not suffice. Unlike Mr Kenny Maciver of Upper Coll, I believe that crofting is, first and foremost, about a few cattle and sheep on a small piece of inbye together with the common grazing land. I am sure his forebears would have heartily agreed. I know mine would have done because a few cattle and sheep is exactly what they had themselves. I suggest that the Twa Kennys get themselves down to the level of such ordinary crofters: get some four-legged livestock, if only to find out how tough it is in a harsh climate with ever-increasing costs. I am sure that there are a few crofters in Upper Coll whose experience in livestock-rearing would be of great help to them. Who knows? Perhaps together in this way they could mend their metaphorical fences.

    Reply
  10. Kenny Macdonald

    Like a famous other, J T Kirk our K T Kirk is boldly going where no man has gone before in pursuit of a parallel universe where you can have your cake and eat it. Where shareholders get the money but still benefit from improvements.
    Good luck with that enterprise.

    Reply
    1. Katie Kirk

      Kenny

      Your post is — as Mr Spock would say — illogical.

      He also famously said, “In critical moments, men sometimes see exactly what they wish to see.” In your case however, you don’t see what you don’t wish to see — the crofting act. In addition to the disbursement of monies to shareholders it also makes full provision for the allocation of expenditure on improvements (Section 48 2) and the receiving of funds in respect of maintenance (Section 49 2a). If followed correctly, the regulations work efficiently and ensure that no-one gets a free cake.

      The problems in Upper Coll have arisen because its grazings committee either didn’t know or completely ignored these very simple regulations. But as Mr Spock once observed, “Insufficient facts always invite danger.” Upper Coll is now in danger of going down in history as the village that was afraid of bulls.

      Reply
      1. Kenny Macdonald

        K T
        The problem in Upper Coll is that the Commission constructively dismissed the Committee for one reason and only one.
        We did not produce a five year audit of suitable quality, though our accountants disagree.
        I will wait with interest to see if you have a pertinent comment to make on that one point alone.
        Upper Coll will be remembered as the village that caused the Commission to be retrained to better understand it’s role, rule and remit.
        We are not afraid, as should be obvious.

        Reply
        1. Katie Kirk

          Well Kenny, I really hit the nail on the head when I said that you don’t see what you don’t wish to see — you are one of the most advanced cases of this syndrome I have ever encountered. It is obvious that you and your fellow members of the dismissed committee think you hold a monopoly on rectitude and are incapable of being in the wrong.

          I now fully understand why you have no sheep or cattle — you have no room for them because your croft is too full of elephants. Some folk have an elephant in the room but you have an entire herd of them; you can’t see them because you have your hands over your eyes, and you can’t hear them bellowing because you have stuck your fingers in your ears and are going “nah-nah-nah”. These “elephants” are the regulations that you refuse to acknowledge.

          I had another listen to the recording of the November meeting, which becomes more and more fascinating with every hearing, especially since I can now identify your sonorous tones. One of your comments encapsulates the problem in Upper Coll: you stated that the committee should be able to make decisions “regardless of statutory regulations…” That sums it all up — you are so unco guid that statutory regulations don’t apply to you; they are for common mortals only. The Convener had to swiftly put you right on that one, and point out that the law and the regulations were the basis of his remit. But you still can’t/won’t see that particular elephant, even though your application for an interim interdict was refused at Inverness Sheriff Court. You remain Mr Rigidly Righteous, whose innate wisdom is superior to the law.

          On the recording, there are a whole raft of issues that the commissioners could have slammed the Upper Coll committee with, but they were exceptionally lenient and treated them as action points, giving the committee ample opportunity to rectify matters. One of those issues was the accounts, about which the grazings clerk was particularly bone-headed (about 20 minutes into the recording). He didn’t know he had to get the accounts audited as he had not bothered to read his own regulations. He said he would get them audited if that is what the committee wanted. The commissioners patiently pointed out that the committee had to abide by its own regulations, but the clerk had great difficulty taking that on board.

          I have no knowledge and therefore no opinion of why the commissioners did not ultimately accept the committee’s audited accounts. I assume there were irregularities and the audit did not comply with the terms of Upper Coll’s regulations. This would not surprise me after hearing the clerk’s lamentable performance on the recording. I suggest you publish the signed-off audit side by side with the relevant section of the regulations so that the world can judge.

          If any good comes of the Upper Coll affair it will be that grazings shareholders everywhere will understand that they have statutory rights, and must not be lorded over by committee members who want to rule the township as their own personal fiefdom.

          Reply
          1. Kenny MacDonald

            KT. I notice that you have your phraser set to stun. We were ready for that and it went over our heads.
            BTW you are quite wrong about the elephants. Mine don’t bellow, they trumpet. I should know as I have a whole flock of them on my croft. ‘What is that? you say. Herd of elephants!” “Well, of course I have heard of elephants. I have a flock on the croft.” That is, except for the one in the room. Parked by the stove it must be feeling the chill. It ate all the fruit and seems to have a fondness for Caramac chocolate. House training is a priority while I get help making a hole in the wall big enough to get him back out .The Klingon teleporter landing co-ordinates must have been ofF for that one. Either that or it was deliberately put in my way.
            As if I didn’t have enough to do already; building the elephant fence, applying through the Commission for elephant subsidy, ordering a lorry load of buns and organising the bus tours.
            I am hoping that a second-hand teleporter is available on ebay so I can send these back to Africa. At the last estimate it looks like I will have to sell 234,567 free range eggs to buy it. I will have to buy another hen.
            I am still seeking your opinion on the Commission and the accounts issue. I can set out some of the information you may need in order to say whether the Commission were right to constructively dismiss democratically elected volunteers.
            • The accounts requested in the first instance, were for the previous year and from the previous committee, which I and others were not a part of.
            • The commission fully understood, and were legally advised that ‘audit’ was intended to convey the idea of independent scrutiny, producing simple accounts as the Commission’s own website now shows.
            • The Commission revisited its decision, which it is apparently not authorised to do, and gave one month for the new committee to spend £1,200 of shareholders’ money on the five previous years’ accounts.
            • Even after receiving these accounts, on time, and prepared by a professional accounting company, they dismissed the new committee for not properly carrying out its duties of producing an audit.
            • Producing an audit is not a duty listed under crofting law.
            • Under FOI the Commission clearly stated that they had not asked any other committees for an audit. They had actually asked Mangersta before asking Upper Coll. Colin Kennedy chaired the meeting where Susan Walker produced the legal advice explaining that the word ‘audit’ in grazing’s regulations did not mean forensic audit. They did not relay that information to us.
            • The next normal response from the Commission, in these circumstances, would have been to assist the new committee, who are volunteer laymen after all, to produce a suitable audit.
            • The absurd and irrational response of the Commission, at this point, was the catalyst for the disaster they have brought upon themselves and the crofting world. Where only one out of three townships in the whole of Scotland have any committee in place, this very public attack on democracy and human rights is that which is least likely to encourage volunteers to work with them at all. That is exceptionally poor performance from a salaried public body with a legal team and the help of other professionals. They have gone on from there to further display an arrogant abuse of power and a reckless expenditure from the public purse. More about that later.
            • We were not put out of office for failure to understand, or apply correctly, the details of Crofting Law. Important as this issue is, it belongs to another debate.
            I know that these facts are annoying because they get in the way of a good story. Do your best to give an objective opinion of the Commission’s decisions regarding the audit fiasco. You have Crofting Law at your fingertips, as is clear from previous posts, so an impartial opinion would be welcome.

  11. The Tiree Bat

    Linda Brackenbury why don’t you photograph and paste here some of the CK press cuttings you have, I’m sure we’d all love to read them.

    Reply
  12. Linda Brackenbury

    Katie Kirk..you sound awfully like a girl I used to know..she used the name of Edinlass…do you know her?
    I suspect that there is a great number of Common Grazings being run on antiquated rules and regulations and that though the various Grazings Commitees do their level best to maintain these grazings as per the rules and the law..its not always possible, given the many changes in law, and with crofters many of whom work elsewhere having to devote their time on a part time basis to doing their bit on the croft and on the grazings…then again, with so many crofts having being sold off..the incomers left to just get on with it..and hope they get it right.
    The time I fear is well past when one crofter can spout of their version of the law to another crofter..
    we are now in the situation whereby, the Crofting Convener has been requested not only by the Crofting Commission but by the Scottish Government to resign…he has in his wisdom refused..he has taken the course of involving the media in all of its shapes and forms and he is in effect manipulating the Government and the Commission, not to mention the many crofters up and down the land all of whom have in effect been left in limbo!

    The question of who has what on their land is neither here nor there..Ie; best left for an argument perhaps another day..too late for recriminations.. at present.

    The Twa Kenny’s as you refer to them have every right to be annoyed..more right perhaps than you or I,

    The FACT of the matter is this…it would not have mattered if every crofter in the various counties had on the land the correct number of four legged beasts, be they cattle or sheep, the Convener in this instance is looking for fault..whether or not it is there!

    Traditional Crofting is dying out in some areas..the older generation is appalled..the younger generation have their own ideas of what they themselves see crofting is..it is after all their future..
    some crofters are just plain confused..about what they can do or not do..depending on their grazings comittees, their areas..etc,

    It is high time the Government had a real long look at what is happening in our townships, in our communities and made plain to the Commissions and the Crofters themselves how they want the future of crofting to play out..
    what has happened in the Western Isles and on the mainland..it is/was only the start…..thankfully now stopped in its tracks.

    Just my opinion, humble as it is.

    Reply
    1. Katie Kirk

      Linda

      Some comments on four of your statements:

      1) The time I fear is well past when one crofter can spout of their version of the law to another crofter …

      In my post I quoted the actual crofting act; not a version of it. It is very clearly written and is available for anyone to download and read.

      2) I suspect that there is a great number of Common Grazings being run on antiquated rules and regulations …

      Any grazings committee can update its individual regulations so long as it does so within the provisions of the crofting act and gets its amendments approved by the Crofting Commission. The problem in Upper Coll was caused by the grazings committee not reading its own regulations and not abiding by the terms of the crofting act.

      3) … the Convener in this instance is looking for fault..whether or not it is there!

      I know of no evidence to support your statement. It is clear from the YouTube recording of the November meeting in Upper Coll that the Convener had an objective and open mind and repeatedly exhorted shareholders to resolve their differences themselves. It is glaringly obvious from the recording that there was no chance of that happening and the Convener had no choice but to go by the provisions of the crofting act and the village’s own (unread) regulations. Anyone who does not like those provisions should try and get them changed instead of baying for the blood of the man whose job it is to implement them.

      4) Traditional Crofting is dying out in some areas..

      This need not be the case if the crofting act is followed carefully and correctly. In Upper Coll, less than 25 per cent of total soumings were used and the grazings committee failed to use the provisions of the crofting act to share out the unused portion amongst those willing to get their wellies clarty. Crofting will survive so long as there are still folk wha ken that muck graws kail.

      Reply
  13. Linda Brackenbury

    🙂 Tiree Bat..I am sure I could do that but given that this is not my blog..would I be allowed to?
    What do you think Brian Inkster? as author / owner of the blog..would that be something you might consider?

    Reply
    1. The Tiree Bat

      Hi Linda. Have sent you another message as I can’t see or find the blog you referred to. My own rubbish grasp of technology I suppose! Any chance you could message me the address where I can find what you’ve uploaded? Thanks!

      Reply
  14. Linda Brackenbury

    Katie Kirk..or is it Edinlass? I note the content on your comment and it appears to me that you agree, wholeheartedly with the way the convener has gone about conducting his business, you don’t see it as draconian or oppressive, you don’t believe that his delving into the past is anything other than normal in the whole big scheme of things, you do believe that it ought to be the crofters of today that must be humiliated and ousted for the sins of those who went before..is that how you see things? If that is how you view things then you belong right up there with the convener..and as such realize that crofting is moving forward….the convener has in the past said to me directly that he does not live in the past and that he lives for the present and looks forward to the future, yet here he is in the Western Isles, persecuting present day crofters for the mistakes of their predecessors,
    Hardly forward thinking KK.

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    1. Katie Kirk

      Linda

      I do indeed agree with the way that the convener has conducted his business. I came to this opinion after listening carefully and objectively to the recording of the November meeting in Upper Coll. The media had told the story very much as you yourself spin it: draconian commissioners crushing the poor crofters. The recording tells a very different story. The convener was faced with a committee of arrogant boneheads, and he dealt with them as patiently and diplomatically as humanly possible. If you do not see this after listening to the recording then you must have some personal axe to grind, and your judgment is seriously clouded.

      Reply
    1. Janice MacDonald

      I am not sure that you should be looking for a baboon for your birthday party as they can be very harmful to humans. Even among themselves there are frequent fights as they try to determine dominance. They tend to stick together in groups, vocalizing by grunting, barking and screaming at one another. They also do a lot of smacking their lips, shrugging their shoulders and yawning. As you can see, they don’t have the best party manners. However, an interesting fact is that their bottoms have a thick padding which allows them to sit comfortably wherever they are. That’s handy if they have long meetings to endure!

      Reply
      1. Kenny Macdonald

        The silence from KT Kirk of the SS Enterprise to the actions of the Klingons in Upper Coll, is due to his being on mission to the planet they live on under the rule of the galactic supremo Wal Gnit Forc. The Klingons insist that plebs on our planet have to obey the rules or there will be trouble They have phasers. Some plebs have been stunned.
        KT is trying to help the Klingons because Wal has found out that they have been bad boys deliberately breaking his rules. KT is trying to help them cling on to power.
        Commander Ewing and the Federation with the pleb army have other ideas for super sleuth and the famous farmer.

        Reply
  15. Katie Kirk

    What an exceedingly peculiar post. However, it serves to demonstrate your attitude towards the regulations that the Upper Coll Grazings Committee were supposed to abide by, but didn’t. You rant against the regulations as if they had been imposed upon you by a lone tyrant, when in fact the crofting act is part of the law of Scotland and the Upper Coll Grazings Regulations were drafted by your own village predecessors. You have thus given a graphic example of your state of denial, and the petulance and intransigence that justly led to your dismissal by the commissioners. Now that you have so emphatically shot yourself in both feet, it is a suitable juncture for me to depart this thread in peace.

    Nunc dimittis
    KK

    Reply
    1. Kenny Macdonald

      Star date 24th Oct. Posted questions to Klingon support worker. Historical recorded issues re audit.

      Star date 25th Oct. Klingon spokesperson leaves no pertinent reply and teleports in the general direction of away.

      Anyone can work out the answers to issues raised on the 24th.
      The regulations and Law, of course, need to be remade to suit the crofter.
      I will give two clear examples. When we asked the Commission to reconsider their decision to dismiss, they told us they did not have authority to revisit decisions. This is an absurdity that allows error at will.
      When the Commission told us our only appeal was to the Land Court, they spent a fortune of taxpayers money obstructing our path. It turned out that the Land Court did not have jurisdiction.
      The Commission is a farce to be reckoned with.

      Reply

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