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Thinking outside the box

According to its website the responsibilities of the Scottish government include the economy, education, health, justice, rural affairs, housing, environment, equal opportunities, consumer advocacy and advice, transport, taxation, and ensuring that Shetland only appears on maps of Scotland as an indecipherably tiny smudge in the top right corner.

Ban on putting Shetland in a box on maps comes into force

New rules barring public bodies from putting Shetland in a box on official documents have come into force.

Islands MSP Tavish Scott had sought to change the law to ban the “geographical mistake” which “irks” locals, by amending the Islands (Scotland) Bill.

The bill’s “mapping requirement” has now come into force, although it does give bodies a get-out clause if they provide reasons why a box must be used.

Mapmakers argue that boxes help avoid “publishing maps which are mostly sea”.

A couple of points: (1) Tavish Scott MSP is a Lib Dem, proof that the Scottish National Party is not the only one in contention for a Holyrood Comedy Award. (2) the “ban” only applies to public bodies, so no need to get outraged about free speech. Yet. These “bans” do have a way of being trialled in the public sector before being unleashed on the actual public. For now, however, I think a more appropriate reaction is gratitude for the good laugh Mr Scott is giving us. And his comedy routine is not over yet:

Mr Scott said it was “ridiculous” that he had to change the law to close the box

True, but not in the way that he means.

He said: “There is no excuse now for the Scottish government, its agencies or others to put Shetland in a box. The box is closed. It doesn’t exist, whether that be in the Moray Firth or east of Orkney. Shetland is now in the right place.

This box is no more. It has ceased to be. It is … an ex-box.

10 comments to Thinking outside the box

  • I’m guessing geometry was not Tavish’ strong subject at school, still less projections, conformal transformations, etc. 🙂

    I’m also guessing he and the natz would agree with those PC people in the US who claim maths is racist. (Actually, I think the natz long ago decided that arithmetic was an English imperialist conspiracy, devised with cunning premeditation to make it appear that natz accounts of the vast wealth of an independent Scotland did not add up.)

  • Mr Ed

    I am waiting but not eagerly for an English MP, hopefully a Lib Dem but many Conservatives would probably qualify on the ground of stupidity, to spot this and try the same with the Scilly Isles…

    And it should be more widely known that the Income Tax did not apply to the Scilly Isles until 6th April 1954, a change introduced by the Finance Act 1953. It appears that they had been regarded as too poor to be worth taxing, but they are now wealthy enough to have voted to remain in the EU.

  • pete

    The new assemblies in Scotland, Wales and London are nothing more than job creation schemes for the political class and their associated bureaucrats.

    They have little real work to do and very limited powers so they concern themselves with trivial things like boxes on maps and other petty ways of forcing everyone to obey new rules which are not needed at all.

    They are a legacy of New Labour’s public sector hiring frenzy.

    We should get rid of them.

  • bobby b

    Let’s not tell the people of Alaska and Hawaii about this. If we do, the USA is going to look vanishingly small on maps that will then have to include Canada and most of the Northern Pacific.

  • Eric

    Things must be going very well indeed for the Scots if the government’s to-do list has reached boxes on maps.

  • seeker

    Give the damn place back to Norway. Let them work out how to draw a useful map…

  • Things must be going very well indeed for the Scots if the government’s to-do list has reached boxes on maps. (Eric, October 9, 2018 at 5:36 am)

    I suspect Eric well knows that it is because things are not going too well that a task within their limited abilities has such attraction. 🙂

    Let’s not tell the people of Alaska and Hawaii about this. If we do, the USA is going to look vanishingly small on maps that will then have to include Canada and most of the Northern Pacific. (bobby b, October 9, 2018 at 12:49 am)

    Scotland will certainly look smaller in any map of Scotland. On the other hand, England will also look smaller in any Scottish-executive-issued map of the UK, so maybe they feel it’s worth it.

  • Here’s a map that should satisfy the Shetland unboxers: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LKU1ukriY7lPPhGkSE1m8QDguya0-a3E : a perspective view that puts things in proportion 😉

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    So many people are now thinking outside the box, that real eccentrics now choose boxes! As for Australia, with our Antarctic claims, we would look really small without boxes.

  • Paul Marks

    The Scottish Parliament has done nothing good and has done many harmful things since it was set up by Prime Minister Blair and others.

    Scots Law used to be considered, in some ways, superior to English law – but that was before this Scottish Parliament was set up and started to use the FORCE OF LAW for every whim that politicians and others have.

    “I would like the Shetlands not be in a box on a map – but rather to be shown with the sea in between”

    “You WILL show the Shetland in the way I want you to, or I will PUNISH you”.

    Leftists seem unable to see the totally different nature of these two statements. They see “the law” as simply a way of enforcing their DESIRES – they do not understand the concept of PRINCIPLES of law.

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