Sunday, November 18, 2018

Lord Bonkers' Diary: Keep the box around Shetland

Today the old boy gives us an interesting piece of Scottish Liberal history that has hitherto escaped publication.


A recent issue of The Shetland Times has been drawn to my attention. In it our own Tavish Scott celebrates the fact that those islands will no longer be shown on weather maps and the like in a box.

All I can say is that he must be a singularly unobservant fellow, as that box is not figment of a cartographer’s imagination but a thing of bricks and mortar.

It was Jo Grimond who ordered it to be built: he wanted to protect Shetland’s fishing grounds, discourage Viking raids and keep out canvassers from other parties. Much of the donkey work was undertaken by his wife Laura, with the young Jim Wallace making the tea.

I sincerely hope Scott does not intend to undo Jo’s work by having the Shetland Box taken down. What will be next? Adrian Sanders’ wall?

Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South West, 1906-10.

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