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16 October 2014


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Having been born and bred on the Island of Coll it is with absolute disbelief that I read the contents on many of the blogs from what clearly is a group of people trying to destroy others due to their jealousy of the success that some people on Coll have had. These people are wallowing in their own failures yet they remain unwilling to help themselves.

I am convinced many of these people don't even live on Coll and know that Anney the Laird lives in Yorkshire while renting out two properties that seem to be on Croft land. I think I am correct when I state that only one family in the croft situation are permanent residents of Coll with the rest being holiday homes.

I have a legal background and am satisfied that if those who moan on the blog and elsewhere were actually seeking to resolve the situation rather than seek cheap hits then they would refer the matter to their Solicitor and ask them to confirm clear title or not. If the answer is faulty title (crofting problems) then the problem lies with the purchasing Solicitor who guaranteed clear title at the date of purchase.

The only remedy is to raise an action for resumption in the Scottish Land Court.
The crofting law covers the formula for compensation to the affected Crofters. It is clear and simple - 50% of the development value of the site to be resumed.

Next, those affected can enter negotiations with the crofters or appoint a valuator who will report a value to the Court, which will then set the compensation figure due.

Then the matter should revert to the purchasing Solicitor. If that Solicitor reported a clear title at the time of purchase, the questions now are, where is my clear title and what are you going to do about it?

I would think that the reason Solicitors have indemnity insurance is to cover such events.

So get real you bloggers, your plight is not as you would have the world believe.
Have any of you approached the crofter on Coll? I guess not! The same family have been crofting the land since long before I was born and I have never heard of them causing trouble on this land.

Remember crofters do have rights and if you are on their croft land, then you have to pay the price as declared by crofting law.

Come on Anney, if a foreign immigrant had two properties on land you were the crofter of - would you stick out for your rightful compensation? Yes I think you would.

Coll is a beautiful Island and it can do without you bloggers chasing away potential tourists with your whinging and lying particularly when you do not even live on the island!

Posted on RE: POSITIVE THINKING at 22:02


I don't live on Coll either, however I don't have any property on Coll either. I was just wondering if you know about libel laws ( not that I need a solicitor, you understand, it's just in case, it's always good to have lying around ) if you do, then keep blogging, as some bloggers may need your services ( not me of course, I'm thinking more of Arnish Lighthouse and the F***ing Cat) .

thewhitesettler from lewis not coll

Hi Positive Thinking, In my defence, could you please be a little more specific about the lies which are being told, as I am at a loss as to what your refer. Also, can I correct you, insomuch as, I do not have a blog on the BBC Island Bloggers site. I have replied to a few comments made by bloggers who actually live on Coll. I have mentioned the elderly residents and the story telling, but no lies, I can assure you. From your email to me yesterday and your phone call this morning at 5am, I understand that you think it is me posting the actual blogs. It is not, any replies to blogs is under my own name. I am sure IBHQ can check this. At the moment,I do live in Yorkshire due to an impending operation on my leg and the ill health of my father in law who has since died. My home on Coll is standing empty for the time being and has done so since we left a few months ago. It is not rented out and has never been rented out as a holiday let. I would however, love to let the property to a key worker on the island or someone who needs a home whilst I am on the mend. I have resisted renting it out as a holiday let as I feel strongly that people should have a secure home if nothing else. As for chasing off tourists, if you read one of my replies, I said to Sue of North Yorkshire, that on a two week holiday to the Hebrides, I actually went over to Tiree and caught the ferry back to Coll. I would recommend Coll as a holiday destination to anyone. Coll is a truly beguiling island, and the people are wonderful. With regards to the crofting situation, my husband, (and he apparently is the only one communicating with you), has been actively working with yourself to resolve this dire situation, which we as honest and innocent buyers of a home on Coll simply inherited from someone else. My husband has not been in contact with you, because his father died recently, and he is very distressed as you can imagine. I too am actively working with solicitors and the Land Court to resolve this problem. If you are angry because I attempted to explain the crofting situation, then I apologise if I got any of it wrong, I am not a crofting expert and simply tried to explain to Jen from oop north what the problem was. I thought I explained it well and without malice to yourself. It is a situation which needs resolving and it can be done so without animosity and further bad feeling. You have advised us on crofting issues and I thank you for your knowledge. However, you must acknowledge the unhappiness this case is causing. So Please Positive Thinking, get your facts right first, I do not have a blog on this site. To be eligible you have to live on the island, and as you so rightly pointed out, I am, for the time being off the island, but I will be back soon. Please call in for a cup of tea and a chat, you are most welcome, it is always nice to see old friends again.. Thanks, Anney the Laird

Anney the Laird from Anney's Croft

Dear Positive thinking, I have re-read your blog and I think you are addressing the blog to me personally, so may I ask you what will happen to the land if the Land Court find it is not croft land after all? Is it really so cut and dried? And please advise your audience that the land we are talking about, is tiny areas of garden, not the rolling plains of Arizona. Should my other blog be published, and it may not, then you will know that I only submit comments, I do not have a blog of my own at the moment on this BBC site. Moving on to your paragraph re: have we approached the crofter on Coll? Well may I ask did the crofter on Coll approach his neighbours in the village and warn them of the impending situation , or did he simply get his solicitor to write to his friends and neighbours advising them to seek legal advice, causing no end of upset and worry? I personally have tried to get people round the table with the crofter, in an attempt to sort matters out. I will also stand corrected in anything that I say. The crofter, must of course, know crofting law better than anyone, so I am prepared to be corrected or guided in the right direction. If I have lied about anything, I will make a public apology. I am a person of my word. I was simply stating facts as I knew them to be, I may have said something wrong, so please, I will stand corrected. Thank you. Anney the Laird

Anney the Laird from Heart on Coll, Bad Leg in York Hosp

Thank you (whoever you are!) for giving another side of the story. From what I gather the actual bloggers MUST live on Coll, but anyone can comment and thankfully most people are quite clear on the fact that they don't currently live on Coll, even if they were born there. I have pointed out on other posts that people should never believe everything they read or hear (even if they hear it on Coll I should add) as truth IS subjective, facts are the only thing that are objective. Hopefully, people are sensible enough that Island Blogging won't affect tourism at all, I am reading blogs for a couple of islands I've yet to go to, but I'm not forming an opinion on the islands from the blogs. If we go down that route what's next? Judging all of Britain by the actors/actresses on Big Brother! (Apologies for gratuitous use of current affairs analogy, it's driving me up the wall.)

Caraid from Glasgow

Re-positive thinking, I note you do not have a name, your post is unsigned, however, you are apparently referring to my post of "Positive Thinking", If I may just put the record straight, my name is AcutelyCurious, I have for a good many years, wholly resided on the Island of Coll, Many bloggers respond to my blogs, of their identity I know no more than they care to write, Anney the Laird, is such a person, who, apparently has an opinion about the current issues facing this island, she posted a comment in response to me, you appear to be assuming that "Anney" is responsible for this blog, this is incorrect. You profess you are a true Collach, born and bred on the island? You write, that you are appalled by those of whom you believe, "are a group of people, who do not even live here", Well, if you take the bother to look at who is posting comment, you will find that there are some residents of Coll and others who are bloggers from elsewhere, who just happen to have an interest and or an opinion, therefore. are you saying no one else need "voice / write/ comment with an opinion, on the issues surrounding and currently taking place on the Isle of Coll"? You say you are of "legal background" and you go onto explain about Titles etc, You mention Crofting law, which as far as I can see is a very complex area of law, most people / solicitors would not attempt to explain such remedy as you are attempting to do on a blog like this, it seems strange that "as a person of legal background and with you"re obvious knowledge, of the legalities behind the Crofting issues, surrounding the common grazings, that you, yourself have not been consulted by those who are involved. Why?, also, being an islander myself, I was completely unaware of any Lawyers/Solicitors/Legal Advisors presently living on , let alone any who were born here on Coll? I find this very strange, as I thought I knew everyone. You go onto write that you know of a crofting family who have never, to your knowledge caused trouble on "this land" Which Land? Do you refer to your own family, or another family, do you refer to the common grazings or are you referring to Coll as a whole? You ask, if those affected have ever approached the Crofter, then you go on to answer your own question, why? Also, which Crofter, there are afterall more than one on Coll, at the last count there were at least eight, possibly more, however, there is it would appear only one Crofter who appears to be involved in the issues surrounding the common grazings, again I ask why? Is the "common grazings" not for all crofters to use? There is one comment you did make, with which I agree wholeheartedly, Coll is beautiful, as a Tourist attraction it has a great deal to offer, I do not however, agree, that my blog has been constructed in such a manner and in order to chase them away, I myself, may not be crofter, nor have knowledge of the crofting laws, I do however, have opinion on the way, the villagers are being made to feel, I do consider, that in order to make "one" crofter happy, a whole village of families have either to "pay up" in compensation to the crofter, or "risk losing their homes" In other words, this is no more than an "small island clearance" , on behalf of the crofter, so affected. Correct me if I am wrong? With regard to "whinging and moaning", I absolutely disagree, I have merely expressed / written an opinion, of which it is my prerogative to do, because, simply this is my blog. I am neither, envious nor a "failure", I am a blogger, living on the isle of Coll, who enjoys to blog with others who enjoy to blog with me. I do not apologise for the content of my blogs, I am interested of among other things, current affairs and in particular the current affairs on the island of Coll, I am afterall, a resident of Coll. You accuse me "AcutelyCurious" of seeking "cheap hits"

AcutelyCurious from Coll

Caraid from Glasgow, I can assure you, I am an Actual Resident on the Island of Coll. I have lived here many years, just because, you are unaware of my identity on the BBC blogging, does not mean I do not exist! In fact I would go as far as to say, that we are already well aquainted!

AcutelyCurious from Coll

Be it Coll or Arizona, no matter how I try to articulate the experience........I feel like a small grain of sand in the mighty universe. Stand in awe at the Grany Canyon or the Painted Desert, or stand in awe as the sun sets on Coll........We are but passing through..... The land in Arizona is as beloved to the indigineous population as Coll is to those who have been and are nurtured by her soil......... Get a grip do not need to fight your battles on the world stage......You are doing more harm to the image of island we all love than you would care to imagine.

Celticislandgal from USA

my children are studying the isle of coll as a topic at school and to be perfectly frank with you mr or mrs positive thinking, my personal view is that this blog should not be allowed. you are making reference to foreign immigrants occupying land. what may i ask is this meaning. my children would like to know what is this meaning and feel it is very racist. I am complaining to the blog administratros. dont you not think that with headlines regarding an indian lady in big brother programme being bullied by racists that you could have chosen your words more carefully please. Thank you kindly, Dr Raj

Dr. Saheed Raj from Birmingham

I totally agree with Celticislandgal, we should not be washing our dirty linen in public, An island blog is not really the place for crofting issues and I for one will not be adding to the debate any further. Positive Thinking, if you had read my earlier comments I remarked , that I hoped we reached a win/win situation, I did not state I hope the villagers win and the tenant crofter loses. And I am still intrigued as to what lies I have told. This is the first time I have ever been accused of lying and I am quite distraught. So I will not add to this debate again. However, I would take issue on the point of Foreign Immigrants!! May I ask Positive thinking if he/she is saying that someone from England is a foreign immigrant? May I remind you that I, like you, am British. I would also like to state that when the coal mines in Scotland were closing down in the 1960's, thousands of Scots made their home in my village in Yorkshire. Never did we call them foreign immigrants. We welcomed them to our homes, to our schools, to our pubs and working mens clubs. Scottish Miners, worked alongside Yorkshire Miners, including my own father, who in turn worked alongside Durham miners. Indeed one working mens club was renamed the SYD Club in West Yorkshire, meaning Scottish, Yorkshire and Durham Miners' club. My first boyfriend Jock Pride, was Scottish. My Brother in Law is Scottish. So, please do not let racism creep into this debate, and as has been said in other blogs, the legal system will have to sort this crofting issue out in its own time. Like Celticislandgal states, we need to all get a grip. Island blogging, I think, should be used for cheerful banter, to make new friends, share experiences and read about life on other islands. Blogging is an enjoying past-time, especially during these long winter nights and I intend to continue blogging in a friendly, open manner and leave the politics to the politicians. Thank you Anney the Laird

Anney the Laird from Anney's Croft

Re the following statement--"if a foreign immigrant had two properties on land you were the crofter of - would you stick out for your rightful compensation? Yes I think you would". May I ask, what you mean by "Foreign" for instance, if those occupying your land are not of Scottish Descent? Or of the British Isles in general, Just interested.

AcutelyCurious from Coll

Sorry Acutely, I think I may have confused you. I know you have to be a resident on Coll to have the blog, I hope you don't think I was accusing you of pretending to be on Coll, I mean it's a wonderful place but that would be taking things a bit too far. Anyhoos, I'm not actively trying to work out who people are, some I know straight away, others I don't, of course I could be concerned by how well acquainted we may be! Just jesting.

Caraid from Glasgow

Maybe we should just have a header at the top of every blog that sends potential tourists to the Visit Coll website. They'd struggle not to visit after seeing that.

Caraid from Glasgow

Acutely - just to prevent a dispute arising I believe Caraid was making it clear that you obviously do live on the island because otherwise you wouldn't get to blog from Coll. Caraid was not insinuating that you may not be an islander. Does that mean I'm well acquainted with you as well?

Buzz from Glasgow

I know the person who posted this comment and i know what they are saying is true. What i am amazed at is how many people have nothing better to do with their time than write pointless crap about matters they simply do not understand. It is clear that writing these comments makes you feel better and vents your frustrations, but they have no relevance to the basic FACTS, which are laid out in the original comment. I wonder, would you all move so fast if a treat was dangled in front of your face!!

son-of-a-gun13 from scotland

Wow! This blog is taking some incredible turns. We seem to be discussing whether truth is subjective, whether the Land Court can solve the village crofting issue, and whether we actually know each other..... But given that we all agree on one thing - that Coll is beautiful (actually, I may not be entirely in agreement on that...) could we possibly discuss the merits of her flora and fauna, beaches and creatures, ferries and tractors, castles and corncrakes INSTEAD of the less attractive social issues? I'd love to hear what y'all have to say about the fact that Coll enjoyed a glorious day while the rest of the UK wrestled with gale force winds.

NatureLover from Coll

poisitve thinking..... we've been thinking in Scarinish bout lots of confusing issues regarding your comments. first you say Anney the Laird has no right to comment as she lives off the island, then yousay she has a house on croft land on coll, make your mind up, the lass is accused of lying, yet yougive no exact examples and ifnally she is called a foreing immigrant. If anyone is frightening folk from these isles it is comments like these. I know Coll well and i have never heard of anyone with a legal background on coll. perhaps if you know so much about crofting you can help the folks affected. Lying and whingeing,? we could give you someone on coll who takes that crown. Words such as foreign immigrants are not welcome on these blogs

Utterly confused from Scarinish

Utterly confused from Tiree, I would like to take this opportunity to make it clear, that I "AcutelyCurious" from Coll, am not responsible for "re-positively thinking" comments on the above blog, The above blog is unsigned. However, I do believe you have hit the nail upon the head of the "one" who claims the Crown. I too, feel disgusted by most of this blog.

AcutelyCurious from Coll

Acutely - and utterly confused. there is a legal person on the island, a woman who has a holiday home at Crossapol. She is a solicitor and may be able to help those in need of crofting advice. She is on and off the island but you may be able to catch her or ring her up. hope this help somewhat.

East Enders from Coll

NatureLover, I don't think this has to be an either/or situation. You all could talk about land, property, beasties, beauty, the excellence of the local pub, liff, the universe and everything. We too had a glorious day while mainland UK suffered foul weather. Hooray! Utterlyconfused, it's not up to you to say which terms are not welcome on these blogs; we leave that to Our Moderator who art in Beebland, of whom we are all very fond. And hope she survives trawling through all the stuff............

Flying Cat from A strangely peaceful Orkney

This is getting out of control, I think that the best way to sort all this out is for a good scrap, AC, Caraid, Buzz ( 1 or 2 I'm not sure, which one changed their name, or if it is legal ) Anney the Laird, The Good Dr. Saheed Raj, ( did I spell that correctly, as I don't want to be accused of racism ) Utterly confused, ( no it's not me ) and of course Re: Positive Thinking, I'll referee and hold the jackets for all of you.

thewhitesettler from erecting the boxing ring

Not many people on Coll bang on about being born and bred on Coll. It's a small place - there are not that many! The tone of this post is confrontational and almost threatening. Most people use the blog to spread news of Coll or to encourage a community spirit amongst folks who are familiar with Coll or would like to know it. Unfortunately, some other people behave in the blog as they do in real life - make a huge song of how they embody a place and yet spend every minute they can trying to damage and undermine it. One mans immigrant is anothers friend. Some people just don't like other people. Will always be the case.

Ghost of Christmas yet to come from Scotland

NatureLover, please blog !........Dr. Raj I cannot apologise on anyone else's behalf, but I hope this one comment does not put you off Coll. You and your children would undoubtedly be able to enjoy a great time on Coll and both locals and other visitors would make you feel very welcome. People of all different races and from all over the world have stayed on Coll and I am unaware of visitors being subject to racist or xenophobic abuse. This blog does not make it clear, but as far as I'm aware being a foreigner to Scotland does not automatically mean you are of a different race, nor does it mean that everyone who lives in Scotland is of one race. I am not an expert in semantics though and it doesn't help that the real 'experts' define race according to very different parameters. It is true, however, that the words used in this blog do now have racist and/or xenophobic assumptions attached to them, but taking the comment at truly face value it could be simply referring to a genuine immigrant from ANY country that is a foreign country to Scotland and is not necessarily a race issue! I work with people from all different races and cultures and seem to spend a lot of time reminding all of them, and myself, to be very careful not to assume racism from verbal or written comments made by someone they do not know. If in doubt, or if you feel you have been offended the first course of action would be to ask for clarification, as you have thankfully done in your comment. Unfortunately the Big Brother story has reached across the Atlantic. Despite being on live(?) television there seems to be a lot of dispute over what was actually said. I admit that what has been printed over here does require people to assume that there was racist intent behind the comments, this may be different to what has been written/viewed in Britain. I will never condone a truly racist attack but equally I know of no-one (Bolivian, Indian, Inuit, French...being some of the nationalities/races among my friends) who has not at some point unwittingly made a comment that someone else considered to be an attack on their race, culture, religion or nationality. This Big Brother girl has herself apparently been subject to bullying and is of mixed race, so it does beg the question 'Is she herself actually racist or is she just really stupid?' If we're honest with ourselves, we can all be guilty of unintentional comments that could construed as racist/bigoted and this girl may well be no more racist than anyone else in the world. It is good that the debate is truly out there instead of being hidden but I don't feel Big Brother has any place on Island Blogging as Channel 4 will just make more money from a very sad situation!

M from Canada

"Born and bred", "You bloggers", "Foreign", "Immigrants" ... Disappointed in the tone and language used by the person who posted here; it weakens the strength of their argument. It's also ironic, in this week with the debate on racism et al, that it sounds more like something Jade and her mob would say than a mature adult. At least the BNP will know who to approach to swell their membership...

Digital Sands from Berneray

Eastenders, So the woman at Crossapol is re-positive's "legal background" then? You are of course joking, aren't you?

AcutelyCurious from Coll

thewhitesettler - I enjoyed your little comment, I was recently gifted inflatable boxing gloves and have a friend with an inflatable sumo suit! Seriously, none of my above comments are confrontational, attacking or negative, if people read this into it then...this is the last time I say it... noone can or should assume a tone from the written word of someone whether they know that person or not. This is not me getting at you thewhitesettler, it's an all encompassing comment. Any negative tone to my comments is being assumed. We naturally assume tone of the written word and at my work we have had much hilarity doing an exercise about conciously not making these types of instinctive assumptions. You get 3 people to have a conversation for 10 minutes while you and 1 or 2 others stand to the side and write down what you see to be happening! When you then read them back, it is amazing how differently each person has viewed it, and how differently the people who were talking viewed the conversation. It sounds really basic and bizzare but it's a great eyeopener and (with thickskinned people) it's great fun too. We do it regularly as our work often relies on us being totally objective and not making any assumptions of what our clients are saying to us......I cannot speak for the intent of other people's blogs or comments but I try to read them without assumption and try to encourage others to do likewise. We all think everyone else does it, but we all do it ourselves, however hard we try not to. I won't be defending any past or future posts of mine anymore because it's tiring and really, people reading blogs need to accept that it is free speech, that there is no chance of everyone agreeing, that we do not know the circumstances, knowledge, experience or lack thereof of our fellow commenters, and most of all, that it IS moderated by the lovely Anne and she is doing a great job of what must be a very difficult task, I certainly don't envy her, and she rightly takes our concerns on board as she will Dr Raj's concerns and will have to make very difficult decisions about it. And no, she hasn't always agreed with me or AcutelyCurious or anyone else but I'm sure most of you, like me, can happily be friends/colleagues/family with people you have different opinions to, it's just life. This is blogs, full stop, be they about islands, Big Brother, or who cares what else. It's free speech, it's debate, it's fun, it can be challenging and sometimes unpleasant. It's life. I have objected to the nastiness and the 'thinly veiled' attacks on people that seem to be clearly identifiable to others. I reserve the right to join in a debate and to try and highlight the good of Coll, or put it into a global perspective where I feel others have been overly negative about this lovely place and have attacked it because of personal agenda. It's clear from the last lot of blogs/comments that we are all united on at least one front. We ALL want rid of any nastiness and we ALL love Coll.

Caraid from Glasgow

Ditto! Caraid, Ditto!

AcutelyCurious from Coll

Dr Raj is the person who initially expressed concern about racism (notably also on behalf of his children), he is also the one who rightly and in a dignified manner asked for further explanation on the comment made by the blogger. Caraid, way to go, if you read my post above you will see why this exercise you describe is one that I will be using in my work, maybe someday I'll get to tell you how it went, but a sincere thank you for a great idea. Digital Sands - you've got a great name for your loaction, it is not lost on me, I love those beaches. It seems that not only do we have to be careful about assuming tone in the written word but should we also be careful of attaching extra (particularly unkind) meanings to words that themselves are factual words and can have no intent, good or otherwise? I'm happy to admit that I will refer to myself as 'born and bred in ....' not a slur on anyone else but a quick way of explaining that I was born and spent all my formative years in the one place, ie '.....' For plenty of people this is not the case. Using 'foreign' and 'immigrant' together is indeed superfluous, but I imagine everyone on here is aware that 'foreign' simply means 'coming from another country' relative to the country in question (Scotland or Britain in this case). An 'immigrant' is just someone who has immigrated. If the intent behind these words has been racist then that is an issue, the words in themselves are not remotely racist and we should be careful not to assume racist intent of everyone who uses such words just because some undesirables hijack these words for racist purposes. Wrongly assuming racism where there is none (and I am choosing here to not refer to this blog OR comments above) is also a very dangerous thing and such errors have their own way of pushing support to political parties that have a very racist undertone.

M from Canada

Is it time that we all realise and put a bit of faith in who is moderating this site? This is the BBC, an organisation that will not have entered into this lightly, that has an international reputation to maintain, who have surely sought much legal advice before starting this and who will not have entered into it without giving long and hard consideration to the possibility of such situations arising as have arisen above. They will have drafted their very pleasantly named House Rules extremely carefully before such situations arose and they are sticking to these rules with no bias being shown to any person, race, gender, religion, age, body type... Our own Moderator Anne has been kind, courteous (and a little stern when it has indeed been required). I think she is making a great job of a task that I don't imagine any of us would want to take on. She will have read the blog/comments above carefully and has obviously not deemed them to break house rules, i.e. that the words in themselves have not been considered racist, even if our assumptions of the meaning make them so. I trust that Anne is truly objective in undertaking this task, something that we as people who all have an interest in Coll can maybe never truly be? I doubt any of us are as versed in either the House Rules or the essential legal considerations as the BBC will be making sure its moderators are, still, Anne welcomes us to contact her if we disagree with what postings are being allowed. That should surely be our method of recourse if we are truly unhappy about a comment. There will always be people whose intention is to have a go at others through blogs/comments and the like, it is futile and it seems that it harms us all. Anne I hope this is all okay with you, I felt that this rather essential consideration was missing from the ongoing discussion.

Jen from Oop North

son-of-a-gun13 from scotland, So you know the person who wrote this blog, you know the post contents to be true? You think everyone around you talks/writes crap? Would we move as fast if there was a treat dangled in front of us? NO, but you have!

AcutelyCurious from Coll

M from Canada - you reminded me of something..........I recently referred to 'eskimos'. Not a negative comment might I add, but I was happy for it to be brought to my attention that the correct term is apparently 'Inuit' (correct?) Just wanted to give an example of how I have recently and very unwittingly used an allegedly racist term through absolutely no malice or bad intent and where the correct response was simply to correct me. Thankfully as a world we do learn and many allegedly racist terms that were once frequently used have been replaced in the minds of the masses. If we keep our intent good and keep ourselves open to correction then I hope that we will not be referred to as racist for genuine mistakes.

Caraid from Glasgow

dr raj, just to assure you sir that not everyone uses these distasteful terms in the hebrides. everywhere has a minority of smal minded peoples, but speaking most frankly to you Dr raj i and my family have settled very nicely and find kindness and graditutes amongst peoles in hebrides. I also have family in kilhoan, ardnamurchan and they too are settled fine. no rudenss or remarks such as from our uneducated friend mr positve thinkger. I thank you sir.

Mr. Khan, happy-immigrant from Outer hebrides

Thanks for all your comments regarding the common grazing situation on Coll. It’s clearly a matter which is hugely important to those on the island and further afield. While we’re happy for Island Blogging to be a forum for debating local issues, perhaps it’s now time to think about focusing on different aspects of life on Coll. As ever, if you would like to discuss this with me, please email

Anne from IBHQ

Well.I did not intend to allow myself to get drawn into all this rubbish on the Blog site re Crofting,however due to the spurious nature of some of the Bloggers / Comments. Time for the reality of the situation. No Anney the Laird,reality is not as you state in any of your articles. And you are not the only one who has a selective take on matters I am the only tenant Crofter on Coll. I was the grazing constable on Arinagour Common Grazing,a post with specific duties,one of which was to advise of any potential problems on the grazings. This I did on two occasions. First one was relative to your property,Second was relative to the First Port Of Coll. Both properties were on the market and for sale. My function was to alert those involved including the Crofters Commission of potential problems regarding the status of the land. I have never stated that any property was on the Common Grazing, however it is my view that various areas of the grazing are now occupied by various people. This view was shared by those from the Crofters Commission who visited Coll on 7/8/9-11-2005, inspected the land in question ,met with those who they believed occupied Common Grazing land,which led to Seven resumption applications lodged with the Scottish Land Court within One week. So get the facts straight, I was only doing my duty and had people acted on my view they were not now in the situation reported. Remember Anney ,I did notify the Crofters Commission of the potential problem with your patch many months before your purchase. Remember also, I printed the appropriate form from the www site of the Land Court, your Husband,with my assistance filled it in, I recomended it be placed before your Solicitor to ensure I was not setting you up in any incorrect way. That was some three years ago. Someone chose not to progress the Resumption application in prefrence to endevour to prove that your property is not on Common Grazing. So forget your £14k you moan about . It was your choice. And it may still remain on Common Grazing. I did contact all who I believe are involved and pointed out what I thought they may be on Croft land and what i thought they should do. (Remember only someone with title to the land can resume) No one was interested in my view,in fact i was told i did not know what i was talking about. One family in particular will recall my comment that "a can of worms was about to open and in years to come many will wish it had remained closed". Now ,what opened the can of worms? Not the Crofter. It was Coll Community Council under the then Chairman Mr Angus Kennedy which wrote to various authorities including the Crofters Commission. It was the Crofters Commissioner who advised this Crofter to apply for an Apportionment which was to remedy the complaints of the Comunity Council. This I did, however the Crofters Commission have been unable to conclude this regulatory application of now Five years outstanding. I understand the Commission problem to be illegal occupants of the Common Grazing on which i am the sole grazier. One way or the other the problem will be resolved.( The proposed findings of the Ombudsman are now to hand) I have done all I can to resolve matters, It takes cooperation from all parties. I fail to recognise how inaccurate blogging or commenting will do anything other than aggravate the situation.

The Crofter CNK

So , an open invitation to all involved ,Crofters Commission, Affected Residents ,let us all agree to meet in the near future , Councillor Gilles remains willing to come to Coll (As he was last may when i tried to organise a meeting ) to offer his undoubted knowledge of Crofting, while representing all those affected in the current situation in discussions as to how best resolve the matter. You all know my phone number and where I live. I approached you all last May 2006, your turn to approach the Crofter in 2007 It is most interesting to to note those who complain of purported inaccuracies in the above blog,may I suggest they look at what they state. Little can be further from reality. Finally ,may i ask , What do all those Bloggers/ Commenters or anyone else with such knowledge of Crofting recommend the Crofter should or could do to resolve the situation? Please leave your resolution for Arinagour Common Grazing on the Blog site . I await with anticipation the resolution for which I have been searching. Should anyone come up with a resolution beyond the legal route which matters are on, which removes all the land in question from Common Grazing without resumption via the Scottish Land Court . I will donate £1000 to the Restoration fund for Coll Parish Church. Please see the appropriate Church site for details

The Crofter CNK

You may be wondering why The Crofter CNK’s comment was published after I had suggested we move on from this topic. I felt that he was due a right of reply here, having been alluded to on so many different occasions. The call for constructive comments to resolve the issue seems to be, well, constructive, so we’ll be happy to publish any such comments we receive. Again, if you would like to discuss this with me further please email me at

Anne from IBHQ

Re: The Crofter, CNK, thank you to Anne from IBHQ for allowing these posts. CNK, I am willing, and always have been willing to meet with Cllr Gilles and anyone else to resolve these serious and upsetting issues. But how can we do that when the boundaries are still not defined by the Scottish Land Court. There is so much ambiguity around these boundaries, claim after counter claim. I am relatively new to the island, and can only go on what I am told by the elders of the island insomuch as my "patch" was a drying green and a garage. Although you accuse me of being in born in or around 1922, I was not, therefore, I cannot say what was on the land or what was not on the land at the time of the 1922 map on which you base your claim. I would however, thank you for finally announcing to the world that you made people aware months before we purchased the property that there was a problem with the land. People have chosen not to believe me when I state that I bought the house in all innocence and was never told of the common grazing problem during the purchase and conclusion of the missives. Now you yourself have announced that you did notify the appropriate people. I do not have a selective take on matters, out of everyone concerned, after yourself, I probably know more about this issue than anyone else. The process is completely as you describe it, the land court defines the boundaries of the common grazing, the land is valued, be it garden ground, or development ground, and the "Graziers" get 50% in compensation of that sum, the landowner retains the other 50%. This 50% compensation is shared out amongst the graziers with shares in the common grazing. You are the only tenant crofter at the present time allegedly having 2.5 shares out of the 5 possible shares. You will therefore receive a quarter being half of 50% (Please correct me if I am wrong) With regard to the resolution of the problem and you donating £1,000 to the Church Fund, well here goes, and again I am willing to be corrected on any inaccuracies. I am not a crofting expert. Accept your apportionment. Plain and simple, once accepted you then have no further interest outside your area of apportionment. However, and it is a big however, and that is the remaining 2.5 shares. If another crofter were to apply for those shares, he/she too would be eligible to apply for an apportionment. - an apportionment being an area of grazing for the exclusive right of one crofter. As you have not accepted the apportionment offered to you in November 2005, they could apply for that area and again be eligible for compensation, just as you are. Therefore the only answer is to accept your apportionment once the boundaries are known, therefore relinquishing your interest in the gardens and house plots. This is all very complicated and I am probably talking rubbish, however, I am sure you will not hesitate to let me know how totally wrong and inaccurate I am. What the Crofter, CNK states re: helping us fill in forms to apply for resumption is correct. However, I reiterate, blogging is not the place to discuss complex crofting matters. I know you are all losing the will to live reading this, so I Thank you

Anney The Laird from Anney's Croft

jusst, intrested, the Crofter, CNK, could you not re-draw the boundaries of said common grazin. they are afterall notoriously dificult to prove. specially after a long period of time. this would then leave out said gardens and houses involved in the village. Hope you keep your promise and donate £1000 pound to your parish church. all crofters are watching the coll commongrazins case as it will have knockon effect to other crofters, councils and ferrie opertors if huge compensation payments are to be made. then this will indeed open up a great big, nastee, can of worms and not good for crofters anywheres.

Crofter Don from Lerwick

I note your comments Crofter Don. Please be advised that the Order of the Land Court with the accompanying ( In Colour)map which constituted the Common Grazings dated 05/07/1922 Signed by the Chief Surveyor for the board of Agriculture and approved by the Court and held by the Land Court, are the only documents available, in so far as I am aware. Is it not the case that an entire village on Shetland is built on Common Grazing? Similar to Arinagour. And yes , i will honour my pledge as stated. To Anney, How can I accept the apportionment when the Crofters Commission have not provided a boundary map of the area they have Apportioned . Remember, the 1922 map which was an integral part of the Apportionment application is where the Crofters Commission should have defined the boundary they are offering. So, till such time as the Commission provide detail of the apportioned area ,I can not accept the unknown apportionment.

The Crofter CNK from COLL

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