New Law Bans Mapmakers From Putting Shetland In A Box

1771-zannoni-map-of-the-british-isles-england-scotland-ireland-KCDGWMThere is a bizarre new rule in Scotland’s Islands Bill that bars mapmakers from showing the island of Shetland in a box. That is a standard approach to allow a large map of Scotland by not having to show the expanse of water between Scotland and Shetland.  That made Shetland feel . . . well . . . boxed and isolated.  So now the legislature is ordering mapmakers how to make maps — a ridiculous overreach of legislative authority in my view.

The Shetland Islands are roughly 152 miles from the Scottish mainland.  It is a common practice to put Shetland in a box as shown by this 1771 map.

The new law requires that the island is to be “displayed in a manner that accurately and proportionately represents their geographical location in relation to the rest of Scotland” in any documents published by Scottish public authorities.

The United Kingdom, as we discussed again today, has taken a head long plunge into speech regulations and crimes.  This practice is based on the individual mapmakers view of the ideal portrayal of the land masses.  That is a form of expression that is now being directly limited by government demand. It is akin to ordering journalists to refer to Shetland as “the nearby island of Shetland.”

The  “mapping requirement” allows an exception for a showing of necessity but it is not clear what is required for such a showing and, if it is left up to the mapmaker, why this law is being passed.  The bill would require maps showing mostly sea — limiting the ability to make larger or more inclusive depictions.


22 thoughts on “New Law Bans Mapmakers From Putting Shetland In A Box”

  1. It figures Shetland would pitch a fit about cartography. Their ponies are totally unsuitable for children. Judges ruined the traditional native working pony with the fluffy winter coat by selecting for action and energy. Now the little firecrackers are easily upset and come unglued at nothing. They’ve ruined the breed for children. They look pretty but lack discernment and good temper, like Hollywood.

    If the UK votes to be treated like children then that’s how it’ll be.

    Welcome to Fahrenheit 451.

  2. Another piece of evidence, in case you needed one, that the Scottish National Party is a collecting pool of wankers.

    1. I was about to ask what a Shetland Pony is when I saw this comment. So. What is a Shetland Pony and does anyone have a photo of one which they could put on the screen here?

      1. Modern Shetland Liberty Class, in which they desire the horse to show lots of “animation” and “brilliance”, basically running around acting nutty. Animation refers to how high it is trotting, with lots of hock action. Definitely not for a beginner learning how to ride. The kind of pony you’d want for your kid would stick around the handler after being let loose and stand there, looking totally boring.

        Moms and Dads make this fateful pronouncement, dooming their children, “Ohhhhhh, look, it’s the Black Stallion! He’s not broke to ride AND he’s a stallion. I’ll bet junior could learn how to ride by breaking him himself!”

  3. Unfortunately, Scotland and Great Britain in general are getting the government they deserve – because they voted it in.

    Westminster parliamentary democracy mirrors British communities to a degree we really don’t see much in Congress, so we have to assume the British people elect Members of Parliament and give them permission to inflict idiocy like this on them.

    I’ve often wondered what would happen if we increased the size of Congress so that each Representative had a district the size of an average US county or parish, and each state was allotted a number of Senators proportional to its population (so that the citizens of, say, California and Texas were as well-represented in the Senate as Alaska and Maine are).

    Then I look at what happens in Great Britain, in which MPs have even smaller districts than the average US county, and the House or Lords also have comparatively small constituencies, and am thankful for our republican system, warts and all.

    1. Jean Lafitte – there were 12 Amendments sent to the states, only 10 were passed. The two that didn’t were one for direct election of Senators which later became the 19th Amendment and that there be one Congressperson for every 50,000 people in the official Census. That model was unofficially followed until the Congress was frozen at 365 members.

      1. PC Schulte,..
        435 House members, not 365.
        Just in case it comes up if you’re ever on Jeopardy, or playing trivial pursuit😉.

        1. Tom Nash – Thanks, I knew it had a 5 in it somewhere. 😉 I really am embarrassed. That is something I should not have missed.

          1. Their parliament is far more entertaining than ours…Their country however is much smaller about the size of an average State. There is nowhere in Britain where one can be more than 100 miles from the ocean.

    2. Your proposal would mean that highly populated California and New York would set policy for the entire nation. All other states would have no say at all in government.

      This is also why we use the electoral college. Otherwise, the most populous states would pick the President and rule the land, and the rest would become the dumping ground with nary the power to complain about it.

  4. Okay, they clearly have too many bureaucrats working in the UK. They need to start a hiring freeze and then thin them out from the top down.

    1. One can see how it became the birthplace of Monty Python. Their bureaucratic skits are some of my favorites.

        1. Michael Aarethun – have you watched Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister? They are used in UK government classes to show the reality of the elected officials working(?) with or against(?) the permanent administrators. If you have not seen it, track it down. Very funny.

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