I predict Mrs Leask will not remove the Gollies from the shop. I never thought she would. I knew this before writing the original blog post. The Gollies define her. I can guarantee that Mrs Leasks stance is not representative of the people of Shetland or Lerwick described on its own website as “a bustling, cosmopolitan seaport with services and amenities only usually found in much larger places on the British mainland. “. Though there ahe been complaints at least now it is on national and international record.
In The Magpies Nest I circumvented confrontation and preferred the measured honest open medium of a blog. Also, I conformed with her transactional analysis that people like the “Gollies”. I bought one. Nothing about this was under cover, underhand or difficult to understand. I uploaded the blog while in Shetland. These are Mrs Leasks most popular, most contested products. She is totally aware of their effect. Racism feeds mostly off denial and denial is not a river in Shetland (or Egypt even).
But why get involved in the first place? Mrs Leask, I spoke with young people at two of your island’s schools, I met your shopkeepers and artisans from whom I bought cardigans and fudge. I ate fine food at Lerwick’s restaurants each night. I read poems on stage at your world class arts centre then under our sunrise I walked past your shop window and I saw the Golliwogs that you sourced from England. I was compelled to write because your shop window harms the reputation of your citizens and your country and our world.