26th May 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Little difference between them (Magnie Stewart)

Having followed the Scottish referendum and the General Election campaigns fairly closely, I have come to the conclusion that there is little to choose between the hate-filled, bile-spewing little Englanders of the British National Party and the English Defence League, and the hate-filled, bile-spewing little Scotlanders of the Scottish Nationalist Party.

Incidentally, why is it when an Englishman/woman hoists a flag of St George or a Union Jack, then, in some people’s eyes, he/she is deemed to be a racist little Englander, but if a Scottish or Welsh man/woman hoists a flag of St Andrew or St David, then he/she is deemed to be a proud patriot?

Magnie Stewart


  1. Robert Duncan

    Genuinely a little speechless. I do hope you’re just looking for a rise.

  2. Robin Stevenson

    Just as a guess Magnie, it might be something to do with the fact that this is Scotland? and as such the Saltire is our national flag, for some that chose to be a part of the union then they’d no doubt prefer to display the union jack, I personally, have no issue with those that choose to display the St George or indeed St David flags?
    “Hate filled bile spewing little Scotlanders”, could you possibly give me an example of this Magnie? I’ve certainly been on the receiving end of “Hate filled bile spewing little Englanders” AND [sadly] Scots, but much like the George Square incident on the 18th Sept 2014, the only hate and violence I witnessed came from our good “Better Together” friends, of course the media tried very hard to pretend that it came from the “Yes” camp too, which was utter nonsense to try to justify the horrendous actions from the pro-Union camp. So please try not to tar everyone with the same stick.

    • Ali Inkster

      “brush” Wrobin. It’s please don’t tar every one with the same “brush”. jees du can aa even get yun right.

      • Robin Stevensonr

        “You say Potato I say potato”, thanks for your correction Ali, but I think I’ll still continue to use mine 🙂


      • Ali Inkster

        Wrobin you may say potato, up here we say tottie.

      • Robert Sim

        Ali, if you are going to go around picking on folk because of trivial language points, you might want to note that it’s “canna” and not “can aa”, which would be rendered in English as “can all”.

      • Robin Stevenson

        “Tottie” is an expression we use a lot to describe certain individuals where I’m from Ali, you’ll be quite glad to know that you fall into this category 🙂

    • Gordon Harmer

      Robin here is a very recent example of what Magnie is speaking about involving Janet Street Porter.


      Although I do not go down the road of calling all nationalists “hate filled bile spewing little Scotlanders” they certainly do exist, as they exist on the Unionists side.
      It must also be said there are very decent folk on both sides of the fence, I know and indeed speak with decent nationalists. I have even met and talked to a decent SNP MSP in Linda Fabiani, I just find it difficult to understand how someone like Linda belongs to a party run by the likes of Sturgeon and formally Salmond.
      Weather you like it or not Robin there are those in both camps who can be tarred with the very stick you speak off. During the referendum I did admin on the Better Together Shetland Facebook page and was constantly bombarded with the kind of bile Magnie speaks of. Having said that the only Yes Facebook page that did not allow that kind of bile was Yes Shetland. It is just a pity that so many other pro nationalist social media sites behave in such manner so as to push someone as articulate as Magnie to say what he has.

      • Robert Sim

        Unfortunately, Gordon, Magnie produces not one shred of evidence to back up his over-the-top assertion – in which, you may care to note, he does not distinguish between a few SNP members or the majority: the implication of his letter is that ALL SNP members are “hate-filled, bile-spewing” individuals.

        I am not sure what your comment adds, except as a statement of the obvious that there are odious individuals online on all sides – who may not in all cases be members of a party. Your comment isn’t whiter than white either – what is the point of your personal comment about Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon?

      • John Jamieson

        I respectfully suggest that readers should go to the JSP article and spend a few minutes reading the comments now attached, if it get’s past moderation. If not search the comments for “Fredie1746”
        “Followers of Sturgeon should stop being loathsome. They could lighten up and do what they do best, namely; wear girly skirts, drink buck fast, eat deep fried Mars bars, finish the evening face down in their own vomit, take all the hand-outs from Westminster and moan about everything English.”
        Could this be an attempt at humour ?

  3. Robin Barclay

    Judging by the above and a spate of other comments here recently, I’m glad I’m not a member or committed supporter of any party. As far as I am concerned it is perfectly legitimate for Scottish or Welsh Nationalists to pursue their wish for those countries to leave the union that is the UK, and if they wish to send elected representatives to the UK Parliament at Westminster to represent their constituencies and, no doubt, to argue their case for their countries within or outwith the union. I may or may not vote for them, having tried to examine the issues and potential outcomes. If English Nationalists wish to organise themselves into a political party to take England out of the UK union (and the EU, and whatever else they want) that too is legitimate. However if any party wishes to promote English supremacy within the UK union, or drag the other countries of the union unwillingly out of Europe or any other significant treaty, or make Scottish or Welsh or N Irish MPs second-class members of the UK parliament with restricted voting rights, that should be resisted strongly by citizens (or is it subjects??) of the UK. It seems obvious that the only solution to preservation of a UK with devolved parliaments is federalism, otherwise if any of the current English nationalist views being pedaled (in England) prevail the UK will break up, and I will vote for it.

  4. Grant Redfern

    This letter hardly deserves a reply it is so ridiculous. But I want to thank you Maggie Stewart!! It was people like you, making comments like you have made today that helped an undecided voter like me to vote yes, and I’m so glad I did. I couldn’t be happier being on the other side of the debate from you and your close minded, offensive and uneducated views, which, I have to admit, is nothing but hate-filled and bile spewing, and quite fitting for the BNP and the EDL.

  5. Haydn Gear

    Setting aside the angry, vitriolic comments above it seems obvious to me that perfectly decent people who fly the Union Flag (not Jack unless it’s on a boat) or the flag of St. George are on the receiving end of a bad press because those flags have been hi – jacked by the despicable members of the BNP and the EDL. In short, if the flags of St. Andrew and St.David were also used the Scots and the Welsh would probably be stigmatised too. Of course, the BNP/EDL lot probably thought that the flags they chose would give them credence despite their uncouth,aggressive performances. They were clearly sadly mistaken.

  6. malcolm hutchison

    Im sure i read somewhere that the flag institute declared recently that the myth of the union jack only being called so whilst at sea was inncorrect, and that the union jack or his majestys jack was called so before jack staffs first appeared on ships,

  7. Haydn Gear

    Malcolm ,may I suggest you Google. —-where the Union Jack got its name from — — — quite interesting reading. The slightly odd anomaly is that whilst all three saints (George, Andrew and Patrick) were to combine St, David (a yellow cross on black) was left out. So our red dragon on green and white came into being. Actually, I think we are quite happy with that. Cymru am byth. !!!

  8. malcolm hutchison

    Ye im googled it?
    Also googled if its only caad a union jack at sea, and it appears not
    According t da flag institute.

  9. Haydn Gear

    OK Malcolm, it seems I’ve been misinformed.Even so, I suspect that there are not many people who take an interest in these kinds of things !!

  10. iantinkler

    The flag is “The Union Flag”. The mast it was flown from in The Royal Navy was “The Jack” mast. The Union Jack is a corruption of the two. The correct term is the Union Flag.

  11. Haydn Gear

    Thank you Ian for clarifying the situation. I think it’s fair to say that whenever certain issues are assumed to be right or wrong an explanation will not be far behind.!! It’s probable that we in Wales make a mistake year on year.On St. David’s day one would be likely to see a mass of red dragon flags and virtually no black and yellow flags of St. David. Maybe the “religious” fervour of rugby internationals (with the red dragon flag) has overtaken the dwindling chapel fervour. A sign of the times no doubt.

  12. Haydn Gear

    As a belated follow on to the various comments about the Union Flag/ Union Jack a painting of the ship ( artist unknown) built in the reign of Charles 1 , called Sovereign of the Seas depicts it flying the red ensign with the red cross of St George in a corner. The ship was later renamed twice. The point is, the ship belonged to the English Navy not the British or Royal Navy so , on the face of it the issue of Union Flag or Jack is irrelevant.

  13. ian tinkler

    Try this image and print Haydn. Check the Jack staff. Flag look familiar?
    HMS ‘Sovereign of the Seas’, 1637.
    Payne, John
    © Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

    Contemporary copper plate engraving by John Payne. The ‘Sovereign of the Seas was designed by Phineas Pett, Commisioner at Chatham Dockyard, was laid down at Woolwich in 1636, and launched on 13 October 1637.

  14. Haydn Gear

    Interesting Ian. What is clear however is that there has been a lot of convoluted thinking and behaving since the 17th century. Thank goodness the SNP show much more sense !!!!!!!!!!!! Joke. If you Google Charles 1 Sovereign of the Seas a list of information pertaining to ” our” ship appears and next to Career is the red and white flag of St. George within the red ensign. It’s all very odd. Anyway, maybe it’s time to either show the white flag or the skull and crossbones !!

  15. iantinkler

    Haydn Gear, note the Jack Staff on The Royal Prince, Commissioned 1610. Perchance with your arty knowledge you could date the picture?

  16. John oakes manchester England

    Haydn the reason why wales is not affiliated to the union flag is do with Edward longshanks defeating the welsh. Result in making the country a principality to this day. In effect a county like cumbria Northumberland or cornwall. The name welsh is a derivative from the anglosaxons meaning foreign waeles in kernwaeles. They title is britons or roman britons a name given by roman Empire to subject the celtic tribes all over these lands. Scotland didn’t really come into being until the tribe from Ireland merging with picts and North celts. Being myself English and proud and despised by three quarters of the globes population I understand at present. We now accept scotland is a lost cause in media terms after the introduction of the devolution referendum. This has created the wounds we see todate via the media outlets and encourage by the three wise monkeys we have in Westminster bubble set.

  17. Haydn Gear

    Sorry, but not being a marine artist Ian, I cannot provide a date but I’ll try to follow it up. However, I have had a look at the variables of the name Pett, Petts, Peat etc etc. I know of a Welsh artist (engraver and stained glass maker) who lived 1914- 91. Though time was spent in Snowdonia, he eventually came to live in my home town. He gained prominence through his work done in Birmingham, Alabama at the time of Martin Luther King and the race riots. Worth looking up. Harking back to previous letters, I think the work of Petts provides the kind of valuable input to human life which may not be wealth producing in the material sense but does provide insights , actions and a sense of what is right and wrong.How does one place value on that except through understanding the very real need to constantly try to repair unacceptable fractures in society– all societies?

  18. Haydn Gear

    John , apart from your statements of obvious facts well known to us in Wales,I found myself wondering what was intended by you. All the more peculiar that it should be happening between an Englishman and a Welshman through the medium of the on-line Shetland times! First , let me say that I feel sorry (but only a bit!) for the English who seem to be paranoid about their identity. Who exactly are they? I suggest they seem to be so mixed up they are like mongrels chasing their tails however proud they claim to be. At least the Welsh, Scots and Shetlanders don’t have that problem. From a Welsh perspective, many years of repression have not been forgotten.Is it any wonder that in rugby terms, England are called the old enemy?And car stickers say “I support Wales and anyone else playing England”. It’s annoying, but more and more English (mainly southerners) are retiring r relocating to Wales mainly because money buys more and, of course, a better quality of life awaits them. Enough, enough, stay away !! Finally , Tywysogaeth Cymru is effectively a myth (Principality of Wales). Wales is officially, legally etc a country. The title prince of Wales is an honorary title bestowed by the monarch and,thankfully, he holds no constitutional responsibility.It is an invented tradition intended to retain power but its days must be numbered.When I attend the Remembrance day service in November at our war memorial only one of two anthems is sung with gusto!


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