21st February 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

WATCH: Fiery end to Lerwick Up-Helly-A’

Smoke filled the sky above Lerwick on Tuesday evening as the galley Yggdrasil met a fiery demise for Up-Helly-A’.

Crowds of locals and tourists gathered to watch the procession and the galley burning on a cold, clear night.

Around 845 torchbearers marched through the town, led by Guizer Jarl Liam Summers.

The guizers followed their well-worn path along the streets surrounding the town hall, ending up in King George V Playing Field, where they circled Yggdrasil before throwing their torches into the galley.

The galley was named after the Tree of Life in Norse mythology, which grew from the deepest depths up to the stars.

The burning followed a day of festivities, including a civic reception at the town hall and numerous public appearances. 

And things don’t stop there – celebrations are set to continue at halls across the town, with the guizers putting on a show into the early hours of the morning.

About Charley-Kai John

View other stories by »


  1. Elizabeth Moneypenny

    I dream of visiting the Shetlands. One day I will. As a manxwoman I know how it feels to be an islander but we dont have an up helly A.

    • Ali Inkster

      You have something much much better, self rule.

  2. Peter Hamilton

    The Isle of Man also has a flag, adopted in 1933, featuring a symbol white supremacists may recognise.

    Looking further into this I found an interesting article: “White Supremacists Have Weaponized an Imaginary Viking Past. It’s Time to Reclaim the Real History”, (Time Magazine, April 2019) by Dorothy Kim, an Assistant Professor of Medieval Literature. https://time.com/5569399/viking-history-white-nationalists/

    As a woman, Dorothy’s perspective will likely be judged totally irrelevant by a notable few, but I was particularly interested to learn:

    “Crucially, they (Vikings) were not homogeneous seafarers as is often imagined; they were multicultural and multiracial.”

    Dorothy links this to another article: “Vikings were never the pure-bred master race white supremacists like to portray”, (The Conversation, September 2017) by Clare Downham, Senior Lecturer, University of Liverpool, another woman who, like Dorothy, may not be Shetland born.

    Clair points out: “The word “Viking” entered the Modern English language in 1807, at a time of growing nationalism and empire building. In the decades that followed, enduring stereotypes about Vikings developed, such as wearing horned helmets and belonging to a society where only men wielded high status”.

    Who is allowed to guess at what could possibly inspire the far extremes of LUHA defensiveness?

    • Ali Inkster

      Everybody except you is a nazi Peter.
      The Three Legs of Man date back to the 13th century and has sweet fanny adams to do with white supremacists.

      • John Thomas

        Everybody except you is a communist Ali.
        The Swastica dates back to the paleolithic and has sweet fanny adams to do with white supremacists.

        So because the Three Legs was in use before the concept of white supremacy, it could never ever have been adopted by white supremacists later. Good logic there Ali. Like that’s not even possible. Case closed.

      • Ali Inkster

        Well if it is a far right symbol it is ironic that it was introduced to Man by a scoti. 😉
        “The national symbol of the Isle of Man is the Three Legs. The true origins of this ancient motif are lost in the mists of time but it is thought to have been introduced to the Island by Alexander III of Scotland after he gained control of Manx territory in 1265. Alexander had family connections with Sicily, who had adopted a three-legged version of the sun symbol hundreds of years previously. The Manx legs were originally bare-legged but by the fourteenth century were clothed in armour and spurs. The legs are usually seen to run clockwise and carry the Latin motto ‘Quocunque Jeceris Stabit’ meaning ‘it will stand whichever way you throw it’ – a reference to the independence and resilience of the Manx people.”

  3. Peter Hamilton

    Before he gets further distracted by personal animosity, Ali may like to contemplate this from the Greater Manchester Police Counter Terrorism Branch Prevent Team on the domestic terrorism threat posed by the extreme right wing (XRW):

    …the German Nazi Party glorified an idealized “Aryan/Norse” heritage. As a result, the XRW have appropriated many symbols from pre-Christian Europe for their own uses. They give such symbols a racist significance, even though the symbols did not originally have such meaning…
    …Known as the ‘triskele’ – essentially a variation on the swastika, and popular for that reason. The triskele was a symbol occasionally used by the Nazi regime, most notably as the insignia for a Waffen SS division composed of Belgian volunteers. After World War II, the “Three Sevens” version of the triskele was popularized by white supremacists in Europe and South Africa.”

    So I’ll take it as read that my claim that white supremacists might recognise the symbol on the Isle of Man flag stands.

    Ali’s diverting claim that everyone except me is a nazi seems a bit extreme by comparison. Unlike him.

    That aside, maybe non-defensive Ali won’t continue to ignore what Clair and Dorothy have had to say.

  4. Ian Tinkler

    Peter Hamilton, please give it a rest. Have you no original opinion of our own? Must you drip endlessly socialist dogma, quoting left-wing academics from highly dubious universities with views that defy common sense?
    It does not take too much brain to dismiss the idiocy of linking The Vikings to Nazi philosophy. Our followers of Odin predate Hitler by more than a thousand years. Incidentally what Clair and Dorothy have to say is utterly irrelevant to Lerwick Up-Helly-A, just another bit of presumptions hogwash. A type of pseudo-academic idiocy with all the relevance and use a goldfish has for a motorbike.

    • John Thomas

      Much as I hate to point this out,
      “It does not take too much brain to dismiss the idiocy of linking The Vikings to Nazi philosophy. Our followers of Odin predate Hitler by more than a thousand years.”

      Peter didn’t say that though. Another Tinkler straw man perchance?

      The lefty academic was saying that the symbols were co-opted by the Nazis, not created.

      What’s your evidence that they didn’t? I lack the brains to find out myself.

      Is the Tinkler / Thomas alliance cracking after a promising start? One hopes not.

    • Peter Hamilton

      Mmm. Ian Tulloch has decided Clair hails from a dubious university (Liverpool) but previously she was at Aberdeen.

      He derides her views as “utterly irrelevant to Lerwick Up-Helly A'”. Normally such a bold statement would be followed up by some actual reasoning, but he just leaves it hanging, flacidly unsubstantiated.

      Her point again was: “The word “Viking” entered the Modern English language in 1807, at a time of growing nationalism and empire building. In the decades that followed, enduring stereotypes about Vikings developed, such as wearing horned helmets and belonging to a society where only men wielded high status”.

      Maybe Ian is right that this has nothing to do with LUHA, but he hasn’t exactly proven his case. In fact, by attacking her and Dorothy he has helpfully done exactly what I had predicted others would when I had said of Dorothy: ” As a woman, Dorothy’s perspective will likely be judged totally irrelevant by a notable few”. You couldn’t make it up.

      Nice to see Ian Tinkler and John Tulloch reuniting as brothers in arms, but their arguments are in dire straights.

    • Brian Smith

      I am chuckling at Ian Tinkler’s view that Clare Downham is a left-wing academic from a highly dubious university. She isn’t. But she is one of our foremost experts about vikings …

      • Ian Tinkler

        Clare Downham . The University of Liverpool is ranked in the top 200 universities worldwide rankings. Hardly a top place, Even the Scottish do a bit better, Edinburgh 20th !!!.
        NB not one from the EU in top 20. Very sad. As for Dorothy Kim!!! Brandeis University, where?

        2020 world ranking

        1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)More
        United States
        2 Stanford UniversityMore
        United States
        3 Harvard UniversityMore
        United States
        4 University of OxfordMore
        United Kingdom
        5 California Institute of Technology (Caltech)More
        United States
        6 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of TechnologyMore
        7 University of CambridgeMore
        United Kingdom
        8 UCLMore
        United Kingdom
        9 Imperial College LondonMore
        United Kingdom
        10 University of ChicagoMore
        United States
        =11 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)More
        =11 National University of Singapore (NUS)More
        13 Princeton UniversityMore
        United States
        14 Cornell UniversityMore
        United States
        15 University of PennsylvaniaMore
        United States
        16 Tsinghua UniversityMore
        China (Mainland)
        17 Yale UniversityMore
        United States
        Columbia UniversityMore
        United States
        =18 EPFL – Ecole Polytechnique Federale de LausanneMore
        20 The University of Edinburgh United Kingdom

      • Ian Tinkler

        Now Brian, If you really want an authority on the Vikings Look to Professor James Montgomery.
        Senior Letcureships at Oslo and Leeds Universities, now Cambridge University. Nothing obscure about that place!!!

      • Brian Smith

        You mean the Professor of Arabic?

  5. John Tulloch

    @Peter Hamilton,

    Under the Norse regime that governed Shetland for over 500 years, the isles were self-governing and democratic. Pretty socialistic, too, for then-a-days.

    Udal Law saw to it that it was difficult to amass vast tracts of land as it was split among the heirs and there were local parliaments or tings that organised local societies. Even the Norse kings were elected, not appointed by heredity.

    Shetland was pawned as part of a 1469 Denmark-Scotland marriage/alliance deal with strict conditions. Among other conditions, neither law nor language could be changed.

    Scotland broke the terms of the agreement, including preventing Denmark rom redeeming the pawn. They committing oppression and ethnic cleansing. The language and law were changed and the population was effectively enslaved until they were finally emancipated by the British prime minister William Gladstone in 1886.

    Chapter and verse can be found in Stuart HIll’s legal history treatise, “The Stolen Isles”.

    Don’t you agree, it’s time the Scottish government owned up to Scotland’s nefarious past actions in Shetland and apologised to the descendants of those affected, with appropriate reparations, where applicable?

    • John Thomas

      That would be super. Especially the reparations. What’s my share?

    • Brian Smith

      John Tulloch’s inaccurate conspectus of Shetland’s history shows how important it is to avoid Hill’s Stolen Isles.

      • John Tulloch


        A summary is, by definition, “inaccurate”. Scottish nationalists, knowing the importance of independent Scotland retaining the isles, seek to blur the historical facts.

        Chris Huhne MP famously described allegations about him dodging a speeding charge as “inaccurate”. He was unable to use the word “untrue” and was later sentenced to eight months in jail.

        I realise winners always rewrite history to suit their own purposes. However, if you want to rubbish Stuart Hill’s treatise, you need to do a bit more than describe my briefest of summaries as “inaccurate”.

    • Ian Tinkler

      Ibn Fadlan (Arabic: أحمد بن فضلان بن العباس بن راشد بن حماد‎‎ Aḥmad ibn Faḍlān ibn al-ʿAbbās ibn Rāšid ibn Ḥammād, fl. 921–22) was a 10th-century Arab traveler, famous for his account of his travels as a member of an embassy of the Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad to the king of the Volga Bulgars, known as his Risala (“account” or “journal”) His account is most notable for providing a detailed description of the Volga Vikings, including an eyewitness account of a ship burial.
      One of the earliest detailed descriptions of the Vikings is reported in the account Ibn Fadhlan wrote after his travels in Northern Europe. In 921 CE Arab Muslim writer and traveler Ibn Fadhlan was sent as the secretary to an ambassador from the Abbasid Caliph al-Muqtadir from Baghdad to the Volga Bulgars by the Black Sea and the Caspian. The mission itself was something of a bust. But while there, Ibn Fadhlan recorded his encounter with a band of traders from the North,
      Interesting is it not.

      • Ian Tinkler

        And not a single white supremacist to be see.!!!

  6. Peter Hamilton

    John Tulloch appears to be trying to create a needless grudge against the other for his own ends, which is something even those with a casual interest in history will have seen before. It is a tried and tested way of creating ethnic differentiation and fuelling tension.

    Shetland, we should understand from John, was exceptional. No other distinctive part of what is now Scotland had ever previously fallen under the expanding feudal yoke. 500 year old marriage contracts between Kings must dictate the way we now see things. Nonsense on stilts.

    That aside, it is interesting John hasn’t engaged with Dorothy’s broader argument. She differentiates between Scandinavian settlers and Viking seafarers. Shetland’s Scandinavian past did happen and Vikings did take to the seas, but there seems to be something of a fantasy land overlap going on. This is just fine so long as it doesn’t feed darker fantasies.

    How many original Shetlanders (presumably hailing from the South not the West) took to the seas with the pirates is perhaps conjecture. Is anyone allowed to wonder if they ever questioned the incomers right to have a say?

    Some parts of history really should stay in the past. Divided we fail.

  7. John Tulloch

    Brian Smith and Peter Hamilton obviously don’t agree that the Scottish government should apologise to the descendants of those affected by the tyranny imposed in Shetland (and Orkney) over hundreds of years by the Scottish authorities and their place men.

    No more self-governing tings. It was the tyrannical rule of Earl Patrick Stewart and lesser, villainous “lairds” who amassed vast tracts of land under the new Scottish feudal law regime and oppressed the increasingly Scottish population over hundreds of years, until Westminster passed the Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act, 1886.

    Throw in the similar story from Orkney and it’s clear an apology is needed.

    Brian and Peter sound like those people in America who deny history and resist the idea that the descendants of slaves should receive an apology from the US government and, indeed, reparations.

    Or perhaps, they only want that principle to be applied in countries other than Scotland?

    • Peter Hamilton

      I am cheerfully predicting Brian Smith holds no candle for the feudalism of the past, or for ongoing feudal attitudes.

      Looking back, as John Tulloch plainly loves to do, I can’t help but wonder if he has any concerns for the original inhabitants of wir Shetland.

      It is possible to take a Nordic fetish too far. Perhaps that’s why they call it Stockholm Syndrome.

      • Ali Inkster

        As A direct descendant of the original inhabitants of these isles I guess I’m living proof that the original inhabitants and the norse got along just fine. Unlike the history promoted by Brian and others.

  8. Peter Hamilton

    I guess there is a bit of conjecture around how welcome Shetland’s original women and men made the new arrivals from the East feel.

    Those on St. Ninian’s Isle thought it wise to hide their treasure for some reason or other.

    • Ian Tinkler

      When was the treasure buried?
      The treasure may have been buried at the end of the 8th or beginning of the 9th century AD, when Viking raids on Scotland first began. Alternatively, as the objects show signs of significant use, they may have been hidden centuries later. (St Ninian’s Isle treasure fact file)
      It is highly probable this treasure was hidden from the vicious Scotish Lairdes who ruthlessly plundered and oppressed Shetland between 1469 and 1886.
      It is highly probable we will burry our treasures again if the Socialist hoards of the SNP ever descend on us!!!

      • Peter Hamilton

        Highly probably proof here for Ali and Ian the early Vikings just came over to play board games: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/feb/06/boardgame-piece-first-viking-raid-found-lindisfarne-archaeology

        The “journalist” reporting on the archeological find claims “historians” state the Vikings were actually raiding, rather than, as we all know to be true, innocent participants in a cultural exchange programme.

        This self same “journalist” is in reality actually a woman though, so should therefore obviously be disregarded.

  9. Rosa Steppanova

    Yes Ali, and your assertion is of course confirmed by the countless Pictish placenames we have in Shetland.

    • Michael Garriock

      Rosa Steppanova: Quite ironic really that in making your point, you have also managed to provide proof of the ‘negative’ impact of all influxes of ‘foreigness’ upon Shetland ‘culture.

      Exchange Pictish in your sentence for Shetland, and it remains equally true. The Norse influence on Shetland placenames lasted approx 650 years, the Scots/British influence on Shetland placenames has been ongoing for approx 550 years. By the time we get around to 2120 there will be as few Shetland placenames left in use as there were Pictish ones after 650 years of Norse influence. By the time approx 2720 gets here there will be no more Shetland placenames left in use than there are Pictish ones right now.

      Don’t kid yourself that preserving them in the written word on maps and signposts will halt the rot. OS Mapmakers butchered many names to be nothing like their original when they made the first maps of Shetland, and regrettably it is their butchered versions which stand, not the correct pronounciation, and that’s happened in only 150 years. The culture, lifestyle and language which created and supported the placenames is all but gone, and ever fewer people can pronounce them properly.

      Change, changes, inevitably.

    • Ali Inkster

      As the norse were here long before the raid on Lindisfarne trading living naming their surroundings. it is no surprise there are a lack of pictish names. Just as there are very little in the way of pictish place names in what was pictland before the scotii invaded from ulster

    • Ali Inkster

      The picts themselves were invaders who displaced the original iron age inhabitants of Shetland.

      • Brian Smith

        I’d love to know where Inkster gets this stuff

      • Graham Fleming

        The picts,is a Latin name for people that were calling themselves Caledonians(gall daoine or gael daoine)foreign or Gaelic people, the papar,had a least nine sites in the Shetlands,and seen the islands as stop off points to the Faroes and Iceland(innis tile,or Island of Thule),they called Shetlaun,Innse Cat or the islands of the cat people, who were also further south in Cataibh(caithness and sotherland,)St Brendan in the fifth century described a lot of the papar sites throughout Erin agus Alba in his famous journey that went past the land of fire(thule),The Noordman acknowledges the Vestman were the original inhabitants at Vestmanna and Vestmanjar by naming them after the Gaels and Grimur Kamban was a Gallgael not a pure Noordman,tha gu dearbh.

      • Ali Inkster

        From a more accurate source than you Brian

      • Mark Snowflake Smith

        There’s an ancient stone carving in the hills of Clivocast which appears to show that the Neolithic and Bronze Age Shetlanders really didn’t appreciate those Iron Age folk coming up here, with their new-fangled metal and their stupid brochs. Evidence suggest the real Shetlanders had managed just fine until then, living in holes and making shoes out of sandstone.

  10. Peter Hamilton

    Yes Rosa, and I’m sure those first Viking arrivals will have politely waited at least a couple of generations for having the temerity to seek any say on local affairs. They have an international reputation for being mannerly after all.

    And as for any academic notions that they grabbed the land and subordinated local men, well what could academics possibly know? It was clearly all total harmony ubtil the Scotties turned up.

    It is all beginning to become clearer. We are stuck in an invented romantische era.

  11. Peter Hamilton

    The full fiction relies on forgetting Scots had Norse and Pictish ancestry too, and weren’t up to much more than the Vikings did do.

    How all this can equate to the multitude of sins that was the colonial slave trade etc. in John Tulloch’s mind is more than a bit troubling though.

    Maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised. The Romantic Era did fuel dark fantasies which we know linger on in less enlightened parts.

    Happily all this is a million miles away from the streets of Lerwick which, as we all know, is totally free of a unique brand of racism built on banal distortions, incomplete understandings, myths and half-truths.

    Perhaps that notorious imperialist Brian Smith can shine a little more light on how we got to this point.

  12. Brian Smith

    It’s extraordinary how Inkster, Tinkler and Tulloch pontificate about historical eras they know nothing about, and texts they haven’t even looked at. For those who like to read I strongly recommend Clare Downham’s collection of essays No Horns on their Helmets? Essays on the Insular Viking Age, Aberdeen 2013.

  13. Peter Hamilton

    For those who like to receive information by listening, BBC Radio 4 is this week currently broadcasting British male geneticist Dr Adam Rutherford speaking in five 14 minute long programmes titled: How to Argue with a Racist.

    In the first he noted that racism against people from a particular country was “an equivalent form of cultural racism”.

    In the second he states: “many of the arguments put forwards by racists centre around belonging to specific demographics, the othering of different groups and the displacement of people”.

    Episode three is particularly interesting as it debunks a lot of assumptions made by people attributing any significance to their proven ancestry and highlights the inadequacy of the genetics testing industry.

    Some Shetland separatists do appear to use arguments Adam Rutherford would recognise, arguments which sadly occasionally surface in the UHA debate.

    For people who wish to consider whether or how white supremacists have weaponized a fake Viking past, whether or not they care to engage with the research from Dorothy or Clair above, Adam is worth a listen.

    Today’s episode focuses more on sporting prowess and provides no scientific argument for why women in Lerwick shouldn’t carry torches.

  14. Ian TInkler

    “For people who wish to consider whether or how white supremacists have weaponized a fake Viking past, whether or not they care to engage with the research from Dorothy or Clair above, Adam is worth a listen.”
    The only person I have ever heard mention “white supremacists have weaponized a fake Viking past, ” is you, Peter Hamilton. No one else at all.
    With regard to Dorothy or Clair, just what have they to do with Lerwick UHA? Absolutely nothing at all!!! Incidentally, my sister earned her Ph.D (pathology) at UCL then her MRC.Path. We spent many a good time at UCL, Dr Adam Rutherford’s stomping ground I believe.

  15. Ian Tinkler

    Further to the above, my sis was a senior consultant and lectured at UCL/UCH where Dr Rutherford was a student. She actually may have taught him. Small World is it not! Now she is a scary lady!!!!!

  16. James Mackenzie

    Three things have sprung to mind reading these comments.

    1. I recall that DNA studies done with Icelanders revealed that their origins were Azerbaijani – apparently displaced northwestwards by either Greek or Roman imperialist expansion.

    2. The Nobel prize-winning epic “Independent People” by Halldor Laxness gives a pretty damning indictment of the male prowess so fondly imagined in the sagas by the novel’s protagonist Bjartur – contrasting with the way he treats “his” womenfolk.

    3. A recent review of Adam Rutherford’s book “How to Argue with a Racist: History, Science, Race and Reality” concludes: “One has to admire [Rutherford’s] desire to challenge Jonathan Swift’s dictum: ‘Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired.'” (Manjit Kumar, The Guardian, 1/2/2020)

  17. John Tulloch

    For a purported historian, Smith doesn’t interpret my comments very accurately and tries to conflate them with others’ statements.

    I did not mention the invasion of Shetland by pre-Norwegian Viking adventurers and warlords. Norway did not exist as a country at that time.

    I referred to the aftermath of the pawning of Shetland, 500 years later, by the king of Denmark (and Norway), and the Scots’ blatant disregard for its terms; notably, the changing of the law and language and the oppression and indeed, ethnic cleansing, of the population, causing Denmark to threaten war. The Scots backed off on that occasion.

    However, Earl Patrick Stewart and the lairds continued the tyrannical reign until the British prime minister William Gladstone put the Crofters’ Holdings (Scotland) Act, 1886, into law.

    Sadly, that was too late for my great-great grandfather and his family who were evicted and kept alive by the charity of neighbours over the following winter.

    It’s quite clear that Brian Smith and Peter Hamilton feel there is nothing to apologise for to the descendants of those disenfranchised and oppressed.

    Throw in the infamy of the Highland Clearances and the Scottish government has plenty of apologising to do.

    • Robert Wishart

      We can blame the Scottish government for underfunding education or ferries; but for the highland clearances? Get a grip.

      • Peter Hamilton

        Robert, I am afraid John Tulloch is actually trying to whip up an ethnic grievance here where none is justified. All parts of Scotland were subject to the socio-economic system of feudalism. Some entered it earlier and some left it later. Similarly with the enclosures in England.

        It is dangerous and nasty. He is trying to weaponize a past he wants us to think is exclusive to Shetland, create a divide and a fuel a grudge. Those on the receiving end were not a breed apart from those responsible.

        Perhaps it is now time to worry about the extent to which some of the Shetland exceptionalism nonsense around LUHA may fuel racism and ethnocentrism in Shetland, and vice versa.

        At their best Shetland’s Fire Festivals serve to being communities together but some participating may be marching to a different tune.

      • John Turnbull

        We didn’t have a Scottish Government at the time of the Highland clearances. If we did I am certain the current Scottish Government would outlaw it.

      • Peter Hamilton

        It is important we recognise and call out what John Tulloch is up to here.

        Lairds were oppressive across Scotland. The clearances followed the enclosures and weren’t directed at Shetland alone.

        John wants to pit Shetlanders against Scots in Shetland, magnify small differences, whip up grievances and create unnecessary division.

        In truth he is weaponising a distorted history: the Scots did this, the Scots did that. No. A handful of folk in power did. Meanwhile they were up to the same south.

        Talk like this fuels xenophobia and racism, resulting not just in entrenched attitudes but also verbal and physical assaults.

      • Brian Smith

        Stuart Hill said it, Robert. It must be right.

    • Graham Fleming

      What about the original people the Cattanach, (later evolving into the clan Chattan) that lived on Innse Cat, Shetlaun/Sealtain are they not to be remembered by their Nordman overlands horrendous treatment or The Gaelic papar living on peripheral areas of the Britiish Isles Faroes and Iceland who had their property ransacked and disrupted by vandalism and theft.The Vikings have alot to answer for, especially land that was annexed by warfare.If the Scottish parliament has to apologise for things that were done to people, who did the same things to the original inhabitants, it would be never ending.The modern day Queen of Englands,ancestors were Stewarts a formal apology should be forthcoming and to the many many people who had bad thing done to them over the centuries through arrogant Imperialism. It certainly is not the way of modern day ,Scotland and European Union ,it might be that of the English separatist types.

    • Graham Fleming

      By swearing allegiance to the English Crown instead of international law,the Scottish assembly has technically a lot of apologising to do,for the misdinemours of that organisation.For those wanting to split the Northern Isles away from Caledonia(later Alba and Scotland)going to afford apologies,to the Cattanach people, who saw their lands ethnically cleansed by Nordman yobs.What is the Shetland nation wanting to achieve?A Brexit colony,Under the English crown or overseas territory it most certainly has form in removing majority popul
      ations from their property or territory. WIth less than 1%, calling themselves Shetlanders at the last census,where is the base for such nonsense. Just another piece of English separatist
      jiggery pockery,always ,as forever looking for trouble.

  18. Ian Tinkler

    Well whatever, it was Westminster Government that stopped the SCOTISH Lairds plundering Shetland. UK bad, get a grip!

  19. john Tulloch

    @Robert Wishart,

    For clarity, I didn’t “blame” the SG for the Highland Clearances. Nor do I blame them for slavery.

    Nowadays, governments accept responsibility for historic injustices.

    Labour has called for UK apologies for colonial misdeeds. The government apologised (2013), with financial reparations, for events in 1950s Kenya. Tony Blair apologised over slavery and the Irish potato famine. Last summer, SNP activists proposed apologies for slavery and the SG has apologised for oppression of gay people, prior to its existence [see links, below].

    From linked article:
    “Together with Corbyn’s activists, we are working to ensure that an autonomous Afrikan (sic) Heritage Community…..develops in Britain, which will ensure that Labour’s agenda for redistribution of wealth is done locally, nationally and internationally. Wealth criminally expropriated from the enslaved people and their descendants must be redistributed. This is the reparatory justice we demand.”

    Clearly, the apology principle is established, with precedents.

    Logically, the same must apply to heinous, often illegal, actions committed within Scotland, in particular, in Shetland/Orkney.

    However, purported Labour nationalists Brian Smith and Peter Hamilton don’t support that.

    Perhaps, they don’t support the apology principle, at all, they haven’t said?




  20. Ian TInkler

    “By swearing allegiance to the English Crown”.!!!! English Crown, Graham Fleming your Anglophobia is shining like a beacon. just learn a bit of history!
    The last English Crown was Elizabeth the First, she died in 1603. Mary Queen of Scots son, King James VI of Scotland, calmly accepted his mother’s execution, and upon Queen Elizabeth’s death in 1603 he became king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The embryonic United Kingdom was born, with a pure Scottish king at the healm.!!.
    The present lot is Greek / German, that EU gets everywhere!!!


Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.