01 Jan Scottish News News in Scotland
Scotland’s dignity seems to be of little consequence to the Economist magazine as their cover story is described as ‘patronising’
Scottish independence: Outrage builds over ‘Skintland’ insult to Scotland
The SNP has today condemned the London-based Economist magazine’s front cover which has the mock-up of a map which replaces the name ‘Scotland’ with ‘Skintland’ describing its cover as “patronising, metropolitan claptrap”.
The UK edition of the magazine leads with the title ‘It’ll cost you – The price of Scottish independence’ re-names communities across Scotland in “puerile, patronising terms”. Some of the derogatory names given are Glasgow – Glasgone, Edinburgh – Edinborrow, Lowlands – Loanlands, Aberdeen – Aberdown, Orkney Islands – Orkward Islands, Shetland Islands – Shutland Islands, Highlands – Highinterterestlands.
Describing the Economist cover as the “Bullingdon Club attitude” to Scotland the SNP believe the article is a “disaster for anti-independence parties” because “it destroys their claims that the anti-independence campaign is a positive one.”
The party also points out that the front cover title and map is out of sync with the content of the article which explains that Scotland generates 10% of UK GDP with just 8.4% of the population.
The Economist article comes after a spate of revelations which show that London is being subsidised by the Scottish taxpayer while the UK Government is withholding a Barnett payment due to Scotland amounting to £400 million. Public funding to Scotland is based on spending on English projects and this system is called the Barnett Formula. Recently the UK Government used a loophole to spend £4.1 billion upgrading London’s sewarage works without triggering the ‘consequentials’ payment to Scotland.
In terms of subsidies going to London, money for Scottish good causes through the lottery have been diverted to London 2012. UK officials admitted that as much as £114 million may have been diverted to London 2012. The principle funding losers are the BIG lottery fund in Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund, sportscotland, the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen.
Earlier this year it was revealed that public sector expenditure on the Olympics from the UK Treasury pot between 2005-6 and 2009-10 was more than £2.6 billion (£2669 million). Over the same time, the direct spend in Scotland as a result of London 2012 was less than £1m or 0.04 percent of what the rest of the UK reaped.
The most recent official figures (GERS) shows that while the UK public debt has grown dramatically over the last 5 or 6 years to over £1 trillion during the same period Scotland did not contribute to that deficit.
The Economist cover article is a sure sign of what Scots can expect during what will be a bitter referendum campaign.
Many Scots are not interested in tribal politics and want an honest, mature and respectful debate so that they can make an informed decision on whether to vote for or against Scottish independence.
While Scottish Times deplores tactics designed to frighten the population and diminish the importance of our historic independence referendum we take the view that nationalists should think first before taking the bait. Outrage and over-reaction will turn voters away and so people will vote by default.
Scotland needs leaders who can rise above such antics. Scottish Times has innovative plans to provide a platform whereby ordinary Scots are in control of the news agenda. We want to take the noise out of the debate and replace it with expert analysis and facts. We want to create an environment where people feel safe to think about the issues and reach a conclusion on the future of their nation without feeling lied to or having their feelings of injustice exploited.
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