Welcome to Skintland

This is where you live. This is the cost of deciding to govern yourself.

Remember: you are too poor, too stupid and too lacking in talent to control your own affairs. To do so will result in your country becoming a sort of Northern Albania.

You are dependent and you always will be. Do not believe in yourselves. Do not have aspirations beyond the way Scottish society currently is. Know your place. Here is a map of your place. Memorise it.

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Categories: Arts & Culture, Identity, New Scotland

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62 replies

  1. Even if you believe that Scotland will be worse of Independent (Which all the figures dispute), that is an unbelievably immature way to introduce it. The Economist should hang its head in shame, and also stop using that name for its publication as it’s clearly against Trade Descriptions.

    The actual article inside is a joke, especially with the childish cartoon of Alex Salmond. Whoever wrote it was certainly not an Economist.

    • Actually the three ARTICLES in the Economist – as opposed to the deliberately provocative front cover and the Salmond illustration – are much more nuanced and balanced than the coverage suggests, criticising extreme views on both sides and suggesting that “both are wrong” because in the short term “An independent Scotland would currently gain roughly as much in taxes as they would lose in subsidies.” The Economist also writes that “If Scots really want independence for political or cultural reasons, they should go for it.” The third article in this week’s Economist about Scotland (following on from a leader and an analysis piece on the economics of independence – is about a group of Scottish industries which have been extremely successful.

      The pictures are jokes, and not paticularly funny ones, although it was a lapse in his usual standard of political judgement for the First Minister to suggest that The Economist would “rue the day” it printed them.

      But, writing as a professional economist with academic degrees in that discipline myself, the articles are not a joke, and make points that anyone on either side of the argument for Scottish Independence would be wise to consider.

  2. The thing about this is, The title should be

    “It HAS cost you!
    The Price of being in the Union!”

    If Scotland is skint, it’s as a result of being part of a London Centric union for 300 years.
    Why do we have so many spongers on the dole?
    Cause the UK Government ripped our industry apart.
    How can we resolve this problem?
    By taking control o our own resources.
    How do we do that?
    2014. Vote AYE!

    • Actually we don’t really have that many spongers on the dole. Slightly above the UK average but has been more often below UK avarage. Not only that but a bar graph in that issue of the Economist shows some very interesting figures. “Regional Gross Value Added”.
      In this there are only 3, “Regions”, that are positive and 8 negative. Ignoring the fact Wales & Scotland are countries and nor regions and N.I. was not mentioned the figures are –
      London 11.3: SE England 0.3: Scotland 4.5: E England -3 .4: SW England -0.5: E Midlands -2.0: NW England -3.0: W Midlands -6.5: Yrksh & Hum -5.0: NE -0.3: Now this is supposed to be the revenue per head of population but London is always a false figure because of the Tax Earned UK wide and paid to the Treasury via London Head Offices. So work out the total per capita revenue figures for England and compare that with Scotland’s 4.5 and it certainly looks good for Scotland when we also consider Scotland has contributed to those London Head Office figures too.

  3. I suggest people go online to the Economist and vent their feelings about this disgraceful cover. The associated article is pretty damn poor as well.

  4. They really missed a trick by not including the Central Tighten-Your-Belt…

    Awful cover, an absolute disgrace. Apparently the article itself isn’t nearly as bad as you would assume from the cover, which makes it even more bizarre that they’ve done that. But the reaction of unionists is similarly disgraceful. They say “what’s the big deal?”, but they don’t understand that there are people who find this genuinely offensive. Apart from the fact that their assertion that independence will lead to economic ruin is completely wrong, it’s just not pleasant to see a magazine lording it over a country like this. It’s akin to putting up a map of Greece with a big “LOL!!!!” across the middle. Would unionists be telling Irish people to calm down if the cover had been a picture of Ireland with “DIRELAND” emblazoned across it? Or what about a map of Haiti with “WASHED OUT” in big letters?

    There are accusations that this is just nationalists with chips on their shoulders being humourless. I would counter that by saying that any Scot who doesn’t at least find this distasteful need never again claim to be “proud” of being Scottish. The glee amongst Labour and Tory supporters is palpable, they just love the way this is annoying nationalists. But what they don’t realise is it has irked pro-independence-but-not-quite-nationalists also, as well as people who are still on the fence in the debate.

    Scotland is not too wee, it’s not too poor, and we’re not too stupid. The only thing holding us back is small-minded idiots who, despite claiming otherwise, resolutely hold this view that we ARE too wee, too poor and too stupid. Why else would they think Scotland is the only country in the world incapable of being successful as an independent nation?

  5. You have to wonder at people who landed a job whereby they get to spend hours of their day dreaming up negatives about another country and reinforcing stereotypes.

    I read the economist piece and there were a few flaws in their argument:

    1) They brought up the Darien Scheme (again) as some sort of proof of an inherent flaw in the ability of Scots to survive independently.

    2) When discussing the ‘Arc of Prosperity’ they did not mention Norway.

    3) They claimed that small countries have suffered worst in the Global Recession – Norway, Sweeden, Netherlands, Denmark etc… not mentioned as evidence in contrary to that statement.

    4) They assert that Scotland would suffer due to volatility in Oil prices and that its almost gone anyway… where have I heard that before?

    5) They assert that Post Oil (50+ Years from now), Scotland would struggle to fill the gap in taxation by assuming that the wider economy will not be transformed by the investment possible from controlling our own taxation and resources.

    6) They regurgitate the myth that Scotland will not be a member of the EU upon independence.

    7) They roll out the line that Scotland would have been responsible for the entire Bank Bailout, when in actuallity the debts that would have accrued to Scotland would have amounted for only around 5%. The debts were covered by the countries in which they were liable, i.e. England (due to London Banking).

    8) They assert that as such, Scotlands Financial sector would collapse. This is strange since Edinburgh is one of the largest financial centres in the world, ranked within the top 20 at least. This is international banking and as such would not have disrupted the Scottish Economy, except for short term loss of Corporation Tax (If the banks hadn’t avoided it already)

    9) They then go on to cast aspersion on the Scots by saying that Edingburgh was once known as the “Athens of the North” for its architecture, before saying it would be known in the future as the “Athens of the North” for its economic collapse.

    The piece is biased from the get go and most importantly (and ironically given that it is the Economist)…

    THEY DO NOT PROVIDE ANY DATA OR FIGURES OR QUOTES TO BACK UP THEIR ASSERTIONS.

    Their analysis is as useful as a conversation overheard in a lift!

  6. Edinborrow, Glasgone, Grumpians, Grieff, Loanlands, Outer Cash, Inner Fix, Rock All, Dire Strates. This is the Establishment at its very worst, trying to scare us shitlees, in a last ditch attempt to save the Union- the Union with a trillion pound debt, and only Scotland’s oil to save it.
    Why do I get this feeling of de ja vu? Where have I heard it all before? Ah yes. It was the ‘70s, when the economist Gavin McCrone, revealed how North Sea oil could have made an independent Scotland as prosperous as Switzerland. So they buried the report in a vault in Westminster for the next 30 years.
    I can visualise the Economist editorial conference as they discussed what to call Scotland, and the eureka moment when one of them shouted “I’ve got it- Skintland!
    Brilliant! Maybe we should use the Economist cover as a campaigning tool to get out the ‘YES’ vote!

    • At least they seem to have conceded that Rockall is ours…

      • Just FYI, I looked into this recently, the UK’s claim to the seabed around Rockall is based on Scotland’s continental shelf, not Rockall. In fact under international law Rockall doesn’t fulfill any of the criteria required to have an Economic Zone of Control at all.

        The area West of Rockall currently under dispute between Denmark, Ireland, UK and Iceland (the Rockall Plateau), is well past any area currently being exploited by the UK and any area naturally claimed by an Independent Scotland. Simple wiki map is here:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockall_Basin

        Control of the sea bed in the plateau and beyond is currently under arbitration at the UN and the result will most likely be that all countries in the dispute will be given equal exploitation rights based simply on their adjacency to the area and the fact that their is no clear claimant under international law, this is something a theoretically independent Scotland would qualify for an equal share of.

      • If there is a dispute, and Scotland lose, how much explosive would it take to blow the rock out of existence?

  7. hahaha I can make puns daddy, arewn’t I just sooooo clever:)

    tends to lend credence to the GERS reports numbers in that guess who’s no gonna get the tax returns over and above the monies returned to Scotland….like Dannets commentary a few weeks ago where basically Scots were threatened with the removal of 1.8 billion from our economy where the ‘truth’ seems to be that we provide proportionally mair than twice that to the exchequer. Plus please note the obfuscation of talking in terms of 5million tax returns not being enough whereas personal tax is a minor portion of govt. revenue ……….phplllrrrrrple :)

  8. The cover is a mocking mock-up, NOT a real cover. If you go tthe Economist page where it shows the covers, it shows a completely different cover. But the article itself has a pretty offensive photo of Alex Salmond wearing a crown. Unionist trash.

    • John, it is a real cover. I’ve just bought it in my local co-op and it’s on the table beside me.
      I think you may have seen the North American cover on the Economist website which is different.

  9. This sort of response from the ‘Centre of the Known Universe’ was entirely predictable, and predicted by very many. Still, the bare-fronted audacity, not to mention the sheer ugliness, still grates doesn’t it? May the author(s) choke on a stray mini-haggis (one loaded with raw chilli powder and his own bile).

    Alba gu brath agus Best Wishes from Cymru/Wales (following your lead).

  10. Just a bit racist? Would it have been acceptable creating a map of Holland or Japan or Eire similarly labelled?

  11. Puddin is as puddin does.

    I wonder if they’re getting it all out of their system before a sensible discussion or if they’re going to continue to try and frighten people right up to the referendum in 2014? Well, at least Eck will be happy with the new members this brings.

    I think I’ll buy a copy of this rag this week. Who knows, it might become collectible.

  12. I’m out of the country at the moment and out of reach of a copy. When I opened bellacaledonia I thought this was some joke – a photoshop piss take of pro-union journalism. Unbelievable. I am shocked.

    I know it’s preaching to the converted here, but check out the related FT Polis blog: http://reveriesofasocialwalker.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/boris-johnson-unwitting-expediter-of.html

    • I particularly love this line:

      “It’s far more reasonable, however, to ask oneself the fundamental question regarding independence. If Scotland is such a burden, be it cultural or economic, would the London-centric unionist movement being trying so hard to stop Scottish independence? ”

      Hear, hear!

  13. This kind of bullying tone can only be covering up for a true fear of losing control over Scottish resources. I’m surprised the Economist would reveal themselves so blatantly.

  14. Love the article and love the map. very funny indeed. But then I think independence is a complete waste of time.

  15. It’s amusing how the article (and the magazine) relies upon a separation of what is economic from what is cultural and what is political. It’s a conceit that fashions their particular economist culture in imperial new clothes. How did that story end again?

  16. My biggest worry about this cover is the way it has so clearly demonstrated a lack of humour in certain Scots. One of the things I really like about being Scots is our humour – yet it is embarrassingly absent here and mostly missing in the lively comments of the Economist piece. (thanks for the link Sleekit).

    Anyone offended by this cover doesn’t have much of a life. It genuinely made me laugh – not out loud or anything, it’s not that funny, but laugh nevertheless. The arguments in the piece, there’s an obvious agenda, but hey, what do you expect – I think the editor has probably decided to run with it to see what kind of reaction it would get. Result for him/her.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an article to counter it within the next few months.

    I didn’t think I would ever find myself defending the Economist, but using it as a clarion call to exhibit a ‘collective’ chip on the shooder is a bit unbecoming.

    • LongWanker, you are a stupid and obnoxious prick! – Only joking! Don’t take offence!

      More seriously, you obviously have no empathy or sensitivity to the prevailing Scottish sentiment – Do you in fact have any connection at all with Scotland?

      • How to win friends and influence people Sion.

        Maybe not Scottish Nationalist sentiment Sion, but as a 100% Scot myself your claim is obviously fallacious

        I’m from Burns, Bruce and Wallace land. Born and bred.

        Be a bit more than sub-standard with your attempts at insult next time.

      • Longshanker – your trouble is that you don’t have a sense of humour! There was not attempt to insult, just a bit of harmless light hearted joshing. You accuse other Scots of lacking a sense of humour when their nation is attacked by an English publication, but when the joke is on you, it is you who have no humour. Checkmate I believe!

  17. longshanker, it is not a fine line between humour and insult, it is quite a gap. It’s fair enough for The Economist to do articles telling us it wont be cheap to become independent (which may or may not be accurate), but to do a cover suggesting not only we can’t afford it but we will be in financial ruin should we chose independence is insulting and condescending. Why should we laugh at that? or even find it funny? Would you laugh if I told you that you will never amount to anything and that you will be in constant debt and financial ruin if you leave me? (Hypothetical situation of course, I’m not suggesting either of us is gay – “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”)

    • The cover does its intended job well. Look at the stooshie. If I was editor of the Economist I would be proud of that cover.

      The cover is satirising the potential of an independent Scotland based on the conclusions of the journalist who wrote the piece inside.

      My biggest worry is the inherent insecurity of the faux offense brigade. If the argument for independence is as strong as suggested why would an article like this or the cover offend you?

      I don’t agree with the article. Neither do I feel offended or bullied that its arguments are contrary to my thinking on independence.

      • Unfortunately the cover DOESN’T represent the conclusions inside. Quite the opposite. in fact whereThe Econopissed (yes we can all do it) had to admit that Scotland was 2nd most prosperous area in the UK.
        Oh! You can now go back to your normal habitat in the Scotsman comments pages which have been re-opened.

      • I don’t know what anti-psychotics you’re taking James but you’re being short changed.

  18. longshanker-your defence is the type of defence that used to be used to justify bullying.

    The bully would say to his victim “you have no sense of humour, you can’t take a joke”. For a long time even many schools accepted that defence in too many cases.

    However as a certain song goes “These days are past now and in the past they must remain”

    Also try thinking what the reaction of English politicians would be to a similar article about England produced by a significant French or German magazine.

  19. Longshaker, you are obviously not of a pro-independence disposition and revel in anything which causes discomfort to those who are. You found this Economist article funny, most likely, for that reason. That is extremely childish, amongst other things. One reason it is most definitely not funny is the potential effect it may have on investment in Scotland. The bottom line is, we are dealing with peoples jobs and lives,here. To be offended by it, for that reason alone, doesn’t display a lack of humour but a concern that my country shouldn’t be misrepresented or lied about. Misrepresentation and lying are unpleasant. If you find them funny, you should examine your conscience. You don’t think you would ever find yourself defending the Economist? You already have. You are also giving the nod to the interests behind this article. That is utterly reprehensible, at best. Well done, big man. You must feel proud.

    • Piobaire
      I’ve still to be convinced regarding Independence. But I am anti-status quo.

      The Economist cover is a side show. The cover is funny to me. Humour being in the eye of the beholder etc. I particularly liked the “Grumpians” considering the tone of some ‘ootraged’ comments.

      I think you overstate the importance of the Economist piece regarding who would be willing to invest in Scotland. A serious investor wouldn’t take that cover half as seriously as you seem to think.

      Surprised and amused is more my stance regarding it. I’ve said on these pages before that if the Unholy alliance of the pro-unionist camps decide to base their debate(s) on economics alone they will get trounced. http://wp.me/p2for3-eb

      • Davie, I ken yer a guid Port Seaton loon wi’ a love o his country an’ no a Sassunach . Your right about giving Longshanker his time in the pulpit. It’s all part of education/ discourse/banter. I wonder about Longshanker though and about him being unconvinced about Scottish independence. I would have thought a look at Britsih military history would have altered that. Of course we were there. If we hadn’t been, would the centuries of carnage have taken place, right up to the present day? Is the life of one Afghanistani child or one “Jock” soldier worth keeping an 18th century corpse on life support?

    • Longshanker is an Englishman pretending to be Scottish. There are a number like him who post regularly in the Scotsman. In fact his posts seem to follow the line of a particular troll theron. His aim in coming here is to try to dilute the well informed comments and serious debatse which go on here. And he’s probably a Labour activist since no matter how much you insult him he pretends not to take offence. That is their give away.
      DO NOT REPLY TO HIM. If a troll is not fed it leaves..

      • A very valid point, James. I believe Longshanks to be a serial malcontent who claims to be anti-status quo but can’t seem to grasp that the most significant anti-status quo position to take, on this island, at the moment, is to vote for the cremation of the rotting corpse that is “Great Britain”.

      • Don’t you think you should continue to engage with Longshanker for the sake of
        argument, so to speak? It might be better to allow a diversity of views in order to get a decent discourse even if you don’t accept these views yourself. Coleman accused me in offensive terms of being Longshanker and ‘English’ when I am neither. Something on the Scotman website annoyed him, ergo it must be Lonshanker in disguise. I have never blogged on that site. I’m afraid this indicates paranoia. Oh, and by the way, it’s not some kind of crime to be English and should not invalidate their views.

      • It may come as somewhat of a surprise to many English people that the Scottish people bare no malice to the ordinary English person. Yes, there will be banter here and there as there is with the English to Scots. Scotland has no trouble with the English people.
        However there is a problem with English politicians ( just like many English themselves have ) trying to govern Scotland in ways that do not do justice to the Scots. UK politicians ( Scots amongst them, who’s gravy train is more important than nationality) The public at large have been sorely mislead and they still are being so.
        If Scotland wants chooses to be Independent it is because they are wanting to be responsible for themselves, that is all. They Scots want to remain friends with the English people and to work together in many areas of joint benefit.
        It is the politicians that could make false claims in order to cause dissent, I would hope that the English people would not fall for that, from those with vested interests and see beyond the doom masters.
        I am sure that Scotland would welcome friendly neighbours as this is what we will be.
        Do not allow the ruling classes of politicians to create problems that are not there.

  20. The Unionists have the media, just as Putin had in Russia. Most countries accepted his election was a farce. The reasons they behave this way is fear of changes that could expose them for what they are. It is not democracy in Russia but some kind of hybrid that leans heavily to the establishment, sound familiar?
    One lesson from history, “Political Power breeds Corruption”, so it was there and so it is here.
    We do not live in a democracy in the UK any more, perhaps never did. We need to make our own democracy starting 2014.

  21. It appears that you don’t know what humour is longshanker. A joke is when others laugh with me; an insult is when others laugh at me. This cover is a case of the Economist laughing at the Scots so it is an insult not a joke. Edinborrow, Glasgone, Grumpians, etc COULD be funny if made by Scots having a laugh at their own expense; they are not funny when they are produced by sneering Anglo-Saxons.

    As somebody once said the big difference between a Jewish joke and an Anti-Semitic joke is, often, who’s making it.

    • Get over yourself. You sound as humourless as a non-smoking, teetotaller against gay marriage.

      This cover and the articles inside are the Economist’s stock in trade. Its covers are well known for humorous iconoclasm – and have got it into hot water from time to time. Take a look at the comment further up this page by Chris Whiteside. He’s hit the nail on the head.

      And what makes you think that the Scots should be immune from having fun poked at them? It’s all part of being grown up, mature and confident in yourself.

      “Sneering Anglo-Saxons” – that borders on the not so nice stereotypes people reserve for Nationalists. Pots and kettles etc.

      http://wp.me/p2for3-eb

  22. Is there any chance that nationalist Scots might wake up and decide to be honest with themselves (and everyone else) and answer the pertinent financial questions asked of them in the Economist article?

    Or will they be for ever in denial; claiming that ‘the English’ are ‘condescending’ – and merely think that waving the Saltire is all they need to do to win a consensus?

    • Strange then that I could make a good case for Scotland’s economy actually being better that of a UK with a national debt, which is currently running at 75% of GDP, or £870bn. The current GERS figures properly adjusted to show the actual revenues Scotland would get if Independent. For example our proper geographical share of Oil & Gas Revenues, our proper share of the Crown Estate rentals & Royalties, our court and on-the-spot fines. Et Al. The GERS Figures then show Scotland in Fiscal Surplus for the past six years and the UK in Fiscal Deficit. So just how can a treasury in Fiscal Deficit be subsidising one in Fiscal Credit?

  23. I suggest we actually start giving out awards for this sort of unionist stuff. What about a Jump the Salmon(d) award?

  24. The positive case for the Union is as negative as ever. AS to the cover, if it comes to puns, then we could come up with plenty for bankrupt Britain – LonDone perhaps? – but is that what their arguments come down to? And, I wonder what part of London’s £900billion is to be construed as ‘successful’?

  25. Nothing like a bit of humour to bring the ‘PC’ brigade out in force! Lots of outrage, head shaking and condemnation of something most English people actually believe to be the truth. Good riddance to Scottish MPs in Westminster, supporting policies which impoverish only English pensioners, ruin only English schools and decimate only English
    social care.

    • Some statistics please. What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    • Andy Gilliland,

      You say:

      Lots of outrage, head shaking and condemnation of something most English people actually believe to be the truth. Good riddance to Scottish MPs in Westminster, supporting policies which impoverish only English pensioners, ruin only English schools and decimate only English

      If we can afford, within our pathetic block grant these things, why can’t the English? What do you prefer to spend the money on?

      You are being a bit stupid, really…….

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