Though I have always thought of Scotland as an integral part of the United Kingdom (New York to England’s Washington), I have never been surprised by the nationalists’ view that we are a separate country in waiting. What does surprise me is the sheer poverty of their ambition.
For years, they insultingly lumped Scotland in with French-speaking Québec and the Basque and Catalan regions of Spain. When currency became an issue, they lumped us in with Ecuador and Panama.
Now the fashion is to speak of Scotland in the same breath as Norway (96,000 Google hits linking the two) – a country most of us have never visited and one described, in Michael Booth’s The Almost Nearly Perfect People: The Truth About the Nordic Miracle, as insular, xenophobic, Scrooge-like and corrupted into laziness.
My suspicion is that SNP politicians and other leading Yes campaigners simply want to be big fish in the very small pond they would cheerfully turn us into. Perhaps they should have gone with the slogan: “Why be part of the British shark when we can be our own minnow?”