On The Scotsman iPad app: Ewan Crawford discusses modern Scottish Nationalism

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INDEPENDENCE and separation. The two words are used almost as if they were synonymous, by those in favour of, and those against it. In this article exclusive to The Scotsman iPad app, the terminology is scrutinised.

The problem with using ‘independence’ and ‘separation’, of course, is that both “sides” choose the description that best suits their viewpoint, regardless of the implications behind the language. Separation has borderline negative connotations, implying that the SNP’s plan is to isolate Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom, whilst independence implies the country will be looking after its own affairs.

Ewan Crawford, former private secretary to John Swinney during his time as the leader of the SNP, writes:

“The reasons why those of us who believe in independence are so irritated by the separatist charge (my Labour and Conservative friends will be pleased to hear) is that it runs counter to the basic reason we want Scotland to be independent in the first place. In Winnie Ewing’s famous phrase from 1967, we like the idea of Scotland “getting on” in the world, instead of watching it pass us by, as if we are not to be trusted with anything other than regional affairs. Indeed, it is the great irony that those who shout separatism the loudest are the most parochial and provincial. For them, curiously, people in Scotland have no business being involved in anything outside our borders. Those great issues are either to be left to others, or are for Scots who have decided to make their careers in London.”

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