Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, tells Channel 4 News the latest edition of the Economist magazine – which features a spoof “Skintland” cover – is “an insult”.
The magazine’s lead article warns the Scots they will become one of “Europe’s most vulnerable, marginal economies” if they vote for independence in the 2014 referendum.
It warns that Scotland’s North Sea oil will start to dry up in the next decade, its borrowing costs will be much higher, and entry to the European Union will not be automatic.
“After the banking and eurozone crises, Scotland would be far more vulnerable to shocks as a nation of five?million people than as part of a diversified economy of 62?million.”
“There is an irony here: to preserve a distinctively open-handed Scottish social model, staying in the Union might be the safest choice.”
The spoof map labels the Grampians the Grumpians, the Lowlands as the Loanlands and Elgin as Hellgin.
Edinburgh is labelled Edinborrow, “twinned with Athens”.
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Alex Salmond, First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, said: “It just insults every single community in Scotland.
“This doesn’t represent England. Goodness sake, I wouldn’t insult the people of England the way The Economist believes it should insult the communities of Scotland.
“This is a particular strata of London society.
“It’s not a very attractive strata. They’re not even funny. If it was a decent joke we’d have a laugh at it. This is just plain insults.”
Tom Devine – Senior Research Professor in History at University of Edinburgh said:
“The piece in The Economist is a totally predictable kind of thing that can be heard from time to time at middle class dinner parties or in the letters pages of the Daily Telegraph.
“If we take away the south east of England and the overblown economy in London, in relation to the rest of the UK then Scotland is doing rather well.”