Scotland’s Sunday Herald has hit back at an Economist article labelling the country ‘Skintland”
In the latest edition of the current affairs magazine the front-page carried a mock map of Scotland (re-named Skintland): Edinburgh was re-named ‘Edinborrow’, the Highlands became the ‘Highinterestlands’ and the Lowlands were renamed ‘Loanlands’. The pie suggests that an independent Scotland could not support itself financially.
It provoked a furious reaction from Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, who said the magazine would ‘rue the day they thought they’d have a joke at Scotland’s expense”.
The Sunday Herald, meanwhile, indulged in its own renaming exercise which included Aberdream, Nest Eigg, Muck & Brass, Glasgold, Ayr of Optimism, North Berich and Motherwealth, with an arrow pointing south to Loandon.
In an article headlined ‘Skint’ Us? Think again Engloaned”, the Sunday Herald’s political columnist Iain Macwhirter put his own spin on the issue.
He wrote: ‘Skint! Our infinite Scotland, skint! The howls of Nationalist indignation at The Economist’s cover image suggesting that Scotland would be bankrupted by independence were, of course, exactly what the magazine hoped to generate as a gleeful tweet from an editor Edward Lucas on Friday confirmed – ‘Humourless, pompous, threats of lawsuits, allegations of racism. Hee hee.'”
Macwhirter continued: ‘There’s nothing that Scottish patriots loathe more than being laughed at by the metropolitan intelligentsia and the mac-twittersphere went into meltdown.
‘I must say I found the cover mildly amusing, in a sub-Private Eye kind of way. Edinborrow, Obankrupt etc â€¦I mean, you have to be able to take a joke if you want to run your own country.
‘And those who suggested that poking fun at the economics of Scottish independence is racist really need to get out more.
‘They would have been far better devoting their energy to analysing the content of the article which, for a magazine that trades on its economic expertise, was remarkable weak.”
Ironically, among the advertising flyers distributed with the Sunday Herald yesterday, there was one urging readers to get a copy of The Economist free, an offer which included a free memory stick.
However, the illustration of the magazine on the leaflet did not show the controversial Skintland front-cover.
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