Ben Macpherson: It’s about ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Undecided': not ‘Unionist’ or ‘Nationalist’.

Ben Macpherson analyzes the terminology of the Scottish independence referendum debate.

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There are 3 comments

  1. Francine Law

    Firstly, this is a fantastic website and kudos to the webmaster for providing these invaluable resources..

    That said, after watching the linked video I must say: What a privileged
    tube the author is. Considering that I hear, but cannot confirm, the
    author went to an exclusive private school, an exclusive English
    University paid for by his parents and, prior to his attendance at said
    University, was a dyed in the wool SLAB supporter.

    It seems he has one eye on list membership for the European Elections. It was
    good enough for Natalie McGarry/Toni Giugliano[and fair play to these
    talented individuals] so it is hardly surprising someone from a similar
    privileged background is jockeying for position.

    What the author fails to see is it is the SNP/Yes Scotland who have neatly
    divided Scottish society into two dichotomous camps, have encouraged
    xenophobia as well Scot on Scot division.

    There is so much the SNP could have done/and could do with their historical majority and yet what do they do?

    I will vote Yes but only if I am assured people who work for a living and
    whom know what it is to ‘strive’ [sic] in our society are at the
    forefront of an indy parliament. I am not keen on swapping a parliament
    ruled by Eton/Oxbridge elite with a parliament ruled by a St.Andrews or
    Edinburgh University elite.

    All I see is tubes who have never worked an honest day in their lives postulating and pontificating this nonsense. Bring back the days of John Smith; Jimmy Reid and Robin Cook.

    Real folk who were all for Scottish Independence but who knew what it meant to suffer as a working person.


  2. Christian_Wright

    We could call them independentistas and independence-deniers I suppose, but wait a minute, there are several ways of defining nationalism and nationalist aren’t there?

    What is wrong with calling folks Scottish Nationalists and British Unionists? Ben has sought to eschew consideration of common definitions of “nationalist and “unionist” that undermine his thesis.

    Regardless of their motivation for voting NO, those who do so are voting to retain the Union. They are then by definition, Unionists.

    Those who vote yes, regardless of their motivations are, as the indyref question makes plain, voting for Scotland to be an independent nation once again. They are voting for statehood such that Scotland will be eligible to join the world community of nations. These folks are then, small ‘n’ nationalists.

    It is immaterial what the internal disposition of the voter might be, because those motivations are not being examined or otherwise investigated in the referendum.This is not a question in the DSM. There is no examination of psyche or psychological disposition.

    The ONLY product of the indy ballot is a formation describing two, and only two, distinct cohorts; those for indy and those against it. It is both reasonable and functionally useful to describe these two cohorts as Nationalists (those wanting Scotland to join the world community of independent nations), and Unionists (those wanting to retain the Union with Scotland as part of it).

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