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Alex Salmond The Economist Radio Clyde

Alex Salmond hits out at The Economist magazine’s depiction of Scotland as ‘Skintland’

By Hamish Mackay |

April 13, 2012 | 3 min read

The Economist magazine has sparked off a row north of the border by publishing a mock map on its front cover of its latest issue with Scotland renamed ‘Skintland’.

Scotiish First Minister Alex Salmond hit out at the magazine in an interview on Radio Clyde today, according to a Press Association report.

The map shows Scotland surrounded by islands and regions each given a name which suggests a lack of finances.

Edinburgh is re-named ‘Edinborrow’ whilst the Highlands are renamed the ‘Highinterestlands’ and the lowlands renamed ‘Loanlands’.

The magazine’s front-page headline accompanying the ‘map’ proclaims ‘It’ll cost you – the price of Scottish independence’.

In the mock image, Scotland’s oil and gas rich regions are also given names with the Orkney and Shetland islands called the ‘Orkward Islands’ and the ‘Shutland Islands’, with the latter having a note saying it is ‘leased to Norway’.

Salmond said The Economist will "rue the day" it published the front-cover image.

The SNP leader said the front cover displays a sort of "Bullingdon Club humour" of "sneering condescensions".

"It just insults every single community in Scotland," he told Radio Clyde. "This is how they really regard Scotland. This is unionism boiled down to its essence and stuck on a front page for every community in Scotland to see their sneering condescensions.

"They shall rue the day they thought they'd have a joke at Scotland's expense."

He added: "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, let's face it. If it was a decent joke we'd have a laugh at it. This is just plain insults."

The Scottish media website, Newsnetscotland, which has decidedly nationalist leanings, proclaims: “The image conforms to stereotypes of Scotland as promoted by a London centric media which promotes the idea of the Northern subsidy junkie living off of the wealth of our Southern neighbours.

“However despite the 'subsidy' myth having been disproved by countless studies and official reports, it continues to persist not least due to claims made by Scottish-born Unionist politicians and news media here in Scotland.”

The website quotes The Times Scottish political editor Angus Macleod as complaining that the SNP reaction to the front cover was an “over-reaction”, tweeting: “The Economist cover is juvenile but is the SNP over-reaction a tactic to divert people from the thoughtful piece inside.”

Alex Salmond The Economist Radio Clyde

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