My argument was (and still is) that independence could be economically costly, at least in the short term.
A few tweeters argued I had overstated the risks of dissolution and underestimated the opportunities, and I had good discussions with them.
But the vast majority of replies hounded me for describing Scotland as a “region” and not a “country”, which I know it is.
The only reason I use “country” as well as “region” to describe Scotland is that its constitutional status — a country within a country — can be confusing to readers who aren’t familiar with the UK. That’s all. I meant no offense.
But it's revealing that so many Scots were triggered by it.
I’m not offended when somebody refers to the Netherlands as “Holland”, but people in Friesland or Limburg might be. Those regions have their own histories, their own identities, in Friesland’s case their own language, and they have long felt neglected by the center.
Similarly, it seems to me the Scottish independence movement is animated less by excitement about a building their own state and more by an inferiority complex vis-à-vis the English, who have imposed a decade of Conservative Party rule and Brexit on the UK. Hence the insistence that Scotland is an (equal) country.
The irony is that I'm actually sympathetic to Scottish independence in light of Brexit. But that doesn't matter to diehard nationalists. Use one wrong word or point out that breaking up the UK will not be quick and easy, and you're "anti-Scottish" or - surely worse - a "Tory".
I hate this sort of black-and-white thinking. There's a serious debate to be had about whether Scotland would secede or not; so far, I've encountered few nationalists who are interested.
Did I just have bad luck? Or is this torrent of insult emblematic of the Scottish independence movement?