I was struck by the elegant defence Scottish Unionist offers against allegations of ‘British nationalism’ which nationalists frequently throw at unionists. It is buried in the comments zone of this post.
“But much as it mightn’t fit with your semantic misconceptions, the fact is that I am not a nationalist of any kind. Rather, I am comfortable with nested and even overlapping entities (Cornwall, England, Scotland, Ireland, Britain, Catalonia, Spain, Brittany, France etc) all considering themselves to be nations, if they so desire. Existing nation states should of course accommodate their constituent nations, or parts thereof. But separatism, the idea that state lines should always coincide with the borders of the smallest possible nation, is an inherently divisive and destructive force.”
As I have observed before, nationalism, in evaluating unionism, often tries to crowbar the philosophy into its own conceptual framework, and then rubbishes the United Kingdom because it does not provide a snug fit. Nationalism cannot conceive of any means of ordering states other than its own. That does not mean that every dissenting voice is just nationalism by another name and it does not mean that unionism is some form of nationalism either.