Friday, 12 December 2008

You can't be Scottish and British! SNP subscribes to Republican Sinn Féin's take on identity.

The minority SNP government in Scotland wishes to make it impossible to select both Scottish and British in the ethnicity section of the 2011 census. The people of Scotland would consequently be corralled into accepting nationalist absolutes when describing their identity. It represents nothing less than a further assault on the ability to define oneself in terms of a plurality of identities. It is a disingenuous one at that, seeking to deprive respondents of the option, rather than persuading them not to choose it.

Scottish Unionist highlights a particularly broadminded exposition of the SNP’s stance.


Anonymous said...

It's a conshpiracy! Er, I don't think so...

A Government Statement on Scotland's Census 2011, p27 para 3.46: "A separate question on national identity has also been added to complement the ethnic group question, to allow people to express their sense of 'Scottishness' 'Englishness' 'Britishness' etc (or any combination of national identity, for example 'Scottish' and 'British')

Anonymous said...


Chekov was referring to the "ethnic group" section, not "national identity".

Page 34 of the census recommendation paper compares the "ethnic group" question for 2001 with that proposed for 2011.

In 2001, if "white", you had to choose one of these:

* Scottish
* Other British
* Irish
* Any other white background (write in)

The only really significant overlap there is for those Northern Irish who would prefer to reply "Irish" rather than "British" or "Northern Irish". Fair enough.

But for 2011, here is the proposal. Again, only one may be chosen:

* Scottish
* English
* Welsh
* Northern Irish
* British
* Irish
* Gypsy/Traveller
* Polish
* Other white ethnic group (write in)

This time we have major overlap. "British" is pitted against "Scottish", "English" etc.

Anonymous said...

So perhaps to better reflect reality, the headline should scream "You can't be Scottish and British in one question, but you can in another" ?