Politicians and business leaders have criticised The Economist magazine, after it produced a front cover which described Inverurie as ‘Inverruin’.
The cover, which appeared on the UK edition of the magazine, referred to what it termed “The price of Scottish Independence”. Headed “It’ll cost you”, it renamed Scotland as ‘Skintland’, Aberdeen as ‘Aberdown’, and Stonehaven as ‘Stonehavent’, while Edinburgh was dubbed ‘Edinborrow’.
However, within hours, a similar map of Scotland, or ‘Skilledland’, was doing the rounds online. Renaming the Economist as ‘The Optimist’, this pirate version had Aberdeen as ‘Aberkeen’, Glasgow as ‘Glasgoing Places’ and the Isle of Skye as ‘Skye’s the Limit’.
Ranald Allan, editor of Inverurie Connect, said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Scots chose to boycott The Economist in protest.
“Inverurie is the fastest growing town in Scotland and one of the fastest growing towns in the UK”, he said. “You just have to look around at the number of planning applications to see how ridiculous this jibe is.”
First Minister Alex Salmond also joined the criticism. Hailing the busy town centre and booming local economy, he said “For a pro-Union, London-based magazine to portray Inverurie in this patronising way is a disaster for the anti-independence parties.
“This negative imagery destroys their claims that the anti-independence campaign is a positive one.”
However, North East Lib Dem MSP Alison McInnes said that while the cover was “unconventional and a bit hare-brained”, this hadn’t been reflected in the article itself, which she described as “balanced” and posing “legitimate questions”.
“The SNP’s manufactured outrage is intended to deflect people from the substance of the article”, she said.
“They refuse to discuss the true cost of splitting Scotland from the rest of the UK.
“This underlines just how important it is to scrutinise the case for independence and have a mature debate about what separation will mean for Scotland and the North East.”