Stur­geon’s re­gret over Na­tional party name

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Aus­lan Cramb SCOT­TISH COR­RE­SPON­DENT

NICOLA STUR­GEON has ad­mit­ted she wishes she could change her party’s name be­cause of the “hugely prob­lem­atic” con­no­ta­tions of the word na­tion­al­ism around the world.

The First Min­is­ter said that if she could turn the clock back to the for­ma­tion of the Scot­tish Na­tional Party in 1934, she would not have the word “na­tional” in the name. She was speak­ing at the Ed­in­burgh In­ter­na­tional Book Fes­ti­val, where a Turk­ish au­thor said na­tion­al­ism had a neg­a­tive and ugly mean­ing for her, and asked if it could “ever be be­nign”.

Ms Stur­geon, whose party lost 21 seats in the gen­eral elec­tion, replied: “The word is dif­fi­cult. If I could turn the clock back, what 90 years, to the es­tab­lish­ment of my party, and choose its name all over again, I wouldn’t choose the name it has got just now. I would call it some­thing other than the Scot­tish Na­tional Party.

“Peo­ple say why don’t you change its name now? Well, that would be far too com­pli­cated.

“What those of us who do support Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence are all about could not be fur­ther re­moved from some of what you would recog­nise as na­tion­al­ism in other parts of the world.”

Ear­lier this year, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of Lon­don, in­curred the wrath of the SNP when he wrote that there was no real dif­fer­ence be­tween vot­ing for an in­de­pen­dent Scot­land and “try­ing to di­vide us on the ba­sis of back­ground, race or re­li­gion”.

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