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By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
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Nicola Sturgeon: I wish the SNP had been named something different

2 min read

Nicola Sturgeon has said she wishes the SNP had a different name to avoid raising “hugely problematic” associations with other nationalist movements across the world. 

The First Minister made clear there was no prospect of changing the party’s name at this point, but acknowledged that it carried “difficult” connotations.

She was speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where she appeared alongside Turksih author Elif Shafak.

When Ms Shafak noted the “destructive” regimes in the region that had operated under the nationalist umbrella, Ms Sturgeon said: “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,” she continued.

“Now people say why don’t you change its name now? Well that would be far too complicated. Because 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.”

The SNP leader said her party had a “civic, open, inclusive view of the world” in contrast to many other nationalist movements.

“The word is hugely, hugely problematic sometimes… but Scottish independence is about self-government, it’s about running your own affairs and making your own mark in the world,” she added.

“So, yes, words do matter but I think we can’t change the connotations that the word has in other parts of the world, what we have to do is just demonstrate through words of our own, through deeds, through actions, through how we carry ourselves, that we stand for something completely different to all of that.”

But Blair McDougall, a Labour candidate in the recent general election, was amongst those to note that Ms Sturgeon had previously described herself as a nationalist. 



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