New Statesman editor Jason Cowley has an interview with Alistair Darling as his splash this week. Discussing Alex Salmond and the SNP, Cowley runs a series of explosive quotes from Darling, including quoting Darling as describing the SNP’s ideology as “blood and soil nationalism”. Given that Blood and Soil is an ideology most famously used by the Nazis in 1930s Germany, cybernats jumped on the comment. This graphic is doing the rounds online:
Just one problem: Darling never actually said those words. I’m fact, it was the interviewer who used the words “blood and soil”, not him. The following retraction has appeared at the top of the article on the New Statesman website:
Clarification, 22.36: Owing to a transcription error, Alistair Darling was incorrectly quoted using the words “blood and soil nationalism” to describe the SNP’s non-civic nationalism. The phrase was raised in conversation but not used directly by Mr Darling. This is the disputed exchange:NS: Salmond has successfully redefined the SNP as [representing] a civic nationalism . . .Darling: Which it isn’t . . .NS: But that’s what he says it is. Why do you say it isn’t? What is it? Blood and soil nationalism?Darling: At heart . . . [inaudible mumble] If you ask any nationalist, ‘Are there any circumstances in which you would not vote to be independent?’ they would say the answer has got to be no. It is about how people define themselves through their national identity.