On a number of occasions in the House of Commons I have noticed MPs, usually Conservatives, referring to the Scottish National Party (SNP) as "the Scottish Nationalist Party", or just "the Scottish Nationalists", usually to angry remarks from said party. The usage of the term certainly seems to be done to be purposefully antagonistic.
The most recent example I can find of this is on Feb 27th; while responding to a question from SNP MP Steven Bonnar, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove used the phrase and was subsequently rebuked by the contingent of SNP members present.
It is the case that the Scottish nationalist party—[Hon. Members: “National!”] I am sorry, but as Robert Burns said,
“facts are chiels that winna ding”.
I am afraid that the representatives on that Bench are nationalists. They put separation—the smashing up of the United Kingdom—ahead of anything else. Some of them are decent and kind people, but they are nationalists. The reason they object so much is that when the mask comes off and we recognise the ideological heart of the SNP, they dinnae like it up ’em.
Why do the SNP object to the usage of the term? Surely their fight for independence can be defined as nationalism?