For weeks now, if not months, the independence community has been bombarded with claims from Unionists that it’s not independence if you have a shared currency, cooperate on defence, keep the monarchy, share embassies or empower others to act on your behalf. There’s been a continuing drone to the effect that if you don’t do everything personally then you’re not independent.
This view, as any student of English will tell you, is flawed – doing everything for yourself is not independence, but rather self-reliance.
Self-reliance – Not requiring help or support from others while acting autonomously. Self-reliance is relative freedom from needing to rely on others for help with instrumental or task-oriented activities and is distinguished from independence as the latter is a pre-requisite to self-reliance and not predicated on its existence.
In other words, you need independence to act autonomously and to choose to be self-reliant, if you so wish. Yet it would seem, having watched various Unionist politicians and commentators struggle with the concept of independence, that it is necessary to provide a definition that can be easily understood. So I’ll have a go.