Bill Jamieson wonders how badly ‘Brand Scotland’, with its associations of canniness and caution, has been damaged by the financial crisis and a dismal Scottish Prime MinisterScotland’s fortitude has certainly been tested these past 12 months. Its proud claim to have a special excellence in finance — an innate canniness and caution — has been shattered by the demise of its two banks headquartered in Edinburgh, Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS. It didn’t matter that New York, London, Dublin and Frankfurt also suffered blows to their banking systems. These were blows that Scots took personally, a wound to our very definition. Scotland was whisky, lochs, glens, tartan — and banks. There were also, of course, other stains on the brand, at least as far as England was concerned: a surfeit of Scottish Labour Cabinet members, chippy Scottish nationalists constantly whingeing over money, a Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, relishing the prospect of a Westminster parliament ‘hung by a Scottish rope’, and a cheerless, luckless, moody Scottish Prime Minister.