Changing borders

A really great post here on the History Girls blog about geographical and political borders, including a lovely review of Dream Land, some thoughts on the upcoming Scottish referendum, and an incredible animated map of Europe’s borders over the last 1000 years.

Lots of people in Crimea and East Ukraine have asked me about the Scottish referendum. Those who support Crimea joining Russia, or Donetsk becoming independent, ask: Why is it different for Scotland? if the Scots have the right to self determination why haven’t we?

I try to explain that in Scotland the referendum has been months and months in preparation and that the question it asks actually makes sense and offers a choice; that there are no guns, no ‘self-defence militias’ roaming the streets beating people up, no incessant bombardment of propaganda and lies; that no one will force English people in Scotland to become Scottish citizens or else lose their jobs; that all the banks won’t close and the currency won’t change overnight  – in short, that it’s a civilized, transparent process, where everyone will have the right to choose and their vote will be honestly counted.

It’s like talking to a brick wall, most of the time, unfortunately.

Nevertheless, like the author of the blog post, I will be very sad if Scotland chooses to become independent. But I guess that’s because I come from south of the border.





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