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Scottish Independence: Does the World Need Another Border?

17/09/2014 16:57 BST | Updated 17/11/2014 10:59 GMT

There is something visually disappointing about an island with borders. When the people of an island feel the need to draw lines between themselves, it seems like a failure of human nature.

In light of the impending referendum I find myself asking does the world need another border? Is this not a backward step in the progressive advancement of humanity?

Upon separation we allow ourselves to be defined by our former enemies, to let the apparatus of Roman colonialism be a barrier. Of course the wall itself is no longer the formal border, but blood would continue to be spilt upon this ground and to north of it where the partition eventually settled.

Then the English and the Scottish did something remarkable by uniting across this imposed division. The bloody wars of tribal Greater Britain were put aside in favour of united endeavour, yet now we seek to retreat back across it.

So 300 years have flown by when as an island we came together, for better and for worse, to define the modern world. In walking away into the night we abandon the successes and hide from the failures.

Do we want the final chapter of our story to leave so many unresolved issues? Like the Sopranos we could cut to black or we could take the harder path. It may be one thing to tear down imperialist Britain but it's another thing to abandon the responsibilities we have to its legacy. Will separation help resolve the Chagos Islands, Northern Ireland or any of the other issues the Empire left?

These are strange times we live in when we see ebola immune to our partitions whilst in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Israel and Palestine people shed blood over them. In contrast, the greatest testament to the value of the Union is the referendum; people self-determining their future peacefully.

Yet the ugly head of nationalism rears up in some of the strange logic of its proponents. 'Ruled from Westminster' is a well-worn phrase that belies the truth that Scotland helps elect Westminster.

Had there been no Scottish prime minister, chancellors or high-ranking cabinet members in the last thirty years perhaps they might have a point. This idea of the powerlessness of the Scottish becomes even stranger when you remember the West Lothian question.

Then there is the idea that this referendum isn't any of England's business, as if we are not allowed to have opinion on something that will affect our lives. The vote is rightly Scotland's and Scotland's alone, but forgive your fellow passengers for questioning the route you are taking.

Strangest of all I've seen socialist's wrapping themselves in the flag, eschewing solidarity in favour of self-interest. When I signed up to the left I thought nationalism was the enemy that we would seek to break down barriers rather than erect them.

In contrast, under the banner of Great Britain we've had the progressive achievements of the creation of the trade unions, the abolition of slavery, the cooperative movement, universal suffrage and of course the NHS.

I think we can achieve more in the future, and if one day we go our separate ways we shall have done it with pride in our collective past, not shame. In that spirit I'd like to see the next achievement be a proper burial of our colonial legacy.

So whether Scotland stays the course or not, I'd like to see us continue this journey as friends. We've taken this incredible journey together from Trafalgar through to Beatles, all without losing our sense of self. With that in mind I don't see why a nearly 2000-year-old, 73-mile long piece of Italian architecture should come between us now.