This crazy ideas about nationality

People fight wars over national boundaries. One set of people kill and maim another set of people because of some silly line drawn on a map by some politician or king or other jumped up self-important yahoo. How crazy is that?

I once knew a man from Coldstream in the Scottish Borders. He was born in England so was technically and legally English. Two of his sisters were also English born while the other two were Scottish-born. Same blood, same house, same parents yet two different nationalities. Does that make any sense at all? I don’t think so.

It is worse abroad, where nations have re-drawn their boundaries over centuries, thus creating all sorts of problems. Poland is one example of a state with fluid borders. Parts were once Germany, other parts were once Russia. Or even Alsace and Lorraine in France, which were also once part of Germany. Are the inhabitants meant to alter their allegiance at the stroke of a politician’s pen?

Following that there are the states created after the 1914-1918 War. Kuwait, for instance, or Syria, Transjordan and Iraq. Old places reborn with strange boundaries and sometimes even stranger leaders. No wonder there are wars when the indigenous inhabitants were less considered than the geopolitics and the spoils that the winners of that monstrous war demanded. Wouldn’t the world be better without artificial boundaries? I have no idea what sort of government there would be, but a world with one reason less to create the sheer obscenity of war must be better than the present set-up, where ranting idiots set themselves up as important and then prove their stupidity by starting a war where tens of thousands of people could be killed.

Wars are the results of politicians’ failures. Given the number of wars throughout history, politicians are pretty poor at their job and always have been. Time for a new system, perhaps?

Malcolm Archibald




About malcolmarchibald

Happily married for 34 years to Cathy, I have three grown children and live in the depths of Moray in northern Scotland. I was educated in Edinburgh and Dundee and work as a lecturer in Inverness, while writing historical books, both fiction and fact.
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