Art works inspired by the border between England and Scotland blossomed around the referendum, a North East based academic has claimed.
Northumberland’s cultural and social relationship with Scotland was enriched by political events, according to Northumbria University Professor of Art History, Ysanne Holt, and she hopes the focus on the ‘borderland’ area continues for a long time to come.
Prof. Holt, who studies the cultural landscape of the Anglo-Scottish border region, said:
“The referendum clearly drew sharp attention to this region and its cultural identity, and let’s hope the focus remains. The events of last year caused valuable reflection on the longstanding interconnections across the border, fostering for many a sense of wanting to develop further collaborations, not just in terms of shared resources such as tourism, forestry, roads, rail and so on, but in the arts and culture as well.”
An SNP politician has offered to stand for the Berwick seat at next year’s general election in a bid to help her party earn a spot in the nationwide TV leaders’ debates.
Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, says broadcasters have no plans to include the SNP leadership in any UK-wide debates to be screened in the run-up to May.
Her solution? To offer to stand as a candidate south of the border.
That way the SNP could claim to be standing right across the UK because it would have candidates in England as well as Scotland. Ms Grahame believes that would justify a place on the national stage for new SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon when it comes to pre-election leader debates.
Ms Grahame said:
“I have offered to stand in Berwick as a candidate so we can get equal coverage on the television because we fight throughout the UK.
“I can still keep my seat in the Scottish Parliament but then they would have to say we stand all over the UK, we should have all our leaders in these debates.”
And this isn’t the first time English-born Ms Grahame has set her sights on Berwick, where she took part in the independence referendum debate in September.
Speaking at the BBC’s pre Scottish referendum ‘Scotland and Us’ debate at Berwick’s Maltings Theatre, she told the audience that Scotland breaking away from England would be good for the area and would stimulate the case for devolution of powers to the north of England.
And in the run up to the 2008 general election she lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for the town to “return to the fold”.
Politicians warned it would be too complicated and would cause major upheaval, and afterwards Ms Grahame, said: “It was a semi-light hearted referendum but I think everyone was quite surprised what came out of it.
“Everyone seemed to find Scotland quite attractive.”
Source – Berwick Advertiser, 20 Nov 2014