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Gibraltar is an anachronism

25 Jan

It is nowhere written that the planet has to be parcelled up into “non-outrageous” states. If you propose to rationalize all the boundaries of the political world as it is now then you’re going to be very busy.

The current state boundaries exist through historical accident, and of course on occasion design – but not a design based on anything rational but that of conquest.

It is outrageous that a state can claim ownership of territory where other people live who do not want to belong to it. The Basque Country, Barcelona and many other areas should long ago have been given independence, if that is what the people living there want. What is more important, the “state” or individuals who have the right to a degree of self-determination?

It is also outrageous that some countries have a ludicrous amount of wealth from under the ground while others have none. All the planet’s resources should be shared out, just as the air we breathe is.

It is not the Gibraltarians’ fault that for a long time Spain was fascist, nor that during this time they got used to sorting their own affairs out thankyou very much. Nor indeed is it their fault that for much of the post-Franco era the Spanish state has been bullying, malicious, self-righteous and downright nasty towards the people of Gibraltar.

What the Spanish state should do is be nice and neighbourly and open up the border so that in time Gibraltar and Spain will be like Germany and Holland – no border crossings, gradual economic and eventually in a saner world political integration.

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