Census offers chance to assert our identity

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THIS week we report on a call for residents of this region to use the term “Anglo-Scottish Borderer” when filling in the 2011 Census question on their ethnic background.

Rather than ticking the boxes for being Scottish or British, local historian and author Brian Moffatt is urging people to be more specific on Sunday when filling in their census forms and enter “Anglo-Scottish Borderer” after ticking the box “other” in the relevant box

Mr Moffatt says the uniquely distinct ethnic identity of Borderers is in danger of vanishing if people do not make a stand.

He may well have a point. If Cornwall Council thinks its citizens should be using the term “Cornish” in the census, why should Borderers not adopt a similar approach?

Are we any less proud of being Borderers than Cornwall’s citizens are of being Cornish? No.

We can be proud to be Borderers, Scottish and British just as they are proud to be Cornish, English and British.

Recent years have seen local organisations such as Scottish Borders Tourist Board and Scottish Borders Enterprise swept away and replaced by national organisations.

How long before Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders are merged with their counterparts in Edinburgh and the Lothians to form a single administrative region?

If there is strength in size, then perhaps the time has come for us to look to our fellow Borderers to the west and a closer relationship with Dumfries and Galloway as a single Borderland administrative region?