As a Scot from birth, Julie MacDonald was taught two important lessons, one is how to master the art of being the underdog and the other is how to dislike the English.
And since her childhood, she has been fascinated as to why being Scottish feels like being a different species to the English and why they care so much about keeping their identity separate. Fascination has now turned to worry; as Scots are being called upon to decide not just the future of their own great nation but that of the UK too.
In 2014, the people of Scotland will be asked whether they want to become an independent sovereign state. It is not often that a 300-year-old union is broken, so the vote will have ramifications far beyond a land of five million people. Scottish independence could lead to a break-up of the UK.
So, will they vote with their heads or will their tartan hearts take over and plunge them into the potential uncertainty of a national divorce?
It is a stormy marriage that has survived 305 years of countless disagreements, bloody squabbles, and cross-border contempt. And like two ageing spouses, England and Scotland tolerate one another, aware of their national differences as well as the reality that they are perhaps ultimately better together.
But not according to Scotland’s ruling party - the Scottish Nationalists - who after a long campaign have made it possible for Scots to take control of their country.
Taking a trip across her homeland, Julie explores the ‘dream’ of an independent Scotland, talking to the main players like Scottish premier Alex Salmond, who champions an independent Scotland, and those who oppose him. She gets to the heart of the arguments for and against and how the future might look if the Scots take the plunge and Scotland stands on its own two feet. And she talks to Scotland’s most famous artists and comedians about what it means to be Scottish.
Follow Julie MacDonald on Twitter: @juliemarionmac or visit her website: juliemac.co.uk
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