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Effie Deans

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Effie Deans is a pro UK blogger who works at the University of Aberdeen. She spent many years living in Russia and the Soviet Union, but came home to Scotland so as to enjoy living in a multi-party democracy! When not occupied with Scottish politics she writes fiction and thinks about theology, philosophy and Russian literature.

The Pro UK argument has to learn from Brexit

The main lesson to take from the EU referendum in 2016 is that a positive, hopeful, patriotic argument beats a negative, pessimistic anti-British argument. The Remainers were unable or unwilling to make a positive case for the EU. They rarely told us of the benefits that the EU brings. There …

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Conservatives in Scotland need something different

There are only two issues of consequence in Scottish politics, Brexit and independence. I don’t follow what happens from day to day in the Scottish Parliament. In this, I strongly suspect, I am identical to the vast majority of Scots. Most Scots may want the Scottish Parliament but they are …

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Tactical voting in Scotland is poor strategy

In 2015 I campaigned for the Lib Dems in Gordon. I signed up to the tactical voting campaign that some Pro UK people support. There was a graphic showing which party we should vote for in each constituency to keep the SNP out. The whole thing was chaotic. Labour, Lib …

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The UK is none of Ireland’s business

The great fear in the 1970s was that the Troubles would cross over at the narrowest part of the Irish sea. Scotland and Northern Ireland are so close that they almost touch, but Glasgow was never turned into Belfast. The Scottish Central Belt and especially the part around Glasgow is …

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Dying in a ditch

Parliament has passed a bill which forbids the Prime Minister from leaving the EU without a deal. If he is unable to come to an agreement with the EU, or if that deal is not agreed by Parliament then he has to ask the EU for an extension. What happens …

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Remaining in the sickbed

I haven’t seen Britain in such a fever since Diana died. What happened to the traditional British virtues of calmness, humour and restraint? The present fever will reach a crisis and then either we will get better, we will remain ill, or we will die. There are only three political …

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Wasn’t “Nick” just saying “Me Too”?

The debate between Left and Right used to be about economics, now it is about truth. The distinction between objective truth and subjective opinion founded the scientific revolution and was so uncontroversial that it would have been hard fifty or sixty years ago to find anyone who didn’t recognise it …

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A plague of yellowhammers

If Remainers were bookmakers, they would have been out of business long ago. Their ability to predict future events ranks with prophets predicting the end of the world is nigh. Next time you see someone ranting in the street calling on you to repent your sins because the world is …

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All the First Minister’s men

Imagine if sometime in mid-2014 we had discovered that Alex Salmond had been accused of committing a serious crime in 2013. What sort of effect would this have had on the independence referendum? Imagine too if between the alleged crime and the summer of 2014 the SNP Government had made …

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Only Euronationalism could make Tories vote for Corbyn

I’ve been trying to think of what would make Tory MPs bring down a Conservative Government. What would make them contemplate making Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister? Well it’s August. This is supposed to be the silly season. Perhaps alternatively Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin et al have all been …

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The danger of not leaving

It’s not accidental that truly democratic government is rare. Most of us don’t like to lose and democracy always involves the risk of losing. The acceptance of loss and the ability to change who rules us is what distinguishes democracy from autocracy. If we are very lucky indeed Britain will …

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The Brexit strategy

If there wasn’t enough excitement over Brexit, we’ve had an opinion poll suggesting that support for Scottish independence has increased and that a Labour Government would allow a second poll on Scottish independence. It baffles me frankly why anyone pays any attention at all to opinion polls any more. I …

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Don’t let Labour ruin Britain again

Governments are very powerful in Britain. The power of Parliament on the other hand is limited. It can pass or fail to pass laws and it can vote a Government down. Governments have been able to declare war and make peace without asking the opinion of Parliament. What this means …

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The EU must pay the price for punishing Britain

When Britain voted to leave the EU, we hoped that the split would be friendly and mutually beneficial, but the EU set out to punish Britain. All we ever really wanted was free trade. We have that at present. We already conform to all EU standards. It would be easy …

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Who should pay for the BBC?

The withdrawal of free television licences for over 75s should really be looked at in terms of how the BBC should raise money in the first place. At present there is a universal flat rate tax on televisions with some exemptions. What matters is not so much who is exempted …

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The Scottish establishment is wrong about Brexit and Boris

There is a conventional wisdom in Scotland about politics that everyone agrees on. It doesn’t much matter which party the Scottish establishment support, they still hold the same assumptions. The problem is that this same Scottish establishment has been wrong about everything ever since they came up with the idea …

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The Brexit case against Scottish independence

Let’s imagine that somehow the UK leaves the EU sometime around the end of October and makes a clean break. The EU faced with the prospect of no deal might at the last minute give us a more favourable deal. Alternatively, the UK might actually leave with out further negotiation. …

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An Indyref Romance: Harmony and Dissonance – Chapter 16

After a brief exchange of e-mails in early July, at Effie’s suggestion, Jenny didn’t write again until late August. When she did she wrote in much improved Russian. Dear Effie, I’ll be coming back to Aberdeen soon and I’m already thinking of my studies and how good it will be …

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How would a clean Brexit affect Scottish independence?

It may be that we have reached a stage in Scotland where the whole debate about Scottish independence has gone beyond reason. Some people want independence come what may, just because they want it. There is a limit to the power of argument. People support political positions and then find …

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Is it worth writing about politics?

It may be that we have been living in politically momentous times in the UK, but I have found them dull. Yet another vote in Parliament on Brexit, but can I be bothered to find out who won. A brand-new party wins a national election and sets in motion the …

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