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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 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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An Indyref Romance: Harmony and Dissonance – Chapter 15

Paul didn’t receive a reply from Jenny. When he got home the next morning, he checked his e-mail account, but there was nothing from her. Too early, probably, or else she hadn’t had the chance to read or reply. But later that evening when he checked again, there was still …

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An Indyref Romance: Harmony and Dissonance – Chapter 14

It was the beginning of July and Jenny was due to fly the next day. She went to Effie’s house with her last collection of essays all written long hand in Russian and all about Scottish independence. “You’ve learned more than one new subject, Jenny, you know that,” said Effie. …

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An Indyref Romance: Harmony and Dissonance – Chapter 13

Their final term ended, but they barely noticed. It hardly seemed to matter beside what they had found with each other and what they were learning about music and about themselves. They danced to the music of Rachmaninov’s Vespers, only their dance didn’t involve any use of feet or at …

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An Indyref Romance: Harmony and Dissonance – Chapter 11

Jenny’s main subjects in her final term at university became Scottish independence and Russian language. She did both together. Effie was delighted with the results. The arguments were subtle, imaginative and at times devastating if only the person reading them could understand them. They talked regularly usually at Effie’s office, …

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An Indyref Romance: Harmony and Dissonance – Chapter 10

She met some resistance with Parceval. They listened to it one night and Paul accepted it as a chore, but one night wasn’t enough. One night was just the first act. “It’s turgid. It just goes on and on,” said Paul. “I thought you liked the Grail story?” “I do, …

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An Indyref Romance: Harmony and Dissonance – Chapter 9

In the weeks that followed Paul and Jenny continued their embraces to the accompaniment of Jenny’s music. He said that he found some of it rather difficult, but would like to hear more and would like to understand better. She started with Glen Gould playing the Goldberg Variations, and then …

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An Indyref Romance: Harmony and Dissonance – Chapter 8

A few days later Paul rang the bell at Jenny’s flat. He was earlier than usual, but hoped that he’d catch her in. Susan answered the door. “Is Jenny in?” asked Paul. “No, but come in anyway. I’m rather bored and could do with some company.” “Are you on your …

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An Indyref Romance: Harmony and Dissonance – Chapter 6

That same evening Mark and Paul were in the Prince of Wales once again. Paul had just been at another ‘Yes” campaign meeting while Mark had been studying Chaucer. “What will you have?” asked Mark. “Let’s have a look. I think, I’ll try the porter. What about you?” “I’ve not …

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An Indyref Romance: Harmony and Dissonance – Chapter 3

It was still pleasant on Sunday when he arrived at Jenny’s flat. In the kitchen he met Lorna and Susan. “So it seems you have some news, Paul,” said Lorna with a smirk. “I think, I stumbled over a couple kissing last night,” said Susan. “It couldn’t have been, you …

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An Indyref Romance: Harmony and Dissonance – Chapter 1

In early February 2014 two friends made their way to their favourite pub just off Union Street. They went there because it was the place most likely to serve what they called proper beer. Paul from the highlands had pretty much never tasted anything other than lager until he met …

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The philosophy of Dostoevsky: Chapters 8 and 9 Review

Chapter 8 Despair is the Sickness unto death I first read Dostoevsky’s ‘Demons’ (AKA ‘The Possessed’) in English and didn’t much like it. If I had not later learned Russian, I probably would never have read it again. It would have remained one of those books I vaguely remembered as …

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