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Effie Deans
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After studying in Edinburgh, Cambridge, Copenhagen and Nizhny Novgorod, Effie returned home to rural Aberdeenshire, where she reads Dostoevsky in Russian and finds unionist inspiration in the works of Walter Scott
After studying in Edinburgh, Cambridge, Copenhagen and Nizhny Novgorod, Effie returned home to rural Aberdeenshire, where she reads Dostoevsky in Russian and finds unionist inspiration in the works of Walter Scott

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The Little University on the Prairie
Apparently there is a plan in Scotland to pay
students £8000 per year to study. Scottish students already have their fees
paid by the taxpayer. The idea now is that they should be paid the equivalent of
the "living wage" to study. This all begins to get rat...
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Bought and sold for RT gold
Does it matter very much that Alex Salmond has
chosen to appear on Russia Today (RT)? No. I sometimes glance at this site. It
has a perspective, but then again so does the BBC, CNN and the New York Times.
RT has a Russian perspective. It’s not a perspective...
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Bach’s wife
Many people think the greatest composer who ever
lived was Johann Sebastian Bach.   There
might be some debate about this. Some think Mozart was greater, others
Beethoven. It doesn’t much matter. If you look at a list of the greatest composers
these nearly ...
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The trial of Effie Deans
Imagine if thirty years ago someone had been
murdered in Cambridge. Suddenly the police arrive and knock on my door and
accuse me of being the murderer. They take me into custody, question me and
eventually charge that on the night of November 4th 1987 I di...
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The Catalan handkerchief
Spain isn’t greatly liked in Britain. This has been
particularly noticeable in the past few weeks as the crisis in Catalonia has
developed. Quite a few writers have indulged in the pleasures of Spain bashing
and for a variety of reasons. Some Eurosceptic Br...
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The casting coach goes back to the cave
How many fat, ugly sixty five year old men do you
know who have an addiction to sex? How many have beautiful wives or girlfriends
in their twenties? I don’t know very many. Aging academics may chase after
girls who could be their daughters and sometimes eve...
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An unknown face for a new Conservative party
The great moment in modern British politics upon
which all else turns was the election in 1979. The decade that followed brought
in fundamental change, not because the Conservative Party sought consensus and
the centre ground, but rather because it decided ...
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A senseless struggle about nothing
There are two forces going on in human nature, the
desire to unify and the desire to separate. The reason that we have nation
states at all is because people have felt the need to unify with others who are
similar to them.  In antiquity each small
village h...
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No-one expects the Liberal Inquisition
There must be something in human nature that means
we always need to take a good thing too far. In this way far from turning it
into a very good thing we instead turn it into a very bad thing. The fault, for
instance, with Christianity is not what Jesus and...
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Encouraging nationalism involves a heavy responsibility
As many of us have noticed this week, Spain is
trying to prevent one of its parts from holding a referendum on independence. I
normally don’t pay much attention to the internal politics of European
countries. I can’t even routinely name the leaders of more ...
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