BY EFFIE DEANS Few people in Scotland probably know very much about Belarus, a small landlocked country of 9 million to the east of Poland. But then again, few people in Belarus know much more about Scotland than that men wear skirts, play bagpipes and imitate Scrooge McDuck. People in Belarus are frequently blissfully unaware of the parts of the United Kingdom. They describe the … Continue reading Europe’s Penultimate Dictator?
BY EFFIE DEANS The British Government has already ruled out a second Scottish independence referendum during the course of the next Parliament. It was in the Conservative Party manifesto and the Conservative Party won a large majority. That should be the end of the matter. Constitutional matters are reserved. The Scottish Parliament should be getting on with devolved issues and using the increased powers it … Continue reading How to Stop Scottish Nationalism
BY EFFIE DEANS When the Thirteen Colonies rebelled against Britain, slavery existed in each of them and did so legally. In Britain by contrast the Somerset v Stewart case (1772) made explicit what had been implicit for centuries – that there was no basis for slavery in law in Britain. If a slave entered Britain, he was thereby made free. In 1807 Britain abolished the … Continue reading The Third American Revolution
BY EFFIE DEANS I remember discussions in 2014 about whether Scottish independence would create a border between Scotland and the rest of Britain. Scottish nationalists insisted vehemently that there would be no border and that we wouldn’t notice crossing from Scotland into England just as an Austrian doesn’t notice crossing into Germany. Six years later and we discover what we knew all along. The SNP … Continue reading A Scottish English Border?
BY EFFIE DEANS The language of race has become very strange indeed. Take the following statements: Black Lives Matter Is not racist but praiseworthy White Lives Matter Is racist, far right and gets you sacked All Lives matter Is likewise racist White Lives Don’t matter Is not racist and gets you promoted This is to put language through the looking glass. Words mean what we … Continue reading No Equality From Inequality
BY EFFIE DEANS There were no black children in either my primary or secondary schools. Racist words were commonplace. When I moved to Edinburgh middle class students used racist words to describe shops run by people of Pakistani origin and takeaways run by people of Chinese origin. We didn’t do this in a hostile fashion. It was simply the language of the time. A form … Continue reading Britain Is Being Trolled
BY EFFIE DEANS My mother was born in 1933. She grew up in a Britain without racism. The police did not beat up black people. There was no discrimination against black people. We didn’t have any laws regarding racial discrimination. Sporting events were completely free from any ugly racist chants and no one thought about black lives mattering or not mattering. The only black people … Continue reading Chasing Ghosts
BY EFFIE DEANS Scottish nationalists like to think of Britain as a mini European Union made up of four members and four different peoples. But their hatred of Britain is blinding them to what is happening, and I think this is why they are beginning to make a series of misjudgements. We all have different ideas about how well or how badly the Government is … Continue reading Lady MacSturgeon
BY EFFIE DEANS We are in the midst of one of the greatest disasters of modern times. It may be a natural disaster, or it may have been caused by human error. It is crucial that we learn from previous disasters. It is partly for this reason that I began watching the 2019 TV series on Chernobyl. I accept that it is drama and that … Continue reading From Chernobyl to Covid
BY EFFIE DEANS Twenty or thirty years after the invention of the printing press most people still couldn’t read and few books were printed anyway. So too while the Internet has changed life considerably in the past decades it hasn’t really changed how most of us have worked. We still got up early in the morning and got into cars, trains or buses and travelled … Continue reading The Covidian Revolution
BY EFFIE DEANS I don’t think many people in Britain had heard of Wuhan or Hubei province before the present outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus). The fifty largest Chinese cities each has a population greater than two million, yet few of us could name more than two or three. Chongqing, for example, was first settled in 316 BC and has a population of 30 million, but … Continue reading Little Bottle