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Neil Ascherson Poland beckons

WHEN I MET Neil Ascherson, one of our finest journalists, historians and political thinkers, my first question was: “How’s the application for Polish citizenship coming along?”

He laughed, for the first of many times during our lengthy reminiscence, seeing where that came from, an interview a few years ago in which he said that if Scotland voted to stay in the UK and Britain voted to leave the European Union he would seek a Polish passport.

“It’s very hard to get,” he replied. “You need a long, permanent residence, which at my age rather rules me out. Apparently, mere affection is not enough.”

Ascherson turned 85 a couple of days before we met at a friend’s house in Edinburgh during one of his frequent sojourns back to his home city from London.

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iScot Magazine November 2017