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The Dinwoodie Interview

Chris Deerin

IT WOULD be fair to say Chris Deerin is hard to pigeon hole. He is a think tank director who failed his higher education qualifications, a former Telegraph journalist who was Boris Johnson’s boss, a strong voice for No at the independence referendum five years ago who admits he has become open to the idea of voting Yes next time, and now, approaching middle age, the lead singer of a rock band. It’s not exactly your average CV.

He is by turn charming, witty, self-deprecating, thoughtful, sincere and insightful. He is also an old friend and colleague, which puts strange pressures on this writer. Over the course of a lengthy coffee break in St Andrew’s Square in Edinburgh, round the corner from the new office of think tank Reform Scotland, there were laughs and reminiscences and revelations which made more sense of what I already knew about Chris.

He is from Stirling and has the classic Scottish background of upward mobility from working class stock, his paternal grandfather a miner in Kilsyth and his mum’s father a foundry worker in Denny. He had a big Catholic extended family but he was an only child. His father was a senior local government official and his mother was deputy head at St Modan’s High School. He recalls rocking and twisting on his chair as a young teenager in a maths class and being ordered by the teacher to take his desk and chair out into the corridor. Soon, he heard the footsteps coming along and had the dread of knowing it was his mother.

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The one with the 'Sneering Brittannia' on the front cover. Enjoy this cornucopia of Celtic content and read about the real Scotland from a Scottish lens.