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Euan McColm: Who’s afraid of the big bad Tories?

In the good old days when Scottish Conservatives were rarely spotted in the open, they made the perfect bogeymen for both the SNP and Labour.

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The return of train services to the area would transform Fife

Allen Armstrong: Future of rail depends on Levenmouth line

Something strange is happening in the election battles being fought in Fife. Peace has broken out. Or at least all 18 candidates in wards 21 and 22 of the communities that make up Levenmouth are agreed on one thing: the restoration of the rail line between Leven and Thornton to allow direct train services to Edinburgh, disconnected in 1969, when even Dr Beeching advised their retention.

Transport 5
CBI figures for April showed a bounce in retail sales. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images

Bill Jamieson: Silence speaks volumes about troubled state of UK economy

A strange and troubling feature has emerged in the early stages of the UK general election campaign. For the past 40 years the centre ground of the battle has been the economy and the respective policies of the major parties. Tax and spending proposals featured highly.

Business 1
Allow time for security checks at the airport

James Walker: Top tips for bumper holiday month

Because of the double bank holidays, May can be a great time to travel abroad.

Opinion
Nicola Sturgeon campaigning in the East End of Glasgow yesterday. Picture: Allan Milligan

Leader: Don’t waste chance to pass verdict on delivery of public services

With the local elections only four days away, we could all be forgiven for wondering if this event will amount to little more than going through the motions. From the moment that Theresa May announced a snap general election, the local elections have been firmly relegated to a sideshow, to be negotiated on the campaign trail for the general election.

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Joey Barton at Ibrox during his abortive spell with Rangers last year. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS Group

Dani Garavelli: Football lost in moral maze over Barton

Never let it be said that I am a fan of Joey Barton. Here is a man who has dedicated his life to giving football a bad name, committing acts of violence throughout his chequered career. His more heinous offences include stubbing out a lit cigar in the eye of a youth player, assaulting a 15-year-old Everton fan, punching Blackburn Rovers player Morten Gamst Pedersen and attacking teammate Ousmane Dabo so viciously he was left with a detached retina. With this in mind, the 18-month ban he was handed last week for betting offences causes me no distress. But it is further evidence, if any were needed, of the extent to which football’s priorities have gone awry.

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Gina Miller won a court battle with the UK Government over the Brexit process. Picture: Getty Images

Leader comment: Gina Miller donation not a game-changer

Gina Miller may feel she’s being very generous by donating up to £55,000 to fight the Conservatives in Scotland, but the gesture appears to be of the token variety.

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Edinburgh City Council is among local authorities criticised for the low mileage of its electric cars. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Leader comment: Criticism of electric progress unhelpful

Electric vehicles still account for only a small proportion of vehicles on Scotland’s roads, but anything to promote their use has to be good news for the environment.

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Outrage levels over the Donald Trump presidency may still be high but they are no longer stratospheric as he flips and flops.

David Brooks: Trump’s pond-skater presidency

Fascinating to watch but of little real substance, the subversive President has succumbed to convention writes David Brooks

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Despite the best efforts of local butchers, red meat consumption fell after the supermarket horsemeat scandal.

Stephen Jardine: I’ll try the vegetarian way in meat-free May

After a lifetime as a carnivore, Stephen Jardine puts his preconceptions to the test next month

Opinion 1
Serena Williams won the Australian Open tennis while two-months pregnant but reading too much into this puts unfair pressure on women.

Jane Bradley: Don’t make sport out of pregnancy

Lauding Serena Williams’ tennis triumph while she was expecting a baby only makes other pregnant women feel inferior says Jane Bradley

Opinion
Comment: Working together to tackle the yobs

Comment: Working together to tackle the yobs

News that benches have been removed from an Edinburgh park purely to stop unruly youths congregating is as worrying as it is sad.

News 3
The pension commencement lump sum could help you fund the retirement of your dreams, but taking up this option does have implications for your future finances. Picture: Getty

Gareth Shaw: Will you like it if you lump it?

It’s always been seen as a retirement bonus – a pot of gold at the end of a four-decade career. The opportunity to have tens of thousands of pounds in your pocket on the day you kick off your work shoes. And the best thing about it? You don’t have to pay a single penny of tax.

Opinion
PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS

JANET CHRISTIE ,  MAGAZINE WRITER

Janet Christie’s Mum’s the word

Everything’s back to normal, or is it?

News
John Sturrock is Chief Executive and Senior Mediator with Core Solutions Group

John Sturrock: Fight or flight deeply rooted in our ways

I recently attended the annual American Bar Association Dispute Resolution conference. Several themes emerged as critical for modern lawyers. Here’s a top ten.

Opinion
Man laying loft insulation to make the home more energy efficient

There’s still time for Scotland to deliver the zero carbon future we need to have

On 3 April, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met with the Governor of California – the world’s sixth-largest economy – to sign an agreement that strengthens clean energy ties and mutual resolve to deliver strong climate action in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

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OTC will be set against a backdrop of a 'lower for longer' oil price, writes Bob Ruddiman. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Bob Ruddiman: Offshore conference vital to trade ideas

At the end of May there will be an exodus from Aberdeen as an estimated 20,000 football fans head south to Hampden Park to hopefully watch the Dons lift the Scottish Cup for the first in 27 years.

News
Robust legal foundations are needed for the development of green energy, says Gillespie Macandrew partner Colin Hamilton. Picture: John Devlin

Colin Hamilton: Robust laws needed to keep lights on

Modern life depends on reliable electricity supplies. But as the balance between supply and demand gets increasingly complicated to juggle significant investment is required to secure that reliability in the future.

News 5
A mass outdoor rendition of Gerry Rafferty's classic Baker Street in Paisley.

Brian Wilson: Chance to follow Paisley pattern and back a local vision

Next week’s local elections have more or less disappeared into the morass of general election coverage and tedious referendum speculation.

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Kezia Dugdale made the parliamentary speech of her life, but are such attacks hitting home asks Joyce McMillan.

Joyce McMillan: UK divided between the young and the old

We are now in the hands of a demographic who have simply had enough of progressive concepts says Joyce McMillan

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