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Policy makers should not treat moderate drinkers like idiot children

A few years ago I attended a conference in Edinburgh of alcohol health professionals, with me being the only one in the room, apart from the moderator, who wasn’t. At the time it was stated, without a shred of evidence to back it up, that alcohol misuse cost the Scottish economy some £2 billion. I asked, caveated by stating at the outset that I wasn’t saying the figure was necessarily wrong, where the evidence was, as none had been presented.

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John Devlin. 02/07/15 . GLASGOW. Tai Chi class. MSPs launch inquiry into access to palliative and end of life care across Scotland. Duncan McNeil, convener of the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee, and deputy convener Bob Doris join hospice staff to announce details of the inquiry. They are joined by Harry Bunch and Bill Whiland who are members of Marie Curie Expert Voices Group. Both Bill and Harry lost their partners (wife) and advise the charity on bereaved carers. Marie Curie Hospice, Balornock Road, G21 3US.

Everyone should have equal access to palliative care without worries

Discrimination of any form is unacceptable. Whether it’s direct or indirect discrimination, people will face issues accessing services, public spaces, employment and many other aspects of life as a result of their background or who they are.

Opinion
The symptoms of menopause are well-known but not typically discussed in the workplace. Picture: Contributed

Menopause: are employers brave enough to tackle the workplace’s last taboo?

Sitting through the performance appraisal, Christie’s line manager had suspicions about why she was not hitting performance targets but couldn’t see if he could discuss it without being accused of some form of discriminatory conduct. Finally, he took a deep breath and with eyes fixed on the floor, asked: “Are you menopausal?” His question was met with silence. He had broken a taboo.

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Air pollution is the leading preventable cause of early death globally, with traffic fumes a major contributory factor.

Ilona Amos: Steps must be taken to slash toxic fumes and save lives

Toxic air pollution has been named as the biggest human killer globally, overtaking heart disease, poor diet and smoking as the leading preventable cause of premature death.

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teachers and pupils continue to achieve results despite  not because of  the system.

Leader comment: No talking in class – it’s time to listen to teachers

More than six years on from its introduction, Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) has unequivocally failed to rejuvenate the Scottish education system.

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Volunteers working for Borders furniture reuse charity Home Basics sort out items at its Walkerburn depot for a Christmas toy sale. More people are volunterring to help care for people.

Leader comment: Volunteer to help us all out

History is unlikely to judge David Cameron altogether favourably, but in his championing of the “big society” the former prime minister hit on an idea potentially years ahead of its time.

UK
In the UK, you are far more likely to be treated by an immigrant than miss out on a hospital bed because of one. Picture: PA Wire

Paris Gourtsoyannis: Migrant pressure based on a myth

Response to NHS crisis shows the danger of failing to challenge flawed immigration rhetoric, says Paris Gourtsoyannis

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At a fraction of the �750m cost of the new concert hall in Hamburg, Leith Theatre could be brought back to life and rekindle its key role in Edinburghs music scene. Picture: Getty Images

Aidan Smith: Why I’d love to see a favourite venue rock again

Hamburg may now boast a sexy new concert hall but Aidan Smith yearns for Leith Theatre to be re-born

Opinion
Is a child losing a favourite toy really national news?

Jane Bradley: Lost toy? Oh dear, never mind

When I was seven, my teddy disappeared. He wasn’t anything special, a smallish, mid-brown, soft bodied, run-of-the-mill sort of bear, but I’d had him since I was born and I loved him.

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Capacity crowds should be a cause for celebration, writes Brian. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Brian Ferguson: It’s not the time for Council cuts to Hogmanay funding

Only a few years ago the waning popularity of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay was a serious concern for Council leaders, now is not the time to cut funding, writes Brian Ferguson.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has warned the Tories could cause a 'trade war' with the EU. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Susan Dalgety: Corbyn doesn’t work for Labour

What the Labour Party needs is a new generation of politicians, and Corbyn to go immediately, says Susan Dalgety

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Former footballers and victims of abuse Steve Walters (L) and Andy Woodward (C) speak during a press conference at the launch of The Offside Trust in Manchester on December 5, 2016. 
The Offside Trust was launched to help victims of abuse and has been created by Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Chris Unsworth, who were all the victims of historic child abuse.
 / AFP / PAUL ELLIS        (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Beware hasty reponses to historic abuse

The recent glut of stories of historical abuse in youth football have highlighted the vulnerability of sports clubs and other not-for-profit organisations to their own pasts. Events long ago (or the mishandling of events long ago) under different managers or trustees can easily re-emerge years later, casting doubt over an organisation’s practices or reputation. Organisations of all sizes – from church groups to football clubs to large charities – must know how to react if this happens.

Opinion
Changes will make young heirs a little wealthier

Changes will make young heirs a little wealthier

There is nothing as certain as death and taxes. In the same context, 2017 has prompted a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on inheritances and inequality across and within generations. The authors have flagged up a change whereby today’s elderly have much more wealth to bequeath, primarily as the result of home ownership rates and house prices rising.

Opinion
Side profile of a judge listening

Charting a path through European patents maze

The UK recently announced it intends to ratify the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC). The UPC is a specialised patent court with jurisdiction over European unitary Patents (UPs) and European Patents for which one or more EU member states part of the UPC agreement have been designated. It is expected ratification in Germany will follow and the UPC agreement will come into effect four months after UK/German ratification.

Opinion
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has joined the debate over corporate governance. Picture: John Devlin

Anthony Carey: Shaking up corporate governance

Corporate governance is suddenly a hot topic – it started when Theresa May launched her leadership bid last July, was followed by a parliamentary inquiry then a government green paper, and last week Jeremy Corbyn joined in.

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'Some selective profit-taking may now be in order,' writes Bill Jamieson. Picture: Picture: Sang Tan/AP

Bill Jamieson: Time to cash in after the market surge?

After the stock market surge of recent weeks, who is not tempted to lock in some gains and cash in?

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Prime Minister Theresa May answers questions during the weekly Prime Minister Questions session in the House of Commons. Picture; Getty

Brian Monteith: When May speaks expect a Pavlovian response from Sturgeon

In a heavily trailed speech that will be delivered on Tuesday the Prime Minister is expected to declare her hand against either a hard or soft Brexit, and instead lay out her ambitions for what I described in this column last October as a “clean Brexit”.

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PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS

JANET CHRISTIE ,  MAGAZINE WRITER

Janet Christie:Testing times for middle child

Food, advice, clothing, it seems I’m giving my kids way too much of a good thing. And it gets on their nerves. Who knew?

News
Donald Trump takes a question at his first news conference since the election at Trump Tower in New York. Picture: Spencer Platt/Getty

Dani Garavelli: Contrast between presidents last twist of knife

If witnessing the contrast between Obama and Trump is this painful, the inauguration will be car crash TV, writes Dani Garavelli

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Shackled prisoners in a holding pen at Guantanamo detention centre

Leader comment: Failure over Guantanamo haunts Obama presidency

In the frantic aftermath of the attacks on the US of 11 September, 2001, the establishment at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba of a detention centre for alleged terrorists may have seemed a perfectly proportionate response.

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