Duncan Hamilton rss

Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe

Claire Black: Redmayne’s really useful engine

FROM the sublime to the ridiculous. Oscar winning, flame-haired, perpetually tuxedo-wrapped thesp Eddie Redmayne has signed on to voice the part of a new engine in the next Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends feature film. Talk about the curse of Oscar. I realise that this is not the Eddie Redmayne news that most people are talking about. Most people are blown away by the transformation apparent in the first photograph released of him as transgender artist, Lili Elbe, for Tom Hooper’s new movie, The Danish Girl. I grant you that it is both thrilling and delightful and just a tiny bit amusing that Redmayne, as it turns out, is actually a more beautiful woman than Nicole Kidman, who was originally cast as Elbe but dropped out.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy out and about on the streets of Shettleston, Glasgow. Picture: Robert Perry

Dani Garavelli: Jim Murphy the dynamic underdog

Scottish Labour sorely needs the relentless energy that drove a boy from the schemes to seize a safe Tory seat. But can Jim Murphy lay to rest doubts over his sincerity, asks Dani Garavelli

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The Yes campaign was  at its heart  an expression of frustrated exhaustion with Westminster and its decisions. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Andrew Tickell: SNP slouching towards Westminster

‘GOOD grief, you aren’t a Scottish Nationalist, are you?” The massive, tweedy don inspected me, eyes twinkling with surprise and a kind of benevolent contempt. Determined to skewer this odd specimen of humanity, after a fortifying slurp of claret, he patiently explained to me that I was wrongheaded and mistaken. Like a dim undergraduate in a tricky tutorial, he said, if I thought matters through, I would soon realise the absurdity of the Nationalists and my position.

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Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls. Picture: PA

Drumlanrig: Danny, Champion of the Glens

DANNY Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, is gearing up for the May elections, as the latest issue of his newsletter Talk of The Glens dropping through the letterboxes of his constituents proves. And a right riveting read it is, too.

Madonnas tumble at last weeks Brit Awards. Picture: AP/PA

Chitra Ramaswamy: Madonna getting old disgracefully

IT WAS another excruciating moment for Madonna fans. We watched. We gasped. We shook our heads in sorrow. No, I’m not talking about the moment when the biggest selling female pop star in history fell over at the Brit Awards. I’m talking about the notably less commented on incident about 20 minutes earlier when the 43-year-old British comedian Jimmy Carr indulged in one of the nation’s favourite sports: the age-shaming of Madonna.

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Alison Johnstone: Equality will be sunk by TTIP

TRICKLE-down economics. It’s a catchy phrase. Revived, I gather, by Democrats in the States to slate Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts for the rich, it’s come to mean the idea that if you make big business more profitable and give wealthy individuals more cash in their pockets somehow the rest of society will enjoy a commensurate boost. Of course, we know only too well that this kind of economic thinking hasn’t delivered. For too long governments have been pushing the trickle-down button and all the while inequality has been growing.

For months, weve been calling Mohammed Emwazi Jihadi John. Picture: Getty

Euan McColm: No excuses for vile killer Jihadi John

WHEN former prime minister John Major said that, when it came to crime, society needed “to condemn a little more and understand a little less”, his words seemed to sum up just how out of touch his Conservative Party had become.

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Martin Flanagan

Comment: Enjoy equity highs but don’t get carried away

BRITAIN’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index broke its 15-year intra-day and closing highs of 6,950 and 6,930 respectively last week. Where now? It is a finely balanced question. The financial fundamentals and broad economic backdrop would suggest further equity gains.

Consumer confidence is still improving. Picture: Lesley Martin

Comment: Politics giving firms plenty to worry about

CENTRAL to any assessment of our prospects is the state of business confidence – a critical indicator of investment, expansion and staff hiring plans in the period ahead.

Jeff Salway. Picture: Jane Barlow

Comment: Osborne deserves no credit for FTSE high

WITH a brazenness that would make even John Terry blush, George Osborne last week sought to claim the credit for the FTSE hitting a record high.

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Jim Murphy writes for the Scotland on Sunday. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Jim Murphy: Vote for a nation of equality

ON THURSDAY night I was back in the East End of Glasgow for what must have been one of the most compelling European footballing nights. I was in that part of the city again yesterday. This time it was to host a “Changing Scotland” event with people who had given opposite answers to Scotland’s referendum question.

38 comments

The much healthier alternative to smoking 'real' cigarettes. Picture: AFP

Euan McColm: Nonsense NHS ban of E-cigarettes

THE first one was a 10p ­single from the van parked outside my school. I was 13 years old, it was a Regal king size, and it made me choke until my eyes watered.

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Sturgeon at her first FMQs. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Andrew Wilson: Scotland on track under Sturgeon

JEFFERSON Davis was the president of the Confederate States during the American Civil War. His ambassador to London, William Yancey, said of him: “The man and the hour have met”. The poetry is all I care for in that line – the historical precedents are nil in what is a painful story. But what a piece of oratory it was.

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Blake Fowler was neglected and abused throughout his short life. Picture: Daily Echo

Dani Garavelli: Parents wrong about ‘named person’

ANOTHER week, another report concluding that the death of a child at the hands of his carers could have been avoided. Like Baby P and Daniel Pelka, the fate of seven-year-old Blake Fowler is almost too awful to contemplate. Neglected and abused throughout his short life, he repeatedly drew attention to his ordeal, telling his school, “I get bruises from daddy”, but everyone ­ignored his testimony and concerns raised by members of his extended family. In all, there were 18 missed opportunities to intervene, ­including an eyewitness report of a serious assault and multiple injuries.

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Will Scots buy into the SNP's 'best of both worlds' alternative? Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Leaders: Labour or SNP? The election dilemma

WILLIAM McIlvanney’s comments about the SNP, quoted in these pages today, are a timely reminder of the biggest question in Scottish politics at the moment.

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Bay City Rollers. Picture: BBC

Drumlanrig: Bye Bye credibility with the kids

SHANG A Lang, Bye, Bye Baby. David Cameron has come out of the closet as a Bay City Rollers fan. In his speech at the Tory Conference last week, the Prime Minister was boasting that the percentage of people in work was at its highest level since records began in 1971.

Cindy Crawford's image was leaked not to assert her womanhood but to degrade it. Picture: Contributed

Claire Black: Cindy Crawford reveals manipulation

I ADMIT when I saw the photo of Cindy Crawford on Twitter I instantly retweeted it. There she was, resplendent in black bra and knickers, fedora and fringed coat.

Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Picture: Getty

Dani Garavelli: Harper Lee’s long awaited sequel

EXCITEMENT at the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird’s prequel is tinged with unease at the suspicion its vulnerable author, Harper Lee, is being exploited, writes Dani Garavelli.

Kenny MacAskill was shown the door. Picture: Greg Macvean

Euan McColm: Sturgeon gets to grips with justice

THERE’S a trump card ­government ministers can play when they’re under pressure about police performance. Written on it in bold letters are the words “it’s an ­operational matter”.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon writes for The Scotland on Sunday. Picture: PA

Nicola Sturgeon: Open-minded on improving schools

THIS week I will put education – and my determination to tackle educational inequality – at the heart of my government’s agenda for the remainder of this and, if re-elected, our next term of office.

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Gordon Brown criticised the UK government for their behaviour post-referendum. Picture: JP

Andrew Wilson: Gordon Brown right about Tory plans

THERE I was going about my business as a decent law-abiding, community-spirited citizen and family man. It was an ordinary day early last week. I took tea first thing and settled into my daily rhythm as usual.

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Myleene Klass was outraged by a Facebook party invitation. Picture: AFP

Dani Garavelli: Myleene Klass may have a point

IT WAS one thing taking on Ed Miliband. But now Myleene “you can’t just point at things and tax them” Klass has picked a fight with a more formidable opponent: her fellow school-run mums, and they are proving less tolerant of her quirky approach to conflict resolution.

SNP and Labour could put differences aside for good of the country. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Leader: Opportunity for SNP and Labour to unite

SNP and Labour agreement on schooling for the poorest Scots is a heartening moment

3 comments

Marine Le Pen, on the French right, has called for an end to the euro currency. Picture: Getty

Comment: Global debt pushing Eurozone to ruin

We have been drawing comfort from a delusion, or two to be exact. One is that time is slowly healing the dramatic plunge into emergency debt in 2008-9. The subsequent rhetoric of western governments and central banks has been of “austerity”, deleveraging and earnest promises on debt and deficit reduction. We are making steady if slow progress towards debt reduction.

Martin Flanagan. Picture: Fiona Hanson/PA

Comment: Tesco can forget a quick fix

THE cascade of problems goes on and on at Tesco, Britain’s largest supermarket group. There was the £263 million overstatement of profits last summer, largely due to improper practices in booking supplies from, and payments to, suppliers.

Rugby on the BBC: 'A bit too chummy and clubby and polite.' Picture: BBC

Aidan Smith: BBC can’t stand still on Six Nations

IF YOU thought the esteemed Eddie Butler was ladling on the lyricism a bit more than usual on Friday – and if you thought his trusty bulldog Mooro had cranked up the snapping and yowling at rubbish refereeing and lousy game intelligence – then there might have been a very good, and very desperate reason, for this.

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Inherent Vice, starring Joaquin Phoenix, has been giving cinemagoers itchy feet, it seems. Picture: Getty

Hannah McGill: Heckling is the right of a cineaste

I SHOULD like to take this opportunity to apologise to anyone who was at a screening of the first Sex and the City movie in the Edinburgh area in 2008, and may have been bothered by a woman storming out of it whilst shouting: “This is nonsense!” Possibly this woman was holding a no-longer-entirely-full bottle of wine, and possibly she actually used a word other than “nonsense”.

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