Friends of The Scotsman

Nicolas White: Support vital after breast cancer treatment

Every year, around 4,600 people in Scotland are given the devastating news that they have breast cancer. Better awareness of signs and symptoms, leading to earlier diagnosis, and advances in treatment mean survival rates are better than ever – more than 80 per cent of ­women survive the disease beyond five years.

David Robertson, Solas CPC

Dare to debate this damaging idea that gender is a social construct

There is a fear that dare not speak its name, a question that dare not be asked. An ideology is being foisted on Scotland’s children which, though well-meaning, is ultimately harmful.

27-09-2016. Picture Michael Gillen. Firth of Forth. The shale gas carrier INEOS Insight makes its way to dock at Grangemouth. 
The first shipment of US shale gas arrives in the UK. A tanker carrying 27,500m3 of ethane from US shale fields is due to dock at Grangemouth, the refinery and petrochemicals plant owned by Ineos.
The company said the gas would replace dwindling North Sea supplies and secure the future of the plant's workforce.
Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos founder and chairman, said: "This is a hugely important day for Ineos and the UK. Shale gas can help stop the decline of British manufacturing."

Shale gas and fracking protestors.

Research says fracking isn’t apocalyptic

The Scottish Government announced that there was to be a moratorium on granting consents for unconventional oil and gas development in Scotland until further research and a public consultation was carried out in January 2015.

Opinion 7
A Generic Photo of a divorced couple arguing over custody of their children. See PA Feature ADVICE Advice Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature ADVICE Advice Column.

Making someone stay in an unhappy marriage smacks of old mores

Following hot on the heels of a decision by the English courts to award a woman who lost the bulk of her divorce settlement by making poor financial decisions, larger monthly payments from her long-suffering ex-husband years after their divorce, came another headline: “Woman appeals against divorce refusal.”

Power of Attorney document waiting to be filled in and signed.

Where there’s a will, have a Power of Attorney too

The modern incarnation of the power of attorney (PoA) as provided by the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 has two separate functions. One is the traditional function of authorising a named person or persons to conduct business on behalf of the person granting the PoA. Such business might include operating bank accounts, signing documents and cheques and even selling residential property.

Professor Lesley Yellowlees CBE FRSC FInstP FRSE, Chair of the Learned Societies Group on Scottish STEM Education and past president of the Royal Society of Chemistry

STEM subjects are at the root of giving children skills for the workplace

The Learned Societies’ Group (LSG) in Scotland, which I chair, brings together learned societies and professional associations in STEM subjects ­(science, ­technology, ­engineering and ­mathematics).

The importance of regularly checking your breasts for signs and symptoms of breast cancer

An app to help you check your breast health

After the initial flurry of enthusiasm for New Year’s resolutions it’s easy to abandon good intentions but I want to urge women across ­Scotland to make one simple, potentially 
life-saving change to their routine – to check their breasts.


Coronary heart disease is a worry but diagnosis isn’t end of the world

Every day in Scotland, 40 people lose their lives to heart and circulatory disease. Every week, around 500 people go to hospital due to a heart attack. And every month, 26 babies are diagnosed with a heart defect.

Gillian Layhe, NATS trainee air traffic controller

Martin Donnan: Keeping our skies safe is a job you can do – with the right training

Every week, day-in, day-out, thousands of planes fly above Scotland and the north Atlantic and, with many thousands of lives at stake, it is essential that the route of each and every aircraft is continuously managed and carefully monitored. This vital task falls to the air traffic controllers at National Air Traffic Services Scottish (NATS) control centre who, with the help of state-of-the-art IT systems, work round-the-clock to keep our skies safe for everyone.

Bridge at Seafield Plac

Lesley Hinds: ‘As a council, we’re working extremely hard to improve Edinburgh’s air quality’

To paraphrase the Hollies’ 1974 hit song, “All we need is the air that we breathe...”

Opinion 4
Louise Robertson,  Press and Media Manager for StAnza

Poetry festival gets a French connection

With less than a month to go, the countdown is most definitely on until StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, gets underway for the 20th time. From 1-5 March, St Andrews will welcome the world to a little corner of Fife, brought alive for five days with poetry, music and art.

Ladies enjoy one of the many events at Macrobert Arts Centre

A spot of culture can make a huge difference to our sense of wellbeing

The Scottish Government has identified that people who regularly attend a cultural place or event are more likely to report good health compared to those who have not. At a time when the professional health services are under pressure and the importance of mental health care has become a political priority, it is timely to reflect on the crucial contribution that the arts make to well-being in Scotland.

01/01/16 . POSED BY MODEL. Images of distressed child. Payday loans, credit cards and overdrafts are being used to top up people�"s income as wages remain static.  Christmas putting pressure on purse strings. domestic violence , household debt problems , child abuse.

Protecting children 
from abuse must be the paramount consideration of the courts

Few pieces of news hit home as hard as stories of children being killed by their parents. Though such terrible crimes are rare, they are perhaps not as rare as society may think.

There are too many sticks and not enough carrots to incentivise more effective housing delivery. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

June Gilles: Planning revamp needs to plug the gaps

Last month the Scottish Government published the eagerly-awaited consultation on its proposals for improving the planning system. Its aim to see more homes and supporting infrastructure projects delivered sits at the heart of this root and branch review, but many in the development industry question whether the proposals go far enough and will have the intended impact on housing delivery.

Charles Livingstone of Brodies
Scotsman Law Pages

Ruling leaves some constitutional doubt

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled 8:3 that the UK government requires an act of the UK parliament before giving notice, under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, to begin the Brexit process. However, given that the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has already passed through the House of Commons, the court’s decision on the other constitutional issue it was asked to consider may turn out to be more significant.

Opinion 1

We’re cooking up a healthier Scotland by making a meal of nutritional info

Over Christmas families take a well-deserved break and get together to celebrate and enjoy the best that Scotland’s food and drink sector has to offer. Then the New Year hits and most of us start thinking about exercising and eating more healthily. But there are so many confusing messages in the media on fad diets and health scares which are not helpful. In fact, Food Standards Scotland’s Consumer Tracking Survey from September of last year found that 71 per cent of people thought experts contradict each other over which foods are good or bad for you and 34 per cent said they get confused over what’s supposed to be healthy and what isn’t.

Dr Gordon Macdonald is Parliamentary Officer for CARE for Scotland

Compulsory organ ‘donation’ is thin end of a very tricky wedge

Modern Scotland is a secular society where the vast bulk of the population have no active Christian faith. But have we lost a vital part of our national identity as a result and what are the likely long-term consequences of this loss of faith in the nation?

Opinion 8
PIC SANDY YOUNG for SOS Pictured Grant Nichol of Leith Funeral Service's with a coffin and flowers on top with cross in background.Part of a story on Ministers not having time to do a funeral service.

Funeral directors keep standards high at one of life’s most difficult times

Nearly all of us at some stage of our lives will come into contact with a funeral director, and this year heralds the beginning of a new chapter in the profession with the introduction of a national Inspector of Funeral Directors, appointed by the Scottish 

Opinion 1
Quality Scotland can help businesses achieve excellence

Teamwork makes the dream work

Having your own people trained to embed a management framework across your organisation can be a financial and management win-win.

Sian Williams, Senior Policy Officer at RSPB Scotland.

More trees is an admirable goal, but be careful where you plant them

Trees are great, aren’t they? They are an important habitat for wildlife, provide timber for use in our homes and give us wonderful woodlands where we can enjoy nature. Trees are also good at storing carbon, combating air pollution and can be used to manage flooding, helping us to counteract some of the negative effects of climate change.

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