Friends of The Scotsman

Count on farmers to make sure that Scottish songbirds keep their habitats

At the Oxford Farming Conference 2017 held earlier this month, one highlight was the debate entitled After CAP, what? To survive and thrive what policies does GB agriculture need?

Duncan Cormack
. Picture: Contributed

Obituary: Duncan Cormack, policeman and war veteran

Born: 25 November 1924 in Reay, near Thurso, Caithness. Died: 28 December, 2016 in Wick, Caithness aged 92.

It remains possible to apply for national patents in countries of interest, which will be subject to the jurisdiction of national courts.

Franziska Luckert: Charting a path through European patents maze

A new agreement offers benefits, but a mixed approach might actually be the best route for small business, writes Franziska Luckert

28th October 1914:  British soldiers lined up in a narrow trench during World War I.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Peter Kearney: Blaming religion for wars simply doesn’t add up

Atheists say Faith is behind the vast majority of conflicts throughout history, but it’s just not true, says Peter Kearney

Opinion 9
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.

Opinion 19
JP License Citizens Advice Bureau, Spectrum House, Edinburgh.   Neil Hanna Photography 07702 246823

Welfare reforms are going to hinder more than they help the vulnerable

The most recent round of UK Government welfare reform recently came into effect in Scotland and the rest of the UK; the “benefit cap” as it is known has been met with hostility and criticism from campaigners and activists for the impact it will have on some of the most vulnerable in society. But what exactly is the benefit cap, and what impact are we expecting to see in Edinburgh?

logo friends of the scotsman unison 030713 dave watson

Let’s make sure we’re all virtuous citizens

If local government is to succeed in making the case against centralisation, councils need to adopt ways of meaningfully engaging with communities.

Opinion 1
Colin Valentine, CAMRA

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.

Opinion 5
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.

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.

Opinion 1
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.

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.

Primary School children from Ulva Ferry Primary School at the Sea Eagles viewing hide using binoculars and telescopes as the White-tailed Sea Eagles rear chicks in a nest on the Isle of Mull.  The project is a partnership run by the Mull & Iona Community Trust, Forest Enterprise, RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage.  Picture ALLAN MILLIGAN 17th June 2002 (electronic image)

Ignore negativity nature boys and girls are all around us in Scotland

Children are disconnected from nature” has become something of a worrying mantra. We’re told that they spend less time out of doors than prisoners. That one in ten is obese.

Opinion 2
Tim Baynes, Scottish Land and Estates Moorland Group. Picture by Graeme Hart. Copyright Perthshire Picture Agency Tel: 01738 623350  Mobile: 07990 594431

Let’s flock to keep an eye on our birds

All over the country, “citizen science” is coming into its own in the reporting of wildlife. This is due to awareness raising through television and social media and reflects a growing public interest in all wildlife.

Opinion 1

Any way you slice it, it’s time cosmetic surgery clinics became registered

The number of people choosing to have cosmetic procedures is increasing. More than 50,000 people in the UK opted for these procedures last year, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

Marketing Society  Star Awards at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh in June 2016

Adopt a bolder approach to marketing yourself this new year

As we head into a new year with all the changes and uncertainties that 2016 brought never has it been more important for marketers to be bold and lead by example.

Opinion 2
Let’s give our school pupils a global perspective on learning

Let’s give our school pupils a global perspective on learning

Sympathy is often our first reaction to the incessant news cycles and social media feeds of women, men and children fleeing from war, drought or flood and making difficult journeys through treacherous conditions. In the current global political climate, it is all too easy to want to turn away from the world and focus only on ourselves.

Opinion 2
Edinburgh Council first local authority in Scotland for ALL schools to be awarded Bronze Food for Life Catering Award
Lesley Hinds and Councillor Paul Godzik with Kitchen Supervisors left to right: Jacqueline Neilson (Portobello High), Margaret Morris (Gilmerton Primary), Lorna McKenna (Liberton High)

European partners key to facing transport challenges

Transport has always been vital for the development of Scotland, with a long history of connections with European countries relating to tourism, commerce and communities. Into the future, it looks likely that the South East of Scotland will continue to face common challenges to our European partners in terms of transport, air quality and active travel. Therefore, the chance for SEStran (South East Scotland Regional Transport Partnership) to participate in a project with seven other city regions across Europe – Macedonia, Spain, Italy, Romania, Poland and Slovenia – wastoo good an opportunity to miss.

Opinion 2
Tony Kenmuir, CILT Scotland - Scottish Committee Member

Hail traditional benefits of licensed taxi services

Some of the fastestgrowing services accessed via smartphone apps relate to travel by taxi. Global technology companies like Lyft, Bridj and, in the UK particularly, Uber, are leading the growth of these services. Outlets such as Uber blur the lines between getting a lift and hailing a taxi. Uber is predominantly a tech company, not a transport company, and getting into the car of an unknown driver is a greater risk than buying a book or a DVD online.

Portraits of Lecturers and students at Edinburgh  Napier University campus at Merchiston in Edinburgh; Senior lecturer in the TRI department Tom Rye.

Nobody digs roads worsened by work

Utility companies – gas, water, electricity and so on – dig up our roads with monotonous regularity. In 2015, around 100,000 separate utility roadworks were counted on the Scottish Roadworks Register. That’s 100,000 times our roads and pavements were dug up and, in most cases, “reinstated” (industry jargon for putting them back).

Opinion 2
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