Friends of The Scotsman

‘Wealth generation’ need not be a dirty phrase

It’s become fashionable for Scots to talk about values. Every debate, political discussion or election campaign sooner or later will focus on those things that we, as a population, value most, and top of the list are usually standards of positive behaviour like tolerance, inclusiveness and community spirit.

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Amazon Dash button

Digital changes the future every day

Amazon’s latest innovation to hit the UK is The Amazon Dash Button. This physical button uses a household wifi signal to allow consumers one touch ordering of their favourite brands, from soap powder to loo roll. Products then arrive at their door within 24 hours. It may sound like a gimmick but launched in the US in 2015, Dash now processes around two orders every minute, with engagement on a steady increase. Domino’s in the UK offer a similar “emergency” order button, where those desperate for pizza can just hit a button to re-order their favourite deep pan in under an hour or tweet Domino’s with the pizza emoji to place their usual order.

LONDON - AUGUST 08:  A Caledonian 80 Shilling label at the Beer Festival in Earls Court on August 8, 2007 in London, England. The beer festival is an annual event supported by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).  (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

Let’s raise a glass to hardworking landlords and brewers

Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale, doesn’t just celebrate real ale, but also the brewers who brew it and pubs who sell it. We promote excellence in the field of both brewing real ale and looking after it in the pub. In terms of the brewers, we run a competition called Champion Beer of Britain, looking for the best real ale in the UK. The competition runs throughout the year, with thousands of real ales eligible, and culminates in August at the Great British Beer Festival in London’s Olympia. Unlike last year, where Kelburn Jaguar came within a whisker of becoming the Supreme Champion,this year, although there were a few Scottish finalists in various categories, only Alloa-based William’s Black made it to the grand final by winning the Mild category.

Thumbs up from Frank Oxley as he returns from the tractor run.

Furrowed brows over Brexit and rural policy

Almost three months on from the EU referendum, the challenges – and opportunities – presented by Brexit that are only just beginning to be explored.

Fishing boats at Peterhead

Negotiating a sea of new opportunities

Imagine a situation in which brand new rules were introduced for football’s European Championships. Instead of the current system, teams would be required to field a set number of players from another country. Those players would not have to try to help their team win – in fact, they would expressly be encouraged to assist the other team.

The new clinic in Kambilonjo, Malawi.

Keep tackling climate change and world’s poor will benefit

In June of 2009, in a relatively rare outbreak of consensus, the Scottish Parliament did something remarkable. MSPs agreed, unanimously, to some of the most ambitious climate change targets anywhere in the world.

Opinion 2
The Team Lux driverless car which is taking part in the DARPA Urban Challenge driverless car race. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Wednesday April 11, 2007. The car features laser scanners which allow the car to 'see' where it is going to locate large obstacles to manoeuvre around, GPS navigation systems, computer activated steering, braking and gears. See PA story  TRANSPORT Driverless. Photo credit should read: Cathal McNaughton/PA Wire.

Road to the future is paved with driverless cars

All of the major vehicle manufacturers have been setting out their planned timescales for launching sales of driverless vehicles. Many people are surprised at the pace of change under which increasing numbers of cars are operating on our roads with less control by the driver. The UK Department for Transport (DfT) roadmap to encourage autonomous vehicles (AVs) on our roads envisages that the UK can be a world leader in AVs.

Tripshare promo pictures

Leave your gas guzzler at home and enjoy all the fun of the car share

Life’s more fun when you share. The phrase used by Liftshare is more relevant now than ever as the “sharing economy” grows in popularity. Since its launch in 2006, has joined a plethora of apps and websites which encourages users to share different parts of their lives; sharing resources rather than outright ownership. Brands such as AirBnB, Uberpool and Borrow my Doggy allow people to share everything from their home to their pet. Car sharing has also seen a rise in popularity thanks to recent celebrity endorsements by James Corden and Peter Kay. Cordon, joined by a host of different celebrities, has made car sharing cool with his Carpool Karaoke whilst Kay injects humour into car sharing in his BBC sitcom. Even in Edinburgh and South East Scotland, membership of Tripshare has risen to more than 8,800 people.

scotsman readers gallery 31/07/15
The other picture was taken at Knockan Crag north of Ullapool last Sunday - Ben More Coigach and Stac Polly.
Robert Bain
Balnaguard near Pitlochry

Finding ways to aid communities in the 21st century

The Church of Scotland is going on the road this autumn to ask its 400,000 members to shape the direction the Church should take into the future. What does the future hold for the social mission of the Church? What does it mean for CrossReach, our professional social care provider?

Giving Back pics: Skye photographer flies to Jordan to meet Syrian refugees

Scotland helps migrants as they face a nightmare

Edinburgh recently welcomed the 1,000th person granted refuge in Scotland through the Syrian Resettlement Scheme, a milestone that marks the fact that Scotland has become home to one third of the total number of Syrian refugees who have come to the UK in the last year.

News 1
Jenny Paterson (Director, NAS Scotland) with Mark McDonald, Scottish Minister for Child Care and Early Years at Autism Europe 2016, in Edinburgh, exploring the world of a child with autism through virtual reality goggles.

View of the (virtual) reality of autism

Last weekend more than 1,600 people travelled to Edinburgh from all over Europe, and as far as South America, New Zealand and Japan, to hear about advances in autism knowledge from more than 300 speakers.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 19:  Lutalo Muhammad (L) of Great Britain competes against Cheick Sallah Cisse of Cote d'Ivoire in the Men's Taekwondo -80kg Gold Medal Contest on Day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 3 on August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Sometimes answers lurk in the margins

The Olympics have come and gone with all of the emotion and inspiration they bring. In our recent residential Summer School on mediation skills for leaders, we reflected on the learning from Rio. We watched a video of the men’s Taekwondo 80kg final in which Team GB’s Lutalo Muhammad lost to his Ivory Coast opponent Cheick Sallah Cisse in the last second of the bout, giving the latter his country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal.


Take notice of expensive alterations in safety laws

The approach to sentencing health and safety cases in England and Wales has changed dramatically in recent years. The Definitive Sentencing Guidelines for Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences which came into force in November 2015 have become ferociously and irrevocably embedded in the minds of those who decide on levels of sentence. The past few months have seen several companies south of the Border fined in excess of £1 million for non-fatal health and safety breaches. Previously only fatal cases would have been expected to have seen fines at that level. Owners and operators of undertakings in England cannot fail to notice the tide of change.

File photo dated 20/04/07 of a British Gas bill seen behind a burning gas hob. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday May 12, 2008. British Gas owner Centrica warned today of potential further bill hikes for customers after revealing that continued high wholesale gas prices would hit results this year. The firm said that overall operating profits for the first half of this year would be "materially lower" compared with a year ago, mainly due to poorer performance in its British Gas Residential arm. See PA story CITY Centrica. Photo credit should read: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Do your homework and you may reap rewards

New energy performance regulations that came into force this month could have significant financial implications for owners and tenants of commercial property.

Embargoed to 0001 Wednesday June 15

File photo dated 30/11/15 of Facebook's logo reflected in a pair of glasses, as a new study suggests that social media has overtaken television for the first time as young people's main source of news. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday June 15, 2016. Figures released by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism showed that half (51%) of all online users surveyed said they used social media as a news source, with one in 10 saying it was their main method. See PA story MEDIA News. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Update your Facebook status and you may be ruining your job prospects

Iam honoured and delighted to be addressing a group of 16-24 year-olds at the Hand Picked Academy later this month on the social media perils affecting their job chances. For those of you who have not heard of Hand Picked, it is a fantastic initiative designed to develop jobseeking skills, build confidence and provide real work experience for young people who, for a variety of reasons, have found themselves without work. Its success lies primarily in the commitment of employers to provide candidates with a 12-week paid job where they are put through their paces and given mentoring support. The Academy gets to the core of what it takes to secure and keep a job.

Young men are growing up without knowledge of HPV

Guide to staying healthy, warts and all

It is a common sexually transmitted infection, yet many young people remain unaware of its dangers and boys in Scotland are excluded from vaccination programmes.


Some children just need a little more time and space

What were your first days at high school like? I remember hooking up with a small group of boys in the first half hour and spending the next term locked into intense heads-down, wandering about, never 
daring to look up.


Challenge to the food and drink industry

Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight began last week amidst a flurry of positive figures for Scotland’s food and drink industry. 14,000 new jobs and 26 per cent growth in the sector have been forecast over the next five years. A new record annual turnover of £14.4 billion was announced.

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Data protection laws are going to change again. Picture: Kate Chandler

Are you ready for the new world of data protection laws?

Helena Brown has some advice before everything changes in 2018

Lord Advocate James�Wolffe QC. Picture: Jane Barlow

An open letter to the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC

A few suggestions from other side of the fence, writes Gordon Jackson QC

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