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Alastair Dalton: New sleeper trains could lure families onto tracks

The highlight of my summer holidays in the Highlands as a child was the sleeper train north.

Opinion
Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman speaks to service users. Picture: John Devlin

Brian Wilson: SNP must use power to aid women hit by pension changes

The late Donald Dewar, on being described as “the midwife of devolution,” replied that devolution’s only midwife was Margaret Thatcher. It was she who persuaded enough Scottish voters to put up a defence against “the same thing happening again”.

Opinion
Jim Duffy found that while people refuse to talk to each other on the London Underground, they are all happy to communicate feverishly on social media. Picture:  AFP / Ben Stansall

Jim Duffy: Commuters trust tech, but not their fellow passengers

After failing to raise a smile from Smithers-Jones types down in the tube station, Jim Duffy senses an emotionally crippled generation

Opinion
Crowds gather in the street to watch a festival performer in a typical August scene in Edinburgh.

Leader comment: Four-month stretch does not make a festival

Just when you thought there was nowhere left for the festival to go in Edinburgh, another derelict building is transformed from a shell into a “venue”. Meanwhile, the Book Festival spills out of Charlotte Square on to George Street, and pop-up bars and food outlets spring up in new places every year.

Opinion
Injured people are treated in Barcelona after yesterday's attack on Las Ramblas. Picture: AP

Leader comment: Attack underlines need for security measures

A suspected terrorist hires a van, and ploughs it into tourists on a popular thoroughfare, with devastating effect. If the early details available from yesterday’s attack in Barcelona are accurate, then the incident follows a pattern with which we are all too familiar. It’s the sixth use of a vehicle in a deadly attack in the last six months.

Opinion
Neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Virginia have been calling themselves white nationalists. Picture: AFP/Getty

Joyce McMillan: The two different faces of ‘nationalism’

To the Festival Theatre Studio, earlier this week, to take part in one of the fascinating series of Spirit of 47 events, being staged by the Edinburgh International Festival to mark its 70th anniversary. The subject was the exclusion, from that very first official festival in 1947, of Glasgow Unity Theatre Company, with its acclaimed production of Maxim Gorky’s Lower Depths; and at the core of the debate between the first festival director Rudolph Bing and Robert Mitchell of Glasgow Unity, though, there lay a subject – and a word – that has echoed around the world this week, and sparked some special anxieties here in Scotland.

Opinion 9
David Alexander says the private rented sector is helping to alleviate the housing problem. Picture: Ian Georgeson

David Alexander: Landlords not to blame for housing problems

If Shelter did not exist someone would need to invent it. This country has a serious problem with homelessness, and the charity does much good work on behalf of those affected.

Markets Economy 3
PwC has been handed a record fine by the Financial Reporting Council. Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Martin Flanagan: PwC fine shows auditors are in firing line

Rightly or wrongly, many believe the accountancy profession has been Teflon-coated in they way it has seemingly got off from so many company financial scandals down the years.

Financial 1
Could a change of dates ease the congestion on the likes of the High Street in August? Picture:  Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Tommy Sheppard: Changing festival dates could be beneficial

A long summer season might be beneficial on a number of counts, argues Tommy Sheppard

Opinion 9
For some ex-service personnel the transition to civilian life can be challenging and effective support is crucial to give them a positive future.

Amelia Morgan: Venture Trust is out to help ex-service personnel

Each year about 17,000 people leave the UK Armed Forces and most transition successfully into the civilian world.

Opinion
Machine guns on the streets do not inspire confidence

Neil McLennan: Arming all police officers an unpalatable response

After the Manchester attack, Police Scotland tweeted an image of the chief constable with two armed policemen and two civilian runners. ‘Armed police’ proclaimed the hashtag.

Opinion 2
Greater incentives and investment are needed to move away from the box in the street and the copper wiring under the ground

Ricky Nicol: Digital crisis a threat to economic health

Only 2 per cent of buildings in the UK have a fibre to the premises (FTTP) network connection.

Opinion
Parliament is full of people with blinkered views, disinclined to do what the electorate want

Tim Flinn: Parliamentary democracy has reached its sell-by date

A recent BBC4 Storyville, The Accidental Anarchist concerned a former Foreign Office high flier. He became so disillusioned with the lies he was expected to tell and the truths he was paid to suppress, and with the horrors inflicted upon innocent civilians by the uncaring political/military juntas of the UK and the USA, that he turned against the Foreign Office.

Opinion 1
Women in poverty are often forced  to steal sanitary products

David Thomson: Campaigns may spell the beginning of the end of the menstruation taboo

Before long, Scotland will be the first part of the United Kingdom where women will have access free sanitary products.

Opinion
Graham Boyack, Director, Scottish Mediation

Graham Boyack: Scotland really needs to keep it simple when it comes to procedure in law cases

The recently launched Justice In Scotland – Vision and Priotities has as one of its ambitions “to modernise civil and criminal law and the justice system to meet the needs of people in Scotland in the 21st century”.

Opinion
Baby boxes indicate a willingness to help every child, regardless of income, get the best possible start

Kenny MacAskill: Time to talk seriously about benefits, universal or not, affordable or otherwise

So, baby boxes will be arriving for every newborn in Scotland. Delivered not by a stork but by the Scottish Government. For some it’s a fad, for others a vital part of childcare. I tend to be supportive as its been shown to work in Finland, a country I admire greatly and one which has addressed public health issues and pursued education policies that Scotland could do well to learn from.

Opinion 18
Tim Farron stood down as Liberal Democrat leader following controversy over his religious beliefs. It isnt good enough to say the party leader is entitled to his own views says Kelvin Holdsworth. Picture: PA

Kelvin Holdsworth: Liberal Democrats need to be more liberal - and more democratic

The challenge for new party leader Vince Cable is to get to the root of problems rather than find practical solutions to them, says Kelvin Holdsworth

Opinion 2
Portugal is a strong example of how to keep drug-related deaths to a minimum.

Kevan Christie: What can Scotland learn from Europe about how to prevent drug deaths?

The ‘appalling’ figures showing that the number of drug-related deaths in Scotland reached a record number last year have called into question the effectiveness of our national drugs strategy.

Opinion 2
While Scotland's improved employment rate represents good news, many new jobs will be poorly paid and possibly short-term with fewer rights than those in permanent positions.

Minimum wage must be enforced

Nearly 20 years on from the introduction of the minimum wage, businesses continue to flout the legislation.

Opinion
The odds on Jacob Rees-Mogg becoming the next Conservative leader have tumbled from 50-1 to 10-1. Picture: PA

Bill Jamieson: There is real appeal behind ‘Moggmentum’

History has shown plenty of examples of popular wisdom being wrong and the rank outsider winning, so don’t write off Jacob Rees-Mogg just yet says Bill Jamieson

Opinion 21
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