{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"scotland","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/donald-trump-told-to-pay-5m-for-affordable-houses-at-balmedie-links-1-4817787","id":"1.4817787","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump told to pay £5m for affordable houses at Balmedie links","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540066554000 ,"articleLead": "

The Trump Organisation has been told it will have to pay £5 million towards affordable housing as part of plans for a luxury estate next to the US president’s golf resort.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817785.1540066550!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump at the 18th tee of his golf course. Picture: Dan Phillips"} ,"articleBody": "

Officials at Aberdeenshire Council have said the seven-figure payment is necessary to meet housing needs in the nearby area.

In what represents the single biggest development undertaken by any of Trump’s firms since he entered the White House, plans have been lodged to build up to 500 homes next to Trump International Golf Links Scotland in Balmedie.

The Trump Estate venture promises “exceptional country living”, with houses on sale for as much as “several million” pounds.

But documents submitted to the local authority only specify 27 affordable housing units, described as “key worker” apartments.

Anne Anderson, an affordable housing development officer at the council, has asked Trump’s staff for more details of the affordable housing provision “as a matter of urgency”.

She explained: “The housing service would require further details of this proposal before this could be considered as an affordable housing contribution.

“On this occasion the housing services would be looking to secure a commuted sum of £5m in order to address local housing need in the Ellon Academy catchment area.”

The number of affordable homes proposed so far represents a significant reduction compared with Trump’s original plans for 98 affordable units at the Aberdeenshire resort.

A section 75 agreement, struck between the council and Trump International Golf Club Scotland in December 2008, specified that Trump’s company would make two “affordable housing contribution” payments totalling £7.35m.

However, because the scale of the development has not been as large as the approved plans, the payments have not been triggered.

Debra Storr, a planning consultant and former Aberdeenshire councillor who opposed Trump’s inaugural golf course, said: “They’re trying to kind of get away with classifying workers’ accommodation as affordable housing units. This is the Trump Organisation trying to get away with bloody murder.

“The generalised requirement for affordable housing is 25 per cent [of the development], so if they are building 500 houses, 125 should affordable”.

Scotland on Sunday asked Aberdeenshire Council if the quantity of affordable housing in the application was sufficient, and whether it intended to uphold the terms of the section 75 agreement.

A spokeswoman for the local authority said that as it was dealing with a live planning application, it was unable to go into that “level of detail,” but added that “affordable housing and developer contributions will be considered through the assessment of the application.”

Trump International Golf Club did not respond to Scotland on Sunday’s inquiry.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Martyn McLaughlin"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817785.1540066550!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817785.1540066550!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump at the 18th tee of his golf course. Picture: Dan Phillips","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump at the 18th tee of his golf course. Picture: Dan Phillips","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817785.1540066550!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/books/new-oxford-bar-boss-vows-to-stay-true-to-the-spirit-of-rebus-1-4817783","id":"1.4817783","articleHeadline": "New Oxford Bar boss vows to stay true to the spirit of Rebus","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540066330000 ,"articleLead": "

He has been at the helm of one of Scotland’s best-known pubs for 30 years – known around the world as its famously grumpy barman. But now Harry Cullen is about to call time on his tenure at The Oxford Bar – to return to his first love of singing.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817782.1540066326!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Harry Cullen with Kirsty Grant, who is taking the helm of the pub made famous by Ian Rankin. Picture: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

A new era is about to dawn for the bar, which attracts hundreds of Inspector Rebus fans each week thanks to its regular appearances in Ian Rankin’s novels.

But new licensee, Kirsty Grant, who has worked with Cullen for the last decade, has insisted it will be staying true to its 19th century roots and remaining a “proper boozer”.

Despite the growing numbers of tourists there, and the recent introduction of art exhibitions in its back room, the only innovation she is planning is a Facebook page.

Cullen, the main barman in the pub for 14 years before taking over its licence from John Gates, has decided to step aside to coincide with his 70th birthday next month.

But he has no intention of retiring from the city’s pub scene after recently reviving his interest in singing after 30 years, including a comeback gig during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and a recent show at Leith Folk Club.

Now he hopes to serve up punters with songs by the likes of John Denver, Leo Sayer, The Everly Brothers, 10cc and Sir Rod Stewart. Regulars at “The Ox” will even be entertained by Cullen on Hogmanay, when he will return in his new guise.

Leith-born Cullen was a familiar figure in the folk scene in Edinburgh in the 1970s, plying his trade as a solo singer in pubs like the Waverley Bar and Milne’s, and performing with the band Kinsmen. His regular stints in Milne’s eventually led to him running the famous Rose Street “poets’ pub”.

Cullen said: “Before I worked in Milne’s, I was a folk singer in pubs, clubs and anywhere else that would have me. But it’s only really been in the last couple of years that I’ve picked up the guitar and been interested in singing again. I was doing it for a living before, but now it’s for enjoyment.

“I want to try my music again. When you get to a certain age you think you may as well have a wee go at it and see how you get on. When there’s no pressure on me, I can pick and choose what to do now in future.

“I’ll be 70 next month and I think I’ve done my bit here. I don’t have the enthusiasm that I used to have. I’ve had enough. It’s time to go.

“There are a lot more regulations now. We used to do pies, but we were going to have to fill in all kinds of logs. We only ever sold about three a day. It was too much bother.

“Nothing has really changed since I’ve been here, apart from a few improvements with the seating and the heating.

“What makes this place is the people that come here, but if you changed it they would stop coming. It’s not just the Rebus books that bring people in here. A lot of folk just want to come in, sit down and have a chat.

“The pub trade in Edinburgh is always evolving. You have to adapt to your surroundings if they’re changing. Thankfully, other pubs have done the evolving and we’ve just stood still. That’s been our knack.”

Grant, 47, who has been working in the bar for 12 years and is Cullen’s second cousin, admitted her first impressions had not been great when she agreed to work a couple of shifts.

She said: “Initially, when I walked in, I thought: ‘What new hell is this?’ It just seemed to be full of bare lightbulbs and wall-to-wall men. But after about a week I kind of fell in love with it.

“It was one of the few places I’d been in where people from all walks of life were enjoying each other’s company. It seemed like all of life was here. Nothing much has changed.

“We have lampshades now and we’ve had an open fire for a few years, which is great in the winter. We had a gas fire before, which was hideous. It was either boiling or freezing – there was no in-between.

“The drinking culture has changed a lot. The trade from office workers has really died off during the day, but that’s been replaced by tourists.

“Every single day people come in because of the Rebus connection, but that’s never been to the detriment of the bar.

“People can rest assured that virtually nothing will change. That was really my raison d’être for taking it on. I want to protect it and preserve what we have here. It’s almost become a USP that we don’t do food.

“I hate having a pint next to somebody having fish and chips. This is a proper boozer.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817782.1540066326!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817782.1540066326!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Harry Cullen with Kirsty Grant, who is taking the helm of the pub made famous by Ian Rankin. Picture: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Harry Cullen with Kirsty Grant, who is taking the helm of the pub made famous by Ian Rankin. Picture: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817782.1540066326!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/art/sick-kids-mortuary-murals-at-risk-from-flats-development-1-4817786","id":"1.4817786","articleHeadline": "Sick Kids mortuary murals at risk from flats development","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540067341000 ,"articleLead": "

National Museums Scotland is being urged to step in to secure the future of murals painted for a children’s mortuary more than 130 years ago, amid fears they are at risk from a housing development.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817784.1540067337!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Phoebe Anna Traquair's artwork at Edinburgh's Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Photograph: Toby Williams"} ,"articleBody": "

Art historians want Phoebe Anna Traquair’s creations for Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children to be relocated rather than left in situ when the NHS vacates the site.

They are trying to resist the creation of two private flats, which are proposed to be created in the mortuary building, around the murals, due to concerns they would be left to deteriorate there.

NHS Lothian, which is building a £150 million hospital for sick children at Little France, agreed last year to sell the site in the centre of Edinburgh to Liverpool-based developers Downing.

Dublin-born Traquair, who moved to Edinburgh after marrying Scottish palaeontologist Dr Ramsay Heatley Traquair in 1873, was a leading figure in the “arts and crafts movement” in Scotland.

Her work for the hospital has inspired a new campaign by the Mansfield Traquair Trust, which was formed in 1993 to rescue Traquair murals at a 19th century church at Mansfield Place. About £500,000 was spent restoring “Edinburgh’s Sistine Chapel”.

In a submission to the City of Edinburgh Council, the trust claims it would not be in the “long-term interests” of the hospital’s murals if they are put into private ownership. It states: “No proposals are presented for the practical management of the chapel, allowing public access to the art. Such a notable work should remain in public ownership and its future should be safeguarded (and not endangered) in the long-term. This cannot happen if it enters into private ownership.”

A National Museums Scotland spokesman said: “It’s quite clear there are significant challenges, risks and potential costs whether they remain where they are or attempts are made to relocate them.”

A spokeswoman for Downing said: “We’ve discussed the future of the murals with National Museums Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and the Mansfield Traquair Trust with a view to ensuring their future in the most appropriate manner.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BRIAN FERGUSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817784.1540067337!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817784.1540067337!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Phoebe Anna Traquair's artwork at Edinburgh's Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Photograph: Toby Williams","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Phoebe Anna Traquair's artwork at Edinburgh's Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Photograph: Toby Williams","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817784.1540067337!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/regions/glasgow-strathclyde/shetland-to-glasgow-loganair-flight-in-bird-strike-drama-1-4817808","id":"1.4817808","articleHeadline": "Shetland to Glasgow Loganair flight in bird-strike drama","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540074327000 ,"articleLead": "

A flight carrying 40 passengers and three crew was forced to return to Sumburgh Airport in Shetland after being hit by birds at 1,500ft.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817807.1540067265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "One of the Saab 2000 turboprop aircraft in Loganair's fleet. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Loganair flight LM438 was en-route to Glasgow when the incident happened on Friday shortly after take-off.

Passengers reported seeing flames and onboard crew received an alert about the aircraft’s left-hand engine.

Loganair said the Saab 2000 landed safely and aid from standby emergency vehicles was not required.

The affected plane has been removed from service for further tests to be carried out.

Passengers on board the flight reported hearing a bang and smelling fuel moments after the aircraft left the runway.

Mia Sutherland, 15, who was travelling with her parents, told the BBC she saw flames on the outside of the plane.

She said: “Just when we were levelling out there was a bang followed by a short outburst of flames and then a horrible fuelly smell came into where the passengers were.

“Everyone was panicking and going ‘what was that?’ Everyone was looking out windows and probably about 10 or 15 minutes later the pilot came on and said that we were going back to Sumburgh because of a technical fault and then, when we got back, they said they had hit a bird.”

The incident resulted in passengers being unable to continue their journey to Glasgow on Friday evening because the airport was closed overnight. They were instead offered overnight accommodation.

A spokesman said customers were able to resume their journey yesterday and left on another aircraft at about 9am.

He added: “Safety is always our first priority, and as always, our pilots responded immediately and appropriately to the warning that they received on the flight deck following the bird strike – an eventuality for which every pilot is extensively trained.

“The aircraft made a normal landing back at Sumburgh and our customers were able to disembark as they normally would.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817807.1540067265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817807.1540067265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "One of the Saab 2000 turboprop aircraft in Loganair's fleet. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "One of the Saab 2000 turboprop aircraft in Loganair's fleet. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817807.1540067265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/dani-garavelli-remember-who-caused-mess-as-glasgow-women-strike-1-4817713","id":"1.4817713","articleHeadline": "Dani Garavelli: Remember who caused mess as Glasgow women strike","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540066630000 ,"articleLead": "

Who would want to be in the shoes of the SNP leadership of Glasgow City Council right now? Its 18 months in control of the country’s biggest local authority has seen it firefighting – in the case of the Glasgow School of Art, literally – a succession of crises, most of which were not of its own making.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817712.1540066625!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Glasgow City Council workers at the launch of a poster backing their cause in George Square, last week. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA"} ,"articleBody": "

This is not to suggest those at the helm have not made mistakes; there are questions to be asked about the way business owners in Sauchiehall Street were treated in the wake of that blaze, for example; but it is also true that the stars have aligned against them. Yet their rivals continue to capitalise on their inability to resolve problems previous Labour-led administrations ignored (and sometimes exacerbated) for the best part of two decades.

Later this week, Glasgow services will be severely affected as Unison and GMB members take part in what is being billed as the biggest equal pay strike ever seen in the UK. More than 8,000 workers, mostly women who work in catering, cleaning and caring, will forsake their posts for 48 hours in an attempt to force the council to settle their claims.

It’s a historic moment. Not since the 1915 rent strikes have the city’s women come together in such numbers to face down injustice; and an injustice has certainly been done. These low-paid workers – the city’s linchpins – have been cheated out of their rightful earnings for most of their working lives. And now, when a resolution appeared to be in sight, the process has stalled again. According to Action 4 Equality Scotland, which represents most of the women, 10 months after the SNP-led administration began negotiations, the issue of comparators has still not been resolved. Add to that a deterioration in the working conditions of homecarers, and it is easy to see why anger has boiled over. I have nothing but admiration for the way these women are fighting their corner.

At the same time, I can’t help feeling a degree of sympathy towards the SNP councillors now under attack from the very same unions and politicians whose refusal to recognise the value of women’s work led to the accruing of a £500 million-plus debt.

It was the decision in 2006 by the then Labour administration to implement a discriminatory pay and grades structure, and the decision of later ones to oppose the women’s consequent pay claims, that created this shambles.

Those decisions were facilitated (some would say driven) by male-dominated unions, including the GMB, which were all too happy to see their male workers’ pay and bonuses protected.

When the SNP took control last year, it accepted the women had been underpaid and pledged to resolve the claims, even though it understood the issue would cast a shadow over its first term and potentially deprive it of a second.

It may well be true, as Action 4 Equality claims, that it is failing to deliver on that pledge. The organisation says the council officers leading the negotiations – the very same council officers who advised previous administrations not to settle – are still proving uncooperative.

And yet, the SNP has achieved three major goals: it ended the court action, it brought Cordia, the arms-length organisation for homecarers , back in-house and it scrapped the discredited pay and grades scheme and replaced it with a new one.

I am not cynical enough to suggest the GMB is only standing up for female members now because the SNP is in charge, though there were no equal pay strikes under Labour; I prefer to believe it has more to do with the fact that the union now has two women – Rhea Wolfson (the Labour candidate for Livingston) and Hazel Nolan – as regional organisers.

In any case, it would be a strange thing to criticise a trade union for finally doing its job. But I do think some humility on the part of both the GMB and Unison, which was also slow to offer support, would be welcome. As for those Labour politicians attacking the SNP administration over equal pay: they are shameless and must take us all for fools. Do they really think our attention spans are so short?

This same brass neck was on display in the wake of the announcement over the need for £7m repairs to the Winter Gardens, the glass house attached to the People’s Palace, which could, potentially, see both close. Were that to happen it would be a blow to the city, but the council has already said it is working on a plan to create a new fire escape which would allow the museum to remain open.

Despite this, Scottish Labour last week started a “Don’t evict the people from their palace” petition. While it engaged in petty tactics, Glasgow City councillor Mhairi Hunter resisted the temptation to take a cheap shot back, saying it wasn’t yet clear whether the damage to the Winter Gardens was the result of years of neglect or whether such structures have a finite shelflife.

However, it is worth noting the glass house at Tollcross closed in 2010 while Labour was in control and has not reopened, which surely means they should not be throwing stones at other people’s. It is also worth remembering every funding decision taken by the SNP is taken in the shadow of the forthcoming Equal Pay Bill.

If Scottish Labour wanted to score political points, a fairer approach would have been to highlight Scottish Government cuts and the council tax freeze (as indeed some did). It could have pointed out Glasgow’s museums, which rival the National Museums in prestige, and outstrip them in visitor numbers, receive no funding from the Scottish or UK Governments – and that way back in 2009, the then culture secretary, Michael Russell, accepted that the current system failed to recognise the importance of the city’s attractions.

In the long term, the crisis over the Winter Gardens might also feed into the debate on local government reform. One of Glasgow’s problems is that its most affluent suburbs lie outside the local authority boundary. The number of council taxpayers in Glasgow has dwindled over the years, while the scale of the social problems it has to deal with has increased.

Earlier this month, an academic study suggested the number of authorities in Scotland should be reduced from 32 to 17, with a new Greater Glasgow council combining the city of Glasgow with Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and East and West Dunbartonshire. Other alternatives might be to allow councils to raise more of their own revenue.

Of course, none of this helps Glasgow now. And the SNP leadership does have to take responsibility for fulfilling its manifesto commitments. I hope this week’s strike focuses minds and that the women’s claims will be settled as quickly as possible.

But I also hope, as the negotiations resume, that Scottish Labour will remember which party’s councillors were responsible for the city’s female workers being treated as second class citizens. And that, when the debt is settled, it will thank the SNP administration for clearing up the mess it made.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Dani Garavelli"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817712.1540066625!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817712.1540066625!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Glasgow City Council workers at the launch of a poster backing their cause in George Square, last week. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Glasgow City Council workers at the launch of a poster backing their cause in George Square, last week. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817712.1540066625!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/patrick-harvie-scottish-greens-targeting-2-seats-in-glasgow-1-4817668","id":"1.4817668","articleHeadline": "Patrick Harvie: Scottish Greens targeting 2 seats in Glasgow","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540068153000 ,"articleLead": "

Green co-convener Patrick Harvie has outlined his party’s ambition to win its first Holyrood constituency seat to double its number of MSPs in Glasgow from one to two.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817667.1540068150!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Greens are targeting 2 seats in Glasgow"} ,"articleBody": "

Harvie announced the party’s target for the 2021 Scottish election at a party conference that also saw activists urge their six MSPs to pressure the SNP government into reforming local tax.

The SNP has so far failed to deliver council tax reform despite being in power for more than a decade and several long-standing pledges to do so.

Speaking at the party’s autumn conference in Glasgow, Harvie indicated a change in Green election strategy, which in the past has seen election candidates focusing on Holyrood list seats rather than constituency seats.

Harvie said: “In Glasgow, we’re already getting geared up for 2021 and beyond. We’re working not just for one more regional MSP, but more; not just for regional MSPs but for our first ever constituency seat too; not just for more Greens, but for the chance to knock a Tory or two off the list as well. We’re also laying the groundwork for our best ever council election the year after, where more communities will benefit from the passion, commitment and inspiration of a Green councillor leading the change at local level.

“That can and must happen in every part of Scotland. Our members have the power to lead this change in your community, in branches and local campaigning – changing the world one doorstep at a time, learning as we go what our supporters expect of us, and inspiring them to join us and work with us for the Green vision of a just, peaceful, democratic and sustainable world.

• READ MORE: Brexit: Scottish Green Party formally back People’s Vote campaign

“That means getting out there, into campaign mode; we’re no longer post-election, but pre-election once again as we look forward to electing more MSPs and councillors, but more than that – recognising also that we need to be there, whether there’s an election coming or not – active in communities, having conversations on the doorsteps, standing with those working for change.”

Party members also approved a motion calling for “meaningful progress” before MSPs enter into discussions over the 2019/20 budget, which is due to be published by SNP ministers on 12 December.

Members agreed that progress would include giving local councils the power to choose whether to introduce a visitor levy, devolving control over non-domestic (business) rates, a timescale for scrapping council tax and increasing the proportion of council funds that come from local sources.

Local government spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP said: “Everyone relies on local services, from schools and social care to leisure centres and libraries. These services employ 240,000 people but the staff and the public are suffering cuts and increased charges as SNP ministers keep a stranglehold on funding.”

Harvie and co-convener Maggie Chapman also signalled support for the People’s Vote in a bid to stop the UK leaving the EU.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817667.1540068150!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817667.1540068150!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Greens are targeting 2 seats in Glasgow","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Greens are targeting 2 seats in Glasgow","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817667.1540068150!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/education/students-ditch-spirit-of-68-to-learn-strategic-art-of-persuasion-1-4817771","id":"1.4817771","articleHeadline": "Students ditch ‘spirit of 68’ to learn strategic art of persuasion","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540067423000 ,"articleLead": "

Once it was picket lines, manning the barricades, waving placard, sporting lapel badges in support of “right on” causes and going on protest marches.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817769.1540067414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A policeman throws a tear gas canister to disperse crowds during student riots in Paris in 1968. Picture: Reg Lancaster/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

But today’s students, in contrast to the generation which brought the French economy to a halt 50 years ago, are being taught a different strategy to bring about change. At campus activist workshops they are learning “power mapping” skills to identify those who wield the real influence in organisations and how to lobby them effectively.

The new approach has been instigated by Liam McCabe, the president of the National Union of Students Scotland, who swept to power in elections in March with a manifesto which included the so-called “power-up, power-down” approach.

McCabe, 24, said the change in tactics is necessary because the political landscape has changed radically since the 1968 student protests in France and the UK’s bitter trade union disputes such as the miners’ strike of 1984-85.

But he acknowledged that students would not abandon direct action where necessary, as shown by their recent support of college and university lecturers.

“If there was ever an attack on free tuition in Scotland you’d probably see NUS not only mobilising but mobilising successfully,” he said.

McCabe, from North Lanarkshire, studied for a social sciences degree at Glasgow Caledonian University and completed a masters in public policy at the University of Strathclyde. “Over the years there has been a decline in collectivism across the country,” he said. “There were so many prominent defeats, including the National Union of Mineworkers. Once you took down the biggest unions there began to be a sense of hopelessness and a feeling of being rebuffed and ignored.

“Our call to activism is about empowerment and political education. This means equipping students with the knowledge and skills not just to understand the political environment but to talk to stakeholders and allies, working with them to make change a reality.”

These life skills would help many students deal with issues such as zero hour contracts and housing problems – which threaten the ability to study, he said.

Mary Senior, Scotland official for the University and College Union, representing over 120,000 lecturers and academics UK-wide, agreed that a more sophisticated approach should be combined with direct protest. “The support UCU received from students during our pensions dispute and the 14 days of strike action in February and March was phenomenal,” she said,

“However, as UCU’s dispute progressed, we also needed negotiators and experts to challenge the employers on the detail of the pensions valuation, and argue the union’s case. Cool heads and minds complemented the direct action of the strike days.

“It’s good to know that the NUS is providing wide-ranging development activities for students, to empower them to navigate the diverse situations they will find themselves in throughout life.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SHN ROSS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817769.1540067414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817769.1540067414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A policeman throws a tear gas canister to disperse crowds during student riots in Paris in 1968. Picture: Reg Lancaster/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A policeman throws a tear gas canister to disperse crowds during student riots in Paris in 1968. Picture: Reg Lancaster/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817769.1540067414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817770.1540067419!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817770.1540067419!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Liam McCabe of NUS Scotland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam McCabe of NUS Scotland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817770.1540067419!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/brexit-scottish-green-party-formally-back-people-s-vote-campaign-1-4817806","id":"1.4817806","articleHeadline": "Brexit: Scottish Green Party formally back People’s Vote campaign","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540066032000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish Green Party members have backed the campaign for a People’s Vote on any Brexit deal before the UK leaves the EU.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817805.1540066027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Green Party. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Members at the party’s autumn conference in Glasgow voted in favour of a motion supported by co-conveners Patrick Harvie and Maggie Chapman.

The policy of a People’s Vote is already held by the Green Party in England and Wales.

Mr Harvie said: “The events of the next few weeks and months will pose a critical threat not only to the immediate prospects for our country and for our neighbours, but also to the future of our democracy and Scotland’s Parliament.

“Scottish Green Party members have said unequivocally that voters in the UK must have the final say on any Brexit deal or no deal.

“We can now look forward to campaigning with our Green colleagues throughout the rest of the UK for a People’s Vote.”

The MSP described the Brexit process as “incompetent chaos” and a “direct assault on the authority of our Parliament”.

He said the Scottish Greens remain committed to Scotland’s future as an independent country which is a full member of Europe.

• READ MORE: ‘At least 670,000’ anti-Brexit protesters attend London march

He added: “The extreme Brexiteers are already flirting with the sociopaths of the US libertarian right, the same outfits which have been a force for ill from climate denial to union-busting.

“That’s the agenda these people want to impose on us - one in which the social, environmental and workplace rights and protections which were fought for by generations before us are torn to pieces in the pursuit of an already failed economic system.”

The conference also heard from Green member of the Irish senate, Grace O’Sullivan, who warned of concern in Ireland that the UK is “three seconds from midnight” in the Brexit negotiations but appears to have no resolutions to key problems.

She said: “Brexit is something that we discuss every day in Dublin, every day in Ireland, in fact it’s on everyone’s mind.

“A guillotine blade hanging ominously over the political, economic and social progress that has defined the island of Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement came into effect.”

She said there is cross-party agreement in Ireland to look to the EU and the UK to “protect the peaceful and borderless island we have worked so hard to create”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817805.1540066027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817805.1540066027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Green Party. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Green Party. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817805.1540066027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/travel/caerlaverock-castle-s-history-to-get-pokemon-go-style-makeover-1-4814697","id":"1.4814697","articleHeadline": "Caerlaverock Castle’s history to get Pokmon Go-style makeover","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539465674000 ,"articleLead": "

It is best known for its turbulent history and getting caught up in bloody cross-border conflicts.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814696.1539465670!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An image from the new app 'of a historical character outside the castle, situated near Dumfries"} ,"articleBody": "

Now 13th-century Caerlaverock Castle is set to get a 21st-century makeover that will allow visitors to play a Pokémon Go-style game at the historic property.

An augmented reality app is being created for Caerlaverock Castle under a pilot project by the Scottish Government’s heritage body.

Due to be launched early next year, it is thought Castle Quest could be rolled out to historical attractions across the country if it proves successful at the former medieval fortress.

The game, which was demonstrated to the public at Edinburgh Castle recently, involves collecting specially-created animations linked to the history of the attraction, which is situated not far from Dumfries.

Once the app is downloaded on to a mobile phone, visitors will need to walk around the site.

Unique among Scottish castles for its triangular shape, Caerlaverock Castle was a stronghold of the Maxwell family from the 13th to the 17th centuries, but was besieged by the English on several occasions during the Wars of Scottish Independence and was eventually abandoned in 1640.

Now looked after by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), it has been a protected monument since it was put into the care of the state in 1946. Real stories and characters from the castle’s history will feature in the game, with modern-day staff providing voices.

HES interpretation officer Gavin Glencorse, who has led the development of the app, said: “Castle Quest will allow visitors to immerse themselves in Caerlaverock Castle’s history in an entirely new way. While costumed re-enactors can tell the castle’s stories at special events, soon visitors will have the opportunity to hear from the castle’s former inhabitants and workers every day through the new game. We’ve been encouraged by the success of augmented reality apps currently on the market and we look forward to officially launching it on-site next year.

“The technology is gripping audiences internationally and we think it will make a real impact to the way visitors experience Caerlaverock Castle and its surrounding woodlands.”

The game was tested out by dozens of members of the public at Knight at the Castle – a new after-hours event staged at Edinburgh Castle earlier this month.

Stephen Duncan, director of commercial and tourism at the heritage body, said: “We’re always looking at new ways to enhance the visitor experience at our sites.

“This mobile app will add another layer to the Caerlaverock Castle experience, ensuring our visitors are both entertained and educated. With the recent success of our Knight at the Castle event, it’s evident there’s an appetite to see the best use of digital technology and entertainment integrated into what we offer at our heritage properties.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814696.1539465670!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814696.1539465670!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "An image from the new app 'of a historical character outside the castle, situated near Dumfries","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An image from the new app 'of a historical character outside the castle, situated near Dumfries","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814696.1539465670!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/spirit-of-meningitis-teen-lives-on-in-red-letter-day-for-kindness-1-4814733","id":"1.4814733","articleHeadline": "Spirit of meningitis teen lives on in red letter day for kindness","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539470780000 ,"articleLead": "

A woman who has carried out an act of kindness every day since the death of her nephew almost a year ago is encouraging people across Scotland to follow suit on what she has dubbed the “Big Day of Kindness”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814731.1539464273!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kyle, who lost his mother less than two years before he died"} ,"articleBody": "

Vicki Dale, from Glasgow, has signed up hundreds of people to carry out kind deeds on 23 October – and is urging more people to join her campaign.

Her 14-year-old nephew, Kyle, from East Renfrewshire, died in December from a rare form of meningitis, less than two years after his mother lost her battle with cancer.

Dale has carried out an act of kindness every day since her nephew’s death, charting the deeds on her Facebook page. Her acts range from leaving money in a vending machine for the next person who uses it to handing out cough sweets to an unwell builder working on a neighbour’s house.

Dale said: “The day of 23 October would have been Kyle’s 15th birthday. His death was a big shock for us as a family, especially so soon after his mother’s death. The Big Day of Kindness came about because I wanted to be optimistic. Kyle himself was a very helpful and a very kind young man and always made time for friends and family.

“That was one thing we heard back when we got message from his friends and people who knew him, just how kind he was.”

Dale started carrying out daily acts of kindness from 1 January, but decided to extend her project after encouragement from friends. She said: “I think everyone will have their own take on what kindness is and what they’d like to do for their own act, so I’ve tried not to be too prescriptive.

“Ultimately it’s about encouraging people to be considerate in their actions on, or around, the 23rd as a form of celebration of Kyle’s life. It’s important that we encourage the next generation to be kind as I think we’re in a kind of no man’s land at the moment in how to interact with each other.”

Dale has already recruited 230 people to take part in the event, as well as more than 30 schools across Scotland and local playgroups and colleges.

She said: “The whole project is a way to promote positivity and kindness throughout our different communities. It’s because of people’s kindness that I’ve even got as far as I have. It’s just things like being positive and telling someone they look nice that day – or holding a door open for someone.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jane Bradley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814731.1539464273!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814731.1539464273!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kyle, who lost his mother less than two years before he died","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kyle, who lost his mother less than two years before he died","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814731.1539464273!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814732.1539464282!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814732.1539464282!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vicki Dale, who has carried out an act of kindness every day since Kyle's death. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vicki Dale, who has carried out an act of kindness every day since Kyle's death. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814732.1539464282!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/dutch-mural-celebrates-scots-musician-and-author-paul-murdoch-1-4814693","id":"1.4814693","articleHeadline": "Dutch mural celebrates Scots musician and author Paul Murdoch","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539464899000 ,"articleLead": "

A Scottish musician and author is starring in a mural of famous Dutch figures, created by one of the Netherlands’ leading artists, to honour his contribution to the country’s underground arts scene.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814691.1539464888!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Artist Eric J Coolen next to his mural in Haarlem featuring Paul Murdoch playing guitar."} ,"articleBody": "

Paul Murdoch is seen playing his guitar in the mural in Haarlem’s De Vijfhoek district, the city’s historical centre, along with high-profile artists and characters from the Netherlands.

It is the first such artwork by artist Eric J Coolen, who initially turned down the commission from a bar owner for being too much of a deviation from his normal style.

Murdoch, from Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, has become a cult figure in the Netherlands after playing guitar in the band Ampzing, alongside Coolen.

The mural, painted on the outside wall of ’t Kantoor Café, also features author Godfried Bomans, who helped Jews in Haarlem during the Second World War, writer and poet Bies van Ede, lyricist Lennaert Nijgh, Malle Babbe, a local woman painted by Dutch Golden Age artist Frans Hals around 1663, bass player André Wullems and Coolen himself.

Its civic unveiling was attended by dignitaries and hundreds of local people.

Coolen said it celebrated Murdoch’s contribution to contemporary life in Haarlem playing in Ampzing, as well as Scotland’s historical links with the city.

“I first met Paul 15 years ago and was very impressed by his song-writing and his guitar playing,” Coolen said. “Before long he was in the band and has become very popular here.

“I wanted to include Paul because of his and the city’s links with Scotland. In the 16th century Scottish mercenaries fought alongside the Spanish against us after Haarlem sided with William of Orange.

“While the mercenaries were defeated in 1573 and many were killed and buried here, some remained behind to help their former enemies.”

Murdoch, whose works include the anti-sectarian novel Sunny and who is working with co-director and composer Gordon Wallace of Magnetic North Creations providing original music for film and TV, said he had received a phone call from Coolen saying he wanted to discuss a work of art. “I was really surprised, but I knew Eric had a real thing for Scotland and I’d gone to one of his exhibitions, which had been held in Glasgow. It was an honour that he considered me at all.”

Murdoch said his first connection with Haarlem was when he was asked to play in Ampzing. “Ampzing is all about the Dutch language. I play guitar, but have to sing some bits and just do my best to cobble something together in Dutch. But I don’t think anyone has noticed.”

Coolen held the Cityscapes exhibition in Glasgow last year, celebrating architectural similarities between the city and Haarlem.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SHN ROSS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814691.1539464888!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814691.1539464888!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Artist Eric J Coolen next to his mural in Haarlem featuring Paul Murdoch playing guitar.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Artist Eric J Coolen next to his mural in Haarlem featuring Paul Murdoch playing guitar.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814691.1539464888!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814692.1539464894!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814692.1539464894!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scots author and musician Paul Murdoch is a cult figure in Haarlem. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scots author and musician Paul Murdoch is a cult figure in Haarlem. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814692.1539464894!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/national-museum-focuses-on-saving-planet-with-sustainability-showcase-1-4814695","id":"1.4814695","articleHeadline": "National Museum focuses on saving planet with sustainability showcase","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539465201000 ,"articleLead": "

International climate experts this week issued the starkest warning yet about the perilous state of the planet and the urgent need for humankind to take major action to limit global warming.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814694.1539465197!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Energy Wheel in use on Science Saturday, which runs alongside the Our Green Future programme of events at the National Museum of Scotland. 'Photograph: Neil Hanna"} ,"articleBody": "

It might seem an impossible task to many, but a new green showcase at the National Museum of Scotland could offer some hope for the future.

A programme of events being staged this week, entitled Our Green Future, will allow visitors to learn all about sustainability and eco-friendly living.

There will be a host of interactive and hands-on activities around wildlife conservation, renewable energy and recycling.

The museum has also scheduled a series of special Science Saturdays, which focus on themes highlighting the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths.

As part of the activities, members of RSPB Scotland’s Dolphinwatch team showed off plastic litter found during beach cleans to illustrate the dangers to wildlife from man-made debris and to encourage recycling.

Clare Meakin, science engagement manager for National Museums Scotland, said: “We’ve run Science Saturdays on all sorts of different science topics like anatomy, coding, encryption and even viruses and bacteria.

“It’s fantastic to have both our curators and learning teams at these events, and also people who do active research or work in science careers that explore the world around us and look at how it’s changed over time.

“Our Green Future – the theme for our activities over half-term – will look at different aspects of our environment and what impact we have.

“We’ll be exploring more about plastics, what they are, how we use them and what we can do to reduce impact on the environment through our own actions. Scotland is a world leader in developing new green technologies, so we’ll be exploring renewable energy and we’ll be talking about nature’s recyclers and looking at some of our insect collections with our entomologist.”

Meakin said she believed the museum offered a unique opportunity for people get to grips with novel concepts and complicated technologies.

“Having something physically in front of you can really help to understand more about science ideas and new research and how that relates to our lives now and in the future,” she said.

Adam Ross, membership and engagement officer for RSPB Scotland, said getting up close and examining the rubbish found on beaches can turn up nasty surprises, particularly the length of time some commonly discarded items take to decompose.

“The likes of cigarettes can take years, although most people think because they’re made of paper they will disappear very quickly,” he said.

“Banana skins can be over a year as well. Things that people think are biodegradable often aren’t.”

Funding for the collaboration came from the ScottishPower Foundation.

Ann McKechin, trustee and executive officer for the organisation, said: “Both National Museums Scotland and RSPB Scotland have vast amounts of knowledge and insights into how we can make our lives more sustainable.” Our Green Future starts today and runs until Friday in the museum’s Hawthornden Court.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ilona amOS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814694.1539465197!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814694.1539465197!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Energy Wheel in use on Science Saturday, which runs alongside the Our Green Future programme of events at the National Museum of Scotland. 'Photograph: Neil Hanna","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Energy Wheel in use on Science Saturday, which runs alongside the Our Green Future programme of events at the National Museum of Scotland. 'Photograph: Neil Hanna","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814694.1539465197!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/education/catholic-church-may-give-its-blessing-to-priests-who-father-children-1-4814690","id":"1.4814690","articleHeadline": "Catholic church may give its blessing to priests who father children","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539468293000 ,"articleLead": "

Priests who father children while serving in the Catholic church in Scotland may be able to continue their religious work, the organisation representing Catholic bishops has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814688.1539464959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Roderick Wright, who was Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, fathered a son with a parishioner."} ,"articleBody": "

The general secretary of the Catholic National Endowment Trust, otherwise known as the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, said every bishop would want to “discern the best ways in which it is possible” for the father of a child who is a priest to “fulfil his responsibilities”.

Hugh Bradley said it would not be a “simple default position of insisting that a man leave the priesthood”.

It is believed many priests who fathered children did not acknowledge their offspring for fear they would be cast out from the priesthood. Instead, youngsters’ mothers kept the identity of their child’s father a secret, citing “father unknown” on their birth certificate.

Campaigner Vincent Doyle, from Ireland, who discovered late in life his own father was a priest, has fought for church organisations to relax rules to allow the religious leaders to have a normal relationship with their children.

He has since set up Coping International – a charity to support the children of priests across the world.

Doyle, who had a close relationship as a child with the man he thought was his godfather, but without knowing he was actually his biological father, described the statement from the Bishops of Scotland as “empowering priests”. He said it would put the child first.

Doyle said: “I would like to publicly thank the Catholic Bishops of Scotland for addressing this. It is not an easy thing to do. This is a sociological move by the episcopal conference of Scotland to eradicate sociological default norms.”

He said the problem was not a historical one, with Coping International now advising a young mother whose unborn baby’s father was a priest. Another family in the same situation has a child of two.

Bradley said: “The Bishops of Scotland wish to reiterate that, with regard to children of the ordained and religious, every bishop would want to discern the best ways in which it is possible for the father of a child, who is a priest, to fulfil his responsibilities. Every bishop is willing to meet anyone in their diocese in a similar situation to discern an appropriate and just way forward.”

He added: “With regard to a priest who has become a father, the Bishops recognise it is not possible to rule out, at the beginning, any possible responses to these situations ... each case should be judged on its merits.”

There are no figures about the number of children fathered by Catholic priests. However, there are about 450,000 Catholic priests in the world and the Catholic Church forbids artificial contraception and abortion.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "jane bradley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814688.1539464959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814688.1539464959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Roderick Wright, who was Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, fathered a son with a parishioner.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Roderick Wright, who was Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, fathered a son with a parishioner.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814688.1539464959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814689.1539464962!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814689.1539464962!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Campaigner Vincent Doyle, who discovered late in life his father was a priest, set up the Coping International charity.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Campaigner Vincent Doyle, who discovered late in life his father was a priest, set up the Coping International charity.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814689.1539464962!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/joanna-cherry-indyref2-not-necessarily-needed-for-independence-1-4811273","id":"1.4811273","articleHeadline": "Joanna Cherry: Indyref2 not necessarily needed for independence","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538925738000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland would not necessarily have to have a second independence referendum to leave the United Kingdom, a senior SNP MP has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4811272.1538992054!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Joanna Cherry claims a 'democractic event' is enough to push for independence. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Instead of having another vote on independence, Joanna Cherry suggested the party’s over-arching goal could be achieved through a “democratic event”.

The pro UK camapign group Scotland in Union branded the comments “dangerous and ill judged”, and called on SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon to “urgently clarify” the situation.

Ms Cherry raised the possibility as the SNP Annual Conference got under way in Glasgow, also indicating her party could demand a second vote on independence as the price of supporting Labour if Jeremy Corbyn ousted Theresa May from Downing Street but failed to win an overall majority.

• READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: SNP MPs will back new Brexit referendum

In such a situation Ms Cherry, the SNP’s home affairs spokeswoman at Westminster, stressed her party would demand a “high price” from Jeremy Corbyn.

A deal to prop up a minority Labour administration could include the removal of Trident nuclear missiles from Scotland, and the granting of a Section 30 for a second ballot on leaving the UK.

But she also said another “democratic event”, such as a general election, could be used as a route to independence.

Speaking at a fringe event at the conference, Ms Cherry told party activists: “Our aim is to make Scotland an independent country, but I would remind you that Scotland voted against that in 2014.”

She continued: “There has to be a democratic event, and I choose those words wisely, it doesn’t have to necessarily be a referendum, it could be something else, like a general election. But there has to be a democratic event.”

Ms Cherry had vowed that SNP politicians would “push for more powers for Holyrood” while waiting for independence.

But with Mrs May’s Tory government “on the ropes” in the run up to Britain’s departure from the European Union, Ms Cherry said the coming months would be “redolent with possibility”.

Arguments for a referendum on the final terms of the Brexit deal are gaining in strength, she said, adding that a general election was another possibility.

• READ MORE: Poll: Half of Scots would vote for Scottish independence after Brexit

The Edinburgh South West MP said “We have to see how things develop, but it seems to me that the idea of a second vote on the EU is building up a head of steam, and that can be used to our advantage, it’s in our interests to keep the whole of the UK in the single market and the customs union.

“The chances of a general election could be used to our advantage because I think we would have a good chance of getting the Tories out of office. Labour will probably not win with an outright majority but they might be looking to a large - and a larger number than at present - of SNP MPs for support.

“We would ask for a high price for support, such Stewart McDonald our defence spokesman is talking about getting rid of Trident, I’ve talked about saying a section 30 order would be the price of our support.”

Scotland in Union chief executive Pamela Nash said: “These dangerous and ill-judged comments from Joanna Cherry show that the SNP is determined to achieve independence by any means possible.

“We know that Scotland does not want a divisive and unnecessary second independence referendum, so SNP politicians are concocting ways to bypass the views of voters. Nicola Sturgeon must urgently clarify this situation.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4811272.1538992054!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4811272.1538992054!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Joanna Cherry claims a 'democractic event' is enough to push for independence. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Joanna Cherry claims a 'democractic event' is enough to push for independence. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4811272.1538992054!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5803004865001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/wallace-monument-to-undergo-500k-makeover-for-150th-anniversary-1-4811262","id":"1.4811262","articleHeadline": "Wallace Monument to undergo £500k makeover for 150th anniversary","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538921057000 ,"articleLead": "

The National Wallace Monument is to undergo a £500,000 makeover ahead of its 150th anniversary next year.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4811261.1538921053!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The National Wallace Monument will be given a makeover ahead of its 150th anniversary. Picture: Neil Hanna"} ,"articleBody": "

The iconic landmark has been prioritised for restoration work by Stirling Council and Stirling District Tourism after a building condition survey revealed “areas of immediate concern”.

Parts of the 220ft tall Victorian Gothic tower, including the Keeper’s Lodge Chimney and Wallace Statue, were identified as in need of work.

Stirling Council has now approved £515,000 to address the problems, which include water ingress”, in advance of the 150th anniversary celebrations.

The most significant work will involve the 14ft statue of Wallace that has looked over Stirling from the external wall for a century. The bronze will be removed for four months for specialist restoration work, worth £280,000.

• READ MORE: Scots urged to support a William Wallace Day

Work is expected to start on the Monument and statue later this month.

Stirling Council leader Scott Farmer said: “This decision will safeguard the Wallace Monument’s future by giving it some TLC ahead of its 150th anniversary celebrations next year.

“The word ‘iconic’ gets banded about but I don’t think there’s a better way to describe the National Wallace Monument.

“Wallace’s story is integral to the history of Scotland and the Monument is equally important to the fabric of Stirling, so it is right that we take the necessary steps to ensure it is fit, safe and secure for those who quite rightly come from all over the world to see it.

“These repairs are a priority project and the funding will come from the Capital Programme to allow the works to be progressed immediately.”

• READ MORE: William Wallace’s peace deal with England to be marked

The National Wallace Monument first opened in 1869 as a tribute to 13th century freedom fighter Sir William Wallace.

Designed by Glasgow architect John Thomas Rochead, it was constructed on the Abbey Craig overlooking Stirling at a cost of £18,000.

The Monument is now one of Scotland’s most popular landmarks, last year attracting a record 135,000 visitors -- many of whom climbed the 246 spiral steps to the open air crown on top.

The famous statue of Wallace was made by Edinburgh sculptor David Watson Stephenson.

Professor David Mitchell, of Historic Environment Scotland, who are working closely with Stirling Council, said the statue had been a fixture for around 100 years, but would have to be removed for restoration.

He said: “It is probably the most exposed bronze statue in the country. It requires some potentially significant intervention which cannot be undertaken in situ to resolve structural issues.”

Stirling Council is confident the makeover will be completed in time for the Wallace Monument’s official 150th anniversary on 11 September 2019.

• READ MORE: 700-year-old William Wallace letter to go on show in Edinburgh

Infrastructure Delivery Manager Drew Leslie said: “Last year’s winter had a deteriorating effect through water ingress on the Wallace Monument but this work will ensure it is in a much improved condition for visitors during the 150th anniversary year.

“The removal of the William Wallace statue represents a significant challenge. The internal frame effectively holding the statue together is starting to show signs of deterioration, clearly evident on some of the thinner parts of the bronze surface.

“Restoration experts will work on the statue for four months and when all of the work is complete we are hopeful the Wallace Monument can look forward to another 150 years as one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions.”

Although Stirling District Tourism, an independent charity, manages and operates the Monument as a visitor attraction, it is currently the responsibility of Stirling Council to fund and undertake the work.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "George Mair"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4811261.1538921053!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4811261.1538921053!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The National Wallace Monument will be given a makeover ahead of its 150th anniversary. Picture: Neil Hanna","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The National Wallace Monument will be given a makeover ahead of its 150th anniversary. Picture: Neil Hanna","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4811261.1538921053!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-give-us-the-means-to-defuse-demographic-timebomb-1-4811175","id":"1.4811175","articleHeadline": "Leader: Give us the means to defuse demographic timebomb","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538865596000 ,"articleLead": "

You can take your pick of what aspect of Brexit is likely to be the most damaging to Scotland – or the most positive if you are a committed Brexiteer.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4811174.1538859923!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An average of 1.47 babies were born to each woman in Scotland in 2017. Photograph: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

One area that has perhaps received less attention than it should, is population decline.

We reveal the latest figures today which show that the fertility rate in Scotland is lower than in the other nations of the UK. And it’s falling. The average number of children born to each woman is now 1.47, which is part of a continual long-term decline. In addition, deaths outstripped births in Scotland by about 5,000 last year.

This hasn’t been a concern over the last decade as migration has topped up Scotland’s population, both from those within the EU and outside of Europe. Furthermore, migrants tend to have higher numbers of children on average.

Brexit, however, could change all that.

Immigration policy – controlled at a Westminster level – has already tightened. And Brexit is creating fear, acting as another reason for EU citizens to consider whether to remain in Scotland, while it could also dissuade others who may have considered relocating here to work.

How big an issue this will become will depend on what sort of Brexit we end up with. And just as importantly, what effect it has on the economy. If Scotland sees growth levels falling and unemployment rising, it is likely that we will see greater out-migration.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said earlier this year that this was her number one concern on Brexit. “We have to work hard to ensure EU nationals know they are wanted and welcome to stay. We must not close the door to new talent,” she said. And the Scottish Fiscal Commission has said that slower population growth and a dip in inward migration could lead to the gap between the Scottish and UK economies widening.

A growing population has to be managed as it places pressure on local services such as schools, hospitals and roads. But a shrinking population in Scotland is likely to impact negatively on GDP and demand for goods.

And a weaker economy not only makes Scotland less attractive for future migrants but also makes parents think twice about whether they can afford children.

These concerns are more acute in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK, yet Westminster has refused to consider any separate arrangements on immigration for Scotland.

One other key point is that population growth and decline tends not to be even. Edinburgh and the Lothians is forecast to grow, but other areas could suffer disproportionately. The National Records of Scotland, for example, predicts Glasgow’s population growth will be slower due to fewer people moving there.

It is time for Scotland’s needs on migration to be considered properly as part of our future outside the EU.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4811174.1538859923!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4811174.1538859923!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "An average of 1.47 babies were born to each woman in Scotland in 2017. Photograph: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An average of 1.47 babies were born to each woman in Scotland in 2017. Photograph: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4811174.1538859923!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/sri-lanka-s-police-chief-pulls-out-of-controversial-visit-to-scotland-1-4807361","id":"1.4807361","articleHeadline": "Sri Lanka’s police chief pulls out of controversial visit to Scotland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538261125000 ,"articleLead": "

A controversial visit to Scotland this week by Sri Lanka’s police chief has been cancelled at the last minute after organisers appeared to bow to external pressure.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807360.1538299637!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sri Lanka police chief Pujith Jayasundara, right, at police headquarters in Colombo. Photograph: Ishara S Kodikara/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority has long accused police there of using torture to crush its independence movement.

Inspector General Pujith Jayasundara was due to arrive in the UK today and spend the week at the Scottish Police College in Fife.

His five-strong delegation was expected at Tulliallan Castle for talks on “the way that community policing is structured and delivered in Scotland”, a police spokesperson had said.

However, on Friday night the Foreign Office said “plans for the delegation have changed and the visit is now no longer going ahead next week”.

The visit was set to be contentious. Green Party MSP and ex-policeman John Finnie said he was concerned by “the reputational damage that can flow from repressive regimes having any form of relationship with our much- respected police service”.

Scotland on Sunday understands socialist group Tamil Solidarity was planning a demonstration during Jayasundara’s visit. Influential British Tamil rapper M.I.A. was also about to call for protests.

Sri Lanka’s police continues to be dogged by allegations of torture. This year a UN expert highlighted “distressing testimonies of very brutal and cruel methods of torture”, noting the Tamil community was “stigmatised and feels disenfranchised”.

Last weekend a film about M.I.A.’s life launched in cinemas across Scotland, showing how the singer fled Sri Lanka’s civil war as a child before claiming asylum in the UK and building a career as an international superstar.

She described the situation for Tamils in her homeland as “genocidal” and said: “I hope Scottish independence activists and leaders will protest the police chief’s visit because allowing the relationship between the Sri Lankan state and the Scottish government is not the will of the Scottish people.”

She added: “In the wake of the Scottish independence referendum movement, it’s terrible to see such relationships against Tamil self-determination are allowed to flourish on Scottish grounds.”

Environmental activist Tilly Gifford expected many Scots would have supported Tamil protests during Jayasundara’s visit. She said: “Scotland is not a shining example of community policing.”

Police Scotland said that: “All of the UK’s police assistance work in Sri Lanka is subject to robust risk assessment through the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance process.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Any visit by foreign delegates to the Police Scotland training college is a matter for the Chief Constable.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Phil Miller"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4807360.1538299637!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807360.1538299637!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sri Lanka police chief Pujith Jayasundara, right, at police headquarters in Colombo. Photograph: Ishara S Kodikara/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sri Lanka police chief Pujith Jayasundara, right, at police headquarters in Colombo. Photograph: Ishara S Kodikara/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4807360.1538299637!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/women-s-football-shows-drink-and-gambling-the-red-card-1-4807344","id":"1.4807344","articleHeadline": "Women’s football shows drink and gambling the red card","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538259777000 ,"articleLead": "

The grassroots body for women’s football in Scotland has vowed to keep the game “clean” in the face of overtures from the alcohol and gambling industries who are courting it for sponsorship deals.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807343.1538245523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vivienne MacLaren, chair of Scottish Women's Football, at Hampden Park.''Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Big companies are queueing up to get involved in the women’s game, with the stock of the Scotland Women’s national team at an all-time high given the recent qualification for next year’s World Cup in France and their participation in last year’s UEFA Women’s Championship.

However, Vivienne MacLaren, the chair of Scottish Women’s Football, told Scotland on Sunday the organisation that looks after domestic competitions has “knocked back” sponsorship deals from alcohol and gambling in the past and will continue to do so. This is at odds with the men’s game, where all the major competitions in Scotland are sponsored by betting companies, including the Ladbrokes Premiership, the William Hill Scottish Cup and the BetFred Cup.

Last week the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and drinks company Diageo launched a campaign to promote responsible drinking. They hope to reach a million Scots with the Drink Positive campaign.

The initiative will use the William Hill Scottish Cup to encourage fans, coaches and players to be aware of the effects of alcohol and to encourage moderate drinking.

MacLaren said she understands why clubs in Scotland take sponsorship money from drink and gambling giants, given they are the only ones with substantial budgets to spend on football. But she is quick to stress the women’s game is striving to offer a different proposition.

MacLaren said: “In Scotland alcohol and gambling are two of the biggest scourges. A massive percentage of our members registered to play football are under 18, so we feel we have a real duty to make sure the brands we are associating with and the message we are putting out are positive ones.

“We don’t want to take money when there’s girls playing football out there who can’t afford to get to training. We’re trying to help clubs support their players.There’s kids that can’t afford football boots and yet there’s alcohol and gambling brands around a lot of sports.”

The Scottish Government announced additional funding for the national team squad ahead of next year’s World Cup, which will allow them to train full-time.

MacLaren said: “For us to bring in different types of sponsors we have to position women’s football as a different proposition. It’s a partnership, it’s about education.

“We want to give something back to the players and the volunteers that play and help week in, week out.”

Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland and a vehement critic of the SFA link with Diageo, said: “Alcohol marketing should have no place in sport.

“By linking their brands to sports events and teams, alcohol companies imply that drinking is part of a healthy and active life. In fact, alcohol is a cause of cancer, heart disease, liver disease and stroke and was responsible for 3,705 Scots losing their lives in 2015.”

Dr Peter Rice, chair of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems, warned: “Research has shown high levels of alcohol brand awareness among 11 and 12-year-old children in the UK, and much of this awareness comes from sports sponsorship, especially football.

“The advertising regulation codes written by the alcohol and advertising industries themselves say that advertising should not associate alcohol with fitness or sporting success.

“These codes are designed for broadcast and media advertising, but sponsorship clearly achieves the same marketing goals for companies and we believe is used to get around regulation.

“It would be unacceptable to have a beer advert in a magazine aimed at children, yet children see Champions League games ‘brought to them’ by a beer company.

“This is an inappropriate association and we would ultimately like to see the end of it in football, and we commend the Scottish women’s game for their leadership.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Kevan Christie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4807343.1538245523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807343.1538245523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vivienne MacLaren, chair of Scottish Women's Football, at Hampden Park.''Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vivienne MacLaren, chair of Scottish Women's Football, at Hampden Park.''Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4807343.1538245523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/john-edward-languages-skills-essential-for-global-citizens-1-4807375","id":"1.4807375","articleHeadline": "John Edward: Languages skills essential for global citizens","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538259483000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland’s independent schools maintain a track record of academic excellence, and this has continued in 2018 with another set of outstanding exam results, which is only strengthened by individual and collective success in sports, art, music and other community endeavours.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807374.1538251998!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fluency in another tongue gives students a passport to success"} ,"articleBody": "

With upwards of 30,000 pupils across Scotland, these schools, represented by The Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS), strive to deliver the best level of service to their pupils and parents.

Independent schools aim to prepare their pupils for further and higher education, their chosen career and their place as global citizens. As an education sector that can design and implement a bespoke school curriculum, we are seeing modern languages continue as a popular and desired subject of choice within schools.

Nelson Mandela said: ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language that goes to his heart.” This is a powerful reminder that we can’t just rely on English when wanting to build relationships and trust with people from other countries.

From this year’s recent exam results, we can see that languages are topping the league tables with the highest pass rates within independent schools. A total of 68 per cent of pupils who studied foreign languages achieved a Higher grade A.

The data, collected from SCIS’s 74 member schools, showed that 72 per cent of students achieved a Higher grade A in Mandarin, while 72 per cent of those studying German, 69 per cent of those studying French and 63 per cent studying Spanish also achieved an A.

This demonstrates that independent schools in Scotland are supporting foreign languages as vital skills that children and young people will undoubtedly require in the future. Languages now, as a subject choice, are being held in the same regard as STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in independent school curriculums and elsewhere.

A survey by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills in 2014 found that of reasons employers gave for struggling to fill vacancies, 17 per cent were attributed to a languages skills shortage. Therefore more and more, language skills are becoming imperative in order to prepare young people for their future careers. With more prospective job opportunities requiring languages, these skills are essential in a globalised world. Regardless of the career someone chooses, if they’ve learned a second language, they’ll have a real advantage in the future having a life-long skill such as this.

Being able to communicate directly with people from foreign countries will automatically put a multilingual person ahead of the competition. According to a YouGov poll of more than 4,000 UK adults in 2013, 75 per cent were unable to speak a foreign language well enough to hold a conversation and with French being the only language spoken by a double-digit percentage, 15 per cent. This is why putting the investment into language teaching now is important for today’s children. Having multiple languages, particularly those of developing economies, will equip children with a better chance of finding meaningful employment.

Within Scotland, each school will differ in the languages they teach. A number of schools will focus on the more classic modern languages, whereas others will teach languages that are deemed to be most important for the UK when looking ahead to 2020, such as Mandarin or Japanese. Whatever your child’s interest, there will always be a number of languages to choose from within independent schools, with teaching staff who are specialists in this area.

Scottish independent schools are dedicated to providing a learning environment that will prepare children and arm them with the skills required to succeed, whatever the future holds.

It can’t be denied at this time, in a global business environment, that languages continue to be vitally important to the country’s future, so this must be mirrored in education. Indeed, modern languages should really be considered “international communication skills”. Independent schools will continue to offer this choice, diversity and excellence for Scotland’s young people.

Il faut bien le faire.

John Edward is Director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "John Edward"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4807374.1538251998!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807374.1538251998!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Fluency in another tongue gives students a passport to success","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fluency in another tongue gives students a passport to success","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4807374.1538251998!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/leader-comment-time-for-promises-to-be-kept-on-trains-1-4806471","id":"1.4806471","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Time for promises to be kept on trains","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538110817000 ,"articleLead": "

Anyone who has endured a rush-hour journey on a Scottish train will, we suspect, be completely unsurprised by confirmation that a number of services are overcrowded as a matter of course.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4806470.1538072702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

Statistics from Transport Scotland reveal that anyone planning to take the 16.34 from Edinburgh to Perth can expect carriages to be overfilled by a third. The battle to secure a seat is real. Though that particular service is the worst when it comes to overcrowding, a number of others - across the country - are similarly packed.

Rail commuters in Scotland have long complained about the number of cancelled services. Perhaps those whose trains do turn up are expected to be so pathetically grateful that they ignore the fact there’s nowhere for them to sit. Scotrail promises that investment in new and upgraded trains will tackle this problem. We’re sure the company will forgive us if we reserve judgement.

Scotrail knows how many tickets it sells for each service. Every day, it has this information at its fingertips, and yet the overcrowding problem on a number of key routes has been ignored. Transport Scotland may only now have released these figures but they will not be news to the train operator.

Throughout years of substandard service, rail fares have continued to rise in price. Shareholders have been looked after when customers have not.

Enough is enough. If we are serious, as a nation, about tempting people out of their cars and onto more environmentally-friendly public transport then the service on offer must hold some appeal. Who can blame those commuters who prefer the reliability and comfort of the car to the lottery of the rail system where first prize is being packed like a sardine into an overcrowded carriage with broken air conditioning?

Transport Scotland promises £475 million investment in new Hitachi trains and £54 million on high speed trains will “transform” travel on key routes and between Scottish cities but, as the Liberal Democrats point out, delivery of those trains is behind schedule.

Scotrail, of course, must be given the opportunity to deliver on the commitments in has made in terms of new fleet and faster travel times. But Ministers must keep a close eye on developments. Passengers on Scotland’s trains have heard promises about improvements often enough. It’s time for those promises to be kept.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4806470.1538072702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4806470.1538072702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4806470.1538072702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/education/deeply-flawed-p1-test-won-t-close-attainment-gap-says-head-1-4803815","id":"1.4803815","articleHeadline": "‘Deeply flawed’ P1 test won’t close attainment gap, says head","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537592400000 ,"articleLead": "

John Swinney’s primary one tests are “deeply flawed” and will lead to judgments on children being based on flimsy evidence, a leading headmaster has warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803814.1537564180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Primary one tests have proved to be a controversial subject. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto"} ,"articleBody": "

Rod Grant of fee-paying Clifton Hall School, Edinburgh, has written a blog warning that the controversial tests will not help close the attainment gap.

In an article for the school Facebook page, Mr Grant reacted to this week’s parliamentary debate on the controversial tests claiming politicians had displayed “staggering ignorance” of what the tests were.

“As with many things happening in education in Scotland, the implementation of National Standardised Tests is deeply flawed,” he wrote.

“I listened, with considerable interest, to yesterday’s entire debate, occasionally shouting at my screen as politician after politician displayed staggering ignorance (or was it mere politicking?) of what a standardised test of the kind that P1 pupils are being asked to complete actually is.

“Standardised tests in literacy and numeracy provide a score which relates to a pupil’s natural ability on a given day. That’s it. Tests such as these offer no greater indication than that mere fact. If we believe intelligence is not ‘fixed’, if we believe children’s abilities can ‘grow’ then we need to understand that the score a child attains on any single day is unlikely to reflect anything other than that simple fact.”

Despite the tests being billed as “standardised assessments”, Mr Grant claimed they were not the same for all children as they could sit them at different stages in their primary one year. In addition, children were allowed to sit the tests within different time periods.

Mr Grant wrote: “For lots of reasons, I have to ask the question what will the results of these tests do for improving education in Scotland? What will they do for closing the attainment gap? I’m a teacher and I can’t see any benefit in using these tests in the way they are being used. The scores produced will not reflect the abilities of the nation’s Primary 1 children. And if they don’t do that, what’s the point?”

On Wednesday, opposition politicians united around a Conservative motion calling for the tests to be halted, defeating Mr Swinney and the SNP by 63 votes to 61.

Despite the vote Mr Swinney instructed schools to carry on delivering the tests while he reflected on the outcome of the vote.

Mr Grant went on to say: “It might be nice if one day politicians of all persuasions would actually listen to the facts. No teacher is against assessment. No teacher is against tests, per se.

“They won’t cause unnecessary stress on pupils [an opposition red herring] but they will cause unnecessary stress on the teaching profession (and on parents too) because judgements will be made. And the judgements that will be made will be based on flimsy evidence lacking in academic rigour.”

Mr Grant added: “Mr. Swinney would do well to take heed of the will of Parliament. I was under the impression we lived in a democracy, after all.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4803814.1537564180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803814.1537564180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Primary one tests have proved to be a controversial subject. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Primary one tests have proved to be a controversial subject. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4803814.1537564180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/snp-are-no-anti-austerity-allies-labour-to-warn-voters-1-4803806","id":"1.4803806","articleHeadline": "SNP are no ‘anti-austerity allies’, Labour to warn voters","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537592400000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish Labour chiefs will embark on a drive to warn UK party members that the SNP are “not allies” in the fight against austerity.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803805.1537563611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Leonard says only Labour is able to unite people on the basis of class. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

It comes after Jeremy Corbyn his week refused to rule out granting a second referendum if he becomes prime minister.

The SNP insisted it was the last Labour government which introduced austerity and that independence will provide a “bright future”.

UK Labour delegates are to receive a briefing from the Scottish party at its conference in Liverpool this week, setting out how the SNP’s recent Growth Commission would be a recipe for widespread cuts under independence. It will be distributed to delegates at key points of the conference.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “We need now to stop dividing people on the basis of nationality and start uniting them on the basis of class, and only Labour is able to do that.”

Mr Leonard will address a Labourlist rally tomorrow night, then give the Scotland report to delegates on Monday, and share a stage with former Labour leader Ed Miliband on Sunday. He will Mr Leonard will also

The Growth Commission set out a more sober economic case for independence, warning of spending restraint for up to a decade to get public spending under control and bring down Scotland’s deficit.
“When Nicola Sturgeon launched her latest blueprint for Scottish Independence she billed it as a ‘Growth Commission’, but in reality it is a cuts commission,” Mr Leonard said.

“It offers a vision of Scotland that people do not want and cannot afford.

“A vision of another decade ruined by needless austerity, with people living, surviving, struggling under the dogma of another deficit reduction plan.

“The cuts commission claims to offer a “clear-sighted analysis of the prospectus for independence”.

“But it is a prospectus based on a hard decade of public spending contraction, and even deeper cuts than those implemented by George Osborne.”

But the claims were dismissed by SNP MSP James Dornan.

“Scottish Labour seem to have forgotten that it was the last Labour government which started imposing austerity – which they pledged would be “deeper and tougher” than anything Thatcher imposed,” he said.

“And it is Labour which is now shamefully rolling over and accepting a damaging Tory Brexit that Scotland did not vote for and which threatens jobs, investment and living standards. And an independent Scotland offers a much brighter future.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4803805.1537563611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803805.1537563611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richard Leonard says only Labour is able to unite people on the basis of class. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Leonard says only Labour is able to unite people on the basis of class. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4803805.1537563611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/edinburgh-council-urged-to-accelerate-electric-car-plans-1-4803817","id":"1.4803817","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh Council urged to accelerate electric car plans","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537592400000 ,"articleLead": "

The city of Edinburgh council has been urged to accelerate plans to embrace green technology after it was revealed the number of electric vehicles in the authority’s fleet has remained static over the past few years.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803816.1537565352!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Four electric vehicles are set to replace diesel vehicles in coming months. Picture: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

As of August 2018, the council had only 25 electric vehicles, making up just 3 percent of its overall fleet.

Four more electric vehicles are set to replace diesel vehicles in coming months. In 2015, the council had 27 electric vehicles on its books, indicating a slight reduction.

Green transport spokesperson Cllr Chas Booth said: “It’s clear that the council is making some progress in upgrading its vehicles to meet modern cleaner standards.

“However, it’s also clear that progress on electric vehicles is much more modest, with numbers actually dropping slightly in recent years.

“There have been criticisms recently that Edinburgh is way behind other cities like Dundee in providing electric vehicle charging points.

“With so few of its own electric vehicles, maybe that explains why. So the city needs to do a lot more to embrace the electric vehicle transformation.

“The council should be leading from the front on electric vehicles.”

Earlier this year, the council imposed strict European emissions on taxi drivers, forcing them to meet Euro 5 or Euro 6 standards. But around 26 per cent of the council’s vehicles – some 235 vehicles – do not meet these rules.

The city council’s low emissions policy states no taxi or private hire car will be acceptable unless it meets Euro 5 or 6 standards. Vehicles more than a decade old are also set to be refused a licence.

Conservative transport spokesman, Cllr Nick Cook, said: “Despite claims to the contrary, Edinburgh Council has thus far produced little more than hot air when it comes to support for electric vehicles.

“While another report is due next month to the transport and environment committee, the council has yet to even deliver the Marchmont electric vehicle charging pilot it promised my constituents years ago.

“The fact the council is willing to impose strict emissions on taxi drivers, while not meeting said targets themselves, again shows an SNP-Labour council administration out of touch with the hard-working people of Edinburgh.”

The council will bring forward plans for increasing electric charging points across the city.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4803816.1537565352!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803816.1537565352!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Four electric vehicles are set to replace diesel vehicles in coming months. Picture: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Four electric vehicles are set to replace diesel vehicles in coming months. Picture: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4803816.1537565352!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/police-bosses-admit-they-were-aware-of-officer-s-undercover-sex-1-4803821","id":"1.4803821","articleHeadline": "Police bosses admit they ‘were aware’ of officer’s undercover sex","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537592400000 ,"articleLead": "

Police have admitted for the first time that supervisors knew about a sexual relationship between a undercover officer and a woman he was spying on.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803820.1537565848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mark Kennedy began a relationship with an activist in 2003. Picture: Dan Philips"} ,"articleBody": "

According to campaigners, legal documents show a number of officers were aware of the relationship between Mark Kennedy and environmental activist Kate Wilson, allowing it to continue.

Ms Wilson began her relationship with Kennedy in 2003 when she was involved in organising protests planned for the G8 summit at Gleneagles in 2005.

A report published earlier this year by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland, a watchdog, said Kennedy, a member of the now defunct National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), visited Scotland on at least 17 occasions and carried out “multiple activities” on each visit.

Ms Wilson was one of eight women who took the Metropolitan Police to court after they were duped into relationships by undercover officers. After reaching a settlement with seven of them in 2015, the force said the relationships would not have been authorised in advance or used as a tactic.

Ms Wilson won a High Court battle against the force in 2016 after it withdrew from the case.

She stated at the time that supervising officers were negligent and had acted improperly in causing or allowing the relationship to happen, accusing the force of dropping its defence to avoid handing over key documents “at any cost”.

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal is due to hear her case against the Metropolitan Police – alleging breaches of the Human Rights Act – on October 3.

According to the campaign group Police Spies Out of Lives, legal documents show the police have now admitted that the relationship with Kennedy contravened Ms Wilson’s human rights and the breach was made worse because bosses knew what he was doing.

Ms Wilson said in a statement: “It has taken me eight painful years to discover that managing officers really did conspire to deceive and abuse me, something the police had consistently denied.

“The wider questions for society here are massive, this is about institutional sexism, senior police officers sanctioning sexual abuse, and the systematic violation of human rights because of political beliefs, and we still don’t have the whole truth.”

In November 2015 Scotland Yard apologised to the eight women who had been deceived by the undercover officers and admitted they had been “abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong”.

They said such a relationship would “never be authorised in advance” nor used as a tactic and they were “failures of supervision and management”.

Yesterday, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on Ms Wilson’s ongoing civil action at the tribunal.

A spokesman said: “The MPS has made clear its position on long-term, sexual relationships known to have been entered into by some undercover officers in the past. Those relationships were wrong and should not have happened.”

The force said it was providing “every assistance” to the broader inquiry into undercover policing.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government ruled out holding its own inquiry into the issue.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4803820.1537565848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803820.1537565848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mark Kennedy began a relationship with an activist in 2003. Picture: Dan Philips","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mark Kennedy began a relationship with an activist in 2003. Picture: Dan Philips","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4803820.1537565848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/sfa-and-diageo-launch-alcohol-awareness-campaign-for-football-fans-1-4803823","id":"1.4803823","articleHeadline": "SFA and Diageo launch alcohol awareness campaign for football fans","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537592400000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Football Association and drinks company Diageo have launched a campaign to promote responsible drinking.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803822.1537566666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The campaign launch at Hampden with Diageo responsible drinking ambassadors and Scotland assistant coach James McFadden. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

They hope to reach one million Scots with the Drink Positive campaign.

The initiative will use the William Hill Scottish Cup to encourage fans, coaches and players to be aware of the effects of alcohol and to encourage moderate drinking.

But last night Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said the move was “misguided”, and called for independent information rather than initiatives from organisations relying on people consuming alcohol.

Amateur football coaches will receive alcohol awareness training about how alcohol impacts on sporting performance and can then build responsible drinking messaging into coaching sessions.

The campaign was launched at Hampden stadium in Glasgow with a team of Diageo responsible drinking ambassadors and Scotland assistant coach James McFadden.

Mr McFadden said: “Alcohol and football are a common pairing, but it’s important for fans to recognise the dangers of excessive drinking.

“Our new partnership with Diageo will help to spread the message that responsible drinking is vital.”

Chris Rawlings, Scottish FA commercial director, said: “Its is our responsibility to use the platform we have to promote a balanced approach to alcohol consumption.”

Ms Douglas said: “Allowing drinks companies to run health campaigns is simply misguided.

“None of the over a hundred Diageo products surveyed for yesterday’s report from the Alcohol Health Alliance contained the current chief medical officers’ guidelines.

“If they choose not to provide basic health information how can they be trusted to help people reduce their drinking?”

Ms Douglas added: “Scotland already has a huge problem with alcohol, drinking 20 per cent more than our English neighbours. To tackle this we need independent and reliable information and advice on how to manage drinking.

“At the end of the day drinks companies rely on people drinking to support their revenue. Organisations who put their profits over people’s health should have no part in providing health advice.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are taking action to help people make healthier choices. The introduction of minimum unit pricing is allowing us to take direct action to tackle the provision of high strength, low cost alcohol across Scotland and is expected to save up to sixty lives in the first year alone.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4803822.1537566666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803822.1537566666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The campaign launch at Hampden with Diageo responsible drinking ambassadors and Scotland assistant coach James McFadden. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The campaign launch at Hampden with Diageo responsible drinking ambassadors and Scotland assistant coach James McFadden. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4803822.1537566666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}