{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"uk","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/no-bad-thing-if-twitter-is-blocked-because-of-porn-age-checker-susan-dalgety-1-4911813","id":"1.4911813","articleHeadline": "No bad thing if Twitter is blocked because of porn age-checker – Susan Dalgety","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555909213000 ,"articleLead": "

I grew up in more innocent days, when hardcore porn was your dad’s stash of Playboy under his bed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911812.1555686908!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Porn has become readily available at the touch of a button"} ,"articleBody": "

No doubt there was much worse material available than beautiful young women exposing their breasts for a few dollars and fleeting fame, but it didn’t reach many households.

Today, kids barely out of nappies can click on sites that glorify anal sex, group sex, any kind of sex you can imagine, and much that you don’t want to.

I consider myself a fairly liberal sort of person – after all my first love was a bloke in a dress (David Bowie, circa 1971). But easy access to hardcore porn must distort our children’s view of a healthy sex life.

Research shows that teenagers are affected by what they see on their smartphones. Boys think it is “normal” to slap a woman around during sex, and girls think they need big lips but should stay mute to be attractive.

READ MORE: Darren McGarvey: Porn moulded me into a sexually selfish man

So well done the UK government for finally introducing age verification for online porn. From July 15, providers of online pornography will have to carry out robust age tests to prevent under-18s accessing it. Failure to do so will result in the sites being blocked.

Britain is the first county in the world to bring in these controls, and the move has not pleased everyone.

Some folk fear that social media sites such as Twitter will fall foul of the new rules, and be blocked because of adult content.

As a guilty Twitter addict, who spends far too much time on the site, that may be no bad thing.

READ MORE: Experts urge more support to combat online porn addiction

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911812.1555686908!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911812.1555686908!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Porn has become readily available at the touch of a button","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Porn has become readily available at the touch of a button","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911812.1555686908!/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/brexit-uk-acting-just-like-harry-enfield-s-stroppy-teenager-robert-aldridge-1-4911911","id":"1.4911911","articleHeadline": "Brexit: UK acting just like Harry Enfield’s stroppy teenager – Robert Aldridge","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555909213000 ,"articleLead": "

It’s time to start the healing process by reaching out to reasonable people on all sides – and marginalising the extremists – says Robert Aldridge

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911909.1555688717!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The UK is acting like Harry Enfeild's truculent teenage character Kevin yelling 'it's so unfair'. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

That’s Easter over and MPs will return to Westminster soon. We should have already been a month into Brexit by now if the Conservative government had kept its election pledge.

While I and my Lib Dem colleagues are delighted that we still have a glimmer of hope of achieving a further referendum and reversing the decision, my fear is that the Conservative government, aided and abetted by indecisive Labour, will continue to delay any decision.

Sadly, Conservative MPs seem to put hating each other as a higher priority than the future of the country and are still fighting like ferrets in a sack. They are more interested in jockeying for position in the next Tory leadership election than achieving a “strong and stable” solution for the country.

No wonder people are losing faith in the democratic system. The Leith Walk by-election in Edinburgh ten days ago showed a massive decline in voter turnout. Possibly a sign of things to come in the European elections and any others which may happen. And there is a real danger in that.

Democracy is too precious to be sacrificed on the altar of the personal ambitions of the entitled “posh boys” who believe it is their right to lead the country.

READ MORE: Why EU elections could break Tory party – Kenny MacAskill

It is up to all of us involved in politics to up our game. At its best the political system, through debate, discussion and scrutiny, arrives at solutions which are both good for the country (and the city) and help unite it. At its worst, it encourages tribalism and name-calling, exaggerating and deepening division.

It’s time to start the healing process. You don’t do that by pandering to the extremists, but by reaching out to reasonable people on all sides. And you don’t do that, incidentally, by trying to start another tribal battle with a rerun of the independence referendum.

EU negotiators have shown remarkable maturity, acting like patient parents. The UK is like a truculent teenager shouting “it’s so unfair” without knowing quite what it wants.

I fear that the six-month extension will be wasted. The government can create every excuse – European elections, a leadership election, summer holidays. But we must not let them keep kicking the can down the road, allowing the atmosphere of anger and division to fester.

READ MORE: This is our chance to stop Brexit chaos and Nigel Farage – Sheila Ritchie

They need to agree the best deal they can negotiate as soon as possible and put their concrete proposal to the people to either confirm or reject. Rejection would be to stay as we are in the EU.

But we need to get on with it. There are businesses throughout the city which need the certainty to invest in the future. There are families with EU nationals as members who need to know where they stand. There are services throughout the city, dependent on the highly skilled EU workforce who need to guarantee they can still serve the public.

Most importantly we need to ensure that our friendly cosmopolitan European capital city can return to its focus on being the best place in Europe to live, work, study, visit and do business in. And we need to get back to the Scotland and UK which is so admired around the world for its tolerance, pragmatism, stability and warmth.

Robert Aldridge is the Lib Dem group leader at Edinburgh City Council

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Robert Aldridge"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911909.1555688717!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911909.1555688717!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The UK is acting like Harry Enfeild's truculent teenage character Kevin yelling 'it's so unfair'. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The UK is acting like Harry Enfeild's truculent teenage character Kevin yelling 'it's so unfair'. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911909.1555688717!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911910.1555688719!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911910.1555688719!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robert Aldridge is the Lib Dem group leader at Edinburgh City Council. Picture: Jane Barlow","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robert Aldridge is the Lib Dem group leader at Edinburgh City Council. Picture: Jane Barlow","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911910.1555688719!/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/shock-device-cuts-clots-in-stroke-patients-1-4912503","id":"1.4912503","articleHeadline": "Shock device cuts clots in stroke patients","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555909200000 ,"articleLead": "

A device that sends electrical impulses down the legs of stroke patients can cut the risk of deadly blood clots, a hospital study has found.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912502.1555875130!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "New research shows the geko reduces the risk of clots compared to standard treatment"} ,"articleBody": "

New research shows the geko reduces the risk of clots compared to standard treatment, is comfortable to wear and could save the NHS money.

Approved for use on the health service, the geko is a battery-powered, disposable device designed to increase blood flow in the deep veins of the legs.

Its action is the equivalent of about 60 per cent of walking – even though the patient does not have to move. Dr Indira Natarajan, a consultant stroke physician and clinical director of neurosciences at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, has carried out an in-hospital study to see how effective the device is.

He said it was particularly useful for patients who could not tolerate intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) – the standard treatment recommended for preventing blood clots.

His study of 219 patients fitted with the geko found no evidence of blood clots within three months of discharge, compared with 11 cases of blood clots in 463 people prescribed IPC.

Dr Natarajan said: “When patients are admitted for stroke, one of the major complications is the formation of clots in the legs.

“These clots can sometimes move from the legs to the lung and cause a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.

“Around 30 per cent of patients cannot go on an IPC pump, which puts pressure on calf muscles.

“They can’t use this standard treatment for a variety of reasons, such as having leg ulcers, broken skin or fluid in the leg.

“A lot of people also find that a sleeve pumping pressure down their leg means they can’t sleep.

“The geko gets round these problems. It’s like a half wrist-watch which fits round the outside of the knee joint.

“It produces an electrical impulse down the leg and the intensity can be increased or decreased by a plus or minus switch.”

Dr Natarajan said he would like more research to see if the geko could be used as a first-line treatment for stroke patients. Despite being approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) in 2014, the device is still not widely used in all NHS trusts.

The geko, manufactured by UK-based Sky Medical Technology Ltd, costs £22 for each device. Patients wear one on each leg.

A Nice spokesman said its guidance encouraged “the NHS to consider using the geko device as an option for people who have a high risk of developing blood clots in the leg where standard methods of preventing them aren’t suitable or can’t be used”. “The low risk of the device causing any harm was an additional factor in the guidance supporting routine NHS use of the device for patients at high risk who have no preventative options,” he said.

“We estimated that when the device was used in this way, it would save the NHS almost £200 per patient treated.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4912502.1555875130!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912502.1555875130!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "New research shows the geko reduces the risk of clots compared to standard treatment","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "New research shows the geko reduces the risk of clots compared to standard treatment","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4912502.1555875130!/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/watch-the-video-that-has-still-game-fans-convinced-isa-is-working-at-a-scottish-kfc-drive-thru-1-4912721","id":"1.4912721","articleHeadline": "Watch the video that has Still Game fans convinced Isa is working at a Scottish KFC drive-thru","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555929960962 ,"articleLead": "Has Isa finally moved on from cleaning Navid's shop? The familiar voice at a KFC drive-thru is pretty convincing.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912719.1555930123!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The funny exchange took place at a KFC Drive-Thru in Livingston"} ,"articleBody": "

With Still Game having recently left our screens forever, it seems like some of the cast have moved onto other ventures.

It appears that one KFC customer might have found Isa at the Livingston drive-thru branch.

Placing an order for a big daddy box meal, Alan Currie, 28, was met with an incredible response.

"Ooh! Big Daddy!"

When asked what "finger lickin' sides" Alan was having with his meal, his choice of gravy also went down a treat.

"Aww, now we're talking!" the voice replied.

When Alan heard the car in front being served by the Isa sound-alike, he quickly got his phone out to record his hilarious encounter.

Originally the video was only for the eyes of friends.

"I only had plans of keeping it on my story on Snapchat but I got loads of messages telling me how funny it was so decided to put it on Twitter," Alan said.

Many of the replies to the video point out how canny the voice and its mannerisms are, with one tweeter asking, "Is that Isa fae Still Game?".

Another wondered: "When did Isa start working at KFC?"

The enthusiastic employee appears to have garnered a few fans, with viewers calling her "utterly brilliant".

"Never once did I think it would have got the views it has," Alan said.

At the time of publication, the video has racked up more than 400,000 views.

" ,"byline": {"email": "Rhona.Shennan@JPress.co.uk" ,"author": "Rhona Shennan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4912719.1555930123!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912719.1555930123!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The funny exchange took place at a KFC Drive-Thru in Livingston","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The funny exchange took place at a KFC Drive-Thru in Livingston","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4912719.1555930123!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"3000000001926839"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/who-is-anders-povlsen-everything-you-need-to-know-about-scotland-s-biggest-landowner-1-4912668","id":"1.4912668","articleHeadline": "Who is Anders Povlsen? Everything you need to know about Scotland's biggest landowner","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555927690271 ,"articleLead": "Anders Holch Povlsen, Scotland’s biggest private landowner, said today that three of his children were killed in the Sri Lanka terror attacks.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912667.1555927949!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anders Holch Povlsen"} ,"articleBody": "

Members of his family were visiting Sri Lanka over the Easter holiday.

A spokesperson for the billionaire confirmed that three of his four children were among those killed in the attacks on Sunday, which targeted churches and luxury hotels.

Shareholder in ASOS

Mr Povlsen, 46, is a businessman who has shares in a number of fashion companies. He owns 221,000 acres of Scotland.

He made his fortune after inheriting clothing company Bestseller, which owns brands including Vero Moda and Jack and Jones.

More recently, he has been a major shareholder in ASOS, with a 27 per cent stake in the online retail giant.

He owns 11 estates in the highlands and was announced as the country’s largest landowner last year when his portfolio outstripped that of the Duke of Buccleuch, who owns 217,000 acres.

£70m on land in Scotland

The Dane spend more than £70 million in land in Scotland in just over a decade. He purchased estates including Eriboll in Sutherland and Tulloch near Fort William.

Mr Polvsen is a passionate environmentalist, and purchased his land with plans to restore the ecology. His ‘wild land’ approach is geared towards encouraging the natural flora, fauna and woodlands to thrive.

It contrasts with the traditional Scottish sporting estate where hunting and fishing are popular.

Forbes magazine has estimated Mr Povlsen to be worth around £5.8 billion.

" ,"byline": {"email": "lloyd.bent@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "Lloyd Bent"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4912667.1555927949!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912667.1555927949!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Anders Holch Povlsen","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anders Holch Povlsen","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4912667.1555927949!/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/at-the-open-university-education-for-all-is-our-ethos-susan-stewart-1-4912649","id":"1.4912649","articleHeadline": "At The Open University education for all is our ethos – Susan Stewart","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555927153000 ,"articleLead": "

‘The first and most urgent task before us is to cater for the many thousands of people fully capable of a higher education, who for one reason or another do not get it, or do not get enough of it as they can turn to advantage. Or, as they discover sometimes too late, that they need. Only in recent years have we come to realise how many such people there are.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912647.1555927147!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lord Geoffrey Crowther, the first Chancellor of The Open University, on receipt of the brand-new institution's Royal Charter at a ceremony fifty years ago"} ,"articleBody": "

These were the words of Lord ­Geoffrey Crowther, the first chancellor of The Open University, on receipt of the brand-new institution’s ­Royal Charter at a ceremony 50 years ago today. He spoke of the need for a ­different approach to ­higher ­education, and a sense that higher education was too narrowly spread, hoarded by the privileged and denied to a broader public that could, if given the chance, succeed.

The Open University would be a university for all, all of the time – not some, some of the time. Its mission would be to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. It would require no entrance qualifications to join. Students could study anywhere – it would be the UK’s first distance ­learning university.

It would teach in exciting new ways, first using television, radio and ­correspondence and then become an early adopter of online learning. It would change the way we learn, including introducing the build-your-own Open degree and, later, informal learning such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

In this way, the OU would widen access to higher education, helping people to benefit from university on a scale previously unimaginable. Since then, more than two million people have studied with the OU, 200,000 of those here in Scotland.

What is remarkable to me is how our students do it. There has ­never been such a thing as a typical OU ­student, but what they’ve tended to have in common, now as then, are hugely busy lives.

Three-quarters of our students are studying while working, and many are also looking after children and other relatives. A total of 22 per cent of OU students in Scotland have a ­disability. Across the UK, the OU teaches 24,000 students with disabilities – more than the entire student population of many universities.

OU students are everywhere. From Shetland to Selkirk, Portree to Peterhead, there’s an OU student in just about every community in Scotland. Almost a quarter live somewhere that’s officially considered ‘remote’ or ‘rural’. We have students studying on the front line in Afghanistan, in ­hospitals, and in prisons. Our ­students are just as at home in the dressing room as they are in the board room, with professional athletes and business leaders alike among those learning with us. Our partnerships with trade unions and charities make sure that everyone who needs to be able to learn, can do so.

But, reflecting on Lord Crowther’s words 50 years and 200,000 Scottish students later, our mission stays – has to stay – the same.

There are still thousands of ­people who could succeed at and ­benefit from higher education, but who aren’t (yet) getting it. Scottish higher education is undoubtedly more accessible than it’s ever been, but all of us have more to do.

Recently I’ve been asked many times how I expect the OU to change in the next 50 years. We talk about technology and automation and new ways of teaching and learning, and I don’t doubt things will be hugely ­different in the future. But what’s most important to me is that the ­fundamentals of the OU stay the same and don’t change.

The Open University is about ­people, about a belief in the ­ability of people to learn and succeed, regardless of their background or where they’ve come from.

It’s about an unshakeable conviction that central to any meaningful conception of social justice is ­giving everyone an equal chance to become a better version of themselves, to achieve their potential through ­education. That’s what The Open University was founded on. It’s why we’ve done the work we do for the last 50 years. I think it will sustain us – and our ­students – well into the future. Find out more about The Open University’s 50th anniversary at 50.open.ac.uk

Susan Stewart is director of The Open University in Scotland.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4912647.1555927147!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912647.1555927147!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lord Geoffrey Crowther, the first Chancellor of The Open University, on receipt of the brand-new institution's Royal Charter at a ceremony fifty years ago","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lord Geoffrey Crowther, the first Chancellor of The Open University, on receipt of the brand-new institution's Royal Charter at a ceremony fifty years ago","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4912647.1555927147!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4912648.1555927150!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912648.1555927150!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Susan Stewart is Director of The Open University in Scotland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Susan Stewart is Director of The Open University in Scotland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4912648.1555927150!/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/scottish-government-must-invest-in-green-jobs-and-industries-says-patrick-harvie-1-4912479","id":"1.4912479","articleHeadline": "Scottish Government must invest in green jobs and industries, says Patrick Harvie","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555866607000 ,"articleLead": "

Patrick Harvie has called on the Scottish Government to develop a Green New Deal policy for Scotland.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912478.1555866604!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Government must do more to support green jobs and industries, an MSP said ahead of a Holyrood debate this week. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The Scottish Green party co-convener will bring forward a debate at Holyrood this week urging MSPs to back an agenda which addresses climate change and invests in green jobs and industries.

Climate protesters this week took action in cities across the UK calling on government and councils to declare a climate emergency.

Protesters held a series of peaceful demonstrations, including occupying key sites such as Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge in London.

Last month, a motion by the Scottish Greens calling for the Scottish Parliament to declare a climate emergency was defeated.

In the United States, a Green New Deal plan was put forward by Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

READ MORE: ‘Ditching sterling post-independence is tough sell’

Mr Harvie indicated that there is growing interest in Scotland and across the world in bringing forward a Green New Deal.

Mr Harvie said: “Last month the Greens brought forward a vote calling on the Scottish Parliament to declare a climate emergency.

“This proposition was voted down by SNP, Tory, Labour and Lib Dem MSPs. The other parties cannot conceive of a positive vision for Scotland’s future after we leave the fossil fuel age behind.

“But, we quite simply cannot afford to continue with our over-reliance on oil and gas.

“Climate science tells us there is just over a decade to act if we are to prevent climate breakdown, while the inspirational school climate strikers demand that we act urgently to secure their future.

“A Green New Deal for Scotland is a practical way to transform Scotland’s economy, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in clean, green industries and tackle the huge inequality that still exists within our communities.

“So far, ministers have been reluctant to take the bold and urgent action that is required to tackle the climate crisis. I hope they’ll take the chance this week to back our plans and set in motion the process of creating a Green New Deal for Scotland.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “In 2017, the Scottish low-carbon and renewable energy sector supported over 46,000 jobs, and generated over £11 billion in turnover. This is a significant result and confirms our commitment to ensuring that Scotland maximises economic opportunity of the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“We recognise that the transition to a carbon-neutral economy brings both economic opportunities and challenges.

“We have established a Just Transition Commission to provide ministers with practical advice on promoting a fair, inclusive jobs market as we move to a carbon-neutral economy. We want constructive dialogue to be the central pillar of our approach to Just Transition.

“In addition, the Scottish National Investment Bank will support the transition to a carbon-neutral society.

“This transition will provide opportunities across Scotland. Developments have already been made in areas like battery storage and smart grids and Scotland is home to technological breakthroughs, like floating offshore windfarms and tidal power developments.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Lewis Mackenzie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4912478.1555866604!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912478.1555866604!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Scottish Government must do more to support green jobs and industries, an MSP said ahead of a Holyrood debate this week. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Government must do more to support green jobs and industries, an MSP said ahead of a Holyrood debate this week. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4912478.1555866604!/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/euan-mccolm-porn-id-s-a-charter-for-data-miners-and-hackers-1-4912274","id":"1.4912274","articleHeadline": "Euan McColm: Porn ID’s a charter for data miners and hackers","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555864472000 ,"articleLead": "

Savvy children will still find ways to watch harmful content as new threat to online privacy is unleashed, says Euan McColm

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912273.1555864470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The pornography block will offer a golden opportunity for extortion and fraud to internet criminals. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

It was certainly a headline-grabber. In a rare example of something other than Brexit breaking into the political news cycle, it was announced last week that – as of 15 July, this year – anyone who wishes to access pornographic websites will have to supply ID proving they are aged over 18 in order to do so.

Fair enough, surely? We’d agree, wouldn’t we, that allowing young, impressionable people unfettered access to extreme, often violent, sexual content on the internet is unwise?

Perhaps, like we have, you’ve taken steps to prevent or, at least, limit this access. Anyone attempting to view porn using the McColm wifi will find themselves thwarted by a filter 
installed to prevent the kids from stumbling across – or, indeed, searching for – content that we consider inappropriate.

But there’s only so much one can do. The fact is that – no matter what steps one might take at home to prevent access to the seedier corners of the internet – it takes only a pal with 3G on his phone to provide a window to a world of pornography, extreme as you like and more.

The case for action builds, does it not?

And yet I find myself completely opposed to this particular wheeze.

It appears to be a straightforward enough process. Anyone who wishes to access adult websites after 15 July will be required to provide ID – such as a driver’s licence or passport – or to purchase from a local shop a pass (“two packets of cheese and onion and a porn card, please, Brian”) in order to unlock them.

We should, I think, be concerned about the impact of porn on young people. We should be worried about the expectations it may create and the insecurities it might nurture.

Widely available hardcore pornography has made necessary a new and uniquely awkward part of the traditional birds and bees conversation. And, just as we must address the unrealistic nature of porn, we should be talking to our kids about the ethical issues at play, about the implications for some of those involved.

This new law – a classic example of the “something” in the demand “something must be done” – simply cannot do what it is intended to.

It is worth remembering that children are not idiots. If it is possible for an adult to remove a credit card from a wallet and then input its details into a website, we should entertain the possibility that a child might be able to do likewise. Any of the age-verifying documents required to unlock porn sites may be found in any home. And nobody can know the age of anyone who submits them.

Well, yes, you might say, but isn’t it then simply the duty of a parent to ensure such items are removed from reach. To this, I’d reply that, by the age of eight, I knew where my parents kept everything. And I mean everything.

It is possible to circumvent all sort of internet blocks. Anyone who wants to watch broadcasts from overseas can do so with the help of websites that mask the location of one’s computer.

I’d expect sites offering a similar service to those who wish to watch pornography to do a roaring trade.

But it’s not just the naivety about the way in which the government’s porn-block will be thwarted, is it?

If an adult is accessing legal content from the privacy of their own home, whose business is it but theirs?

A consequence of this legislation is that a huge quantity of personal information will be handed over to age verification services. If recent history has taught us anything about private data it is that it becomes vulnerable as soon as it is passed on.

Perhaps you remember the hacking in 2015, of the Ashley Madison website. The site was used by people seeking extra-marital affairs whose personal information – from credit card numbers to sexual fantasies – was made public. Some reported receiving “extortion emails”. It was a car crash with devastating consequences for some of those involved.

Perhaps your sympathy for those cheating on their spouses is limited, but we can’t condone the loss of the right of privacy for those whose behaviour we find distasteful, can we?

In forcing people to register to access porn sites, the government might as well slap a hacker across the chops with a leather gauntlet.

There is, I concede, precedent to the requirement of the provision of identification for access to age-restricted items. Off licences generally ask for ID from anyone who appears to be under the age of 25.

But there is a world of difference between flashing a driver’s licence in the supermarket and uploading an image of it into the ether.

There is some pathos in the idea that the ministers and civil servants who drafted the legislation to create the porn-block thought they could outsmart a 12-year-old with a MacBook. This is legislation by the hopelessly out of touch.

It plays well enough with traditional Tory voters, many of whom, I daresay, are of an age where understanding the nuances of the internet and its possibilities is not a priority.

The internet can be a dangerous 
place for young people. And access to extreme and violent pornography is only one of the perils. Children need no ID to access the web channels of angry misogynists or sites dedicated to encouraging the development of eating disorders. Mainstream websites may recently have promised to remove content promoting self-harm and extreme dieting but as this content is chased from one platform it will soon land on another.

We do have to address the issue of young people accessing pornography but we have to do so while, at the very least, paying lip service to reality. This issue is, I’m afraid, more complex than the government’s plan might suggest.

We cannot hide pornography from children and so we must discuss it. How awful.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Euan McColm"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4912273.1555864470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912273.1555864470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The pornography block will offer a golden opportunity for extortion and fraud to internet criminals. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The pornography block will offer a golden opportunity for extortion and fraud to internet criminals. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4912273.1555864470!/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/crime/bradley-welsh-murder-prime-suspect-spotted-outside-victim-s-house-week-before-1-4912460","id":"1.4912460","articleHeadline": "Bradley Welsh murder: Prime suspect spotted outside victim’s house ‘week before’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555864317000 ,"articleLead": "

The prime suspect in the murder of Bradley Welsh may have been spotted near his victim’s home more than a week before carrying out the gangland hit, it has been claimed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912459.1555864314!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Welsh was shot dead outside his home in Edinburgh's west end"} ,"articleBody": "

Police sources have refused to deny Sunday newspaper reports that a man matching the description of the 48-year-old’s killer had been spotted near the scene of last Wednesday evening’s shooting.

A neighbour claimed he saw the man described by detectives in the former boxer’s West End street two weeks ago.

Welsh - who had close associates in the Capital’s underworld - was gunned down outside his £500,000 basement flat in Chester Street at 8pm on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Hibs fans stage minute’s applause for Bradley Welsh

The neighbour said he saw a man matching the Police Scotland description of the killer lurking nearby.

He told a Sunday newspaper: “He was a young man standing there on his own looking up and down the street very intently as if he was checking something out.

“When he saw me looking at him, he just walked off. I did not think anything of it at the time but I wonder now if he was casing Bradley’s house.”

Police said the suspect is aged 20 to 30, 5ft 10in to 6ft tall, slim and with a tanned complexion. He fired once, possibly using a sawn-off shotgun, inflicting fatal head wounds.

Welsh, who was jailed for running a protection racket and assaulting a woman, had a young daughter and a stepson. He ran Holyrood Boxing Gym and was involved in a number of charities, earning him praise for turning his life around after his criminal past.

However, he was closely linked to Edinburgh drugs baron Mark Richardson, one of Scotland’s most feared organised crime bosses, currently serving time for his role as the head of a drugs gang linked to multiple violent attacks.

In the 80s, he was involved in the Hibs football hooligan gang Capital City Service and fans at Easter Road yesterday held a minute’s applause in his memory..

He was jailed in 1990 for menacing an estate agent but turned to boxing after his release and in 1993 was crowned British ABA lightweight boxing champ but his career ended when he was jailed again, for four months, for assaulting a woman in her own home.

Meanwhile, police have denied suggestions Welsh died because of a missing £130,000 drugs consignment he was paid to protect.

They have also not ruled out a link to Somali gangs dealing crack cocaine in Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland.

Officers are still trawling CCTV in an attempt to identify the gunman, the route he used to and from the shooting scene, and if he was driven away by an accomplice parked in a nearby street.

A senior Police Scotland source said: “There are a number of things that can be taken as guaranteed in a case like this. Some one had a gripe and they acted on it. Whether that was local, Scotland-only or linked to gangs from England operating up here is yet to be determined.

“But you don’t get your money back if you kill the person in debt to you. That doesn’t not make any sense.”

He added: “They key is the description of the suspect and finding CCTV that shows him or suspect vehicles in the area.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DIANE KING"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4912459.1555864314!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912459.1555864314!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Welsh was shot dead outside his home in Edinburgh's west end","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Welsh was shot dead outside his home in Edinburgh's west end","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4912459.1555864314!/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/dani-garavelli-lyra-mckee-s-death-brings-community-to-its-senses-1-4912272","id":"1.4912272","articleHeadline": "Dani Garavelli: Lyra McKee’s death brings community to its senses","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555863130000 ,"articleLead": "

There are reassuring signs that the people of Northern Ireland care more for the Good Friday Agreement than feckless politicians appear to, says Dani Garavelli

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912271.1555835894!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lyra McKee, who was shot dead beside a police vehicle as she watched rioting on the Creggan estate . Picture: Jess Lowe Photography/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

It’s not as if we hadn’t been warned. Those who know about Northern Ireland – who live and work there and sense trouble before it happens like elephants sense rain – had been telling us for months its hard-earned peace was as fragile as it had been at any time since the Good Friday Agreement was signed 21 years ago last week.

Republican dissidents who believe in an “unfinished revolution” have been mobilising for several years; the so-called New IRA and its political wing, Saoradh, have been exploiting the power vacuum at Stormont and the disappointment in poorer areas that the promised prosperity – “the spoils of peace,” as investigative reporter Lyra McKee once put it – never really reached them.

These low-lifes – a mix of hardened criminals and bored young hangers-on – are also exploiting the prospect of Brexit and the spectre of a hard border to revive old enmities and tip Northern Ireland back into conflict.

Despite a flurry of violent incidents, such as the car bomb outside Derry City Courthouse in January, such warnings have been met with apathy in Westminster, which seems to have forgotten how much it cost – emotionally and financially – to broker a lasting truce.

Where once peace in Northern Ireland was the Holy Grail for political leaders – a means of securing their place in history – it is now held cheap by irresponsible dunces such as Karen Bradley, who was surprised to discover its people voted along constitutional lines and who recently claimed killings at the hands of security forces were “not crimes”.

Everything changed on Thursday night, however, as gunshots and screams rang out in Derry. The murder of McKee, a much-loved, much-respected journalist, at the hands of a masked gunman, shattered all complacency.

The outpouring of grief for this 29-year-old – a rising star, who had recently moved to the city to be with her partner – demonstrated how much she was cherished as an individual. But, as an intelligent, gay woman, with friends across all communities, McKee was also the embodiment of the future the Good Friday Agreement was supposed to yield. As such, her death was a stark reminder of how much Northern Ireland stands to lose.

For a brief moment, it felt as if the community was teetering on the brink. With many Easter parades planned, the rioting could have spread from town to town as it would once have done. But despite the footage of angry youths and burning vehicles, this is not the 1970s. If politicians do not care about the Good Friday Agreement, then the millions of citizens who voted for it, and forced themselves to accept the compromises required to make it succeed, are less willing to put its imperfect legacy at risk.

In Creggan – the Catholic estate where McKee was shot – hundreds of residents turned out: to mourn her, of course, but also to assert their disdain for the New IRA and everything it pretends to stand for.

“Come stand with us and send a clear message that this community will not allow anyone to pull us back to the past,” said George McGowan, a community worker, who helped organise the gathering. Perhaps the most significant gesture was the overnight tampering with a dissident mural. Before McKee was shot, it read: “IRA. Undefeated Army. Unfinished Revolution.” The following morning it had been changed to: “IRA are done. Defeated Army. Finished Revolution.”

How locals would have reacted if the murder victim had been a police officer instead of a journalist is open to conjecture. Still, the Catholic citizens of Derry resisted the temptation to scapegoat others for the gunman’s crime. Where once they might have bought into Saoradh’s narrative, they scorned its attempt to shift the blame to police who entered Creggan to look for guns and explosives in advance of the anniversary of the 1916 Easter uprising.

They also resisted the temptation to jeer DUP leader Arlene Foster – whose botched green energy scheme led to the collapse of power-sharing at Stormont and whose intransigence over the Brexit backstop could yet see us crash out without a deal – when she came to express her solidarity with their pain.

To be fair, it took some guts for her to make a speech in this Republican heartland; perhaps McKee’s death had prompted a degree of soul-searching.

If so, it is to be hoped it spreads as the violence hasn’t. This tragedy should serve as a catalyst for introspection; for politicians to reflect on the possible consequences of their decisions in a place where the roots of peace are not yet firmly established.

If those Brexiteers who are playing fast and loose with Northern Ireland’s future aren’t moved by the loss of life, then perhaps they will be moved by the reaction of US congressman Richard Neal who said any form of Brexit that put the Good Friday Agreement at risk would scupper the chances of a US/UK trade agreement.

Perhaps, too, they will meditate on the fact that – while it was the US and the UK that brokered the peace – it was EU money that helped it flourish, particularly in Derry, which was, for a time, held up as a model of reconciliation. One of the savage ironies of the recent violence is that EU grants helped pay for the peace bridge over the River Foyle, which linked the city’s Catholic and Protestant communities.

Another savage irony is that McKee would have been one of the sharpest commentators on the wider repercussions of last week’s events. She was under no illusions about the stability of peace in Northern Ireland and – as the Times noted – once wrote: “Just because we’re not at war any more doesn’t mean the shadow of the gunman has left the room.”

How prescient that seems now; and how terrible. McKee has been robbed of her future. And we have been robbed of the insights she would have shared.

Just under a fortnight ago, many people took to Twitter to admit they cried over the final scenes of the second season of Derry Girls. Bill Clinton’s speech on his 1995 visit to the city played over footage of the irrepressible youngsters was a poignant reminder of statesmanlike oratory and burgeoning hope.

“I ask you to build on the opportunity you have before you; to believe that the future can be better than the past; to work together because you have so much more to gain by working together than by drifting apart,” said the then US president.

On Friday morning, the tears being shed were all for McKee and the huge gap she will leave in people’s lives. But – as Easter Sunday dawns – hope is still alive. The backlash against the dissidents shows most people in Derry continue to believe the future can be better than the past; they understand they have more to gain by working together than drifting apart.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Dani Garavelli"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4912271.1555835894!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912271.1555835894!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lyra McKee, who was shot dead beside a police vehicle as she watched rioting on the Creggan estate . Picture: Jess Lowe Photography/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lyra McKee, who was shot dead beside a police vehicle as she watched rioting on the Creggan estate . Picture: Jess Lowe Photography/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4912271.1555835894!/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/brexit-jean-claude-juncker-says-any-type-of-departure-will-be-negative-1-4912242","id":"1.4912242","articleHeadline": "Brexit: Jean-Claude Juncker says any type of departure will be negative","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555774829000 ,"articleLead": "

Any kind of Brexit will have “negative consequences” which will be worse for Britain than the EU and be entirely the UK’s responsibility, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912241.1555774826!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)"} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Juncker said the “ball was in Britain’s court” and urged the House of Commons to support the deal negotiated by Theresa May.

A second extension to Brexit was granted to the UK following talks in Brussels earlier this month, with the so-called flextension meaning the departure date will be October 31 this year, or sooner if the Withdrawal Agreement is passed.

In an interview with the German Funke Media Groupe, Mr Juncker repeated the words of European Council president Donald Tusk and urged the UK “not to waste time”.

READ MORE: Scottish business ‘hampered’ by Brexit

He said: “We have to be prepared for a soft as well as a hard Brexit.

“In any case, the exit will have negative consequences - for the British more than for the EU.

“There will be no single market-based solution. As I see it, the British side bears 100% of the responsibility for this.”

Mr Juncker, who is not intending to stand for a second term as Commission president in 2019, addressed the idea of a more federal Europe saying that the EU should “not become a melting pot in which all differences disappear”.

READ MORE: Sturgeon says Scots more open to independence due to Brexit

When questioned about the idea of a United States of Europe, he said: “We should give up (using this term).

“I do not believe that we will ever have a centralised American-style state. I do not wish it to happen either.”

The interview comes as campaigns for the European elections are springing into action - with former Ukip leader Nigel Farage due to visit Nottingham on Saturday as part of the campaign for his Brexit party.

Britons are due to go to the polls to elect 73 MEPs in May after delays to the Brexit process meant the country was bound to return representatives to Brussels, despite the prospect of them having to leave office only a few months later.

When asked about how he would like to be written about in history books, Mr Juncker said “he has tried really, really hard”, adding: “Yes that is enough. Not everyone strives.

“Perhaps the addition would be nice: He got stuff done.”

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4912241.1555774826!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4912241.1555774826!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4912241.1555774826!/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/dinner-parties-are-back-only-jamie-oliver-can-save-us-jane-bradley-1-4911932","id":"1.4911932","articleHeadline": "Dinner parties are back?! Only Jamie Oliver can save us – Jane Bradley","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555736400000 ,"articleLead": "

Abigail’s Party is a warning from the past about formal ‘soirees’ that we would do well to heed, writes Jane Bradley.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911931.1555692059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mike Leigh's play Abigail's Party didn't actually involve dinner, but contained all the essential elements of the excruciating chat and attempts to impress (Picture: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)"} ,"articleBody": "

Apparently the humble dinner party is back. A survey claims the average household throws at least one a month, with half of people saying they prefer to stay in and cook for friends than go out for dinner.

Restauranteurs would probably agree with this survey, conducted by Stoves, the oven manufacturers, who I suppose it is fair to say, might just have a vested interest in these things.

Many local restaurant owners have complained in the past couple of years that business is slow, while even the big chains such as Jamie’s Italian, Byron Burger and Prezzo have admitted they are struggling, closing numerous branches across the country.

According to the study, we now refer to our food-based soirees and gatherings as “kitchen suppers”, with as many as 78 per cent of people feeling that the term “dinner party” is outdated.

Personally, I feel that both terms grate somewhat, although the change clearly comes from the formal, socially awkward affairs of the 1970s and 1980s, when the boss and his wife were invited round for dinner to make small talk about golf (the men) and the best ways to get their kitchen tiles sparkly clean (the women).

In Britain at least, dinner parties were transformed just 20 years ago or so – single handedly by TV chef Jamie Oliver. His original series in the early 2000s saw viewers ditch the white linen tablecloths and canopes in favour of a gang of mates pitching up around a scrubbed wooden kitchen table, clapping each other on the back and slugging lager straight from the bottle.

READ MORE: How to organise a dinner party on a diet

It was a welcome change – and not one which we should reverse. I remember my first Jamie Oliver dinner party in my student days – it was where I essentially met my now-husband. In a meal held to celebrate Valentine’s Day for those of us who were at that point single, I cooked Oliver’s pork steaks with tinned peaches, followed by chocolate pots. It felt oh-so grown up.

I hardly knew my random guest – we were vague colleagues on the university newspaper at the time – but in the spirit of Oliver, when I bumped into him on the street earlier that day, I decided on a whim to invite him to eat with my friends that night. The more the merrier, I thought, not realising that it would be the first of literally thousands of meals we would share together.

He bravely turned up, clutching a bottle of red wine and made polite conversation with my flatmates, who he’d never met before and who, like a pack of preying hyenas, had already decided that he should be my next boyfriend. It was when he didn’t run away screaming – from either the food or the friends – that I realised he was a keeper.

This week, I was reminded of the social awkwardness of the traditional dinner party when I went to see Abigail’s Party at Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre. While it wasn’t a great performance – the actress playing Beverley performed in a less than subtle way with an accent that rivalled that of TOWIE star Gemma Collins, making me want to run my fingernails down a blackboard as light relief – Mike Leigh’s script remains both entertaining and on-the-button today.

READ MORE: Stephen Jardine: I just had one of my worst meals out ever

Written in 1977, the play is more than 40 years old, yet the excruciating chat remains largely the same as in the 2010s. While not strictly a dinner party – although she does do a good line in cheese and pineapple on a stick – Beverley’s stilted “soiree” (the eponymous Abigail is never actually seen on stage) exposes the cracks in the bourgeois and wannabe-bourgeois facade of her guests.

We might now not so readily accept a fleeting remark that a woman’s husband “does not let” her drive a car – while the gags relating to the records of Demis Roussos records and the exoticism of olives are somewhat outdated. Yet the mind-numbing conversations about property prices, coupled with the preoccupation with just how “nice” other guests were made me feel like I was reading down my Facebook newsfeed rather than sitting in a theatre watching a classic piece of theatre.

Yet what the survey seems to suggest is that although we like to think we are holding these oh-so-casual “kitchen suppers”, we are actually dedicating ourselves to a return to the more formal times of the 1980s.

Organising a dinner party, according to the survey, people find to be time consuming, with hosts now wanting to bring a “restaurant into the home”, rather than just cooking a simple meal. On average, hosts say they spend 86 minutes cleaning after a dinner party, 52 minutes making a playlist for music to create an ambience during the meal and 61 minutes planning a menu.

Finally, hosts apparently spend 107 minutes cooking for their guests and an additional 91 minutes cleaning before the party, as well as more than an hour shopping for food.

Let’s just all chill out. Dinner parties should not be about impressing people. While I still hate the term, let’s not lose the Oliver legacy of the more relaxed “kitchen suppers” and return to the bad old days of the dinner party. It wasn’t fun for anybody.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911931.1555692059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911931.1555692059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mike Leigh's play Abigail's Party didn't actually involve dinner, but contained all the essential elements of the excruciating chat and attempts to impress (Picture: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mike Leigh's play Abigail's Party didn't actually involve dinner, but contained all the essential elements of the excruciating chat and attempts to impress (Picture: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911931.1555692059!/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/trans-gender-politics-puts-very-basis-of-feminism-at-risk-susan-dalgety-1-4911698","id":"1.4911698","articleHeadline": "Trans-gender politics puts very basis of feminism at risk – Susan Dalgety","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555679654000 ,"articleLead": "

Even that most disciplined body, the SNP, has found itself at odds over the trans debate, with internal criticism of Nicola Sturgeon’s stance – feminist and in favour of “greater recognition of transgender rights” – on the issue, writes Susan Dalgety.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911697.1555679651!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Sturgeon said: 'As an ardent, passionate feminist, ...I don't see the greater recognition of transgender rights as a threat to me as a woman or to my feminism' (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

No-one knows how many transgender people there are in Scotland, not even Scottish Trans, the Equality Network project that campaigns on their behalf.

The UK Government admits that there is no robust data, but tentatively suggests that there could be between 200,000 and 500,000 trans people across the country.

And Mermaids, the charity that supports transgender children and their families, says it is difficult to know how many people are affected, but points to surveys that suggest between one and three per cent of the population. And their website insists that there is a growing number of people identifying as non-binary.

While the numbers shouldn’t matter in a society where every person should matter, it is interesting to observe how a relatively small section of the population has been able to dominate public debate in recent years.

So much so that feminists are now split between those who adhere to a more traditional view of gender equality where biological sex matters, and those who – genuinely it seems – believe that a man is a woman if he simply says he is.

Sporting heroes such as Martina Navratilova and Sharron Davies have been vilified for daring to pose questions about the challenges that the inclusion of transwomen in women’s sports can bring.

When Olympic medallist Davies tweeted her heartfelt view that “to protect women’s sport those with a male sex advantage should not be able to compete in women’s sport”, she was deluged with hate mail and dismissed as a bigot.

And even that most disciplined body, the SNP, has found itself at odds over the trans debate. Earlier this week, a row erupted after social media messages between three women SNP MSPs were leaked. The MSPs suggested that their leader, “ardent, passionate feminist” Nicola Sturgeon, was out of step with the SNP group on the issue of trans people.

Their frustration was sparked off by the First Minister’s speech to the United Nations in New York earlier this year where she described the concerns of women about the transgender rights as “misplaced”.

Adding, in her best schoolteacher voice, “as an ardent, passionate feminist, and have been all of my life, I don’t see the greater recognition of transgender rights as a threat to me as a woman or to my feminism”.

Therein lies the nub of the argument. On one side sits the First Minister and a number of well-connected feminist campaigners who support the Government’s plans to simplify the process of changing sex, and regard any concerns, no matter how gently they are expressed, as extreme prejudice.

READ MORE: Call for respect as debate on trans rights gets ‘polarised’

On the other is a large number of women, genuinely concerned that their rights, particularly regarding single-sex safe spaces, are being ignored by politicians and campaigners, desperate to mollify a tiny minority.

And there is a very real fear that women’s biological identity is being slowly erased by trans activists and their woke sisters.

Over the top? Perhaps. But when reputable organisations describe women as “menstruators”, “bleeders” or “cis-women” instead of simply “female”, and some transwomen with penises argue that lesbians should accept them as lovers, and if they don’t, accuse them of transphobia, then we are in danger of letting an extreme ideology take precedent. It seems to me that trans activists and their supporters, including the First Minister, are trying to redefine the meaning of sex and gender.

They dismiss biological sex as nothing more than something casually assigned at birth, based on whether a baby has a vulva or penis, and argue that a person’s lived identity – their gender at any given time – is all that matters.

And if you disagree with this new definition of humanity, largely defined by transwomen with penises, then you cannot call yourself a feminist, or even a woman. You are a dismissed as a terf – a trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

The very basis of feminism – that women have been, and continue to be, economically, socially and politically oppressed because of their biology – has been tossed aside like an old pair of Doc Martens, to be replaced by the killer heels of trans activists.

READ MORE: Dani Garavelli: Time to call a ceasefire as gender debate gets nasty

Suddenly, those hoary old gender stereotypes, including long blonde hair and pouting lips, have become the true signifiers of womanhood. Gender is now real. Biological sex is not.

The experience of two very different women struck me this week. One was a long-time education and social care expert, who was recently forced out of her job because she was overheard to question Education Scotland’s latest guidance on trans children.

Writing in the Scottish Review, she described how she was accused of “contravening equalities legislation” and given a stark ultimatum. “Either I left my post voluntarily, or action would be taken against me that, I was left in no doubt, would be seeking to dismiss me,” she recalls. She left. Reluctantly.

Decades of unwavering commitment to equality and human rights were for naught. She had questioned the new trans ideology, and therefore was no longer to be trusted. My heart breaks for her.

The second is Neneh Bojan, an Edinburgh woman. When she was nine years old, living in Gambia, she had her clitoris ripped from her body in a traditional rite of passage that millions of girls across the world still endure.

Her life was destroyed by female genital mutilation (FGM), an unspeakably cruel practice that regards female biology as “unclean” and “unworthy”. In far too many cultures, men still decide what is a “real” woman.

Neneh’s courageous testimony made me cry, and I welcome the Scottish Government’s move to strengthen the current legislation that protects women and girls from the horrors of FGM. Even if it only saves one girl from being mutilated while on “holiday”, as happens just now, it will be worth it.

We live in a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world. And that is a good thing, because we are all, to some extent, mixed-up.

But some things are certain. Two hundred million women worldwide live with the terrible effects of FGM. Nearly two thirds of Scots working for poverty wages are women. And around 140 women are murdered by men in the UK every year.

Only one in five of our engineering and tech students are female, and Scottish women aged between 50 and 59 earn 25 per cent less than their male counterparts. Yes, 25 per cent.

These are the battles that women – all women – should be fighting.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911697.1555679651!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911697.1555679651!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nicola Sturgeon said: 'As an ardent, passionate feminist, ...I don't see the greater recognition of transgender rights as a threat to me as a woman or to my feminism' (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Sturgeon said: 'As an ardent, passionate feminist, ...I don't see the greater recognition of transgender rights as a threat to me as a woman or to my feminism' (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911697.1555679651!/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/scottish-independence-and-remain-camps-should-beware-this-unicorn-joyce-mcmillan-1-4911926","id":"1.4911926","articleHeadline": "Scottish independence and Remain camps should beware this ‘unicorn’ – Joyce McMillan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555689746000 ,"articleLead": "

The EU election in May and the 2021 Scottish Parliament election are no replacements for second referendums on Brexit and Scottish independence respectively, writes Joyce McMillan

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911925.1555689743!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Unrealistic claims about Brexit have been dubbed 'unicorns' (Picture: Jon Savage)"} ,"articleBody": "

Unicorns – or impossible dreams – have always been easy to spot on the pro-Brexit side of the current interminable debate on Britain’s future. In the last week or so, though, a very striking unicorn has also appeared on the other side of the question; in the form of a sudden wishful belief, among both opponents of Brexit, and supporters of Scottish independence in Europe, that the second referendums for which they have yearned for so long can somehow now be replaced by the looming UK elections to the European Parliament, and by the 2021 election to the Scottish Parliament.

READ MORE: Scottish businesses hampered and weakened by ‘Brexit cloud’

After the stress and strain of the past three years, I suppose this dream of resolution is understandable. Yet in the case of the European election scheduled for 23 May, the most likely outcome is that Nigel Farage will emerge as the leader of the largest and noisiest minority; while a slightly larger group of pro-European voters remains hopelessly divided across at least five parties, including an officially pro-Brexit Labour. Confusion will reign, in other words; and nothing will be resolved at all.

And as for Scotland – well, yes, a massive overall majority for the SNP and the Greens in the 2021 election would send a strong message that Scotland has finally had enough of the Union. After 14 years of SNP Government at Holyrood, though, it has to be said that such a decisive result seems unlikely; and it’s also questionable how healthy it is for a parliamentary election to be treated as a referendum on a single constitutional issue, when so many other vital policy matters are at stake.

Two years is a long time in politics, of course, particularly if the UK’s Brexit debacle continues to worsen. For now, though, I would say that any attempt to present a Scottish Parliament election as a referendum on independence would go down extremely badly with Scotland’s vital cohort of undecided voters; and seriously damage the electoral prospects of the SNP, whose best hope of persuading the undecided surely lies in a continuing demonstration of more rational and competent government than anything available at Westminster, across the whole range of policy.

READ MORE: SNP must convince voters born outside Scotland to win IndyRef2, says Andrew Wilson

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911925.1555689743!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911925.1555689743!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Unrealistic claims about Brexit have been dubbed 'unicorns' (Picture: Jon Savage)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Unrealistic claims about Brexit have been dubbed 'unicorns' (Picture: Jon Savage)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911925.1555689743!/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/arrest-made-after-death-of-man-who-fell-from-window-in-edinburgh-1-4911758","id":"1.4911758","articleHeadline": "Arrest made after death of man who fell from window in Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555683407000 ,"articleLead": "

Police say they have made an arrest following an incident in which a man fell to his death from the fourth-floor window of a flat in the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911588.1555673009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police are treating the death as unexplained. Picture: contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Emergency services were called to Cobbinshaw House South in Calder Gardens, Edinburgh, just after 2pm on Thursday to a report that a man had fallen from a block of flats.

The 35-year-old was taken to hospital, where he died a short time later.

Police are treating the death as unexplained.

A 32-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident which happened in the Wester Hailes area of the city.

A police spokesman said: “The death is currently being treated as unexplained and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal. Inquiries remain ongoing.”

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911588.1555673009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911588.1555673009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police are treating the death as unexplained. Picture: contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police are treating the death as unexplained. Picture: contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911588.1555673009!/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/climate-change-demonstrators-stage-protest-at-heathrow-1-4911678","id":"1.4911678","articleHeadline": "Climate change demonstrators stage protest at Heathrow","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555678412000 ,"articleLead": "

A group of demonstrators have staged a climate change protest at Heathrow Airport.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911675.1555678402!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The protest is part of wider demonstrations around London. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Between 15 and 20 people, many of them aged under 17, unfurled a banner on the pavement outside the transport hub reading “are we the last generation” on Friday morning.

The protest is part of wider demonstrations around London organised by the campaign group Extinction Rebellion (XR), which has blocked routes around Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Parliament Square and Waterloo Bridge since Monday.

Protesters stood by the tunnel that leads to Terminals 2 and 3 at the airport, but all roads around the roundabout remained open.

Extinction Rebellion said police had warned the youngsters at Heathrow that they could be arrested.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has urged police to use the “full force of the law” to deal with illegal XR demonstrations as they enter a fifth day.

More than 500 protesters had been arrested by Thursday night as activists continued to ignore orders to leave roadblocks at Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Parliament Square.

• READ MORE: Climate change rebellion is now a necessity – Joyce McMillan

Organisers said action would be escalated to include Britain’s busiest airport on Good Friday, with around 500,000 people expected to fly out for Easter breaks over the bank holiday weekend.

The airport said it was “working with the authorities”, while Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said: “Protesters can expect a robust police response. We are determined to keep the airport operating.”

Scotland Yard has warned protesters the force had “strong plans” in place with a significant number of officers ready to respond.

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, told BBC Breakfast on Friday that protests had been “very, very difficult” for the force because it was an “alien” situation for most of them.

But he said that with more than 1,000 officers being deployed the streets will begin to be cleared.

He added: “This is very, very difficult for us because my colleagues have never come across the situation that they are faced with at the moment.

“They are dealing with very, very passive people, probably quite nice people, who don’t want confrontation whatsoever with the police or anyone else but are breaking the law.

“We are having to adjust to that, we are having to deal with the circumstances that are put in front of my colleagues, but be very robust so we can start clearing the streets and you will see that starting to happen today.”

Mr Marsh said the protests will cost millions of pounds and local communities will suffer.

He added: “This is very, very frustrating for us, this is going to cost millions.

“The sufferers will be the communities in the local boroughs where officers are being taken from the community areas and the funding and money has to be found to deal with what we are doing.

• READ MORE: Climate change: Where Extinction Rebellion is going wrong – Martyn McLaughlin

“But the knock-on effect will be that at some stage colleagues need to have their time off, their breaks, and it needs to be paid for. We as Londoners will all suffer from what has taken place.”

Some officers have been working 12-hour shifts, while rest days and leave have been cancelled.

The Met said the protests are putting a strain on policing in the capital with officers diverted away from “core local duties”.

After a briefing from Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, the Home Secretary said: “I totally condemn any protesters who are stepping outside the boundaries of the law.

“They have no right to cause misery for the millions of people who are trying to lead their daily lives. Unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated.

“I expect the police to take a firm stance and use the full force of the law. They have my full backing in doing so.”

Mass arrests for obstructing the highway and breaching the Section 14 order that prohibits protests apart from at Marble Arch do not appear to have deterred protesters and 10 people have been charged with those offences.

A further three people who were charged by British Transport Police appeared in court on Thursday morning.

Cathy Eastburn, 51, Mark Ovland, 35, and Luke Watson, 29, were remanded in custody over their alleged involvement in obstructing trains at Canary Wharf station on Wednesday morning.

Organisers said they expected more people to join the protests and warned they would continue until their demands are met.

The group wants the Government to declare a climate emergency and take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Actress Dame Emma Thompson joined the protests in London after flying from Los Angeles.

In a video shared by the campaign group on Thursday, the Hollywood star urged viewers to “come and join” the demonstrations.

A representative of Dame Emma said she needed to take the 5,400-mile flight home to London after working in LA.

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911675.1555678402!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911675.1555678402!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The protest is part of wider demonstrations around London. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The protest is part of wider demonstrations around London. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911675.1555678402!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911676.1555678408!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911676.1555678408!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The climate change activism group, Extinction Rebellion, said they planned to shut down Heathrow airport. Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The climate change activism group, Extinction Rebellion, said they planned to shut down Heathrow airport. Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911676.1555678408!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6026725878001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/this-is-our-chance-to-stop-brexit-chaos-and-nigel-farage-sheila-ritche-1-4910975","id":"1.4910975","articleHeadline": "This is our chance to stop Brexit chaos and Nigel Farage – Sheila Ritche","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555672353000 ,"articleLead": "

The EU elections on 23 May present a real opportunity to stop the chaos of Brexit, writes Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate Sheila Ritchie.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4910974.1555672348!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nigel Farage's Brexit Party is currently ahead of the other parties according to a YouGov poll (Picture: Steven Scott Taylor)"} ,"articleBody": "

In summer 2016, it seemed impossible to think that we would ever vote in another European election. Nigel Farage and co stood triumphant, overturning decades of Britain at the heart of Europe.

Before too long though, the wheels started to come off the Leave campaign’s bright red bus.

The Liberal Democrats were the first party to call for a final say on the Brexit vote because we recognised the scale of what we stood to lose. And we knew a self-interested and selfish Conservative party could never deliver on the promises of the Leave campaign. Even now the Cabinet cannot agree amongst themselves what Brexit actually means.

But the chaos is not restricted to the Conservative party. Scotland deserves better than independence-obsessed SNP politicians in Edinburgh and ineffective Labour politicians in London.

This election can change things.

Over the past three years, Scottish Liberal Democrats have battled and cajoled to give the public the final say. It took more than two years of our pestering to get the Scottish Government to back a People’s Vote. In that time, the campaign has gone from a tiny spark to a movement that reaches millions.

I am a passionate European and I believe that we are better off working with our close partners. That’s why I campaigned so hard to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom, and now why I feel so strongly about the United Kingdom in Europe.

My party wants close ties with our neighbours, not new barriers and broken partnerships. We passionately believe in a United Kingdom that’s open, tolerant and international in outlook.

People voted in 2016 for a whole raft of reasons. Whatever happens, we cannot go back to a stale old politics.

But, across the UK, opinions have changed. People have seen the damage that Brexit has done to our fruit farmers, watching their produce wither on the vine.

We have seen the damage done to our universities, unable to recruit the best international staff. And we have seen that Brexit is bad for the NHS, with a third of EU doctors in Scotland thinking of leaving.

READ MORE: Hard recession awaits Scotland if UK crashes out in no-deal Brexit

What’s more a whole new generation of voters have come of age, who are passionate about our European future and don’t want to see it slip away. The damage of Brexit is clearer.

Theresa May’s Brexit plans have been rejected by parliament time and time again, Jeremy Corbyn wants to staple a red rose to her Brexit plan and try again and the SNP wants to use it to jumpstart the shambling corpse of another independence referendum.

What are you getting if you vote for any of them? More of the same division and disruption.

If you are a pro-European in the Labour party realising your leader is never going to put his whole weight behind a People’s Vote or a Scottish Conservative who liked Ruth Davidson more when she stood onstage and honestly warned of the damage that Brexit would do, there is an alternative here for you.

Send them a message that it doesn’t have to be like this.

Even if the Prime Minister were to get her deal through, the chaos would not end there. Trade negotiations and Tory leadership wrangling will dominate the political agenda for the next decade. Liberal Democrats demand better.

People did not expect the level of division that we have seen. They are fed up with Brexit and listening to all the arguments. It has divided our country and damaged our economy for long enough. It is fair to let people have the opportunity to make it stop. We can move on and begin to tackle the real problems facing Scots every day, whether that be mental health and education so that everyone can play their part, have a decent job and afford their own home, or the existential threats of pollution and climate change facing our planet and wildlife.

None of this will be easier if we leave the EU. What’s more, we have friends and allies in Europe who are clear that if we want, we can change our minds.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve been a partner in a law firm, a council leader in the North East and I’ve spent years working with small start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. The people and the businesses that I speak to are quite clear: Brexit threatens to do irreparable damage to our economy and our way of life.

I am thrilled to be leading the fight to secure Lib Dem MEPs who will be passionate voices for Scotland in the European Parliament. My fellow Scottish Liberal Democrat candidates include teachers, EU citizens and community activists. We are like you and we recognise that ultimately, what started with democracy should end with democracy. The Government should trust the people to find the way forward.

READ MORE: Poll: Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the lead for Europe elections

For too long the country has been wracked with worry and uncertainty. Two years ago, the people of Scotland looked like they might never vote in a European election again. This time we need to make the most of it. Vote Lib Dem and we can make the division stop.

Sheila Ritchie is in first place on the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate list for the European elections on 23 May.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Sheila Ritche"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4910974.1555672348!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4910974.1555672348!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nigel Farage's Brexit Party is currently ahead of the other parties according to a YouGov poll (Picture: Steven Scott Taylor)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nigel Farage's Brexit Party is currently ahead of the other parties according to a YouGov poll (Picture: Steven Scott Taylor)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4910974.1555672348!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6026340026001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/climate-change-rebellion-is-now-a-necessity-joyce-mcmillan-1-4911179","id":"1.4911179","articleHeadline": "Climate change rebellion is now a necessity – Joyce McMillan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555672162000 ,"articleLead": "

Extinction Rebellion’s shock tactics are justified given the lack of progress by politicians who need to realise the world is running out of time to prevent a catastrophe, writes Joyce McMillan.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911175.1555672159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Extinction Rebellion protesters halt traffic in Edinburgh (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)"} ,"articleBody": "

Let’s just suppose, for a moment, that we take seriously the findings of the latest UN report on climate change, published in October 2018. The report argues that in order to keep global warming to level of around 1.5 degrees Celsius, carbon emissions will have to be reduced by 45 per cent by 2030 – effectively a decade from now – and close to zero by 2050, or by the time a child born this year turns 30.

Failure to achieve that will mean increasing climate breakdown and unpredictability, massive economic disruption, unthinkable loss of wildlife in the oceans and on land, and catastrophic consequences for human populations across the planet.

Governments are aware of the issue, of course; and with one or two notable exceptions – notably Donald Trump’s denialist US administration – they are signed up to the Paris Agreement on climate change. Most of them, though, are not fully achieving the Paris targets. In 2018, after some declines in previous years, global carbon emissions reached a heartbreaking all-time high; and in any case, the targets themselves are now out of date, insufficient to prevent global warming reaching at least two degrees, and thereby setting up runaway feedback mechanisms. Nor are most Western voters – cash-strapped and stressed out after a generation of crude neoliberal economic policy – in the mood to have their daily lives made any more difficult. Life is tough enough from one payday to the next, they rightly point out, without having to worry about the fate of the planet.

READ MORE: World seems ambivalent about swift action on climate change – IPCC chair

Suppose, though, that you are one of those who cannot push these findings away; someone like Sir David Attenborough, whose sobering documentary about climate change was broadcast last night, or Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, who said last week that big companies should be planning now for an orderly transition to zero carbon. Suppose you are not an elderly establishment news presenter with the power to transform your terror at what may happen to your grandchildren into irritable rudeness against those who won’t let you forget it. Imagine, instead, that you are a 20-year-old student – or a 70-year-old grandparent – with enough understanding of science to know that this is not yet another imaginary apocalypse. What do you do, when democracy and democratically elected leaders fail you; and when they keep talking as if business as usual were possible, from North Sea oilfields to the aviation industry?

The time-honoured answer, of course, is that you get on to the streets, get yourselves to the top of the news agenda, and start trying to change the minds of your fellow voters, and through them a failing generation of politicians. In that sense, Extinction Rebellion – the group that closed Edinburgh’s North Bridge and brought parts of London to a standstill on Wednesday – have made a good start; and although disruption is always annoying, it is apparently now the only way to seize the attention of a UK mainstream media largely obsessed by Brexit, and by the rise of a nationalistic right whose entire politics often seems like a psychological blocking exercise against 21st century realities, including climate change.

The grumbling old reactionaries of the British political scene were naturally out in force on Wednesday, mumbling about how governments are already doing all they can, and how “there are better ways of making a political point”. In this case, though, neither comment is remotely true. The extinction rebels will need to be imaginative, of course, in taking their case forward; public support will not grow if they have nothing to offer but assorted transport disruptions. For those who care about the future of planet Earth, though, rebellion and creative shock tactics are now a necessity. Domestic efforts at voluntary change – faffing around avoiding disposable nappies or single-use plastics – have run out of time; and now we need big legislative change, with massive public support, in very short order. Or perhaps, we die.

READ MORE: Police arrest 29 people over Edinburgh climate change protest

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911175.1555672159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911175.1555672159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Extinction Rebellion protesters halt traffic in Edinburgh (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Extinction Rebellion protesters halt traffic in Edinburgh (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911175.1555672159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6026749599001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/big-crowds-expected-as-dundee-v-a-gears-up-for-videogames-exhibition-1-4911197","id":"1.4911197","articleHeadline": "Big crowds expected as Dundee V&A gears up for videogames exhibition","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555671626000 ,"articleLead": "

It is already one of the world’s biggest entertainment industries.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911196.1555671623!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Design/Play/Disrupt opens at V&A Dundee on Saturday 20 April."} ,"articleBody": "

Now a major new exhibition at Dundee’s V&A museum is set to show how videogames are tackling some of the most hotly-debated issues around the planet.

The show, which opens on Saturday, is set to captivate gaming fans with everything from original sketches, designs and storyboards to giant video walls and a specially-created 21st century amusement arcade.

But “Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt” also explores how game designers are increasingly addressing concerns over gun-related violence, environmental waste, objectification of women, child exploitation, sex education, body image and racism.

The five-month exhibition, which covers innovations in videogaming over the last 15 years, explores how the advent of new technology has led to the “democraticisation” of the industry by making it much easier to design and play games over that period.

Leading industry experts are heard giving their views on how it has tackled concerns over racism, sexism and encouraging violence - and what still needs to be done.

The V&A show, billed as the first ever exhibition devoted to the modern era of videogames, features insights into the creation of some of the most groundbreaking games in the modern era, such as Minecraft, Splatoon, The Last of Us and No Man’s Sky, looks at the growing links between videogames and film, TV, fashion and even nightclubbing.

The exhibition was originally created for the V&A in London last year, but has been overhauled and expanded for its run in Dundee, where it will be accompanied by a specially themed “Tay Lates” event next month, as well as a gaming conference, talks and workshops.

The exhibition features a specially-created mural commissioned from Glasgow-based illustrator Ursula Kam-Ling Cheng, whose “colourful and chaotic” work, entitled Girl Evader, is inspired by virtual worlds.

Dundee’s track record in gaming, which is best known for the city giving birth to global sensations such as Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings, is brought up to date with showcases of recent titles to emerge from the home-grown sector,If Found, which follows the story of an Irish woman trying to erase the universe, and Hummingbird, which features graphics generated by algorithms that respond to the movements of the player.

Marie Foulston, lead curator of the exhibition, which runs until 8 September, said: “It’s hugely exciting to see this Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt open at V&A Dundee, in a city which continues to have such a profound impact on videogame design and culture.

“The exhibition opens up the design and culture of contemporary game design and culture in radical new ways.

“It celebrates groundbreaking work from a period of time that has been defined by a democratisation of both the means to make and to play games.”

The exhibition features a film examining the “stereotypical representations” of women in games and “the history of sexually objectified female characters serving as set dressing or props for sex and violence”.

Also included is the satirical game Phone Story, which explores the darker side of owning a smart phone, including the negative effects of gadget consumerism, including child exploitation, environmental waste and worker suicides.

A Series of Gunshots, another game featured in the show, looks at the consequences of gun violence on everyday life, while How Do You Do It? puts players in the role of a young teenage girl curious about sex and relationships.

Ms Foulston added: “Videogames have always been such a rich medium. There have always been really fascinating and interesting works created within it. But I think that we are definitely at a cultural tipping point now.

“In the 1990s it might have taken a team of hundreds, a budget of millions and several years to be able to create a game. Now there are tools that people can use at home to make their own games and there are so many digital distribution platforms to reach audiences on.

“That shift in technology has done an amazing job in empowering a new generation of games designers and creating a space for new voices.

“It’s why we’ve seen such a proliferation of new ideas and concepts.

“The thing that unites all the work in the exhibition is that they are all doing something different and challenge our expectations about videogames in some way.

“The important thing that exhibitions like this do is raising cultural literacy about the design and creation of video games. It has sometimes been a bit of an impenetrable black box, compared to things like music and film.

“Once people begin to understand videogames, the way they have developed and what it takes to get them made they become much more aware of the wide range of really radical works that have been developed over the last 15 years.

“Whether people come as a local game designer, a seasoned player, or are simply creatively curious, I hope they leave feeling inspired and with a greater understanding of and appreciation for one of the most fascinating mediums of our time.”

V&A Dundee director Philip Long said: “This is a very exciting show for anyone with an interest in art, creativity and design, as well as makers and players of videogames.

“As you walk through this exhibition you get to see how a game is designed, from the earliest sketch right through to the online communities and independent designers that are reshaping the future of gaming.

“We want to present the very highest quality exhibitions, and having such wonderful galleries enables us to create immersive, beautifully designed experiences that are really thrilling for visitors.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911196.1555671623!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911196.1555671623!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Design/Play/Disrupt opens at V&A Dundee on Saturday 20 April.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Design/Play/Disrupt opens at V&A Dundee on Saturday 20 April.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911196.1555671623!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5840369471001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/call-for-respect-as-debate-on-trans-rights-gets-polarised-1-4911193","id":"1.4911193","articleHeadline": "Call for respect as debate on trans rights gets ‘polarised’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555650039000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Government’s equalities minister has attempted to calm an internal SNP row over transgender rights by stating that people concerned about the impact of changes to the Gender Recognition Act are not “motivated by transphobia”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911192.1555613172!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Shirley-Anne Somerville says womens' concerns are not 'transphobic'. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Shirley-Anne Somerville, who declared herself to be a “trans ally”, also appealed for the “polarised debate” about transgender rights to become more respectful.

In a government blog, she said she believed that there was “not so much a problem with the rights of trans women but instead a fear of men who abuse women”.

She added: “People raising genuine concerns about women’s rights shouldn’t suffer knee-jerk accusations of transphobia. However, it is also impossible to deny that there is a considerable degree of transphobia in our society.”

The row over transgender rights has been sparked by proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act which would allow people to “self-declare” their preferred gender, rather than having to gain a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. There have been concerns raised that this could erase women’s sex-protected rights, including the right to women-only spaces.

The blog was published a day after a private conversation, critical of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s stance on transgender rights and held between SNP MSPs Gillian Martin, Ash Denham and Ruth Maguire, was leaked on social media by an SNP activist. Another SNP MSP, Joan McAlpine, has also been subject to abuse since she publicly spoke out about her concerns around the GRA changes.

The First Minister yesterday tweeted her support for Ms Somerville’s statement, and last night Ms McAlpine said she welcomed the acknowledgement that “women raising concerns were not transphobic”.

She added: “Trans people correctly already have legal protections which we all support. However, sex self-ID means the term ‘trans woman’ is broadened to be almost meaningless, as any male can say they are female without making physical changes to their body and then access single-sex services.

“As well as safety, this potentially impacts on legal rights to dignity, privacy and fairness in sport. All women should be able to discuss these matters openly. It is particularly important MSPs can speak up without being attacked.”

But feminist group Women and Girls in Scotland said Ms Somerville’s blog “confirms our fears re the Scottish Government’s complete failure to understand women’s concerns re their GRA proposals, or to understand the wider issues due to changes to female-only provision.

“It is also incredibly concerning … [that] Shirley only said we should all unite around transphobia, with no mention of misogyny at all, despite recent misogynist attacks on MSPs, & violent threats made towards women & a grassroots feminist group.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911192.1555613172!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911192.1555613172!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Shirley-Anne Somerville says womens' concerns are not 'transphobic'. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Shirley-Anne Somerville says womens' concerns are not 'transphobic'. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911192.1555613172!/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/officials-warn-scots-school-pupils-over-social-media-link-to-poor-mental-health-1-4911201","id":"1.4911201","articleHeadline": "Officials warn Scots school pupils over social media link to poor mental health","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555650001000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish school pupils are to be coached on how to use social media healthily amid fears that sites such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat are contributing to a decline in their mental health.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911200.1555614194!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Official advice on how to cope with the pressures of social media is to be created with contributions from young people themselves, backed by £90,000 of funding from the Scottish Government.

Ministers are also set to ­commission a review of the scientific evidence about the effects of prolonged screen time on teenagers’ sleep patterns, and the impact this has on their health.

The measures were announced as a report published yesterday said children may be suffering due to overuse of social media, sleep disruption, concerns about body image and pressure at school.

It noted that the mental health of young people in Scotland had worsened in recent years, with the decline particularly marked among adolescent girls, who use social media more than boys.

It also said the widespread use of mobile phones and social media among teenagers meant that their sleep was being disrupted at night, with possibly serious implications for their overall health.

Teenage girls are also stressed at school, with a nationwide survey in 2015 showing that 62 per cent of 15-year-olds felt pressured “a lot of the time”, compared with just 26 per cent in 2002. It also said many young girls in Scotland reported being “unsatisfied with their physical appearance” as they tried to meet the unrealistic standards seen on social media.

It also cited the results of a 2017 survey of young people by the Royal Society for Public Health, which asked how they felt about Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube. It said: “YouTube was the only one with a net positive impact, with the other four making feelings of anxiety and depression worse. Instagram was found to have the most negative impact.”

Mental health minister Clare Haughey announced the plans to address the issue during a visit to her former school, Trinity High School in Rutherglen.

She said: “Social media does have the potential to be used in a hugely positive way, but we want to ensure young people are properly informed on how social media promotes unrealistic expectations.”

The move was welcomed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, but it said children were also suffering from a lack of mental health services due to cuts to local councils.

“The reality is that right now many children and young ­people are not getting the help they need to stop falling into crisis,” said Dr Elaine Lockhart.

“Scotland needs joined up services so that children and young people can access help when they need it.

“However, much of that early help has been provided through local authority budgets which have fallen in recent years, affecting what can be offered within schools, social services and the third sector.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911200.1555614194!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911200.1555614194!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911200.1555614194!/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/scottish-stunt-cyclist-danny-macaskill-promises-fans-awesome-edinburgh-fringe-show-1-4911186","id":"1.4911186","articleHeadline": "Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill promises fans ‘awesome’ Edinburgh Fringe show","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555610359000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland’s stunt cycling icon Danny MacAskill has promised fans he will stage his ‘biggest and best’ live show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer - including nerve-shredding new tricks and “audience participation.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911181.1555675272!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "MacAskill was back in Edinburgh visiting all his old favourite haunts. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The 33-year-old street trials star has vowed the Drop and Roll Show he will be staging in a circus big top will be on a “different level” to any of his previous live performances.

The Skye-born YouTube sensation, whose videos have been seen by more than 350 million people around the world, has also revealed he is about to release a new film he has spent two years making in Scotland.

He and Highlands trials star Duncan Shaw have been taking their Drop and Roll Tour all over the world for the past five years. But MacAskill has promised that the Fringe incarnation will see the pair “really push it” in the huge Circus Hub arena arena on the Meadows, including recreating some of his best-know film stunts for the live show.

He said: “Duncan and I have been talking about doing shows at the Fringe for years, but the opportunity has never really come up before this year. It’s one of the coolest things that happens in Scotland every year - it’s an amazing international festival.

“Duncan studied here, I lived here for a years and it’s the 10th of my first video, Inspired Bicylces. I’ve got such a strong connection to Edinburgh - it feels like a real homecoming to be involved with the Fringe.

“It’s also a pretty cool opportunity to do something bigger and better than we’ve ever done before. It’s going to be an awesome experience.

MacAskill will perform alongside an international line-up of acrobatic, burlesque and cabaret stars inside the Circus Hub’s big top.

He said: “We’ll be taking some elements that work from the show we’ve taken around the world, but will be making them bigger and better.

“It’s a good opportunity to come up with new stuff. Hopefully after 25 days of it we’ll actually be quite good by! I’m sure the first few shows might be a bit chaotic. We want to really push it as riders.

“We normally have to keep the show at a level where we can do it in wind, rain or shine. But as we’re taking it indoors for the Fringe it means we can maybe tackle things specifically for this show and really up the level of what we get up to.

“I want to bring in more elements from some of the videos I’ve done in the past and also put some riding in there that’s right on the limit - tough stuff that is impressive to watch.

“We’re also planning to have some audience participation going on. We’ve got a good under-writer working with is! It’s definitely going to be dangerous, but also a lot of fun and really family-friendly.”

MacAskill’s Fringe debut will coincide with the 10th anniversary of his first film, shot around Edinburgh, which propelled him to stadium.

- a far cry from the days when he used to get frustrated with the huge crowds which descend on the city. He has told his fans to watch out for the pair perfoming stunts around the city to help drum up interest in the show.

He added: “I moved to Edinburgh in 2006 and obviously the festival was on every year. I have to admit sometimes I used to find it more of a hindrance than enjoyable. The city was full of people and places like Bristo Square had a big tent in it. Now we’re going to be the people who are in the way.

“We’ve got a fair bit of time to be having fun around the city. We’ll be out and about on the bikes for sure.”

MacAskill was living at the top of Leith Walk and working as a mechanic in a bike shop Morrison Streer when he and his flatmate Dave Sowerby set out to film a series of stunts over the winter of 2008-9.

He said: “We only planned to film for two weeks, but we ended up taking about six months to put the film together. My plan for that year was to leave my job and do shows in schools. Two weeks after I stopped working the film went online. It went completely crazy.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911181.1555675272!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911181.1555675272!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "MacAskill was back in Edinburgh visiting all his old favourite haunts. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "MacAskill was back in Edinburgh visiting all his old favourite haunts. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911181.1555675272!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911182.1555675274!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911182.1555675274!/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/1.4911182.1555675274!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911183.1555675276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911183.1555675276!/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/1.4911183.1555675276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911184.1555675277!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911184.1555675277!/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/1.4911184.1555675277!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911185.1555675279!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911185.1555675279!/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/1.4911185.1555675279!/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/480-000-portrait-of-famed-scots-architect-goes-on-display-1-4911158","id":"1.4911158","articleHeadline": "£480,000 portrait of famed Scots architect goes on display","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555608548000 ,"articleLead": "

A portrait of famed 18th century Scottish architect James Adam is to go on display in Edinburgh and London after being purchased for £480,000.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911157.1555608546!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pictured: James Adam, 1732 - 1794. Architect and designer, 1763 by Antonio Zucchi (1726-1795)."} ,"articleBody": "

Adam (1732-94) was a leading Scottish exponent of the European Neoclassical movement and played a formative role in developing British architecture.

The “most ambitious and splendid surviving portrait” by Italian artist Antonio Zucchi has been jointly acquired by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the V&A following a £150,000 grant from charity the Art Fund.

It will go on show in Edinburgh on Friday before a stint in London later this year. The painting will then be shown on a seven-year rotation at each institution.

The work depicts Adam during his grand tour of Italy in 1763, before returning to London to work with his brother Robert.

Together with siblings John and William - sons of mason-architect William Adam - the family was regarded as Scotland’s foremost architects of the time.

Christopher Baker, director of European and Scottish Art and Portraiture at the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “James Adam’s portrait is a work of great swagger and refinement that demonstrates the confidence of the Adam family as seminal taste makers for 18th century Europe.

“It represents a splendid addition to the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland and we are immensely grateful to both the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Art Fund for making its joint purchase possible.”

Julius Bryant, keeper of word and image at the V&A, said the work is “ideal” for the Neoclassicism section of its British Galleries.

He said: “We are delighted it joins the V&A’s collection, together with two sculptures previously purchased with the National Galleries of Scotland.”

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4911157.1555608546!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4911157.1555608546!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Pictured: James Adam, 1732 - 1794. Architect and designer, 1763 by Antonio Zucchi (1726-1795).","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pictured: James Adam, 1732 - 1794. Architect and designer, 1763 by Antonio Zucchi (1726-1795).","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4911157.1555608546!/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/crime/no-evidence-of-fuel-contamination-in-clutha-helicopter-inquiry-told-1-4911150","id":"1.4911150","articleHeadline": "No evidence of fuel contamination in Clutha helicopter, inquiry told","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555606141000 ,"articleLead": "

There was no evidence of fuel contamination in the police helicopter involved in the Clutha disaster, an inquiry has heard.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4904038.1555606139!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left, top row, David Traill; PC Kirsty Nelis; PC Tony Collins; Gary Arthur; Samuel McGhee (Bottom: left to right) Colin Gibson; Robert Jenkins; Mark O'Prey; John McGarrigle; and Joe Cusker'. The 10 were killed in the Clutha tragedy"} ,"articleBody": "

Expert witness Robert Vickery, a senior inspector of air accidents (engineering) at the Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB) arrived at the crash site the morning after the accident, where he found “no smell of fuel or leakage.”

He said a subsequent analysis of the aircraft and its fuel tanks indicated there was nothing to suggest fuel contamination had played a part in the flight’s demise.

A Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the tragedy, which claimed the lives of ten people when the twin engine Eurocopter EC 135 crashed into Glasgow’s Clutha Bar on 29 November 2013, heard Mr Vickery describe how tests were carried out on on fuel samples from the helicopter’s main tank and one of its supply tanks. No water was found in any sample.

The court earlier head evidence concerning a manufacturer’s information notice dated 21 January 2013 in which Eurocopter detailed several “fuel quantity indication failures” with the EC 135.

Tests established the “most probable root cause is contamination of the fuel probe with water.” The notice added there was a potential risk that the helicopter’s caution advisory panel “shows a higher fuel quantity level compared to the actual fuel level within the fuel tank system.”

The inquiry also heard how manufacturer tests using a fuel system test rig found that when water or an additive mix became emulsified in the fuel, it caused “fuel sensor output frequency drift” which resulted in the caution advisory display’s fuel contents display overreading for the main and supply tanks.

During cross examination by Donald Findlay QC, representing the family of Robert Jenkins, Mr Vickery was asked: “You are talking about the possibility, not the fact, that there may be an overead where it stated there is more fuel than there actually was?”

“Yes, that’s correct,” he replied.

Mr Findlay asked: “It’s only a possibility, not a fact?”

Mr Vickery, a 58-year-old former Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, responded: “That’s correct.”

Mr Findlay later asked him: “From what you saw and were able to discover, did you see any indication thar fuel contamination of any kind had any part to play in the demise of this aircraft?”

Mr Vickery replied: “No, there was no indication.”

Asked he if would expect to see any signs of fuel contamination, he said he did not, adding: “This is a small helicopter. Its throughput of fuel is quite rapid,” meaning it would be “barely detectable.”

Maintenance records for the helicopter showed that a fuel sensor was replaced in July 2013. Mr Vickery said three other sensor issues were raised in October that year, one of which found that the display for the second supply tank indicated there was 11kg of fuel present when in fact it was empty.

A 2015 AAIB report into the crash stated: “The operator had experienced occasional erroneous fuel quantity indications on EC 135 helicopters. When diagnostic or rectification action was taken, no fault with the fuel sensor or quantifiable contamination of the fuel was found. Replacement of the fuel sensor units seemed to correct the fault.”

It added: “The evidence suggested that water contamination may have been the root cause but the exact mechanism was not fully understood.”

The helicopter’s pilot, David Traill, 51, along with PC Tony Collins, 43, and PC Kirsty Nelis, 36, were among those who lost their lives. Also killed were seven customers of the popular bar in the city’s Stockwell Street. They were: Gary Arthur, 48; Joe Cusker, 59; Colin Gibson, 33; Robert Jenkins, 61; John McGarrigle, 58; Samuel McGhee, 56; and Mark O’Prey, 44.

The inquiry, which is taking place at a temporary court in Glasgow’s Hampden Park before Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull, continues.

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4904038.1555606139!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4904038.1555606139!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "From left, top row, David Traill; PC Kirsty Nelis; PC Tony Collins; Gary Arthur; Samuel McGhee (Bottom: left to right) Colin Gibson; Robert Jenkins; Mark O'Prey; John McGarrigle; and Joe Cusker'. The 10 were killed in the Clutha tragedy","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left, top row, David Traill; PC Kirsty Nelis; PC Tony Collins; Gary Arthur; Samuel McGhee (Bottom: left to right) Colin Gibson; Robert Jenkins; Mark O'Prey; John McGarrigle; and Joe Cusker'. The 10 were killed in the Clutha tragedy","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4904038.1555606139!/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/ukip-the-true-voice-of-brexit-as-party-seeks-to-counter-nigel-farage-threat-1-4910896","id":"1.4910896","articleHeadline": "Ukip the ‘true’ voice of Brexit as party seeks to counter Nigel Farage threat","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555593903000 ,"articleLead": "

Ukip leader Gerard Batten insisted his party is the “true” voice of Leave voters as he sought to counter the threat posed by Nigel Farage.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4910894.1555593900!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Gerard Batten says the party has a future despite growing support for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party. Picture: Isabel Infantes/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Batten, whose party has been reduced to a rump in the European Parliament after defections to Mr Farage’s new Brexit Party, insisted Ukip has a future.

But Mr Farage said his former party had been “destroyed” by a “lurch towards extremism”.

READ MORE: UKIP dismissed as ‘irrelevant band of misfits’ over devolution stance

At the launch of Ukip’s European election campaign, Mr Batten said the May 23 contest would “inevitably be a re-run” of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Under the slogan “Tell them again”, Mr Batten told the event in central London that the referendum result had been “deliberately and cynically betrayed” by politicians.

READ MORE: UKIP membership in Scotland on the rise despite resignation of senior figures

In a message clearly aimed at voters who might consider backing Mr Farage’s new vehicle, Mr Batten said: “Ukip is the authentic party of Brexit, the true party of Leave.”

He played down the importance of Mr Farage in Ukip’s past success, insisting the party and the referendum result were “not the province of one man”.

And he said Ukip is a “real” party not a group of “rebel MEPs”.

Mr Batten said Ukip wanted “unilateral and unconditional withdrawal” from the EU “no ifs, no buts”.

But Mr Farage said: “As Ukip launch their Euro election campaign, they now have just three MEPs. The Brexit Party has 16.

“The lurch towards extremism has destroyed Ukip.”

Just three MEPs - Mr Batten, Stuart Agnew and Mike Hookem - are listed as Ukip members on the European Parliament’s website.

The Brexit Party has 14 MEPs listed - although Mr Farage claims the support of two more.

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