John Gibson: Alas, it’s all going up in smoke

It grieves me to learn that London’s swanky Burlington Arcade is to be ravished and plundered by two multinational companies, elbowing the small, independent shops.

The small-fry specialist traders who imbued the arcade with its charm. It’ll be gone within a couple of years.

Particularly poignant for me. I’d never go to London without popping in with my fellow film critic, the Scotsman’s late Allen Wright.

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We’d wander in from a preview in some nearby cinema, if only to window-gaze. We couldn’t afford the goods.

Little did we dream, Allen, little did we dream! May the smoke from Allen’s pipe linger and asphyxiate the multinationals.

What on Earth?

What is the world coming to? Only what I’m reading in the papers. Read on and enjoy.

Part One: Police are hunting a cannibal killer on a Pacific island suspected of eating a round-the-world yachtsman.

Part Two: A Gurkha who beheaded a Taliban gunman with the regiment’s weapon of choice, the kukri, is back on the front line after an investigation.

And for Part Three, something closer to home: Sources tell me the refurb of Governor’s House up by Calton Hill will cost around £3.5 million (peanuts compared with the bill for the trams) and Mr Salmond will have a secret tunnel built into it. All the way down to Easter Road on derby days. So the First Minister can wear his Jambo scarf with impunity.

Afterwords . .

. . . . . .from a heart-broken Tony Bennett: “It breaks my heart to see young acts being told they’re the new Beatles, only for them to be dropped by their label six months down the line. It’s cruel and can blight their lives.” Serves them right.