Talk of the town: McLetchie delivers on his promises

LOTHIANS Labour MSP George Foulkes is renewing an old alliance with former Scottish Tory leader and Edinburgh Pentlands MSP David McLetchie over the referendum on changing the voting system for Westminster to the alternative vote.

Neither of them likes the proposed switch from first past the post, and during a debate in the Scottish Parliament on the timing of the referendum - scheduled for May 5 next year, the same day as the Holyrood elections - Lord Foulkes pointed out there would be cross-party campaigns for and against AV and recalled the cross-party campaigns in the 1975 referendum on Europe.

He asked: "Does David McLetchie recall that, when he was a young man, he and I campaigned in the referendum in favour of Europe? Indeed, I sent him all round Scotland delivering leaflets. He did it very well."

All present and correct for game of pass the parcel

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WE LIVE in a city famed for its Fringe festival, Hogmanay celebrations and impressive history, but the Capital is now set to play host to the world's biggest game of pass the parcel after being nominated by a resident.

That means locals will be able to grab hold of a huge present stuffed with this year's must-have toys, including Jet Pack Buzz Lightyears, Paper Jamz Guitars and VTech KidiZoom Video Cameras.

The gifts will be given away after the event, as long as everyone remembers to pass it along.

Working proves a real pain

FLYING in the face of Lord Young's claim that we "have never had it so good", it seems growing numbers of Scots are working through the pain barrier because they fear for their jobs.

Physiotherapist Kirsten Lord, who set up the successful Edinburgh Physiotherapy Centre, says employees are refusing to take time off amid a competitive job market and recent recession.

Kirsten has found herself frequently treating patients who have ignored the warning signs of conditions such as repetitive strain injury, back and neck pain.

Overworked physiotherapists have never had it so good.

Sue's a busy lady then?

WHEN leafing through the coverage of the tram dispute, council chief executive Tom Aitchison may have needed to double check he's still in a job.

It was reported recently that city leader Jenny Dawe had asked chief executive Sue Bruce to organise mediation between tram firm TIE and the consortium building the tram line.

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But Ms Bruce remains chief executive of Aberdeen City Council and is not due to succeed Mr Aitchison until the new year.