Across The Capital
by Alejandro Basterrechea
Edinburgh on Frame is a podcast about the photography scene in Edinburgh. Each month, I will be speaking with different photographers, their projects and the latest on the world of photography.
On the first episode, we speak with Simon Crofts on his project “Expectations”
By Iain Jones
In the first episode of this series, we compare Catalonia’s separatist movement with that of Scotland’s.
Contributions come from John MacInnes, Professor of Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, as well as from Edinburgh Napier University students Pau, Gemma, Nicholas, Abbey, Claire and Rebekah.
By Jordan Hooks
Follow along with two American girls, Jordan Hooks and Maya Castille, as they discuss their first two months living Scotland on their own and the differences that they have faced. With the Scottish referendum right around the corner in the back of their minds, they discuss everything that is unique about Scotland including its people and their culture.
Yesterday the Grangemouth petrochemical plant looked set to lose 800 jobs and close down for good. However, a new move by union Unite could save the site.
by Alex Watson
The future of Grangemouth chemical plant hangs in the balance today, as crisis talks continue between owner Ineos and Unite workers union.
The Scottish Roman Catholic church is facing a series of questions about the conduct of its former leader and his attacks on gay rights, after Keith O’Brien admitted to a secret sexual life dating back decades.
by Nadia Younes, Heather Thomson and Morag Robertson.
Following weeks of controversy surrounding claims that the former head of the Catholic Church in Scotland has behaved inappropriately towards priests, Cardinal Keith O’Brien has resigned and issued a statement apologising for his behaviour.
In this statement, issued through the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, O’Brien apologised to those he had “offended” and asked for forgiveness.
Nadia Younes, Heather Thomson and Morag Robertson discuss the repercussions this will have on the Catholic Church.
The risk of flooding is no longer just an issue of south England and Wales. Heavy rainfall might cause flooding in different areas across Scotland.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency suggests people in risky areas to keep up with the latest flood alerts online. SEPA is providing regular updates on forecast river and coastal flooding and will keep monitoring the situation 24/7.
Hopetoun House host an annual event to celebrate Bonfire Night. Their event was sold out this Saturday and over 5000 people attended. They seem to be paving the way in terms of celebrations as they provide both a friendly and safe environment for all, on one of the most dangerous nights of the British calender.
Thousands of People are expected out tonight to commemorate Guy Fawkes Night in Edinburgh. The annual celebration is one of the busiest nights of the year for fire related injuries. Edinburgh Napier correspondent Louisa Andersen reports.
Scotland comes so wonderfully close so often, in so many ways… but we always trip our own feet, or just fail to take hold of opportunities.
These are the top 4 times Scotland promised so much, and failed to deliver….
4. Andy Murray – For years Scotland had only entertained tennis as a pass time, Wimbledon was sort of close and those with the money might like to enjoy some champagne and strawberries down there. But other than that Scotland was disinterested. Even so far as to be the subject of a Monty Python flying circus sketch, where an alien invasion could only be thwarted with a Scotsman winning Wimbledon. Suddenly we had our own rising tennis star, a man who might bring the Wimbledon title back to Britain for the first time since Fred Perry. However year after year Murray succumbs to the Scottish mentality and all the ability in the world (which we’re told he has in abundance when he plays well) goes out the window and he bombs out.
3. Scotland v Argentina, 2011 Rugby World Cup – This one was a simple case of fulfilling our roll as the great bottle merchants. A win would have meant progress to the next round, a close game to the finish. Amorosino fumbles and knocks it into touch, Parks takes a kick that high school rugby players across the nation would swear they could make… and shanks it left. Scotland fail to progress past the group stages for the first time in any world cup.
2. Colin Montgomerie, 1995, PGA Championship, Riviera Country Club – Monty would birdie his last three holes to tie Steve Elkington and take it to a sudden death play off, but while in a far better position on the green Monty would miss his putt while Elkington sinks a 35 foot putt.
1. Football World Cup 1978 (and to an extent ’74) – Scotland has the best of the worst track records in regards to football World Cups, but in ’78 it was something special. Ally MacLeod had the nation believing they would come back with a medal. “We’re on the road with Ally’s army” was being sung across the nation. But in our opening two games we were sat with one point, and had to beat the Netherlands by three goals to proceed. That day Scotland would score three goals, one of which by Archie Gemmill would be considered one of the best goals of the tournament. However on that same day the Dutch would score two, dashing Scotland’s dreams of progression and putting us out on goal difference for the second world cup in a row.
Public protests experienced on Wall Street in New York City are planned to go worldwide on October the 15th through organization on webpages and social networks.
Many websites have arisen including OccupyBritain.co.uk, wearethe99percentuk.tumblr.com and Occupytogether.org. 15october.net lists events in 670 cities in 67 countries including 4 in Scotland. Facebook communities have formed entitled Occupy Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen respectively. Scotland’s capital has received the most activity with around 250 people confirming attendance to the event “Occupy Edinburgh” occurring this Saturday at 1PM in St Andrews Square; the square, surrounded by numerous banks and insurance companies is thought to be one of the major financial districts in Scotland.
Wall Street protesting began on September 17th on New York City’s Wall Street; the events are believed to be the result of an email distributed by activist magazine Adbusters in mid-July of this year. The Guardian confirmed that by October 8th, protests had reached 70 cities around the world.
A description of Occupy Edinburgh on the 15 October website says:
”A peaceful, NON-VIOLENT protest beginning on Saturday the 15th of October with the initial intent of occupying St Andrews Square and voicing our concerns about the way in which our banks and governments are structured and operated.”
The most prominent ‘occupy’ event in the UK in preparation is “Occupy The London Stock Exchange”. Facebook has over 4000 confirmed attendees, though how many will attend on the day remains to be seen.
Reuters confirmed that over 700 were arrested last Sunday while marching over Brooklyn Bridge and blocking traffic lanes in the process. Another 100 were arrested in Boston early on Tuesday morning as the campaigners had been camping in the city’s Dewey Square since October 1st.
Numerous viral videos from the hacker/activist group Anonymous have been released on YouTube addressing several different countries and sovereign states around the world. In a video posted on Youtube this message is delivered:
“All across the world on October 15th 2011 there will be simultaneous peaceful protests these will be in cities all around the world. These protests will be the peoples chance to voice their dissatisfaction with the system that has failed them. Anonymous UK in conjunction with Anonymous London Anoymous will be leading operation unity.”
The group have planned a march from speaker’s corner in London’s Hyde Park at 2pm heading to Parliament Square.. Anonymous are frequently described as only activists and hackers or ‘hacktivists’. Many members wear Guy Fawkes masks during protests which were popularized by the V for Vendetta motion picture and comic book . The group are also large supporters of Wikileaks and many were arrested in connection with ‘Operation Avenge Assange’ which involved an online attack on PayPal after they froze Wikileaks accounts. Over 20 were arrested in the US, the Netherlands and the UK according to the BBC. This included a sixteen-year-old boy from south London.
The number of unemployed young people in Britain has reached an all-time high of 21.3%, according to official figures released today.
The statistics, which were released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), also reveal that overall unemployment in Britain has reached a 17-year high at 8.1%. Many analysts have criticised the UK government’s deficit reduction plan, and Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne is unconvinced by the coalition’s strategies. “[This is] a day of judgment for the government”, he claims. “Today’s figures are the clearest proof yet that the government’s decision to cut too far and too fast is hurting and just not working. Unemployment is soaring, and more young people are out of work than ever before.”
The Employment Secretary Chris Grayling denied that the statistics indict the government, claiming that Britain was now seeing “the impact of the international financial crisis”. He also said that, despite the UK not using the Euro currency, it is “not immune” to the problems currently being experienced in Greece and other Eurozone countries. Scottish unemployment figures, despite an increase of 7000 in the last quarter, are now at 7.9% which is just below the UK average of 8.1%. The Scots employment rate now sits at 71.2% , while the UK average is 70.4%
First Minister Alex Salmond has said that the figures reinforce the validity of the Scottish government’s demand that Westminster adopts a “Plan MacB” approach, lest Scotland be “Derailed by Westminster’s wrong-headed economic policy”.
“A Westminster ‘Plan MacB’ must deliver real action in the areas where Scottish government policy is making a difference – increased capital expenditure, improved access to finance for medium and small-sized businesses, as well as the introduction of measures to boost consumer confidence and economic security.”
However, Labour’s Finance Spokesman, is unconvinced by the reliability of the Scottish economic plan. “While Alex Salmond talks on the TV about ‘Plan MacB’, he is cutting capital investment more than even George Osborne, cutting key drivers of growth like colleges, and presiding over continuing stagnation in the Scottish economy”, he said. “Scotland is stuck between a Tory government cutting too fast and an SNP government whose economic policy simply isn’t working.”
Liz Cameron, the Chief of the Scottish chambers of Commerce, stated: “The second half of this year was always going to be a difficult one for employment in Scotland with public sector cuts beginning to take hold, cost pressures on the increase and growing concerns about the state of the US and Eurozone economies.
Prime Minister, David Cameron, argued that he did have a plan for cutting the deficit ; “if you don’t have a credible economic plan, you’re not at the races”, he sympathised with the unemployed saying “Every job lost is a tragedy”.
Opposition leader Ed Milliband struck back by casting doubt on Cameron’s plan; “to have a credible plan for the deficit, you need a plan for growth”.
Scotland manager Craig Levein faces an anxious wait over the fitness of striker Kenny Miller ahead of tonight’s crucial Group I qualifier against Spain.
The Scots go into the match needing to match result of the Czech Republic who play away to Lithuania, but might have to face the World and European champions without their main talisman.
Miller missed out Saturday’s 1-0 victory away to Lichtenstein and Levein has indicated that he is unlikely to feature this evening.
“Of the doubtful ones, Kenny would be the worst. He doesn’t feel he has improved much since Friday” said Levien at a press conference yesterday.
Also doubtful for the crunch match tonight are trio: Darren Fletcher, Craig Mackail-Smith and Barry Bannan, all of whom featured at the weekend. Levien was far more convinced over their fitness however.
“Mackail-Smith and Fletcher will both get a fitness test. Fletcher sounds more confident than he did yesterday, so that is encouraging.
If the game had been today, (said on Monday) I’d have been worried. But Darren is projecting in his own mind the same improvement.”
With Miller rated very unlikely to feature, Scotland will pin their hopes on Saturday’s goal hero Craig Mackail-Smith, who will start for only the second time in a blue jersey should he get the nod this evening.
Others in contention for a starting position should Fletcher and Bannan fail to meet fitness levels are Cardiff City’s Don Cowie, Middlesbrough veteran Barry Robson and Ranger’s Steven Whittaker.
Levein knows a win would guarantee them a play-off spot for the Euro 2012, but Scotland are massive underdogs, rated a 14/1 shot with most bookmaker to win this evening.
The Scottish documentary that’s trumping Trump!
Kay Demabior, Environmental Correspondent
Donald Trump sports a personality as vast as his empire, a bank account as hefty as his private, personalised jets and a comb-over as infamous as his business ventures, making him no stranger to the limelight. Earlier this year Trump had been featuring as a standing joke on the late night comedy scene as he doggedly obsessed over obtaining US President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. But recently ‘the Donald’ has been attracting attention as a result of some increasingly sinister business here in the UK.
Scottish film maker, Anthony Baxter, eloquently chronicles Trump’s ruthless destruction of the untouched and environmentally treasured North Aberdeenshire coastline, with the intention of constructing his newest business venture, The Trump International Golf Links (TIGL). The film follows the struggles of the local residents, who have been contesting the billionaire’s scheme since he purchased the land on the Balmenie Estate. The 208 kilometres of unspoilt coastline varies from long stretches of clean golden sand dunes to dramatic rock-shingle beaches, creating a wildlife haven. University of Glasgow’s, Dr. Jim Hansom (featured in the film) refers to this area as Scotland’s “equivalent of the Amazon Rainforest”. Yet in spite of all this, in 2008 Scottish ministers gave Trump the go-ahead to destroy the dunes and erect two 18-hole golf courses, a luxury hotel, 1,000 holiday homes and 500 private houses to establish what Trump is calling “The greatest golf course in the world”.
Although the British and Scottish government have given the business tycoon carte blanche to bulldoze the north Aberdeenshire coastline, he sorely underestimated the resilience and determination of home owners in the area. The film paints Trump as a money hungry industrialist, hell-bent on making a quick buck at the expense of the environment, and his own actions on camera only work to reaffirm his reputation. In one particularly memorable scene Trump scornfully slates a Balmenie land owner, calling his abode a “pig sty”, whilst, in truth, the continued construction of the Trump’s courses has been depriving local residents of basic necessities such as running water.
Trump, who briefly flirted with the idea of running for US presidency, sold his concept to the Scottish parliament under the supposition that the links would generate upwards of 6,000 jobs for the local community. However, it has recently been discovered that the contract has been given to an Irish company which is said to be predominately using its own labour force.
Baxters engaging documentary has been gathering a lot of steam since its release at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and is now expected to make a splash at its New York premier later this month. The Documentary has already earned itself a plethora of awards including The Green Prize, the UK’s top environmental award, The Edindoc Festival Award and the Sheffield International Festival Award. As expected, Trump himself met the documentary with a cavalier disdain, calling the film “boring” and accusing the filmmaker of being a “fraud”. The documentary candidly addresses the serious subject alongside some humorously crafted undertones, leaving the audience to decide whether the short term economic gain is worth the long term environmental loss.
Dundee and Glasgow Caledonian Universities have recently announced they will charge British students from outside Scotland £27,000 for a full undergraduate course.
The charges are a result of the new legislation introduced by the Scottish Government to narrow the funding gap between Scottish and English universities. But should EU students be made to pay also?
When launching a consultation on the legislation in June The Scottish Education Secretary, Michael Russel, said that the rise in cap on the tuition fees in England, introduced by the Coalition Government last year, threatens the “quality and competitiveness” of Scottish universities.
He claimed it would prevent Scottish institutions being seen as ‘the cheap option’, and would protect spaces for Scottish students.
In the meantime, the numbers of Scottish undergraduates studying at home has fallen by 1.3 per cent in the past five years.
The legislation is expected to fill some of the funding gap between Scottish and English institutions, predicted earlier this year. When English universities were allowed to raise the fee cap to £9,000, it was estimated that by 2015 they would earn £268 million in funding more than Scottish institutions.
The Scottish Spending Review 2011, published last Thursday, promises universities £217 million Government funding by 2015.
It suggests that the gap will be narrowed down by additional £56 million from charging students from rest of the UK for studying at Scottish universities.
Currently an estimated 20,000 students from the rest of the UK study full-time at undergraduate level in Scottish universities and so would be eligible to pay higher fees under the new arrangements.
The opponents of the legislation point out that the prospect of paying £36,000 for a four-year undergraduate degree in Scotland – which is one year longer than in England – can stop UK students from studying in Scotland altogether.
Mr Russel suggested that fewer than half of Scottish universities will charge the maximum fee. However, both St Andrews and Edinburgh Universities already set the £9,000 fee for their 2012-2013 courses – the same as Oxford and Cambridge.
In the light of student protests against the rising costs of education, it was suggested the Scottish Government should push to introduce a fee for undergraduate students from the EU who are currently exempt from paying fees, on the basis of international regulation.
Mr Russell has previously talked about introducing an annual “service charge” for EU students studying in Scotland, but there is no mention of any such measures in the new Spending Review.
In the past five years Scottish universities noted a near 60 per cent rise in students from the EU.
However, there was also noted a near 30 per cent rise in overseas students from other regions, who pay a considerably higher level of fees (for example, £13,500 for 2011/12 at St Andrews University). The number of postgraduate students from outside the UK has also risen by nearly 40 per cent (average £11,100 for 2011/12)
The trend is not exceptional for Scotland; the number of both: undergraduate and postgraduate overseas students for the whole of UK shot up by nearly 65 per cent in the five year period.
As a response to the Coalition Government proposals for changes to student visas, the University and College Union warned this could make the UK a less popular destination for foreign students, which, based on today’s figures, would be bad news for UK universities as they struggled to adjust to huge government funding cuts.
Robin Parker, President of the National Union of Students Scotland, told us that no students, British or foreign, should be made to pay.
But what do you think?