From Mark Renton (Leith) to Shuggie Bain ((Pollok)

Well done indeed to Douglas Stuart and winning the Booker Prize with Shuggie Bain. I haven’t read it yet, but I will. From what I gather, the setting is very similar to the setting in Trainspotting: crap housing scheme, poverty, and the arrival of heroin. In...

On referendums and plebiscites

It’s very noticeable that nobody – that’s nobody – seriously makes the case for settling the “independence” discussion by means of a referendum. Our voting system is designed to elect named, accountable people for office for a fixed...

Tipping points everywhere you look.

A couple of days after the third tipping point of the year – the autumn equinox – there’s an unprecedented number of runner beans still on the stem and there for the picking. I’ve never seen the likes. Does it foretell a cold winter? Is it...

Getting to know me…

I’ve just come across a recording I did with The Living Memory Association (TheLMA – good name, eh?) a year or so ago. As a newcomer of only forty years in Leith, it seems some folk might be interested in me, so here Barry Davidson splices my biography...

How do you like your cruelty, sir?

In the BBC1 programme to mark VJ day on Saturday evening, Japanese expansionist ambition was presented as a “bad thing”, to be resisted. Those who resisted it, in support of the status quo ante, faced great hardship and cruelty. It struck me very forcibly, however,...