Archive for the Scotland Category

The simple symbols of unionism are disintegrating

As every Black Bitch knows, the first Tuesday after the second Thursday in June is Linlithgow’s Marches. The 19th of June 2012 was a splendid Marches Day. The sun shone, the bands played. My wife and I saw the morning parades on our way to Glasgow to […]

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Testament of a Witch by Douglas Watt

Testament of a Witch by Douglas Watt

With Testament of a Witch, Linlithgow-based author, Douglas Watt, has completed the second of his 17th century crime novels.  Investigating Advocate John MacKenzie and his young assistant, Davie Scougall, are caught, in 1687, in one of the 17th century’s frenzied witch hunts. The opening chapter is an […]

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Holiday postcards: from Arran

Since 1997 our family holidays have been to Arran. This will be our 16th, every one wonderful. Our grown-up children still steal a few days, with friends or partners, each summer on the island they love as much as we do. Was there a ‘most memorable’ one?  […]

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Labour needs to ask: Is Scotland a nation?

Labour needs to ask: Is Scotland a nation?     The independence campaign has officially started. Over the next two years the positions of politicians will meld and change. Already several former Labour Party activists, including a few heavy-weights such as Denis Canavan and John McAllion, have […]

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Two hours compulsory PE in Scottish schools

Peter Peacock, Scotland’s education minister, is currently reviewing a proposal to make compulsory in Scottish schools a minimum of two hours a week of  physical education or physical activities.  Given that 15% of secondary students are obese or very overweight, it goes without saying that the health […]

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West Lothian writer hits the watershed

Peter Wright is a well-known character in Linlithgow and in the wider Lothians. Aged 64, he lives in Linlithow and is one of a diminishing number of people who left school (legitimately), at the age of 14. After a Liberal Studies course atNewbattle AbbeyCollege he set out on a […]

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All about context

Creativity and Innovation in School Leadership: Realising the Potential of Curriculum for Excellence was the theme for this year’s Scottish International Summer School on School Leadership, again held in Edinburgh’s Royal College of Surgeons.   Bruce Robertson, Aberdeenshire’s Director of Education, stated that a much enhanced leadership […]

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A meeting of minds

The recent AGM of the Educational Institute of Scotland, Scotland’s largest teaching union, reflected the dilemmas facing contemporary Scottish education and suggests a stormy year ahead for Scottish schools.   Curriculum for Excellence, introduced by the previous Liberal-Labour Scottish Executive and continued by the SNP Scottish Government […]

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Education election

The Scottish Parliament elections are on 5th May.  The first debate on education took place in the National Gallery in Edinburgh last week.  Mike Russell, SNP Cabinet Secretary for Education, and the education spokespersons for the other four parliamentary parties (Labour’s Des McNulty, the Lib-Dems’ Margaret Smith, […]

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Four months on….

The result of May’s Scottish parliamentary election has shocked everyone, including it seems the triumphant SNP itself.  No-one believed that the additional member electoral system would ever produce an outright majority for one party but it did and did so spectacularly. For schools and teachers the SNP […]

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