Some Scottish News & Views issue # 345

Issue # 345                                                      Week ending 23rd April 2016

Fit Like? One is Very Much Taken with the Lovely Doric by Iain MacIver Courtesy of the Press & Journal
When we meet someone who talks differently to ourselves, we tend to mimic them. You just can’t help it if you meet someone from Harris, just as an example, not to repeat their endearing up and down way of speaking. I love the Hearach accent but it is unfathomable how distinctive the accent is on the south side of the Clisham hill compared to the north.

It’s the same with that bread-an’-budder lot over in Inverness. No matter how hard they try, it does seem to be impossible for an Invernessian to say the word swimming. They go sweeman in the sweeman pool. And their accents thicken throughout the day so after a few pints they roll into the chippy to announce: “Oll ‘ave a block puddeen saapper.”

It is more confusing when you meet someone you know from the banks of the Ness. Being always polite, I ask: “Hullo, cove. How are you doing?” They reply in some strange way that makes me think they are all practising zoologists who are a bit mixed up about certain vertebrates. For some strange reason, they always respond: “No badger shell.” Where are these black and white ninjas?

Such differences in accents and dialects are unfamiliar to our tender ears. So it is no surprise that someone in the Royal Family is tickled pink by the Aberdonian way of speaking. After all, they have to find some way to pass the time between opening things, state banquets and holidays in their various rural piles. One of them has perfected the Doric accent and entertains the others by mimicking the Aberdonian accent.

So which royal could pull off that accent and the Doric dialect as well? Probably Harry. It’s obvious. He’s the joker in the pack, isn’t he? Actually no, it’s not Harry. It is none other than Her Maj herself who can hold a room entranced as she reverts from the received pronunciation she was brought up with to: “Fit like, loon? Fit youse up tae the morn’s morn?”

My source up over Balmoral way tells me she has been doing it fae some time. They do have local staff, of course, but everyone now wonders if she goes oot and aboot in disguise so she can listen and learn the right way to say:  “I’m affa trachled meself. Fons dinner the nicht? I cud dae wi a poke o’ chips richt noo. Send yon loon in tae Braemar and gets a Stoarnowa’ black piddin wi pickled ingins an a’.” Well, isn’t that what they talk about there.

Yon lad would be black affronted if he took so long that the Queen was scunnered. All very far-fetched you think but the Queen’s own cousin, Margaret Rhodes, confirmed what many on the royal estate already knew. She says the Queen loves the Doric she hears when the family are up north and that she tries to pick it up herself by mimicking the locals. You can’t make this stuff up.

Just what rapper Kanye West made of the local accent on  the Misty Isle last week I know not. He booked himself and his crew in at Skeabost House Hotel and made a video at Trotternish for his latest single Waves.  Apparently, West who is married to someone called Kim Kardashian was a very polite guest. No trouble, they say. But why did he come to Skye to choose to shoot his video? I can tell you it was because of a wee spideag.

Original recordings for his last album Life of Pablo were on his smartphone and his young daughter made off with it and flushed it down the loo. Kim said this week that they had to start the album all over again and Waves was not on it when it came out. Only now has Kanye got round to completing the stuff he lost down the bog. With no rush now, he decided to come up to Skye.

After this trip, who knows what Kanye’s next child will be called. Skeabost? Trotternish? After all, this is a man who is known for unusual behaviour. He once said: “I feel like I’m too busy writing history to read it.” But he also said: “You should only believe about 90 percent of what I say. As a matter of fact, don’t even believe anything that I’m saying at all.”

And his phone flushing wee darling? She is almost three years old and Kanye and Kim named her North. That’s right, she is North West. Although she is not yet three years old, a right wee spideag she is too. That is the islands’ dialect for a wee naughty person.

How the Voting System Works and What it Means for 'Both Votes SNP'
Holyrood's 129 MSPs are elected on what is called the Additional Member System. The first 73 constituency seats are elected on First Past the Post (FPTP) – the system that operates in Westminster. To make the distribution of seats more fairly reflect the number of votes cast for each party, Scots also have a second, list vote. Elected in Scotland's eight regions, these 56 list seats are distributed in a way that effectively compensates the losing parties by topping up their seats in the chamber to reflect their overall votes in the country.  Under the d'Hondt method, the number of votes a party wins on the regional list is divided by the number of constituency seats they have won plus one. Because the SNP is likely to win every constituency seat, their vote will be divided by a higher number meaning their regional list candidates are less likely to be elected.

It sounds complicated, but it's actually fairly simple.

Here's an example: in Glasgow there are nine constituency seats and seven list seats up for grabs. Say the SNP win all nine constituency seats in Glasgow in May and also get 100,000 list votes. Their list votes will be divided, in the first round, by their nine seats plus one, meaning that they effectively have only 10,000 votes in the list. That may not be enough to win ANY seats.  If Labour win no constituency seats in Glasgow, but get 80,000 votes on the list, they would end up possibly having all seven of the list seats. Though obviously other parties like the Greens, who only stand for list elections, might also win seats. There are seven rounds of calculations on the list votes. It's estimated that if a party gets around six per cent of the list votes in any region it will get a seat. On present polls, the independence-supporting Scottish Green Party could get up to eight list seats across Scotland.  The Curtice Report uses the result in Mid Scotland and Fife in 2011 as an example, where the SNP took eight of nine constituency seats available meaning their regional list votes were divided by nine.  Labour, which held one constituency, had their list votes divided by two and all other parties by one.  The first of the seven additional seats was then allocated to the party whose average vote per seat is the highest, the Conservatives - the most popular of the parties that failed to win any constituency seats. Their vote was then divided by two. Labour was then allocated the second seat because it now has the highest average vote, and its list vote was thereafter divided by three instead of two.  This process was carried out another five times until eventually all seven list seats were allocated – three to Labour, two to the Conservatives, one to the LibDems and one to the SNP.

Comment- R
Fairly Simple??? Still as clear as mud to me.

Scot Explorer Responsible for "Massacres" in Australia Should Not Be Honoured.
He was a celebrated Scottish explorer and pioneer - but Angus McMillan was also a ruthless murderer who should not be honoured, an Australian MP has claimed.  McMillan, a Scot from Glen Brittle on the Isle of Skye, explored areas of Australia in the 1830s, and a district of western Gippsland, Victoria, has long been named after him.  McMillan, who lived from 1810 to 1865, explored Gippsland and even located a suitable harbour, now known as Port Albert.  But he was also a murderer of Australia's indigenous people, and has been linked to a series of massacres in the region.  It has been reported that there were probably more than 2000 of the Kurnai people in Gippsland when McMillan arrived in 1840.  By 1853 there were 131, and by 1857 only 96 - and although no one suggests all died violently, many did.  Now, 150 years after McMillan's death, there are new move for the electoral seat named in his honour to be renamed because of his "well documented" links to the massacres.  McMillan, who arrived in Australia in 1838, and his men are said to be responsible for a number of mass killings including up to 35 at Butcher's Creek and "hundreds" at Bruthen Creek.  Russell Broadbent, the current Liberal MP incumbent of McMillan district - which covers western Gippsland, Victoria - has written to the Electoral Commission, claiming that the change would send a message of practical reconciliation. He said: "Angus McMillan has a history that is well documented about his murderous ways in regard to our indigenous people and it's time to recognise that.  Over the last few years it has been raised with me on a number of occasions and I have done quite a bit of research and had a look at the situation and realised that the name should be changed." Mr Broadbent said the seat should be named after Sir John Monash, a former head of the area's electricity commission. Previously, Pauline Mullett, who represents the Kurnai elders of Gippsland, says McMillan instigated "a lot of massacres", and that "we should not honour a person of his status".  Professor Ted Cowan, Honorary Prof Research Fellow, School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Glasgow University, author of Scots in Australia: The Gaze from Auld Scotia, said that McMillan had a complicated legacy and was an enigmatic figure.  Initially, he said, McMillan appeared interested in the indigenous peoples of Australia, was then undoubtedly involved in atrocities, and then later in his life was involved in cases where he took their side and tried to protect them.  "When he first arrived he seems to have been fascinated by them, and then he started hunting them down," he said.  "He ended up defending aboriginal rights.  His story is quite a scar on Scottish memory in Australia, but it should be remembered there were many Scots on the other side, who did much for the indigenous populations."  Professor Cowan said that the call to change the name brought to mind the subject of the statue of the Duke of Sutherland at Golspie, which could, he said, could be pulled down for similar reasons.  The 1st Duke remains a contentious figure for his role in the Highland Clearances.  "Is there not an opinion that by keeping the statue, we can reconsider the crimes?" Professor Cowan said. "So is it useful to change the name? Maybe the results of keeping the name would allow us to think of what he did."

Comment -R
I think the right thing to do would be whatever the Kurnai want. But I agree with Professor Cowan and his comparison with the Duke of Sutherland (known for his brutal clearances). Perhaps they should put up a statue of McMillan facing Scotland, and turn the one of Sutherland to face Australia where he sent so many unwilling people - those that survived that is. A connection in infamy.

Canadian Woman ‘Got Scots Accent After Falling Off Horse’
A Canadian woman who found herself speaking with a Scottish accent after falling from her horse tells of her changed life in a new book.  Sharon Campbell-Rayment, 52, is believed to be one of just 60 people in the world with Foreign Accent Syndrome - a rare medical condition where patients develop a foreign accent after a stroke or head trauma.  Falling Into The Rhythm Of Life: Life Lessons Straight From The Horse’s Mouth, to be published in June, tells how she coped in the aftermath of the accident, not only with her newfound Scots identity, but the completely different person she’s become.  Sharon was thrown from her horse, Malachi, eight years ago at her farm in Kent Bridge, Ontario, and knocked unconscious.  She woke up days later unable to speak. When her voice returned eight weeks later, her Canadian tones were Scots.  After the fall, Sharon’s speech was peppered with words such as “wee”, “grand”, “awright” and “brilliant” - bizarre considering she had never set foot in Scotland before.  She rolled her r’s, dropped her g’s, had longer a’s and softer s’s and when collecting her thoughts uttered “em” and “um”.  She said: “It’s amazing how something as simple as a tumble from a horse can change your whole life!  Brain injuries can be hard for people to understand because there are no physical signs - but they make everything different. Eight years on, I’m still recovering. I think I’ve realised how precious every moment is. It was a real challenge to write the book because it brought back the emotion, fear, anxiety and pain I experienced, but I felt it was something I needed to do.  Initially, I found I was just writing the facts. Yet through time, I got a glow of inspiration. And I found that sharing my story really helped me with moving on.  It allowed me to talk about the brain injury, the diagnosis of being completely disabled and the challenges I faced and gives me the opportunity to bring awareness of the effects of a brain injury.” The mum-of-two was diagnosed with Foreign Accent Syndrome - a rare medical condition where patients develop a foreign accent after a stroke or head trauma. She’s believed to be one of only 60 people in the world with the condition.  But the injury didn’t just affect her speech. It changed her whole life.  Sharon, who still has her Scots brogue, went from being an active, multi-tasking extrovert who served as a minister at three area United Churches and ran a horse riding school, to being an introvert who has trouble focussing and tires easily.  She said testing has shown her injury affected the executive functioning of her brain, altering her ability to multi-task, process information and make decisions.  Sharon went full circle to find comfort in her 11 pet horses, returned to riding and even transformed her horseriding retreat into an equine healing therapy centre, designed to help others heal with the animals as she did.  She also re-forged her relationship with Malachi. “The horse I fell off became my neurologist, counsellor, physician and spiritual guide.”  Sharon believed it to be a calling to trace her Scottish roots.

Accountants Johnston Carmichael Swoop on Trio for Renewables
Mid-tier accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael is targeting infrastructure and renewables as a key growth sector after poaching a trio from -larger rival RSM.  Corporate finance partner Mark Stewart will head up the unit which has previously grown organically out of Johnston Carmichael’s agricultural sector presence. He is joined by associate director Jamie Davidson, who like Stewart has been at RSM for the past 11 years, and corporate finance executive Mark Conetta, who joined RSM seven years ago. The trio will be based in the Edinburgh and Glasgow offices of Johnston Carmichael, which reported a 7.6 per cent rise in turnover to £39.6 million in its latest financial year.  Chief executive Sandy Manson said a beefed-up team of eight will operate in what is expected to be one of the top three growth areas for the firm over the next two years.  Manson said: “While Johnston Carmichael has always naturally had clients in these sectors, over the last five years or so we have seen real momentum – particularly in renewables. Leading sectors for us are agriculture – with over 1,700 clients – and landed estates, and in recent years we have seen many of these landowners coming to us for advice in connection with renewable projects such as wind turbines or hydro.”

Six Forgotten Female Warriors From Scotland’s Past
Men may have written the history books, but these women made their mark during war and peace with feats of physical brilliance, bravery and pure cunning.

Queen Scathach of Skye
A mythical warrior queen from Skye whose marital arts skills and battle yells were in hot demand around 200 BC.  She took her place in the Ulster Cycle of Irish Mythology following her training of the Ulster hero Cúchulainn, after whom, it is said, the Cuillin on Skye are named.  He sought out Scathach after his future father-in-law made it a condition he became a fully trained warrior before taking his daughter’s hand in marriage.  It is claimed Scáthach would train only those young warriors already skilled and brave enough to penetrate the many defences of her fortress. It is also said she sexually educated her pupils and had a gift of prophecy.  Cuchulainn travelled to Dun Scaith - which translates as Castle of Shadows - to fall under Scathach’s tutelage. Legend goes that he helped Scathach overcome a neighbouring female chieftain, Aoife, who is also described in some accounts as the queen’s warrior sister.

Lady Christian (Christina) Bruce

Lady Christian Bruce (1273-1357) was the older sister of Robert the Bruce and played an active role in the Wars of Independence, leading the defence of an Aberdeenshire castle against English forces.  Her third marriage was to Sir Andrew Murray, appointed Guardian of Scotland in 1329. Sir Andrew was central to the second War of Independence against Edward III, who wanted to install Edward Balliol on the Scottish throne. In 1335, English forces besieged Kildrummy Castle in Aberdeenshire - with the defence commanded by Lady Christina. She held out until forces, led by her husband, could march north and defeat the English, led by David de Strathbogie, Earl of Atholl, at the Battle of Culblean on November 30.

Countess Kathrine Beaumont
Following the death of the Earl of Atholl at Culbean (see above) it turned to his wife Kathrine Beaumont to defend the campaign to put Balliol on the throne.  It is said she “stoutly defended” Lochindorb Castle, the family seat which sits in a freshwater loch near Grantown-on Spey, for some eight months before her rescue by Edward III’s forces.

Lady Agnes Randolph - Black Agnes
On 13 January 1338, English forces arrived at the gates of Dunbar Castle near the fallen town of Berwick but could not have forseen an encounter with Lady Agnes Randolp, also known as Black Agnes. A five-month stand off at the East Lothian pile was to follow. Lady Agnes Randolph, whose father was a nephew of Robert the Bruce, was in charge of the caste while her husband Patrick Dunbar, Earl of Dunbar and March, was fighting English forces in the north.On a request to surrender, it is claimed Black Agnes, so-called due to her hair colour, said: ‘Of Scotland’s King I haud my house, He pays me meat and fee, And I will keep my gude auld house, While my house will keep me.’  The Earl of Salisbury, the English commander, is said to have opened the siege by lobbing rocks at the castle walls using catapults.  The story goes that Lady Agnes sent out her maids in full view of the English to dust the walls with laced handkerchiefs. Salisbury is said to have then deployed a huge battering ram or ‘sow’ but Agnes responded by dispatching boulders onto the weapon’s wooden cover, threatening the soldiers underneath. As the siege got underway, John Randolph, 3rd Earl of Moray, and Agnes’ brother, was captured and brought to Dunbar.  Salisbury threatened to hang him if there was no surrender. Lady Agnes called his bluff, pointing out she would solely benefit from her brother’s title and lands if he was to be killed.The brother was spared and a truce was agreed on June 10 1338.  Black Agnes was later immortalised in a song as a “brawling, boisterous Scottish wench”.

Lady Anne Farquharson- Mackintosh - Colonel Anne
Lady Anne Farquharson- Mackintosh remained staunchly loyal to the Jacobite cause despite her husband, Angus Mackintosh, being captain of the the Black Watch, the Government force first raised to police the Highlands following the 1715 uprising and then to fight the rebels during the ‘45. When Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the standard at Glenfinnan, it is said that Lady Anne led efforts to raise 350 Farquharson and Mackintoshes to fight with the Jacobite Army. One account describes her as “dressed in a semi-masculine riding habit of tartan trimmed with lace, with a blue bonnet on her head and pistols a her saddle-bow, kindling enthusiasm for the Prince’s cause wherever she went”.  She is believed to be the only woman on record to have raised a clan. While she never led fighters into battle, Lady Anne handed the troops to her cousin, MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, to mobilise.  Captain Mackintosh was captured following his defeat at the Battle of Prestonpans and later released into the custody of his wife.  When the couple met, she greeted him with the words, “Your servant, Captain” to which he replied, “your servant, Colonel”. Following Culloden, Lady Anne was arrested and held at Inverness Castle for six weeks and then released without charge into her husband’s custody. The two are said to have led a contented married life, despite their political differences.

Margaret Ann Bulkley - Dr James Barry
Dr Barry was a graduate of Edinburgh University and became a successful British Army surgeon in India and Cape Town.  After he died, it was revealed that Dr Barry was a woman - born Margaret Ann Bulkley - whose family had come up with an elaborate plot to get her into medical school.  Margaret Bulkley arrived in Edinburgh as ‘James Barry’ and graduated in 1812. She joined the army as a surgeon in 1813 the following year and was credited with improving hygiene and reorganing medical care while in the field.  It is said that her methods of nursing sick and wounded soldiers from the Crimea meant that she had the highest recovery rate of the whole war. She also performed one of the first successful Caesarean sections, in 1826, and produced a definitive report on cholera in Malta in 1848.  Bulkley ultimately rose to the position of Inspector General in charge of military hospitals.  She died of dysentery in 1865 and it is then that her true identity was revealed. The woman who laid out her body revealed that, although she had spent 46 years as a man in the British Army, ‘James Barry’ was indeed a woman. There was speculation whether Dr Barry had been born a hermaphrodite but a letter from his doctor, Major D. R. McKinnon, recalled a discussion with the woman who had tended to Dr Barry following death.  The letter stated: “She then said that she had examined the body, and was a perfect female and farther that there were marks of him having had a child when very young. I then enquired how have you formed that conclusion. The woman, pointing to the lower part of her stomach, said ‘from marks here. I am a maried [sic] woman and the mother of nine children and I ought to know.’

Scottish Salmon Farm Installs Underwater Ball Games
A Scottish salmon farmer has introduced his stock to underwater ball games and hide-and-seek, to stop the young fish nipping at each other’s fins out of boredom.  Sutherland-based Loch Duart has begun putting brightly-coloured plastic balls in the water for its juvenile fish to play with.The team started looking for answers as young salmon in the hatcheries have been nipping the fins of other salmon. If left uncontrolled the damage can have a serious long-term effect on the health and quality of the fish.  Hatchery manager David Roadknight and his team came up with the innovative idea to provide a distraction for the young playful fish.  He said: “This can lead to behavioural problems, with the dominant fish nipping the dorsal fins of their tank mates – a sort of fish tag game with consequences.” A major cause of biting is interruptions to feeding, either accidental or intentional, which make the salmon hungry and aggressive.  He added: “Other factors such as low water current and higher stocking densities can also contribute, but this could also be linked to other behavioural issues, even boredom. When the Loch Duart team started to look at this, we started with both anecdotal and experimental information showing that a consistent and adequate feed supply reduces the amount of fin damage but does not eliminate it.” As well as the play balls, Duart is putting tarpaulin strips in the water to give the fish a place to hide.  Mr Roadknight said: “Hiding is a natural instinct essential to survival for young fish and now they are able to fulfil this. Hiding also gives a measure of protection against ‘bully’ fish, the major biting culprits.”  Duart has noticed a recent improvement in dorsal fin quality and scientists at Stirling University are now evaluating the new approach.  Jimmy Turnbull, professor of aquatic population health and welfare at Stirling University, said: “This is obviously a very small study and you cannot extrapolate too far from it – but the fish in the tanks with enrichment apparently have better fins and this is very promising.”

Scotland is Up to the Export Challenge by Graham Blair
It’s Exporting is Great Week, the initiative designed to inspire and support 100,000 new exporters across the UK, and given the global instability in a number of sectors, perhaps it’s time to remind ourselves just why exporting is so great for Scottish businesses?  Well, quite apart from the success that it can bring to individual businesses, boosting revenues and helping create employment, it’s no exaggeration to say that the future success of the Scottish economy hinges on business looking to overseas markets for growth, and that’s something we all have an interest in.  This is also demonstrated by the Scottish Government’s ambitions targets for exporting, with the view to drive growth and create new jobs across Scotland, setting a goal to increase the value of Scottish exports by 50 per cent by 2017.  At Bank of Scotland, it’s certainly at the heart of our strategy. This month we launched our new SME charter, a series of pledges to continue growing lending to small businesses, help a new generation of start-up businesses and support small firms on their next phase of growth. It includes a promise to help 5,000 new exporters across the UK in 2016 and 25,000 by 2020. These initiatives are expected to help reverse the UK’s rising trade deficit, an economic measure of a negative trade balance caused as a result of imports surpassing exports. The move comes at a time when Britain’s trade deficit in goods with the European Union hit a high of £23.6bn in the three months to January 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics.  Scottish firms seem to be up to the challenge too. Our recent Business in Britain survey found 39 per cent of businesses based in Scotland expected their ability to compete internationally would improve in the next six months, against just 7 per cent who predicted a decline, with Europe and North America the most favoured markets.  We’re supporting their ambitions by working in partnership with UK Trade & Industry, which we teamed up with a year ago to research ways to boost Scottish exports. One result of that intelligence sharing and collaboration is a new online International Trade Portal, through which businesses will be able to learn how to identify opportunities and operate across the globe, and a new internet banking portal for business.  Tools like these will only go to enhance the support from our network of Scottish export specialists, who help develop overseas trade opportunities, provide specialist banking support and advise on the countries that customers are hoping to target. Becoming a successful exporter is no mean feat. That is why we are investing in both on-the-ground expertise and digital technology, in order to ensure that businesses have the backing they need to succeed overseas. It’s time for more Scottish firms to look beyond the confines of these islands and take the first steps on their export journey.
• Graham Blair is regional director for SME banking Scotland at Bank of Scotland

Jacobite Artefacts From Across Europe Coming to National Museum
Scotland’s very own game of thrones will take centre stage in the biggest-ever exhibition of Jacobite treasures and artefacts linked to Bonnie Prince Charlie.  More than a century of power struggles, the splitting of the Stuart dynasty and the exile of the Jacobites will be charted at the National Museum of Scotland next year.  Little-seen costumes, glassware, jewellery, costume, documents and paintings will be brought together for the first time for the show. It will coincide with a year-long celebration of history, heritage and archaeology across Scotland.  The museum hopes to capitalise on worldwide interest in the hit time-travel TV series Outlander – which focuses on the romance between a Second World War nurse and a Jacobite warrior – and surpass the success of its hugely-popular Mary, Queen of Scots exhibition, which attracted nearly 80,000 visitors three years ago.  It is promising to paint a “richly detailed picture of a tumultuous, complex and fascinating period in Scottish, British and European history.”  However the centrepiece of the show will explore the man behind the myth of “The Young Pretender”, one of the most romantic, but most misunderstood, figures in European history. Charles Edward Stuart, the Rome-born grandson of King James VII of Scotland, is best remembered for arriving in Scotland from France in 1745 to lead the final Jacobite Rising, which ended in bloody defeat at Culloden, the last battle on British soil.  The show has been confirmed weeks after a “lost” portrait of the prince was acquired by the National Galleries of Scotland. Allan Ramsay’s work, valued at £1.1 million, was found by an art historian in the collection of the Earl of Wemyss at Gosford House, in East Lothian.  David Forsyth, the museum’s principal curator of Scottish history, said: “The new exhibition is very much a follow-on from our highly-successful Mary, Queen of Scots exhibition. It is the logical next step in the story of the Stuarts and their aspirations for Scotland, the wider British picture and the European dimension.  It’s the first major exhibition on the Jacobites and the Stuarts for than 70 years. It will be very much based on our own collections, there will be new acquisitions and we’re speaking to other major collections in Scotland, UK-wide and in the continent, as well as key private collectors whose families are intimately connected to the Jacobites.  There is quite a lot of romance and misappropriation around the stories of the Jacobites. The idea will be strip back the romantic notions and use the objects themselves as evidence.”  The exhibition, which will run from June until December next year, is being promoted today at VisitScotland’s annual “Expo” trade fair in Edinburgh. The tourism body has reported soaring interest in locations used for Outlander, which is partly set at the time of the 1745 Rising and has just started a second season. Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “The Jacobites form a fascinating part of Scottish history and the story is reaching a new audience through Outlander. This promises to be an enthralling exhibition.”

Nicola Sturgeon: ‘I Will Win Case for Independence’
Scotland is facing a renewed battle over its constitutional future after Nicola Sturgeon said she will “succeed” in making the case for a second referendum in the next five years - and warned that UK politicians have no right to block it.  The First Minister has pledged to join forces with other pro-independence parties like the Scottish Greens in a new summer campaign to make the case for Scotland leaving the UK and insisted another vote on the issue could be staged during the term of the next parliament.  She launched the SNP manifesto for the forthcoming Holyrood election yesterday within which it states a referendum re-run could be held if there is “clear and sustained evidence” that most Scots want it.  Although David Cameron has pledged to block this, with control over the constitution being retained in Westminster, Ms Sturgeon warned: “No politician will have the right to stand in the way.”  This prompted claims that Scotland is now in “constitutional limbo” from opponents who say it makes a mockery of Ms Sturgeon’s previous claims that the referendum was a “once in a generation” event. The SNP is riding high in the polls and on course for an unprecedented third term in office and a second successive majority at Holyrood. In 2011, this was seen as a mandate for a referendum, but this time round Ms Sturgeon says Scots must first be persuaded of the case for a second vote on the constitution. She said: “I would like that very much” before adding: “This summer we will start new work to persuade a majority in Scotland of the case for independence. If we don’t succeed we won’t have any right to propose another referendum.  But if we do succeed – when we do succeed – if in the future there is a clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people, then no politician will have the right to stand in the way.” The phrase “when we do succeed” was not part of Ms Sturgeon’s pre-released speech to the media. This phrase was met with a rapturous response from the 1,400 supporters at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre yesterday. “I’ll deliver the case for independence and I will win the case for independence with the help of all the people in here,” she added. The last referendum on independence was only secured with the agreement of the Tory government at Westminster which has control over reserved issues, but Ms Sturgeon warned UK politicians against blocking a second vote.  “We set the precedent in 2014 for how a democratic consensual referendum can happen,” she said. “Any politician in the circumstances, where a majority of people in Scotland were saying they wanted independence, any politician who tried to stand in the way of that I think would quickly, at the ballot box, at the first available opportunity, be told exactly how people felt about that decision.”  The manifesto included pledges to increase day-to-day spending on the NHS by £500 million more than inflation over the next five years, and to spend nearly £20 billion on infrastructure.  Headteachers will also be directly handed the bulk of a £750m fund to help improve performance of schools in poorer areas, bypassing councils. New powers to get parents and local businesses more involved in the governance of schools will be introduced, But Ms Sturgeon says Scotland won’t emulate the academy model being rolled out south of the Border.

Whisky Galore! Remake to Close 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival

A remake of the 1949 comedy Whisky Galore! will close this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF).  Gregor Fisher and Eddie Izzard star in the classic tale set in the Hebrides and based on the novel by Compton Mackenzie.  The world premiere will take place at the end of the 70th edition of the festival on June 26.  Producer Iain Maclean said: "It's wonderful to bring Sir Compton Mackenzie's story about whisky and the islanders to a new generation of film fans through this year's EIFF."  Whisky Galore! is inspired by the true story of the sinking of a cargo ship off the coast of Eriskay during the Second World War.  Locals' attempts to salvage thousands of bottles of malt find opposition in the form of the local Home Guard. The remake also stars Scots actors James Cosmo, Kevin Guthrie and Sean Biggerstaff. EIFF a rtistic director Mark Adams said: "It is a delightful adaptation of a much-loved classic and will wrap up our 70th edition in memorable style."

Caithness Homes Raided in Drugs Seizure Operation
Homes in Caithness were raided as part of a Highland wide-police operation which saw over £117,000 worth of drugs seized across the region.  Police officers executed search warrants in Caithness, Ross-shire, Inverness and Nairn, resulting in 17 individuals being reported to the Procurator Fiscal in relation to  drug offences, including drug supply offences.  Seizures included quantities of class A, B and C drugs with a total street value of £117,205.  Detective Inspector Peter MacKenzie of Police Scotland Divisional Intelligence Unit said: "Tackling drugs is one of top priorities for Police Scotland and the action taken over the last week demonstrates our commitment to dealing with this issue. The Highlands and Islands remain safe places to live but can still be exposed to those determined to cause harm by peddling illegal drugs into our communities."

Warning From Police After Sheep Rustlers Strike in Moffat

Farmers across the country have been urged to be on their guard and check their livestock regularly after a flock of 450 in-lamb cheviot ewes – valued at £60,000 – were stolen from a farm in Dumfries & Galloway.  With farmers busy with spring work, calving and lambing, NFU Scotland yesterday encouraged producers to make extra time to check their livestock, warning that organised criminals targeting farms had become an increasingly widespread problem. This latest large-scale theft took place between 5pm on Sunday 17 April and 5pm on Monday 18 April from a hill farm north of the A708 near Grey Mares Tail in Moffat. Urging anyone who had any information to contact the police, Detective Inspector Scott Young from Dumfries Police Office said: “The theft of such a large amount of sheep would have required careful planning and obviously there must have been vehicles used.” The NFU also asked anyone noticing any suspicious activity around stock fields to note down registration numbers and descriptions and report it to the police.  “The frequency and scale of sheep rustling in Scotland seems to be on the increase,” said the union’s legal and technical policy manager, Gemma Thomson.

Glasgow School of Art Seeks Donations for Campus Extension Plan

Glasgow School of Art (GSA) has launched an appeal to fund a major extension to its campus, with the restored Mackintosh building remaining at its heart.  GSA plans to expand its Garnethill site with the purchase and refurbishment of the former Stow College.  The school said the renowned Mackintosh building, being restored following a serious fire in 2014, "will return to its original academic configuration" and as a home for all first-year students. The Mackintosh Campus Appeal aims to raise a total of £32 million, with £17 million already secured. GSA director Professor Tom Inns said: "The Mackintosh building fire required the school to pause and reconsider, but we are now moving forward to create a newly-extended campus with the restored Mackintosh building at its heart. "The acquisition of the former Stow College site is a fundamental element of our new estate development strategy. It will mean that the GSA can bring together all pathways in the School of Fine Art in one specially-adapted building for first time in over 50 years."  The GSA is expected to complete the purchase of the former Stow College site in the next few weeks, with the School of Fine Art moving into the building from autumn 2017.

Glasgow to Launch its Own Tattoo in 2017

It is one of the most popular sights of the Scottish summer, the bands of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in full regalia marching and performing before the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.  However now the Tattoo, part of the capital's festivals which bring £260m to the Scottish economy, is to have a rival from the west. Glasgow is to host its own Tattoo at the SSE Hydro venue in January next year, which will see marching bands from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Europe perform in a three hour show in an event organised by the Belfast Tattoo.  Tickets will go on sale next week for the shows, which will run on 19, 20 and 21 January next year.  The Massed Pipe Band will feature The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Pipe Band, The Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band, Lomond and Clyde Pipe Band, Pride Of Ballinran Flute Band, Blackskull Flute Band, Murley Silver Band, Dungannon Silver Band, Dunloy Accordion Band, Vow Accordion Band, and the The Artane Band from Dublin, a well known band in the Republic of Ireland. The event will also feature the Lume De Biquera Pipe Band from Madrid, the Amigo Leiden Band of Holland and Fascinating Drums of Germany, with more performers to be announced in the coming months. In addition, there will be performances from The Glasgow Tattoo Highland Dance Troupe, choreographed by David Wilton, and Innova Irish Dance Troupe.  Marching bands in Northern Ireland and central Scotland are often associated with controversial religious and political parades but organisers said the aim is to attract a wide audience and "offend no one." Colin Wasson, producer of The Glasgow Tattoo said: "Given the close and historic cultural heart that beats between Belfast and Glasgow, through its strong ship building links, its sporting links and its music and cultural links, we are very proud to be creating an event for Glasgow, which will reflect Glasgow’s proud history and reflect it links with the rest of the world".  Mr Wasson said he intends the Tattoo, which is backed by Wallace Bagpipes and Ulster Scots Agency, to be an annual event and has committed the organisation to an initial three year deal with the Hydro.  He added: "We hope to attract the ordinary people of Glasgow to the show who have an interest in good entertainment and enjoy the culture of Marching Bands from across Europe.  We are not creating the show in Glasgow to push any agenda but all too often Marching Bands in general attract bad publicity because of the few, our aim is to present Marching Bands in such a way as to offend no one.  We have, to date, successfully achieved this in Belfast where the Sinn Fein Lord Mayor and SDLP Lord Mayor felt comfortable enough to come along to the Belfast Tattoo to celebrate and enjoy the spectacle."  Mr Wasson said he was aware that the event would have to provide something different from the Edinburgh Tattoo which "has a massive budget and attracts most of its audience from outside Scotland." He added: "We are very much a community Tattoo not purely military and that allows us to bring in spectacular bands that normally wouldn’t get to appear at Edinburgh, but in general the format is the same." The Glasgow Tattoo will be under the control of current World Champion Adult Drum Major, Brian Wilson of Lomond & Clyde Pipe Band. The compere will be Helen Mark, a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and presenter of several TV programmes.