Some Scottish News & Views Issue # 520

Issue # 520                                                    Week ending Saturday 5th October 2019
Hebrideans Are Not Quaint. You Just Need to Understand What We’re Saying by Iain MacIver Courtesy of the Press & Journal

When you live in a place like the Western Isles, which is such a magnet for global nosey parkers, er, I mean towrists, you have to sort of fit in with what they have read. They are drawn by the miles of unspoilt golden beaches, which is true, the slow pace of life and the nice but dim islanders who warm their thatched blackhouses with peat cut with their own blistered hands. Well, who are we to argue with the findings which appeared a while ago on a website called The Quaintest European Places to Visit 2018.

Quaint? That sounds as if we all serve tea on tablecloths of white lace. We are more black lace people. Ooh la la.

Yes, the beaches here in the Hebrides are pretty much unspoilt. Our thatched houses are visitor attractions and holiday lets and peat is only cut by very rich people for the exercise. You may scoff but a couple told me last year that was the only reason they still went out onto the Achmore moor each year to slice the mud. Makes a change from the exercise bike and the treadmill in the west wing, I suppose.

Our people are also fixated by Brexit. Is it going to make our products unaffordable in the rest of the world and is it the best thing to happen to the fishing industry since chips and tartare sauce were invented? Is it going to kill the tourist industry or give it a shot in the arm?

Which reminds me that Stornoway has its problems too. Like other wee Caledonian toons, the administration capital of Stornoway has a seedy side.  Oh yes, Stornoway has it all. In this here town you will find Robert Doig the optician, Kenny Froggan’s the chemist and Stag Bakery. Specs, drugs and sausage roll.

Then there’s our language. Gaelic is often described as too complicated because it needs 10 words to describe something that is shorter in English. Not so now. A plane was a bata-adhar, a ship of the sky, but now it is often just plèana, which sounds just like plane. All of which reminds me to ask you what do you call a Thomas Cook flight going backwards? A receding airline.

Coming back down to earth, our ancient lingo is not the easiest to grasp properly but part of the reason for that is because in Gaelic we have words for which there’s no English equivalent. It takes lots of boring English words to explain that oh-so-welcome moment when it finally stops raining. In Gaelic that is the turadh. It is also a word with in-built flexibility. It can also mean longer dry spells, depending on the context. We do waffle on about weather and water quite a bit.

Once you have mastered the pronunciation, Gaelic can become very easy. Just as Julius Caesar’s famous words I Came, I Saw, I Conquered is easy to rememember in Latin as Veni, Vidi, Vici. So too do similar sounds make Gaelic a breeze. For instance, I have a particle accelerator, you have a particle accelerator, you lot have particle accelerators. That’s tha particle accelerator agam, tha particle accelerator agad and tha particle acceleratoran agaibh. Tha gaol agam ort, tha gaol agad orm. I love you and you love me. That could almost be the lyrics of a song. I think someone’s beaten me to it already.

Of these, the handiest phrase for women is based on agad. Great word. Very flexible. Tha airgiod agad is a bold statement - you have money. Put a question mark after it and it becomes a strong demand when asked by herself when she’s about to depart for the supermarket. If not answered quickly, it becomes a threat. She knows you have money and you are not handing it over. Someone is going to starve and it could be you because you just don’t love her. Chaneil gaol agad oir. Agad. It is you and yours. Agad. Your responsibility, your blame, your disaster.

As everybody knows, water is uisge, as in uisge beatha, the water of life, which is sometimes also known here as whisky. Yet for water, as in the non-alcoholic stuff from the tap, some people say bùrn (pron. boorn). When someone says that word, it is like doing a DNA test. They absolutely are, or were from, Lewis stock. Only in Lewis do we say bùrn.

Another contentious word is rhubarb. Some dictionaries say it should be ruibab. Not Leodhasachs. We say ruprup, which we say like rooproop. Not sure if it is correct  which makes life difficult as we have a wee patch of rhubarb at the back. The crop has not been great so I have been asking more-experienced people for tips. One told me to try horse manure on it. It's interesting but I think I still prefer custard.

We lend our language to many other cultures, no matter what colour of lace they prefer. Gaelic turns up everywhere.

Knock, knock.
“Who's there?”
“Agad.”
“Agad who?”
“Push pineapple shake the tree.”

Mackintosh Property Chainmail Passes Water Pistol Test

More than 200 people armed with water pistols have turned out to drench a Charles Rennie Mackintosh property to see if a protective covering is doing its job. And it was a total soak-cess!  The world's biggest chainmail mesh has been put around the Hill House to stop it dissolving.  The property in Helensburgh, Argyll, is considered to be the architect's finest domestic project.  But due to its design and materials it has soaked up water "like a sponge". The so-called Hill House Box was erected as part of the National Trust for Scotland's multi-million pound project to conserve the internationally-renowned building and its interiors.  The roof and its 32.4 million chainmail rings are designed to shield the building from the elements, allowing it to dry out so that crucial conservation work can take place. Caroline Smith, operations manager at The Hill House, said the water pistol test went off without a hitch.  She said: "The mesh worked perfectly and despite the efforts of the finest collection of water pistol sharp shooters I've ever seen, not one drop got to the house. The rain gauges we placed inside the mesh next to the building were bone dry, which is more than can be said for some of the people doing the shooting."  She added: "It was great to be able to show that the box is really doing what it was designed to do and thank you to everyone who came along to take part in our experiment."

New Largs Theatre Company's First Show

A new Largs-based theatre company is launching with an American epic play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, in October.  Show-works is to stage the iconic, classic drama at the Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine on Thursday and Friday, October 10 and 11 with an introductory offer of only a tenner.  Four local actors, Drew Cochrane, Pat Nicol, Angie Moir and Stuart McArthur will be the characters in Edward Albee's 'Virginia Woolf' which was an Oscar winning movie starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.  Ruairidh Forde is taking time out from his role as director of Greenock Light Opera's 'Nativity' musical to produce one of his favourite dramas with four experienced actors.  Martha and George are the dysfunctional older couple who 'entertain' the new young professor, Nick and his dipsy wife Honey to an evening of fun and games with unpredictable results.

Edinburgh's Recycled Food Waste 'Boils 1.75 Million Kettles'

Edinburgh residents are now recycling 700 tonnes of food waste - enough to generate electricity to boil 1.75 million kettles.  More than 163,000 food waste caddies are collected in Edinburgh each week.  However, the council is urging more people in the capital to recycle their food waste.  The first pilot food waste collections in Edinburgh began in spring 2011. One food caddy generates enough electricity to power a TV for five hours.  Food waste from Edinburgh residents goes to the food waste treatment facility at Millerhill and into an anaerobic digester.  It breaks it down and produces gas, which is used to power Millerhill and goes into the national grid.  The City of Edinburgh Council does not get paid for the waste. Lesley Macinnes, City of Edinburgh Council's environment convener, said: "Friday's global climate strike and the great turnout at Edinburgh's march highlighted the huge appetite to wage war on waste and protect our planet's vital resources.  Reducing consumption is clearly the very first step we need to master, but when we do have leftover food waste it's important to recycle it.  Recycling your food waste is really so simple to do but it makes an enormous difference.  Every tonne of food waste can generate enough electricity to boil 2,500 kettles - and we send 700 tonnes for recycling in Edinburgh each month, so that's a lot of cups of tea."

Senior Scottish Figures in Politics, Academia and the Arts Condemn Boris Johnson for 'Undermining Democracy' in Open Letter
Senior Scottish figures from across academia, politics and the arts have put their names to an open letter condemning Prime Minister Boris Johnson for "undermining democracy" and calling for an extension to Article 50.  Former defence secretary Baron Robertson and the historian Professor Sir Tom Devine are joined on the list of 22 signatories by actor Brian Cox, all expressing their concern at what they describe as the political crisis engulfing the country.  The letter condemns Mr Johnson's "failure to apologise for his unlawful prorogation of parliament" and "attacks from the Government front bench on parliament".  The figures - who also include former chief medical officer for Scotland Sir Harry Burns, Lord Menzies Campbell, and artist Professor Richard Demarco - call for an extension to Article 50, a general election and a people's vote.  The letter states: "We welcome the Supreme Court's unanimous judgment this week defending parliamentary democracy against an executive acting improperly and thereby potentially avoiding scrutiny.  However, we condemn the response of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, both his failure to apologise for his unlawful prorogation of parliament, let alone resign, and his assertion that the Supreme Court's 11 justices were wrong. We also condemn attacks from the government front bench at Westminster on parliament itself.  Unlawfully suspending parliament is a legal, political and moral error - to accuse the re-opened parliament of moral failure, in the face of the disregard shown for democracy by the Government, cannot go unanswered."  The letter goes on: "Like many others, we are also deeply concerned at the inflammatory and toxic language used by some.  We call on Mr Johnson urgently to set an example by ending his, and his colleagues', populist and inappropriate rhetoric and to act from now on to defend, not undermine, our democratic institutions."  The signatories said that an extension to Article 50 - if the European Union were to agree to it - would allow time for both a general election and a people's vote "to consider whether, in the face of what we now know about a possible Brexit deal, the UK wants to go ahead with Brexit or not".  "By having both an election and a people's vote we can bring representative democracy and direct democracy together again and begin the long but vital process of rebuilding a functioning democratic politics and ending divisions, anger and the risk of violence," they wrote.

Scotland Needs A Say Over Immigration Policy to Tackle Looming Labour Shortage, Think Tank Says

Scotland should be given a significant say over its immigration policy to address a future shortage of workers likely aggravated by Brexit, according to a new report by a Scottish think tank.  EU migration to Scotland has to some extent offset the effects of an ageing population and one of the lowest birth rates in the developed world, says the paper by The David Hume Institute, titled ‘Wealth of the nation: Who will do the jobs?’. But overseas immigration, already lower than to England, has dropped sharply in recent years.  “Now that net migration is falling and we face the coming challenge of Brexit, we find ourselves once again facing a major demographic challenge,” the authors write.  By 2041, Scotland’s pensionable-age population is projected to increase by 265,000, while the working-age population is seen rising only by 38,000, according to National Records of Scotland. Net migration from overseas, or inflows minus outflows, is forecast to decline substantially in the next few years. The report says part of the solution will come from future technological change and from encouraging more people of working age to enter the labour market. But even together these will not be enough to cover expected shortages. Immigration must, therefore, be a priority,” it notes.  Some parts of Scotland’s economy depend heavily on foreign workers. One example is the shops, hotels and restaurants sector. Another is what is known as the caring, leisure and other services industry.  Given the ageing population, the health and social care sector is likely to be particularly affected by labour shortages,” the authors write.  In turn, the ageing of Scotland’s population will be partly determined by immigration, since foreign nationals living in the country are on average considerably younger than the domestic population.  Given Scotland’s peculiarities, including a lower birth rate than in all other parts of the UK, it needs an immigration policy tailored to its needs, the report argues.  The report goes on to examine the example of Canada where individual provinces design the immigration policy together with the federal government, taking into account their distinct needs.  “Evidence suggests this approach has mitigated depopulation in some provinces and has had a significant economic benefit,” the paper says.  The authors stress they do not suggest importing Canada’s immigration model wholesale but, rather, using it as a starting point for designing a system for the UK and Scotland.

Major Military Exercise Joint Warrior Set for Scotland

Thousands of military personnel are to take part in a major UK-led military exercise starting this week.  Joint Warrior is held twice a year, in spring and autumn.  Starting on Saturday and continuing until 17 October, the second of this year's exercises will involve warships, submarines and aircraft.  Most of the training takes place around Scotland's north, north west and north east coasts and will include live-firing at ranges such as Cape Wrath.  The Clyde will be a gathering point for many of the ships involved and some of the aircraft will operate from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray.  The Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army will be joined by forces from 16 other nations, including France, Denmark, Estonia, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the US.

Kirk Moderator Visits Wick Crew
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has applauded the “professionalism” of the RNLI in Caithness.  Rt Rev Colin Sinclair visited Wick Lifeboat Station to meet crew members and hear about their vitally important work.  “We were very impressed by the quiet dedication, good humour and professionalism of all those who serve in the RNLI ,” said the Moderator, who has ancestral links to the county.  It was a real privilege to visit them and hear about their work”  Mr Sinclair, who was accompanied by his wife Ruth, also visited Wick Harbour master and the Beatrice Wind Farm Office on Friday as part of a Presbytery of Caithness tour.  The seven day presbytery visit provided the Moderator with a unique insight into the life of the local church and the communities it serves.  He visited Caithness General Hospital, North Highland College UHI and led worship at Halkirk and Westerdale Parish Church and St Peter’s and St Andrew’s Church in Thurso. Rev Andrew Barrie, minister of Pultneytown and Thrumster Church, said: “It has been a great privilege to welcome the Moderator and his wife in Caithness.  They fitted in so well and found many connections here.  We are very thankful for all the institutions and organisations who opened their doors to them and were able to show the very best of our county.”

Ultrasound Breakthrough 'Can Spot Cancer Earlier'

A new ultrasound technique is being hailed as the biggest breakthrough in the technology for more than 60 years.  Developed at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, it produces images that are 10 times better than current scans.  Researchers believe its ability to precisely pinpoint tumours could one day replace biopsies in investigating suspected cancer cases.  The method, which is about to begin trials in human patients, uses existing scanning equipment.  In 1958, Prof Ian Donald of Glasgow University pioneered the use of ultrasound to reveal how babies were developing in their mothers' wombs.  Ultrasound waves are beyond the reach of human hearing. Prof Donald used the pulsed waves to build images that had never been seen before.  Women at Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital were the first to benefit from a technique which is now commonplace worldwide.  But ultrasound scans have their limitations.  Even at their best, they look fuzzy. Sometimes they are so indistinct it can be difficult to tell if the unborn child is a girl or a boy.  Dr Vassilis Sboros says diagnosing whether it conceals a tumour is helped by an image that is 10 times more detailed than before.  "In the future, this is the kind of picture we will all be looking at in the clinic," he says. "As if we can look inside our bodies with a microscope, anywhere.  This is the first technology that can claim to have a near-microscopic quality."  The scanning technology itself is not new. The innovation has come in physics, statistics - and bubbles.  Clinicians have long used microbubbles to increase the contrast of ultrasound images.  These are typically tiny capsules of hydrocarbon gas in a lipid shell, each bubble a fraction of a millimetre across.  Clouds of them are injected into a patient's bloodstream to diagnose liver and other diseases.  The team first used physics to observe how individual microbubbles behaved.  "They're very small, about the size of a red blood cell, so they go everywhere the blood goes" says physicist Dr Mairead Butler.  "We've looked at bubbles in tubes, out of tubes, one by one."  Once the physics of microbubbles had been established, Dr Weiping Lu used statistics and computing power to reveal what ultrasound scans had not been able to show before.  Dr Lu says it helps to think of each microbubble as a car in traffic. He used artificial intelligence to create a powerful algorithm that can track each one, and reveal the busiest routes.  "A car is like a microbubble," he says, "and the road network is blood vessel. What you're going to do is singly point at those cars. Then you can work out their trajectories. Put them together statistically and then you can see how fast, how slow.  How wide the road is, how narrow it is, where are the junctions - and where something is abnormal."  It's a powerful analogy, although Dr Lu says the reality is far more complex.  Just as tracking individual cars would build a road map, this signal processing produces an image of blood vessels by watching where microbubbles go.  If they go somewhere unexpected, it could be a sign of cancer - and one detectable much earlier than before.  These are super-resolution images showing details far beyond the physical limitations of the scanner.  In normal conditions, scanning a patient's abdomen would show details no smaller than a millimetre across. The new images are already 10 times better and the team expect to be able to refine the process to see yet smaller features.  Trials on human patients are expected to begin before the end of 2019 at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.  Consultant urological surgeon Prof Alan McNeill says it's "exciting" that the Western will be the first hospital in the world to assess the technique.  "A method that maps the blood flow of the tumour accurately could well provide new information about the disease state that allows us to better identify those men who need urgent treatment and those who don't," he explains.  Prostate patients are being tested first because a patient's gland is typically removed entirely during surgery. This means the accuracy of the super-resolution images can be compared with the real thing.  But the method is expected to be applied to more than prostates - or even cancer.  Most important diseases change the body's blood flow, which means this technique could be used across medicine.  Details of the breakthrough have been published in the Journal of Investigative Radiology during the Herot-Watt's "year of health" which is designed to showcase multidisciplinary research.

Monster the Loch Race is A Real Record-breaker As Hundreds Hit Loch Ness

Rowers and paddlers from all over the world have pitted themselves against the waters of Loch Ness in a record-breaking challenge.  Around 270 participants gathered in Fort Augustus on Saturday for the second edition of the Monster the Loch race, with a variety of human-powered boats competing.  More than 60 vessels – which included rowing boats, kayaks and pedalos – set off on the 21-mile race along Loch Ness, setting new records in a variety of categories.  Team GB8 set a new rowing record on the loch by completing it in two hours and four minutes, with a double kayak (2h 20m) and a coastal rowing boat (2h 24m) beating the existing record of 2hrs 26.  Monster the Loch organiser, Pete Wells, said the race successfully built upon its debut, and that he hopes to attracting 100 boats next year. He said: “People came from as far as Australia, New Zealand and Peru to participate, alongside people from down the street.  Racers enjoyed the views around the loch and we had an absolutely beautiful evening, despite having a rough time around Urquhart Castle: one of the boats was about to sink!” Competitors also raised funds for charities, and the event was supported by the RNLI.

Highland Council Urges Residents and Communities to Voice Their Views Over BT's Plans to Axe 110 Highland Phone Boxes;
Time is running out for residents and communities over plans to axe more than 100 phone boxes across the Highlands.  The second phase of consultation is now under way over BT's plans to scrap 110 of its public payphones in locations as far flung as Altnaharra in Sutherland, Applecross in Wester Ross and Fort Augustus in the Great Glen.  Dozens of other cities, towns and villages are also at risk of losing at least one phone box.  And Highland Council is urging people to get in touch and share their views over the at risk boxes.  The second phase of the consultation will run until October 24 with responses to be sent by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Regulation set out by Ofcom, the independent regulator, states that local authorities have the responsibility to co-ordinate consultations to gather views about proposed payphone removals.  Following 136 responses to the first phase of the consultation, this feedback has been published online at the Council website at https://www.highland.gov.uk/consultations  The council is encouraging members of the public to look at BT’s proposals and comment, giving as much information as possible about the public call boxes which have been proposed for removal.  Following the end of the consultation, a final notice of decision will be published which will outline Highland Council’s position on the proposed removals.  Highland Council Leader, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: “Let’s be clear that these are BT’s proposals that we are consulting on and Highland Council is keen to know public opinion on all of these phones.  It’s important that as many people as possible reply to the survey so that we can build an accurate picture of individuals’ and community views and needs. People living in the areas of proposed closures are in the best position to know the impact the removal of a payphone would have on them and their community.”

New Gaelic Heritage Visitor Experience At Arnol Blackhouse
Visitors to the Blackhouse in Arnol, run by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), can now enjoy free sessions to explore Gaelic heritage and culture related to the historic site. Local volunteers, who have researched and created the content as part of HES’ Gaelic Volunteer Programme, will deliver the sessions and explore their interpretation of the Gaelic heritage and culture associated with the Blackhouse and surrounding community.  The volunteers have been encouraged to bring their own skills to the programme and deliver creative and informative sessions through music, poetry, storytelling, crafts or talks.  The sessions aim to highlight the central importance of Gaelic heritage, not only to understand the Blackhouse, but to the culture of the surrounding area.  The sessions will primarily be delivered in English, but with every session there will be the opportunity to learn a few words of Gaelic. The Gaelic Volunteer Programme is part of HES’ Gaelic Language Plan 2018-2023, with the Blackhouse the first of the heritage body’s Properties in Care to provide volunteer-delivered Gaelic heritage information.  Brian Ford, Regional Tourism and Community Manager at HES, said: “The Gaelic Volunteer Programme has allowed us to continue to support and promote Gaelic heritage.  We wanted the volunteers to bring their own knowledge and talents to the table to create bespoke sessions, from storytelling to song, to add an extra layer to the existing visitor experience and hope that this will also offer a new opportunity for the local community.  The sessions are led completely by the volunteers, which allowed them to be creative and reflect their own personality, and we’re delighted to support and nurture this creativity as part of our wider volunteer programme.  We hope to continue to expand the Gaelic Volunteer Programme at the Blackhouse and welcome anyone interested in Gaelic heritage and culture to get in touch to find out how they can get involved.”  Jane Ryder, Chair of HES Board, said: “The passion our volunteers have for the Blackhouse and sharing Gaelic heritage and culture with visitors from around the world is evident through the stories they share.  I encourage anyone interested in learning more about the rich history and heritage of the Western Isles to experience this new offering at the Blackhouse to find out about what life was like for those who lived in these historic houses, and how it shaped communities for generations.  The Blackhouse, or taigh-dubh as it’s known in Gaelic, was built between 1852 and 1895 and was the home of a Hebridean crofting family and their animals.

Scottish Crown Estate £1.7m Boost for the Western Isles

Coastal communities in Eilean Siar are to benefit from £1.7 million of revenue generated from the Scottish Crown Estate’s marine assets in the first year of devolved management.  Agreed with COSLA, the new arrangement means that 26 local authorities will receive an allocation from the net revenue of the Scottish Crown Estate based on each council’s share of the adjacent sea area.  Announcing Eilean Siar’s allocation, Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “I believe strongly in maximising the benefits of the Scottish Crown Estate for Eilean Siar and our communities across the country.  The allocation of £1.7 million as part of a wider £7.5 million package to support coastal communities the length and breadth of Scotland is the latest step in achieving this.  The new funding arrangement will see coastal communities receive 100% of revenue generated from the Estate’s marine assets out to 12 nautical miles, enabling them to better fund and support local projects and initiatives.  This government is delivering on our commitment to bring financial benefits to communities from the Scottish Crown Estate marine assets and enabling more decisions to be taken at the local level.  I look forward to seeing how councils use this exciting opportunity to benefit their coastal communities.”  The allocation of £7.5 million being made in 2019/20 for coastal community benefit in Scotland is higher than the funding that was previously available under the old Coastal Communities Fund (CCF).  Under round four of the CCF the total amount available to coastal communities in Scotland was £4.2 million for the overall period from 2017 to present.

Building A National Scottish Sound Archive
Bill Dean-Myatt was 12 when he bought his first record in 1948. It was the Woody Woodpecker Song by Danny Kaye and the Andrews Sisters.  "I haven't got that any longer," he admits.  A cousin persuaded him at 13 to listen to something a little more cool, and he acquired his second "78" record, by jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke. That one, he did keep. The cover is framed and on the wall of his home on the outskirts of Birmingham.  In the 70 years which followed, Bill amassed a huge collection of recordings - many of them Scottish and 12,000 of which are now in the archives of the National Library of Scotland.  While jazz recordings were meticulously documented, he was concerned the music he'd grown up with thanks to his Scottish grandmother - music hall, folk songs, pipe tunes and Gaelic songs - were being forgotten.  "It struck me, we knew all about American jazz and blues, country, classical and opera but no-one knew anything about the vernacular music of England or Scotland."  He wrote to every Scottish university and received encouragement from only one academic, David Hutchison at Glasgow Caledonian University. At the age of 70, he completed not just a degree but a Scottish vernacular discography from 1888-1960.  It was at that point he offered a quarter of his 12,000 recordings to the National Library of Scotland. It includes recordings dating back to 1898 - the first known commercial pipe record, bagpipe music and Gaelic songs, music hall numbers and spoken word. Artists include Harry Gordon, Harry Lauder, Bob Smith, Willie Kemp and Heloise Russell-Ferguson.  There are also many recordings from labels like Beltona, recording traditional music since 1923, Scottish Records from Dundee, Gaelphon in Stornoway and Waverley Records which specialised in accordion music. He says he hopes his donation will encourage other collectors to expand his collection into a national sound archive.  "For every record I have, there are plenty more I don't have. Apart from Harry Lauder, Will Fyfe and Jimmy Shand, everything was sold only in Scotland, so many labels remained obscure and there's lots of material out there still to be found. People often dismiss early sound recordings because they're scratchy, they're not clear, they're the wrong speed or the musician is playing at the wrong tempo. Think of an archaeologist on a dig who finds a bit of broken pottery. Does he say this is a bit of coarse earthenware and throw it away? No, he uses it to date the site and build up information.  It's no different to a record. You listen to a singer from the 1900s, it's a different style, you're listening to the history of singing."  He says letting his collection go was emotional. Now 86, he's in ill health and is anxious for his collection to find a good home.  "Emotionally it was difficult. They're like my children, like my family. Almost every record has a story - where you found it, the person you bought it from, the way you searched for a long time and then found a copy. They're full of memories for me.  But the worst thing I could imagine is if I pop my clogs and my two daughters come in and say, 'Oh my God what will we do with this? It's all Scottish stuff and who wants that?'  They'd have to sell to a dealer and get £50 for the lot, or split it up, or dump it in a skip and it becomes landfill. Or I do something constructive with it. My daughters are happy for it to be preserved and my name will live on in the Dean-Myatt Collection.  I feel it's important to Scotland to have its own national sound archive and that it collects its own vernacular music, irrespective of fashions or whether they like it or not. I hope this will form the nucleus of a national collection and generate enough interest to get other collectors to donate."  So far, the National Library of Scotland has catalogued 3,000 of the 12,000 works and the process of cleaning and digitising is under way.  "It's a bit like a book you can't read yet," says Alastair Bell, the library's sound collections curator.  The sound is currently locked into the format and we have to process it. Some will be available for click and play next year. Others will take longer to clear copyright and it may be that people will have to listen in the library. But eventually, we hope to digitise the entire collection and these fragile formats can go back into storage to preserve them for the future." The National Library of Scotland holds more than 31 million items, dating back over a thousand years. The sound archive contains 60,000 recordings including the Dean-Myatt Collection.

Scotch Whisky Targeted by United States Tariffs

Scotch whisky exported to the United States is to face a tariff of 25% from 18 October.  The new duty is part of a raft of measures being imposed by the US to mark its displeasure at subsidies given to aircraft maker Airbus.   Other goods being targeted include cashmere sweaters, dairy products, pork, olives, biscuits, books, and some machinery.  Scotch whisky exports to the US last year were worth $1.3bn (£1bn).  The US had been given the go-ahead to impose tariffs on $7.5bn (£6.1bn) of goods it imports from the EU.  It is the latest chapter in a 15-year battle between the US and the EU over illegal subsidies for planemakers Airbus and rival Boeing.  The ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) will mean tariffs on EU goods ranging from aircraft to agricultural products.  Brussels has threatened to retaliate similarly against US goods.

Inverclyde Shipyard to Be Bought by Scottish Government

Ferguson Marine is to be nationalised after administrators rejected three commercial bids for the shipyard.  The Scottish government, which is operating the firm under a management agreement, is now set to take formal ownership of the yard.  Ministers said the three commercial bids were rejected because nationalisation was a better outcome for the yard and creditors.  Nearly £50m of taxpayer loans to Ferguson Marine have been written off.  A statement issued by the Scottish government said administrators had concluded that three indicative offers for Ferguson Marine were either "not capable of being executed or do not represent a better outcome for creditors".  Ferguson went into administration following a dispute with Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd - which buys and leases CalMac ships on behalf of the Scottish government - over the construction of two £97m ferries.  Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: "We have always been clear that we want to complete the vessels, secure jobs and give the yard a future.  Administrators have concluded that despite other bids being submitted for the yard, the Scottish government's offer presents the best outcome for creditors.  While there is still more to be done, our actions have ensured that there will be a future for Fergusons."  Administrators are now in discussion with Scottish ministers to agree final terms of a sale and expect this to be executed within the next four weeks.  And earlier this month Ferguson shipyard was part of the consortium which won the £1.25bn contract to build five Type 31 frigates for the Royal Navy.  However, it is unclear how much of this work will be carried out at the Port Glasgow facility.

PM 'Can't Be Trusted' on Brexit Delay, Court of Session Told
The UK Westminster government "can't be trusted" to comply with the law aimed at avoiding a no-deal Brexit, Scotland's highest civil court has been told.  The Court of Session is being asked to spell out what sanctions would apply if ministers fail to comply with the so-called Benn Act.  Documents confirmed Boris Johnson would write a letter seeking a Brexit delay if a deal is not agreed by 19 October.  But the petitioners said this was contradicted by other statements.  Under the Benn Act, passed last month, the prime minister must write to the EU, requesting a Brexit extension if no deal is signed off by Parliament by 19 October, unless MPs agree to a no-deal Brexit.  Suspicion that Mr Johnson may seek to circumvent this law has prompted a new case in the Court of Session.  Businessman Dale Vince, QC Jo Maugham and SNP MP Joanna Cherry have asked the judge to set out the penalty for non-compliance.  The government's lawyer Andrew Webster QC told the court "it could not be clearer" that it intended to comply with the law.  Mr Webster argued there was no need for an order to be made forcing a letter to be sent, because the court had it on record that it would be done.  Asked by judge Lord Pentland why they would not make written undertakings under oath to allay the concerns of the petitioners, Mr Webster said this was not necessary.  He also argued a court order could "ruin" the government's negotiation position with the EU, adding: "It would be quite inappropriate for the court to enter the negotiating arena, by saying what can be done."  But Aidan O'Neill QC, for the petitioners, claimed Mr Johnson's previous statements went against what had been said to the court through the documents.  He referred to promises made by the prime minister that he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than send a letter requesting an extension, and that the UK will leave on 31 October "do or die".  Mr O'Neill said: "We can't trust this government, in light of statements it has made, that it will comply with the law."  Lord Pentland will deliver his ruling on Monday.