Some Scottish News & Views Issue # 531

Issue # 531                                         Week ending Saturday 21st  December 2019

Sometimes We Hear Voices in Our Heads But Pilots May Soon Hear Them All Year
by Iain MacIver Courtesy of the Press & Journal

We all love this time before the festivities - going for a meal, a nippy sweety and a laugh. Well, some do. A few years ago, Mrs X picked me up from a very enjoyable party and we got talking to these two guys in downtown Stornoway. Apparently I asked them if they were twins. They said no and why was I asking. I said: “Because I think mummy dressed you both in the same clothes.” One replied: “OK, that’s enough. We shall require the driver to take a breath test and you must produce your documents in the next seven days.”

Oops. I’m can remember when everyone thought having one for the road was a cracking idea. One for the ditch was not so much a saying as a dire prediction. Young people would think you were off your head ìf you said that nowadays. Funny how things change. Yet we all feel the same as we did then. Sometimes I say I am ageing like a fine wine and that is when herself insists I’m ageing like a fine banana.

Each year has its popular Christmas gifts and toys. Most of the boys’ toys seem to be remote-controlled robots. That hasn’t changed a great deal from when some of us were ankle biters decades ago but now they are based on the online game Fortnite and Baby Shark. Remote control is definitely coming back into fashion and Highlands and Islands Airports is going to give us all one of these presents soon. Remind me to tell you all about that.
The most popular gifts are not ones I would ever buy - like a Dutch oven. It is one of this Yuletide’s fave gifts with certain John Lewis customers - the ones with bulging wallets. It’s just a cast iron pot with a temperature gauge “to give you cooking confidence”. It says it is made from 100 per cent recycled disused metal products. I am sure it is a thing of beauty but the truth is that this £275 pot is just melted down old railway tracks.

Last Christmas, everybody wanted those smart speakers. I’m not sure I like them because some people reckon they listen in to your conversations as well as play Fairytale of Stornoway by Peat and Diesel as many times as you like. After Christmas dinner last year, Mrs X announced that she’d bought a smart speaker but I had to find it first. I spent the rest of the night running round the house asking the Christmas tree and every other object: “Excoosh me. Are you Alexa?”

She is not so keen on technology. At this time of year she will tell jokes to her mates which are always at men’s expense. One of her favourites is: “What do you do if you want to receive a text message every three minutes for an hour? Send your husband to do the shopping.” Oh, how these women laugh. Bless ‘em.

We can shop and there’s no reason why women cannot do whatever men do. There may be things, though, that women choose not to do. I was reminded of that when my daughter passed her driving test and she was putting fuel in her wee car by herself. She had seen me doing it plenty of times but this was her first time. She had almost filled up when she turned to me and said: “Do women shake the petrol pump nozzle after filling the tank or is that just a man thing?” Hey hon, I’m shaking that gas.

Oh yes, that present from Highlands and Islands Airports which I mentioned. HIAL is in the news because it is shaking up its airports by looking for a company to install its planned remote control equipment in the air traffic towers in airports at Sumburgh, Dundee, Wick, John O’Groats, Kirkwall, Benbecula and Stornoway. The plan is these airports are going to be controlled from Inverness so there will be no need for air traffic controllers anywhere - except in a bunker in Inverness.

Because I used to work in RAF air traffic control, I am very sad about any local controller being replaced by a wee knob in Inverness - a wee knob marked Stornoway Transmit, you understand. When is it going to happen? No one seems very sure. All we do know is that last year HIAL said: “Timescales for the implementation of the project have still to be fully discussed and approved.” That is HIAL-speak for: “We still haven’t got the foggiest idea.”  If there are no human controllers in the control tower at Stornoway, it will make life interesting. No one will be there to see a plane coming in. Imagine the Loganair plane from Inverness coming across the Minch. “Stornoway, this is Loganair 151. We will be with you in five minutes.” The disembodied voice from Inverness booms: “Loganair 151, where exactly are you?” The pilot says: “We are passing a cloud that looks like a lion.” The control tower voice replies: “Can you be a bit more specific?” The pilot says: “Yeah, it’s like Simba.”

Watchdog Orders Gaelic Language Body Bòrd Na Gàidhlig to Improve
Gaelic language body Bòrd na Gàidhlig has been told to make "significant improvements" to how it is run.  The Inverness-based organisation works with the Scottish government to promote Gaelic throughout Scotland.  Public body watchdog, the Auditor General, has raised concerns about its "ineffective leadership" and "a lack of transparency in decision-making". Bòrd na Gàidhlig accepted the findings and said it has embarked on a comprehensive programme of change.  The board employs about 19 staff and has a net expenditure of £5.3m in 2018-19.  Auditor General Caroline Gardner criticised the organisation for "inadequate" planning of its workforce and a "poor" organisational culture.  She said: "Gaelic is an important part of Scotland's culture.  But all public bodies, irrespective of their size, must demonstrate clear and effective governance and make key decisions in an open and transparent way.  The Bòrd's leadership team and board must deliver significant improvements in the issues raised to establish the trust and confidence of staff and stakeholders, including the parliament and the public."  Bòrd na Gàidhlig said the changes include reviewing its remit, governance and management structure.  It has also pledged to develop a culture of greater openness and transparency.  Mairi MacInnes, Bòrd na Gàidhlig interim chairwoman, said: "This report has highlighted many of the challenges we have faced during the past three years, particularly in terms of the volume of work we have to deliver every day, our recruitment challenges and our limited resources.  We remain committed to completing our programme of change, to help Gaelic flourish in Scotland and for Gaelic communities to continue to grow and thrive."

MSP Call Over Life-saving Defibrillators in Schools

North MSP Rhoda Grant is asking Highland Council to confirm whether it has hit its target to fit defibrillators in all its secondary schools in an effort to save more lives.  The Highlands and Islands Labour MSP is continuing her campaign to encourage people to undertake emergency life-saving (ELS) training and to have defibrillators displayed in communities. “There does not appear to be a nationwide consensus on installing defibrillators in all schools and it would still be for a council or individual school to decide,” Mrs Grant said. “Some local authorities in Scotland have already committed to fit defibrillators in their secondary schools and I know Highland Council had set itself a target to have the equipment available at every secondary school by the summer of 2018. I’ve read that in a recent survey three-quarters of people said they wouldn’t be confident to act if they saw someone having a cardiac arrest. More training and greater awareness can change that and save more lives. Mrs Grant added: “I understand pupils are eager to take up the ELS training and I would like to further encourage this by having defibrillators on site at all schools in our region.”  In 2015, following a meeting with Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and Lucky2BHere, Mrs Grant contacted all local authorities in the Highlands and Islands asking if ELS training was being delivered in their schools or if it was something they would be willing to introduce in the future.  “I was heartened by the responses I received at that time from our local authorities, with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar leading the way in the Highlands and Islands by putting ELS on the curriculum,” Mrs Grant said. “When it was announced in April this year that each of Scotland’s 32 local authorities had pledged to ensure that every secondary pupil will now leave school having been trained in life-saving CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) I was absolutely delighted as this will undoubtedly save lives.”  The MSP followed up her awareness drive later this year when she tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament congratulating Masonic Properties on its community defibrillator project.  The company, in collaboration with the British Heart Foundation, fundraised to buy an automatic external defibrillator for use by the community.The defibrillator is displayed on the car park wall of the Masonic Club in Gordon Terrace, Inverness.  As part of the agreement with the British Heart Foundation, the company has provided local residents and businesses with training on the necessity of quick application of the defibrillator and the administration of CPR. Mrs Grant said at the time “This is a great demonstration of community spirit and the company are to be thanked for initiating it. I was eager to attend the training myself and keen to help with getting the word out to nearby householders and businesses.”

Is Scottish Labour's Position on Independence Changing?

Scottish Labour is having a very public debate about its future in the wake of a humbling defeat in the general election. So, could the party be about to back a second independence referendum?  The Labour Party is searching for answers - and a new leader - after a devastating night of general election results, which consigned the party to five more years of opposition at Westminster and near irrelevance in Scotland.  North of the border, Labour lost six of their seven seats and almost a third of their voters from 2017, taking less than 20% of the vote for the first time in the modern era.  The party which once dominated Scottish politics hasn't just been supplanted at the top by the SNP - they have now fallen far behind the Conservatives as the third party.  Leader Richard Leonard has promised a "swift evidence-based review".  For all Mr Leonard would probably prefer this to be an internal review, many of his MSPs, councillors and former MPs have already started the debate in the press and on social media.  During the election campaign, Labour's position on the holding of a second independence referendum softened somewhat.  In light of the SNP's landslide win in the general election, some have suggested the party needs to go further and come off the fence entirely.  To be clear, we are not yet at the point where senior Labour figures are actually backing independence. But many seem to be coming around to the idea of backing a referendum. Former MP Ged Killen, who lost his Rutherglen and Hamilton West seat to the SNP, wrote on Twitter that he had "campaigned on a promise to vote against indyref2 - but I lost".  He said: "The SNP made massive gains on a promise to hold another referendum, and as democrats we must accept it even if we don't like it."  This was echoed by Labour councillor Alison Evison, who chairs council umbrella body Cosla. She said that a "fragile" democracy could be strengthened by "enabling the voice of Scotland to be heard through its formal processes, and that must mean a referendum on independence".  A number of prominent Labour MSPs have suggested that the decision on whether there is a referendum should be put in the hands of the Scottish Parliament.  Monica Lennon, the party's health spokeswoman, said that "if Boris Johnson isn't prepared to grant this request [for indyref2], he should allow the Scottish Parliament to decide, the future of Scotland must be decided by the people of Scotland".  Neil Findlay, who is stepping down as an MSP at those elections, has also said that "we cannot deny the people of Scotland a referendum where the majority is calling for it".  Be he added that "there would need to be a clear proposition - something that is impossible until we know the outcome of Brexit, and that will not happen in 2020". By necessity, this would kick the referendum off into 2021.  Mr Leonard has also phrased his thinking in the context of the 2021 elections, and how Labour needs to go into that campaign offering "a clear prospectus for a transformed society and economy".  As well as having a position on a referendum, though, Labour are going to have to decide which side they are on when it comes to the issue itself.  On election night, several Labour figures observed that the party was standing in the middle of the road on the big constitutional issues - that being an ideal place to get run over.  The SNP and the Conservatives have found success (one more than the other) by occupying firm positions on either side of the binary issues - one is the party of independence, the other is the party of the union. In 2019, one was pro-EU, the other pro-Brexit.  Labour meanwhile were caught in the middle on both issues, plaintively asking if voters wouldn't rather talk about something else, like inequality or the NHS.  And yet, some still see a third way through the independence debate, a compromise position of sorts - federalism.  This would rebuild the structure and constitution of the UK so that it more resembles the United States or Australia, with formal separation of powers between state governments and the central one.  Paul Sweeney, who lost his Glasgow North East seat to the SNP, said that "the British state as it is currently constructed is not sustainable", calling for a "radical" change. He said: "A more federal relationship is something that urgently needs to happen, and I think we need to be galvanised to present an argument that that needs to happen."  Almost as important as where Labour ends up on indyref2 is who is actually seen to make the decision.  Some in the party north of the border are concerned that they have become too closely entwined with the UK party leadership, giving Scottish Labour less ability to appeal specifically to Scots.  This was a key concern voiced by Johann Lamont when she quit as party leader in 2014, accusing Westminster colleagues of treating Scotland like a "branch office". This was something Kezia Dugdale, never a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, sought to rectify in her time in charge.  But some think the party - now led by a Corbyn ally in Mr Leonard - has drifted too much back into that "branch office" role.  As much as the party would like to take a moment to lick their wounds and regroup, time is not on their side. Nicola Sturgeon is heading into a constitutional confrontation with Boris Johnson, and is pushing to hold a referendum inside the next year.  If Labour are to play a meaningful part in the debate to come and avoid being caught in the middle of the road, they will need to come to a position quickly.

Fun Day in Thurso with Pipe Band

Thurso Pipe Band ventured on to the town's streets for a special day of festive fun.  Along with their traditional Highland wear were Santa hats and Christmas themed jumpers, bringing a riot of colour and fun to the centre of town on an otherwise dreich day.  Speaking on behalf of the band, David Manson said: "The band has seen an upsurge in members with 13 at the last count as well as several former members re-joining.  Several had their first outing at the Christmas fun day."  The weather was not great but the band brought some cheer.
Members of the band stopped to play in Thurso's precinct area.  David sent out a debt of gratitude to collectors Paul, Josh, Conner and Leo and also to photographer James Ellis for capturing the scene. Money collected went towards the town's Christmas Lighting Fund. “We have currently undertaken a fund raising campaign to kit new members out as well as upgrading our own kit," he said.

New Non-stick Hull for Loch Seaforth Ferry Will Serve Up Environmental Benefits

A new high tech paint coating is set to make CalMac ferry MV Loch Seaforth more fuel-efficient.  Vessel owner Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) carried out the repainting work during recent annual dry dock maintenance in Birkenhead.  The work involved completely blasting the hull back to bare steel and repainting with a new low emission, fuel saving coating.  The silicone based paint, called Jotun Seaquest, uses cutting edge anti fouling technology to keep the vessel free of barnacles and other debris that attaches to the hull while at sea.  Director of Operations, Robert Morrison, said: “This new non-stick hull uses a coating that makes it much harder for organisms to attach themselves to the vessel, making it more streamlined.  “This means it requires less fuel to maintain its normal operational speed.”  A further environmental benefit is the coating is free from harmful chemicals, so unlike standard anti-fouling coatings avoids pollutants leaching into the sea.  MV Loch Seaforth carries out approximately 2500 sailings between Ullapool and Stornoway every year, around 132,000 sea miles annually.  John Salton, Fleet Manager at CMAL said: “The new coating will help to reduce future dry dock periods and hopefully allow a quicker return to service.  We will monitor the performance of the new coating over the next year and we may consider applying it to other vessels in the fleet.”  The 7800-tonne MV Loch Seaforth was launched in 2014 and can carry more than 700 passengers and 143 cars.  The vessel is the largest in CalMac’s 33 strong fleet that supports 49 routes to island and remote mainland locations across the west coast.  As well as general overhaul maintenance work, the vessel also had a main engine strip down and service during her time in dry dock.

Boris Johnson to 'Carefully Consider' Indyref2 Request

The prime minister will give "careful consideration" to Nicola Sturgeon's request to be handed the powers to hold a second independence referendum, the Scottish secretary has insisted.  Alister Jack said the UK government would formally reply to the first minister's request in the new year.  But he said 55% of Scottish voters had backed parties that are opposed to independence in last week's election.  Ms Sturgeon says she wants to hold a referendum next year.  She wants the UK government to agree to a so-called section 30 order, which would give the Scottish Parliament the power to hold a referendum and put its legality beyond doubt - as happened ahead of the 2014 referendum when Scotland voted to remain in the UK by 55% to 45%.  Ms Sturgeon sent documents to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday outlining her case for indyref2, arguing that she now has an "unarguable" mandate after her SNP won 48 of Scotland's 59 seats in last week's general election.  She has warned Mr Johnson that a "flat no" to her request - which is widely expected to be his response - will not be the end of the matter, and has predicted that the prime minister will eventually have no choice but to agree to her request.  But she has also ruled out holding an unofficial referendum similar to the one in Catalonia two years ago, arguing that it would not lead to independence.  In her letter to the prime minister, Ms Sturgeon said he had a "duty" to respond in a "considered and reasonable manner", adding: "I therefore look forward to discussing matters further with you in the new year."  Speaking to the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme on Friday, Mr Jack said the prime minister would not mark Ms Sturgeon's letter with "return to sender" - as he has previously pledged he would.  He added: "He has received a letter and he is going to give it careful consideration, and will reply in the new year.  The result of the general election was that the desire to support separatist parties has not increased over five years and for that reason we believe that the numbers dictate Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom and we should look after the people, the majority of people, who democratically cast their votes to stay part of the United Kingdom."  The Scottish secretary said both Ms Sturgeon and her predecessor Alex Salmond had signed an agreement pledging to respect the result ahead of the 2014 independence referendum, and had gone on to talk about that vote being a "once in a generation" event during the campaign. And he suggested that his opposition to another referendum would not change even if the SNP wins a majority at the next Scottish Parliament election in 2021.  Mr Jack said: "I don't believe that it's a democratic mandate because the Scottish people decided in 2014 and that was only five years ago.  We're coming out of the European Union, we've got an optimistic future in front of us, we need to all be in the rowing boat together pulling on the same oars, doing trade deals, improving our position in the world economically, and benefiting from one United Kingdom."  Asked about opinion polls that have suggested an increase in support for independence, he said: "I don't believe spikes or single polls or a one-off election should be allowed to undermine an enduring and strong union that hugely benefits Scotland in the United Kingdom.  "To wrench the UK apart, you need to see a long-term position at 60%. You don't need to see a single one-off election, no."  The Conservative's opposition to another independence referendum was clear in the election campaign — "no to indyref2" was emblazoned across their Scottish manifesto.  In government, both Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have said the concept of the 2014 referendum as a "once in a generation" experience should be respected.  However, they have left themselves some room for manoeuvre. There is next to no chance of them agreeing to a vote next year - but they have not adopted a position set in stone for the five year term of the UK parliament.  Why? Because as Alister Jack pointed out last month, there are Holyrood elections in 2021 which could influence their thinking.  If the SNP win an outright majority - as they did in 2011 - having promised another independence vote, it would be difficult for UK ministers to ignore.  The same may be true if the SNP and Greens form a combined pro-independence majority, although there would be an argument about that.  The Conservatives will campaign hard to avoid these outcomes and we've yet to see what they'll offer Scotland in an effort to persuade voters to stick with the UK.  But ultimately, as the former Tory cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell said this week, calls for indyref2 cannot be put off forever if Scotland keeps backing the SNP.

Cape Wrath Challenge Has Run its Course
After losing its official status as a marathon – because of the number of potholes on the route – the Cape Wrath Challenge is to finish after 20 years.  It is not closing due to a lack of popularity, in fact it is over subscribed every year, attracting around 200 runners and their families every May.  But organisers Durness Active Health say a lack of volunteers has caused it to decide that 2021 will be the last challenge. It will also mark 20 years of the event, which is a week-long series of runs culminating in the famous Cape Wrath Marathon. Runners from around the globe have made their way to Sutherland to enter the gruelling event.  However this year the marathon lost its official road status.  In March organisers were told by Scottish Athletics that it can no longer call itself a “road marathon” after being ruled out because of potholes. They are so deep and numerous on the 11-mile long road up to the Cape Wrath Lighthouse that the governing body says there is not one continuous road surface.  In fact runners would have to weave around the pot holes so much, one said they would end up running more than the official 26-mile, 385 yard distance.  Durness Active Health recently invited local residents to an “extraordinary meeting” to discuss the future. A spokesman said: “The challenge was originally expected to have a 10-year lifespan and while it has gone from strength to strength over the years, the responsibility of organising it has fallen on an ever decreasing group of volunteers.  It is with great regret and much sadness that we, the trustees of Durness Active Health have voted unanimously that the final Cape Wrath Challenge will be held in May 2021 – the event’s 20th anniversary.  We know that this will be disappointing news for many of our regular and loyal runners but we must stress that this decision has not been taken lightly.  We would like to thank everybody who has attended and helped over the years, and we hope that you will support us in making sure that our final two events of 2020 and 2021 are as successful and enjoyable as ever.”  He added: “There is a tremendous amount of goodwill in the villagefor the event in terms of marshalling, catering etc and we are so grateful to those people for their support over the years.” Runners took to social media to show their support and sadness or example  Judy Mills said: “All I can say is a huge thank you for so many years of the Cape Wrath Challenge and especially to the people of Durness for allowing us into your homes and into your lives.  We have made so many friends through this amazing event.  We were there at the start and we will be there at the end.”

Ten-year-old Soap Entrepreneur Cleans Up with Expansion Plans

A 10-year-old soap-making entrepreneur hopes to expand her business from the family kitchen to a converted outbuilding to cope with rising demand.  Amelia Milton from Perthshire started Smelleez when she was seven, as part of a school competition.  She now sells her homemade scented soaps at local farmers' markets and in shops across Scotland. Amelia told BBC Radio Scotland's Kaye Adams that soap making was easy "when you've got the hang of it". She said that she had originally considered starting a sweet business but chose soap as "everyone needs to use it".  Amelia said she now devoted "a lot" of time to the business, which has expanded to sell body scrubs and soap for dogs.  She said: "I'm home-educated, so I can go at my own pace with school work.  People are obviously very surprised when they realise I own the business and make the soap."  Her mother Margaret said she helped her daughter "facilitating" her ideas, while Amelia's father "does the hefty lifting."  She said that Amelia's business knowledge complemented her studies at home. She said: "It brings in so many elements of maths, science, art and design.  We quite often find in terms of maths, she is sitting looking at a profit and loss account or a cash flow forecast, so she has context to those numbers."  Margaret said the family were now considering converting one of their outbuildings into a soap factory "so that I can get my kitchen back." She said she asked her daughter two questions when Amelia was initially planning the business.  She said: "One was, do you know how to make soap. and she said no, but I can YouTube it.  And I asked 'why soap', and she said because everyone needs it and that means I'll have a lot of customers."  Amelia recently won the Rising Star award at this year's Courier Business Awards.  Margaret said Amelia had also gained contacts through a Perthshire company supporting new businesses.  Amelia is now developing shampoo bars and conditioner bars.  Margaret said: "She is stocked in a couple of zero-waste shops because we are finding that people are going back to bar soap. She's just had some new soaps that have gone through their cosmetic product safety testing, so she has new things to come onto the market including soor plooms and Irn Bru (scents)".

Preferred Bidder Chosen for Prestwick Airport

The Scottish government has chosen a preferred bidder for Prestwick Airport.  The airport was taken into public ownership in 2013, after being threatened with closure following heavy losses.  Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said he had accepted a recommendation from the airport's operators to appoint a preferred bidder.  However, he said that he was not able yet to disclose the identity of the bidder involved.  In June, the Scottish government announced plans to sell the airport.  Mr Matheson revealed last month that bids for the state-owned airport were still being considered, despite a 4 October deadline having passed. In a written statement on Thursday, the minister said the Scottish government had made it clear in 2013 that it intended to return Prestwick to the private sector "when the time was right".  The Scottish government bought Prestwick Airport for £1 in November 2013 after its former owner, Infratil, earmarked it for closure following heavy losses.  Ministers said at the time that the deal would help protect the airport and safeguard thousands of direct and indirect jobs.  The government has since invested tens of millions of pounds in an effort to turn around its fortunes, including applying to carry out horizontal space launches from its 2,986-metre concrete case runway.  Ryanair remains the only scheduled passenger carrier at Prestwick but the airport is also used for transatlantic freight and for fuel stops.  Mr Matheson said: "We were pleased that the opportunity to buy the business, set out in the Official Journal of the European Union, attracted considerable interest.  Following careful consideration of the bids received, I have accepted a recommendation made by TS Prestwick HoldCo to appoint a preferred bidder.  To protect the integrity of the process I am not able to disclose the identity of the bidder at this time but we remain satisfied that good progress is being made in the interests of the business."  Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Jamie Greene said: "If there is positive news about a potential buyer for Prestwick Airport then that process should be allowed to take course and progress.  But the Scottish Conservatives have been clear since the airport was nationalised, a significant amount of taxpayers' money has been loaned, not gifted, to this business and we fully expect that any deal which comes to fruition will seek to recover that cash."  Last week, Prestwick Airport reported a "major improvement" in its financial performance in the last year.  Accounts filed with Companies House showed the Scottish government-owned airport cut its operating losses from £3m to £1m.

Whisky Firm Fails in Claim to the Name Loch Ness

A whisky business has failed in its bid to claim the name "Loch Ness" just for its whisky products.  Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Limited claimed to have used the name of the famous Highlands loch since 2008.  It sought to have six trademarks of another business, family-owned Loch Ness Spirits Limited, cancelled.  But the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has rejected Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Limited's case following a hearing. Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Limited owns of one of the largest privately-held collections of Scotch whisky casks, and is a producer of Scotch whisky and other products.  It argued it had used the name Loch Ness through a subsidiary company, The Original Loch Ness Whisky Company Limited, since 2008.  The business applied to the IPO to have family-owned Loch Ness Spirits' trademarks using the loch's name, including for a gin and a vodka, invalidated. Among Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Limited's arguments was that the rival business' use of Loch Ness would cause confusion.  Loch Ness Spirits' counter arguments included that a business could not claim exclusive use of a large and well-known geographical area.  It further argued that the "most dominant and memorable" element of its labelling was a "monstrous creature" - Loch Ness Monster - rather than the words Loch Ness. Dr Lorien Cameron-Ross, co-owner of the business, said the words Loch Ness were chosen because her family had lived on the banks of the loch for more than 500 years.  In its decision, the IPO rejected Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Limited applications.  The hearing officer said that the business not being able to show it was the owner of any "goodwill" generated from its use of Loch Ness in relation to whisky was a "sufficient reason" alone for his decision.