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The Sunday Post English Edition – February 25, 2018 part 1

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February 25, 2018 £1.80
No. 5862 - E
10 years of hurt banished by 80 minutes of sublime brilliance
DAVID SOLE’S VERDICT: Lacklustre England sent home with their tails between their legs Pages 70&71
i ni ster s will o rd er
aid charities to halt the exploitation
scandal or risk losing millions.
Scots ministers order aid charities
to get a grip of exploitation scandal
The Scottish Government has
launched a review of all international
aid bids and will call charity bosses to
crisis talks within days.
The SNP’s development spokesman
Chris Law MP said: “The charities have
to know there are consequences.
Actions speak louder than words.”
Full story: Pages 4&5
Puppies to the rescue
The 14-strong litter who could save an entire breed
February 25, 2018
king? It’s
a strict no
from Alan
Comic Jenny Eclair explains
why she’s proud to be prickly
page 17
Are ready
meals as
harmful as
Movie star’s
artfelt plea for
kids like her
pages 18 & 19
in life on
Mars for
page 27
Karen calls
for more
funding for
TV’s sally
has the
write stuff
all right
pages 28 & 29
By Murray scougall
Karen starred with Dwayne Johnson, left,
and Jack Black in the new Jumanji film
The 30-year-old, who was in
Glasgow last night for the world
premiere of her directorial debut
The Party’s Just Beginning,
believes education chiefs’s should
be backing creativity just as much
as academic success.
She said: “Art funding is always
the first to be cut, but it’s so
important we support the arts,
especially for young people.
“So much emphasis in school is
on academic stuff but some
people’s brains just don’t work in
that way.
“ That’s how my brain is.
Anything numerical isn’t going to
work for me, but when it’s artistic
that’s where I excel and I think a
lot of other people are the same.
“I think we need to look at
intelligence overall, because some
people can only communicate
their intelligence through artistic
The Scottish Government gave
its formal backing to a purposebuilt film and TV studio in
Midlothian in December and
Karen thinks that will be a great
thing for the Scottish entertainment industry.
“It could become a hub for the
industry if we allow it to be.
“Some of the Avengers film
I’m in was shot in Edinburgh
last year and everyone
involved raved about it
and thought it was a great
place to shoot.”
Karen wrote the script
f o r T h e Pa r t y ’s Ju s t
Beginning when she was 24
after seeing a statistic that
revealed there was a higher
suicide rate in the Highlands
among young men in Inverness
than anywhere else in the
“That was a huge surprise to
me. It’s idyllic and often voted one
of the best places in the UK to
stay, so immediately there was a
strange contradiction between
the postcard images and the dark
imager y, so the film is me
explaining why.”
Ka re n , o f In ve r n e s s, h a s
publicly given her backing to the
Time’s Up campaign to end sexual
h a r a s s m e n t i n t h e m ov i e
ovie star Karen
Gillan yesterday called for
more arts funding in Scotland’s
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industry but says it is only
the start of dramatic change.
She said: “I feel we are at the
beginning of a change, there is a
lot of work and a lot of change still
to happen, but it’s a step in the
right direction.
“Women are starting to speak
up and be heard. There is still a lot
Guitar man
strikes a
chord with
King Kenny on today’s
massive matches
go go go and it’s a
relief when I can
come back here – it
makes me feel calm
and tranquil and
back to normal
almost, and that just
is really good for me
to do.
“I always come
home for Christmas.
My mother would kill
me if I didn’t!”
Ironically, though,
both her parents,
Marie and
Raymond, missed
last night’s Glasgow
of work to do but this is the
beginning of a very positive
change for women.
“I’ve seen a lot of women just in
general be treated in ways I’m not
happy with and I’m glad they are
speaking up about this and
talking of their experiences of that.”
Karen said she faced no
opposition to directing the film,
even though she’d never directed a
feature before and with the number
of female directors in the industry
being very low – something the star
hopes she can do her bit to change.
“The number of female directors
is shockingly low,” she continued.
“In all my time working I think I’ve
worked with two, maybe three,
female directors and I’ve worked
with so many directors because I’ve
done TV and they change over every
“It seems bizarre there are so few.
It’s shockingly low. I want to do my
bit to change that and I hope it
inspires other females to get into
leadership positions.”
Karen arrived in Scotland on
Thursday and spent the next two
days going round whisky shops
February 25, 2018
pages of
No matter how much Irn-Bru I
drink from the specialist shop,
LA will never feel like home
Karen has just
recently moved
from Los Angeles to
New York, but she
still misses home
despite spending
almost half her life
away from the
Highland capital.
“I’m constantly
homesick. I love
exploring new parts
of the world but of
course I miss home,”
she admitted.
“I feel healthier
when I’m there – I
think it’s the clean
“No matter how
much Irn-Bru I drink
from the specialist
shops over there,
I’m still homesick.
I’ve just tried the
new recipe and
it’s really good!
“I come home
about twice a
year, but really as
much as possible.
It’s really healthy
for me to do
that because
everything is
premiere of her
debut as director
and writer as they
were on holiday in
the States.
“They’re actually
in LA enjoying the
sunshine, which is so
funny, but they’ve
already seen it
But she has loved
getting the chance
to catch up with old
“When I’m back
it’s exactly the
same, nothing has
changed since I
was 16 and I still do
the same things,”
said the former
Doctor Who
“I’ll go round to
my friends’ houses
and some of them
have kids now,
which is the only
“I realise then
we’re adults now
and get confused –
when did this
trying to buy 400 miniatures for the
audience at the premiere at the
Glasgow Film Festival at the city’s
Film Theatre – even though she
doesn’t actually like our national
“I have a cousin who drinks
whisky and I’m constantly in awe of
her. I would love to be the cool girl
who drinks whisky, but when I try I
just start coughing!”
Karen has appeared in some of
the biggest-grossing blockbusters of
the decade, including the two
Guardians of the Galaxy films,
current smash hit Jumanji and the
upcoming Avengers films.
But she says she can still walk
down the street without being
noticed – and would be gutted if that
ever changed.
“I feel I can still walk around,
although I have noticed a shift since
Jumanji and I’m getting recognised
more. What I value most is my
freedom, being able to walk down
the street and have a coffee.
“I work with so many actors who
don’t have that in their lives any
more and I don’t know what I would
do if I didn’t have that.”
bike ride
for Doddie
An England rugby fan has cycled
450 miles from London to Edinburgh to
meet his hero, former Scotland star
Doddie Weir.
Russell Kelsey, 47, completed the
marathon cycle from Twickenham
Stadium to Murrayfield in just two days.
And, when he stepped off his bike in
the capital on Friday afternoon, Doddie
was there to welcome him with a
refreshing pint of Guinness.
Physiotherapist Russell, who has
survived cancer, completed the cycle
ride in aid of his hero’s
My Name’5 Doddie
Foundation, raising
Doddie, 47, who
earned 61 caps,
announced he had
motor neurone disease
in June last year.
He set up his
foundation to help
other MND sufferers
Doddie Weir
and fund research.
Russell said: “I first
saw Doddie play when
he was with Newcastle Falcons more
than 20 years ago. He is probably one of
the most talented players you could ever
see on the field. This was a brilliant
chance to meet him.
“As a failed and not very good former
player, when I heard about Doddie’s
condition, I thought it would be a good
idea to raise some cash by pedalling up
to Scotland.
“He took me for pint of Guinness
when I arrived on Friday. I have to say I
watched the Scotland-England clash
with divided loyalties.”
Doddie said: “Russell came from
London in just 48 hours. It is an amazing
feat and one that is really appreciated.
“I did say it would be easier on the
return run because it is downhill all the
way! But Russell got a deserved rest by
taking the train home.”
British EuroMillions
winner nabs £78m
A UK ticket-holder has claimed the
£77,798,898 jackpot they won in Friday’s
EuroMillions draw, the National Lottery
has said.
Two players shared the £155 million
jackpot, with the second winning ticket
bought in Spain.
There were also seven £1 million
winners in the UK in the special event
draw – and all players are urged to check
their tickets to see if they are a winner.
The win is the 10th biggest prize ever
won by a UK lottery player.
February 25, 2018
Dibley star
Emma dies
aged just 53
By Marion Scott
The Vicar Of Dibley
star Emma Chambers
has died aged 53.
A statement from
her agency yesterday
said the actress died
from natural causes,
adding: “Emma
created a wealth of
characters and an
immense body of
work. She brought
laughter and joy to
She was best known
for playing Alice Tinker
in the BBC comedy
show The Vicar Of
Dibley which starred
Dawn French.
In 1998, Chambers
won the British
Comedy Award for
Best Actress for her
performance in the
A year later, she
found international
fame in the Hugh
Grant comedy Notting
Hill, written by Richard
Broadcaster Emma
Freud, who is married
to Richard Curtis,
tweeted: “Our
beautiful friend Emma
Chambers has died at
the age of 53. We’re
very, very sad.”
The Vicar Of Dibley
Emma Chambers
originally ran from
1994 to 1998 but
returned for numerous
festive and comic relief
specials, with the latest
episode airing as
recently as 2015.
Former Top Gear
presenter Jeremy
Clarkson, who grew up
in Doncaster near
Chambers, wrote: “I’m
sad about Emma
“Knew her when she
was a kid in Doncaster.
She was very funny.”
Hollywood star
Hugh Grant wrote:
“Emma Chambers was
a hilarious and very
warm person and of
course a brilliant
actress. Very sad
Well wishes for Stephen
Stephen Fry has received warm
wishes from famous fans after he
announced he had undergone
surgery for prostate cancer.
Former footballer Gary Lineker
told the actor and comedian to
stay well, while presenter Les
Dennis said he would be visiting
his GP after Fry pleaded with
other men to go for a check-up.
Man dies after crash
in Aberdeenshire
A man has died
after a crash involving
a car and a bus in
Aberdeenshire, police
confirmed yesterday.
The accident
happened on the A93
Ballater to Braemar
road at Bridge of
Gairn on Friday
The man was
driving a red Vauxhall
Astra when it collided
with a bus at 6.20pm.
Police have spoken
to a number of
witnesses but have
asked anyone else who
saw either vehicle to
contact them.
A Police Scotland
spokesman said:
“Sadly the male driver
of the Astra died from
his injuries and our
thoughts are with all
those affected by this
“I would ask that
anyone who has not
already given their
details to police and
who saw either vehicle
in the area to please
get in touch.”
Crisis talks Scots ministers urge aid charities
Good causes
told it is a time
for action not
warm words
cottish ministers are to order
international aid charities to take
urgent action to deal with the escalating exploitation scandals or risk losing
millions in support.
Charity chiefs have been called to crisis
talks as all bids for grants from Scotland’s
overseas aid budget are re-examined by
Holyrood officials.
The review comes amid “deep concerns” over the growing number of allegations of misconduct
in the aid sector,
and SNP politicians
said ministers will
want assurances.
Ye s t e rd a y, t h e
SNP’s international
spokesman at
Westminster, Chris
Law, said: “We have
heard a lot of
apologies. Saying
sorry is one thing
Alasdair Allan
but we really need
to know what
safeguards – or lack
of safeguards – are in place. This has been
going on for a long time and my feeling is
this is far wider and far deeper than the
first few agencies we have heard about.
“The Scottish Government will be
looking at all their procedures and will be
robust. The charities cannot be allowed to
undermine public confidence.
“ T h e y h a ve t o k n ow t h e re a re
consequences. Now the genie is out of the
bottle, they have to get their houses in
order. Actions speak louder than words.”
The Scottish Government’s summit can
be revealed the Red Cross confirmed 20
workers were sacked or quit following
cases of sexual misconduct. British
children’s aid charity, Plan International,
confirmed six cases of sexual abuse and
child exploitation by its staff.
International Development minister
Alasdair Allan will this week hold the talks
with charities aimed at improving the
safeguards for vulnerable groups
in countries where charity work is
supported by Scotland’s £10 million
annual aid budget.
He said: “I will attend a meeting with
international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and open a discussion on
safeguarding and how improvements
could be made. I have also written to all
international NGOs to seek discussions
on their safeguarding policies to protect
vulnerable groups and we are in the process of reviewing all applicants with live
funding applications.
“We are also in regular dialogue with
the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
(OSCR) and the UK Government on its
own activity on these matters. The
Scottish Government will also take part in
forthcoming discussions at the
Safeguarding Summit in March which will
be co-hosted by the UK Government. The
outcome of these discussions will inform
decisions on how we continue to take this
matter forward.”
SNP ministers have made clear they will
take action if any problems are uncovered
in the projects they fund.
This week’s meeting with Mr Allan is
There have been too many cover-ups, too many mealy-mouthed
February 25, 2018
to halt escalating exploitation scandals or risk losing millions
Aid worker:
I blew the
whistle on my
boss. Then I
lost my job
By Janet Boyle
Red Cross:
We should
have been
More than 20 workers at
the International
Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC) have been
sacked or quit their roles
following cases of sexual
misconduct, the
international aid charity
revealed yesterday.
It said it was “deeply
saddened” to report the
figures and admitted it
should have been “more
vigilant” in preventing the
It found that, since 2015,
21 staff members were
either dismissed for paying
for sexual services or
resigned during an
internal inquiry.
A further two staff
workers suspected of
sexual misconduct did not
have their contracts
The Swiss-based charity,
which was set up in 1863
to help victims of war, said
its decentralised structure
means it is “difficult to
accurately compile
overall figures”.
In a statement to staff,
ICRC director general,
Yves Daccord, said: “This
behaviour is a betrayal of
the people and the
communities we are there
to serve.
“It is against human
dignity and we should
have been more vigilant
in preventing this.”
carry a
sack of
by the Red
Cross in
expected to be attended by all of the main
charities operating internationally, but
with bases in Scotland, including Oxfam,
Mary’s Meals and Christian Aid.
Last week Oxfam Scotland withdrew
two applications for Scottish Government
grants because of the sexual misconduct
crisis engulfing the charity.
Managers at the Scottish wing of Oxfam
decided to pull applications for grants
that would have funded projects in
Malawi until it could prove that it deserved
the “confidence” of ministers and the
Oxfam Scotland has been one of the
main beneficiaries of the Scottish
Government’s overseas aid, receiving
more than £7m grants since 2008.
A number of Scotland-based charities
have made disclosures about their staff
since the scandal first broke when it was
revealed Oxfam staff in Haiti had sexually
exploited young women. Last week
Dumfries-based landmine charity, Halo
Trust, revealed a male employee in
Southeast Asia was under investigation
after a sexual assault complaint in January.
Since April 2016, when OSCR introduced a policy requiring Scottish charities
to flag serious incidents, 15 cases involving children or vulnerable adults and
“some element of alleged sexual misconduct” have been reported.
apologies. It is damaging our faith in good causes Mandy Rhodes Page 19
An aid charity whistle-blower
has told how she lost her job
after reporting her boss’s
inappropriate relationship with
a local woman.
Sheila MacIsaac said her
contract was not renewed but
her boss kept his job and is now
working for another charity in
Sheila, 68, from Edinburgh,
worked in Africa in the late ’90s
for the charity and witnessed
cases of alcohol and sex abuse
by bosses.
“One was so drunk we had to
try to sober him up before he
gave a speech in Zanzibar.
“He then spent the evening
in a club with women. One
woman he struck up a sexual
relationship with was given a
job in the charity and then left
after becoming pregnant.
“My contract with the charity
was not renewed after I
reported him to his UK boss.
“He kept his job and is now
working with another charity,
We had to sober
him up before he
gave a speech
still in Africa. As far I am
aware, he has never been
Sheila, who does not want to
identify the charity, is backing
calls for an international
disclosure register for charity
workers. She says it is
desperately needed because of
the shocking abuse she has seen
while she worked in Africa,
Zanzibar, Somalia and Kenya.
“Anyone who has misused
money or acted unprofessionally, through alcohol or sexual
relations and subsequent
favours, should be removed
from the register.
“I have also witnessed other
serious incidents where charity
staff lived in mansions in Kenya
with swimming pools.
“Meanwhile, we were working
in the field over the border in
Somalia helping refugees who
had not eaten for days.
“Good condition Land Rovers
were used to ferry ex-pats about
when we were using ones with
no windows.
“We worked five weeks on and
one off in the staff house in
Nairobi. Some of the staff used
the house as a place to take
“None of this was stopped or
frowned upon.
“There was an abuse of funds
which involved a charity boss
flying his friends out to see his
work in Africa to be shown
February 25, 2018
By Kieran Andrews
senior officer who withdrew her
complaint about Chief Constable Stephen
House when he stood down has revealed
her anger after he got a top job at the Met.
Former Tayside Police Deputy Chief
Constable Angela Wilson said the Scottish
Police Authority (SPA) encouraged her to withdraw her complaint when Sir Stephen retired
as head of Scotland’s single force.
She spoke out after he was appointed an
assistant chief constable with the Metropolitan
Police in a move that has “disgusted” Ms
She is now considering formally
raising her grievance – that Sir
Stephen’s hiring of
Wayne Mawson as
one of his top lieutenants at Police
Scotland was
unfair – with the
London force.
Ms Wilson, who
is now retired, said:
“I was encouraged
to drop my complaint by SPA when
House retired and
did so reluctantly
because there
seemed no point in
pursuing as he
w o u l d n’t e v e r
appear before a
disciplinary hearing if retired.
“But I am disgusted that House
has been employed
by the Met when he
had this and many
Angela Wilson o t h e r i s s u e s
“I will be inquiring as to whether I can
resubmit the complaint – possibly directly to
the Met. There are very many talented people
in policing so I find it hard to believe they need
to employ someone with such a poor record in
Her complaint concerned Sir Stephen’s role
on a panel interviewing Mr Mawson for an
assistant chief constable role with Police
Under the job specification, it was “essential” for candidates to have passed a “relevant”
Strategic Command Course (SCC) but Mr
Mawson, who worked with Sir Stephen during
his first spell at the Met, was appointed without passing the SCC and was allowed to sit the
course around two years later.
He was later found not guilty of cheating on
the command course, following a year-long
While Ms Wilson’s complaint was withdrawn, we revealed last week that another was
still outstanding against Sir Stephen when he
Douglas Yates
The chief
kept us all
out of loop
By Marion scott
They told me
he was retiring.
If I had known
he was going
to a top job at
the Met, I would
never have
my complaint
before a
him. He
now has
a job with
the Met
It was automatically dropped under the current regulations and the Met refused to say if it
was taken into consideration when they hired
the Glaswegian.
Ex-SPA board member Moi Ali is launching
a petition to the Scottish Parliament to change
the regulations to allow misconduct probes
into police officers to continue if they leave
the force.
An SPA spokesperson said: “Complaint and
conduct matters are confidential and the SPA
would not comment on individual cases.”
A Met spokesperson said: “Any complaint
made to the Metropolitan Police Service is
assessed and processed in line with the Police
Reform Act, and ultimately passed to the relevant force to investigate if it relates to a matter
outside the MPS.”
Chief: Force culture has to change to win public confidence
Mike Barton
Complaint officer’s anger at former chief’s top job in London
Police Scotland needs a culture change
to increase public confidence in the
force, according to senior officer who
led a misconduct probe into the force.
Durham Chief Constable Mike
Barton told The Sunday Post policing
across the UK had been “tainted” by
the fallout from an illegal spying
operation linked to the unsolved
murder of Emma Caldwell.
He was brought in to carry out a
probe into a molehunt launched by the
force after a newspaper revealed a
forgotten suspect but he claimed some
within the force “chose to erect
unnecessary obstacles”.
The withering analysis comes days
after he told MSPs a culture of secrecy
and ineptitude exists within the service.
Mr Barton said: “When one force
gets it so wrong, we are all tainted.
“I have a sense there remains an
overly defensive culture in the
professional standards and legal
departments in particular.
“It is only when you change this
culture we grow public confidence.”
A Sunday Post poll found 47% of
people are either “very” or “quite”
confident Police Scotland is keeping
their communities safe.
According to the research, 26% are
either quite or very unconfident.
A former board member of
the Scottish Police Authority
blames ministers for
politicising Scotland’s
single force.
Douglas Yates, a former SNP
councillor, said Police
Scotland’s first chief
constable, Stephen House,
used to bypass the SPA and
go directly to then justice
secretary Kenny MacAskill.
He spoke out after current
justice secretary Michael
Matheson and his civil
servants were accused of
putting inappropriate pressure
on police watchdogs.
Mr Yates, a former police
officer, who also served as
deputy leader of East
Renfrewshire Council, said Sir
Stephen kept the SPA “out of
the loop” during his time at
the head of the service.
He said: “Stephen House
often went directly to the
justice secretary Kenny
MacAskill to float ideas or
seek consent.
“A chief constable needs to
have a good relationship with
the Justice Secretary, but I
was surprised he’d entertain
Stephen House. I thought
he’d tell him to talk to the SPA.
“I was disappointed he
didn’t discourage that
behaviour which kept us out
of the loop.”
He added: “I suppose that
was his way of operating, to
make sure things got done.
But it often meant there was
no proper consultation
Mr Yates also claimed
the SPA was given
“misinformation” by the force
at various points during his
four-year stint as a board
He said that members were
given figures that were shown
to be “inaccurate” by
Freedom of Information
Police Scotland said Mr
Yates’ comments were a
matter for the SPA.
The SPA did not comment.
February 25, 2018
Terribly-injured mum celebrates end of nine years of surgery
By Yvonne Bolouri
A CCTV shot of Linda
Concern for
Fears are growing for a
woman who has gone
missing from a hospital.
Linda Cairney, from
Prestwick, was seen on
Friday afternoon leaving
Woodlands View Hospital in
The 52-year-old was
spotted on CCTV at the
facility around 3.55pm and,
at 5.15pm, she was seen on
surveillance cameras at a
sports shop in Kilmarnock.
Police also believe she
may have been in a shop on
West Woodstock Street at
the junction of North
Hamilton Street,
Kilmarnock, around 6.20 am
The woman is around
5ft 4in tall, slim and with
shoulder-length greying hair
and when last seen she was
wearing a silver puffer jacket
and blue joggers.
Inspector Andy Dolan,
Irvine Police Office, said:
“Police officers have been
following various lines of
inquiry in a bid to trace
Linda and now know she
was in the Kilmarnock area
this morning. We also
believe she may be trying to
travel to Glasgow.”
Eddy Amoo
Real Thing
singer dies
Eddy Amoo, of soul band
The Real Thing, has died
aged 74, the group has
The singer-songwriter
died on Friday, according to
a statement from his brother
Chris Amoo and Dave Smith
who are still in the Liverpool
band that formed in 1972.
On the band’s website,
he was honoured as “a
showman, a songwriter and
a legend in British music”.
The band’s hit singles
include You To Me Are
Everything, Can You Feel
The Force? and Can’t Get By
Without You.
here were dark times after a
horrific car crash when Debbie Stewart
feared she had nothing to live for.
Exactly nine years after her accident,
and after the last in a long series of skin
grafts and operations, she admits she
could not have been more wrong.
On a late February morning in 2009, as
she drove from
her home in
Neilston to her
work in Paisley,
her car spun
out of control,
and skidded
along the road
on its side with
Debbie’s head
hanging out
the window,
scraping along
the road.
Debbie was
scalped and
Delighted Debbie
faced years of
with baby Sydney
surgery to
repair her
She said: “This year, I finally had my
final op and I’m now recovering.
“That should be the end now. It’s been
a long time coming.
“Nine years ago I wanted to die. I was in
such pain I thought I wouldn’t survive,
and I was OK with that. Then they told me
my injuries would probably affect my
fertility and I wouldn’t be able to have
After surgery at Paisley’s Royal
Alexandra Hospital, Debbie was
transferred to the spinal unit at Glasgow’s
Southern General, now part of the Queen
Elizabeth University Hospital in Govan.
She was on morphine, banned from
looking at her face and encased in a back
brace which prevented any movement
for four months.
Debbie now 37, said: “What was there
to live for? I didn’t know if I’d be paralysed.
“My face was horribly disfigured, I
couldn’t shut one eye. I’d lost my
eyebrow, cracked my teeth and when I
saw my face, I looked like a monster.
“Worst of all, I’d probably never be
able to have children because of all the
damage. What was left to live for?”
But fate had other ideas. Within
weeks, Debbie discovered she was
Debbie said: “I was overjoyed.
This was my reason to go on.
Despite everything I had been
blessed, after all.
“Without any shadow of a doubt,
my sweet, funny, drama queen
daughter Sydney, is the reason
I’m still here.
After my car crash, I
thought I had nothing
left to live for. I couldn’t
have been more wrong
– Survivor Debbie Stewart
car was
in the
her life
“Sweet and funny”
Sydney gave Debbie
a reason to live
“Her dad and I are no longer together
but Sydney and I have built a good life.
“From the absolute depth of despair
and depression, I’m at the end of this
painful and challenging road.
“But I remember the accident as if it
was yesterday. I was driving to work in
Paisley when I lost control on a bend. My
car skidded and flipped on to its side with
my head hanging out the window
scraping along the ground.
“I didn’t realise I was badly hurt. I was
more concerned about the damage to the
car and being late for work.
“A man in the car behind rushed to help
and he was a physio at Ross Hall Hospital.
“He kept me awake by talking to me,
and he visited me in hospital. I’ll never
forget the kindness I was shown.”
Debbie credits her mum Janice, 60,
and her sister Michelle, 41, a mum of five,
for being her lifelines.
She said: “I’m very grateful. When my
mum was told about the accident she had
to wait hours to find out if I was dead or
alive. That must’ve been torture.
“All I want to say is if anyone is feeling
life isn’t worth living, take heart. You don’t
know what’s around the corner.
“As soon as I found out I was pregnant,
the hormones kicked in and I had a
brilliant pregnancy.”
Seven-year-old Sydney may never fully
appreciate the hope and joy she brought
into Debbie’s life.
Debbie said: “Since Sydney arrived
my life has got better and better. I was
a recluse at one time because I didn’t
want people staring.
“Now my scars are fading and I’m
no longer so self-conscious. At one
stage, I wouldn’t leave the house
after a wee boy called me a monster.
“Now I’m a karaoke presenter at
weekends as well as my job working
with the same company in Paisley.”
While romance is not on the
horizon, Debbie hasn’t ruled it out.
She said: “It would be nice to
have a partner but Sydney seems
much keener than me about it.
“It’s not the first time she’s
nudged me when we’ve been out,
and whispered,“What about
Probe into
body found
inside flat
Police are investigating the
suspicious death of a man in
Forensic teams spent
yesterday inside a flat at
Copland Quadrant, close to
Ibrox football stadium.
But Police Scotland were
last night refusing to release
details of the 40-year-old
man or confirm whether he
had been murdered.
The streets around the flat
where the man’s body was
found late on Friday night,
were sealed as officers went
door to door.
A Police Scotland
spokesman said they are
treating the death “as
suspicious in the
meantime”, and a post
mortem will be carried out.
Fans travelling to Ibrox
yesterday were warned
of delays due to street
February 25, 2018
Harry Potter writer casts her spell as Murrayfield heroes triumph
As a small boy, Roald
Dahl made a
pilgrimage to see
Beatrix Potter. When
he got there, all she
said was: “Well,
you’ve seen her.
Now, buzz off!”
Man, 51,
airlifted to
A man is fighting for his life
after his motorcycle collided
with a tractor.
The 51-year-old was
airlifted to hospital after the
crash on the A947 between
Oldmeldrum and Fyvie in
Emergency services
described the biker as
suffering “life-changing
It happened at about
10.30am yesterday.
A Police Scotland
spokesman said: “A male
motorcyclist has sustained,
serious, life-changing
“He has been taken by air
ambulance to Aberdeen
Royal Infirmary.”
The road remained closed
throughout most of the day,
with locals taking to social
media to warn of likely
J.K. Rowling and her husband
Neil Murray were among
thousands of rugby fans
watching Scotland’s victory
at Murrayfield last night.
The Harry Potter author
could be seen cheering from
the stands during the Six
Nations match against
By Hannah Rodger
orecasters have warned of
blizzard conditions when
weather fronts from Scandinavia
and the Mediterranean collide
over Britain this week.
The Met Office said Scots should
brace themselves for up to four
inches of snow falling over Tuesday
and Wednesday, with as much as
eight inches possible on higher
Yellow weather warnings have
been issued for Tayside, Fife,
Lothians, Borders, Strathclyde and
the Highlands.
Temperatures are set to
plummet as low as -6ºC,
with a high of 1º C on
Tuesday and top temperatures just reaching freezing
on Wednesday.
Conditions are predicted
to mimic those seen in March
2013, when roads were brought to a
standstill and some parts of the
England. Scotland secured the
Calcutta Cup for the first time
in a decade, winning 25-13.
It is the national team’s
second win of the Six Nations,
following their victory against
France two weeks ago.
Scotland captain John
Barclay said their win “blows
the competition open”
following a crushing defeat by
Wales in their first game of the
Team-mate Finn Russell said:
“It’s amazing, just listen to the
“But it’s unreal for us, it’s
been 10 years since we won it,
so it’s great to be a part
of it. It’s been a tough few
weeks for me, but I’ll keep
smiling. We might not have
had the best few games, but
we kept going and to come
out with the win is brilliant.”
Reports & reaction
Pages 70&71
Freeze a jolly
cold comeback
Blizzards, lightning and freezing temperatures set to cause
more misery for millions as storms return with a vengeance
country faced power cuts. Lightning
has also been forecast for some
coastal areas towards the end of the
The underlying cause,
according to the national
weather body, is hot and
cold systems from
Scandinavia and the
Mediterranean meeting
over the North Sea, combining with cold air before falling
as snow over the UK.
Filotas Paschos, a Met Office
forecaster based in Aberdeen, said:
“Showers will be snowy and wintry
down to very low ground levels, and
will be more frequent across eastern
parts of the country.
“At this time of year the cold air
from the continent is passing across
the north sea, which is relatively
warm, creating showers that hit the
“It is cold, so these showers are
falling as snow.
“This happened in 2013, when
there was quite a cold March with
loads of wintry showers coming
across the North Sea. It is a similar
The east coast is expected to be
the worst hit by the storm when it
arrives on Tuesday.
However, most of Scotland and
some parts of Northern Ireland will
be affected.
Drivers have been warned to
expect “poor visibility” and “blizzard
conditions” on Wednesday, with
snow predicted to fall across most of
February 25, 2018
Top Trump
aide hit with
new charges
US prosecutors brought new charges
against a Donald Trump campaign chief
just hours after his fellow former aide
pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying
to investigators.
Paul Manafort denied the allegations
and said he has no plans to strike a deal
with special counsel Robert Mueller,
who finalised an agreement with Rick
Gates on Friday.
Mr Gates is now the third associate of
President Trump to strike a cooperation
agreement with Mueller, who is
investigating Russian meddling in the
2016 election and possible ties to the
The charges against Mr Manafort
include an allegation he secretly
recruited and funded a group of former
European politicians to lobby in the
United States on behalf of Ukraine.
It is alleged that he paid the
politicians two million euros from
offshore accounts in 2012 and 2013 to
lobby members of Congress and other
US officials. It is illegal for Americans to
direct foreigners to lobby the US
without informing the Justice
In a statement issued by his
spokesman, Mr Manafort said: “I
continue to maintain my innocence.”
White House lawyer Ty Cobb said:
“The White House, as it has said from
the outset, will not be commenting on
matters involving Mr Manafort or
Mr Gates.”
President Trump has called the
investigation a “witch hunt” and insists
there was no collusion between his
campaign and the Russians.
Sharon Stone
basic rules
She is best known for that
infamous scene in the film
Basic Instinct.
But now, at 53, and the
mother of three boys aged
11, 12 and 17, actress Sharon
Stone says it is she who is
shocked by the morals of
young people.
“I’m horrified by some of
the crazy things kids do to
prove themselves these
“To see some of the texts
in my kids’ phones –
pictures of girls half-naked
that they’ve shot
themselves, it makes my jaw
She even gives her sons’
friends a chat about
personal safety adding her
boys hate it when she does
“They say, ‘Why do
you have to embarrass
“And I just say, ‘Because
embarrassing you is part of
my job!’”
Revealed The incredible litter of
14 Scots pups that will help save
the endangered English Mastiff
The 14 Mastiff
puppies in
litter, above
with mum
Karma, left,
and in the
arms of
owner Hazel
Manson, right
By Janet Boyle
hey are some of Britain’s
biggest dogs but English Mastiffs
have been facing an even bigger
threat to their future.
The increasing popularity of
smaller dogs has seen numbers
dwindle and only 166 were
registered with the Kennel Club last
Now one super Scots dog has
done her bit for the breed by giving
birth to 14 puppies in the Scottish
English Mastiff Karma’s litter was
so large her vet had to give her an
emergency caesarean section after
she struggled to deliver them all.
Her owner, Hazel Manson, from
Jedburgh, revealed that the supersized bundle began to arrive early in
the morning three weeks ago.
Mum-of-two Hazel, 32, said: “The
first thing I knew about the birth
was when I was woken at 5am by the
sound of tiny pups yelping.
“I rushed through to see that she
had delivered three and was in the
throes of delivering more.
“One arrived but had not survived
and I could see she was struggling.
Three more arrived dead.
“I quickly called the vet who
asked me to make my way with
Karma and the surviving pups
“The vet’s practice in St
Boswells was just a few minutes
away in the car.
“So we loaded Karma and her
pups into the car and arrived to
see vet Neil Cameron waiting for
“She is a gentle giant and had
sailed through a long and tiring
nine-week pregnancy.
“But the huge number of pups
was proving too much for her.”
Karma was scanned and the
huge litter, which will sell for
£2000 each, came up on the image.
They were all lined up ready to be
born and the decision to carry out
an immediate Caesarean section
was made.
It was the best chance for the
tired mum and her brood to survive.
Neil rallied his staff, including the
practice receptionist, to take each
pup as it was delivered.
It was the biggest litter he had
delivered in 25 years as a vet. Neil
47, said: “She is a big gentle dog and
February 25, 2018
What the lion
is to the cat,
the Mastiff is to
the dog, the
noblest of the
family. His
courage does
not exceed his
temper and
– Natural historian
Mastiffs have a long, proud
history and natural historian
Sydenham Edwards
praised the dogs character
in 1800.
He said: “What the lion is
to the cat the Mastiff is to
the dog, the noblest of the
family; he stands alone,
and all others sink before
him. His courage does not
exceed his temper and
generosity, and in
attachment he equals the
kindest of his race. His
docility is perfect; the
teasing of the smaller kinds
will hardly provoke him to
resent, and I have seen him
down with his paw the
terrier that has bit him,
without offering further
injury. In a family he will
permit the children to play
great mum, but her life and that of
her pups depended on a Caesarean
“This is her first litter and she
had done well to carry 18 to full
“I had a vet nurse assisting me
and another nurse carrying out
the anaesthetic.
“The operation took around an
“You make a pup-size incision
in the bitch’s abdomen and
deliver them carefully, one by
“As each pup arrived I handed
them to the nurse and they were
passed on to another waiting pair
of hands.
“It was vital to make sure their
airways were clear and then rub
their little bodies with a clean
towel to get their circulation
With 14 live pups yelping and
lined up on a long theatre room
table, the mass delivery was
Mum was then transferred to a
recovery room.
The bumper delivery had boosted
English Mastiff numbers in the UK
It exceeded by far the maximum
number of pups even a Mastiff is
with him, and suffer all their
little pranks without
offence. The blind ferocity
of the bull dog will often
wound the hand of the
master who assists him to
combat, but the mastiff
distinguishes perfectly,
enters the field with
temper, and engages in
the attack as if confident
of success: if he
overpowers, or is
beaten, his master may
take him immediately
in his arms and fear
Despite their
loyal, lovable
nature, Mastiffs
have fallen out
of favour, not
just in Britain but around
the world.
expected to deliver. A good-sized
litter is usually a maximum of 16,
say experts.
Registered breeder Hazel
explained: “It was Karma’s first litter
and she is just starting her adult life
as a dog at two-and-a-half years.
“It took us a while to find a good
mate for her.
“Mastiffs have a long history
stretching back to before the Roman
Invasion of Britain in 55 BC.
“They were used to protect their
owners’ sheep and sometimes lives.
“I am keen to keep the breed alive
and Karma’s certainly done her bit.”
The love match was made by the
Kennel Club.
It pointed Hazel in the direction
of Ozzy, a 19 stone male Mastiff,
who lives with his owners more than
three hours down the motorway in
“It’s been a great match as they
have produced a fine litter,” Hazel
“But not one is the colour of the
dad. He’s fawn and they are all
Karma’s brindle colour.”
Looking after the new mum has
proved a handful and involves
round the clock care.
Hazel had to ensure that none of
the little scraps of life were
unwittingly crushed under their
An English Mastiff
mum as they all scrambled to be fed.
“She’s a big dog and wouldn’t have
been able to move fast enough to
stop them being suffocated,” she
“She didn’t have enough teats for
all the pups, being two short at
feeding time.
“Any stragglers were bottle-fed
and they have all thrived.
“They are only three-weeks-old
and growing fast. Some already
weigh 11lbs.
“As you can imagine, she is tired
feeding 14 pups but happy with her
“We often take them into another
room to give her a chance to sleep
but when they are let back in, there’s
a mad scramble to be fed.
“A pup’s life is just feeding,
sleeping, playing and pooping.”
Two of the pups have been sold to
a German family and the others are
going fast.
“Owners will be closely vetted and
many have small-holdings,” Hazel
“It is only right that these
adorable pups grow up with lots of
room to play.
“It’s also vital they go to homes
that understand them.
“Too much exercise, too young,
can cause bone problems.”
e lipse
Holidays with style & a smile
Durham, Beamish & Holy Island
County Hotel – Newcastle
5 Days only £349 Sun 1 Apr
Oxford, Cambridge & Windsor
Aubrey Park Hotel – Redbourn
5 Days only £309 Sun 1 Apr
A Tale of Two Cities
Four Seasons Hotel – Monaghan
5 Days only £369 Sun 1 Apr
Eastbourne at the Imperial
Based at the Imperial Hotel which has an ideal position across from the
promenade and bandstand. There is entertainment most evenings and we
have an array of attractive excursions including Hastings & Rye, Brighton,
Arundel & Chichester and Royal Tunbridge Wells.
8 Days only £499
Sat 28 Jul
Llandudno & Portmeirion £20 OFF MARCH
la entertainment, the
Choice of two great seafront hotels withh regular
Marlborough and the Four Oaks. Includes excursions to Snowdonia &
Portmeirion and Roman Chester.
5 Days NOW FROM ONLY £299
Fri 30 Mar, Tue 8 May, Thu 7 Jun, Mon 27 Aug
Tenby All Inclusive*
Based at the Belgrave Hotel situated on the promenade overlooking the
seafront. An all inclusive package* includes a nightly free bar from 6pm to
11pm, packed lunches, afternoon tea and excursions to Saundersfoot
& Carmarthen and Harverfordwest & St Davids.
5 Days from only £319
Thu 22 Mar, Sun 22 Apr, Thu 10 May, Sun 10 Jun
Scottish Highland Railways
Based at the family-run Carrbridge Hotel with
regular Scottish entertainment. Includes amazing
railway journeys on the Kyle of Lochalsh, Strathspey
Steam Railway and the West Highland Line.
5 Days from only £349
Fri 27 Apr, Fri 25 May, Sat 23 Jun, Fri 27 Jul
Lakeland Explorer
The Cumbria Grand Hotel, built in 1880, is located only a short drive from
the majestic Lake Windermere and hosts regular evening entertainment.
Excursions include Bowness & Windermere, Kendal and Keswick &
5 Days from only £349
Mon 16 Apr, 13 Aug, 10 Sep, 15 Oct
Stunning Southport
Based at what we believe to be the finest hotel in Southport, the
Ramada Plaza Hotel offers luxurious accommodation and stunning views
of the coastline. Includes excursions to Liverpool and Chester.
5 Days from only £319
Mon 12 Mar, 2 Apr, 7 May, 11 Jun
Scarborough & Yorkshire
The Esplanade Hotel holds a commanding position
overlooking the South Bay and hosts regular
evening entertainment in the ballroom.
Excursions take us to York and Whitby & North
Yorkshire Moors.
5 Days from only £329
Mon 16 Apr, 21 May, 4 Jun, 2 Jul
e li
Holidays with style & a smile
FREE Door to Door Collection
Many single rooms without supplements
Holidays by coach and air!
75 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 6TS
Tel: 0844 800 9424 Book online at
• FREE Door to Door collection*
on holidays of five days or more
• All holidays dinner, B&B
• Quality hotels & coaches
• New for 2018 - Join the coach
direct and save £20 per person*
Call for your FREE copy of our brand new brochure!
Scenic Scotland
Park Hotel – Montrose
5 Days only £319 Mon 2 Apr
Lakes, Morecambe & Southport
Auckland Hotel – Morecambe
5 Days only £289 Mon 2 Apr
York & Harrogate
Corn Mill Lodge Hotel – Leeds
5 Days only £289 Mon 2 Apr
Stunning Southport
Ramada Plaza Hotel - Southport
5 Days only £349 Mon 2 Apr
Warwickshire & the Cotswolds
Manor Hotel – Meriden
5 Days only £309 Mon 2 Apr
Babbacombe Bargain Break
Seabury Hotel - Babbacombe
5 Days only £229 Mon 2 Apr
St Annes Special Offer
The family-run Monterey Beach Hotel is situated
on the North promenade and is within easy
walking distance of the elegant Edwardian town
centre. Our excursions take us to the Victorian
seaside town of Southport and the Roman city
of Chester.
5 Days only £279
Mon 23 Jul
Heart of Floral Harrogate
Based at the Kimberley Hotel near the centre of Harrogate. Incudes
excursions to York and Thirsk & Ripon.
5 Days from only £329
Mon 23 Apr, 28 May, 18 Jun, 30 Jul
Canterbury & Bruges
Our host is the Coniston Hotel in Sittingbourne. The
hotel was originally built as a private residence in
1880. Excursions take us to Canterbury known as the
jewel in Kent’s crown and a fascinating day trip to
Bruges on Eurotunnel.
5 Days from only £329 Mon 19 Mar, 6 Aug, 1 Oct
Fort William, Skye & the Jacobite Steam Train
Based at the Croit Anna Hotel overlooking the banks of Loch Linhe. There will
be some evening entertainment and excursions to Skye, Lochaber and the
Jacobite Steam Railway trip.
5 Days from only £299
Mon 16 Apr, 7 May, 4 Jun, 16 Jul
Liverpool Luxury
Based at the RMS Titanic Hotel which is a luxury Titanic themed hotel close
to Liverpool’s waterfront. The bedrooms and public areas capture all the
glamour and elegance found on board RMS Titanic. Excursions include trips
to Southport and Port Sunlight Museum.
5 Days from only £369
Mon 30 Apr, 28 May, 25 Jun, 23 Jul
St Patrick’s Weekend
This fabulous short break is based at the popular Dillons Hotel in Letterkenny
town centre. Includes a free day to enjoy the parade which passes the hotel
and a day in Donegal.
4 Days only £279
Fri 16 Mar
A Tale of Two Cities
One of the most popular Eclipse tours makes a welcome return, staying once
again at the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan with a live Irish band to entertain
you and a leisure club for you to relax in. A great mix of excursions includes
Belfast & Titanic Museum, Dublin and Enchanting Enniskillen.
5 Days from only £369
Sun 1 Apr, 10 Jun, 1 Jul, 12 Aug
Rudesheim, Rhine & Moselle Valley
Our base is the Rudesheimer Hof Hotel in Rudesheim - the epitome of a
Rhine wine town. Excursions include Cochem & Niederwald Monument,
Koblenz & Lorely Rock, the Farmers Market in Mainz & Asbach distillery and
a cruise on the Rhine.
8 Days from only £669
Sun 20 May, 29 Jul, 30 Sep
Cotswolds & Wye Valley
The welcoming and historical Green Dragon Hotel
is ideally located at the heart of Hereford city
centre, close to the cathedral. Excursions take us
to the glorious Cotswolds, the pretty Wye Valley
towns of Ross-on-Wye & Monmouth and a free
day in the centre of Hereford where you can
explore the cathedral, old market and cider museum.
5 Days only £329
Mon 18 Jun
Three Countries All Inclusive*
Based at the Hotel Walram in Valkenburg. Includes
nightly three hour free bar* at Hotel Walram and
excursions to Brussels, Cologne and Maastricht.
7 Days from only £599
Sun 15 Apr, 1 Jul, 9 Sep
· Service now managed by local company
with local knowledge
more executive people
· Significantly
carriers in use
· £20 discount for anyone wishing to
make their own way to the coach
e lipse
Escorted Holidays for the solo traveller
Easter in St Annes, Lakes & Chester
Inn on the Prom Hotel – St Annes
5 Days only £349
Mon 2 Apr
Solo Eclipse Irish House Party NEW TOUR
The fabulous Hamlet Court Hotel in Johnstownbridge has a real
traditional Irish welcome and hosts nightly entertainment including
live Music, Irish Dancing and a Irish Brown Soda Bread and Coffee
Demonstration. Includes excursions to Dublin, Bray and Galway. You
can enjoy the services of a Solo Eclipse host and there is no single room
supplement at all!
5 Days only £399
Sun 24 Jun
Jersey By Air - 8 Days from only £599
Departures from May to Sep 2018
Free Door to Door collection*
Return flights from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport
Choice of Norfolk Lodge, Ambassadeur, Mayfair
and Runnymede Hotels
• Seven nights DBB
• Full day Island Coastal tour
• Services of local representative
We are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to12 noon Saturdays.
Telephone: 0844 800 9424
Escorted holidays for
the solo traveller
* conditions apply
Visit us at 75 Bothwell Street, Glasgow
Book online at
February 25, 2018
Dad’s disgust at local authority’s legal bill for gravestone FAI
A man who left a veterans’
tribute covered in blood on
Armistice Day said he is
sorry for his actions.
Last week, Anton Rodwell,
19, admitted breaking in to
Orkney’s St Magnus
Cathedral on November 11
last year, stealing the charity
box and damaging the Book
of Remembrance.
The tribute was left
covered in blood after
Rodwell cut himself during
the wrecking spree, causing
£6000 worth of damage.
A funeral that was due to
be held at the cathedral that
day had to be moved to
another venue, while the
book was removed for
His lawyer said Rodwell
wanted to put on record “his
sincere remorse”.
He will be sentenced next
sigN up today
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Man knifed
at home
A man is being treated in
hospital after being stabbed
inside his home.
Police said the 34-year-old
was attacked by a man
who entered the flat in
Dumbarton on Friday night.
The victim was attacked
with a knife before the man
ran off.
He was taken to the
Royal Alexandra Hospital in
Paisley where staff described
his condition as stable.
The attacker is described
as white, 6ft tall and was
wearing a blue jumper.
Detective Inspector Scott
Hamilton of Police Scotland
said: “Although we are trying
to establish a motive for this
violent attack we strongly
believe that this was not
“Nevertheless, we will not
tolerate such acts of
violence .”
By Hannah Rodger
he father of a boy
killed by an unsafe gravestone
has condemned council chiefs
for spending £180,000 on
lawyers to defend their
Ryan Williamson said the local
authority’s legal bill for the Fatal
Accident Inquiry into his son
Ciaran’s death was obscene.
The eight-year-old was fatally
crushed when an 8ft gravestone
fell on him in May 2015.
Ryan and Ciaran’s gran,
Margaret Aitken, said they were
“disgusted” to learn how much
was paid to lawyers during the
FAI, arguing if the cash had been
spent on graveyard maintenance
the tragedy wouldn’t have
Ryan said: “I am absolutely
furious, and it’s sickening to
know that if they had invested
that money in making sure the
cemetery was safe my son would
still be here.
“They have absolutely no grip
on reality.
If the council had spent
£180,000 on making their
graveyards safe instead
of on their lawyers, my
son might still be alive
– Ciaran Williamson’s father Ryan
Ryan Williamson
They have
absolutely no
grip on reality
“On top of this, I applied for
legal aid for the inquiry and was
refused it, twice, while tax payers
are footing the bill for their team
of top lawyers to try and get
them out of accepting that they
didn’t do their jobs properly. It’s
an utter sham, and whoever
agreed to these fees should have
a look at themselves.”
Margaret added: “This is
absolutely disgusting.
“During the inquiry, we heard
a few times that things weren’t
done and it was put down to a
lack of funding.
“How can they find this kind
of money for lawyers’ bills but
not have the cash for public
safety? It’s a complete disgrace.”
The inquiry into Ciaran’s
death lasted 10 months,
finishing in August 2017.
A council employee said he
had raised concerns about the
lack of inspections in 2013, but
was told they were “beyond
current resources”.
Within four days of Ciaran’s
death, up to 900 headstones had
been laid flat in the cemetery
where he died and all of the city’s
cemeteries were then fully
checked for unsafe memorials.
G l a s g ow C i t y C o u n c i l ’s
Eight-year-old Ciaran Williamson was crushed to death by an unsafe
gravestone. Below: Police probing the incident in May 2015
spokesman said: “The purpose of
a Fatal Accident Inquiry is to
allow court to examine and
determine the circumstances of a
death – and it is important that
any individuals or organisations
that can assist the sheriff are
represented appropriately.
“Given the length and complexity of this Inquiry, it was
appropriate to instruct counsel.”
It comes as The Sunday Post
can reveal that headstones in at
least five local authorities’
graveyards have not been safety
checked, while other councils
rely on staff or the public to
report problems.
Du m f r i e s a n d Ga l l ow a y,
Falkirk, Fife, South Ayrshire and
West Dunbartonshire are still
checking all of their headstones
following Ciaran’s death while
two councils, Perth and Kinross
and Moray, admitted their
inspections are done ad-hoc, if a
member of the public or
employee raises concerns.
Ciaran’s family is campaigning
for a change in the law to make
sure councils step up to ensure
their burial grounds are safe.
The calls are backed by the
family’s lawyer Eilish Lindsay, of
Thompsons solicitors, who said:
“We’re pleased to see that some
councils have taken steps to
make some changes, and we
hope the Scottish Government
does implement the changes that
have been suggested by Sheriff
“It shouldn’t be that each local
authority is left to their own
devices with something so
serious, where the gravity of
injury is such that it can result in
disastrous consequences.”
Industry guidance varies on
how to properly carry out safety
c h e c k s . A b i d i n g by t h e i r
policies is not mandatory in
Scotland and neither is ensuring
staff are professionally trained on
how to do it.
Seven local authorities said
staff had not been trained by
professional bodies, while the
numbers of trained inspectors in
other councils vary hugely.
In the Highlands, just one
trained member of staff, backed
up by untrained colleagues, is
responsible for inspecting
headstones in 146 graveyards,
while Argyll and Bute has 16
trained employees covering their
130 sites and East Ayrshire
employs 37 qualified testers for
just 45 graveyards.
A S c o t t i s h G ov e r n m e n t
spokesman said: “This is a tragic
set of circumstances and our
sympathies remain with Ciaran’s
family. The Burial and Cremation
(Scotland) Act 2016 enables
Scottish Ministers to make
regulations which will ensure the
safety of headstones.
“In addition, Ministers will
appoint inspectors to oversee the
operation of burial authorities,
including burial grounds.
“These important measures
will ensure that burial ground
safety is given appropriate
February 25, 2018
By Bill Gibb
Heston Blumenthal
Heston is a
dad again
TV chef Heston Blumenthal
has become a father again at
the age of 51.
The chef and TV presenter
has three older children
with his ex-wife Zanna.
It has now emerged that
his fourth child, with French
estate agent Stephanie
Gouveia, was born towards
the end of last year.
The maverick chef –
known for serving up
unusual dishes such as snail
porridge at his awardwinning eateries – and
Zanna divorced in April last
year after more than 25
years of marriage.
They had been separated
since 2011.
After their split,
Blumenthal dated US food
writer Suzanne Pirret.
The chef’s spokeswoman
said: “I can confirm Heston
and Stephanie have had a
She said there would be
no further comment.
version of Oor Wullie is a
smash hit with fans of our
lovable mischief-maker.
Steven Brown, the man
behind the best-selling
Highland Cow McCoo
paintings, last week
launched a special
commission featuring his
stunning portrayal of The
Sunday Post’s famous
cartoon hero.
And readers can’t seem to
get enough of his range of
exclusive Oor Wullie
More than 2000 items
have been sold within a
week – and they have been
viewed by more than
1.5 million people on
The most popular Oor
Wullie and Big Tam McCoo
products include collector’s
edition prints, wooden
plaques, cushions, keyrings,
chopping boards, coasters
and mugs.
Steven has been
overwhelmed by the
“I have been blown away
by the response to my Oor
Wullie and Big Tam McCoo
painting,” he said. “The
feedback from the public
has been phenomenal.
“This has been my biggest
Coopendous rush for
multi-coloured Wullie
Artist thrilled as fresh spin on cartoon scamp proves a big hit
and most successful launch
ever. It was a real privilege
for me to be able to paint
such an iconic image, and
I’m delighted that everyone
has responded so well,
especially Oor Wullie fans
like myself.”
platinum edition limited
edition prints are also in
demand with people trying
to snap up the 295 available.
Fans have been singing
the praises of the new range
on social media.
Jennie McCombie said
on Facebook: “Ooh I
love this one, Wullie
was always a favourite
of mine, and the Bucket
Trail Wullies were so
successful in Dundee.
Brilliant, Steven.”
Linda Bruce posted:
“My mum bought me The
Broons at Christmas,
always looked forward to
receiving it. Fabulous
painting – looks like a
smart Oor Wullie lol.
Would love to own this.”
And Wendy Lewis
raved: “Loved Oor Wullie
and The Broons, always had
them for Christmas, they
used to alternate each year.
I would love to have this
picture as I already have two
Steven’s wife Caroline and
their three kids Linzi, 28,
Jordan, 22, and
Megan, 19, are all
heavily involved
in his booming
New for 2018 - Sprinkled with magical special effects
Romeo & Juliet
Snow Maiden
Swan Lake
Performed by
The Russian State Ballet of Siberia
Accompanied by
The Orchestra of the Russian State Ballet
reader offer
15% discount
off Wullie’s range
To celebrate this collaboration, Steven Brown is
offering Sunday Post readers 15% off the entire
Oor Wullie range.
To redeem your discount visit stevenbrownart., add your products to the cart and enter
the promotional code: OOR15
20 - 24 March
0844 871 3014
(bkg fees apply)
Terms and Conditions: Offer valid on the Oor Wullie & Big Tam McCoo
range only. Other products can be purchased but will not be
discounted from advertised price. Offer excludes sale items; 30”
canvases which are already reduced to £59.99, and Collector’s Edition
Prints (framed and unframed). Offer excludes the new Platinum Edition
Prints. Offer valid until Tuesday 27th February 2018. Not available in
conjunction with any other offers. No cash alternative.
his Oor
canvases have found
growing numbers of
celebrity fans with Katie
Price and Rebekah Vardy
among the devotees.
However, it’s his influence
on a new generation that
gives him most pride.
“When I was a kid, if my
dad hung a painting on the
wall I’d have thought it was
just all right. But now
parents are buying a
McCoo and their
kids are really
February 25, 2018
Dominique Worrall
Tributes to
mum found
dead by the
side of M20
The boyfriend of a woman
found dead by the side of
the M20 has paid tribute to
Dominique Worrall, 32,
was discovered by police on
the London-bound
carriageway near Ashford in
Kent on Tuesday evening.
A man who was arrested
on suspicion of murder after
officers appealed for the
driver of a silver Nissan
Qashqai to come forward
has been released on bail,
Kent Police said.
The circumstances
surrounding Ms Worrall’s
death remain a mystery.
Police are still appealing
for drivers who were on the
road at the time to check
their vehicles for signs of a
collision, and for anyone
with dashcam footage or
who saw a Nissan Qashqai
with the registration KY15
WWX at the time of the
incident to come forward.
Her boyfriend, Terry
Dunne, 31, said: “I’m just in
mourning. It’s tragic what
happened to her and
difficult to come to terms
Friend Martin Collins
said: “She was such a lovely,
bright, bubbly, fun-loving
It was reported yesterday
that police officers are
looking into claims she was
murdered at a nearby
holiday park before being
dumped on the road.
Ms Worral lived with her
boyfriend and two daughters
at a Camber Sands caravan
park in East Sussex.
Arrest after
A man has been arrested
and charged after a lollipop
lady was robbed during the
school run.
The incident happened
when the 36-year-old
woman was working in
Hamilton, South
Lanarkshire, after schools
finished on Tuesday.
She was not injured
during the incident.
Police Scotland said a
34-year-old man has been
arrested and charged with
He is expected to appear
at Hamilton Sheriff Court on
Covertly-filmed footage of the Dumfriesshire and Stewartry hunt, first two pictures, and Fife, above right, shows frightened sheep fleeing
By Billy Briggs
ox hunts have been
accused of endangering pregnant
ewes, despite a new police
campaign to stop sheep
Undercover footage shows a
number of Scottish hunts riding with
packs of hounds through the
countryside, scattering flocks in
Sheep worrying is an offence in
Scotland but the law allows an
exemption for fox hunts’ hounds to
be at large, if they are hunting legally.
The League Against Cruel Sports
secretly recorded 20 incidents of
hunts in fields with sheep, dating
back to 2015, and is calling for the
law to be reviewed.
The hunts say they act within the
law at all times.
Police Scotland’s new campaign
coincides with the spring lambing
season to prevent livestock worrying.
The campaign says “significant
damage” can be caused by a dog
simply being present in a field.
Pregnant ewes can abort their
lambs or lambs can be separated
from their mothers, causing distress
and in some cases malnutrition.
The campaign also points out that
the Scottish Outdoor Access Code
says that dogs should not be taken
into fields where there are lambs or
other young farm animals.
The League’s covert footage shows
mounted hunts with packs of
hounds riding through fields with
One clip of the Lauderdale Hunt
shows a pregnant ewe falling heavily
as hounds run nearby.
Other footage captured shows
flocks of sheep running away from
dogs and trying to leap over walls
and fences.
Secret footage included Fife
Fox h o u n d s a n d t h e Du k e o f
Buccleuch’s hunt, which was filmed
last spring at Ettrickbridge.
Robbie Marsland, director of The
L e a g u e A g a i n s t Cr u e l Sp o r t s
Scotland, said: “The League recently
reviewed footage obtained over past
hunting seasons for evidence of
sheep worrying and was shocked
and alarmed by what we saw. If the
sight of one dog can devastate a
pregnant ewe we can only stagger at
the prospect of what a pack of over
30 dogs in full cry must have.”
Harry Huyton, director at animal
welfare charity OneKind, said: “This
appears to be a case of one rule for
the hunts, another for everyone else.
Yet for the sheep being terrified by
packs of dogs, the fact that they are
part of a fox hunt is completely
irrelevant. The list of reasons why the
Terrified sheep
filmed fleeing
fox hunt hounds
Footage captures flocks scattering in fear as campaigners
say huntsmen should not be exempt from loose dogs ban
The Duke of Buccleuch’s hunt at Rawflat, near the Borders village of Ancrum last month
Scottish Government needs to get on
with it and introduce a complete ban
on fox hunting just keeps on
SNP MSP Ruth Maguire said:
“Sheep worrying is a huge issue for
farmers, particularly at this time of
year when pregnant ewes are
preparing to lamb so it is deeply
concerning that hunts are routinely
causing so much chaos to flocks of
sheep with no regard whatsoever for
their welfare.”
But Jamie Stewart, Scottish
Countryside Alliance director, said:
“It would seem that having failed to
film foxhounds chasing foxes that
LACS have returned to their deceitful
tactic of misleading the general
public with this ridiculous footage of
foxhounds not chasing sheep.
“The Protection of Wild Mammals
(Scotland) Act 2002 stipulates that
foxhounds can only operate by
permission, it would be ridiculous
to think that this would be granted
if the hounds were worrying the
sheep or causing a negative impact
on lambing ewes.
“Far from making complaints,
many farmers welcome the
assistance of hunt staff who live and
work within the farming community
as they give off their own time to
help during the lambing effort.”
Po l i c e S c o t l a n d s a i d t h a t i t
recognises the impact of sheep
worrying and urged people to report
The National Farmers Union
Scotland backs Police Scotland’s
campaign. Its policy manager,
Gemma Cooper, said that livestock
worrying “remains a blight on
Scottish livestock farming”.
She added: “As we are now into
lambing, NFUS would remind the
public that they should not take
access in fields with very young
lambs, but should find an alternative
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February 25, 2018
Strictly speaking? I’d
rather be in my garden
The Nancy Glen trawler
Song for
Nancy Glen
is a hit
A new song in memory of
two Scots fishermen who
were lost when the Nancy
Glen prawn trawler sank is
storming the charts.
Yesterday morning, within
hours of its release, Please
Bring Our Boys back Home
was racing up the download
charts of both Amazon and
By midday, the poignant
song, featuring a mix of
talented Tarbert musicians,
was sitting at No. 1 on
Amazon’s movers and
Shakers chart and No. 2 on
Amazon’s hot new releases
Proceeds will go to the
families of Tarbert
fishermen Duncan
MacDougall, 46, and
Przemek Krawczyk, 38, who
lost their lives when their
boat sank in Loch Fyne, just
a mile from their home
village, on January 18.
A third crewman, John
Miller, 34, also from Tarbert,
survived after being rescued
by a passing vessel.
Gosia Krawczyk, the
widow of Prsemek, said: “All
it takes is one song to bring
people together, a song
whose lyrics are my story,
the story of my life, a story
that still has no end, a song
that means so much to me.
“It’s a song that shows me
that I’m not alone.”
Meanwhile, a
crowdfunding site, set up by
the Clyde Fishermen’s Trust,
has raised more than
£258,000, thanks to events
in Tarbert and further
Gun lobby
America’s National Rifle
Association is facing a
corporate backlash as
companies take a closer
look at their ties to the gun
industry following the latest
school massacre.
A handful of companies
have ended discount
programmes with the NRA
as the group aggressively
resists calls for stricter gun
control after a gunman
killed 17 people at a Florida
high school last week.
The moves came amid
online petitions targeting
companies offering
discounts to NRA members.
presenter on his
five offers from
TV dance show
really. I’m six years older that my dad
ever was, which is an impossible
thing to get your head around.
“My mum died later, in 2002. I
think about them every day. What
they gave you and how you’ve turned
out. A lot of that is down to them –
manners and just your view on life. I
think in those formative years it’s
extremely important.
“Who knows when it’s all going to
end? It really is live for the day. I’m so
blessed in what I do, people I work
with, family and friends that I have
no right to complain about
Despite pulling back on his commitments, Alan still has telly bosses
beating a path to the door of his
Hampshire home.
He’s back with a new 12-part second series of Channel 5’s Secrets Of
The National Trust, which goes
behind the scenes of some of the
glorious properties saved for the
Hosting a series about distinguished homes and gardens is a real
busman’s holiday.
“It’s the kind of thing I do when
I’m not being paid – going round
stately houses with my wife. About
10 years ago or more I made her a life
member so we can go round
“They were built on such an
extraordinar y scale. Not even
Russian oligarchs build houses on
this scale nowadays. You think, ‘why
did you want to make them so massive, with hundreds of rooms? No
one needs all of those.’ But it was at
the time when it was the done thing
to extol your wealth.”
Despite the workload, more of
Alan’s time is spent at home with the
kids – albeit not leisurely taking in
his own garden.
“I try and try and try,” he insists.
“Sometimes I manage 30 seconds
before I see something that needs
doing. I do try to sit and just look but
generally there’s something else
waiting – ‘Oh when did that come
out? Is it flowering?’
“I am trying to pace myself as I get
older but so far I’ve
By Bill Gibb
e was twice voted the
world’s second sexiest man – after
George Clooney – but Alan
Titchmarsh turns 70 next year.
And, before his milestone birthday, the popular presenter has
revealed why he’s scaling back his TV
Home is now where the heart is for
the nation’s favourite gardener who
revealed his careful selection of projects means he has turned down
Strictly Come Dancing five times.
“I am much more selective about
what I do,” said Alan, who has two
daughters, Polly and Camilla, with
his wife Alison.
“I don’t want to be going off for
months at a time. It’s very nice doing
the Ecuadorian rain forest but it
means you don’t have a life outside
of filming and that’s not my bag.
“I have a life with a very close family and some extraordinarily good
friends. They are my anchor.
“Most proposals that arrive now
say: ‘Alan travels the length and
breadth of . . .’ No, not for me. I’m not
going to be on my deathbed saying,
‘I wish I’d made that series about X.’
“It’s going to be ‘I wish I’d had
enough time with my family.’ I’ll
never retire completely and twiddle
my thumbs, but there are things I
want time to do, which isn’t necessarily making films.”
He enjoys watching TV as well as
being on it but admits his niggles
increase year by year, from loud
music in programmes which means
he can’t hear the dialogue, to men
not taking off their hats when entering houses in period dramas.
Nor are reality shows, where “people whinge at each other”, his idea of
But Strictly, the hit dance show
featuring Darcey Bussell among its
judges, is different, he admits.
“I’ve been asked five times, which
is very kind of them,” he said.
“My wife’s a dancer and she says
my knees wouldn’t take lifts. That’s
my excuse at the moment.
“I don’t think I’ll ever give in but
it’s lovely to be asked and I do enjoy
watching it. It’s the only show like
that I would consider.”
Over the years he has presented
Gardener’s World and made Ground
Force a phenomenon watched by
12 million people, beaten only by
EastEnders in the BBC ratings.
He’s hosted his own ITV chat show,
made insider films with the Royal
Family and is one of Britain’s
Alan with wife Alison, who reckons his knees would buckle on Strictly
biggest-selling authors. Spending
time with his grandkids, though, is
now right up his priority list.
“I’ve got four grandchildren – two
boys and two girls aged five, four,
three and two – now, as well as my
daughters and I want to be with
them,” he confides. “I don’t want to
miss that. You don’t get those first 10
years back.
“They’re really crucial in terms of a
relationship with a grandparent. And
also in terms of me seeing them
growing and showing them things.
“All four of them love being outside and that’s a delight for me when
they come and want to go in the garden. It shows you’ve got something
through. It’s important they connect
with the great outdoors.
“The reality of life is that landscape out there which is enduring. I
want my grandchildren, as I did my
children, to grow up being aware of
their responsibility to it. And also
what it will give them in return in
physical and spiritual
What’s also – although in a
reflective, not maudlin manner – focusing his mind is
the passing of time, with
his dad having died when
he was 62.
“You do think about
the old thing of 70
being your allotted
time span. Your three
score years and 10.
Anything over that’s a
“I’ve lived longer than
my dad did anyway so
that’s quite haunting
Secrets Of The
National Trust,
Tuesday 8pm.
February 25, 2018
the issues
It has never been
about the money.
It’s the only route
I have left
A former student says suing a
man cleared of raping her is
about justice not cash
I never took Eastern
European diplomats
at face value
Lord Robertson, then Labour’s
foreign affairs spokesman, on
Czech spy Jan Sarkocy, who
claims Jeremy Corybn was a
contact in the 1980s
7000 donors have
cancelled their monthly
donations to Oxfam after
aid workers’ sex scandal
for an autograph
from former Doctor Who
Peter Capaldi at London
Comic Con event
fine for bookies
William Hill after failing
to do enough to stop
money laundering
If a deal to buy
Hampden doesn’t
stack up, they’ll move
to Murrayfield. They’re
not kidding on
An SFA source says owners
Queens Park need to think
about selling national stadium
They put that
before those
they were there to
help and protect
...a complete
betrayal of trust
International Development
Secretary Penny Mordaunt
says Oxfam put reputation
first after sex scandal claims
There is an issue
with our regulatory
and healthcare
system and we are
determined to
address it
Prime Minister Theresa May
announces review of vaginal
mesh surgery scandal
Expert warns consumers are being confused, duped
t is fast, easy and, experts fear,
What we eat is under the microscope
again after a French study linked socalled ultra-processed foods – which
make up half our diet in the UK – and
The findings did not surprise Joanna
Blythman, an acclaimed writer who
has been investigating the food industry for years.
She believes industrial food manufacturers should be treated like the
tobacco industry 50 years ago.
Her new book details the manufacture of processed foods – like chicken
nuggets, ready meals and noodle pots
– called Swallow This: Serving Up The
Food Industry’s Darkest Secrets.
It exposes the methods used by
supermarkets to sell us food we presume are safe – a mistake, according to
“Our food industry is like the tobacco
industry of yesterday,” she said.
“People were saying for decades it
was harmful but the
industry said, ‘No, no,
no – ever ything’s
“Eating ultra-processed food is the
same – we have to
treat it like smoking.
“What we’re talking
about is not simply
processed foods but
foods – which includes everything from
noodle pots to sliced bread.
“Given it makes up more than 50% of
our diet, Britain has got a problem.
“We’re going to get fat, we’re going to
get Type 2 diabetes and we’re going to
get cancer.
“The prognosis is not good – the status quo is not an option if you want to
be healthy.”
Ultra-processed foods contain long
lists of ingredients. These, combined
with the industrial methods used to
prepare them, takes much of the nutrition from the food and causes the associated health problems.
Some items like frozen pizzas contain nearly 50 ingredients.
“There are two issues with what we
eat,” she explained. “One is with hightech ingredients being added – ones we
wouldn’t use at home like xantham
gum or monoglycerides of fatty acids.
“There are a whole battery of ingredients which are part of the modern
food manufacturer’s arsenal.
“And then you’ve got the processes
the factories use to make these
“These destroy the natural nutritional qualities of food.
“When processed it comes out beige
and has lost its taste, so manufacturers
then add chemical flavourings and
“We’re buying items that start off
natural but by the time it comes out the
other end of the factory it is
is like the
transformed. The food technologists
take food apart and take the components to make them more functional.
“For instance, they don’t use fresh
eggs, they might use egg powder
because it’s easier to use and lasts
“The basic ingredients have to be
cheap, it has to work in a factory setting, and it has to have a long shelf life.
And that’s why you end up with very
processed products.”
Some of the additives used in ultraprocessed foods aren’t recognisable as
food, says Joanna.
“In 2013 I went undercover to a food
fair in Frankfurt which was like an arms
fair but for the food industry,” she said.
“Exhibitors at most food exhibitions
are often keen for you to taste their
Writer: The reason everything is wrapped in
Packaged peppers
Meat, vegetables and even
bananas bought in the
supermarket now comes
in plastic wrapping.
This can extend its
shelf-life – but it’s also
there to make the product
on sale look more
“Supermarkets overpackage things to a lunatic
degree,” explained Joanna.
“Look at the recent
Cauliflower Steak in Marks
and Spencer. It’s no accide n t. Pl a s t i c - w ra p p e d
items have been marketed
as being more appealing – a
bunch of flowers apparently looks better if it’s
wrapped in cellophane.
“But the reason things
are so heavily packaged is,
because very few people
work there opposed to conventional shops, they need
it all to be scanned through
the tills quickly with a
February 25, 2018
and killed by industry’s unnatural ingredients
THe siMple slice oF
BReAd? noT so MucH
This labelling system isn’t working,
according to Joanna, and the average
shopper has been left baffled.
They don’t have the time to ponder
why a loaf of supermarket bread, for
example, has so many additives.
“If you listen to the Real Bread
Campaign they’re very clear – proper
bread should have three main
ingredients,” said Joanna.
“Flour, salt and some kind of raising
agent. When you then look at a
supermarket loaf you’ll find a long list of
“Britain has lost the plot with food.”
Tesco TigeR BlooMeR loAF
● Wheat flour (wheat flour, calcium
carbonate iron, niacin, thiamin)
● Water
● Yeast
● Rapeseed oil
● Salt
● Emulsifier (mono- and
di-acetyltartaric esters of mono- and
di-glycerides of fatty acids)
● Palm oil, soya flour, flour treatment
agents (ascorbic acid, L-cysteine
● Barley malt extract powder
● Stabiliser (tetrasodium diphosphate)
● Flavouring
ReAl BReAd cAMpAign loAF
● Flour ● Water ●Yeast ● Salt
products, but few standholders had
anything edible to offer. Ingredients
like glucono-delta-lactone – a ‘cyclic
ester of gluconic acid’ that prolongs
shelf life – and minced ham colour
texturised soy protein were being sold
to manufacturers as additives for
their food.
“The conference was for people
who work in the laboratory and the
factory – not the kitchen, the farm
or the field.”
Manufacturers are now aware
that careful shoppers check ingredient labels for telltale E-numbers. So
they have switched to more benignsounding products – but they’re ones
Joanna campaigns
against artificial food
which are, according to Joanna, unrecognisable as food.
“Over the past few years, the industry has removed the most glaring
industrial ingredients and additives,
replacing them with substitutes that
sound more benign.
“In some cases the content has
improved, but some manufacturers
have turned to a range of cheaper substances that allow them to present a
scrubbed and rosy face to the public.
“You might relax when you see
‘rosemary extract’ on the ingredients
list – but this is a substitute for the old
techie-sounding antioxidants (E30021), such as butylhydroxyanisole
(BHA) and butylhydroxytoluene
“With the similar ‘extract of
rosemary’, the herb’s antioxidant
chemicals are isolated in an extraction
procedure that ‘deodorises’ them,
removing any rosemary taste and
“Extraction is done by using either
carbon dioxide or chemical solvents –
hexane (derived from the fractional
distillation of petroleum), ethanol and
acetone. Neutral-tasting rosemary
extract is then sold to manufacturers,
usually in the form of a powder.
“Its connection with the freshly cut,
green and pungent herb is remote.
“In the 80s and 90s we all just
seemed to say we’re too busy to cook,
and food was something we could just
devolve to the food industry.
“People are only now beginning to
realise what happened and what this
plastic is about barcodes, tills and speed
b a rc o d e. In d i v i d u a l l y
weighing and scanning
loose fruit and veg takes
too long at the checkout.”
Supposed health salads
in plastic bags are washed
in chlorine baths before
being vacuum sealed in
gas-filled plastic bag.
And that’s before the
environmental cost is taken
into account.
“If you buy a steak, you
go to the butcher and he’ll
wrap it in brown paper and
give it to you,” said Joanna.
“In a supermarket it’s in a
rigid plastic pack with a
tight cellophane top. It’s
modified air that’s filling
the steak – that’s to extend
the life and keep the meat
looking red. This packaging
is not needed. If we’re lucky
it’ll get recycled but in all
likelihood it’ll go into landfill – if not then, well, we’ve
all seen Blue Planet.”
the issues
By Mandy
insidE holyRood
Enough mealy-mouthed
apologies and cover-ups,
this is a time for action
Lesley Agams, Oxfam’s
country director in Nigeria,
accused a senior manager
of a serious sexual assault.
Three months later, he
sacked her.
It’s a depressingly
familiar response that goes
right to the heart of the
abuse scandal currently
engulfing the aid sector
and exposes it to the same
shame of cover-up and lies
that has hit Hollywood,
politics and business.
It also shatters the
assumption that those
working in the charity
sector are any more
charitable to each other
and calls into question the
ethos of service and
support that is the glue
holding the sector together.
The horrific stories of
sexual harassment,
exploitation and abuse
pouring out of charities
such as Oxfam, Save The
Children and UNICEF –
just like the stories that
followed Weinstein and
the #MeToo campaign –
are littered with
mealy-mouthed apologies,
inaction and cover–ups.
Maybe, it should come
as no surprise that
supposedly good men can
do bad things.
But this scandal, in all its
manifestations, from the
raping of children in Haiti
in exchange for food to
the pestering of staff for sex
in Britain, betrays the
passion and sacrifice
invested by hard-working
staff and volunteers in
organisations who, day in
day out, pour their efforts
into defending the human
rights and dignity of the
most vulnerable.
How dispiriting could it
be for women who work
unrelentingly in the pursuit
of the welfare of others, to
discover that for them,
exploitation is just another
day in the office?
Decades of internal
policing bolstered by old
boy networks – often
forged in the political
world – have maintained a
misogynist culture which is
at the root of what is now
seen as a widespread cover
Cox had
to stand
up of sexual misconduct
and abuse.
How cynical that in
agencies where the
language and architecture
of equality are built into
the very fabric of their
being, holding the moral
high-ground just conspired
to mask what was really
going on.
And all of this
compounded by the
underlying threat, that to
speak out would risk the
good work that goes on to
improve the lives of others
less fortunate.
Both Justin Forsyth, who
has resigned as deputy
executive director of
UNICEF after it was
revealed he faced three
complaints about his
behaviour towards female
staff when he was the chief
executive of Save The
Children, and Brendan
Cox, widower of the
murdered MP Jo Cox, who
also previously resigned
from Save The Children
following allegations of
sexual misconduct, worked
together as aides to Gordon
And it’s perhaps no
coincidence that both
Forsyth and Cox cut their
teeth in that toxic culture
of Westminster politics
where bullying and
intimation were reportedly
rife and where many were
revered as gods.
For charities to regain
trust and credibility, they
must ask whether it is that
style of macho
management it wishes to
import in its efforts to
compete in an ever more
financially challenging
If so, is it willing to
ignore the frailties that
then allowed men to be
rewarded for the harm that
they caused to women?
Mandy RhodEs is EdiToR oF holyRood MagazinE FolloW on TWiTTER @holyroodmandy
February 25, 2018
By Bill Gibb
Charity scandals
require swift and
firm investigation
The role charities play in society has
become so much greater in recent
At home, spending cuts by national
and local Government have seen
voluntary bodies step into the breach,
helping those less fortunate than
Further afield, environmental disasters
and bloody civil wars have seen
charities rush to the aid of those who
can’t be helped by their own
It means the charitable sector has
become big “business”. Some
organisations are dealing with
multi-million pound budgets and paying
senior executives healthy salaries with
the expectation they bring in top-level
In the vast majority of cases, charities
continue to deliver their services with
compassion, diligence and
professionalism. However, in recent
weeks it has become clear that those
organisations are not immune from the
problems that affect society at large.
First, we had Oxfam beset by a sex
scandal, quickly followed by a raft of
other bodies admitting they had fired
workers for various types of misconduct.
The Sunday Post has previously
revealed how some charity directors
were paying themselves vast sums of
money while as little as 13p in every
pound raised was actually finding its
way to the good cause involved.
Therefore, it’s vital that the bodies set
up to police our charities have the
funding and power to swiftly and
vigorously investigate complaints as
they arise.
Any delay in pursuing allegations
could be catastrophic, allowing
potential criminals and abusers to carry
on unhindered.
Such robust action is also needed to
ensure the public’s faith in charities is
maintained so we continue giving to
those in need.
Perverse pride
in owning a rifle
We can only hope that Judy Murray is
right – that America’s youth can help
bring an end to the gun savagery in
For Scots, it is almost incomprehensible
to imagine that the solution to gun
violence in schools is to bring in more
However, given the strength of the
National Rifle Association – and its
political influence – it’s unlikely that
anything will change.
Indeed, President Donald Trump was
once a critic of the NRA but soon
changed his tune when he needed its
endorsement in the race for the White
However, what will perplex most of us
is why any American would take
pleasure in owning a deadly killing
machine such as the AR-15 machine
ilver surfers flocking
to Facebook could be more
easily duped by fake news,
experts fear.
A report suggests over-55s
will become the second-largest
demographic on the social
media site this year.
And it’s feared they might
not be as sophisticated as
more tech-savvy youngsters in
spotting fake news.
Youth-aimed publisher Tab
Media are among those
concerned, saying younger
users are much more able to
check the source of a meme or
the reliability of a viral video
than relatively new older users.
The latest prediction of UK
Facebook-user numbers has
just been released by
In 2018, 2.2 million 12 to
17-year-olds are expected to
use the site, which is 300,000
down from 2017. In the 18 to
24-year-old age group the
decline is 400,000.
While other age groups after
that are largely flat, 3.5 million
55 to 64-year-olds will use it,
up by 200,000. The increase of
300,000 in the 65-plus age
group will take that figure to
2.9 million.
They are also the most active
Dr Richard
in passing on of news reports
they’ve read, according to
other research by content
marketing agency Fractl.
It found the older generation
were 19% more likely to share
news than anyone else, with
political issues of particular
Oxford University has been
leading the way in research
into fake news.
“Our data shows the way
young and old people use
Facebook is slightly different,”
said Dr Richard Fletcher, from
the Reuters Institute for the
Study of Journalism at the
“Older people often use it for
staying in touch with their
family, for instance.
“But our data also shows
that many do use it for news as
well as getting it from TV or
print media.
“So it’s possible that fake
news online could be
counteracted by other media
they consume. But with people
drifting away from traditional
TV and from catching up with
set news bulletins there is a
risk they would be more likely
to pass things on without
checks. That is certainly a
“Digital media literacy is
becoming more and more
important as growing numbers
of people get their news
information online.”
Julian Calvert, senior
lecturer in journalism at
Are younger, more computer-literate users more likely to check if stories are true?
As 50-somethings
flood on to Facebook,
will this new wave of
silver surfers fall for
fake news reports
more easily than
tech-savvy teens?
Glasgow Caledonian
University, said part of the
move away from Facebook
may come because their
parents were now on it.
“It may well be that younger
people do have a specific
knowledge and can check
things online in a more
instinctive way than older
people,” said Julian.
“If there is more fake news
around and more older people
exposed to it, it is a concern.
“But don’t underestimate the
intelligence of readers.
“I think looking to trusted
brands is really important.”
There is a growing
awareness of the dangers
among younger users with a
recent Ofcom report revealing
that nine out of 10 older
children would check whether
news they saw on social media
was true.
The government have set up
a unit to tackle fake news and
lessons are already taught in
some schools, with talks
underway about establishing
that much more widely.
However, there is no such
platform for sharing lessons
with older users.
President Donald Trump
had been the world leader
talking most about fake news.
Last week his latest attack on
broadcaster CNN accused
them of a fake news report on
the aftermath of the mass
shooting at a Florida school
which left 17 dead earlier this
According to Dr Fletcher, it
can be difficult to tell what is
fake and what’s genuine.
“A lot of stories that start off
life as satire intended to make
people laugh can be
re-appropriated by others and
turned into news that is
designed to deceive.
“In those cases it can be
deliberately hard to spot.
“I think the platform
companies like Facebook have
a responsibility to highlight
stories that are clearly false.
“I don’t think it’s clear that it
is already happening and I
think the dust needs to settle
about what has happened in
the past few years.
“Once we have a better idea
of that, we can come to a
decision about what Facebook
and others can do.”
judy murray
February 25, 2018
passing shot
Follow me on TwiTTer @JudyMurrAy
Another school, another tragic
shooting. The heartbreak and
horror remain the same but,
this time, there is new hope
what can
they do?
GOSH – Great Ormond
Street Hospital – has
indicated it may now keep
donations from a
scandal-hit charity.
The Presidents Club hit
the headlines a few weeks
ago following allegations of
sexual harassment at a
men-only fundraising
GOSH then announced
that it would not accept the
cash raised at the dinner.
The Presidents Club has
since closed, making it
difficult to return the
£530,000 donation.
So GOSH is in a tricky
If the hospital decides to
keep the cash, I don’t think
we have any right to criticise
The funds were donated
in good faith, just in dubious
Anna shades it
© 2018 Judy Murray, all rights reserved
s someone who lived through the
Dunblane tragedy, I have watched the
reaction to the Florida school shooting
with a mix of horror, disbelief – and hope.
I say hope because of the way so many of
America’s young people have reacted to this
awful incident in which 17 students and staff
members were murdered.
It has galvanised them. The youth activist
movement that has emerged so swiftly in the
tragedy’s aftermath is demanding stricter
background checks for gun buyers, and a
national school walkout is planned for March 14.
There have been so many mass shootings,
so many lives lost.
America’s youth are saying enough is
The impressive and moving speech by
18-year-old pupil Emma Gonzalez really
caught my attention.
She was there. She knew the killer. She hid
from the gunfire. She lost friends. Her message
is that it is only young people who can change
gun laws. The parents have failed, the
politicians have either developed gun law
Maria Reyes,
Stacy Buehler
and Tiffany
light candles
at a service
for the victims
of the
shooting at
Douglas High
School in
US President
Carson Abt
and Ariana
Klein at
the White
rigor mortis or are joined at the hip to the
National Rifle Association, which gave $11m to
Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign coffers.
It’s great to see teenagers pull together like
this. They are the future. They want their
voices heard. And they want action.
It is as impressive as it is ridiculous, though.
Teenagers are out in front. Adults are nowhere
to be seen. Aren’t we supposed to show our
kids the way?
The gun culture in America is so alien to us.
I remember watching TV with Andy when we
were in the States and there were adverts for
gun shops, like we have ads for supermarkets.
I was gobsmacked that a 19-year-old who can’t
vote or buy a beer can buy an AR-15.
It makes zero sense to me.
Donald Trump has announced that he has
signed an order to ban bump-stock devices.
These enable a rifle to shoot hundreds of
rounds a minute. A trifling concession.
He is also talking about arming teachers. It
beggars belief.
None of us will ever forget the Dunblane
Again, it was a lone person with a grudge
who had hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
It should never have happened. The gun
laws and checks of the time were not stringent
enough. Because of that, so much heartbreak
and tragedy occurred.
The difference is that the we in the UK took
measures to change the law and make sure
similar tragedy and heartbreak could never
happen again.
So, Mr President. Surely it’s time to start
listening to your nation’s youth?
Didn’t you love the Queen in
the front row at London
Fashion Week?
I’m never quite sure who
actually buys catwalk
clobber, though. I certainly
never see anyone wearing it
down Dunblane High Street.
Vogue editor-in-chief
Anna Wintour sat next to the
Queen. And didn’t remove
her sunglasses.
Indoors, in February?
“Wearing shades,” she
explained, “means I can sit
in a show and, if I’m bored,
nobody will notice.”
That’s me at Wimbledon!
I’m ageing, just
like a fine wine
An expert on ageing has said
the recipe for a long life
includes 15 minutes daily
exercise and wine – in
Simple, but sometimes
getting out and about is
easier said than done.
At this time of year, it can
be tempting to sit indoors
with the heating on. But we
need fresh air and have to
keep moving.
And the wine? Well, this
week I read red wine contains
chemicals that combat tooth
decay and bad breath.
I’m happy to raise a glass
(or two) to that.
email judy your thoughts at
February 25, 2018
How not to dodge the
young arm of the law
£25 star letter
Playing cops and robbers recently, I was the robber
and Callam, aged three, was the policeman.
I was arrested by the back of my trousers.
As we were walking back to the police “car”, I
managed to escape.
In hot pursuit, however, I fell on the carpeted
Immediately, Callam was no longer a policeman,
but just himself.
He bent over me, little face full of concern and
asked if I was all right.
He then attempted to help a 13st 3lb 85-year-old
man off the floor.
God bless him.
C. Sankey, Liverpool
Old times
What is the problem
with today’s young
They don’t like it if,
when passing a building
site, they hear a wolf
When I was a girl I
would be right chuffed
if one was directed at
me. I was also quite
happy to take the offer
of a seat on a crowded
bus or train.
I know I’m never
going to get any
compliments now,
except from my
husband, as I am
80 years old.
Ah well, at least I have
a good memory of times
gone by.
J. Farnworth, Preston
Pride of place
I recently watched the
film Darkest Hour and
do not think I have ever
been so emotionally
moved and so proud to
be British.
I think these feelings
seem to be prevalent to
my generation.
The majority of our
younger generation do
not seem to have the
same passion for
national pride.
Their selfish priorities
are what might affect
them, their pensions
and standard of living,
and not what benefits
future generations.
R.W. Hughes, via
Pet hate
I was absolutely
disgusted to read that at
least £200 million had
been spent on
Valentine’s Day gifts for
straIGHt FrOm tHe Heart
readers’ letters
FOllOW mE ON TWITTER @reallorraine
It’s hard to keep up with
the number of celebrity
splits. I wonder if couples
can learn a right royal
lesson in relationships
pets. This money would
have been better spent
on starving children
across the world.
Aileen Greer, Kelty
here have been so many
celebrity break-ups in the past couple
of weeks it’s hard to keep up.
A sore point
With the introduction of
health and safety, things
have got far more
complicated for nurses
and patients.
With bed-blocking
due to social care
failings, bedsores are
becoming more difficult
to treat and manage.
I wonder if any nurses
from the 1960s will
remember we treated
them very successfully
with egg whites and
Of course, that never
would be allowed now.
But the traditional
methods are sometimes
the best!
Gordon Kennedy,
No proof
How do you prove your
age if you do not have a
driving licence or carry
your passport with you?
The answer is a proofof-age card, but trying
to find an application
form in shops proved
Out of a dozen shops,
both large and small,
only two had the forms.
In the rest I was told
to go online or try the
Post Office, but the Post
Office did not have the
This is an
unsatisfactory situation
as failure to check your
age can lead to a fine or
termination of
Bernard Powell,
Write to: Readers’ Page, The Sunday Post, 2 Albert Square,
Dundee, DD1 9QJ. Email:
Claire Foy
claire and
clearly still
have a lot
of love for
one another
Jennifer Aniston and her husband Justin
Theroux have split up after just two years of
marriage and rumours abound that Cheryl
and Liam Payne are on the rocks.
The saddest one of all though is that
Claire Foy, who was faultless playing the
Queen in The Crown is to separate from her
husband Stephen Campbell Moore.
She recently revealed that fellow actor
Stephen had to have life-saving surgery on
a brain tumour, and that during filming for
the second series of The Crown she was
constantly worried about him.
Then, just a few days ago, they
announced their marriage had come to an
end, and they had actually decided to split
some months ago.
It’s such a shame, because they have
been through so much together since
meeting on the set of the movie Season Of
The Witch in 2011. They also have a twoyear-old daughter Ivy Rose.
It’s all very civilised and they are both
grown-ups who will try to work things out
to make sure their daughter grows up
knowing both mum and dad love her.
I’m sure they tried very hard, but you
can’t help but compare Claire’s real life to
that of the Queen. Her Majesty and Prince
Philip have been married for 70 years and
as we saw in The Crown at times that their
marriage was a turbulent one.
Prince Philip is a real alpha male and, in
the early years, he resented the fact he
em@il Jury
Being stuck high up in a burning
building or trapped in a vehicle if I
had an accident. I love flying! Judi
Martin, Aberdeenshire
Today’s generation has a long way
to go before they grow up.
Everything seems to upset them
and if they don’t agree they have a
tantrum. Bill Bell, Nottingham
My biggest fear is spiders, even
though I know there is no good
would always be second place to his wife.
He didn’t even get to live where he wanted
to, he had to give up his beloved role in the
Navy and was frustrated at being little more
than someone who “smiled and waved”.
The couple argued over how to bring up
the children with Philip getting his way and
sending Prince Charles to the rough and
tumble of Gordonstoun in the Highlands,
instead of Eton. Sensitive Charles hated his
time there and it caused a deep rift in the
relationship with his father.
Somehow the royal couple have stayed
together and now they are both in their 90s,
they seem stronger than ever.
Now, I don’t think anyone should ever
stay in a marriage where they are utterly
miserable, and obviously should leave if
there’s any physical or emotional abuse,
but I do think some couples these days
don’t try hard enough to stay together.
Divorce is a lot easier now, and that is no
bad thing in some cases, but there are too
many young couples in particular who split
up over a trivial row and don’t try to sort
things out.
No one really knows what goes on inside
anyone’s relationship behind closed doors,
but every marriage has its up and downs
and overcoming those problems is what
makes you stronger.
I’m sad for Claire and Stephen because
they obviously still have a lot of love and
respect for one another.
Perhaps there might still be a chance to
sort things out in the future when the dust
settles. I hope so.
We asked our Email Jury what their biggest fear is and if
reason for it. Lorna Smith, North
I used to be terrified of flying until I
flew on a budget airline and found
an information booklet on my seat. It
explained what all the different
noises on a flight meant. That
helped. Margaret Gibb, Fife
Face up to your fears instead of
running away and expecting
someone else to protect you. Fight
your own battles! Davie Kerr,
My biggest fear is drowning. When I
was learning to swim at 15 a person
pulled my back legs from under me
and I went right under the water, it
was very frightening. Ever since I
have been afraid to go on a ship.
Margaret Brown, Rutherglen
One of the joys about going away
on holiday is catching up on all
those movies you missed when
they first came out.
I finally got to see Three
Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
and although I was worried that it
wouldn’t live up to the hype, it was
utterly brilliant.
Frances McDormand is my alltime favourite actress and I didn’t
think she would ever outdo that
Oscar-winning performance in
Fargo, but she excelled herself.
Last Sunday, she won the Best
Actress BAFTA and if there’s any
justice she will go on to win her
second Oscar.
there can be only one
A Hampden
roar but of
by continually pushing
contactless cards, banks
show they are out of touch
Cone-y no do
that, Angus?
Another sad, shocking
tale from Hollywood
One of my wee puppy
Angus’s claws had
become damaged last
Luckily the vet sorted
him out and he’s on the
mend. He had to have his
poor paw wrapped in a
bandage and one of those
“cones of shame” to stop
him gnawing at it.
The wee mite looked so
miserable and the cone
drove him mad. Surely
there’s an alternative out
I’ve a real soft spot for Brendan Fraser after his
goofy role in George Of The Jungle and as the
hero in the Mummy films.
He disappeared for a long time, and it turns
out the poor man has been battling severe
pain after doing his own stunts for years.
This week he also alleged the reason he was
off our screens for so long was because a
high-powered man in Hollywood sexually
harassed him back in 2003.
It’s a shocking tale which must be
investigated. Brendan went on to suffer from
depression, his marriage broke up and his
career was badly affected.
It’s another sad reflection of the dark side of
they think the younger generations are too sensitive
If I was meant to fly I would have
wings. Allison Scotland,
of nettles and couldn’t get out as
the bike was on top of me.
Elizabeth O’Regan, Lincoln
My greatest fear is forgetting
where I have parked my car and
walking around trying to find it.
Lorraine Anderson, Edinburgh
To lose one of my children or
grandchildren. I don’t think I could
ever recover. Jean-Claude
Huntzinger, Lochgelly
I fear being trapped. When I was
six I fell off my bike into a ditch full
The younger generation is no
different to what they were when I
was 16, more than 50 years ago.
Margaret Gibb, Fife
Bank of England’s chief cashier Victoria Cleland
Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson starring in Three Billboards
February 25, 2018
ur greedy banks
are becoming more
invisible and contactless by
the day,
Invisible because they are
closing more and more
branches every week,
contactless over the phone
because they make you wade
through mind-numbing,
soul-destroying telephone
automated menus.
They, and major credit card
companies, have decided –
without asking any of us mere
customers – to pursue their
profit-driven dream of a
cashless society and the
standard issuing of
contactless credit cards.
Slightly upping the swipe
limits year-on-year, quietly
replacing your old chip and
pin cards with contactless
ones, advertising their ease of
use and the milliseconds you
save using them.
It was brilliant to hear the
Bank of England’s chief
cashier Victoria Cleland, the
woman whose signature
appears on every new Bank of
England note, refuses to use
contactless cards as she
doesn’t trust the technology.
In other words, she doesn’t
think they are safe either.
Woah, what a swipe at the
banks – Vicky has flicked the
Vs to contactless cards and if
anyone knows about their
lack of security, surely it’s her.
So tap and no go Vicky has
clicked that these cards aren’t
secure, but don’t expect our
banks and credit card
chumps to listen to Victoria.
She firmly believes the end
of physical cash won’t come
any day soon, saying: “Cash is
here to stay”.
Well I would say that as
well if my name was scrawled
across all the notes but, sadly,
I fear she is wrong.
In Sweden they are already
talking about putting
microchips into people’s
bodies so a sale can be
registered with just a swipe of
your hand.
The tipping point from
cash to cashless has already
been passed.
Of all consumer
transactions in 2016, only
44% were in cash, down 6%
on the previous decade.
Last year, shoppers spent a
whopping £25 billion by tap
and go transactions.
So contactless cards are
definitely here to stay.
In fact, their use is only going
to become more widespread
as each year passes.
However, the crooks will
also get more clever in this
evolutionary arms race, and
the amounts they steal will
rise and rise.
And when it reaches an
eye-watering level, no doubt
the banks will stop covering
your losses.
You can’t stop this march of
madness but you can make
your voice heard.
If, like me, you don’t trust
or want to go contactless, and
are enraged you haven’t been
given a choice in the matter,
then contact them and
demand they issue you with a
chip and pin.
If they then refuse as
MBNA will because, to their
shame, they now don’t issue
them, then make a complaint
to your local MP, MSP and
financial regulator.
Contactless shouldn’t mean
unaccountable and lacking in
Incompetent, shambolic,
self-serving, gutless and
cack-handed and are just
some of terms of
endearment that have
rightly been levelled at
the Scottish Football
Association in recent
Oh, and it seems that
the SFA are totally skint,
Run Scottish football? I
wouldn’t let them run a
Now the bunglers in
charge have threatened to
quit Glasgow’s Hampden
Park and move to rugby’s
Murrayfield Stadium in
However, they will stay
put if they can buy
Hampden on the cheap,
for just for £2 million, from
owners Queens Park FC.
I wonder what biscuit
tin they will even get the
£2 million from.
wars? How
After yet another
massacre, this time in
Parkland, Florida,
America’s students are
now mobilising to march
in demand of tighter gun
They threaten
politicians who continue
to support the NRA with
humiliation at the ballot
box in the future.
It will take years, but if
they stick to their guns, the
students will succeed.
In a disturbing turn of
events, President Donald
Trump reckons arming
teachers is the way
forward – when I was a
schoolboy, they only had
the belt!
How long before a
crazed teacher, armed
with a semi-automatic,
takes out a classroom?
February 25, 2018
Best-selling crime writer hails
Corbyn faces new
grassroots revolt
over single market
Jeremy Corbyn is facing
demands from thousands of
grassroots Labour members in
Scotland to campaign to keep
the UK a member of the
European Single Market after
Mr Corbyn has long insisted
the UK cannot be a member of
the single market after the
country’s affiliation with the
EU ends.
But at least 10
local branches in
Scotland have
put forward
motions to
the party’s
conference in
Dundee next
month which
back permanent Jeremy
membership of Corbyn
the single
market and customs union.
If passed, the vote would
deliver a bloody nose to Mr
Corbyn and new Scottish leader
Richard Leonard, who backed
the UK leader on the issue.
Faced with mounting
criticism of Labour’s Brexit
position, Mr Corbyn will deliver
a speech tomorrow when he is
tipped to back the UK
remaining in a customs union
with the EU.
The move comes ahead of a
speech by Theresa May on
Friday when she is expected to
say how the UK wants its
relationship with the EU to
Edinburgh South MP Ian
Murray said: “Labour members
in Edinburgh South and across
the country are making their
voices heard – they want our
party to support permanent
membership of the Single
Market and the Customs Union.
“Given the strength of feeling
among ordinary members, it’s
vital that we debate this at
conference. If we are to leave
the EU, the least-worst option
for limiting the damage caused
by Brexit is to remain as a
participant in the Single Market
and Customs Union.
“This is the only way to tackle
austerity, protect jobs, and
defend our hard-won rights for
workers and consumers.
“Our party was founded to
protect the workers of the UK: if
we fail them now we will never
be forgiven.”
Gavin Williamson
Anthrax jab
for soldiers
British troops may need
anthrax jabs in the face of a
growing terror threat and
tensions with North Korea, it
has been claimed.
Defence Secretary Gavin
Williamson is said to be
“seriously considering” the
vaccinations for thousands
of soldiers who could be
mobilised at short notice.
Speaking in an interview
yesterday an unnamed
Whitehall source said: “It is
something that has gone
through the planning phase
and the secretary of state is
seriously looking at it.”
It is believed the
possibility of a war between
the US and North Korea is a
driving factor in his thinking
as is his fears that terror
group ISIS could use
anthrax on British soil.
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hospital staff after almost dying but warns service is stretched
The NHS saved me. Now
we have to save the NHS
By Sally McDonald
ne of the UK’s best loved
crime writers is recovering after a
brush with death.
Denzil Meyrick, 52, author of the
DCI Daley series, told the Sunday
Post he owes his life to the
“amazing” NHS medical teams who
treated him when he suffered heart
The writer has spoken out to hail
hospital staff but also to highlight
his fears for the NHS after he was
treated at the Royal Alexandra
Hospital (RAH) in Paisley.
He claims staff were overworked
and underpaid while the hospital
also suffered shortages in bandages,
bed sore pads and Elastoplast and
even water jugs.
Denzil spent three weeks in RAH
before being transferred to Vale of
Leven District Hospital in Alexandria
to recuperate for two weeks prior to
discharge in October last year.
But it is only now – after his latest
scan showed a major improvement
in his heart – that the author feels
able to talk about his ordeal.
Denzil said: “At one point I
thought I was a goner. I owe my
life to the professionalism and
dedication of the amazing medical
team at RAH.
“The treatment I received was
second to none. If I had gone
undiagnosed much longer I would
have died, or at the very least my life
would have been significantly
reduced. Now, thankfully, I am
almost back to normal.
“But I was shocked by the
conditions in which these people
have to work and the overall state of
the NHS.”
Denzil – who has for years
suffered both debilitating
psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing
spondylitis, which
causes painful
was given
at the
tion of the spine – was taken to the
RAH last summer to be treated for
pneumonia but doctors discovered
serious problems with his heart.
Medication improved his
condition but by then he had lost
three stones, had been bed-bound for
four months and suffered so much
muscle wastage he couldn’t walk.
After five weeks in hospital – two
of which were spent in physiotherapy at Vale of Leven – he was allowed
Better but still not completely
recovered, the writer has spoken
out in praise of his treatment and
also to highlight worrying problems
he saw in hospital.
However Denzil claimed: “During
the time I was in hospital I
witnessed the full gamut of what is
happening to the NHS.
“I witnessed a terrible shortage in
staff and long waits for equipment,
like my echocardiogram.
“They ran out of things like the
pads they have for people with bedsores, bandages or the padding that
goes on the abrasion, Elastoplast;
basic stuff like that. They even ran
out of water jugs at one point.
“I was told about people leaving
the profession en masse and those
who had to take up second jobs to
bolster their income.
“To me it seemed like the RAH
was under siege in the amount of
work they have to handle. And these
people haven’t had a pay rise – in
real terms – since goodness knows
He said: “The heart of the NHS is
failing, despite the dedication of
those in it. In 10 years’ time, if it
carries on along the road it is
travelling, our health service will
be a shadow of itself or we will be
Denzil Meyrick
says the NHS is in
a crisis that must
be averted
forced into a USA type
of situation where we have to buy
our health care privately.
“We cannot afford to let that
Denzil added: “While all this was
going on I was supposed to speak at
the Edinburgh International Book
Festival, Bloody Scotland and the
Cologne Crime Festival, followed by
a media tour throughout Germany.
“I couldn’t do any of it but my
agents and publishers across the
world were fantastically understanding, as were the events I was
supposed to attend.
“My wife, Fiona, and my stepdaughter, Rachel, were magnificent.
They really held the line when I was
going through what was the hardest
time in my life.”
Now back at the Loch
Lomond-side home he shares with
his poet wife, Denzil has managed to
finish the sixth title in the DCI Daley
series, The Relentless Tide, which
will launch in September.
“The good news is I had a scan
about three weeks ago that showed
that in just a few months I have gone
from having severe heart failure to
mild-to-moderate heart failure.
“I am now excited and I feel
rejuvenated. Before I could only
walk two or three steps before
gasping for breath. Now I walk every
day and I don’t have to stop at all. I
have moderated my diet and am
very frugal with alcohol.
“When I first heard the term heart
failure I thought it a terrifying thing.
Thanks to the wonderful teams at
RAH and Vale of Leven I am almost
back to normal.”
A spokesman for the RAH said the
hospital was well stocked and there
was no record of shortages, but he
added: “That is not to say that a
nurse on a ward might have had to
make a call to the hospital’s supplies
team to top up the supply of a
specific product on a ward. However,
that is not the same as the RAH
running out of supplies.”
He denied issues with staffing,
stating: “We have a flexible rostering
policy which local ward managers
implement to agree work patterns
that best suit the needs of patients
and staff.
“This ensures there are the right
numbers and skill mix on duty, at the
right time, to deliver care and ensure
safe and effective services are
And he said “patient-facing”
nurses’ salaries start at band five or
£22,440 for new graduates, rising to
£42,205 in band seven.
In 10 years time, if it carries on along the road it is travelling,
our health service will be a shadow of itself
February 25, 2018
Shops not
sticking to
new rules
A schoolgirl was able to buy
bleach from London shops,
despite retailers agreeing to
prevent sales of corrosive
substances to children amid
a spate of acid attacks.
BBC’s 5 Live Investigates
was present during an
undercover sting led by
Newham Council and the
Metropolitan Police last
The probe saw a 14-yearold girl buy bottles of
household cleaning bleach
from three out of five high
street retailers in Newham.
The London borough had
been dubbed the “acid
attack capital of Britain”
after police figures showed it
had the highest rates of
attacks in the UK.
The Government is
currently reviewing the
regulation of sales of
corrosive substances.
Only the males are
called peacocks.
Females are actually
called peahens
Newts in
danger over
rail plans
HS2 bosses have defended
their plans to rehome newts
found at a construction site
in London after
environmental campaigners
accused them of being
Campaigners say many
species are being disturbed
by work going on in a
300-acre woodland area in
the west of the city but HS2
bosses have made
“mitigation” plans only for
snakes and great crested
And they claim HS2 plans
to “house” snakes and great
crested newts in one area –
even though snakes eat
Their concerns emerged
after Transport Secretary
Chris Grayling and HS2
bosses took legal action in a
bid to stop unlawful protest
activities at the site.
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Loz Bailey
Casper, left, and Corey
pair are
Two people have been
charged with causing death
by dangerous driving after
a six-year-old boy and his
two-year-old brother were
killed in a collision in
Robert Brown, 53, and
Gwendoline Harrison, 41,
are both accused of two
counts of the offence and
appeared at Coventry
Magistrates’ Court
Brown also faces
charges of driving while
disqualified, no insurance
and otherwise than in
accordance with a licence.
Harrison also faces a
common assault allegation.
Brothers Corey and
Casper Platt-May were with
their mother at around
2pm on Thursday when
they were struck by a car.
They were taken to
hospital with severe
injuries, but Casper could
not be revived and died a
short time later.
Corey was rushed into
surgery, but later died.
Their mother was
Detective Sergeant Paul
Hughes, from West
Midlands Police, said: “It is
always tragic to lose loved
ones, especially when so
young, and we are
continuing to offer our
support to family members
at such a devastating time.
“We are very
appreciative of the
overwhelming help we
have received from the
public and ask anyone with
any information to get in
touch with us.”
February 25, 2018
Life on Mars? Try a
few years in Saughton
Prisoners boldly go to classes
on space station design and
how crops can grow on moon
Inmates at
right, learn
about life on
other planets
like star of The
Martian, Matt
Damon, below
By Mark Howarth
risoners are being taught
about life on Mars to help them
go straight.
Jail bosses are boldly going where
no one has gone before by laying on
thought-provoking lectures on the
possibility of life on other planets.
They hope to convince inmates
crime only serves to hold back
Edinburgh University astrobiologists have been delivering talks
and workshops behind bars to
criminals at Edinburgh’s Saughton
prison and HMP Glenochil in
Now the scheme is being rolled
out across the country with some
inmates even taking part in experiments to see if crops could grow on
the moon.
The scheme has been welcomed by campaigners
who claim it could help
reduce crime rates.
Pete White, of the chari t y Po s i t i v e P r i s o n ?
Positive Futures, said:
“Anything that can help
people in jail to think beyond that
wall and beyond themselves is
“The reading age of over half of
the prison population is less than
“Many come from chaotic
households where they’ve
never had the opportunity to
excel, their vocabulary is limited and education has
always been linked with
“And yet
you’ll find
that sci-fi
and fantasy
n ov e l s a re
among the most popular reads in prison libraries because
people don’t stop thinking and they
UN Syria
A resolution demanding a
30-day ceasefire in Syria has
been unanimously approved
by the United Nations.
At a crunch vote, which
was delayed several times as
council members tried to
convince Russia to agree to
a resolution, it was decided
that the humanitarian move
must take place “without
The agreement came
after activists claimed
government forces killed
more than 500 civilians
during a week of intense
bombardment of a rebel
enclave near Damascus.
want to escape the harsh reality of
being locked up.”
The Life Beyond programme is a
collaboration between the Scottish
Prison Service (SPS) and Edinburgh
University’s UK Astrobiology Centre.
During the four-week course,
experts work with prisoners to
“develop innovative plans and
designs for human-tended stations
on Mars”.
Prisoners consider “exploration
objectives”, try creative writing and
design, and even write “Martian
Blues” music.
Their work will be published by
the British Interplanetary Society
and will be made available to space
engineers, explorers and agencies
around the world.
Now the astrobiology team, led by
Professor Charles Cockell, is planning to take the scheme into highsecurity Shotts and Low Moss, near
But they’ll also be returning to
Sci-fi is popular, as
prisoners want
to escape the reality
of being locked up
Glenochil to carry out a research
programme in gardens tended by
inmates to see whether food could
feasibly be grown in soils similar to
those on the moon or Mars.
Professor Cockell said: “Offenders
can be encouraged to see that criminal activity merely slows progress
and degrades quality of life.
“We live in a civilisation that faces
big challenges but has huge opportunities too and we are engaging
people in this through space education. Whoever you are, enriching
one’s view of science is invaluable.”
An SPS spokesman said: “We hope
to stimulate the imagination and
harness the often latent talents of
those in our care.”
St Andrews University last month
received a £150,000 grant to teach
science, technology, engineering
and maths in jails.
Phones in cells? Scots jail chiefs track English scheme
Scots prison chiefs are
studying the impact of a
pilot scheme in England
which has seen the
installation of phone lines in
jail cells.
A total of 10 prisons south
of the Border are testing the
move which allows inmates
to use phones in their cells
to contact pre-approved
numbers, such as family
members. In 2013, Colin
McConnell, chief executive
of the Scottish Prison Service
(SPS), backed the idea of
having phones in cells,
claiming, “anything
reasonably and safely we
can do to help sustain and
develop family contact, we
should give it a go”.
And last year the think
tank Reform Scotland
proposed piloting landline
phones in prison cells to
help maintain contact
between prisoners and their
The organisation said
evidence suggests
maintaining close family ties
can help prevent
In a written answer lodged
at Holyrood, Mr McConnell,
said: “The SPS is in contact
with our colleagues in Her
Majesty’s Prison and
Probation Service to review
the findings of a study
carried out by researchers at
York University into the
impact of in-cell telephones
on custodial behaviour
and on re-offending by
A SPS spokesman
confirmed the study was
under review but added
there were no immediate
plans to introduce phones in
the cells.
February 25, 2018
Fears over
the future of
sleeper train
By Andrew Picken
Fears have been raised
over the future of
Scotland’s railways
after the operator of
the Caledonian Sleeper
service warned it
might hand the keys
Serco, which took
over running the night
trains to and from
London in 2015, last
week revealed it had
taken a £30 million hit
on the franchise as a
result of a “sharp
increase in costs”.
The terms of the
sleeper contract
means Serco can try
and get the taxpayer to
pay for half of its losses
from 2020 but the
outsourcing giant also
warned it may seek an
early exit from the
15-year franchise.
It comes just weeks
after it was announced
the UK East Coast
franchise deal will end
early and comes amid
performance and
financial problems for
ScotRail franchise
holder, Abellio.
Transport minister
Humza Yousaf, who
earlier this month flew
to the Netherlands for
Humza Yousaf
crunch talks with
Abellio, has written to
MSPs to say he is
monitoring the
Caledonian Sleeper
situation closely,
But Scotland boss of
rail union RMT, Mick
Hogg, said: “The ball is
burst when it comes to
private franchising.
“The East Coast line,
the shambles at
ScotRail and now with
the sleeper, all the
problems show that we
need radical changes
in the shape of public
ownership or the
passengers and the
taxpayer will continue
to lose out.”
Serco say it is fully
committed to the
Actor grateful to NHS
Hollywood star Richard E. Grant
has thanked NHS staff after he
was “clonked” on the head by a
metal bar.
The Withnail And I actor, 60,
praised nursing staff after he was
treated at hospital.
He wrote on Twitter: “Am truly
indebted to nurses for sorting
out my head wound.”
Ben Nevis human
chain plan is axed
A plan by Scottish
supporters to form a
human chain up Ben
Nevis has been axed
over safety concerns.
Yes campaigner
John Tannock had
called for 9000
supporters to link
hands from the foot to
the peak of Scotland’s
highest mountain.
But the event,
planned for August 25,
has now been axed
after environmental
group Nevis
Landscape Partnership
raised concerns over
the “many logistical
and environmental
challenges” that the
massive human chain
would have presented.
Mr Tannock, from
Ayrshire, said: “We’re
not doing it now. I
have cancelled it.
“People were saying
that it’s a major hazard
and I just saw too
much bad stuff about
it so I cancelled the
Broadcaster Sally Magnusson on telling stories, Icelandic
After ten books, a
memoir and, now,
a novel, maybe
I have the write
stuff after all
Kirkjufell in Iceland, which Sally explores in her powerful debut novel
By Paul English
t has taken a lifetime of
working with words, 10 books, a
best-selling memoir and her
debut novel, but Sally
Magnusson is now willing to
accept what her readers have
known for many years.
She’s a writer.
One of Scotland’s best-known
broadcasters after years presenting
Reporting Scotland and Songs of
Praise, Sally has just published her
first work of fiction, The
Sealwoman’s Gift.
And with it, she experienced a
professional epiphany at the age of
62. Sally said: “I still can’t take
myself quite ser iously when
described as a novelist.
“But someone asked the other
day how they should describe me,
and it occurred to me that for years
I’ve been described as ‘broadcaster
and writer Sally Magnusson’.
“I thought maybe it should be
‘writer and broadcaster’ now. That
feels good to me.”
But the mum of five has no inclination to hang up her microphone.
“Not to say anything disparaging
about the other part of my work,”
she said. “It’s just that the writing
has come to mean more and more
to me over the years.”
Her new novel came about in the
wake of her best-selling memoir
Where Memories Go, a candid
account of how a family dealt with
the gradual disappearance of a
loved one descending through the
stages of dementia.
It told the poignant story of how
Sally and her family learned to cope
as her mother Mamie – a former
Sunday Post journalist – lived her
final years with Alzheimer’s.
The book remained on the bestsellers’ list for months and was
praised by people in the caring professions as much as literary critics.
Yet as well as marking her out as
a spokesperson on dementia – and
leading to the formation of the
charity Playlist For Life – its success
posed Sally a happy problem.
She said: “My publisher was anxious that I write something else
after Where Memories Go did so
“We talked about the things that
interested me, and I considered
writing another non-fiction book
about music and dementia.
“But in the end I felt I needed to
go somewhere else completely.”
That turned out to be an island
off the coast of Iceland in the 1600s.
The Sealwoman’s Gift takes as its
starting point one of the most terrifying chapters in Icelandic history, when hundreds of islanders
were abducted into slavery by
pirates from Morocco. Inspired by
the country’s literary sagas, the
novel’s heart-wrenching fiction
is built around the bloodied
bones of fact, words hauled
from written records of the
17th Century.
Sally said: “I came across an
English translation of Olafur
Egilsson’s memoir, and that
really opened my eyes to an
extraordinary story: this
priest who was abducted
with his family, taken to
Algiers and then has to
leave them behind to
make his way back to
Europe to raise a ransom
for them.”
Much of the story centres
around Asta, Olafur’s wife.
Sally said: “So little was known
about the life of women either in
Europe or in Algiers.
“I wondered what their experience was like and how to make that
engaging to a modern audience –
writing about the reality of that
experience in the 17th Century in a
way that speaks to the universal
experiences of grief, loss, love and
so on.”
Years of writing for newspapers
didn’t come close to preparing the
experienced journalist for the harsh
realities of draft-writing works of
She said: “I don’t think I realised
how much I’d bitten off until I
started. I was at a dinner with
Writer Sally Magnusson
February 25, 2018
inspiration and juggling her love of television and words on a page
Our work will only be done when
everyone knows music is key to
unlocking anguish of dementia
Sally had no notion of
starting a charity about
music’s therapeutic
impact on people with
dementia when she
started writing a book
about her mother’s
experience with
Alzheimer’s disease.
Even now, as
Chair of Playlist For
Life, she hopes to
see the day when
the charity can be
wound down.
The organisation’s
aim is to make the
association between
music and dementia as
intrinsic as that of the
graze and the sticking
“Once everyone knows
that, we’ll be able to say
our work is done,” said
Sally, who set up the
charity in 2013.
“We want to get to the
point where anybody who
is diagnosed with
dementia, or hears the
word, will simply know that
making their own playlist is
the thing to do next. There
are still lots of people who
don’t know this. We’re still
scratching the
Playlist For Life’s
Sally as a baby with mum Mamie and dad Magnus
impact has seen their work
endorsed by the Care
Inspectorate, and is
changing the approach in
some care homes.
A free digital app was
launched last year, to help
families compile playlists,
with the help of a virtual
“music detective”.
Sally said: “If you’re able
to make someone less
writers James Robertson (author of
And The Land Lay Still) and Sarah
Perry (The Essex Serpent), talking to
them about my first draft, and how I
realised I was going to have to start
again because it wasn’t really
“I was despairing because I’d done
100,000 words which had taken me
months. They laughed and told me to
come back to them when I was on
the fifth draft.
“In journalism, you’re used to
doing things quickly, to a deadline, as well as you can. I had to
get used to the whole mindset of
honing and refining and editing
and junking and starting again.
“But, believe it or not, I’ve
already started another one.”
And she remains confident that
physical books are here to stay,
despite the rise of eBook readers.
She said: “I’m tremendously evangelical about books. There’s nothing
like reading the word on the page, and
I think the Kindle moment has
passed its peak, and there’s a
movement back to book in
paper form.”
Sally recalls how she
read the works of
Enid Blyton “by the
agitated, more engaged
and more lucid just by
thoughtfully introducing
music to them, especially
at the times they find most
difficult, that’s
transformational and is
already informing the
culture in care homes.”
Visit www.playlistforlife.
bucketload” as a girl, and how reading
was encouraged, but never prescribed, by her mother, Mamie, and
father, the late journalist and broadcaster Magnus Magnusson.
“Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings was
a seminal book for me when I was
about 12,” she said.
“I adored that sense of ‘northerness’, Tolkien playing with the sagas
and Norse myths.
“I was reading for myself, and going
to Iceland with my father at that age,
seeing where the sagas had happened,
in this crucible of storytelling that
Iceland is.”
The fact that neither parent is
around to see her break new ground in
her career is one note of regret for
Sally, who is married to film-maker
Norman Stone.
Magnus died in 2007 and Mamie in
Sally said: “I often think it’s a pity
they aren’t here to share things with,
that I can’t sit down over a cup of tea
and tell my mum I’m stuck, and have
her tell me to just plunge in and fix it
later; or that I should write an
Icelandic novel about sagas and folklore and I can’t talk to my dad about it,
can’t show it to him, even if he might
tell me it’s a lot of rubbish and to try
something else next time.
“I miss that. I would like to think
that anything I do would please
Sally appears at Glasgow book festival
Aye Write, Royal Concert Hall, March
18, at 4.45pm
Julian Assange
UK blamed
as Assange
break down
Talks between the UK and
Ecuador over the future of
Julian Assange have broken
down, the South American
country’s Foreign Minister
has revealed.
Maria Fernanda Espinosa
suggested British officials
had been unwilling to
negotiate over the Wikileaks
founder’s potential release.
Earlier this month, a
judge upheld an arrest
warrant issued when
Mr Assange skipped bail as
he fought extradition to
Sweden in 2012.
The 46-year-old has been
at the Ecuadorian Embassy
ever since as he fears
extradition to the US for
questioning over the
activities of WikiLeaks if he
Ms Espinosa said of the
failed talks: “To mediate you
need two parties, Ecuador is
willing, but not necessarily
the other party.”
Ecuador said it would
continue to protect Mr
Assange’s rights, however
there was a risk to his
physical and psychological
wellbeing after spending
nearly six years in the
building as a “refugee”.
The country has assessed
more than 30 similar cases
in a bid to break the
deadlock, including that of
British-Iranian citizen
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe,
who is in prison in Iran
accused of spying.
In November, Ms
Espinosa said Mr Assange
had been granted
Ecuadorian citizenship.
Shops get
booze facts
Thousands of local offlicence owners will be sent
Scottish Government
leaflets telling them to
prepare for minimum unit
pricing on alcohol.
Owners of 5300
convenience stores will be
the focus of a new
Health Secretary Shona
Robison will this week tell
MSPs how expensive booze
will be under the new laws.
She said: “Minimum unit
pricing will tackle the
scourge of cheap, highstrength drink.”
February 25, 2018
Speedway star on returning to the track after terrible smash
John McDonnell
blasts SNP
over budget
John McDonnell has called
on the SNP to “stop playing
politics with people’s lives”
and “end austerity” in
The shadow chancellor’s
comments came ahead of
his visit to Midlothian,
Clackmannanshire and
Glenrothes yesterday to
speak with activists.
Mr McDonnell said: “The
SNP could have adopted
Scottish Labour’s plans to
halt austerity in Scotland,
but they chose instead to
pass a budget that doesn’t
deliver a pay rise for the
local government workforce
and will leave lifeline local
services under pressure.
“The SNP should stop
playing politics with
people’s lives and listen to
Richard Leonard’s plans to
truly end austerity in
Speedway star Lewis Kerr lies stricken after the horror crash in Peterborough in 2015; inset, back on his bike
By Bryan Copland
speedway star
has told how he got back
on a bike just months
after a horror crash that
nearly killed him –
b e c a u s e h e c o u l d n’t
remember a thing about
KT Tunstall
KT’s life on
the road is
dram good
KT Tunstall has confessed
to a “love affair” with
The Suddenly I See singer
demands a bottle is in her
dressing room for every
The platinum-selling star
has been recording her
sixth album with Nick
McCarthy, formerly of Franz
The 42-year-old now lives
in Los Angeles after the
break-up of her marriage to
bandmate Luke Bullen.
She has also forged a new
career writing music for
Hollywood films.
But Edinburgh-born
Tunstall still has a taste for a
dram on the road.
“It’s the classiest rock ’n’
roll tipple you can have,
and I would always have a
bottle of single malt on my
Lewis Kerr was 25 and
about to become a dad
when he careered into a
safety barrier after colliding
with another competitor
during a race.
He was airlifted to hospital and wife Jessie, who was
pregnant with son Cooper at
the time, held a bedside vigil
for the stricken rider as he
spent four days in a coma,
fighting for his life.
After waking up, Lewis
had to learn to walk and
read again and suffered
severe headaches.
But he was back on the
brakeless motorcycle to race
around tracks at speeds of
more than 60mph just
months later.
Lewis’ memory of the
2015 crash is totally blank –
and he says it’s just as well.
Remarkably, it was
Jessie who encouraged him to get
back into the
Now h e’s
Lewis Kerr
with wife
No, the horrific crash that
nearly killed me and put me in
a coma for four days hasn’t put
me off racing...luckily, I can’t
remember a thing about it
– Speedway rider Lewis Kerr
heading north of the border
after joining league titlechasing Glasgow Tigers.
Speaking from his home in
King’s Lynn, Norfolk, Lewis
revealed how his life was
turned upside down by the
crash. “It was awful. At the
time my wife was 25 weeks
pregnant,” he said. “Plus, I
was buying a house, and that
sort of fell through because
of the accident.
“So we had the house situation, she was pregnant, and
I was in a coma.
“I had to pretty much
learn to walk again, I
couldn’t read, I
couldn’t do a lot
of things.”
L e w i s
t h e re w e re
“n e v e r a n y
d o u b t s”
about getting
back on a bike,
despite the dangers of the sport
– which sees four
riders compete
over four
laps on
oval track, on single-gear
machines which broadside
round the corners – and the
fact he now had a family to
look after.
He said: “It does help that
I can’t remember anything
about the crash.
“I didn’t want to do anything else other than ride my
bike for a living. If I was unable to do that I would be
pretty depressed.
“But being quite fit, my
recovery picked up quickly,
so I’m really lucky.
“Because of the funding
that people set up for me, I
was quite lucky, because I
didn’t have to work as a carpenter through the winter – I
managed to recover properly and spend time with
Cooper as well.
“After a terrible year it was
a good ending.
“Jessie absolutely loves
the speedway and knew I
was never going to quit. And
I don’t think she’d let me,
because I’d be miserable if I
was off a bike and she
wouldn’t want that. She’s a
great support. “People think
I’m crazy and don’t understand – but I just wouldn’t
want to do anything else.
“Once the headaches had
stopped coming I knew it
was time to get back.
“It’s taken a lot of hard
work and determination but
I’m really happy with how
things are going.”
Lewis has always adored
bikes – he used to join his
dad on road machines as a
youngster before collecting
enough cash to get his own
two wheels when he was 11.
He started racing motocross aged 13 before moving
into professional speedway
when he was 21.
The quality of his performances last year for clubs
down south encouraged the
Tigers to snap him up for
their new campaign, which
begins on March 23.
Lewis said: “I’m really
excited. Their support will
mean a lot to me at this stage
of my career.”
February 25, 2018
airport says
land for free
By Andrew Picken
Prestwick Airport is
facing criticism for
giving away landing
slots for free.
The Sunday Post has
seen emails showing
the loss-making
Ayrshire facility
touting for business by
offering to wave all
landing and navigation
fees for a commercial
Transport Scotland,
which owns the
airport, says the move
is fairly common
practice in the
But an Edinburgh
Airport spokesman
criticised the tactic,
saying: “We’ve
continually voiced
our concerns from
the outset over the
Scottish Government’s
business case for
Prestwick Airport.”
And MSP Jackie
Baillie also warned:
“There are clear anticompetitive and
market distortion
concerns if this sort
of behaviour is going
An email seen by
The Sunday Post, and
passed to the Scottish
Government, shows a
Thread tycoons
mean a little bit
of Catalonia is
forever Scottish
By Bill Gibb
Jackie Baillie
Prestwick official
offering a potential
commercial customer
free landing fees, free
navigation fees and
free parking at the
Ayrshire airport.
Last year Prestwick
posted a pre-tax loss of
£8.6 million in the year
to March – down from
£9.2m the previous
year and bosses at the
time insisted the
airport is making
Prestwick’s only
scheduled airline
operator, Ryanair, is
this week expected to
confirm an extension
to its stay at the
Some £46.5m of
public cash is currently
tied up in the airport.
Perth date for psychic
Sunday Post medium June Field
will give a public demonstration
this week.
The popular psychic is at The
Salutation Hotel in Perth on
Thursday evening.
Tickets can be purchased from
and the charity to benefit is the
Petterden branch of the SSPCA.
Queen’s hydro plan
too noisy for otters
The Queen’s plans to
build a “green” power
plant at her Highland
home have been
The Cairngorms
National Park
Authority have called
in her application in a
Special Area of
Objectors had
claimed that the
hydro-electric scheme
on a river running
through her Balmoral
Estate, were too not
noisy for the badgers,
Forever Buddies: Why
to have been Paisley
otters and voles living
The two-megawatt
turbine on the River
Muick was expected to
generate enough
electricity to supply
1300 homes and an
income of £650,000 for
Her Majesty.
Council’s own
Environmental Health
department lodged a
formal objection,
because it may disturb
protected species
living nearby.
little corner of Spain that is
forever Scottish is to celebrate the
links between the two countries.
Borgonya, a tiny village of 300 people
an hour’s drive from Barcelona, was one
of the key outposts of Paisley-based textile
giant Coats.
From the end of the 19th Century, a mill
churned out thread on a massive scale
and expat workers had houses built for
them just as they had back in Scotland.
The connections were such that streets
in the remote village even had Scots
Market changes
saw the factor y
finally close its
doors in 2000.
But the houses
re m a i n e d o c c u pied, the village
vibrant and the
Scots links continue with the local
football team playing in St Mirren’s
black and white.
Now plans for a
new museum to
tell the fascinating
stor y are under
It is hoped tourists will swap
– Jordi Grane Costas for culture
and explore the
rich industrial history.
“We are proud to have a colony with
both heritage and historical value for
Catalonia,” said Eric Sibina, Mayor of Sant
Vicenc de Torello, which takes in
“I invite Scots to come and visit as they
will find a small part of Scotland in the
heart of Catalonia.”
The River Ter proved a magnet for
The Scots
led the
way in
setting up
the mill
Club Deportivo Borgonya, founded by Coats, adopt the famous black-and-white
industrialists from the mid-19th Century,
with the water used to power turbines and
a railway line established in 1879.
Coats, as part of a worldwide expansion
that included building mills from Russia
to America, bought a waterfall in Borgonya
in 1893 and opened their factory two
years later.
“The Coats family came with a philosophy of looking after the workers of the
colony,” said Jordi Grane, historian at the
regional Museu Del Ter. “And because the
industrial revolution began in Britain, the
Scots came with much greater knowledge
of how to start a mill and set everything
up. They really led the way.”
As well as using local workers, around
200 Scots were enticed across to Spain to
live and work at the new mill.
A mix of traditional terraced and
detached houses, complete with gardens,
were built to make them feel at home.
A merger with major Spanish factories
in 1903 further expanded the importance
Historian: Firm built a park so staff
The old Coats mill building in Paisley
The Spanish expansion
by Coats was a mirror
image of their Paisley
operation, according to
social historian Lil
“Looking after their
workers was key for the
Coats family,” said Lil.
“In the Ferguslie area
they had rows of houses
as well as societies and
“They also had what
they called the half-time
“ Yo u n g s t e r s w e r e
employed part-time in
the works and the other
part of their paid time
was in education in this
school. And Coats built a
park so the workers might
enjoy their weekend there
with their family rather
than spend it all in the pub.
“There was very much
a patriarchal approach –
we’ll look after you and
you’ll look after us.
“The family was well
liked and it was often a
case that you’d spend
February 25, 2018
a Spanish village is proud
patterned for 123 years
Clara McGregor
Love split
on coping
remains a
striped kit of their Scottish cousins St Mirren, as worn here by their 1961 youth team
of Borgonya. At its peak, there were
1000 workers using 80,000 spinning
wheels to produce more than
60,000kg of yarns every week.
Three types of thread were produced: sewing, darning and twisted,
the latter used for fishing nets and
“It was seen as being one of the
best threads in the world and the
quality brought the colony a fantastic reputation,” said Jordi. A whole
community flourished during the
factory’s heyday, with the provision
of a church, school, pub, theatre,
post office, railway station, hairdressers and more.
Workers were looked after by a
company doctor and from the earliest days they were given sick leave,
something which was unheard of in
most Catalan factories.
The mill conditions at Coats were
held up as a benchmark for other
employers and a 40-hour working
week was introduced in 1919.
The factory also brought with it
Scotland’s sporting heritage. Coats
established a football team to give
workers something to do and Club
Deportivo Borganya still has a saltire
as part of its strip.
The oil crisis of the early 1970s that
sparked industrial unrest in Spain
led to a long, slow decline, resulting
in the eventual closure of the factory
in 2000. However, the community
continued to exist with the houses
sold off to former workers who then
remained in the area.
The City Council of Sant Vicenc
has been collaborating with the
museum since 2006 on a project to
conserve and revitalise the mill complex. And Borgonya was declared a
Place of National Cultural Interest in
The museum keeps the story alive
by staging exhibits of Borgonya’s
place in history. But it’s in the city of
Manlleu, well away from the village.
Now, however, plans are well
advanced to bring Borgonya’s past
“The City Council is working to
rehabilitate the house of the doctor
and turn it into a museum,” confirmed Mayor Sibina.
“We aim to show off the original
objects that came from the factory
away back in the 19th Century.
“Then we can look to develop a
further tourism project.
“We are a small town with limited
resources. But it is very important for
us to maintain the colony in perfect
At the moment most visitors to
Museu Del Ter and Borgonya come
from Catalonia and more widely
from Spain.
But tours in English will be introduced to cater for the hoped-for
influx of visitors from the UK.
“We have a very special feeling for
Scotland,” said Mayor Sibina.
“It is part of our history. We see the
Scottish people as a brother. The
Scottish flag flew above the factory
for a long time and one our roads is
called Paisley Street, so there is so
much shared history.”
would enjoy time there instead of in the pub
your entire life, from
youth to retirement,
with them.
“So it doesn’t surprise
me at all that they used
that same model in
Catalonia to establish a
loyal workforce.
“Just as in Spain, you
can still walk round
Paisley and identify
Coats houses. They are
very distinctive.”
But the global
expansion came at a
cost for the Paisley
“Coats moved into
America and when that
market became tough
they looked elsewhere,
like Spain,” said Lil.
“They would send
experienced staff
abroad to set up
factories and share their
“But they did it so well
that once factories like
the one in Catalonia was
running, the threads
produced were often
cheaper. And it was
those threads that were
then sold in the local
“That meant there
was no need to buy
from the operation in
Ferguslie which led to a
reduction in markets
and Coats having to
take a hard look at their
home base.”
Burgonya’s mill was built by Coats
Ewan McGregor’s eldest
daughter Clara, whose
parents publicly split after
22 years of marriage, has
revealed how she is coping.
The star left his wife for
Fargo co-star Mary
Elizabeth Winstead, who is
just 11 years older than
The aspiring actress, who
completed a degree in
photography in New York, is
now directing her first short
She has been signed by a
modelling agency, and has
appeared in Vogue USA.
The 22-year-old has
publicly backed her mother
Eve Mavrakis, since 46-yearold Ewan filed for divorce,
citing irreconcilable
Clara, the eldest of four
children, said in her first
interview since the split,
that if life get tough, “I
always remind myself how
lucky I am, and how
fortunate I am, and that
there are so many people
suffering in the world.
“I try to put my issues in
perspective and look at the
“I don’t really have a
motto, it’s more of a thought
She added: “I think this
year will always be
memorable because I came
into myself more than I have
before. I’m starting a new
portion of my life.”
Clara grew up in Los
Angeles as a teenager, after
moving from London at the
age of 12.
Patients with respiratory
diseases and arthritis could
struggle to manage their
conditions because their
inhalers are too fiddly,
researchers say.
A team from the
University of Bath say NHS
staff should check that such
patients can use their
inhalers properly to reduce
the risk of them being
unable to take the medicine.
Respiratory diseases are
common in people with
rheumatoid arthritis, with
an estimated 60,000 people
in the UK having both
MON 6 TH AUG 2018
TUE 14 TH AUG 2018
FRI 17 TH AUG 2018
O U T 2018
NHS boards across Scotland
paid out more than
£26 million in overtime to
nurses and midwives last
year, figures from the
Scottish Conservatives have
The figures were released
at the same time Scottish
Labour bosses launched a
consultation on how to
tackle the NHS “workforce
The overall bill for extra
hours worked by nursing
and midwifery staff in
2016-17 totalled £26,538,293.
That is slightly down from
the previous year’s
Scottish Conservative
health spokesman Miles
Briggs said: “The sheer scale
of the cost here exposes just
how badly the SNP has
planned the NHS workforce
over recent years.”
For 20 years after
Marilyn Monroe’s
death, ex-husband
Joe DiMaggio
arranged to have
roses sent to her
grave every week
Father hits
out at FGM
court case
A father cleared of causing
or allowing his daughter to
undergo female genital
mutilation (FGM) has said
the investigation put
“intolerable pressure” on his
The man, from Bristol,
was acquitted of child
cruelty after a judge at
Bristol Crown Court ruled
he had no case to answer
last week.
Judge Julian Lambert
directed the jury to find the
father, who cannot be
named to protect the
identity of his daughter, not
guilty following a three-day
Medical evidence to
ascertain whether the girl –
who has always denied
being harmed – had
undergone FGM was
“wholly inconclusive”, the
judge said.
February 25, 2018
U.S investors on five-year £400m fraud probe that went nowhere
By Kieran Andrews
n American doctor who lost
more than £100,000 after a Scots
hedge fund collapsed sparking a
fraud probe has revealed his anger
with the Scottish legal system.
After an investigation spanning more
than five years, the Crown Office has
dropped the case against four men
linked to the £400 million collapse of
Heather Capital led by lawyer Greg King.
The decision has prompted criticism
from alleged victims and warnings from
finance experts that police and
prosecutors are not equipped to deal
with such complex fraud inquiries.
A number of US investors lost money
when Heather Capital went under,
including US cardiologist Dr Paul Laraia.
He has spoken of his anger at the
failure of the Scottish justice system to
put the the men in the dock.
Dr Laraia said: “We are very unhappy
with the legal system in Scotland.”
He suggested Scots prosecutors were
not“sophisticated” enough to handle the
“I was not surprised the case has been
dropped,” Dr Laraia said. “I was
disappointed, but not surprised.
“You need very sophisticated and
forensic accounting and there aren’t that
many specialists.”
He said handed over his money on the
advice of a friend who runs a hedge fund.
Dr Laraia added he invested around
$150,000 (£107,000) adding: “It was a
substantial amount of money.
“There are people who lost a very large
amount of money and they must be very
angry. It’s terrible. He (Greg King) is
playing golf on the Costa del Sol, as I
understand it.”
Theresa Payton, an expert on fraud
investigation and former White House
information officer, says authorities
across the world are struggling to cope
with complex investment funds which
may be fraudulent.
Ms Payton, who was President George
W. Bush’s chief information officer from
2006-08, works for security firm Fortalice
Solutions, specialists in protecting
against firms against cyber-crime.
She said: “Most law enforcement
organisations are severely lacking in
resources to combat every crime hitting
their borders from physical crimes, to
stopping crimes, to investigating cybercrimes and performing forensic
investigations – that’s as true in Scotland
as it is in the US.
“It’s a conundrum. We want to be
protected, we want investigations to be
thorough and to bring about justice, but
how far are we willing to go to fund it?”
Lawyer Gregory King, 49, and three
other men were reported by detectives
who investigated Heather Capital, which
was based in the Isle of Man.
The hedge fund, launched in 2005,
attracted investors from around the
world and loaned money to fund
property deals. King grew up in Newton
Overtime in
£26 million
We are people
who have lost a
large amount of
money. We are
not happy with
the Scottish
legal system
It’s terrible...
disappointing but
not surprising. He’s
playing golf on the
Costa de Sol, as I
understand it
Paul Laraia
– American doctor Paul Laraia
Mearns, Glasgow, and now lives in the
gated La Zagaleta millionaire complex in
Marbella, with its own golf courses,
riding stables and swimming pools,
where houses sell for up to £20m. He paid
himself around £34m from Heather
between 2005 and 2008.
After Heather’s collapse in 2010, Paul
Duffy, the firm’s liquidator, claimed
around £90 million was unaccounted for.
A fraud inquiry by police resulted in
King and three other men – Andrew
Sobolewski, a lawyer of Bridge of Weir,
Renfrewshire; Andrew Millar, of
Cambuslang, and Scott Carmichael, of
Thorntonhall, near Glasgow – being
reported to the Crown Office in 2013.
A court judgment in the Isle of Man
likened the Heather hedge fund to a
Ponzi scheme, a fraudulent operation
which generates returns for older
investors through revenue paid by new
But after almost five years, the Crown
has now dropped the case.
Brian McConnachie QC, a former lead
prosecutor with the Crown Office, last
week called for changes to the way fraud
is investigated and prosecuted in
He believes there should be a separate
Serious Fraud Office north of the Border
and complicated cases should be heard
by a judge instead of a jury.
King now lives in Marbella
Greg King led crashed investment fund that sparked fraud probe
It could be resources
being stretched thin.
We want protection.
We want justice but
how much are we
willing to pay for it?
Theresa Payton
In another development linked to
Heather, liquidator Mr Duffy dropped a
£7.3 million claim against Burness Paull,
a leading law firm connected to the
hedge fund.
A spokesman for Burness Paull said:
“From the outset, we considered the
allegations behind these proceedings
were entirely without merit and were
prepared to defend the action robustly to
its conclusion.
have now been dropped.”
A separate £28.4 million action by Mr
Duffy against the law firm Levy & McRae
and some of its former and present
partners is due to be heard in May. The
claim relates to alleged payments in 2007
of £19 million and £9.4 million which
Heather allegedly made to the Glasgowbased firm’s client account and were
then transferred offshore.
A Crown Office spokesman said: “A
criminal case must be established
beyond reasonable doubt and the Crown
can only prosecute where there is
sufficient credible, admissible evidence
to justify a prosecution. Crown Counsel
concluded this test has not been met.
“The Crown has reserved the right to
take action, should further evidence
become available in the future.”
We can only
prosecute where
there is credible
evidence to justify
a prosecution. That
test was not met
The Crown Office
February 25, 2018
As we
see it
Our quirky take On the week’s news
Bite flight
drops in
A shark fell from the
sky into a man’s
garden last week.
James Hill, 26, was
making tea when the
fish dropped on to his
It’s thought the
two-foot long smallspotted cat shark was
being carried by a
James thought it
was jawdropping –
but perhaps the
incident would be
better described as
Jaws dropping.
A teapot with a wonky
handle that was picked
up for £15 has sold at
auction for £460,000.
The white and blue
porcelain pot was
originally thought to
be worthless until it
was identified as the
work of legendary US
potter John Bartlam.
It was bought by New
York’s Metropolitan
Museum of Art.
After brewing up a
fortune, the seller will
need a strong cuppa
to calm their nerves.
Lulu still loving life
f the w
The Queen chats to US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, whose sunglasses raised
eyebrows, at a London Fashion Week catwalk show last week
National treasure Lulu, 69, is to
take to the stage in London’s west
end for the first time in 33 years.
She is to appear in the musical
42nd Street. “I’m still ticking, so
why not?” she says.
55 years after her hit single
Shout, if she could bottle whatever
it is that gives her boundless
energy, she’d make a fortune.
Super dad
helps son
A young boy born
without a left hand
had one built for him
by his dad, using a
£160 3D printer.
Ten-year-old Jamie
Miller can now catch
and grip things thanks
to Callum, who bought
the printer from eBay
and downloaded
designs from a robotic
limbs charity.
Jamie says wearing
the robotic limb makes
him feel like a superhero, but surely the
real hero is his dad.
A candidate to be the
governor of Kansas
has been blocked
from running for
office by state
That’s despite being
a “caring, nurturing
individual” as
detailed in the
relevant paperwork.
It appears that – as
a dog – Angus
wouldn’t be able to
carry out the
governor’s duties
Seems a bit ruff to
Around the w
Govan-built HMS Forth, the Royal Navy’s newest warship, sails along the Clyde
past Ben Lomond on the way to her new home at Portsmouth
Italian fashion brand Moncler shun
President Donald Trump reveals his notes during a White House meeting with
student survivors of mass shootings, held in the wake of the Florida tragedy
Shotblaster Stuart Jackson tends to
now the only manufacturer of trad
True love can be found in the unlikeliest of places,
as Taylor Givens and Collin Kobelja proved.
In 2011, they were both in a hospital in Virginia,
gravely ill, each needing heart transplants.
Taylor was just 17 and Collin 22. Against the odds
they pulled through.
Their parents became friendly from spending
time in the waiting room, but they never met.
They connected on social media but never faceto-face, because Collin lived across the country.
When he visited the hospital in 2016 to chat with
his transplant team, it so happened Givens was
having a procedure. Finally they met and hit it off.
The couple are now about to marry and say it’s
thanks to their health issues. This was one cloud
that really did have a silver lining.
From atmospheric scenery and stunning spectacles to
quirky set-ups and pictures that make you scratch your
head, here are the most eyecatching images of the week
February 25, 2018
Isobel Coghill
Mum of scot
missing in
Rio in 15-year
hunt for truth
A mother whose son disappeared in
Brazil 15 years ago says her
determination to find out what
happened to him has pulled her through
two major health scares.
This year marks another painful
milestone in the disappearance of
31-year-old Mark Swanson, originally
from Wick in Caithness.
The Scottish oilman went missing in
Rio de Janeiro in 2003 in mysterious
Since then his brave mum, Isobel
Coghill, has been battling to find out if
he is dead or alive.
Speaking from her Wick home, Isobel
told how she had fought two potentially
lethal strokes in the last five years.
And the gran-of-three said her hope of
getting to the bottom of her only son
Mark’s disappearance had got her
through her battle.
The 68-year-old said: “The last five
years have been hard.
hasn’t been
seen since
ns the usual runway presentation in favour of a stunning reflective showcase of their autumn-winter range at Milan Fashion Week
o his machine at Walsall’s Kirkpatrick Foundry,
ditional black ironmongery left in the UK
The race for medals briefly takes a back seat at the Winter Olympics while North
Korea’s cheerleaders sing as one in Yongpyong Alpine Centre, Pyeongchang
“I suffered a severe stroke around four
years ago, which left me paralysed down
my right side.
“I spent four months in hospital and
had to learn to walk again.
“Then last November I had another
stroke – albeit not as bad compared to
the first one.
“It’s meant I’ve not been able to
concentrate on chasing up what
happened in Brazil.
“But now I am on the road to recovery
I am determined to get back to trying to
find out what happened to Mark.”
Mark, 31, is suspected to have been
killed in the crime-ridden city.
Brazilian police previously treated his
baffling disappearance as murder – but
despite saying they had a suspect, never
made an arrest.
He is feared to have been killed and his
body dumped somewhere in the city.
Mark’s last day saw him leave his
apartment in the resort of Maceio and
travel to the metropolis of Rio, 150 miles
There he met a friend but, within
hours, he disappeared.
Mark’s Brazilian girlfriend Gabriella,
alerted authorities when he failed to get
home to Maceio.
February 25, 2018
Raw Deal
the most
of a Bat
page 40
Health &
with mum
see page 42
June Field
helps you
see page 45
M ney
Divorcees face being
£3800 worse off per
year than married
The average
expected annual
income for divorcees
retiring in 2018 is
£17,600 compared with
£21,400 for those who
are married, Prudential
Prudential’s Clare
Moffat said: “Many
may not realise that the
cost of divorce can last
well into retirement.”
This week: our pick
of remortgage rates
sainsbury’s Bank:
1.39% fixed until
March 31, 2020;
loan-to-value: 80%;
fee: £745; includes
Metro Bank: 1.89%
fixed for five years;
loan-to-value: 60%;
fee: £999; includes
sainsbury’s Bank:
1.91% fixed until
March 31, 2023;
loan-to-value: 75%;
fee: £745; includes
Sunday PoSt
(all rates subject to change)
More than one million
employers have now
placed staff into
workplace pensions as
part of automatic
enrolment, figures
from the Pensions
Regulator show.
The Governmentled programme
was launched in
October 2012 and
has ensured a further
nine million people
have been enrolled
in workplace
(all rates subject to change)
This week: our selection of fixed-rate, two-year cash Isas
al Rayan Bank gross rate: 1.70%; min investment: £1000.
Virgin Money gross rate: 1.66%; min investment: £1.
Leeds Bs gross rate: 1.65%; min investment: £100.
Don’t be stupid! How to quit
throwing your cash away
hen it comes to parting
with our cash, we all have our own
peculiar habits. But some of the
things we’re doing – or not doing –
could be making us significantly
worse off.
The amount of money being thrown
down the drain can become particularly
large if the same mistakes keep being
repeated, week after week.
You might think you are saving
money, but the reality is actually very
Here are some of the most common
money mistakes, and how to avoid
Wasteful bulk-buying
Piling goods into your trolley in bulk
can be a great way to save cash over the
longer term – but there are also pitfalls
to this money-saving tactic.
More than three-quarters (76%) of
shoppers are regular bulk-buyers, with
toilet paper, baked beans and soap
among the popular items to stock up
on, has found.
But while 86% of bulk-buyers say
they stock up in a bid to save cash,
nearly one in five (19%) admit they
don’t end up using all the items they
bought in bulk – perhaps because they
went out of date, or didn’t have enough
room to store them.
Needless spending
More than a quarter (26%) of people
say they bulk-buy without checking
supply levels at home. This can increase
the chances of being wooed by special
offers you don’t really need.
Nearly a third (31%) admit to buying
items they only think they will need
because they are on offer, and 3% buy
items they do not need at all.
Opting for a higher excess
When choosing a car insurance deal,
some people may decide to go for a
higher excess – the amount you will pay
towards any claims you make on your
policy – in order to get a cheaper
insurance deal, but is this worth it?
Comparison website
found the average quote for drivers
opting for a £1000 voluntary excess is
£318 a year – just £12 cheaper than a
policy with a £250 voluntary excess.
This means someone could end up
taking on up to £750 of additional
liability for a saving of just £1 a month.
Falling for social media trends
Nearly a quarter of social media users
have made a purchase as a direct result
of something they spotted on
somebody’s feed, spending an average
of £318 per year, Post Office Money
found. But two-thirds ended up
regretting what they bought, with 37%
wishing they’d put the money towards
reaching a savings goal instead.
Neglecting to shop around
Research from Citizens Advice found
loyal customers often get charged more
£12k increase in house prices
House prices ended last year £12,000 higher on
average than the figure 12 months earlier,
according to official statistics.
The average UK house price was £227,000 in
December 2017, £12,000 higher than in
December 2016, according to an index released
jointly by the Office for National Statistics, Land
Registry and other bodies.
Annual house price growth accelerated to
5.2% in December, from 5% in November.
than new ones for energy, mobile,
broadband and home insurance
Analysis suggests customers who stay
loyal to their essential service providers
could be paying £987 more per year –
equivalent to four months’ worth of
food for the average household.
sticking to your old bank accounts
If you’re looking for somewhere to
put your savings cash, competition this
year has been particularly strong so far
among “challenger” banks, according to
While some of the newer banks may
not be that familiar, you may find you
can get a better savings rate.
Rachel Springall, a finance expert at, says brands such as
ICICI Bank, Paragon Bank, Ford Money
and Tesco Bank are among those
which are offering competitive savings
First-footers’ surge
The number of people taking their first step
on the property ladder reached its highest
levels in a decade last year, a trade
association representing mortgage lenders
has reported.
There were 30,800 new first-time buyer
mortgages completed in December 2017,
5.2% fewer than in the same month a year
earlier, UK Finance said. But across 2017 as a
whole, 365,000 first-time buyers were
recorded – the highest number since 2006.
your questions answered
What became of the
model who used to
appear a lot on Chris
Evans’ TFI Friday? I
think her name was
Cat. – L.
Model Catalina
Guirado was often on
Evans’ show in the late
Still modelling, she is
also a TV host, stylist,
art entrepreneur,
creative director,
musician and actress
and currently lives in
London and Los
She also appeared in
the 2003 series of I’m A
What were “tasty, tasty,
very, very tasty”? It’s a
tune from an old TV ad
that I have just halfremembered for some
reason, and it’s driving
me daft. – P.
Kellogg’s Bran Flakes
were tasty, tasty in a
couple of ads from the
early ’80s.
In one, a waiter in the
background singing the
lines is none other than
actor Gordon Kaye, just
before his big break
playing Rene in classic
comedy ’Allo, ’Allo.
However, I’m intrigued by the
word “Europe”.
How did the continent become
knows as that, and who coined the
name? – S.
The continent of Europe, the
western part of Eurasia, covers about
3,930,000 square miles, extending as
far as the Ural mountains in Russia.
Comprising of more than 50
countries, most of which are
members of the European Union, it
covers 6.8% of the Earth’s land area
and, with 750,000,000 inhabitants,
has 11% of the world’s population.
In Greek mythology, Europa was
the daughter of King Aginor.
The myths claim Zeus, god of the
Any stories you can tell me
about the making of X-Men:
First Class? – E.
Glasgow’s James McAvoy
followed in Patrick Stewart’s
footsteps by playing X-Men
leader Charles Xavier in the
big-budget superhero prequel.
Keen to get into character
straight away, he shaved his
head a month before filming
If you have a question,
write to The Queries Man,
The Sunday Post,
2 Albert Square, Dundee,
DD1 9QJ or email
Princess seduced
by a bull gave her
’m sure that I’m not alone
when I say I’m sick of all the talk
about Brexit and splitting from
our European.
was due to start. Only then did
he find out that producers
actually wanted the youthful
incarnation of Professor X to
sport a full head of hair!
He therefore had to use hair
extensions during filming.
McAvoy, who reprises the role
later this year in Dark Phoenix,
did lose his locks for 2016’s
X-Men: Apocalyse.
sky, lightning, thunder, law, order
and justice, transformed himself into
a bull so he could abduct Europa and
take her to the island of Crete to
seduce her and make her his wife.
Their son was Minos of Crete, of
the king who, every seven years sent
seven young boys and seven young
girls to go into the labyrinth to be
eaten by the Minotaur, the monster
with a head of a bull and the body of
a man.
The name Europa was later taken
to refer to Crete and Greece as a
Over time, as civilisation
flourished, the entire continent
became known as Europa or Europe.
Depictions of Zeus as a bull, the
form he took when abducting
Europa, are found on the Greek two
euro coin and on the UK identity
card for visa holders.
Could it really be true,
as my pal insists, that
the actor who played
the neighbour in the
’90s US sitcom Home
Improvement also
played drums for Bob
Dylan? – C.
Mickey Jones played
at his legendary 1966
concerts at The Royal
Albert Hall when, to a
chorus of boos, folkie
Dylan switched to
electric guitar.
He also played with
Trini Lopez before his
acting career gave him
roles in Total Recall on
the big screen and on
TV in Justified.
February 25, 2018
■ I would like to
know of any
recordings of Tiny
Bubbles on CD by
any artist.
Andrew Thomson,
65 Baker Street,
Poolstock, Wigan,
■ Does anyone have
old photos of
Avonspark Street,
Balornock, Glasgow
and surrounding
areas. Will gladly pay
postage and any
other costs.
M. Palmer,
22 Buckfast Square,
Corby, Northants,
NN18 8DT
■ Do any of your
kind readers have an
old disc of Chas and
Dave? I would be so
grateful. Will pay
postage and
Sheila Clapham,
6 Swincar Avenue,
Yeadon, Leeds,
LS19 7PF
■ Can anyone help
me obtain the
Lavenda pattern
no.963 of a baby’s
hooded jacket in
D.K. size 22” to 26”.
Will pay costs or
copy and return.
Jean Haysham,
19 Woodhouse Lane,
As I squeezed into
another train for my
commute to work this
week, I couldn’t help
but wonder which is
the world’s longest? – K.
The Canadian
National Railway
system runs freight
trains of up to 2.7 miles
in length. The longest
passenger train is
Australia’s The Ghan, at
44 coaches long. It
travels the 1850 miles
from Adelaide to
Darwin at an average
speed of 53mph.
What can you tell me about
Cher’s Believe? – L.
The robotic vocals created
using an Auto-Tune processor
became known as the “Cher
effect” and sparked a wave of
copycat hits.
Producer Mark Taylor enjoyed
experimenting with the
voice-tuning program but feared
the veteran Gypsys, Tramps And
here to help
Thieves singer would be furious
he’d tinkered with her vocals.
Instead, she loved how soulful
her voice sounded.
When record company reps
suggested the effect be deleted,
Cher replied: “Over my dead
Believe hogged the top spot in
the UK charts for seven weeks in
■ I am trying to
obtain a black
pudding make
called Muirhead.
Janette Gilchrist,
63 Livingstone
Crescent, Falkirk,
■ Thanks to all the
people who sent my
disabled son all
those wonderful ties.
We now have a
great collection.
Alan and Ritson Ross
If you’d like to ask
readers a favour, write
to Favours, The Sunday
Post, 2 Albert Square,
Dundee, DD1 9QJ, or
email favours@
the page that gets things done
February 25, 2018
Gift card
scam hits
older folk
Older people should
beware a new scam that
involves being asked to
pay alleged debts or fines
using iTunes gift cards.
Fraudsters will often
try to confuse their
victims by throwing
technical terms around
or, as in this case, asking
for fines to be settled
using online store cards.
Commonly, a fraudster
will call a victim claiming
to be from a Government
authority, such as the
police or HMRC.
They then inform the
victim that an amount of
unpaid tax is due, or they
are suspected of criminal
charges, and to avoid any
criminal convictions they
must pay a fine.
As the over-65s tend
not to be frequent users
of services such as
iTunes, Google Play, or
PlayStation Network,
fraudsters are able to use
this lack of awareness to
their advantage, insisting
it’s the only way to
process payment of the
This makes it much
more difficult for banks
and the police to track
the money leaving a
victim’s account and
arriving in the fraudster’s
With an average loss of
more than £1000 per
victim it’s a very
profitable scam and,
while companies like
Apple and organisations
like HMRC are actively
distributing advice
warning people of the
con, it’s still a huge threat
and shows no signs of
slowing down.
ames Swankie was gutted
when he discovered the
Batman Bike he bought as a
Christmas present for his
four-year-old son was broken.
He had spent Christmas Eve
trying to build the gift, which was
top of his excited wee boy’s wish
“I soon realised it was faulty
and not fit for purpose,” he said.
“My partner and I were extremely
annoyed as this was the main
present our son had requested.
“I had to tell young James the
bike had to go back and he was
very disappointed.”
A week earlier, factory worker
James, of Arbroath, had paid
£89.99 for the toy from his local
Argos store.
He returned to the shop on
Boxing Day to obtain a
replacement but was told it
would not be back in stock for a
few days. He was offered the
option of a gift card to the value
of the bike.
But he chose to wait and three
days later his partner returned to
the store, only to be told it would
not be back in stock for at least
another week.
By January 11 there was still no
sign so James asked for a refund.
“After 16 days waiting I was
furious,” he admitted.
James said that, despite his
protests, he was then told he
wasn’t entitled to a cash refund.
The 22-year-old then contacted
Raw Deal about his situation and
we advised him of his rights.
We pointed out the terms of the
Consumer Rights Act 2015, which
states a customer’s contract is
with the seller, not the
That means it is the seller who
is compelled, by law, to provide a
full refund.
Armed with this information,
James then called Argos customer
services staff who confirmed he
was indeed entitled to a cash
refund. However, he was also
advised that if he still wanted a
replacement bike it would
unfortunately not be back in
stock until the end of March.
“I was extremely disappointed
with the way Argos in Arbroath
attempted to deal with my
complaint,” said James.
“You would think that knowing
customers’ rights and the ability
to provide an immediate refund
would be basic stuff.”
While he was deciding what to
do next, James received news
from Argos that a replacement
James Swankie with the working Batman Bike, secured with Raw Deal’s help, which his son now loves
The Dark Knight returns
– eventually – after a
wheely annoying delay
bike had in fact been found and it
would be delivered to his house
the next day. He accepted the
The gift was almost a month
late in arriving, but his son is now
“over the moon” with his present.
“He rides it every day and is
delighted that Santa finally came
through,” said James. “I can’t
thank Raw Deal enough for
helping resolve this. You have
been fantastic.”
An Argos spokesperson said:
“We’ve apologised to Mr Swankie
for his experience and made sure
his son received his new bike.”
If you have been refused a
repair or replacement in similar
circumstances, write to Raw Deal.
l If you return faulty goods to a
shop within 30 days, you are
entitled to a refund.
l If you return faulty goods
between 30 days and six months
after purchase, you are entitled to
a repair or a replacement.
The retailer must effect a
repair, or return it to the
manufacturer for work. If the
repaired or replaced item is still
faulty, you are entitled to a refund.
Do you have a pRoblem?
email your address and daytime/mobile number to or write to Raw Deal, sunday post, Dc thomson, skypark, suite 3/6. 8 elliot place, Glasgow G3 8ep (include sae).
n Briefly outline the problem and how you would like it resolved. n Include contact details of the other party and any customer ref/order numbers.
n By requesting Raw Deal’s assistance you agree for your name, location and a photo to be published.
February 25, 2018
Multi Cooker
Why duty-free shopping
isn’t always plane sailing
by jAneT boyle
This versatile 1800W multi cooker from Cooks
Professional combines two great kitchen appliances into
one. With sandwich toaster plates that allow you to
create up to four toasted sandwiches at one time and
PLUS £4.95 P&P
large surface griddle plates, ideal for creating meals for
breakfast, lunch and dinner couldn’t be easier. Simply
select the plates you need, click into the secure fitting and
switch on. It has an indication light for when the appliance has reached the correct
temperature to begin cooking. Mains powered. Measures L30 x W27 x H12.5cm.
When you’re finished simply hand wash the plates and store away, meaning
minimal mess and effort for a delicious meal. Was £59.99
What exactly are your rights when you
buy duty-free gifts on board a plane?
It is a complex issue which I
encountered first-hand after flying from
Tenerife to Glasgow with Jet2 last year.
I bought a Skagen Freja watch from
duty-free. The price on board was £68,
compared to £125 in UK shops.
I really wanted the watch and it seemed
like a fabulous deal. But within nine
months the watch had stopped.
I contacted Skagen, whose
representatives told me that airlines sold
older stock and that the battery was likely
to be dead.
I was asked to send the watch to France,
where it would be repaired. I would have
to pay for postage and the cost of a new
I balked at this suggestion and
contacted Jet2, who referred me to the
terms and conditions of its in-flight
shopping magazine.
These state that if a customer is
unhappy with a purchase, he or she has
28 days to return it for a refund.
Surely a £68 watch lasts longer than
nine months?
I asked consumer experts at Which? for
advice about what is a complicated issue,
because customers need to be aware of
aviation laws as well as consumer rights
The important thing passengers should
remember, according to Which? advisers,
is to consult their in-flight purchases
catalogue, to check which governing law
applies. This differs across EU airlines,
D9552 Multi Cooker
Make sure you know your rights when
buying luxury goods on flights
and the same rules may not even apply
across UK airlines.
But once the governing law for the
airline has been established, your rights
become a little clearer.
If it is UK law, then travellers are
covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015,
which provides protection if you wish to
return a faulty purchase.
Assuming the criteria for a refund are
met, this should then be processed by the
Under the act, an automatic refund can
be obtained if you return the item within
30 days.
However, my case was complicated by
the fact that I had already owned the
watch for nine months.
It all looks like it is too little too late for
me. What happened will certainly make
me be more careful in the future.
Have you experienced any problems with
in-flight shopping? Email
PLUS £3.95 P&P
The versatile Cooks
Professional omelette
maker takes the worry
out of making an
omelette or poaching
an egg. For omelettes, add the ingredients to the heated moulds, close the lid
and get perfect results every time. For poached eggs, add a few tablespoons
of water, crack an egg into the pod, close the lid and
cook for 2-3 minutes. And there are no more messy
pans to wash up, the moulds simply wipe clean
using a kitchen towel.
Was £29.99
D8280 Omelette Maker
CALL: 0871 911 7011 quoting 81128
People’s email habits could be
making their accounts a “treasure
trove” for cyber criminals, experts are
Over half of those who have sent
their bank or credit card details over
email still have the information sitting
in their sent items folder – potentially
making it easier for anyone hacking
into their emails to go on to access
their savings, research among more
than 2000 people has found. The
Lines open 8am-8pm 7 days a week. Please have your credit/debit card details to hand.
Calls cost 13p/min plus your phone company’s access charge.
Government’s Cyber Aware
campaign and information services
company Experian are urging people
to help protect their accounts by
using a strong and separate email
Detective Inspector Mick Dodge,
national cyber protect co-ordinator,
said: “Making one simple reset to
have a strong and separate email
password can make a big difference
and help protect.”
for more help
n Get further advice:
n Take your complaint further:
n Trading standards:
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February 25, 2018
Health and
your concerns
by The Doc
I’m afraid fake gout is no less
painful than the real thing
I had a patient in last week who
seemed to have gout.
She had experienced sudden pain,
acute inflammation and swelling in a
couple of joints. An ice pack had
helped with the pain – one of the
classic treatments to ease the
discomfort of gout.
Older people tend to be affected by
gout, and she was in her 80s.
But there were a few tell tale signs
this was actually something else
– pseudogout.
Pseudo, pronounced soo-doh, is
ancient Greek for fake so the name
literally means “fake gout”. It’s not any
less painful, however.
To give the condition its proper
name, it is acute calcium
pyrophosphate (CPP) crystal arthritis.
It can be triggered by serious
illness, dehydration, thyroid
problems, arthritis, too much iron in
the blood and long-term steroid use,
to name a few potential causes.
We’re not sure what happens
precisely, but all these can trigger CPP
crystals to form in the joints.
These tiny crystals settle on joint
tissues and irritate the area.
This is very similar to gout, where
uric acid crystals form in the blood
and similarly irritate joints.
There are a few differences, though.
Gout tends to affect – although it’s
certainly not limited to – joints in the
foot, particularly the base of the big
Pseudogout, meanwhile, is most
likely to affect the knees, although it
can appear in other joints, too.
An x-ray may give a clue. CPP
crystals which have accumulated are
visible on an x-ray, while uric acid
crystals aren’t. But they might not be
seen in an acute attack.
Taking fluid out of the joint and
looking at it under a microscope can
detect whether it’s CPP or uric acid
Attacks will generally clear up in a
while with painkillers and sometimes
steroid injection into the affected
joint. But we need to be careful there’s
no infection in the joint, which can
give similar symptoms.
My patient used icepacks, which
can help, as does resting the area.
Unlike gout, which is helped by
medicines such as Allopurinol and
making lifestyle changes including
cutting down on red meat and
alcohol, there isn’t an easy way to
prevent pseudogout.
But treating any triggers and
staying well-hydrated may help, while
watching your weight and remaining
active should reduce the risks.
The Doc Replies
I have been
diagnosed with stage
1 cancer. What do
the various stages of
cancer mean?
The stages usually
refer to how far a cancer
has spread and what
size it is. When doctors
first diagnose a cancer
they carry out tests to
check how big it is and
whether it has spread
into surrounding
tissues. Staging is
important as it helps
doctors know which
treatments you need.
There are two main
types of staging systems
for cancer. These are
the TNM system and
the number system.
Your doctor can give
you further details.
I’m a 46-year-old
man. Is there
anything I should be
doing to improve my
Smoking and
drinking excess alcohol
can reduce your fertility.
Keep within your
alcohol limit of 14 units
per week. Otherwise,
eating a healthy diet
and doing regular
exercise can be
Is fruit juice better for
children than a diet
fizzy drink?
Both fruit juice and
diet fizzy drinks can be
damaging to tooth
enamel. I recommend
children only drink
juice when they are
eating their main meals,
and drink water in
between. Fruit juice is
generally more healthy
than diet fizzy drinks.
I’m a 14-year-old girl
and wonder what a
safe amount of
calories for me to lose
weight would be.
Rather than
restricting calories I
would recommend a
healthy, balanced diet
with at least five
portions of fruit and veg
per day. Meals based on
starchy foods such as
potatoes, bread, pasta
and rice. Some milk and
dairy options and foods
that are a good source
of protein such as meat,
fish, eggs, beans and
Unfortunately the Doc can’t directly respond to each query, or guarantee a reply.
When in doubt contact your own GP
sTrIKInG A cHorD
One for my mum:
heart an anthem
Musician’s charity
single inspired by
brave Jessie’s fight
By Murray Scougall
fter a particularly hard few
days watching his mum’s fight with
dementia, musician Paul Murdoch
picked up his guitar and started
writing a very personal song.
What became a way for him to pour
his feelings out about his mum’s
situation quickly became a soundtrack
for thousands of people going through
something similar.
It has made him realise that no
matter how lonely he and his family feel
as they go through this process, they
are certainly not the only ones.
“It was for purely selfish, cathartic
reasons that I wrote Golden Rust, but
when I let people hear it I received great
feedback,” explained 56-year-old Paul,
who lives in Alexandria, West
“After the video for
the song was viewed
tens of thousands of
times in a short while
and people got in
touch to tell me about
their parents, I
realised so many
others were going
through the same thing as our family.
“I had gone from sobbing like a baby
in the social work office, desperate for
help, to hearing all of these other
stories about people’s experiences with
It was five years ago that Paul’s mum,
Jessie, displayed signs of having serious
memory problems.
“We were quite naïve about it,”
continued dad-of-four Paul, who has
performed around the world as a
musician and children’s author.
“Mum was getting annoyed. She was
forgetting things. Something just wasn’t
quite right.
“Mum and Dad were spending £800 a
month on eating out. She wanted to go
out for meals all the time. She would
forget they had been out for lunch and
asked to go someplace again for dinner.
“Eventually, she was diagnosed with
a mild form of dementia.”
Paul’s 89-year-old dad, Stewart, was
Right, Paul in
Glasgow last
week; above,
his mum
Jessie who
inspired the
single, left
caring for Jessie, 88, but when he
suffered a stroke the family was faced
with some difficult decisions.
“We were advised that we needed to
put them into care, but we couldn’t find
anywhere that would take both of
them,” Paul explained.
“After 67 years of marriage, there was
no way we were splitting them up now.
“So my wife and I had the garage
converted and my mum and dad live
there. They have a bedroom, walk-in
wet room, living room – everything they
need – and we have a care package
from the council.
“I can go in and see them four or five
The Doc Replies, The sunDay posT, 2 albeRT squaRe, DunDee DD1 9qJ oR email us aT
Paul’s song from the
for dementia families
Looking for practical advice, relationship help or emotional
support? As a mum-of-four, grandmother-of-eight and dear
friend to many, Margaret’s years of experience make her
the ideal person to turn to with your worries
I ripped up my life to be with my
long-distance husband. How
do we now get the love back?
got married, my husband’s firm
offered him a well-paid
promotion. It was too far away for
him to commute, so he rented a
room during the week and came
home at weekends.
His job made him really tired,
but we managed like this for
three years. Eventually it became
too much for him and he
persuaded me to give up our
home to move nearer to his job.
I was sad about it, because I
knew I’d miss my family and
friends, but I thought it was worth
it for us to be together. The
problem is, now we’re living
together full time again, he
seems distant and lacking in
affection and even suggested
we sleep in separate rooms.
I don’t understand why he
wanted me to move and I’m not
sure how to get the love back
into our marriage.
Maggie says I can
understand why you are
disappointed that after making
the move to be with your
husband, things are not working
out as you had planned. You
gave up the security of home,
family and friends for his sake
and hoped that life would be
happy for both of you.
But it sounds as if he got so
accustomed to having his own
space for three years that he
isn’t able to adjust easily to the
change in circumstances.
Men are less adaptable than
women. It takes them time to
understand how the daily
routines have changed. During
those three years he was on his
times a day, and if my dad’s in hospital
my sister or I go in and be with Mum.
“I’ve probably only spent about half
of the money on the conversion that I
would have by now on care home fees –
and they’re still living together.”
Paul describes his mum as the feisty
matriarch of the family, while his dad
was a hard-working slater and plasterer.
“We had a wonderful childhood and
great holidays,” Paul smiled. “I feel this
is payback time for all they did for us.
“It’s been two-and-a-half years since
diagnosis and the medication has
stopped it in its tracks. I just wish it had
been started four years ago and we
would still have more of my mum.”
After such a strong reaction to Golden
Rust, Paul decided he wanted to use the
song to benefit Alzheimer Scotland.
All proceeds will go to the charity and
25% of sales from his album,
Wilderness, if bought from his website
before the end of April, will also be
handed over to the organisation.
“It was comforting to know other
people were going through this,” added
Paul. “The song went from being
something just for me to touching so
many other people.”
Dear Maggie Soon after we
I was
like a
baby in
the social
for help
February 25, 2018
Dear Maggie My two sons,
aged 10 and 12, fight all of the
time. It honestly feels like they
haven’t stopped arguing and
winding each other up since they
were infants. Sometimes they’re
just tussling, but other times it’s
like they really hate one another.
Maggie says I am an only
child and always wanted a
brother and sister. I married and
had four children – three boys
and a girl who squabbled their
entire childhood.
own, he no doubt missed you,
but he got into the habit of
working late, coming home to
watch TV before falling into bed
Not much of an existence
and he must have hoped that
with you there life would be
different. But he’s not making
the effort to change. Naturally
you feel disappointed and let
down by his lack of affection.
Take him out for a meal next
weekend to a local restaurant
you want to try. Hopefully both
of you will relax and have a
pleasant evening. No heavy
chat or searching questions,
keep it lighthearted.
Why not find out what’s going
on locally, perhaps join an
evening class learning about
something which interests you
or attending a gym and
meeting new people? Create a
life for yourself in your new
environment and take the
pressure off your husband.
These small steps towards
making a life for yourself are
important for your own self
esteem and they may just be
the wake up call he needs.
Hopefully before too long you
will both be able to talk about
how you are feeling without
getting into the blame game.
It’s not your job alone to get the
love back into your marriage.
It’s his responsibility too. Take
the first steps towards a more
positive outlook for your own life
and it may be the wake up call
he needs to appreciate the
caring woman he married.
It puzzled me no end. Where
had I gone wrong? They are
now all grown up, but guess
what – they enjoy nothing more
than winding each up with
sarky comments. But at the
same time they are 100% there
for each other when needed.
So please believe me your
children are perfectly normal
boys – they will squabble
relentlessly, drive you mad at
times, but they are loving,
caring, sharing brothers.
wRiTe To Maggie listens, The sunday post, 2 albert square, Dundee, DD1 9qJ
oR eMail
Margaret reads all letters but cannot enter into personal correspondence. Names will be changed if you wish
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It’s great to have a product that is making such a
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“ActiveCare Cream is made with natural
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Adrian holding
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February 25, 2018
The world’s greatest psychic
An adventure
awaits you
Dear June In August
2015, my wife Annette
passed away in my arms.
We were never apart
and on outings we would
always hold hands.
I keep asking if she is
all right.
I honoured her wish for
a humanist funeral and
she wanted me to do the
same. If so will I see her
Will she be waiting for
Robert, Peeblesshire.
June Says
It is always
so emotionally difficult, as
well as heartbreaking, to
have to say goodbye to
someone you love when
they go on with their
journey ahead of you.
You spent your lives
building and creating
dreams and visions
together and watched
as they came to fruition
a little at a time, only to
find that in the end only
one is left to enjoy them.
It’s only then, at the
moment of their passing,
that we realise what is
truly important.
It wasn’t so much the
goals we reached or the
creation of our visions, it
was our journey together
to get there and, most
importantly, those who
walked along beside us
every day, sharing in our
dreams and supporting
us each step of the way.
The journey filled with
many memories was
what mattered, not the
final destination.
She knew you were
with her, surrounding her
with love as she
embarked on her final
journey, and so it is only
fitting that she will be
waiting to greet you
when you also inevitably
cross over to join her.
When the time is right,
your lovely lady will be
waiting so that you can
both begin an incredible
new adventure together.
Dear June On March 3, it
will be 30 years since I lost
my husband.
I still miss him – he was my
love and my best friend.
I ask him to help when I
lose things and I feel he
knows when I’m unwell.
Illness on his side of the
family has caused distress.
Can you see a light at the
end of the tunnel to ease all
The truth only
came out after
parents’ death
Wall and Fence Paint
Dear June My parents separated when I was young and I
was taken to live with mum in Wales.
I did not hear from my father for more than 20 years. I had
been told throughout the years that he left us and was at
fault, so I didn’t follow up his attempts to make contact.
After mum passed away I discovered she had an affair
during their marriage and that was the reason they separated.
I never got the chance to make things right with my dad
as he passed away before mum.
Maureen, via email.
June Says It’s unfortunate
you didn’t learn the full story
of your parents’ break-up
before your father passed.
Of course your loyalty lay
with your mum and you
trusted what she told you as
you were young and had no
reason to doubt it.
You should not feel guilty
about not putting the situation
to rights before your father
passed, as you did not know
the facts until he’d gone.
He knows the full story and
would have been able to
see what was going on from
spirit side. He would have
understood your reasons for
not wanting any contact.
As I make my connection
to spirit, I am initially drawn
to a lady who I sense is your
mum. There are other family
members around her but she
is in the forefront.
I feel your mum’s health
gradually deteriorated over
the last two years of her life
and I am drawn to the chest
and leg areas.
I sense she passed from a
heart condition which also
affected her legs due to lack
of circulation (heart failure?).
Did she have ulcerated legs?
I get the impression your
relationship with your mum
became closer after her
illness but prior to that there
was a distance between
you. Did you live far apart?
I’m impressed to say things
might have been strained
our troubled hearts? Is he
with his stillborn grandson
and did his parents greet him
when he passed?
Isabella, Arbroath.
June Says
To have been
blessed with such a strong
love and connection, it is
natural to miss your partner,
even after 30 years.
The bond you had does
not end after physical death
between you for a time.
Harry’s being called and
I’ve been given February
twice (two different dates?).
I also sense your father
close by (I feel he passed
from a cancerous condition)
and want to reassure you
they are now emotionally
comfortable with each
other and their differences
have been resolved.
You need not worry about
them as they remain close
by, accompanied by many
other family members who
all watch over you and your
My mum did suffer heart
failure and had problems
with ulcerated legs.
I moved to Scotland and
Mum and I fell out over it,
but when she became ill
she moved closer to me
and our bond strengthened.
Harry was my mum’s
younger brother, who
passed at a young age.
I never met him but Mum
talked of him.
My father passed away
with cancer but I didn’t
know until after he died.
My parents passed away
11 years apart in February.
It is a comfort to know
they are on better terms
and close by.
and will continue. When
your physical life eventually
draws to a close, he will
be there to collect you and
you will spiritually fulfil
another chapter of your life
He will have been reunited
with all who knew him, who
are now also in spirit, but
chooses through his love for
you to walk by your side
each and every day.
Save hours painting and decorating with this versatile
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(Lines open 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week. Please have your credit/debit card details to
hand) Calls cost 13p/min plus your phone company’s access charge.
WoulD you lIkE a REaDIng fRom JunE? Email or write to June Field, The Sunday
Post, DC Thomson & Co Ltd, 2 Albert Square, Dundee, DD1 9QJ (Please include your telephone number)
If you wish to return an unwanted product, then you may do so at your own cost within 30 days.All returned products must be in mint, re-saleable condition and in the original packaging. Please
note delivery to Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, BFPO address and Scottish Highlands and Islands is £6.95. Delivery to the Channel Islands, Scilly Isles and Eire is £10.95. BVG Group do not refund
postage on unsuitable items or cancelled orders.Your contract for supply of goods is with BVG Group. BVG’s ‘was’ pricing refers to the original selling prices offered on our website www.cjoffers., and in our retail store between 6th November 2017 and 5th February 2018. Please allow 7 days for delivery. Offer subject to availability and open to UK readers only.
February 25, 2018
Honest truth
We should
give a hoot
about owls
page 49
Oor wullie &
the Broons
MARCH 2, 1968
tHis wEEk
By Murray Scougall
FEBRUARY 26, 1960
Who is the
pages 52 & 53
Your week
ahead in
the stars
Shortly after leaving
Shannon Airport in
Ireland following a
45-minute stop, a New
York-bound Alitalia
aeroplane crashed
into a cemetery.
Of the 52 people on
board, 34 were killed.
s the sixth James
Bond, Daniel Craig’s place
in film history is secured.
The first of the Bond actors
to born after the debut 007
movie, Dr No, was released,
as well as after the death of
creator Ian Fleming, he was a
controversial choice for the
iconic role.
He quickly dispelled those
criticisms following the huge
success of Casino Royale
12 years ago, and has since
appeared in three more Bond
And – after much
speculation – he has signed
up for the 25th in the series,
meaning he will become the
longest-serving Bond when
the next movie is released in
Such success wasn’t always
easy to come by.
Born on March 2, 1968,
Daniel spent a long time as a
jobbing actor before meatier
screen roles came his way.
The intensely-private star
was born in Chester. His
mum was an art teacher and
his former Merchant Navy
dad ran a pub.
When his parents divorced,
Daniel and older sister Lea
lived with their mum in
His first stage appearance
was in Oliver! when he was
six and he became a regular
performer in school plays.
Daniel attended the
Everyman Theatre in
Liverpool and, at 16, was
accepted into the National
Youth Theatre in London.
After a number of failed
see page 56
FEBRUARY 26, 1993
A terrorist attack on
the World Trade Center
in New York killed six
An truck filled with
explosives beneath the
North Tower was
detonated, with
terrorists intending it to
crash into the South
FEBRUARY 28, 1975
Daniel Craig was a departure in the role, given that he was the first blond Bond
Craig was future gamble
for 007’s Casino Royale
attempts to land a place in
drama school, his
persistence paid off when he
was accepted to the Guildhall
School of Music in 1988,
where he studied alongside
Ewan McGregor.
He made his film debut in
The Power Of One in 1992,
the same year he married
Scottish actress Fiona Loudon
and had a daughter, Ella.
Various TV guest roles
followed, with appearances
in Boon, Drop The Dead
Donkey and Heartbeat.
Supporting roles in Lara
Croft: Tomb Raider and Road
To Perdition saw his stock
rise in Hollywood, as did a
stand-out role in Guy
Ritchie’s Layer Cake in 2004
and Steven Spielberg’s
Munich the following year.
Rumours of being lined up
as the next Bond soon
surfaced, and Craig met with
the previous incumbent,
Pierce Brosnan, who told
him: “Go for it.”
Craig later described it as
the best advice he could have
received, but he was still
shocked when he learned
he’d actually won the part.
He was in a shop buying
dishwasher tablets when he
took the call from producer
Barbara Broccoli. He
dropped the tablets and
bought a bottle of vodka.
What, no Martini?
Now married to actress
Rachel Weisz, Craig’s most
surprising role as the tuxedowearing superspy came
during the opening
ceremony at the London
Olympics in 2012, when he
starred alongside the Queen
in a memorable sketch.
For that unlikely moment
alone, he’ll go down in
FEBRUARY 28, 1953
Sunday PoSt
Looking back
at what made
the news in
years gone by
Francis Crick probably wasn’t
the first person to walk into a
pub and declare he had found
the secret of life.
But he made the declaration
with complete justification and
no, the secret wasn’t beer.
On the morning of February
28, 1953, Crick and his fellow
Cambridge University colleague
James D. Watson worked out the
structure of DNA.
Although deoxyribonucleic
At 8.46am, a London
underground train
failed to stop at
Moorgate station, and
ploughed into a dead
end tunnel.
The accident killed
43 people and injured
a further 74.
In the aftermath, a
safety system was
introduced that
automatically stops a
train should it
approach a dead-end
platform too fast.
MARCH 1, 1954
Oscar-winning director
Ron Howard was born
in Oklahoma.
He began his career
as an actor, famously
playing Richie in
Happy Days, before
leaving to become a
His hits include
Cocoon, Apollo 13,
The Da Vinci Code
and A Beautiful Mind,
for which he won an
Academy Award.
MARCH 2, 1933
acid (DNA) was discovered in
1869, it took until 1943 before its
role in genetic inheritance was
Watson and Crick were said to
have used the findings of
Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind
Franklin, who were using x-ray
diffraction at King’s College in
London, in their own research.
Watson and Crick determined
the structure of DNA was a
double-helix polymer, or a spiral
of two DNA strands that wound
around each other.
It replicated itself by
separating into individual
strands, with each serving as the
template for a new double helix.
Developments that came
directly from the breakthrough
include testing of evidence to
convict or exonerate accused
criminals, the ability to identify
human remains and pre-natal
screening for disease genes.
Regarded as one of
the most significant
and greatest films of all
time, King Kong
opened in New York to
a huge buzz.
Crowds queued
round the block at
Radio City Music Hall
to see the story of a
huge ape who
becomes obsessed by
a young lady, played
by Fay Wray.
February 25, 2018
Model Victor Henry strikes a pose during the Irish
Bodypainting Competition at Temple Bar in Dublin
Francis Gay
A fan sits in a giant cup of tea with Mrs Doyle pouring
milk over him during the annual Father Ted Festival
simply pass on their love
or all the years that I have known
her, Amy has had self-esteem issues.
I never knew why then, just last week, she
told me she felt she was irreparably broken.
When I asked what she meant, she told me
about her history of childhood abuse,
betrayal, and a desperate, seemingly futile,
search for love.
To be honest, I was stunned, and didn’t
know what to say.
Then I heard a noise from upstairs. It was
The designer of The Hot-Desk, the world’s first
office car, drives the vehicle through London
Lisa thought the
older man had
introduced himself
as “mystery”, but
maybe it was
“Mister A”.
They chatted in
the street, about
the weather, the
turning of the
seasons, the traffic.
Then, as if in
passing, he said he
was sure she felt the
pressures of modern
life, but she should
remember she was
precious, strong,
and loved.
When he handed
her something, she
expected it to be a
religious tract, but it
was a sheet of
hand-written poetry
about strangers
being friends not
yet made and the
beauty of accidental
When she told a
friend, he said: “Oh,
I met him years
ago. He made my
day. I’m glad he’s
still doing it!”
A poet dedicated
to lifting the spirits of
random strangers in
the street? Mr A’s
true identity may be
a mystery, but it’s
more wonderful
world because he’s
out there!
Write to:
the youngest of her three lovely children.
“Tell me,” I asked. “Have any of your
children had any of those experiences?”
Horrified, she said: “No!”
“Then you’re not broken,” I said. “You are
an overcomer. A genuine hero.”
Sometimes life does break us down. And
sometimes we pass that feeling on as all we
But, some of us – like Amy – stop the
damage. And heal it with love!
George is a spoiled brat! Who
says? Well, he does.
A keen photographer, he
lives on the Ayrshire coast. The
other day he was on the
beach and he took a photo of
the island of Arran. Looking at
it, he thought it was nicely
framed, the blue of sea and
sky came out well, the snow on
the hills was clearly visible,
seagulls were silhouetted
against the white clouds.
‘Yeah, but…’ he thought. ‘It
looks ordinary.
“That was when I knew I was
spoiled,” he told me. “When I
could see a view people in
crowded cities, or other
built-up areas, would love to
have – and I thought it
Of course George, a lovely,
unspoilt man, is his own worst
critic. But, it’s a reminder for us
all, to look again at the beauty
we might think ordinary, the
blessings we might take for
Skies are often dark and grey,
But signs around us show,
Brighter days are sure to follow,
Spring is on the go;
Again the days are stretching,
Nights are lighter too,
Our land awakening to reveal,
A season fresh and new.
Renovations meant
Caroline and Andy
would have a pipe
running up their
living room wall. In
plain view!
Lacking options,
they started
planning how to
make it blend in, to
make it as
unobtrusive as
possible. They
decided on a good
option. Then
decided not to do it.
Instead, Andy
brought home a
strip of unvarnished
pine and fixed that
over the pipe. Then
he bought a wood
In the four years
since then, they
have recorded their
three children’s
height on the strip,
burning in the
markers, writing
names, and
decorating the
spaces in between.
“We’ll disguise the
pipe when we
move house,
Caroline told me.
“But we’ll take the
strip with us.”
The one who find
imaginative ways to
make ugly things
beautiful? They are
some of my
favourite people!
Francis Gay at The Sunday Post, 2 Albert Square, Dundee, DD1 9QJ or email:
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a sit down with MiRiaM daRLinGton
February 25, 2018
Honest Truth
Miriam Darlington travelled far from her Devon home to study the birds that fascinated her for her new book,
Owl Sense (Guardian Faber). Miriam told Bill Gibb the Honest Truth about these beautiful and secretive birds
When did your
love of owls
When I was
about nine on
summer holiday
and seeing a barn
owl hunting at sunset.
I was smitten. It was so
buoyant in its movements and
so perfectly silent. We were
staying on a farm, so I could go
out each night and watch it.
That was it, the fascination
never left me.
We should give more than two hoots
for these fabulous feathered friends
probably their most powerful
sense. They can hear the highpitched sounds of mice nibbling,
so they can catch them before
they even make a squeak.
No wonder our ancestors
thought owls had supernatural
What did you set out to do for
the book?
The plan was to try to see the
five native species of owl in
Britain in their natural habitat –
the barn owl, tawny, long-eared,
short-eared and little.
I wanted to find all of them,
and then I found out there were
a few pairs of eagle owls that had
been introduced, so I had to see
those, too.
Where did your travels take
I couldn’t find the eagle owls
in the wild here, as their location
is very hush-hush for their
protection, so I travelled to
Finland where a naturalist took
me to see some nesting way out
in the Taiga forest.
This was truly an expedition
into the wild, and it whetted my
appetite to carry on further.
I also saw Ural owls, and then
I thought, why not try to see all
13 European species. So I set out
to see pygmy owls, scops owls
tawny owls
are one of
260 species
of the bird
and the elusive snowy, too. I think
I became an owlaholic!
How long have owls been
around and how many
species are there?
Owls have been around for
more than 60 million years.
There are at least 260 species and
it would be truly awesome to see
some of the more exotic species.
Blakiston’s fish owl lives in the
Deeside Holiday Park, part of
Wood Leisure and a member of
Thistle Holiday Parks, is a tranquil
retreat set in the southern valley
of the River Dee, ideal for getting
away from it all.
Whether you choose to spend
your time exploring Royal
Deeside or soaking up the
atmosphere in the lively city of
Aberdeen, Deeside offers the
perfect holiday destination.
We’ve teamed up with
Far East, Korea and Hokkaido in
Japan. It has a wing span of nearly
two metres and special barbs on
its feet for hunting slippery prey.
The elf owl, the world’s smallest
owl, nests inside cactuses in
Arizona. I feel like I am still not
quite done with owls.
What are the main
characteristics of owls?
They have amazingly large eyes
that in some species take up most
of the skull but because of this,
they cannot swivel their eyes as
they are fixed by special extra
strong tubes.
This is why they have to
swivel their heads 270 degrees in
that spooky, exorcist-style
But they cannot see in
complete darkness.
It is their hearing that is
What was the strangest owl
you saw?
The pygmy owl was probably
the most unusual. It has bright,
yellow eyes, is speckled all over
with whitish-silver spots, nests in
old woodpecker nests high in the
mountains in an isolated part of
France, and flies out to hunt
during the day.
It has a lovely whistling call
that travellers used to feel was a
lucky omen.
And the most memorable
The time I was at home
drinking a cup of tea at dawn and
thinking, I really must get on with
this owl book, and all of a sudden
a beautiful tawny owl landed
beside me on the balcony.
We stared in surprise at one
another for a few moments. Its
eyes were so black they made me
a seven-night
stay at Deeside
Holiday Park
Deeside Holiday Park to offer
readers the chance to win an
amazing seven-night break in a
two-bedroom caravan holiday
home, sleeping up to four
people (one double bed and
two single beds), to be taken
before end June 2018, subject
to availability.
There is a range of signature
and deluxe two, three and
four-bedroom lodges (some with
hot tubs) and two and
three-bedroom caravan holiday
homes (some with hot tubs) for
hire as well as en-suite glamping
pods and cosy family camping
Situated on Royal Deeside,
the park makes an ideal base
for cultural escapes with many
historic castles, fabulous outdoor
pursuits and attractions nearby!
Deeside is open all year and
also offers nightly and seasonal
touring pitches and tent pitches.
for information: Deeside Holiday Park: phone
01250 878123; email;
or visit
Thistle Holiday Parks:
TO be in WiTH A CHAnCe Of Winning juST AnSWeR THe fOLLOWing queSTiOn:
Cliff Richard sang about going on which type of holiday?
a Summer
B WINter
c autumN
call: 09012 925 256
Calls should cost no more than £1.02 – calls from
mobiles or payphones may cost a lot more.
Ts & Cs: Lines open at 6am on Sunday, February 25, 2018 and winner will be chosen at random from combined correct entries after 9am on the closing date of Monday, March 5, 2018. Prize is as stated, is
non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. Prize excludes public holidays and is subject to availability. It is restricted to the maximum berth of the holiday home. Your personal data will not be used for any
other purpose than entry to this competition. Details of winner available on request. Premium Rate Telephone Services Department, D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd, 2 Albert Sq., Dundee DD1 1DD Ph. 01382 426103. For
full competition Ts & Cs please send a large SAE to: Group Marketing, Copy of your competition terms, D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd., 2 Albert Sq., Dundee DD1 1DD.
Or text SPCOMP followed by a space
then your answer, name and address to
Texts cost £1.00 plus your standard operator charge.
By POSt Send your answer, name, address and telephone
contact details to: Deeside SP Comp, D. C. Thomson & Co.
Ltd., 2, Albert Square, Dundee DD1 1DD.
Non-wired Bra
for new
SAVE £12†
• Wide adjustable straps
• Supportive underband
• Framed three-section cups
• No underwire for extra comfort
• Machine washable
The expertly designed Doreen bra
from Triumph offers maximum
support and amazing comfort as well
as great value! Order yours today at
the fantastic discount price of just
£20 (saving you £12) and as an
introductory offer for new customers,
delivery and returns are free*!
To order please quote
7 DIGIT ITEM NO. below.
White CB733YJ
Skintone CB732YJ
Black CB730YJ
B cup:
C, D cup:
DD, E cup:
E cup:
F cup:
G, H cup:
J cup:
K cup:
Machine washable. 80% Polyamide, 13% Elastane,
7% Cotton. The offer price of £20 is available if you order
before 30th April 2018 using the 7 digit item number below.
36 – 44
36 – 48
34 – 46
34 – 46
34 – 48
34 – 46
34 – 44
36 – 42
£32 £20 £12
SEND NO MONEY NOW Post, phone or order online today. Orders are usually delivered within 7 days but please allow up to 14
days in exceptional circumstances. Subject to availability. You can cancel your order by notifying us or returning the item for any
reason up to and including the fourteenth day after the day of delivery of the item. Please take good care of the item as we may
deduct monies from any refund if the value of the item is reduced as a result of your unreasonable use of the item. If you return all
the items in an order we will refund the cost of the returned items plus the delivery charge (excluding any additional charges for
nominated or next day delivery) however, where the return is made via our courier or through a Hermes Parcel Shop we will charge
you a return fee which will be deducted from your refund. The return fee will not exceed the original delivery charge. If you return
the item by any other means this will be entirely at your cost. Your statutory rights are not affected. For further information please
refer to our catalogue or website or ask the advisor when you call.
CHOOSE THE WAY YOU PAY: When we accept your order this will act as a request to apply for a credit account, subject to status.
You can either pay in full, by cheque, credit or debit card or choose to spread the cost using our repayment facility. If you choose
this facility, interest charges will apply. JD Williams & Co. Ltd, Griffin House, 40 Lever Street, Manchester M60 6ES. Reg
in England 178367.
Post to: Ambrose Wilson, AWL 5476, 40 Lever Street, Manchester, M99 1SA
0871 984 5476
Calls cost 13p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Lines open 7am-10pm, 7 days a week
or order online:
To order online please enter the 7 digit Item No.
† Offer ends 30th April 2018. The offer price is only available when you quote the 7 digit item number on this advertisement at the
time of order. Reference to the WAS price is to the price stated on our website, on 01/01/2018. Prices
may have changed since this date and you may want to visit our website to check the savings available before you place your order.
*Free standard delivery and free returns are only available to new customers on their first order from this advertisement. After your
first order our normal delivery terms and conditions will apply. Please see website for full details.
Call to order:
AWL 5476
Standard Delivery for NEW customers
Standard Delivery for existing customers
◆IMPORTANT: We can’t process your order without these details.
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Make cheques payable to Ambrose Wilson
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number and sign below:
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Post to: Ambrose Wilson, Dept. AWL 5476, 40 Lever Street, Manchester, M99 1SA
Orders from Ireland welcome. For new customers from the Republic of Ireland, standard delivery on this order will be free with subsequent
orders charged at €4.99. For customers from the UK standard delivery on subsequent orders may vary. Calls may be monitored or
recorded for training and quality purposes. Your order acts as a request to apply for a credit account subject to status. Right to refuse
application is reserved. We’ll do a credit search using credit reference agencies to confirm your identity, and to give us information
about you and people you are financially linked with for credit assessment. Our search will be recorded and seen by other organisations
that offer credit. If you choose to open and operate a credit account we’ll share information about how you run it with these agencies
and other organisations for fraud prevention and debt collection. We may share your information with other organizations. We or they
may contact you for marketing purposes by mail, telephone, email or otherwise. If you do not wish this to happen please tick this box
. Subject to availability. The promotion ends on 30th April 2018.
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