NEW YEAR HONOURS COMMENTS FROM KEN LOACH

Since he is a great believer in freedom of speech, Ken won’t mind me saying that while he has made some fantastic movies, his last one was a disaster. I watched it in The Tower with half a dozen others and was well disposed to it until it started. He gilded the lily enough to put me and his fans on alert for his next one. In order to avoid it. And I am no Monarchist.
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EVEN SPECIAL COPS ARE HANDING IN THEIR HANDCUFFS

The SNP government have come under a two-pronged attack over their failure to keep special constables on the beat. And ignoring the fact that significant numbers of police are off work with mental health problems. Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has warned that the police’s Special Constabulary could “vanish altogether” after he revealed that their numbers have nosedived since the SNP’s police centralisation. … More EVEN SPECIAL COPS ARE HANDING IN THEIR HANDCUFFS

OBITUARY: ALASDAIR GRAY

A renowned polymath, Alasdair Gray was beloved equally for his writing and art. His debut, Lanark, which Canongate published in 1981, is widely regarded as being one of the masterpieces of twentieth century fiction. It was followed by more than thirty further books, all of which he designed and illustrated, ranging from novels, short story collections, plays, volumes of poetry, works of non-fiction and translations – most recently, his interpretation of Dante’s Divine Trilogy. His public murals are visible across Glasgow, with further examples of his work on display in galleries from the V&A to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. … More OBITUARY: ALASDAIR GRAY