Tag Archives: Glasgow

NHS Lothian miss over 3000 diagnostic targets

Photo Above: Stethoscope © Darko Stojanovic on Pixabay

NHS Lothian figures show that over 3000 people’s waiting time has exceeded six-weeks. This figure is inclusive of diagnostic tests to detect cancer.

The Scottish government’s targeted time has dropped from 78.6 per cent to 69.7 per cent in a year, and in September an estimated 3583 patients did not meet the referral target. This makes Lothian figures the worst in Scotland.

Continue reading NHS Lothian miss over 3000 diagnostic targets

Stranger Hings: Chris McQueer announces sequel to debut book

Last night Chris McQueer announced that he will be releasing a sequel to his literary sensation Hings.

Hings: The B-Sides will feature eight short stories in a 40-page A5 zine.

404 Ink will release the booklet in mid-December as part of their new zine series.

The first instalment of Hings was published in July this year and was an immediate hit in the Scottish literary community.

Comparisons were made between McQueer, Irvine Welsh and Limmy for his surreal humour and focus on Glasgow’s working class community.

His publishers discovered McQueer when he submitted a short story to the first issue of their magazine in November last year.

They invited him to read at the launch party for the Error issue, where he read an extract from ‘The Dug’.

“We loved Chris from the moment his short story ‘The Universe Factory’ landed in our inbox,” said 404 Ink when they announced Hings in March. “After bringing down the house with his readings we knew 404 had to publish him,” his publishers commented.

Prior to submitting his work, McQueer was already publishing his work on the long-form writing platform, Medium.

He had generated thousands of followers on Twitter, a community that 404 Ink were able to tap into when promoting the book.

One of their tactics included encouraging Twitter users to Photoshop images of Hings into pop culture pictures.

404 Ink are known for their innovative approach to promoting books online, and were nominated for a Creative Edinburgh Award on Monday.

Sentence appeal for sectarian murder is refused

The appeal to reduce convicted murderer Tamveer Ahmed’s 27 year sentence was quashed today at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Ahmed, 32, from Bradford in Yorkshire, murdered 40 year old shopkeeper Asas Shah in a brutal knife attack which left Shah with injuries similar to those seen in a road traffic accident.

Continue reading Sentence appeal for sectarian murder is refused

Rapist sentenced to eight years in prison



A 52-year-old man has been sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for rape, at Edinburgh High Court earlier today.

Hugh Wade was convicted of having repeatedly raped an eight-year-old girl from August 2008 till August 2011 in Glasgow.

He was given a 10-year custodial and supervision disposal including eight years of incarceration and two years of open release with supervision.

Hugh Wade appeared in court today after having been kept in custody in Glasgow, where the trial took place last month.

When the sentence was read by Judge Maciver a handful of people sitting in the gallery expressed sighs of what appeared to be both relief and sadness.

’16 Days of Action’ to combat violence against women

By Carolina Morais

A campaign is being launched today by a Scottish organisation to mark the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Between the 25th November and the 10th December, the ’16 Days of Action 2014′ campaign will be promoting a series of events throughout Scotland to raise awareness of violence against women.

The theme for this years’ initiative is ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women’.

A spokesperson for the campaign said: “Our organisation has been recognised by the United Nations since 1995. This is a global campaign that aims to prevent and eliminate of all forms of violence towards women.

“That includes such things as sexual assault, rape, sexual abuse, cultural practices such as genital mutilation, forced marriage, exploitation, prostitution, lap and pole dancing and traffic of women for sexual purposes.”

The event will commence today in Glasgow but will engage different cities in Scotland, including Edinburgh.

“We are going to held a conference at Edinburgh University on the 8th December, but our main events will happen in Glasgow”, the spokesperson said.

“Among other things, we are launching an online survey to see if people are more informed about the issue and to really take it forward. We also have a march happening on the 27th of November and we will have activities for men who want to be involved.”

The CEO of the national organisation White Ribbon, Chris Green, recognizes that “men are the real problem” and that it is urgent to “turn the numbers around”.

“We are working more and more with men and we just have to keep on doing that.

“Right now, we have around 200 events happening around the United Kingdom to raise awareness to this cause, but the numbers are still alarming.”

Mr. Green also said: “What we need to do urgently is change the attitudes of men towards women in general, to prevent emotional and physical abuse. We need more women reporting these crimes, more politicians to take notice of the problem and more funding to be able to prevent it.”

The ’16 Days’ campaign is being funded by the Glasgow City Council Integrated Grant Fund. In partnership with White Ribbon Scotland, this initiative is hoping to achieve white ribbon status for the City of Glasgow this year.

According to the United Nations, one in four women in Scotland experience domestic violence in their lifetime, with an incident being recorded every ten minutes.

Allie Hutchinson, from Scottish Women’s Aid, says the problem is not contained to Scotland.

“The numbers are alarming everywhere. We have been around since 1976 and that is why we continue to be so committed to end violence, to work with women who have been victims of domestic violence and to look at how we can prevent this.

“At the moment, the main problem is that women are not equal to men just yet. It is up to us to fight for equality first, to challenge the myths of society, to write to MPs and MSPs to promote a society where women are equally valued.

“In the near future, we will launch a survey to look at people’s experiences related to these crimes, we will promote a series of lectures throughout Scotland, a parliamentary event with MSP’s and even a film screening at Edinburgh University.”

In the rest of the United Kingdom, statistics show 45% of women having experienced some form of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking and at least 80,000 women experiencing rape every year.



Iraq War Protests- Ten Years On

Last week marked ten years since U.S and U.K troops led coalition forces into the second invasion of Iraq. It also marked ten years since the anti-war protests were at their height. A time when hundreds of thousands of people were united in opposition to the conflict, where daily rallies were happening across the country. While much of the media focus has been on the anniversary of the conflict itself, and the lessons we can learn from it going forward, perhaps more worthy of attention is the sheer scale of public opposition to the war.

Rarely before, and never since, have we seen so many people marching against a common cause. One of the most striking aspects of the protest movement at the time was how it galvanized young people and schoolchildren into vocal opposition to the conflict. Throughout March 2003 schools up and down the U.K were hit by walkouts, as students and staff decided to make their voices heard.

As a fourteen year old schoolkid in Glasgow at the time, I recall clearly the excitement of March 19th. At a time where all of us were angry about the prospect of the war we felt powerless. Staging a mass walk-out that afternoon was a small act of rebellion, but for us it felt like the most significant act in the world. We had the silent support of many of our teachers, a quiet nod here and there to let us know that they didn’t expect us back in the afternoon. Many of them would be joining us at the rally in the city centre.


As handfuls of us left together to start our noisy journey to the march, we fell in with other crowds. Students from Glasgow University draped in banners, handing us signs and teaching us slogans to shout. Other teenagers from local schools looking as nervous as we felt. When the crowds came together in George Square we brought the city centre to a standstill. There was a tremendous feeling of solidarity and power. It felt like what we were doing mattered, that it would have an effect.

One thing that angered all of us was the perception, both in the media and from any adult you cared to ask, that it was nothing but an excuse to skive. That we weren’t interested in the protest, only in the prospect of an afternoon off school. Teachers unions dismissed our protests as truancy. An attitude like that is an insult to the very real feeling of anger we all felt about the war. Schoolchildren were just as opposed to the conflict as any adult or student activist, but without the luxury of freedom to make our voices heard.

The Stop the War movement politicized many of us for the first time. It gave us our first steps into political protesting, and made us feel like a part of something important. Crucially, it was our first real experience of vocalizing our anger and frustration to the world. And ten years on that is as worth remembering as any aspect of the conflict.

Review: The Black Keys

The Black KeysThe Black Keys had the Glasgow crowd bouncing, dancing and singing at the tops of their voices at the SECC on Saturday.  The two-piece band, whose hits include Lonely Boy, Gold On the Ceiling, Howling for You and Sinister Kid, stunned the audience with their atmospheric blues. 

The night began with the supporting act, The Maccabees who are renown for their live performances and they did not disappoint.  Front man, Orlando Weeks, has such a unique voice that could almost be described as hypnotic.  The South London band was so in-sync with each other, their live performance was absolutely flawless.  They delighted fans with a forty-five minute set including Feel to Follow, X-Ray, Love you Better and Pelican. As far as warm up acts go, they certainly had the crowd fired up in anticipation for the headline act.

Shouting “Let’s get this going!” Dan Auerbach tore into Howling for You alongside drummer Patrick Carney.

The tone was set for the evening and the audience sang, clapped, chanted, and crowd surfed throughout the show.  The atmosphere was so electric, we could have even revived a dodo.

There was a momentary pause in the rocky proceedings as Auerbach was illuminated by a beam of light during the first two verses of Little Black Submarines.  The almost haunting solo piece soon broke into The Black Key’s distinctive sound focused heavily on the electric guitar.

It was not only the sublime rocky sounds of The Black Keys which impressed fans, but the overall production was a visual spectacle.  Live images were projected onto screens surrounding the stage, giving the concert an edge and an alternative outlook.

The last song was, of course, the anthem, Lonely Boy.  The venue erupted after the first few, distinctive chords were played out from Auerbach’s guitar and the fans can only be described as wild.

However, like all respectable shows, there was an encore and it was a shame for those who rushed out to catch the train home because they missed an absolute treat.  After clapping and stamping our feet, we were awarded with two more songs from The Black Keys and quite possibly the biggest disco ball the SECC has ever seen.

The Black Keys were set-up to be amazing to see live but they exceeded all high expectations and were truly first-class.  If you want to be entertained with good, honest music played back-to-back then go and see this band!

Rangers receive £25m bid from US Company

Copyright Christopher Harress

Glasgow Rangers have more than 140 years of history, but the past few months may have been the most tumultuous, with the SPL title-defenders staring into the abyss of administration and the imminent uncertainty over possible takeovers.

A £25m bid from a Chicago-based company, if accepted, could see Rangers go into liquidation – an option fans do not support.

Club 9 Sports would want to form a new club, to avoid paying the club’s debts. Such action would lead Rangers to have at three-year ban from all European competitions. In the even more drastic scenario, liquidation could force Rangers back to the start, requiring them to apply to join the Division Three.

The only offer seeing Rangers go into administration came from former Ibrox director Paul Murray. Letting Rangers pay off their debts through the Company Voluntarily Arrangements (CVA).

The American bid is more than double Brian Kennedy’s offer, which was rejected yesterday. The American firm is now the frontrunner for taking over the club.


Hundreds gather at Paul McBride’s funeral in Glasgow

A requiem mass for Paul McBride was held this morning at St Aloysius in Glasgow.

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral to pay tribute to one of Scotland’s most respected lawyers. Among the crowd were several high profile faces, including First Minister Alex Salmond and Celtic Coach Neil Lennon.

Paul McBride QC died in his sleep while on a business trip in Lahore,Pakistan, on 4 March. He was 47.

Mr McBride was one of three people who had been sent petrol bombs to their home between 1 March and 15 April last year.

He was one of the leading lawyers of his generation, having been appointed a QC at the age of just 35.

Read more about Paul McBride.

The New Riverside Museum


courtesy of http://construction-manager.co.uk/news/

Glasgow’s Riverside Museum is the UK’s newest and most exciting visitor attraction, home to the transport, engineering and shipbuilding legacy that made Glasgow great.

The Riverside Museum is an architectural masterpiece, designed by British-Iraqi, Zaha Hadid.  Her company was picked from 140 submissions to build the £74 million Riverside Museum. The 74 million museum is Hadid’s first major public commission to open in Glasgow and 18 months later there will be another great master work will be opening – the new aquatics centre for the 2012 Olympics.

Visitors will be struck by the stunning displays, packed with fascinating exhibits, high-tech and hands-on interactions and inspiring moving stories. You’ll be able to walk down the re-created 1900s street, drive a locomotive and tackle a tenement fire, with more than 3,000 objects on display, there is something for everyone of all ages.

Outside, The Tall Ship Glenlee is moored in front of the museum creating a dramatic and iconic international destination. The Glenlee is one of only five Clyde-built sailing vessels afloat in the world today and the only one in the UK.

Councillor Gordon Matherson, the leader of Glasgow City Council, said “Glasgow’s history as an industrial giant, a global leader in engineering and shipbuilding, is celebrated is am architectural masterpiece which shows that we remain at the cutting edge of design and technology.”

Zaha Hadid said “The history of Glasgow is profoundly interlinked with the history of the Clyde, and together they have informed the museum’s design. I wanted the building to reflect the importance of its location and allow for the innovative and inspirational display of its outstanding collection. The fluid design continues Glasgow’s rich engineering traditions; a true demonstration and celebration of the skills and passion of local engineers and contractors who helped to bring this building to life.”

The museum will open its doors to the public on 21st June 2011. Entry to Riverside Museum is free!

Health authority regrets ‘tragic’ nut allergy death

by Ray Philp

A health authority has expressed their “deepest sympathies” for the family of a 9 year old daughter who died of anaphylactic shock shortly after a GP had failed to prescribe a device that could have saved her life.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde were implicated in a report published by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman that criticised the lack of clear guidance regarding the prescription of adrenaline auto injector pens, or EpiPens.

An EpiPen might have saved Miss C. Photo: D Walsh

Continue reading Health authority regrets ‘tragic’ nut allergy death

‘Old Firm need to forget the past for the sake of the future’

by Ryan C. Gavan

Being an impartial observer, spending time covering the Old Firm clash at Hampden Park yesterday was an experience in the very least. It was the first time the teams have met since the much publicised game two weeks ago, all eyes were watching. I went wondering whether the fans had taken any notice of the warnings or the Summit on the Old Firm.

Union Jacks and Tricolors are abundant at Old Firm matches. Photo: R Gavan

I was greeted by a very heavy police presence. It looked to me like a the preparation for a riot. Mixing with fans on both sides, I noticed that the sectarian attitude is engrained to Old Firm meetings. Tri-colours on one side, Union Jacks on the other, it goes beyond religion to politics, using that term very loosely. One Rangers fan had a scarf with the words “William of Orange” while a Celtic fan wore a top with “Bobby Sands MP” embroidered in orange and green. Speaking to both sets of fans, they blame the other for the trouble. The real issue here is the culture, the so-called “90-minute bigot.” They go to the game, sing their sectarian songs and go home, not thinking about it until the next meeting. The issue for politicians, police and the Old Firm itself, is how to change years of hatred. Many wonder whether this is even possible.

Continue reading ‘Old Firm need to forget the past for the sake of the future’

Is living in Glasgow bad for your health?

The city's residents are more likely to suffer a heart attack than the rest of Scotland. Credit. Flickr.

By Jen McClure

Findings of a recent health survey of Scotland’s largest city found that Glaswegians are 1 and a half times more likely to have a heart-attack and suffer from anxiety, regardless of their lifestyle or social circumstances.

The so-called “Glasgow Effect”, stood out above all the other factors taken into consideration.  The latest survey, said: “There remained an unexplained Glasgow Effect in relation to prevalence of anxiety and doctor-diagnosed heart attack.”

Researchers say that further study into the issue is needed to fully investigate their recent discoveries.

The report analysed; socio-economic, behavioural, biological, relationship and social mobility before compiling their findings.  The report concluded: “People living in Greater Glasgow and Clyde still had a 92 per cent higher risk of anxiety compared to those living elsewhere.” It continued, ” For two important outcomes relating to both physical and mental health, no explanation can be derived for the excess risk of doctor-diagnosed heart attack or anxiety.”

Politicians and health bodies claim that there is no mystery to Glasgow’s health misery.  The city’s poverty and deprivation are at the root of the “effect” and that more has to done to help the most vulnerable members of society.

Consultant Cardiologist, Dr. Adrian Brady at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, commented: “Lifestyle is an important part of the issue, for example, smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet, but they are all being addressed.”  He added: ” Even allowing for cholesterol, higher blood pressure and smoking you can still see, for some reason, individuals in the West of Scotland are more prone to heart attacks than patients in the south of England with the same blood pressure and cholesterol level. Why that is the case, we are not sure.” He further commented about the city’s deprivation as a factor. ” If you measured deprivation, as a measure of a lack of social advantage, that in fact, goes some way to explain the differences in heart attack risk with Glasgow and the rest of the UK.  Why deprivation would do this, we don’t know, but deprivation is a very robust measure of cardiovascular risk.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said that health inequalities remained a “significant challenge in Scotland, with the poorest in our society dying earlier and experiencing higher rates of ill health.”  She added, ” This remains the case whether there is or is not a Glasgow Effect.” In response to health issues that need to be addressed she continued: ” Reducing health inequalities is not going to be done overnight.  It will take generations to tackle problems which have affected Scotland but poor health is not inevitable and we should not accept it.”

Students Walkout

By Celeste Carrigan

Student have taking to the streets in protest : Credit; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11829102

Students in Glasgow today are gearing up for a mass walkout, in protest  to increased tuition fees, Education cuts and to save the EMA.

Coordinated walkouts  are planned to commence from around 12pm today and there have been a number of confirmed Glasgow Universities, colleges and schools taking part. The walkouts will be led to  the protest and rally at 3pm at Glasgow’s city Royal Concert Hall. The  rally will then commence at 5pm at George Square where speakers will include Dave Moxham (STUC), Pete Murray (NUJ) and Phil Whyte (NUS)

The new wave of protests are expected to take part up and down the country today including London, Birmingham, Manchester and Cambridge. These protests come in response to the speech made by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg yesterday, where he called on students to reconsider their opposition to the government plans.

“I know that more protests are planned by students tomorrow. I make just one request of those planning to protest: examine our proposals before taking to the streets,” he said.

Students are still taking to the streets today to send a powerful message to Government. In Glasgow students are wanting the government to see they wont accept tuition fees being reintroduced into Scotland, although this is still to be confirmed by Scottish Government. They are also wanting the Government to take notice that students wont accept 80% cuts to teaching budget and the EMA being Scrapped.

The new wave of walkouts and protest that are happening today come two weeks after demonstrations in London descended into violence, where 50,00 people marched the streets of London. They marched in protest increased tuition fees in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to £9000 a year. Police up and down the country today are said to be ready for any violence at the protests today.

Fire Extinguisher thrown Millbank Tower : Credit ;http://www.thesun.co.uk/

Police arrested more than 60 people over the violence and disorder which saw windows smashed, objects hurled at officers and a fire extinguisher thrown from the roof of the building. Edward Woollard the 18-year-old student responsible for throwing the fire extinguisher from the top of Millbank Tower, has pleaded guilty today. There has been no word on any sentence yet.

Students in London have already started taking to the streets and have begun staging occupations at some Universities.

Kelvingrove’s first art sale helps funding new Riverside Museum

Charles Jamieson, Under Construction 2

Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery today opened its first art sale aiming to raise money to fund city’s new Riverside Museum, with a number of works already sold.

Until the 30th of January next year, the exhibition will be selling works from 29 artists which were made especially for the show, and 50% of the sale price will be donated towards £74m Riverside Museum due to open next year.

The Riverside Museum is being constructed on the banks of the River Clyde to replace the Museum of Transport. The project, designed by much-acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, aims to emphasis Glasgow’s stature as a city which has had a profound impact upon transport and technology.

The art sale, entitled ‘The River Runs Through It’, unofficially opened last night and as many as 14 artworks have already been sold for over £10,000. The show offers the chance to purchase art by some Scotland’s most established painters, including Peter Howson, Charles Jamieson and Adrian Wiszniewski.

Margaux Achard, one of the coordinators of the project, said: “The idea of the art sale was the result of a chat between the director of the Riverside Museum, Gavin McLellan, and an art journalist, Jan Patience. Charles Jamieson, who is one of the artists, supported the idea. The decision to approach different artists was made and resulted in 81 artworks. Now, the project proves to be a big success which will hopefully continue.”

Earlier this year, the artists made a trip to the construction site for Glasgow’s iconic transport museum. The exhibition is the painters’ response to the building and the idea of Glasgow’s industrial heritage.

The show provides a mix of 81 literal and abstract works, and aims to appeal to a wide range of people. Every buyer will be permanently recognised in the new museum as a donator.

The Riverside Museum Appeal, the public trust raising funds for the new building, is to receive a donation of cash from the Kelvingrove which will help to raise its target of £5m towards the cost of the museum. Glasgow City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund are other funders of the project.

The building work is currently on schedule to be completed in the immediate future, with the museum expected to be opened in early summer 2011.

Christmas is coming so let there be Light

Glasgow's George Square

By Celeste Carrigan

The cold winter nights are truly upon us. As the fireworks fall from Guy Fawkes night, the Christmas lights up and down the country are beginning to be turned on. The Glasgow Loves Christmas festival is in full swing the lights are up but they have still to be switched on.

The Christmas lights will be turned on in the main shopping streets for  many cities in the UK, in the middle of the month. This will be the start of the busiest time of the year for shops. For many years people have said Christmas comes earlier every year, with shops in July and August filling their shelves with Christmas decorations and presents. This may also be said about the Christmas lights.

This years Glasgow Loves Christmas Festival is about celebrating the best of the festive season Glasgow has to offer. The lights switching on will  mark the start of the festivities, the switch this year will be flicked on Sunday 21st November.

Glasgow's Iconic Christmas Bells

As  Glasgow and many other cities are gearing up for the Christmas rush and setting up their lights, some have already turned theirs on. Oxford Street Christmas Lights are the most famous in the world, and are enjoyed by many. This year the lights were turned on the 4th November 2010 ,  but to its usual crowd of celebrities and the thousands of people who flock year after year to London’s west end to see the big switch on. This year they kicked off the Christmas celebrations on a low-key affair rather than one of  the many celebrities that have turned on the illuminations year after year, this year  children chosen by the Kids Company charity flicked the switch. London’s Regent street lights are next to be turned on, the switch will flicked by the cast of the new Narnia film, tonight Tuesday 8th November.

Although Glasgow winter festival is not the same celebrity event as London’s Christmas festivals, year after year crowds gather at the city’s George Square to see the lights be turned on. The switching on of the lights in Glasgow has and will always be a family affair. This year the organizers have put together a line up for all the family, they will be “treated to performances from the Musical Theatre course at The Dance School of Scotland, the cast of SECC panto Aladdin and Lazytown Sports Club Team featuring Sportacus and Stephanie.”

It is a party atmosphere, with families joining in the festivities.  Glasgow will be the first major city in Scotland alongside Aberdeen to have their Christmas lights switched on, whilst Edinburgh won’t be joining the festivities until the 26th November.

High Speed Rail Network to include Scotland

By Katariina Rawlins

The 5th of November

London High Speed Rail

The Coalition Government at Westminster are currently considering how to best take forward plans for a UK High Speed Rail Network.

Council leaders from Glasgow and Edinburgh explained this Thursday to MSPs why it would be beneficial to include Scotland in the high speed rail plans.

Council members Jenny Dawe and Gordon Matherson spoke at an event in Holyrood that was hosted by MSP Charlie Gordon. Many people turned up for said event.

Edinburgh council leader Cllr Jenny Dawe, said: “The presence of the Leaders of Scotland’s two main cities at today’s event is a clear demonstration of our willingness to work together in the national interest and of the importance that we attach to bringing high speed rail to Scotland.”

The Council members pointed out how adding Scotland would deliver maximum economic and environmental benefits whilst ensuring that Scotland is not economically disadvantaged in relation to UK and international competitors.

Cllr Dawe added: “Failure to do so from the outset will damage not just our ability to compete internationally but also our ability to compete with those other regions of the UK that will be included in the network.”

A rail expert has warned ministers that Scotland must spend £10 million on its own blueprint for a high-speed rail route north of the Border because the UK is only serious about building lines from London as far as northern England.

Cllr Gordon Matheson added: “In fact, it’s estimated that bringing the line to Scotland could take at least 20 years – so long-term thinking and planning is absolutely crucial and we believe we have a strong case for building this rail network from both ends.”

The event was organized to make sure that the Scottish Government would work with Westminster to ensure that Scotland is included in the network from the outset.

Cllr Matheson said: “Edinburgh and Glasgow both agree that rejecting any commitment to high-speed rail for Scotland would be short-term thinking of the worst kind.”

It took place on the same day as Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond addressed the Transport Times Conference in London outlining the government’s commitment to HSR.

Project Prevention hits UK with bumpy landing.

By Luke Langlands

“If every drug addict woman got into treatment and got clean it would be wonderful, but that’s not the reality…money motivates people – it’s a bribe”. These are the words of Barbara Harris – the founder and head of Project Prevention – the US organization set-up to “bribe” drug addicts into sterilization for $300. Harris is now plying her trade in the UK, with a recent visit to Glasgow and more planned in the future.

Continue reading Project Prevention hits UK with bumpy landing.

Former SSP member denies “scripting” Sheridan confession

By Katy Docherty 

Tommy Sheridan and wife Gail are being tried for perjury. Source: The Guardian

Tommy Sheridan has accused former Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) member Alan McCombes of scripting tapes in which ex-SSP leader confesses to visiting sex clubs.

McCombes denied accusations that he collaborated with Sheridan’s best man George McNeilage to create the damaging video.

McCombes denied these claims: “That is just nonsense. Neither did I hire Rory Bremner to do an impersonation, Tommy.” Continue reading Former SSP member denies “scripting” Sheridan confession

Rangers strike unlucky in Spain

By Ryan C. Gavan

Rangers Manager Walter Smith
Walter Smith will be unhappy not to gain a point from the game

Two goals from Roberto Soldado and a third from Tino Costa thwarted Rangers from gaining any points in the Champions League at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium last night.

Soldado capitalised on a failed clearance from Alan McGregor, the Rangers keeper, in the 33rd minute following a corner, squeezing a shot past Sasha Pavac, who was standing at the near post.

His second came after a making a run down the right-wing playing a one-two with Juan Mata. This led to a perfectly weighted finish past the Rangers keeper. McGregor managed to get his finger-tips to it but could not stop it from hitting the back of the net.

Valencia hit home just before the final whistle for the third, with Tino Costa volleying in a cross from Miguel. This marked a final farewell to the visitors from Glasgow.

Rangers were not without their chances. Steven Naismith was denied by the woodwork in both halves. The first after a Kirk Broadfoot pass up the left-wing, which saw the Scotland international hit bending shot that struck the far post. The second was a header that grazed the near upright. The rebound was spilled by the Valencia keeper, Caesar Sanchez, but Rangers could not capitalise.

Valencia dominated play, with Joaquin causing trouble for the visitors all evening. He made pressing runs up both wings that could not be stopped by the Rangers defence. This was highlighted in the 80th minute. A dancing run beat Steven Whittaker but the resulting cut-back was misplaced.

 McGregor played well between the sticks despite the score line. He made a number of saves that required quick hands on his part. Shots by Mata in the 3rd and 11th tested the keeper’s reactions.

Scotland striker Kenny Miller had a quiet night, having only one good opportunity during the game. Defender Miguel was caught out by Naismith who passed the ball on to Miller. This left him one on one with Caesar, but the striker could only shoot weakly into the keeper’s arms.

David Albelda was awarded the only card of the game, after a reckless challenge on Broadfoot.

Rangers will now face the Group C leaders Manchester United on the November 24th.

“Leave our lane alane”

By Claudie Qumsieh

Holyrood is considering a proposed residential development which, opposition say, will destroy a unique community.  Recently around 300 protesters  marched through Glasgow’s West End to send a message to Glasgow City Council: “Leave our Lane Alane“.

Independent retailers in Otago Lane include a clock repair shop, record shop, second-hand book shop and tea house. Time, music, books and tea are all at stake. The plans, if authorised could see entry to the businesses blocked putting them at risk of closure. It will also transport 300 new residents into the lane. The eclectic appeal of the area was reflected in the diverse supporters present; children, parents, pensioners and students. A community coming together against plans they say will destroy the unique character of Otago Lane.

There is cross-party political support from Labour, Green Party and Liberal Democrats.  Labour MSP Pauline McNeil said “There is no justification for 164 flats in this tiny little lane. This is a lane. Leave our lane alane! We will be watching the decision-making of Glasgow City Council very closely. It doesn’t seem to me to be in tune with the City Plan, that there should be a 9 story building built in this lane.”

According to MSP Sandra White, Glasgow City Council have questioned whether Otago Lane is in fact a lane. “Glasgow City Council says we don’t think it’s a lane because it’s off a street, but the sign says Otago Lane and that’s where they are wanting to build […] They are using semantics and think they are being clever, but the people are not putting up with it.” The City Plan prevents over-development by stating no more than 2 storeys can be built on a lane.

Glasgow City Council Planning Officer, Andy Dale, said they are no closer to making a decision. Material considerations, including the 4000 strong petition and the 15000 letters of objection, will be reviewed.

Tommy Gore, President of Glasgow University Students Representatives Council, said “Otago lane is a fantastic resource. A lot of students really benefit from having T’chai Ovna tea shop and Voltaire and Rousseau books. It would be a real shame to lose that. What people are forgetting is this is something really special. It’s something we should keep. It’s a post-industrial city, there’s a lot of empty space lying around. I don’t see why people feel the need to develop something as well-used and as lovely as Otago lane”

One local resident said “If [Glasgow City Council] sell off this piece of West End culture, they might have a bit more money, but they won’t have Glasgow”.

Zombies Come to the Streets of Glasgow

Courtesy of http://glasgowzombiewalk.co.uk/
Glasgow Zombie Walk: Courtesy of http://glasgowzombiewalk.co.uk/

By Celeste Carrigan

It is the time of year when the ghost and ghouls come out to play. This Halloween Zombies will take to the streets of Glasgow on Sunday the 31st October.

This is the second year will see many Zombies take a stroll through the City’s Kelvingrove Park. This year the organisers hope to attract a larger undead army. In 2009 they saw a horde of zombies shuffle and groan their way along University Avenue through Kelvingrove Park. There where tour buses, blood vans, Ninjas, soldiers, commanders, and Lego zombie man but they were unable to withstand the infestation that came their way.  This year also takes on a larger scale with two days of events, with the walk happening on Halloween.

The Zombie king and founder of the walk, Colin Armstrong, said “I think Glasgow’s (if it goes ahead year-after-year) will become more of a zombie festival with the walk as a focal point”

The organisers promise something for all types of Zombies with a Zombie ball taking place on Saturday the 30th October at Sloans Bar in Glasgow City Centre. The Zombie Walk will start Sunday the 31st October at 3pm and then the horde will then partake in a good old Sunday stroll through the park.  The walk will take around an hour with a few differences on your way. An after party has been arranged at Sloans bar 4pm-10pm with a BBQ and Zombie films and DJ.

The walk in 2009 initially started as a pub crawl, attracting 400 participants but this year organisers are expecting ten times as many participants. There are hopes that the walk will run annually and eventually become more of a festival with many Zombie related events running over numerous days, on the lead up to Halloween.

Glasgow 2014 Games On Track

Scottish Athletes confirm there will be no 2010 boycott

By Adam Bergin

Glasgow Commonwealth Games officials have confirmed that preparations are on track for 2014 in light of the difficulties surrounding this year’s event in Delhi.

Around 70% of the venues for 2014 are already in place, but a Glasgow Commonwealth spokesperson has defended the progress in Delhi.

They said: “It’s not uncommon for major Games to have teething problems in the run-up to the opening ceremony.

“Each Games is different, they take place in different countries with different cultures and different ways of working”

Scottish athletes have today confirmed that they will travel after being convinced that issues with the athletes’ village were being addressed.

The news follows a series of high profile withdrawals of British Cyclists including Wales’ Geraint Thomas and England’s Ian Stannard and Ben Swift, although continued reassurances from the Delhi organisers have receded the threat of a mass boycott.

The Delhi organisers have come under intense scrutiny in the last few days with concerns surrounding security and hygiene for the event, which is to begin in nine days time.

2014 delegates will play an observational role at the 2010 Games prior to the official handover ceremony and insist that they plan to proceed as scheduled.

“At Glasgow 2014, we are happy with our progress to date,” the spokesperson added.

“We’re a little under four years out from our opening ceremony and have a lot to do, but we believe we are on track to achieve our ambition – which is to deliver an outstanding, athlete-centred and sport-focused Games that will be celebrated across the Commonwealth, generate enormous pride in Glasgow and Scotland, and leave a lasting legacy.”

‘Kiss’ goodbye to tickets

By Phil Turnbull

Tickets for rock legends Kiss’ upcoming Glasgow show sold out within ten minutes of going on sale today.

The standing tickets were priced at £40 and were limited to four per customer.

A spokesman for the SECC this morning confirmed: “Standing tickets have all sold out and the seating tickets are definitely on course to sell out within the next few days.”

The May 2010 concert at the SECC is the first time the American outfit have played in Scotland for 18 years, but it appears their popularity has not waned.

Kiss diehard fan Kenny Simpson, 22 of Polwarth, secured tickets this morning, and is eagerly anticipating the gig, saying: “I’ve seen Kiss before but never in an arena, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

The rock lords’ European arena and stadium tour, dubbed the ‘Sonic Boom Over Europe: From The Beginning To The Boom’ tour, was announced on Monday 23rd of this month by promoters Live Nation.

On the same day Kiss themselves made this announcement to fans via their website, kissonline.com;

The 27 date tour lasts for two months and takes the band from Ireland to Belgium, with Italian, German and Slovakian dates, amongst others, in-between.

Rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley is promising a performance of the band’s back catalogue, telling kissonline.com; “We’re covering the whole musical history of the band on a stage that takes KISS one giant step further in our eight inch heels. We’re stoked. You wanted the best? You GOT the best!”

Bassist and icon Gene Simmons is keen to promote the group’s latest album ‘Sonic Boom’, which hit number two in the American Billboard Top 200, and reached number 24 in the UK Album Chart.

Simmons told kissonline.com; “Now. More than ever. KISS is a four wheel drive monster truck. Our mission? To rock Planet Earth. To spread the gospel of Sonic Boom.” 

While Kiss last played a Scottish date in 1992, incidentally at the SECC in Glasgow, they have indeed rocked Edinburgh before.

The rock heroes’ brought their Crazy Nights Tour to the capital’s Playhouse Theatre for two nights back in November 1988.

Kiss have cemented their place at the top table of Rock n’ Roll by selling over 80 million albums worldwide, and on 23rd September of this year were nominated for a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Glasgow concert takes place on 9th May 2010 at the SECC, with remaining seating tickets priced at £40 plus standard booking fee.

Scotland’s New Eco-hotel Recycles Former Red Light District

Click here for a video tour of this Glasgow icon's £25m makeover

By David Henderson

Seaweed baths and solar panels. Underwater heat pumps and rainwater harvesting. It sounds like utopia for eco-campaigners but the green dream is reality. And it’s in Glasgow:  the city’s first eco-hotel. The five star Blythswood Square.

Blythswood Square. Glasgow's New Boutique Hotel
Blythswood Square. Glasgow's New Boutique Hotel

25 million pounds has been invested in transforming the former Royal Scottish Automobile Club building into a splendid boutique hotel and spa where they promise to be kind to mind, body, soul and the environment. 

The spectacular sandstone building, constructed in the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign, has been completely transformed, well, recycled and now re-used an eco-hotel. Even the location and the name have been treated to makeovers. Until recently the name ‘Blythswood Square’ had altogether different connotations for Glaswegians. It was infamous for being the city’s red light district. Now?  The ten feet high fence erected around the perimeter of the Square’s central gardens to keep the prostitutes and punters out, has been torn down. The lawn in the former no-mans land in the middle of the square is now used for lunchtime picnics by financial and media sector workers. Where there was once an eerie silence, there is the buzz of conversation and the sound of laughter.  “Are you interested in any business” has a different meaning in ‘ra Blythswood’ now. Urban recycling.

When BSQ was built in 1823, Glasgow had a population of over one million. The  then Second City of The Empire choked in the smoke and smog created by heavy industry. Dealing with environmental problems in Blythswood Square then meant using a shovel and a bucket to clear up after the horses. How the world had changed by the time Townhouse bought the building in 2006.

“Our vision for Blythswood Square was to retain the essence of this landmark historical building and safeguard architectural features whilst bringing it into the 21st century using the most sustainable methods possible,” says chairman Peter Taylor. 

He’d already designed his own home to be eco friendly by the time work on the hotel started. His carbon footprint doesn’t make an impact; BSQ certainly does: “We felt a responsibility to ensure that this wonderful hotel met the environmental standards for our low carbon future so we closely managed and reduced the carbon emissions and chose to work with suppliers who also had the same commitment to protecting the environment, approaching these kind of large scale projects with a clear sustainability strategy not only benefits the environment but it also creates better business performance”.

The architectural features of Blythswood Square were retained, whilst exploiting the latest in green innovation has helped reduce the carbon footprint by a massive 43 per cent, when compared to buildings of a similar age and size. Green technology has be embedded in the new design: rainwater harvesting (and what a harvest there is to be reaped in Glasgow), renewable energy supply, geothermal grid (solar panels), a percentage of water will be drawn from the ground.

John Stocks, manager of the Carbon Trust in Scotland, congratulated the hotel’s eco-investment: “Blythswood Square is an excellent example of what can be achieved by specifying low carbon. The redevelopment of the building has successfully incorporated low carbon design principles, whilst being able to retain the grandeur of the original building. It will not only bring financial savings through the low carbon design solutions implemented, it will also deliver a more pleasurable environment for guests who will undoubtedly benefit.”

Entering a competitive boutique-break-and-business market in Glasgow, BSQ has its enemies close – main rival, The Malmaison Hotel, is just 500 yards away on West George Street. With 100 rooms, the new hotel is around one third bigger than the long established ‘ Mal’.

Blythswood Square is the fifth addition to the portfolio of The Town House Collection. It is the boutique hotel chain’s first venture outside Edinburgh since being set up in 1990. Existing properties: The Bonham, Channings, The Howard and The Edinburgh Residence are established leaders in the capital’s chic town house hotel culture.

 For Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, BSQ represents a massive expansion of the city centre’s boutique hotel sector; a “trophy” build. The Bureau’s chief executive, Scott Taylor enthuses about how Glasgow has acquired some of Edinburgh’s chic by luring the Town House Collection along the M8 motorway.

“We are delighted to welcome home one of Scotland most celebrated and modest entrepreneurs, who has helped shape the hotel industry beyond recognition. “Peter Taylor’s decision to invest in Scotland’s largest and most vibrant city speaks volumes about where Glasgow is heading, and its competitive position on the global stage. Blythswood Square is unique and will become a landmark trophy hotel for Glasgow, and one of the city’s newest style icons.”

In its former incarnation, The Royal Scottish Automobile Club had to be seen to be believed. In the club’s latter years, my bank had a branch located on the first floor. Passing through the grand Greek-style pillars of its main entrance was like passing through a time portal and being transported back to the days when one third of the globe’s surface was shaded pink. Elderly men with handlebar moustaches snoozing on leather couches. More energetic club members sat awake. Only just. They all wore blazers. Most of those adorned with a row of military decoration. Some had a very long row of medals. Gins all round. Cigars too. Large ones. God forbid if your mobile phone rang. If looks could kill. These were men of a generation which knew how to use a bayonet. Anyway, they’ve gone now. Passed into history with The Empire they served.

Now the smell of mothballs has been replaced by the smell of scented candles. (Oh, and case you were wondering the ladies of the night have been shunted off into a ‘controlled area’ a few blocks away).

Blythswood Square bedroom. Spacious and stylish.

The penthouse has a decadent rooftop hot tub which will raise eyebrows and, you would assume, a chill.  The rooms have a mixture of original features and contemporary bespoke furniture and floorings. White marble bathrooms are a luxury from a bygone era, an era when the Scottish banking system was more solid than stone. This is a place to relax and forget the credit crunch.

The Royal Scottish Automobile Club’s ballroom has been transformed into the hotel’s main 120-cover restaurant and cocktail bar, grand in scale and in detail.  It’s intended to be a relaxed setting – gone is the stuffiness of the previous tenant – a place to enjoy delicious seasonally chosen and locally sourced food from award winning Executive Head Chef, Dan Hall.

It’s an amzing transformation. Bythswood Square has it’s old swagger back…and a style to suit it’s third century of service to Glasgow.

£25 million well spent. The recycled Blythswood isn’t square.