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It has been a momentous week for Scotland this week. The announcement of huge job losses due to the closure of the Motorola mobile phone plant was the main news story but there has also been a proposed merger for The Bank Of Scotland with the Halifax plc. Add to this continuing controversy over the development of tourism for Scotland and Foot and Mouth news and there is a lot to report. In sport Celtic have been presented with the SPL championship trophy whilst only 3 members of the Scotland Rugby Union team was selected for the British Lions tour.
I have been in Scotland this week and whilst there read The Scotsman newspaper. The Scotsman is principally published in Edinburgh though it also has offices in Glasgow and London. The coverage of the Motorola story was as thorough and comprehensive as one would expect. Its tone however was not overly emotional but gave the facts of the announcement and the background to the establishment of the factory and the reasons for its closure. Whilst it was not excessively emotional it did recognise this to be a human tragedy and gave a balanced
view of the situation.
There was a political as well as the business perspective on the closure. I do think The Scotsman in common with all the Scottish newspapers has some difficulty with how to react to Scottish devolution.
The newspaper knows it cannot nod blindly to whatever occurs in the Scottish parliament but also must not criticise the effectiveness of its ministers too greatly for fear of undermining the whole process. The paper therefore treads a careful path and its words and messages are carefully chosen. The coverage of the potential merger of the Bank Of Scotland and the Halifax was carefully handled too. This issue has implications for the standing of a leading Scottish establishment company in merger with an English one. In all these issues The Scotsman portrays a wise mature view in these matters. It values the importance of the Scottish angle in these matters but not at the expense of developing an isolationist stance.
The coverage of other issues like Foot and Mouth and the recent sacking of the Chief executive of the tourist authority after 6 days in office are sensibly handled. There was no nonsensical sentimental ‘Phoenix the calf’ trivialisation of the issue of F and M and the tourist story was developed in a way which showed the potential harm to the industry. The Scotsman is not a newspaper merely content to be a ‘difficulty stater’ but one which offers balanced coverage and editorials which have as many solutions as they have problems.
The second part of the newspaper is called S2 and this covers the arts and entertainment. It remains predominantly centred on the arts of Glasgow and Edinburgh and Scottish artistes are featured strongly. The reviews though are as robust and as critical as any for the national papers and the Scotsman critics do not see their duty by any means as serving to fill Scottish theatres with flattering reviews. There is the usual TV page with a healthy series of reviews on programmes.
The Bank of Scotland story resonates strongly in Scotland as the banking and insurance sectors are important parts of the Scottish economy. Companies like Scottish Widows, Standard Life, Scottish Life are key companies within the country and many are losing their independence to mergers and acquisitions. As befits this importance The Scotsman has a comprehensive business section. It is even printed in pink just like the Financial Times. This section is not as impenetrable as the FT and features stories not just about Scotland but further afield including internationally. There are a large number of market reports, articles and trading prices
The Wednesday edition also includes features on Scottish education. On Thursdays there is a Property supplement giving a guide to houses and flats for sale in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas in Lothian and Fife.
The Scotsman is essential reading for those living and working in Scotland. It is a very serious broadsheet and has excellent standards of journalism. It articles are clear and well constructed and it does not have the ‘give-me-400-words-on-this’ feel that the English national broadsheets often have. It translates less well and is less relevant to an English audience. It is not rabidly for Scottish independence but is loyal without being jingoistic.
This stunning Hornby The Flying Scotsman Train Set is a great addition to your model ... more
railway. Based on one of the most famous locomotive in the world, The Flying Scotsman was built in 1923 to take passengers from Edinburgh to London, and now you can add this great piece of history to your collection. With a beautifully finished apple green front carriage and classic teak coaches the Flying Scotsman is a wonderful addition to any network and includes a full track circuit with siding. Additional coaches can also be added to extend the train too, and carry even more passengers on the famous railway. This set is ideal for recreating the days of 1930s train travel, either added onto your network or as a stand-alone piece on the included MediMat. LNER Class A1 4-6-2 'Flying Scotsman' locomotive, DCC Ready LNER composite coach LNER brake coach Starter Oval with Track Pack A with one point and a buffer stop Wall Plug Transformer (P9200) Train Controller (R8250) Power Track (R8206) Hornby MidiMat, 1600 x 1180 mm Hornby Train Set - The flying Scotsman Warning: Not suitable for children under 3 years.
Status: New - The LNER Class A3 Pacific locomotive No. 4472 'Flying Scotsman' is one of ... more
the world's most iconic steam engines. It was built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway at Doncaster Works to a design by Nigel Gresley. Taking its name from the London to Edinburgh non-stop service on which it was employed, 'Flying Scotsman' worked many long-distance express trains in a career in which it covered more than 2,000,000 miles (3,200,000 km). This fascinating pocket-book tells the story of this distinguished locomotive through authentic period literature including LNER and BR service manuals, giving an insight into her construction and operation from the height of her fame in the 1930s through to the end of her BR service in 1963.