A Completely Normal Comedy Night

The Edinburgh Revue is hosting a comedy event tonight fronted entirely by female acts in honour of Women’s History Month.

Hosted at the Bedlam Theatre and organised by Edinburgh University Student Alliance, ‘A Completely Normal Comedy Night’ is described as a celebration of Edinburgh’s best and brightest female and non-binary comedians, in aid of Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre and Scottish Women’s Aid.

Some of the performers rehearse their act
(Photo credit: EN4News)

The show has no male input or organisation whatsoever, with Creative Director of the event, Amy Yeo, explaining that “the point of it isn’t to be weird. Women in comedy isn’t meant to be an anomaly, it’s just meant to be normal and for decades, lineups have been entirely men.”

The number of male comedians far outnumbers female, with the website Chortle having 2,119 registered comedians, and only 347, a meagre 16%, are listed as identifying as female.

Tonight’s event will be headlined by Amy Matthews, winner of the Scottish Comedy Awards’ Best Newcomer in 2019, as well as being featured on the BBC’s ‘The Comedy Underground’.

Amy Yeo, Creative Director (Photo credit: EN4News)

It will feature a whole host of female and non-binary comedians, including sketch work from Alice Roberts.

A Completely Normal Comedy Night‘ is set to “smash through comedy’s glass ceiling and end sexism forever in a single hilarious night”.

The gig is primarily aimed at the ladies, but “lads are welcome to come along too”.

“You need something to spend that extra 30% wage on,” Yeo joked.

Tickets are £6, and can be purchased from the EUSA website.

Doors are at 7:30pm.

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Roadworks cause bin controversy in Stockbridge

Stockbridge residents have accused Edinburgh Council of “making excuses” for not collecting overflown rubbish bins on schedule.

The council released a statement this week explaining that the ongoing gasworks in the area have resulted in them being unable to collect the kerbside bins due to lorries being too large to fit alongside the construction work.

Local residents are disgusted by the overflow, with black bags spilling out onto the pavement in some places, and multiple reports of rats being spotted.

Overflowing bins (Credit: EN4 News)

“It’s just the council making excuses again,” said Eleanor McBride, who has lived on Raeburn Place for over 30 years.

“Other big vans and lorries can get down the street just fine so why can’t the bin lorries?”

Companies that have their rubbish collected by private companies have been largely unaffected despite using bin lorries that are much the same size as those used by the council.

Nadine Watson, manager of Holland & Barrett, whose bins are privately collected said: “Even though our bin isn’t being emptied every day now, it’s still being picked up maybe every two or three days.”

While the ongoing works have caused some disruption for businesses, the impact has not been as destructive as initially expected, some local shops have told EN4 News.

Privately owned collection lorry in Stockbridge (Credit: EN4 News)

Jennifer Feeney, assistant manager of pet store Just Dogs, explained that the company was braced for drastic losses, but that sales have been “about the same as usual for this time of year.”

The works on Raeburn Place are set to continue for another 20 weeks, and traffic will continue to be disrupted, with westbound traffic diverted for the remainder of the construction.

EN4 News have contacted Edinburgh Council regarding the issue and are awaiting a response

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ORDER! A look back at John Bercow’s career as he chairs his last parliamentary session.

After an impressive ten years on the job, it’s finally come time for House of Commons Speaker John Bercow to stand down, and it’s without doubt that his extreme volume and wit-filled turn of phrase will be a noticeable absence from the chamber.  Bercow will also resign from his position as MP for Buckingham, a seat that he has held for nearly 22 years.

Bercow in his throne. Photo: UK Parliament

Over his decade-long career, bold speaker Bercow has brought around substantial change within the chamber, despite a lasting ominous grey cloud of bullying and misconduct allegations against him hanging over the latter half of his term, as well as a number of expenses abuse claims.

Over his career, Bercow has been a force to be reckoned with in the chamber, often dishing out wonderfully phrased put-downs to unruly MPs in an effort to maintain his signature “ORDEERRR” in the house.  A New York Times reporter quoted him as saying “When the decibel level exceeds anything that Deep Purple would have even dreamed of in their heyday in the 1970s as the loudest band in the world, that is a negative” in reference to his constant efforts to keep often petulant parliamentary representatives under control.  After an analysis by the BBC, it was identified that he used his exclamatory catchphrase ‘Order’ over 14,000 times over his career as Speaker.

While Bercow’s career will be remembered for bringing parliamentary traditions into the 21st century (by slackening dress codes and doing away with wigs for Commons Clerks, as well as turning a popular bar in the Westminster house into a crèche for MP’s children), he has been subject to much debate regarding his conduct outside of the chamber, and to his overall impartiality that is required as Speaker.  Bercow has undergone several investigations into bullying and misconduct accusations, and has been described as “overly aggressive” and prone to “over-the-top anger” on occasions.  While he was criticised and has been spoken against, he has never formally been reprimanded for the claims.

Before his time as House Speaker, Bercow served the Conservative party as MP for Buckingham, as well as assuming several high profile positions in their Opposition from 2001 – 2004.  During his academic life and career in the Conservative party, he was known to hold fairly hard-right views, in-line with the views of the party at the time.  During his time as Speaker, however, his views have often been called into debate, and has been accused of impartiality over his actions in the chamber in regard to Brexit motions tabled by Boris Johnson, with some of his rulings allowing those opposed to Brexit to implement pieces of legislation and checks to block Johnson’s plans.  He’s also been accused of abandoning his neutrality in regard to comments on President Trump, saying he would be “strongly opposed” to his addressing of the Houses of Parliament during his state visit.

Bercow did however meet Obama in the Commons. Photo: UK Parliament

While his decade-long career has been marred with certain clouds and stains over its time, Bercow will be most remembered for his moves to modernise parliament, and his often spectacular rhetoric and crushing putdowns in the chamber.  After his last day on the job this afternoon, he is expected to get home, put the kettle on, and have a cuppa with his wife, Sally, as well as the family cat, named Order.  Yes, really.

Driver arrested following discovery of 39 bodies ‘of Chinese nationals’ in lorry container

Police investigations are continuing after the discovery of 39 bodies ‘of Chinese nationals’ in a refrigerated truck in Essex.

The owner of the lorry has been identified as 25 year old Mo Robinson from Northern Ireland, and following his arrest on Wednesday, officers have raided three houses in Country Armagh, while the National Crime Agency are attempting to identify any links to organised crime that deals in human smuggling and trafficking.

Mo Robinson, Facebook

While the lorry was initially thought to have arrived in the UK from Bulgaria due to the truck being registered there, police in Essex now believe it arrived from Zeebrugge in Belgium.

Agencies in Belgium are investigating the tragic deaths.  Eric Van Duyse, a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office, has said that it is unknown how long the lorry remained in Belgium for and that it could be “hours or days, we just don’t know”.

One victim found in the lorry has been confirmed to be a teenager, and with the nationalities of those who died still unknown, police have confirmed that it may be a “lengthy process” to identify who they were and where they started their journey to the UK.

In an unrelated incident, police in Kent on Wednesday detained a group of nine other undocumented migrants found alive in the back of a lorry on the M20.

Conditions in refrigerated trailers such as this used for transporting food can reach temperatures down to -25C, with conditions like this easily posing fatal over long journeys, even with the appropriate clothing.  Incidents like this highlight the increasing desperation of those seeking new horizons in the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed his condolences, saying “this is an unimaginable tragedy and truly heartbreaking”, then saying “The Home Office will be working closely with police to establish what happened”.

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