Sturgeon offers cash injection to combat climate change

Nicola Sturgeon has pledged £200,000 to fight climate change ahead of her appearance at Poland climate change summit.

The money will be given to the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action – the body responsible for enacting the Paris Agreement strategy.

It is hoped that the funding will help all levels of Society to come together to reduce climate change. The first Minster said this about the funding.

“We have a moral responsibility to do what we can to prevent, and mitigate the effects of, global climate change.

“Scotland has been widely praised internationally for our work to tackle climate change, and I am absolutely determined that there will be no let-up in our efforts.”

“It requires everyone in society – individuals, businesses and governments – to play their part in changing behaviours, and I’m pleased that the Scottish Government is able to support the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action in its work.”

David Attenborough kicked off the conference with a speech about climate change being humanities greatest threat.

The conference has came under fire for being hosted in Poland’s coal country with the Polish Government have announced the opening of a new coal mine next year near the conference centre.

The conference will run from the 2nd to the 14th of December.

Circuit rallying comes to Scotland

IMG_0580

Circuit rallying is unique, and visits Scotland this weekend (Photo Credit: Luke Barry)

The Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship is heading to Knockhill Racing Circuit this Sunday for the third round of the 2018/19 season.

The championship is one of the fastest-growing in the country and has witnessed some of the best rallying battles in recent memory in its short three year history. Defending champion Chris West heads Sunday’s entry list in his Peugeot 306 Maxi, with Scottish heroes Alan Kirkaldy, John Marshall and Donnie MacDonald taking the battle to MSN Championship regulars West, John Stone and Tom Blackwood.

Now in its fourth season, the MSN Championship heads to various different race tracks across the UK, in a hybrid format between racing and rallying.

Rallying – where drivers race against the clock to set the quickest possible time – traditionally takes place in forests or on closed public roads whereas racing occurs on race tracks with a bunch of cars battling each other for position.

Circuit rallying mates the two disciplines together. The special stages are all set within the confides of a race track, but it’s a rally so each car sets off at 30 second intervals and races each other on the time-sheets and not the circuit.

IMG_0887

Fair (right) finds circuit rallying more relaxing than stage rallying (Photo Credit: Luke Barry)

This provides a very different viewing spectacle for onlookers and a unique challenge for the competitors. Cameron Fair regularly competes with double Scottish rally champion Jock Armstrong, but is sitting beside Alan Kirkaldy in his Ford Fiesta R5 on Sunday.

“Circuit rallying is quite relaxed for a navigator compared to a circuit event,” Fair said.

“There are no road sections which for me are the most stressful part of a rally. There’s also no route notes, just a map. Spitting out a description of the road to the driver at rally pace can be difficult. The map is more vague so there’s only so much you can tell the driver, and after multiple laps he knows the lay of the land so it’s a good opportunity just to watch the driver do his thing.

“Alan and I are going into the rally looking for a strong result, as Knockhill is a place we both know very well. We’ve finished on the podium in the past so it’d be wrong to say we aren’t looking for another top three this weekend.”

Fair is aware that the competition from the regular championship competitors will be tough, even if he and Kirkaldy have the home advantage.

“Chris West in the 306 is very quick, he drives that car very well.”

“John Stone has a new WRC [Ford] Fiesta which he won with at Rockingham last weekend so he’ll be on the money. There’s also a lot of top Scottish boys that will be there or thereabouts and wanting to make an impact. It’s certainly all to play for!”

Championship co-ordinator Darren Spann is enthusiastic to be heading to Fife for the second year in succession. Hear his thoughts ahead of the event below.

 

 

A full entry list for the Cobble Shop Knockhill Stages can be viewed here, while further information on the event can be found on the circuit’s website.

Review: Jack White at the Usher Hall

Kris Krug

Jack White doesn’t allow photography during his show, so this generic image will have to do. Credits to Kris Krug

There’s a reason this article doesn’t have any photos — it’s because Jack White wouldn’t let me take any.

It was a drunken night of crazy antics as Jack White blew into the Scottish capital like an American hurricane, and in a matter of hours, he was gone again – leaving some audience members baffled and others enthralled. Whether he started the show already drunk, no one will know, but he definitely ended it that way. Swigging champagne like there was a grape draught, playing his guitar with said bottle and then tearing down half his set up, I couldn’t tell if I found his music entertaining or if it was just his unpredictable stumbling.

His music was not the clearest, only his greatest hits were completely audible, but that was arguably decades of muscle memory — playing Seven Nation Army every night since 2003 would drive me to the bottle too. Sixteen Saltines and Steady, As She Goes were perfection but the rest of the show was a little rough around the edges. He stumbled around, tearing down the cymbals, screaming into the microphone to the point that the feedback was almost deafening, conducting his band (he never uses a set list, he just reads the room), acting like a total diva, but then the nicest man would come through when he actually addressed the crowd.

He went from crazed drunkard to concerned busker so quickly it could give you whiplash.

When he came out for the encore (which he waited way too long to come out for), he proclaimed that he would play until 11pm and if anyone needed to leave, to get the last train home, then please feel free to leave. Not the Jack White who ran around the stage leaving guitars on the floor before reaching for his bottle of champers again.

Just before the end of the show, he got the support act Demob Happy on stage to jam through a song (or two, it was hard to figure out when one song stopped and another started) and profusely thanked the crowd, and blessed them, their family, their friends, all of Edinburgh and all of Scotland… the only person he forgot to bless was the family cow. He then embarked on a half hour encore (it was a two and a half hour show, getting your money’s worth) and scaled the piano (yes, he scaled it, almost crashed off of it trying to smash his guitar and then stepped off it in a very lacklustre fashion, probably realising he was too smashed himself).

Special mention has to go out to Jack White’s tech, who spent more time on stage than off, untangling him after he’d done his laps of the stage, and tuning his guitar every time he dropped it, fixing his microphone set up when he trashed it, and just generally saving the day when instruments got in Jack’s way.

All in all, it was a very entertaining show, but if you came for the music and not the full Jack White experience, then you might be left disappointed. Just don’t expect to use your phone to take photos of him or take a phone call, because he doesn’t like that either – he makes you lock your phone away before the gig even starts. It’s all Jack White or nothing at all.

The Highlands named as top world destination for 2019 by Lonely Planet

The Highlands and Islands have been selected as one of the top places in the world by Lonely Planet.

The beautiful landscape helped place the region in the top 10 of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list for 2019.

The guide named the Highlands “one of the wildest, least inhabited and most scenic parts of Europe”. The “innovative and fast-developing” accommodation across the Highlands is another reason for the area’s high ranking.

Lonely Planet’s guide recommends looking out for a number of animals native to the area including red deer, golden eagles, otters and whales.

The Highlands have long been a popular destination. They are home to Britain’s largest National Park, Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis, and a stunning coastline.

We found out where else in Scotland visitors should be sure to check out, by asking the public the most beautiful places they have been.

 

 

How did I fail at becoming Scottish?

I moved to this beautiful, but cold-as-hell country, four years ago. I came ready to conquer and soak up all the culture and the weird words you guys say. I had read a lot about Scottish stereotypes, and since those articles are always true, I thought I had you guys figured out.

Four years, and a lot of saying, “yous, ay, yer, wee”, later – and I’m still being asked if I want a tax return receipt every time I buy something.

Even if I’m buying milk, 30 rolls of toilet paper and the cheapest wine they have at Tesco – they still mistake me for a foreigner. Well, they are not mistaken, but I like to be right. Just ask my boyfriend. Besides, what maniac tourist is going around buying 30 rolls of toilet paper?

The question is, what is giving me away, and how did I fail so miserable at integrating? I drink and swear excessively, I’ve become overly apologetic and nice to strangers, and I quote Braveheart at least once a day. Yet, you guys somehow won’t accept me.

Let’s break it down. I’m Norwegian but don’t necessarily look it. I’m short, have curly and brownish hair and I’m wearing tartan for crying out loud. I even gained like 8 kilos a stone during fresher’s week.

cccc

Author of the article, Constance Maria Enger

I also try to sound like yous, but judging by the laughter I receive: I’m not always doing that well. Living with 6 Scottish girls from around the country was a recipe for a confusing dialect, and not to mention a disaster.

It wasn’t until I travelled to the land of hillbillies and Clinton-supporters that I was finally mistaken for a Scottish person. I’ve never been happier. “Yooo, dude, are you like, Scottish or something? You sound weird”, in which I lied: “Yes, yes I am.”

Maybe the thing that is giving me away is that I’m so obviously trying to be Scottish: Just like I try to speak French in France. When I say try, I mean fail, and when I thought I said burger – I said salad.

The fact is, tourists always make a fool of themselves while trying to pretend they are not in fact tourist.

In the end, it would take me years and years to perfection your quirks and even then I would probably be caught by some know-it-all.

It’s strange feeling at home in a country that constantly reminds you that you’re a stranger. I don’t really fit in, but you guys don’t really care about that. It’s all in my head.

I shouldn’t be offended when someone offers me help with directions – I should be grateful. because I’m usually lost anyway. The point is, I’m still treated like the princess I am, and I feel welcome everywhere. That should be what’s most important.

Maybe, just maybe, I need to take a chill pill and just be myself. Perhaps if I act like I do at home – Scotland will finally be just that.

McGlynn “very happy” to be back managing Raith Rovers

John Menzies - RRFC

Stark’s Park, where John McGlynn manages Raith Rovers (credit: Colin Pine)

John McGlynn is back in charge at Raith Rovers, six years after leaving the club, and is targeting promotion back into the second tier of Scottish football.

The 56-year-old returned to Stark’s Park four weeks ago, replacing Barry Smith, who resigned his post at the beginning of September. And McGlynn revealed that the chance to take the reigns again at the Fife side was too good to turn down.

“It was the lure of Raith Rovers that I left Celtic for. When the opportunity arose, I felt like I was the right man for the job. I had a successful spell here before and I hope to repeat that this time around.”

McGlynn was previously at Raith between 2006 and 2012, and guided the club to promotion from the Second Division in the 2008-09 season. Two years later, he led the club to second place in the First Division, narrowly missing out on promotion to the SPL to rivals Dunfermline. He left in 2012 to join Heart of Midlothian, where he had previously been First Team Coach.

McGlynn was most recently manager at Livingston, who he left by mutual consent in December 2014. But despite being out of the managerial game for almost four years, he feels like it’s taken no time to adjust back.

“No, not at all. There’s so much to do that you can’t really do anything other than think about what’s right in front of you.

“Taking training, preparing for matches and so on: there’s so much work to get done here, you’re thrown right back into the mix.

“You just have to roll up your sleeves and get on with it.”

Joining McGlynn back at Raith is assistant Paul Smith. Smith was McGlynn’s number 2 during his previous spell at the club, and he revealed that one of the main attractions of re-joining the Rovers was reuniting with Smith.

“To work with Paul again was a key factor for me. We’ve both had a successful time here together previously, we know each other well and we know how to get the best out of the players.

“The partnership we have has worked in the past, it’s working now and it will work well in the future.”

McGlynn’s second tenure has seen the club pick up seven points out of a possible nine, and they will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season on Saturday, when they travel to Station Park to face Forfar Athletic.

Scottish Storytelling Festival: It’s time for a story

It’s time for a story. The 30th annual Storytelling Festival comes to Edinburgh for the end of October to celebrate the diversity and tradition of storytelling over ten days under the blanket theme of Growing Stories.

This time of year is the perfect opportunity to place emphasis on stories while families are drawn into the warmth of the fire as the days grow colder. As summer fades and autumn strips the trees bare of their beauty you feel a sudden desire to take up a good book with a mug of hot chocolate to satisfy the internal chill you feel during this seasonal change.

They say that ‘stories are like gardens’: they grow and blossom with each passing generation. This idea weaves through the festival under the theme of Growing Stories. It also provides a perfect platform to feed the creativity and imagination of storytellers and spread it across Scotland.

Throughout the festival, there will be many creative workshops, daytime events for all the family, and intimate evening readings to feed the mind. I attended the Breathing Space workshop on October 21 for a chance to take part in nature while learning about the Pictish Kingdom of Fife. Storytellers told tales of piracy against the Romans across the east coast, their deep roots entwined with the Celts and the importance and trees and plants in Pictish life. Carvings uncovered across Scotland detail their methods of hunting using dogs and falcons. The Picts eventually combined with the Gaels of Dal Rieta to form the Kingdom of Alba, now known as Scotland.

Some of the festival’s main events taking place across Edinburgh include:

Transforming Voice – Scottish Storytelling Centre

Ross Hempseed 5

Scottish Storytelling Centre. Photo By Ross Hempseed

Several people have defined what it means to use your voice effectively and who have not let theirs be silenced such as Mahatma Gandhi and Rosa Parks, who steadied the winds of controversy to achieve what they truly believed in. They did not use violence to win the battle but instead won the war of the words.

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” – Malala Yousafzai.

Led by storyteller Diane Edgecomb, it shows you how to use one’s voice to strengthen relationships and communicate better with others. This interactive and engaging workshop will help the audience become more in tune with their own unique voice.

The event takes place on Wednesday October 24 at 11am and will last five hours.

Tickets – £16.00

Spark 100 – Walking tour departing from Mercat Cross

Edinburgh’s amazing architecture and history have long since been a place to inspire many influential writers and timeless stories. Robert Louis Stevenson was inspired for the character Long John Silver in Treasure Island by a man he met in the Edinburgh Infirmary with a wooden leg.  J.K Rowling famously wrote the first chapters of the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone at the Elephant House café in Old Town, Edinburgh and completed the last Harry Potter novel in room 552 of the landmark Balmoral Hotel.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is often celebrated as one of the most influential Scottish novels of the 20th Century. Muriel Spark, the author, was inspired and educated in Edinburgh and her education was a major part in developing both the characters and the setting of the novel. To mark the 100th anniversary of her birth, Spark 100 was organised to guide fans and tourists around places in Edinburgh that were significant to a Scottish hero who paved the way for women in a male-dominated environment.

“How wonderful it feels to be an artist and a woman in the twentieth century.” Muriel Spark

Walking tour takes place on Saturday October 27 at 1:30pm and will last 90 mins

Tickets – £13

With so many wonderful events in and around Edinburgh, it’s no wonder many people are travelling just to delve deep into the fictional lands of stories and mythology only to regret waking up to reality.

 

Hate crime has no place in Scotland

With “Leith Stands Up To Racism” planned for the 27th of October, Michaella Wheatley takes a look at the latest campaigns to combat hate crime.

Scotland is known for many things such as kilts, whisky and haggis. It’s even known for providing some of the greatest talent – Billy Connolly, Ewan McGregor, and Karen Gillan. People come to see Edinburgh Castle, Kelvingrove Art Gallery, and even the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

However, on the 24th of September, Scotland added one more attraction to the list, and this one seems to buck the trend.

The country is putting a stop to hate crime. It will no longer be home to hatred.

Hate crime

The “Letters from Scotland” campaign hopes to end hate crime in the country. Credit to One Scotland.

It’s been declared on walls, radio, and TV, that no type of hate is allowed in the country. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you believe, Scotland will not stand for hate against anyone.

The “Letters from Scotland” campaign, founded by One Scotland, is the latest force to put a stop to the hate crime that has increased throughout the country. With so much uncertainty, last year’s terrorist attacks and the country’s vote on Brexit are still fresh in people’s minds and there is a concern that hate crimes could flare drastically.

In Edinburgh, only one type of aggravated crime was reported to have decreased, as stated by the Procurator Fiscal Office. Below are the statistics of hate crimes reported:

Edinburgh's aggravated crime

But One Scotland has faith in its country, as the website reads:

“Scotland believes in equality for all. No one should be denied for opportunities because of age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.”

It’s only been a month since the message was first displayed, but the campaign has already made a large impact. It would be no surprise if the campaign becomes one of the strongest against hate crime in Scottish history.

There is almost no escaping the words on the letters,  as soon as you read “Dear…” or hear a strong Scottish tone, you know what’s about to happen.

Following One Scotland’s lead, the Scottish Government and Police Scotland have also shown support for the campaign.  In the last year, more than 5,300 charges of hate crime were reported to the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland. However, it is believed that several incidents go unreported. The campaign is hoped to raise awareness, as well as the need to combat the issue in a positive manner.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf, said, “As somebody who has faced Islamaphobic and racial abuse over the years, I know how upsetting being a victim of hate can be. Hate crime and prejudice are completely unacceptable and we are absolutely committed to tackling it.

“We all have a role to play in stamping out prejudice and I would ask anyone who witnesses a hate crime to play their part and report it.”

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice also commented specifically on the campaign on Twitter last month:

The trend to stand up against hate crimes goes further than this campaign, with “Stand Up To Racism Edinburgh” organising a march to take place on the 27th of October. The event, which will start at 11am on Balfour Street, will be in response to recent hate crimes in the city.

“Leith Stands Up To Racism” will declare that migrants and refugees are welcome in the capital.

Stand Up To Racism Edinburgh stated on Facebook that “Last month, over 300 people came out to support a peace vigil in response to the firebombing of the Sikh temple in Leith, which the police are treating as a hate crime.

“Earlier this year, two young Polish men were physically attacked in Davidson Mains, and Shabaz Ali, a young Syrian refugee, was stabbed six times in a racially motivated attempted murder attack in the Fountainbridge area.”

A number of film screenings were held across Edinburgh between October 2017 and March 2018. “Syrian Voices”, a short film focusing on three refugee families living in Edinburgh, was also shown at Edinburgh University on the 10th of October.

There is no question that Scotland wants to put an end to hate crime, and these campaigns and events might be the turning point to make it happen.

So, if you witness an act of hate, do what’s right and report it – because as One Scotland said:

“There’s no place for hate crime in Scotland. It’s everyone’s responsibility to challenge it.”

EN4News were lucky enough to chat with Steve West, who was promoting the Leith Stands Up To Racism march. Watch the video below:

 

Fast fashion, faster damage

thumbnail_IMG_2804

Clothing and shoes collection bins will hopefully encourage people to donate their unwanted items to charity.

Fast food, fast cars and now there is even fast fashion – a contemporary term used for the cheap and trendy throwaway clothes we buy from budget retailers. These garments might be perfectly good at the time of purchase, but they soon both fall apart and out of fashion. According to Fashion Focus, it is estimated that we now buy 40% of our clothes at ‘value’ retailers. These fast fashion suppliers – the majority of whom solely allow online shopping – have not just stomped their stiff, faux-leather boot adorned foot down on the high street, but they have also left a muddy carbon footprint in their wake.

Recent findings from the Environmental Audit Committee show that Britons are the number one consumer of new clothes in Europe, and the number of items we are purchasing has doubled in the last ten years. Campaigners for sustainability Wrap have highlighted that 300,000 tones of clothing are binned every year. Of these easily re-useable clothes, 80% are piled in a landfill and the other 20% are incinerated, releasing toxic chemicals such as azo dyes, chlorinated solvents, lead and mercury into the air.

Last week, MPs reported that they are growing increasingly worried about the UK’s penchant for buying new clothes and the many repercussions this has on the environment. In their report, MPs said the fashion industry was now a leading producer of the greenhouse gases that are over-heating the planet. MPs have since reached out to a number of retailers, urging them to consider the various approaches they can take to drastically reduce fast fashions’ destructive impact on the environment.

Andrew Pankhurst, Re-use Campaigns Manager for Zero Waste Scotland, emphasised the importance of fashion retailers taking immediate action:

“We all know buying brand new products can be tempting, but we have to think about our limited natural resources and the impact of our waste as we fight the ever-increasing threat of climate change.

“With the public and businesses more attuned than ever to the problems caused by linear consumption, there has never been a better time to be making the case for making things last and getting maximum value from our resources.”

thumbnail_IMG_2799

Clothes will a lot of life left in them can be found in charity and vintage shops.

In Edinburgh, steps are being taken to find solutions and alternatives to fast fashion, with its various sustainable fashion choices for shoppers. The capital boasts a vast array of vintage boutiques, natural wool knitwear stores and even shops such as Godiva and Totty Rocks, who use locally sourced fabrics to custom make pieces – which can take up to three weeks – ‘slow fashion’ is more fitting here.

Edinburgh & Lothians’ Regional Equality Council, who work to promote human rights and sustainability, have been hosting weekly clothing repairs and alterations drop ins. At 1:30pm on Wednesday 10th September, they have organised a swap shop event at Kings Church on Gilmore Place and encourage the people of Edinburgh to bring items in exchange for other items of their choosing. They also hope to launch a sewing club in the coming months.

Project Coordinator, Jean-Matthieu Gaunand said:

“The fashion industry is a great contributor to climate change. The industry emits as much greenhouse gas as all of Russia. At Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council, we encourage people from diverse communities to repair and re-sew their clothes rather than constantly buying them new.

“Our clothing repair service is run by an expert Kurdish tailor who has over 15 years of tailoring experience. She has done wonders and the feedback from participants has been excellent. I invite everyone to drop in.”

thumbnail_IMG_2812

People can take their clothing to Edinburgh & Lothians’ Regional Equality Council’s weekly drop-in to ve

Elsewhere in the city, one student is pro-active in push against fast fashion. Edinburgh College of Art Jewellery and silversmithing student Daniela Groza is the curator of an annual ethically-conscious

fashion show, R Sustainable Fashion. She has recently been appointed the student ambassador for the Ethical Making Pledge, founded by the Incorporation of Goldsmiths. She explains what the group’s objectives are:

“We want to ensure that the materials used in our workshops not only come from ethically sourced roots, but also that we are creating a safe environment for ourselves, such as eliminating chemicals such as citric acid and finding substitutes.

“Also, thinking about recycling and reusing precious metals – re-melting and turning into a new piece, creating multi wearable jewellery, thinking about the material flow; where it came from, digging to its roots, but also considering where it will end up, putting emphasis on a circular economy.

“As a jewellery student who is interested in fashion, it is my responsibility to take these issues into consideration given the damages produced to our world by both the textile and the extractive industry.”

In the quick isn’t quick enough society of today where everything is available at the simple click of a button, the temptation of ‘buy now, wear tomorrow’ can be hard to resist. However, next time you are about to hit ‘checkout’, perhaps stop to ask yourself – do you really need another Boohoo dress? Your purse and the planet might just thank you for it.

Two homeless deaths per week in Scotland

homeless- CREDIT TO Garry Knight.jpg

Homeless person in Edinburgh. Photo credit to Garry Knight.

A recent investigation has found that 94 homeless people in Scotland died last year.

The findings have called for the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to launch an urgent probe.

The research, carried out by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Ferret, also found that 449 people, living on the streets, in shelters, and in temporary accommodation across the UK had died.

However, it is thought the total is likely to be higher than the reported number, as this is the first time that there has ever been a count of homeless deaths.

Homeless deaths often go unnoticed, and there is rarely an official record. The bureau delved further, publishing their findings to mark World Homeless Day.

They began the investigation last October as part of their Dying Homeless Project. Across the UK, there were 449 deaths recorded.

The investigation has published a first-of-its-kind database which lists the names of the homeless people have died, and tells their stories. Of the 449 deaths, the bureau was able to publicly identify 138.

From their findings, more than half of the people died on the streets. 16 people died in hospitals, and 47 died in temporary homeless accommodation.

Last year, the number of people in Scotland applying to be classed as homeless rose for the first time in nine years.

Many of the deaths recorded in Scotland, happened in Edinburgh, with others from Glasgow, Shetland Islands, and the Outer Hebrides.

Homeless charities have now asked for the statistics to be recorded the same way as they are with drug deaths. The investigation has prompted the Office for National Statistics to start producing its own figures on homeless deaths.

Crisis Chief Executive Jon Sparkes said, “We are deeply saddened and shocked beyond belief to hear of the deaths of all these individuals.

“We know that sleeping rough is dangerous, but this is investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reminds us it’s deadly.

“Those sleeping on our streets are exposed to everything from sub-zero temperatures, to violence and abuse, and fatal illnesses.

“We must all take responsibility to hold society and our system to account, and ensure it doesn’t continue to happen across our country.”

Here is what some Edinburgh locals have to say on the subject.

%d bloggers like this: