Tony Blair’s memoirs go on sale around the country

By Amanda MacMillan

PROMINENT in the window display, stacked in towers in front of Obama ‘Hope’ style promotional stands and perched at eye level above the tills, there was no escaping the piercing blue eyes of former Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday.

At Waterstone’s flagship Edinburgh store, his 700 page autobiography The Journey, had his face peering from the thick, glossy cover jacket which was in plentiful supply for the anticipated rush to of interest.

But on day one as the doors swung open at the Princes Street branch, shoppers found it had already suffered the indignity of having its price slashed in order to try and encourage buyers.

Red, circular stickers had been carefully tacked to the top right hand corner of the stock proclaiming it was now ‘Half Price’ – selling for £12.50 instead of the recommended £25. Continue reading

Ex-PM Brown still the boss, as he sends wife to Tesco

By Cara Sulieman

AFTER his very public departure from high office, it was perhaps of little surprise that Gordon Brown would chose to keep a low profile on what was his first day back as a jobbing MP.

Back in his beloved Fife, at the North Queensferry home where his children no doubt were enthused as to how daddy suddenly had so much free time, the former Prime Minister stayed behind closed doors.

It was his wife Sarah, a rock to him these past few tumultuous days, who was to run the gauntlet of photographers, TV crews and reporters camped at the end of their driveway.

Continue reading

How the 2010 election was won and lost in Scotland

By Michael MacLeod

The ink on the ballot papers has barely dried and still the shape of the UK Government remains unknown.

But the Scottish political map is completely clear, as Labour maintained their grip by winning at least 41 out of 58 seats north of the border.

All parties were keen to prove they had the Susan Boyle x-factor and a feisty election battle triggered the highest turn out in years.

Continue reading

GE2010: Shun X-Factor celebrity leaders say Labour

Deadline reporter RORY REYNOLDS hears from Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy & Edinburgh South candidate Ian Murray why Scotland must stop the Tories.

SCOTTISH secretary Jim Murphy urged voters to shun the “X-Factor celebrity” leaders of the Tories and Lid Dems and back Labour as the final week of the election campaign got underway yesterday.

Murphy billed Gordon Brown as a “man of substance” and urged undecided voters to back his party, saying “we can still win this.”

Unveiling a new election poster in central Edinburgh yesterday alongside local candidates the cabinet minister said that Scotland should be afraid of what a Tory government might do to public services.

He said: “There’s a huge number of undecided voters across the whole of the country. I think we can still win this.

“If you want X-Factor celebrity type politics then of course you can put yourself next to someone else’s name. Continue reading

Senior Scottish Catholic Bishop condemns Gordon Brown for “anti-family government”

By Rory Reynolds

ONE of Scotland’s most senior Roman Catholic bishops has accused Gordon Brown’s administration of discriminating against Catholics.

Bishop Joseph Devine attacked Labour for running “the most anti-faith and anti-family government in living memory”.

Writing in a comment article over the weekend Devine claimed that the party had lost its traditional moral values and had failed to discipline senior MPs who have used inflammatory language when attacking the Catholic church and the Pope.

He also described Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy’s claim that Labour is the natural party for religious voters as “bewildering”. Continue reading

Pope XVI will visit Edinburgh, Glasgow, London & Coventry

By Rory Reynolds & Shaun Milne

THE Pope will visit Scotland in September sparking one of the biggest ticket scrambles the country has ever seen.

Pope Benedict XVI will follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Pope John Paul II by holding mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.

There some 150,000 people will gather in what will be a strictly all-ticket event – expected to be awarded by ballot.

His journey will begin in Edinburgh on September 16 where he will meet the Queen, First Minister Alex Salmond and other dignitaries at the Palace of Holyrood.

Hundreds of thousands will gather in the city streets hoping to catch a glimpse of ‘Papa’ – who will travel by Popemobile- before he is later flown by helicopter to Glasgow.

It is expected the Pontiff will then journey to London where he will stay, greeted by whoever is Prime Minister at the time and other senior Royals, and Coventry during the four day stay. Continue reading

Bill McLaren’s family “overwhelmed” by love ahead of funeral

By Michael MacLeod

ICONIC Scottish rugby commentator Bill McLaren will be laid to rest in his hometown of Hawick tomorrow (Monday).

Loudspeakers will relay his funeral service to the thousands of people expected to pay their respects to the man remembered as “the voice of rugby.”

He died last week aged 86 after a long illness, with wife Bette and daughter Linda by his side.

They will be among those at the Borders town’s Teviot Church for his service this morning (Monday), before the cortege moves on to Wellogate cemetery nearby.
Continue reading