A Happy New Year (and our greatest hits) to you all

The masthead of The Caledonian Mercury's last paper edition
The masthead of The Caledonian Mercury's last paper edition

Happy New Year, all.

2011 promises much: with a Scottish General Election looming and a decidedly unpopular and unScottish (in policy if not personnel) coalition running the show in Westminster. The economy and environment appear to be competing to see which can be the most disruptive.

In short, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

And as the year twists and turns, The Caledonian Mercury will bring you even more of the key stories, the finest writing and the best insights. Thanks to you, 2010 was a great success for this reborn publication. 2011 will be even better.

Our staff are nursing their hangovers engaged in in-depth research on 1 and 2 January, 2011, but normal service will be resumed on 3 January. In the meantime, Here are the stories you enjoyed most from The Caledonian Mercury in 2010.

Thank you for reading,

Stewart Kirkpatrick
Editor, The Caledonian Mercury

1. Couple who met at university to marry

“Two people who went to university together are to get married, it has emerged. William Windsor (or possibly Wales or possibly Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) and Kate Middleton, both 28, met at St Andrews University eight years ago. Mr Windsor is a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF – and also a prince.”

The entire Caledonian Mercury newsroom stood to attention as we published the above. Jaded hardened hacks were, in that one time and that one place, joined together with so many across the world in in a universal sense of “meh”.

We are already preparing our breathless Royal Wedding coverage for that special day in April: “Couple who met at university get married.”

2. Six things Malcolm McLaren thought of before you did
The great rock’n’roll swindler passed on in April. John McKie’s tribute pointed out why – love him or hate him – Malcolm McLaren was unique.

3. Welcome to The Caledonian Mercury
This was the article that told the world what we are all about.

We seek to revive Scottish journalism by using the internet rather than railing against it. The Caledonian Mercury stands for intelligent reporting, informed analysis and raising the standard of debate in Scottish life. It also seeks to return journalism to journalists and is a platform to display the work of selected specialist writers – freed from the demands of filling space, toeing the line and “feeding the beast”.

Not a week goes by without someone referring to this article: usually to say how much we have betrayed it because we’ve published something with which they disagree…

4. Less healthy women prefer more masculine men
Ah, vive la différence. Stories about desire and its many secrets are of interest to us all. This piece discussed research which showed that women who lived in communities where poor health was the norm were attracted to more masculine-looking men.

5. The secret of a long and happy sex life
If there’s one word that gets our attention (though we would largely deny it) it’s “sex”. And a story which promises carnal delights into our old age was always going to be widely read.

6. Researchers demand smaller (and bigger) condoms for better sex
Apparently size does matter in some respects…

7. That volcano, from Iceland’s perspective
While we all wondered at April’s empty skies (well, empty apart from ash), this piece took a look at what was happening in Iceland while the planes of Europe were earthbound.

8. The rise of the ’salty penis’ as South Africa bow out
The World Cup threw up many interesting phenomena: the vuvuzela, the North Korean fans, the exit of England. The linguistic curiosity of the “sout piel” was a new one to us.

9. Big cat sighting leaves experienced hillwalker baffled
It’s been quite a year for zoological oddness (what with the reindeer attack story which we broke – though you wouldn’t guess that from the traditional papers that picked it up). This piece gives paws for thought (sorry) about what might be out there.

10. 13 haunted Scottish castles
This entertaining piece of hokum about allegedly supernatural fastnesses attracted interest from around the world, if not from beyond the grave.

We wish all our readers, living or dead, a’ the best for 2011.

  • Traquir

    Congratulations to the CalMerc on continuing to provide a breath of fresh air on reporting on areas of concern to Scotland especially in contrast to the increasingly biased puppet papers like the Scotsman. One of the services I would like to see the CalMerc cover is providing Scots with unbiased information on the choices available to them so they can freely and unhindered decide on the best decision for our nation. Areas that could be useful are: analysis of Scotland’s true financial circumstances including all of our resources including North Sea Oil & Gas, not just now but also in the future (e.g. just how much potential is still there and how could be it used to benefit Scots, rather than the tired old lies of the MSM which have told us for decades it is running out); Find out the true figures of party membership (which would be an interesting piece of investigative journalism to cut through the Scottish Labour spin); Coverage of areas like full fiscal autonomy to assess its potential benefits from Scotland – groups like Reform Scotland are already doing an excellent job here; True assessment of the opportunity cost of this Union where billions are squandered on wars, nuclear weapons etc – what are the real alternative the Scots could choose to invest these substantial monies in ? ; … Most Scots given the blatant lies and spin of the London dominated parties like Labour and their tame press really don’t even know what their real options are and hopefully a paper like the CalMerc can at least provide this information so Scots can have a more level playing field from which to make their decisions – Unionist media bias in Scotland would be another great topic for the CalMerc to cover 🙂

  • Congratulations on your superb first year. Looking forward to visiting often in 2011 and beyond. Happy New Year!

  • tomais

    A very Happy New Year Stewart and to all the staff,and may it also be a healthy and prosperous one too
    2011 promises much;politically the inner circle within its M25 boundary will become more aware of words like;devolution as in NI.Walesand Scotland; a word like coaition; England which has a norgthern stretch,yes plus much more.
    ANd that applies not just to civil servant,MPs but also journalists in the shamanesques foot beaten dancing earth.
    All the best

  • MartinOfBothwell

    Everything has been good with the exception of the political coverage which has been lightweight and lacking both in terms of quality and quantity.

    Improve on that and 2011 could well be a good year for the Caledonian Mercury.

  • ex labour voter

    Can we have a report on Iain Gray,s lies in the Scottish parliament.
    The lies directed at the good people of Montenegro by Iain Gray would be a good place to start.