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Jura

by Tom Morton

Your Jura starter for 10

Afflicted as I have been this week by asthma – two days off work and counting – I have been relying on various forms of pharmaceutical to enable my breathing to continue. And let’s face it, breathing is, on the whole, a necessity. Steroid inhalers of the red and blue variety. A nebuliser. A spacer for the blue inhaler, one with a face mask that transforms me instantly – visually at least – into Dennis Hopper in his role as ‘Frank’ in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet.

There is some scientific evidence that asthma attacks – and lest we forget, the fact is that three people a day die from asthma in the UK alone – can be triggered in some people by substances present in beer and wine such as histamines and sulphites. Whisky, curiously, is not seen as major ‘trigger’ in its own right. Drunkenness, however, whether induced by the most expensive single-cask or the cheapest fortified wine, is undoubtedly a major factor in some adult asthma deaths, either through simple stupefying of the system or the desperate inability to find the right inhaler at the right time.

There is also some anecdotal evidence that ‘a wee dram’ – and that’s one wee dram, or three very, very wee ones – can ease the agonies of asthma. I was willing to test this theory, and I had an opportunity to do so in the company of three fascinating whiskies anyone with access to a supermarket can contrast and compare without breaking the bank.

For a tenner if you’re lucky you can pick up the three-miniature pack called Jura: The Collection, and be transported to that one-road, one-pub, one-distillery island a few minutes away from Islay. That provides you with 5cl each of 10-year-old ‘Jura Origin’ as it’s now called – the standard Jura single malt; Jura ‘Superstition’ and the 16-year-old ‘Diurach’s Own’ (as in, belonging to an inhabitant of Jura, a Diurach) . It’s extremely valuable, not say entertaining, pleasant and instructive, to sit down and conduct a comparative nosing and tasting with these three drams in sample-size. Then you can decide if you want to spend around £25 on a full bottle of the 10-year-old, £33 on the Superstition, or £44 on the 16.

You should try this yourself, but for what it’s worth (and I’m in practice for my stint next week as a judge in the World Whisky Awards) Here’s what I think.

Jura 10 ‘Origin’

The 10 year old, which I used to denigrate as a faked-up island attempt at producing a lightweight Speysider, I know appreciate as a unique complement to the more boots-off smelly-feet drams from adjacent Islay. It has a truly beautiful aroma on the nose, all honey notes, nubuck leather and clean leather armchairs topped with a leafy greenness. In the mouth it’s light and yes, somewhere between a sweety Glenmorangie and the Glenfiddich/Glenlivet creaminess. Comforting, mead-like, perhaps a hint of acorns and coffee. The finish is full of fragrant warmth, not attacking heat. Only 40 per cent alcohol. It’s a smooth, delicate and rather wonderful whisky.

Jura Superstition – no age given

Superstition is essentially blended from Jura whiskies of any age past three years, though its darkness of colour indicates the presence of a few oldies in there. Age is not necessarily a signifier of great quality – one of the finest drams I ever tasted was in the Glenfarclas warehouse, and was just over three years old. You pay a premium for Superstition, though. Is it worth it?

On the nose it’s at first worryingly rubbery, like a bicycle repair outfit. That pungency reveals itself as warehousey remnants – the ashy floors and old sherry butts, finally cut down by an ozone whiff of alcohol. In the mouth – and this is odd, as the whisky is bottled at 43 per cent strength – it seems thinner than the 10-year-old, though there are different flavours – a woodiness, a hint of the sea, the merest wisp of smoke. But there’s that bitter warehouseyness again, the acidic burntness of old wood coming through. But thinly.

The finish dies away very quickly, but that burnt-almond spirity remant is left. On the whole, I’m slightly disappointed, and I don’t think it’s good as the bog-standard 10. Too much faffing around with new and old casks.

Jura 16-year-old: ‘Diurach’s Own’

Back to 40 per cent for this, and your nose immediately picks up a citrussy spiciness, with apple chutney and even, finally, a bit of melon springing to mind. Still, there isn’t that immediate, comforting sense of integration, of welcome you get in the 10. Taste it, and the smoothness, the roundness of the 10 is there, but with the honey cut through by a lemony astringency that never overwhelms, but undoubtedly nags away at the palate.

Somehow, I’m disappointed. this exchanges the subtlety of ‘Origin’ Jura, the essential character of the dram, for a kind of cluttering, raggedy heat you can find in many other whiskies. On the finish, this smooths out considerably, leaving you with a bigger sense of that honeyed heat. but then there’s a prickly bitterness. That warehouse flavour again. And remember, a bottle of this is £44.

I prefer to taste whiskies of this alcoholic strength neat, though many will quibble that adding water releases the flavours. These drams are already watered down from cask strength, though, before bottling. I’ve tried them with added water in the glass, and while they may be easier to drink that way, I don’t think it benefits their falvoursomeness.
Anyway, for £10, why not have a go yourself? My feeling is that, for a spiritous visit to Jura, that £25 bottle of the 10-year-old is a bargain fare. And by far the best value. However, confusion reigns via the website, where the classic 10 seems to have disappeared. You can still get it all over the place, though. And as I say, as the most long-standing and least fiddled-with of the distillery’s output, not to mention the cheapest…go for it.

Oh, and how’s the asthma, I hear you ask? Just the same. But for a wee while there, I forgot all about it.

libdem01

The Caledonian Mercury has invited some of those in the election firing-line to send regular bulletins about the personal side of campaigning. Alison Hay is the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Argyll and Bute.

    Monday 25 April
    Disaster! My campaign manager has strained a tendon doing DIY at the weekend and will have to rest his foot for a few days, My husband John has gallantly stepped into the breach and will help me with leaflet delivery over the next couple of days, so I’m back on the campaign trail after having a rest on Sunday afternoon.

    We’re on Lismore this afternoon with my husband driving. Mixed reactions, with ferries and roads the main issues.

    Tuesday 26 April
    Today it has been agreed that we meet at Cairndow Oyster Bar which is about 30 minutes from where I live. Argyll and Bute’s MP Alan Reid is joining John and me to deliver leaflets in Cairndow, Strachur, St Catherines, Tighnabruaich and Kames on the Cowal peninsula. Again, the weather is wonderful and I’m beginning to develop a tan. Campaigning is great in weather like this.

    This evening is the Dunoon hustings and I’m not looking forward to it. Mike Russell and the SNP are in difficult water! They promised the Dunoon residents two new boats in exchange for votes, in 2007. They have failed to deliver and the Dunoon/Gourock ferry service will become passenger-only from the end of June. Dunoon residents are not best pleased.

    Wednesday 27 April
    The time is 9am and I’m in Connel near Oban. Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott is paying a visit to Connel post office to promote our support for rural post offices. The owner is Rosie Stevenson. She has diversified her post office into a grocer’s shop.

    She opens early to provide filled rolls, papers, etc to the workmen on their way to work. She is very happy with the progress she is making and is happy with the help she has had from Alan Reid.

    Also with us this morning is George Lyon MEP, the Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign manager. A happy time was spent talking to the press and drinking tea supplied by Rosie. We leave about 10am and head down towards Kennacraig to catch the 1pm ferry to the island of Islay. My campaign manager Tony is back, hobbling, assuring me he is better but I’m sceptical.

    We spend the afternoon on the island of Jura and drive 18 miles to Ardlussa over the worst roads I’ve been on yet. At Ardlussa a surprise awaited: visitors can use a small walkie-talkie to send their order to a house about 400 yards away and the lady will bring out your order of tea and you can sit on the beach to drink it. In this weather I can think of nothing nicer.

    Thursday 28 April
    Leafleting in Islay, particularly Port Ellen which we had not done during our previous visit. Then drove to Portnahaven and spoke to another postmaster who has a problem with planning. Back to Port Charlotte and visited the Museum of Islay Life and the local café.

    Then back to Bowmore for the evening’s hustings at the High School. Mr Russell does his usual and tries to blame the school closures on me; he doesn’t get away with it this time. His infamous email was quoted from and his interference as education minister with council business was commented on. He is behaving outrageously and keeps denying he said eight or nine schools “could be taken through with little difficulty”.

    Why the people of Argyll and Bute believe the SNP wouldn’t close schools if it didn’t happen to be election time is a mystery.

    Friday 29 April
    On the ferry back to Kennacraig, then leafleting in Tarbert. Tomorrow is a walkabout in Dunoon. Only four more working days to go to “E-Day”.

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    Iona Abbey cloisters <em>Picture: David P Howard</em>

    Iona Abbey cloisters Picture: David P Howard


    The Caledonian Mercury has invited some of those in the election firing-line to send regular bulletins about the personal side of campaigning. Alison Hay is the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Argyll and Bute.

      This week sees me continuing my “overseas” travel, interspersed with some council business but with ramifications on the campaign.

      Monday 18 April
      What a beautiful Monday morning – where better to be than on a CalMac ferry heading to the Island of Bute, the shortest crossing in Scotland from Colintraive to Rhubodach, time roughly ten minutes.

      I have a date with Bute FM at 10am. They‘re asking all candidates the same question: why should the people of Bute vote for them? Easy question, how long have your listeners got?

      In the evening it was the Bute hustings, and with Argyll and Bute council proposing to put North Bute primary school out to formal consultation the evening looked set to be a bit of a bumpy ride for yours truly – as it turned out to be. The SNP education minister denying he had interfered with the process and me saying he had, entertainment for all.

      Tuesday 19 April
      Education meeting at the council, where the council decides to put 11 schools out to formal consultation – a 12-hour meeting which ended at 10:55pm. Not a good day and all councillors very unhappy to be in this situation, but the education department needs to take its share of the pain of the cuts.

      Wednesday 20 April
      Today I’m stuck at my computer writing answers to questions from the Oban Times, the Argyllshire Advertiser and the Campbeltown Courier. Don’t these journalists realise I’ve got an election to win?

      I just make the deadline with two minutes to spare, raised blood pressure all round. In the evening off to Oban for a visit to Atlantis Leisure, Oban’s swimming and sports facility. I’m there for the opening of the new children’s soft-play area, a great success.

      Thursday 21 April
      Back on the high seas again, this time to Mull and Iona. This evening in Craignure, where Lesley Riddoch will host the Mull hustings, and before that Alan Reid MP, Tony my campaign manager and I have a great day. I meet an old friend on Iona who takes me round and I spend time speaking to the Mull and Iona Community Trust and seeing round their new community and charity shop and centre.

      The hustings evening went better than I feared: the issues discussed were sustaining rural communities and infrastructure, eg roads, health care, fairer ferry fares and inevitably schools.

      Friday 22 April
      Weather continues to be bright and sunny, Argyll and Bute at its best, no midges yet! I caught the 8:45am boat back to Oban and drove home. I have to be at Auchindrain museum today for the opening of the refurbished tearoom and visitor centre.

      The museum is taking down a tattered old saltire flag and replacing it with a new one. The old one is being respectfully folded and cremated. The new tearoom looks fantastic and the museum is now set for a good summer.

      Saturday 23 April
      Went with my husband to Bridge of Orchy to knock on some doors. Bridge of Orchy is tiny and is at the extreme edge of the constituency, and is often forgotten about. I think it important to try and visit every town and village at least once, and the towns more than once, during the election. It’s amazing the number of times people have said to me “You’re the first candidate we’ve seen”. As it’s Easter weekend, I’m having this evening off to visit relatives in Taynuilt.

      Only ten days to go and the pace is hotting up. Next week Oban, Mid-Argyll, hustings in Dunoon on Tuesday evening, across the seas to Islay and Jura with a hustings on Islay on Thursday evening, back to Tarbert, finishing the week back in Dunoon on the Saturday. I’ll write again on Sunday next.

      Want to discuss other issues? Join the debate on our new Scottish Voices forum

      Sound of Islay <em>Picture: Andrew Curtis</em>

      Sound of Islay Picture: Andrew Curtis

      Anyone who has travelled the short distance between Islay and Jura knows how strong the pull of the Atlantic can be in this most intriguing of sounds.

      The little Port Askaig car ferry often has to head off from the shore at a sharp angle just to make to the other side, because the strength of the tide racing between these two Hebridean islands is so fierce.

      Now, though, that power is to be harnessed in the world’s biggest tidal energy project. Scottish ministers gave the go-ahead today to a £40 million ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) plan which is expected to provide enough electricity for all 3,000 homes on Islay twice over.

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      Research work has been going on in the Sound of Islay for the last couple of years, and in July 2010 SPR applied for consent to construct and operate a ten-turbine demonstrator tidal stream energy array, but this has only now been approved.

      Not only is it expected to keep Scotland at the forefront of tidal energy power, but the development will provide a significant jobs boost for an island community which has struggled because of a lack of employment opportunities over recent years.

      Finance secretary John Swinney determined the application for the 10 megawatt facility, as it is in energy minister Jim Mather’s Argyll and Bute constituency.

      “With around a quarter of Europe’s potential tidal energy resource and a tenth of the wave capacity,” Mr Swinney said, “Scotland’s seas have unrivalled potential to generate green energy, create new, low-carbon jobs, and bring billions of pounds of investment to Scotland. This development – the largest tidal array in the world – does just that and will be a milestone in the global development of tidal energy.

      “[The] ScottishPower Renewables array will work in harmony with the environment and use the power of the tides in the Sound of Islay to generate enough green energy to power double the number of homes on Islay. There is simply nothing like it consented anywhere else in the world.”

      SPR is also entering its tidal farm in the Pentland Firth – between Caithness and Orkney – into the £10 million Saltire Prize for marine energy innovation.

      First minister Alex Salmond met SPR and Hammerfest Strøm (a company jointly owned by SPR and Norwegian energy companies) in Norway last year. Hammerfest Strøm is developing one of the world’s most advanced tidal turbines, the HS1000, which will be used in the Sound of Islay development. Burntisland Fabrications Limited has a £2 million contract to build the turbines.

      The Scottish government’s target is to meet 80 per cent of electricity demand from renewables by 2020. In 2009, 27 per cent of electricity demand came from renewables.

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      Gillray BritanniaCaught between the west coast of Argyll and the Isle of Jura is one of Scotland’s hidden treasures – if, that is, you consider a deadly killer a treasure. As with all things terrifying you can hear the sound of this beast before you see it. When the conditions are right its mighty roar carries over 20 miles. It has taken many lives and it is rightly feared. If you’re feeling brave, then you too can visit, and take on the might of, the Corryvreckan Whirlpool.

      She (for she’s a lady) is the third largest whirlpool in the world, and one of only seven in existence. She is formed by the narrowing of the straits between Jura and the mainland, where the bruising waters of the Atlantic are pushed through a small channel. Add to the mix a 200-metre pinnacle of underwater rock, spiking up to just below the surface, and you have all the ingredients for one of nature’s most awesome sights.

      The Royal Navy warns that it is one of the most dangerous stretches of water in Britain. Although they stop short of saying it is un-navigable they do consider it “very violent and dangerous’, warning no-one to try and pass it unless they have local knowledge.

      The whirlpool is associated with many myths and stories. One holds that the name derived from a Viking prince called Breacan who was courting the Lord of the Isle’s daughter. In order to prove his strength, and win her hand in marriage, he was challenged to hold his boat steady in the maelstrom for three days. His father advised him to gather three ropes: one woolen, one hemp and a final one made from the hair of local virgins. The first night the wool rope snapped; the second, the hemp. But Breacon looked to be OK as the hair rope held. Then on the third night it snapped too – which suggests that one of the villagers was no longer a maiden. For want of her virginity, a local lady caused the death of the poor prince.

      A Scottish myth links the whirlpool with the Goddess of winter, Cailleach Bheur who washes her blankets in the waters off Jura. She scrubs them violently for three days after which they are a dazzling white. This she then spreads across the land as a blanket of snow.

      Stuart McHardy, in his book On the Trail of the Holy Grail, builds further on this pre-Christian Pictish belief in a “Mother Goddess” or Cailleach. He suggests that the whirlpool was a “giant cauldron – or Grail – of rebirth” where worshipers believed that it was ‘the womb of all creation and could even awaken dead warriors. It was literally their Holy Grail.”

      Other writers have offered even more prosaic interpretations of the Corryvreckan. Edo Nyland in his book Odysseus and the Sea Peoples suggests that the journey described in Homer’s Odyssey – thought to be somewhere in the Mediterranean – can easily be transposed to the west coast of Scotland. In his somewhat eccentric re-telling, the famous whirlpool Charybdis is revealed as the Corryvreckan.

      George Orwell spent 1947 on Jura trying to overcome his writer’s block. Thinking that a boat trip would be a good way to clear the sinuses, he and his nieces and nephews set out. They met the Corryvreckan and nearly lost their lives. The outboard motor was destroyed and as Orwell began rowing to shore the oars were lost and the boat temporarily dragged under. He made it to shore without any loss of life and they were all rescued later by a lobster boat. Had they perished then “Nineteen Eighty-Four” would never have been published.

      And the whirlpool appeared briefly in celluloid, taking a starring role in Powell and Pressburger’s 1944 film I Know Where I’m Going! They filmed the Corryvreckan and then back projected the footage behind the actors, who were then sent rocking around in a replica boat.

      On calm days you can visit the whirlpool. Various boat trips can take you close to the raging waters and allow you to imagine what they’d be like on rough days. Some brave fools have even dived the pinnacle, resurfacing after what must feel like a long spin in a washing-machine. For those less brave a glimpse from the coast may be enough. And for the really faint-hearted…well they can always stand 20 miles away and listen out for the roar.

      JURA 10 YEAR OLD CLASSIC ISLAND MALT

      I am proud to announce this week’s winner of the Caledonian Mercury “comment of the week” award. This week it goes to Sean Allan for this nostalgic view of record shops:

      Record Shops, real record shops, are possibly the only thing I love visiting more than football stadia (and yes, that includes pubs and Indian restaurants.)

      In the late seventies, the freedom brought about by becoming a teenager meant a pre match Saturday morning pilgrimage to as many record shops as I could fit in. My favourite was always my starting point. JEFFRIES on Edinburgh’s Lothian Road was more well known for OAP’s buying doilies and net curtains. What wasn’t obvious from the outside though, was the tiny record bar in the centre of the shop that sold 7″ singles, almost all of which were obscure Northern Soul imports from the USA.

      Teenage lads and lassies thumbing through lists, and listening via headphones whilst showing off a few steps to those still waiting to get a list of new arrivals in their hands, let alone get served. I don’t suppose I’ll ever know the story of how and why Jeffries started (and finished) selling records. Sadly, that old haberdashers, like the other stores on my Saturday pilgrimage, Bruces, Virgin, Listen, Ard, the Other record shop et all have all gone.

      Chapeau to the handful of second hand vinyl shops that have sprung up under the tenements of Leith and the Southside to keep me going. I feel a Record Store Day purchase coming on!

      Let me remind you of our comment terms and conditions. We stand for raising the debate in Scottish public life. Our comment terms and conditions flow from that.

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      Previous winners

      Anither Rab

      Hou can we imagine the thochts that wis gaun throu the heids o oor forebeirs whan oor ain history wis bein wrocht, if we dinnae ken the words they yaised tae pent thae thochts in thair heids wi? Thanks tae Cal Merc, we’ve been minded o a nummer o thae words includin ‘perjink’ an it’s up tae oorsels tae keep mindin thaim but mair important like, tae yaise thaim in oor ilkaday lives.

      Neil R on The Chancellor

      Took a while, but here you go: SMT guide to rock and ice climbs in Glen Coe and Glen Etive, by Ken Crocket (1980), from route 329, The Chancellor: “The Chancellor is an imposing buttress on the south-west flank of Am Bodach … … The buttress is crowned by an isolated tower.

      This forms the head and shoulders of a burly, strong featured, short bearded man, wearing a judicial wig. The features are said to have resembled an earlier Marquis of Salisbury.”

      Now yes, that IS an awful lot of detail to pick out on a rock buttress and, no, I’ve never seen it myself,but perhaps Mr Crocket has better eyes than me…?

      Linda on the Scots word ‘mingin’
      Both ‘mingin’ and ‘manky’ were in common usage in Manchester some 30 (ouch!) years ago. ‘Mingin’ then still carried the notion of smell and I was most confused when the word reappeared recently without any connection to odour. I think you are right about Jade Goody widening and changing the usage.

      Wee Willie Bee on why men forget things

      “Men performed significantly more poorly in the verbal memory tests, particularly on the delayed memory test.”

      This must be correct. I thought of a comment and now I can’t remember what it was. It can’t have been important.

      Soosider on the war in Iraq
      It is interesting how perceptions change. I was at the time undecided about the rights or wrongs about going to war in Iraq. I clearly recall our PM giving a personal assurance to the effect that he had information that he could not disclose for security reasons that convinced him that Iraq was a clear and imminent danger to us. I recall discussing this with my wife as I was impressed that the leader of our country had put his own personal opinion on the line and felt if our leader was making such a statement then he should be believed. This turned out to be WMD and 45 minute deployment, both of which turned out not to be true. Given the nature of the PMs assurance the least I would have expected that he would have resigned on the matter once the alternative picture emerged.
      The other thought that occurs to me in Gordon Browns testimony is the lack of accountability to cabinet. I believed that cabinet accountability is/was a central part of our democratic processes, it is a vital check and balance on the power of any one individual. Yet in Brown stating that he did not see the intelligence is very revealing, did no one in the cabinet ask to see it? and if not why not. After all this was probably the most important single decision that any government has made in decades. If our democracy has changed to such an extent, when and how did this happen, do we no longer have rule by cabinet? and what exactly has replaced it. Is the current matter of “Leadership debates further evidence of a fundamental change in our democracy?
      To me the real lessons of the whole Iraq scenario is how our parliamentary processes failed in such a crucial manner, a PM seems to have made the decision and the cabinet and in fact Parliament seem to have failed in their basic function of acting as a check and balance.

      Diabloandco on opinion polls.

      I registered with yougov last year and have never been asked anything other than what electrical equipment/mobile phone/computer I had .

      I de registered myself last month ( I am a luddite and my answers to all things techno might have given them cause for concern!)

      Just once in my long life I would like some pollster to ask me a question about politics.

      Keith Roberts on Iona
      Hallelujah – and not every one goes for pilgrimage. Iona has long held a special place. The rocks themselves are almost as old as Uluru and far from being the British portal to Creation this is one of the planet’s oldest lands. Pictish pagans, druids and Norsemen have all been drawn to the isle. The machair has been grazed since Bronze Age times.

      It is an isle of silkies and sea monsters, fairies and fantasy. The sheela-na-gig on the nunnery wall; the milk stone now hidden beneath the tarmac pounded by the feet of pilgrims oblivious of the offerings to the gruagach.

      The view from the hill is very special, I prefer sunrise, just as sunset bouncing off the red granite cliffs of Mull brings a peaceful close to the day. The island takes back her own self once the last ferry is safely tied up in the bull hole, and the hordes have returned to their coaches.

      Can you hear the sound of the Vikings as the white sands run with the blood of the monks? Can you taste that drizzle of garlic butter on freshly caught langoustines, washed down with a fine malt from the comfort of the Martyrs’ Bar as the ferry struggles to make safe haven in the gale. Can you see Fingal out for his morning walk? And can you get that glimpse of the Emerald Isle across the waters when the light is right.

      Aye, it is a pretty special place.

      disillusioned’s trenchant attack on some aspects of Scottish politics in response:
      While these pygmies play politics with people’s lives for their own political gain.
      We the public can only look on in disgust.
      Elmer as you so aptly name him ,sat in stoney silence as his peers in Westminster(no pun intended ..maybe) gorged at the trough.

      While Scotland has some of the worst social deprivation in the developed world, people losing their jobs every day ,houses being repossessed in record numbers.#etc etc.

      Meanwhile Elmer chooses to home in on lunches and letters on behalf of a SNP constituent.


      Dave on In The Loop
      Nope, sorry, it shouldn’t win.

      Why? The writing is great, that’s true. But it’s a radio play. The acting and writing is first class, but there was absolutely no understanding of the visual medium made while writing the movie script. The camera work, and camera direction, is awful, truly awful (bog-standard BBC overexposed work, does no BBC camerman understand what an iris control is for? They used to, once upon a time.).

      Now, to some degree that is the direction, and sloppy D.o.P. work, rather than the script itself, but there appears to be no attempt in the script to utilise the locations or edit points to make it work as a movie.

      You can get all you need from this movie from the soundtrack alone, without having to watch any of the pictures. That’s why it should not win. It’s NOT a complete movie experience.

      Steve McCabe on Jennifer Trueland’s analysis of the Kinloch Rannoch GP controversy:
      Steve McCabe:

      The fact that somewhere like Rannoch had a GP for 110 years is as much a historical quirk as anything else. Such arrangements pre-date the NHS and even the Highlands and Islands Medical Scheme on which the NHS was modelled and which provided remote communities with community nurses and sometimes helped to fund a doctor. But many of these rural doctors were actually paid for (and, therefore, there primarily to serve) a local landowner or major employer. For example, the doctor in Bowmore on Islay was oriniginally a “distillery doctor” paid for by the local laird.

      JURA 10 YEAR OLD CLASSIC ISLAND MALT

      I am proud to announce this week’s winner of the Caledonian Mercury “comment of the week” award. Last weekend’s Useful Scots word, perjink,  brought this response from Anither Rab, who obviously enjoys our regular column and who receives the bottle of Jura…

      Hou can we imagine the thochts that wis gaun throu the heids o oor forebeirs whan oor ain history wis bein wrocht, if we dinnae ken the words they yaised tae pent thae thochts in thair heids wi? Thanks tae Cal Merc, we’ve been minded o a nummer o thae words includin ‘perjink’ an it’s up tae oorsels tae keep mindin thaim but mair important like, tae yaise thaim in oor ilkaday lives.

      Let me remind you of our comment terms and conditions. We stand for raising the debate in Scottish public life. Our comment terms and conditions flow from that.

      1. Treat other users with respect.
      2. Treat our writers with respect.
      3. Treat the conversation with respect – stay on topic.
      4. Don’t swear. Don’t use offensive, insulting or racist language.
      5. Don’t get us sued, don’t libel anyone and don’t comment on live court cases.
      6. We do not edit or premoderate comments as a matter of course and are not responsible for their content.
      7. If you see a comment that does not abide by these rules, please help us by reporting it as offensive (use the “language” option).
      8. If you see a comment that libels you, please bring it to our attention immediately.
      9. When you first try to comment on the site, you will find that your comments do not go live immediately. This is because first-time users are on probation for a period and their comments are checked. Commenters can be put back on probation.
      10. We have a series of watchwords that trigger premoderation. If your comment does not appear immediately then it may contain one of these words.
      11. Finally, please enjoy commenting on The Caledonian Mercury. We value our readers’ involvement very highly and hugely enjoy your contributions.

      Previous winners

      Neil R on The Chancellor

      Took a while, but here you go: SMT guide to rock and ice climbs in Glen Coe and Glen Etive, by Ken Crocket (1980), from route 329, The Chancellor: “The Chancellor is an imposing buttress on the south-west flank of Am Bodach … … The buttress is crowned by an isolated tower.

      This forms the head and shoulders of a burly, strong featured, short bearded man, wearing a judicial wig. The features are said to have resembled an earlier Marquis of Salisbury.”

      Now yes, that IS an awful lot of detail to pick out on a rock buttress and, no, I’ve never seen it myself,but perhaps Mr Crocket has better eyes than me…?

      Linda on the Scots word ‘mingin’
      Both ‘mingin’ and ‘manky’ were in common usage in Manchester some 30 (ouch!) years ago. ‘Mingin’ then still carried the notion of smell and I was most confused when the word reappeared recently without any connection to odour. I think you are right about Jade Goody widening and changing the usage.

      Wee Willie Bee on why men forget things

      “Men performed significantly more poorly in the verbal memory tests, particularly on the delayed memory test.”

      This must be correct. I thought of a comment and now I can’t remember what it was. It can’t have been important.

      Soosider on the war in Iraq
      It is interesting how perceptions change. I was at the time undecided about the rights or wrongs about going to war in Iraq. I clearly recall our PM giving a personal assurance to the effect that he had information that he could not disclose for security reasons that convinced him that Iraq was a clear and imminent danger to us. I recall discussing this with my wife as I was impressed that the leader of our country had put his own personal opinion on the line and felt if our leader was making such a statement then he should be believed. This turned out to be WMD and 45 minute deployment, both of which turned out not to be true. Given the nature of the PMs assurance the least I would have expected that he would have resigned on the matter once the alternative picture emerged.
      The other thought that occurs to me in Gordon Browns testimony is the lack of accountability to cabinet. I believed that cabinet accountability is/was a central part of our democratic processes, it is a vital check and balance on the power of any one individual. Yet in Brown stating that he did not see the intelligence is very revealing, did no one in the cabinet ask to see it? and if not why not. After all this was probably the most important single decision that any government has made in decades. If our democracy has changed to such an extent, when and how did this happen, do we no longer have rule by cabinet? and what exactly has replaced it. Is the current matter of “Leadership debates further evidence of a fundamental change in our democracy?
      To me the real lessons of the whole Iraq scenario is how our parliamentary processes failed in such a crucial manner, a PM seems to have made the decision and the cabinet and in fact Parliament seem to have failed in their basic function of acting as a check and balance.

      Diabloandco on opinion polls.

      I registered with yougov last year and have never been asked anything other than what electrical equipment/mobile phone/computer I had .

      I de registered myself last month ( I am a luddite and my answers to all things techno might have given them cause for concern!)

      Just once in my long life I would like some pollster to ask me a question about politics.

      Keith Roberts on Iona
      Hallelujah – and not every one goes for pilgrimage. Iona has long held a special place. The rocks themselves are almost as old as Uluru and far from being the British portal to Creation this is one of the planet’s oldest lands. Pictish pagans, druids and Norsemen have all been drawn to the isle. The machair has been grazed since Bronze Age times.

      It is an isle of silkies and sea monsters, fairies and fantasy. The sheela-na-gig on the nunnery wall; the milk stone now hidden beneath the tarmac pounded by the feet of pilgrims oblivious of the offerings to the gruagach.

      The view from the hill is very special, I prefer sunrise, just as sunset bouncing off the red granite cliffs of Mull brings a peaceful close to the day. The island takes back her own self once the last ferry is safely tied up in the bull hole, and the hordes have returned to their coaches.

      Can you hear the sound of the Vikings as the white sands run with the blood of the monks? Can you taste that drizzle of garlic butter on freshly caught langoustines, washed down with a fine malt from the comfort of the Martyrs’ Bar as the ferry struggles to make safe haven in the gale. Can you see Fingal out for his morning walk? And can you get that glimpse of the Emerald Isle across the waters when the light is right.

      Aye, it is a pretty special place.

      disillusioned’s trenchant attack on some aspects of Scottish politics in response:
      While these pygmies play politics with people’s lives for their own political gain.
      We the public can only look on in disgust.
      Elmer as you so aptly name him ,sat in stoney silence as his peers in Westminster(no pun intended ..maybe) gorged at the trough.

      While Scotland has some of the worst social deprivation in the developed world, people losing their jobs every day ,houses being repossessed in record numbers.#etc etc.

      Meanwhile Elmer chooses to home in on lunches and letters on behalf of a SNP constituent.


      Dave on In The Loop
      Nope, sorry, it shouldn’t win.

      Why? The writing is great, that’s true. But it’s a radio play. The acting and writing is first class, but there was absolutely no understanding of the visual medium made while writing the movie script. The camera work, and camera direction, is awful, truly awful (bog-standard BBC overexposed work, does no BBC camerman understand what an iris control is for? They used to, once upon a time.).

      Now, to some degree that is the direction, and sloppy D.o.P. work, rather than the script itself, but there appears to be no attempt in the script to utilise the locations or edit points to make it work as a movie.

      You can get all you need from this movie from the soundtrack alone, without having to watch any of the pictures. That’s why it should not win. It’s NOT a complete movie experience.

      Steve McCabe on Jennifer Trueland’s analysis of the Kinloch Rannoch GP controversy:
      Steve McCabe:

      The fact that somewhere like Rannoch had a GP for 110 years is as much a historical quirk as anything else. Such arrangements pre-date the NHS and even the Highlands and Islands Medical Scheme on which the NHS was modelled and which provided remote communities with community nurses and sometimes helped to fund a doctor. But many of these rural doctors were actually paid for (and, therefore, there primarily to serve) a local landowner or major employer. For example, the doctor in Bowmore on Islay was oriniginally a “distillery doctor” paid for by the local laird.

      JURA 10 YEAR OLD CLASSIC ISLAND MALT

      I am proud to announce this week’s winner of the Caledonian Mercury “comment of the week” award. It’s not often someone tells Dave Hewitt something he didn’t not know about Scotland’s hills, so the bottle of Jura goes to Neil R for this:

      Took a while, but here you go: SMT guide to rock and ice climbs in Glen Coe and Glen Etive, by Ken Crocket (1980), from route 329, The Chancellor: “The Chancellor is an imposing buttress on the south-west flank of Am Bodach … … The buttress is crowned by an isolated tower.

      This forms the head and shoulders of a burly, strong featured, short bearded man, wearing a judicial wig. The features are said to have resembled an earlier Marquis of Salisbury.”

      Now yes, that IS an awful lot of detail to pick out on a rock buttress and, no, I’ve never seen it myself,but perhaps Mr Crocket has better eyes than me…?

      Let me remind you of our  comment terms and conditions. We stand for raising the debate in Scottish public life. Our comment terms and conditions flow from that.

      1. Treat other users with respect.
      2. Treat our writers with respect.
      3. Treat the conversation with respect – stay on topic.
      4. Don’t swear. Don’t use offensive, insulting or racist language.
      5. Don’t get us sued, don’t libel anyone and don’t comment on live court cases.
      6. We do not edit or premoderate comments as a matter of course and are not responsible for their content.
      7. If you see a comment that does not abide by these rules, please help us by reporting it as offensive (use the “language” option).
      8. If you see a comment that libels you, please bring it to our attention immediately.
      9. When you first try to comment on the site, you will find that your comments do not go live immediately. This is because first-time users are on probation for a period and their comments are checked. Commenters can be put back on probation.
      10. We have a series of watchwords that trigger premoderation. If your comment does not appear immediately then it may contain one of these words.
      11. Finally, please enjoy commenting on The Caledonian Mercury. We value our readers’ involvement very highly and hugely enjoy your contributions.

      Previous winners

      Linda on the Scots word ‘mingin’
      Both ‘mingin’ and ‘manky’ were in common usage in Manchester some 30 (ouch!) years ago. ‘Mingin’ then still carried the notion of smell and I was most confused when the word reappeared recently without any connection to odour. I think you are right about Jade Goody widening and changing the usage.

      Wee Willie Bee on why men forget things

      “Men performed significantly more poorly in the verbal memory tests, particularly on the delayed memory test.”

      This must be correct. I thought of a comment and now I can’t remember what it was. It can’t have been important.

      Soosider on the war in Iraq
      It is interesting how perceptions change. I was at the time undecided about the rights or wrongs about going to war in Iraq. I clearly recall our PM giving a personal assurance to the effect that he had information that he could not disclose for security reasons that convinced him that Iraq was a clear and imminent danger to us. I recall discussing this with my wife as I was impressed that the leader of our country had put his own personal opinion on the line and felt if our leader was making such a statement then he should be believed. This turned out to be WMD and 45 minute deployment, both of which turned out not to be true. Given the nature of the PMs assurance the least I would have expected that he would have resigned on the matter once the alternative picture emerged.
      The other thought that occurs to me in Gordon Browns testimony is the lack of accountability to cabinet. I believed that cabinet accountability is/was a central part of our democratic processes, it is a vital check and balance on the power of any one individual. Yet in Brown stating that he did not see the intelligence is very revealing, did no one in the cabinet ask to see it? and if not why not. After all this was probably the most important single decision that any government has made in decades. If our democracy has changed to such an extent, when and how did this happen, do we no longer have rule by cabinet? and what exactly has replaced it. Is the current matter of “Leadership debates further evidence of a fundamental change in our democracy?
      To me the real lessons of the whole Iraq scenario is how our parliamentary processes failed in such a crucial manner, a PM seems to have made the decision and the cabinet and in fact Parliament seem to have failed in their basic function of acting as a check and balance.

      Diabloandco on opinion polls.

      I registered with yougov last year and have never been asked anything other than what electrical equipment/mobile phone/computer I had .

      I de registered myself last month ( I am a luddite and my answers to all things techno might have given them cause for concern!)

      Just once in my long life I would like some pollster to ask me a question about politics.

      Keith Roberts on Iona
      Hallelujah – and not every one goes for pilgrimage. Iona has long held a special place. The rocks themselves are almost as old as Uluru and far from being the British portal to Creation this is one of the planet’s oldest lands. Pictish pagans, druids and Norsemen have all been drawn to the isle. The machair has been grazed since Bronze Age times.

      It is an isle of silkies and sea monsters, fairies and fantasy. The sheela-na-gig on the nunnery wall; the milk stone now hidden beneath the tarmac pounded by the feet of pilgrims oblivious of the offerings to the gruagach.

      The view from the hill is very special, I prefer sunrise, just as sunset bouncing off the red granite cliffs of Mull brings a peaceful close to the day. The island takes back her own self once the last ferry is safely tied up in the bull hole, and the hordes have returned to their coaches.

      Can you hear the sound of the Vikings as the white sands run with the blood of the monks? Can you taste that drizzle of garlic butter on freshly caught langoustines, washed down with a fine malt from the comfort of the Martyrs’ Bar as the ferry struggles to make safe haven in the gale. Can you see Fingal out for his morning walk? And can you get that glimpse of the Emerald Isle across the waters when the light is right.

      Aye, it is a pretty special place.

      disillusioned’s trenchant attack on some aspects of Scottish politics in response:
      While these pygmies play politics with people’s lives for their own political gain.
      We the public can only look on in disgust.
      Elmer as you so aptly name him ,sat in stoney silence as his peers in Westminster(no pun intended ..maybe) gorged at the trough.

      While Scotland has some of the worst social deprivation in the developed world, people losing their jobs every day ,houses being repossessed in record numbers.#etc etc.

      Meanwhile Elmer chooses to home in on lunches and letters on behalf of a SNP constituent.


      Dave on In The Loop
      Nope, sorry, it shouldn’t win.

      Why? The writing is great, that’s true. But it’s a radio play. The acting and writing is first class, but there was absolutely no understanding of the visual medium made while writing the movie script. The camera work, and camera direction, is awful, truly awful (bog-standard BBC overexposed work, does no BBC camerman understand what an iris control is for? They used to, once upon a time.).

      Now, to some degree that is the direction, and sloppy D.o.P. work, rather than the script itself, but there appears to be no attempt in the script to utilise the locations or edit points to make it work as a movie.

      You can get all you need from this movie from the soundtrack alone, without having to watch any of the pictures. That’s why it should not win. It’s NOT a complete movie experience.

      Steve McCabe on Jennifer Trueland’s analysis of the Kinloch Rannoch GP controversy:
      Steve McCabe:

      The fact that somewhere like Rannoch had a GP for 110 years is as much a historical quirk as anything else. Such arrangements pre-date the NHS and even the Highlands and Islands Medical Scheme on which the NHS was modelled and which provided remote communities with community nurses and sometimes helped to fund a doctor. But many of these rural doctors were actually paid for (and, therefore, there primarily to serve) a local landowner or major employer. For example, the doctor in Bowmore on Islay was oriniginally a “distillery doctor” paid for by the local laird.

      JURA 10 YEAR OLD CLASSIC ISLAND MALT

      I am proud to announce this week’s winner of the Caledonian Mercury “comment of the week” award. The bottle of Jura goes to Linda for her contribution on how the Scots word “minging” entered English usage:

      Linda
      Both ‘mingin’ and ‘manky’ were in common usage in Manchester some 30 (ouch!) years ago. ‘Mingin’ then still carried the notion of smell and I was most confused when the word reappeared recently without any connection to odour. I think you are right about Jade Goody widening and changing the usage.

      Let me also share our new comment terms and conditions. We’ve held off on these until we’ve seen how our readers actually comment. We wanted them to evolve with the conversation. Any feedback on improvements would be welcome. We stand for raising the debate in Scottish public life. Our comment terms and conditions flow from that.

      1. Treat other users with respect.
      2. Treat our writers with respect.
      3. Treat the conversation with respect – stay on topic.
      4. Don’t swear. Don’t use offensive, insulting or racist language.
      5. Don’t get us sued, don’t libel anyone and don’t comment on live court cases.
      6. We do not edit or premoderate comments as a matter of course and are not responsible for their content.
      7. If you see a comment that does not abide by these rules, please help us by reporting it as offensive (use the “language” option).
      8. If you see a comment that libels you, please bring it to our attention immediately.
      9. When you first try to comment on the site, you will find that your comments do not go live immediately. This is because first-time users are on probation for a period and their comments are checked. Commenters can be put back on probation.
      10. We have a series of watchwords that trigger premoderation. If your comment does not appear immediately then it may contain one of these words.
      11. Finally, please enjoy commenting on The Caledonian Mercury. We value our readers’ involvement very highly and hugely enjoy your contributions.

      Previous winners

      Wee Willie Bee on why men forget things
      “Men performed significantly more poorly in the verbal memory tests, particularly on the delayed memory test.”

      This must be correct. I thought of a comment and now I can’t remember what it was. It can’t have been important.

      Soosider on the war in Iraq
      It is interesting how perceptions change. I was at the time undecided about the rights or wrongs about going to war in Iraq. I clearly recall our PM giving a personal assurance to the effect that he had information that he could not disclose for security reasons that convinced him that Iraq was a clear and imminent danger to us. I recall discussing this with my wife as I was impressed that the leader of our country had put his own personal opinion on the line and felt if our leader was making such a statement then he should be believed. This turned out to be WMD and 45 minute deployment, both of which turned out not to be true. Given the nature of the PMs assurance the least I would have expected that he would have resigned on the matter once the alternative picture emerged.
      The other thought that occurs to me in Gordon Browns testimony is the lack of accountability to cabinet. I believed that cabinet accountability is/was a central part of our democratic processes, it is a vital check and balance on the power of any one individual. Yet in Brown stating that he did not see the intelligence is very revealing, did no one in the cabinet ask to see it? and if not why not. After all this was probably the most important single decision that any government has made in decades. If our democracy has changed to such an extent, when and how did this happen, do we no longer have rule by cabinet? and what exactly has replaced it. Is the current matter of “Leadership debates further evidence of a fundamental change in our democracy?
      To me the real lessons of the whole Iraq scenario is how our parliamentary processes failed in such a crucial manner, a PM seems to have made the decision and the cabinet and in fact Parliament seem to have failed in their basic function of acting as a check and balance.

      Diabloandco on opinion polls.

      I registered with yougov last year and have never been asked anything other than what electrical equipment/mobile phone/computer I had .

      I de registered myself last month ( I am a luddite and my answers to all things techno might have given them cause for concern!)

      Just once in my long life I would like some pollster to ask me a question about politics.

      Keith Roberts on Iona
      Hallelujah – and not every one goes for pilgrimage. Iona has long held a special place. The rocks themselves are almost as old as Uluru and far from being the British portal to Creation this is one of the planet’s oldest lands. Pictish pagans, druids and Norsemen have all been drawn to the isle. The machair has been grazed since Bronze Age times.

      It is an isle of silkies and sea monsters, fairies and fantasy. The sheela-na-gig on the nunnery wall; the milk stone now hidden beneath the tarmac pounded by the feet of pilgrims oblivious of the offerings to the gruagach.

      The view from the hill is very special, I prefer sunrise, just as sunset bouncing off the red granite cliffs of Mull brings a peaceful close to the day. The island takes back her own self once the last ferry is safely tied up in the bull hole, and the hordes have returned to their coaches.

      Can you hear the sound of the Vikings as the white sands run with the blood of the monks? Can you taste that drizzle of garlic butter on freshly caught langoustines, washed down with a fine malt from the comfort of the Martyrs’ Bar as the ferry struggles to make safe haven in the gale. Can you see Fingal out for his morning walk? And can you get that glimpse of the Emerald Isle across the waters when the light is right.

      Aye, it is a pretty special place.

      disillusioned’s trenchant attack on some aspects of Scottish politics in response:
      While these pygmies play politics with people’s lives for their own political gain.
      We the public can only look on in disgust.
      Elmer as you so aptly name him ,sat in stoney silence as his peers in Westminster(no pun intended ..maybe) gorged at the trough.

      While Scotland has some of the worst social deprivation in the developed world, people losing their jobs every day ,houses being repossessed in record numbers.#etc etc.

      Meanwhile Elmer chooses to home in on lunches and letters on behalf of a SNP constituent.


      Dave on In The Loop
      Nope, sorry, it shouldn’t win.

      Why? The writing is great, that’s true. But it’s a radio play. The acting and writing is first class, but there was absolutely no understanding of the visual medium made while writing the movie script. The camera work, and camera direction, is awful, truly awful (bog-standard BBC overexposed work, does no BBC camerman understand what an iris control is for? They used to, once upon a time.).

      Now, to some degree that is the direction, and sloppy D.o.P. work, rather than the script itself, but there appears to be no attempt in the script to utilise the locations or edit points to make it work as a movie.

      You can get all you need from this movie from the soundtrack alone, without having to watch any of the pictures. That’s why it should not win. It’s NOT a complete movie experience.

      Steve McCabe on Jennifer Trueland’s analysis of the Kinloch Rannoch GP controversy:
      Steve McCabe:

      The fact that somewhere like Rannoch had a GP for 110 years is as much a historical quirk as anything else. Such arrangements pre-date the NHS and even the Highlands and Islands Medical Scheme on which the NHS was modelled and which provided remote communities with community nurses and sometimes helped to fund a doctor. But many of these rural doctors were actually paid for (and, therefore, there primarily to serve) a local landowner or major employer. For example, the doctor in Bowmore on Islay was oriniginally a “distillery doctor” paid for by the local laird.

      I am proud to announce this week’s winner of the Caledonian Mercury “comment of the week” award. The bottle of Jura goes to Wee Willie Bee for making us laugh with his comment on a piece about why men forget things:

      Wee Willie Bee
      “Men performed significantly more poorly in the verbal memory tests, particularly on the delayed memory test.”

      This must be correct. I thought of a comment and now I can’t remember what it was. It can’t have been important.

      Previous winners

      Soosider on the war in Iraq
      It is interesting how perceptions change. I was at the time undecided about the rights or wrongs about going to war in Iraq. I clearly recall our PM giving a personal assurance to the effect that he had information that he could not disclose for security reasons that convinced him that Iraq was a clear and imminent danger to us. I recall discussing this with my wife as I was impressed that the leader of our country had put his own personal opinion on the line and felt if our leader was making such a statement then he should be believed. This turned out to be WMD and 45 minute deployment, both of which turned out not to be true. Given the nature of the PMs assurance the least I would have expected that he would have resigned on the matter once the alternative picture emerged.
      The other thought that occurs to me in Gordon Browns testimony is the lack of accountability to cabinet. I believed that cabinet accountability is/was a central part of our democratic processes, it is a vital check and balance on the power of any one individual. Yet in Brown stating that he did not see the intelligence is very revealing, did no one in the cabinet ask to see it? and if not why not. After all this was probably the most important single decision that any government has made in decades. If our democracy has changed to such an extent, when and how did this happen, do we no longer have rule by cabinet? and what exactly has replaced it. Is the current matter of “Leadership debates further evidence of a fundamental change in our democracy?
      To me the real lessons of the whole Iraq scenario is how our parliamentary processes failed in such a crucial manner, a PM seems to have made the decision and the cabinet and in fact Parliament seem to have failed in their basic function of acting as a check and balance.

      Diabloandco on opinion polls.

      I registered with yougov last year and have never been asked anything other than what electrical equipment/mobile phone/computer I had .

      I de registered myself last month ( I am a luddite and my answers to all things techno might have given them cause for concern!)

      Just once in my long life I would like some pollster to ask me a question about politics.

      Keith Roberts on Iona
      Hallelujah – and not every one goes for pilgrimage. Iona has long held a special place. The rocks themselves are almost as old as Uluru and far from being the British portal to Creation this is one of the planet’s oldest lands. Pictish pagans, druids and Norsemen have all been drawn to the isle. The machair has been grazed since Bronze Age times.

      It is an isle of silkies and sea monsters, fairies and fantasy. The sheela-na-gig on the nunnery wall; the milk stone now hidden beneath the tarmac pounded by the feet of pilgrims oblivious of the offerings to the gruagach.

      The view from the hill is very special, I prefer sunrise, just as sunset bouncing off the red granite cliffs of Mull brings a peaceful close to the day. The island takes back her own self once the last ferry is safely tied up in the bull hole, and the hordes have returned to their coaches.

      Can you hear the sound of the Vikings as the white sands run with the blood of the monks? Can you taste that drizzle of garlic butter on freshly caught langoustines, washed down with a fine malt from the comfort of the Martyrs’ Bar as the ferry struggles to make safe haven in the gale. Can you see Fingal out for his morning walk? And can you get that glimpse of the Emerald Isle across the waters when the light is right.

      Aye, it is a pretty special place.

      disillusioned’s trenchant attack on some aspects of Scottish politics in response:
      While these pygmies play politics with people’s lives for their own political gain.
      We the public can only look on in disgust.
      Elmer as you so aptly name him ,sat in stoney silence as his peers in Westminster(no pun intended ..maybe) gorged at the trough.

      While Scotland has some of the worst social deprivation in the developed world, people losing their jobs every day ,houses being repossessed in record numbers.#etc etc.

      Meanwhile Elmer chooses to home in on lunches and letters on behalf of a SNP constituent.


      Dave on In The Loop
      Nope, sorry, it shouldn’t win.

      Why? The writing is great, that’s true. But it’s a radio play. The acting and writing is first class, but there was absolutely no understanding of the visual medium made while writing the movie script. The camera work, and camera direction, is awful, truly awful (bog-standard BBC overexposed work, does no BBC camerman understand what an iris control is for? They used to, once upon a time.).

      Now, to some degree that is the direction, and sloppy D.o.P. work, rather than the script itself, but there appears to be no attempt in the script to utilise the locations or edit points to make it work as a movie.

      You can get all you need from this movie from the soundtrack alone, without having to watch any of the pictures. That’s why it should not win. It’s NOT a complete movie experience.

      Steve McCabe on Jennifer Trueland’s analysis of the Kinloch Rannoch GP controversy:
      Steve McCabe:

      The fact that somewhere like Rannoch had a GP for 110 years is as much a historical quirk as anything else. Such arrangements pre-date the NHS and even the Highlands and Islands Medical Scheme on which the NHS was modelled and which provided remote communities with community nurses and sometimes helped to fund a doctor. But many of these rural doctors were actually paid for (and, therefore, there primarily to serve) a local landowner or major employer. For example, the doctor in Bowmore on Islay was oriniginally a “distillery doctor” paid for by the local laird.