From a Scottish Review special on memorable Scottish holidays.
Perhaps the most memorable Scottish holiday I know of was not mine but someone else's. Once, I took a taxi in Coatbridge driven by a man with a fund of stories. A couple have stuck in my mind. Once he was booked to take an elderly resident to Asda. He waited for her in the car park on a sunny day and when she emerged, hot and laden with bags, she said to him: 'Take me to Largs, son, take me to Largs'.
This brilliant and informative column appeared in Le Monde on the weekend of June 23/24. Translated by Tiffany Reed and Jackie Kemp
A few days before the European Council of June 28 and 29, the Franco-German discussion is becoming a dialogue of the deaf. The French want to strengthen economic union, the Germans want progress on political union. Neither can hear the other.
The Germans understand the French proposals as a new version of the slogan "Germany will pay", which reverberated through French politics after the First World War; the French see political integration with Germany as handing over the right to inspect their welfare system.
The lack of mutual understanding is actually a symptom of the underlying problem. The euro is rudderless, a currency union adrift.
Creative Scotland, and its 'crude ethic of sado-competition'
This piece appeared in the Scottish Review on May 31, 2012. For legal reasons, the last 2 pars were removed. They are reinstated here. Below is a photo of Creative Scotland execs in Cannes the same week they announced the end of flexible funding.
Joyce McMillan knows what she is talking about when it comes to judging performances. The Scotsman’s theatre critic has spent a few years of her life rattling across Scotland on night trains from small towns – the proverbial ‘Shotts in the dark’ - writing reviews.
The fact that she knows most of Scotland’s theatre people pretty well and in general is held in respect by them does not interfere with her ability to do her job. She can give a bad review if it’s required.
Selected Journalism of Arnold Kemp (1939-2002) edited by Jackie Kemp. (go to forthcoming titles on nwp.co.uk for more info).
From the Foreword by Professor Tom Devine: Arnold Kemp, one of the greatest of Scottish journalists and editors of the 20th century, died prematurely at the age of 63 in 2002. He edited The Herald with memorable elan and panache between 1981 and 1994 and his prolific writings also regularly graced the pages of the Scotsman, the Guardian and the Observer in a career which spanned more than four decades from the year he began his first job in journalism in 1959 as a sub-editor on the Scotsman, fresh out of Edinburgh University.
What would Arnold Kemp have thought of the Leveson inquiry? My father, journalist and editor of this parish, will have been dead 10 years this September. So it was something of a surprise to his nearest and dearest to be called by the Guardian and told that his name had been raised at the Leveson inquiry in connection with a tragic and distressing case surrounding his columnist Jack McLean in the early 90s, a case touched on by Kenneth Roy in his SR column (13 March).
The agenda behind the bill: feminisation of Scotland
From the Scottish Review, Dec 2011.
This piece is also in the Scottish Review anthology, Scottish Review 2012, available from www.scottsihreview.net.
It seems bizarre that the Scottish Government has forced through such a wide-ranging set of laws as the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill in the name of anti-sectarianism.