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Here's your host - JOHN MCGURK Roll up! Roll up! Get your free referendum quiz here. Yes - just a couple of weeks to go. And if you haven't made your mind up yet here's your chance. Spend a few minutes answering these simple questions to find out if you really are a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ voter. And if you're a ‘Don't Know’, here's your chance to find out how to vote.
This week the grass roots rise to the top. Disenchanted voters rule on both sides of the border, and it’s eyes right towards Clacton and Cape Town. Business put its head above the parapet - but with stovies instead of steak on the menu? There’s the fall-out from THAT ad, a touch of panglossian excess over promises and pensions, and George, Jim and Alistair are in line for sympathy. Squirrels are in trouble and wolves prove their worth. 15 days and counting…
More than half of Scotland’s food and drink businesses expect to see growth of between five and 25 per cent over the next five years, with the potential to create almost 100,000 additional jobs. So finds a specially commissioned survey by the Bank of Scotland into Scottish food and drink businesses. Two-thirds were expecting to increase their workforce by 2019, looking for new Asian markets, and exports - especially Scottish salmon going to China - are playing a bigger and bigger role ...
Aldi and Lidl may sweep all before them. But a different food relief looks to be on the way at last for Corstorphine: Waitrose is on the way. From high-end balsamic vinegar to Madagascar cashew nuts, years of essential food deprivation may soon be over. The arrival of Waitrose would mark a major milestone in the macro-economic development of Corstorphine (pictured.) Long distinguished by muscular bungalows, Leylandii hedges and Dobbies door chimes, few of the progressive metro-set have much cared for it. Now, in aesthetic style and discernment, it is poised on the brink of an aspirational Great Leap Forward ...
This week Ken Houston looks at the Scottish media - has it gone into over-kill over indyref and turned readers off in the process? Then there's the lack of passion from both sides - surely Nicola Sturgeon should sound more like Boudicca or Joan of Arc than Shirley Williams, thinks Ken. Maybe today's politicians could learn a thing or two from Nationalists in the past - take Lord Belhaven for instance. And don't get Ken started on who should actually be allowed a vote...
Memo to BBC Scotland: Looking for tips on how to organise an independence referendum debate after last week’s shameful shouting match? Call in the Federation of Small Businesses… Just 48 hours later the FSB hosted a debate between Finance Secretary John Swinney and Labour’s Iain Gray in front of an audience of more than 300 small business owners. It was a debate of a breadth and quality way above the rammy hosted by the BBC. This was the debate that they should have broadcast...
BOUGHT anything on eBay lately? George isn't talking about a power saw or some iconic designer idea at a knockdown price. He's talking about finding lost childhood. It’s there for the finding - at the click of a button [assuming you’ve mastered Windows 8 without trashing the laptop in frustration]. A moment of casual internet browsing led George to an eBay listing for an old Airfix construction kit he'd had as a child. An Avro Lancaster B.III. Not a broken remnant of such, or a finished and pained example in a glass case. This was the real thing...
It looked like a lift-off, but might it now be stalling? Scottish manufacturers are reporting the lowest orders and employment of any part of the UK over the last three months. Figures published this week reveal that manufacturers in Scotland are predicting the lowest increase in output although they are more optimistic about orders and employment in the coming quarter.Separately, the UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index shows growth edging down in August - its lowest reading for 18 months...
Run down high streets, empty premises and boarded up shops now scar many of Scotland’s town and village high streets. So a proposal for “local discretionary relief” now being considered by the Scottish Parliament’s local government and regeneration committee should be welcome news. But will the legislation really lead to lower business rates? There’s every prospect it will only result in tinkering at the edges and add to the complexity of the business rates system
Scot-Buzz editor Bill Jamieson was horrified. Shouting, finger jabbing, facile point-scoring and a moderator who seemed to have gone AWOL: if last night’s TV “debate” between Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond was the high point of the referendum campaign, says Bill, heaven spare us from the depths. It was a victory for Salmond but who won is another matter; neither the politicians nor the voters. And certainly not Scotland...
Struggling to keep up in the indyref rammy? Befuddled by claim and counter claim on Scotland’s economy and performance? Weep no more. Here is the latest Economic Update and labour market survey released yesterday by Donald MacRae, Bank of Scotland chief economist. The recovery in Scotland’s labour market moved up a gear in July, says Mr McRae, a trend that should lead to further gains in employment and eventually to an increase in overall earnings growth. The Scottish economy, he confirms, continues to recover strongly.