9 October 2012

End of Empire

Tomorrow is the centenary of the fall of the Chinese Empire. 2000 years of Imperial rule ended following a military uprising in Wuchang. 

A complex series of events followed before Sun Yat-Sen was installed as the first president of the Republic of China. 

Sun was an interesting choice as president. As well as being a revolutionary he was a congregationalist Christan, a bigamist and a physician.
He is credited with defining the "three principles of the People" -  nationalism, democracy, and the people's livelihood. A such he is one of the few statesmen revered in both the Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of China (aka Taiwan). China

The 10th of October is still celebrated as the National Day of the Republic of China.

7 October 2012

Final Trawl for Singing Kettle duo

It's the end of the road for Cilla and Arty. The couple, Cilla Fisher and Arty Trezise, have been delighting young audiences for 30 years as The Singing Kettle.
Cilla Fisher is Scottish folk aristocracy, the younger sister of the late Ray Fisher and her brother Archie stalwarts of the folk revival in the 60's. 

For me Cilla has one of the finest voices in the genre. Here is her amazing version of brother Archie's desperately sad song the Final Trawl. 

Now some one else will have "to tell the driver Mr McIvor to start the train to Glasgow". On behalf of  kids of all ages thanks for the show guys!

6 October 2012

Tip Top Hibs

Who would have thought it! Just over four months since the dire cup final defeat Hibs now find themselves at the top of the SPL. 

Rangers, the once mighty Rangers, are not having the cake walk in the fourth tier that most expected. It appears Scotland minnows haven't read the script. Rangers seem to gift a goal head start to their opponents in every match. Today for the second time the team who have dominated Scottish football, alongside Celtic, crashed to a second defeat in the third division.

 Anyho' enough of the minnows Hibs haven't been playing particularly well but have ground out the results. Today they spanked Dundee 3 -0. OK we are top only because Celtic have yet to play but they have been dropping silly points here and there. It is almost like they are suffering from missing Rangers. They did have a great week in Europe and I suspect that this is where their focus will be for the time being. 

Hibs being top happens so rarely I might as well enjoy it while it lasts .... which is likely to be about 22 hours!

Dirty Old Town

Edinburgh is a tip at the moment! The last few weeks has been dominated by the fiasco of missed bin collections.

The Council introduced fortnightly collections for most residents in order to promote recycling. All groups on the council supported that move and had it in their budgets in February if they put one up.The execution of that policy, though, has been totally botched. We were told three weeks ago that 90% of bins had been collected on time.

That claim came  just a few days after it was announced that the population of the city had tipped over the half million mark for the first time. So we have up to 50, 000 people whose bins had not been collected on time.
Two weeks ago, in reaction to furious opposition councillors, we had the concrete pledge from the politician in charge of the service that the problem would be resolved that following Sunday.

Two weeks on and, in spite of other Labour politicians claiming that the problem has been puffed up by the press and that the issue has now been resolved, I am still fielding e-mails by the bin lorry load from residents who have not had their refuse collected for several weeks!
Refuse collection is the most fundamental service Scottish local authorities provide. It is the one direct service that everyone in the city obtrusively receives. To botch the uplift of refuse for some 50000 residents for so long is completely unacceptable. The handling of this by the new Labour/SNP administration at the council has been totally incompetent. 

All Change with the Edinburgh Tory Group

Congratulation to Southside/Newington councillor Cameron Rose on his election  as  the new Tory leader on the Council and as such as Leader of the Opposition. 

Cameron is a former Police Inspector and has served in a number of roles within the Tory group. 

He replaces my ward colleague Jeremy Balfour who has stepped down to chair the new beefed up version of the Audit Committee.