Helen Martin: The Mummy and Daddy State is out of control

DO Scots make pathetically incapable parents? That sounds like an offensive question and one which, if it had been asked by a foreign government, would have had the SNP up in arms.

Edinburgh could do more to make sure that much more new housing is genuinely affordable

Alex Staniforth: Tackle rip-off housing costs to build a greener future

Three cheers for the Evening News for its leader headline just before Christmas. “High property prices are not good for the city” it said. To me, it seems so obvious but it is amazing the number of newsrooms around the country which uncritically do the high-fives as they print yet another PR-agency story on the “housing boom”.

Taking the bus or tram to the shops instead of the car will help improve air quality in the Capital. Picture: Getty

Lesley Hinds: Everyone has a right to a little breathing space

Edinburgh has won armfuls of awards for its quality of life in recent years, something we’re extremely proud of and which we obviously want to maintain for generations to come.

Opinion 1

Liam Rudden: Farewell Gordon

IT was during the Edinburgh Youth Theatre’s 1983 Fringe production of Clutter that I was first introduced to Gordon Blackburn.

Lord of all things backstage, he was the company’s technical director. What he didn’t know about staging a show wasn’t worth knowing.

Over the following four decades we became firm friends.

We are all victims of mental health in some way

Jojo Fraser: Let’s take better care of each other this new year

It’s that time of year we just love to set goals. Don’t make any that don’t excite you though. A challenge keeps life exciting. They say fear makes us feel alive.

Schools should be allowed to manage their own budgets and appoint their own staff. Picture: Getty

Brian Monteith: Hands up if you want education prioritised

Will this be the year education became the biggest issue in Scotland? It is hard to imagine any topic that will push Scottish independence off the SNP’s agenda – but if anything can then education is it.

Opinion 6
Simon & Garfunkel performing together in 2003. Picture: AP

Fiona Duff: Bright Eyes on the prize for concert tickets

So a friend asked me if I wanted to go and see Simon & Garfunkel in a couple of weeks’ time at the Festival Theatre. “Of course,” was the reply. And then I thought that surely we were about 40 years too late.

Donald Trumps victory heralds the breakdown of the political consensus dominant in the western world over the past 70 years. Picture: Getty

Ian Murray: Now more than ever we must defend our values

Happy New Year! Or is it? After the chaos and upheaval of 2016, many will be glad to see the back of it. However, while 2016 may be behind us, it continues to cast a long shadow.

Politics 6
Browsers in Other Music, which was possibly the best record shop in the world. Picture: Getty

Kevin Buckle: If New York kids aren’t cool then who is?

A while ago I told a story on my blog about a father and son from New York buying T-shirts. It was prompted by the imminent closure of Other Music in NYC possibly the best and coolest record shop in the world. I was then reminded of it again very recently when The Cake Shop in the Lower East Side closed on New Year’s Eve. The Cake Shop was a cafe, bar and venue run by the Bodor brothers and had always been very supportive of Scottish bands, helped no doubt by the fact Nick Bodor’s wife is from Inverness. There was no cooler venue for small bands to play in NYC.

Edinburgh's tourism industry is booming. Picture: Scott Taylor

Andy Wightman: Short-term holiday lets need better regulation

Just before Christmas, I was privileged to contribute to a debate in the Scottish Parliament led by Gordon Lindhurst MSP on the future of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. During the debate, I was reminded of Alexander McCall-Smith’s depiction of Edinburgh as “a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again”. Yet listening to the thoughtful words of MSPs, it became clear to me that this is indeed a city, which is breaking residents’ hearts in other ways.

Opinion 4
Ruth Davidsons Tories could overtake Labour in the city. Picture: Jane Barlow

Ian Swanson: So who will be cuddling up to whom after May 4?

IT’S official: there will be no independence referendum this year. Nicola Sturgeon has ruled out any IndyRef 2 for 2017. But voters across Scotland will still be going to the polls in just a few months – to decide who runs our towns and cities.

Opinion 12
Hogmanay was the busiest night of the year for South East area. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Chief Inspector Mark Rennie: We’re starting the year by tackling antisocial behaviour

In my first column of the New Year, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish readers a very safe and prosperous 2017. The last six weeks have been an extremely busy period for the South East, with a swell of visitors to the city centre for the festive celebrations.

Opinion 6
Once you get in the gym and start exercising it can be fun  most of the time. Picture: Getty

Gerry Farrell: Birthday burdened by weight of expectation

Does my bum look big in this? Yes. And this? Yes. And this? Yes. Is there anything worse than going to the wardrobe and finding out that all the clothes you love have shrunk? (Well, obviously war, famine, poverty and man-flu are worse, I’m dramatising to make a point.)

Opinion 1
Russell Brand

Karen Koren: We’re moving to Leith to launch an exciting 2017

I have just arrived back from Bali, having had a lovely, boiling hot holiday, with a wonderful group of people.

Opinion 7
A Conservative prime minister, Winston Churchill, supported a European Charter for Human Rights in 1948. Picture: PA

Gordon Lindhurst: Brexit poses no threat to fundamental freedoms

This afternoon in the Scottish Parliament we will have yet another SNP government speculative Brexit debate. This in spite of international relations and the EU being matters reserved to the Westminster Parliament under the very Act which brought the Scottish Parliament into existence! The focus of the debate is meant to be protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Perhaps unnecessary to say, but again, obligations under the Human Rights Convention are, yes, a reserved matter.

Opinion 2
Chris Hemsworth's Thor could be poised to wreak havoc in the Capital

Susan Morrison: Thor blimey! It’s Ma Hemsworth’s laddie

News reaches us that Marvel is considering coming to Edinburgh to film the next instalment in its box office juggernaut. Naturally I am intrigued, and alarmed.

Opinion 3
Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA

Comment: Flexible childcare provision is long overdue

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon promised nothing short of a “childcare revolution” at her party’s conference in Glasgow last October.

Opinion 1
Katy Manning and Tom Baker

Liam Rudden: The many voices of Katy Manning

RADIO drama. Nothing beats it. Especially when you have a cast that can establish a room full of characters with just a tweak of their vocal chords.

Whats the point of saving when the money in the piggy bank earns you nothing? Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Helen Martin: Happiness is key for the crash generation

A MONTHLY hike in mortgage or rent costs of just £50 would leave 40 per cent of Scottish householders seriously struggling according to a Shelter survey.

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark in the film, "Avengers: Age Of Ultron." Picture; AP

Leader: ‘Time to sell Edinburgh as a movie star’

NEWS that the new Avengers film is set to be shot in the Capital is another welcome boost to the city today.

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