Leader: ‘The event has been hijacked by politicians’

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For two glorious weeks the Olympic Games made us all forget about the real world. The only things that mattered were determination, hard work, talent and guts. We cheered GB gold medallists like our own family.

Now, it’s back to reality with a Salmond-sized political bump.

While other cities in the UK celebrate the incredible achievements of their local athletes with open-top parades, the Scottish Government has decided to delay any pomp until September 14 – more than a month after the end of the Games. And, bizarrely, to have it in Glasgow.

The clear reason – outlined in comments from sports minister Shona Robison – is the Commonwealth Games in 2014. But this isn’t about the Commonwealth Games, we are celebrating Olympic success.

And the massive story from London 2012? Scotland has produced Britain’s most successful Olympian of all time – and he’s from Edinburgh! So, er, let’s have a parade in Glasgow. Would the people of Sheffield support having a celebration for Jessica Ennis in Manchester? I don’t think so.

After Beijing in 2008, the Evening News and its readers helped organise a parade through the Capital for Chris Hoy and our other Olympians. And a great success it was.

But this time the whole event has been hijacked by politicians for their own political ends – something that jars deeply with the Olympic ideal.

Edinburgh City Council haven’t come out of this much better. They should have told Alex Salmond where to stick it, and organised a parade now, during the Festival. What an occasion that would be.

Instead, they have meekly indicated that celebrations will take place, but only after the events in Glasgow.

Sir Chris Hoy is, of course, far too polite to give a view. But the people of Edinburgh who supported him long before he was an Olympian are the ones who have been denied here.

Shop shape

Sainsbury’s will not be welcomed with open arms in Portobello. The big worry is the impact which opening a supermarket on the High Street will have on other shops.

Despite ever-growing ranks of charity shops and cafes, Portobello High Street remains relatively strong, and anything that damages that will be bad for the neighbourhood.

The question which those with the community’s best interests at heart have to ask is how best to respond. Is it better to fight against the spread of the high street giant, or support the independent traders who remain?

• Improving picture

UNEMPLOYMENT has fallen in Scotland for the fifth month in a row – with 214,000 Scots now out of work, latest figures have revealed.

Official statistics showed a drop of 5000 in the jobless total – which includes people out of work but not eligible for benefits – over the period April to June. The number of people receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance has also fallen to 142,600 in July – a drop of 800 from the previous month.

The Scottish unemployment rate now stands at 7.9 per cent, compared with the UK rate of eight percent. The youth employment rate in Scotland is now 56 per cent compared with 50 per cent in the UK, with 10,000 more 16 to 24-year-olds in Scotland in work than a year ago.