Macaskill: Ruth­less SNP ma­chine will shield Stur­geon at all costs

●Former jus­tice sec­re­tary at­tacks party over loy­alty to its key mem­bers

The Scotsman - - Front Page - By SCOTT MACNAB

An in­ner cir­cle of hard­lin­ers sur­round­ing Nicola Stur­geon are “driv­ing out” any­one who threat­ens to dam­age the SNP leader’s pub­lic rep­u­ta­tion, former jus­tice sec­re­tary Kenny Macaskill writes in to­day’s Scots­man.

In his opin­ion col­umn, Mr Macaskill calls into ques­tion the party’s treat­ment of Alex Sal­mond over his sex­ual ha­rass­ment case, ac­cus­ing se­nior fig­ures of a “prej­u­di­cial and un­fair” ap­proach in or­der to pro­tect the cur­rent First Min­is­ter. Mr Macaskill was at Mr Sal­mond’s side in the Court of Ses­sion in Ed­in­burgh this week as the former SNP leader won a dra­matic vic­tory against the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment over its han­dling of a sex­ual ha­rass­ment in­quiry into ac­cu­sa­tions against him.

The former jus­tice min­is­ter is one of Mr Sal­mond’s clos­est po­lit­i­cal al­lies and his in­ter­ven­tion in The Scots­man to­day will fur­ther in­flame the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing re­la­tions be­tween Mr Sal­mond and Ms Stur­geon.

“It now seems that, for a co­terie

She has helped the likes of Bill Bai­ley, Peter Kay, Tim Minchin, Rus­sell Brand, Ford Kier­nan, Greg Hem­phill and Dy­lan Mo­ran make their names in the world of com­edy at the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val Fringe.

Now Ed­in­burgh pro­moter Karen Koren is aim to kick­start a re­vival of the city’s live mu­sic scene, by stag­ing reg­u­lar gigs in the city’s west end.

The new ven­ture from Gilded Bal­loon, the com­pany she now runs with her daugh­ter, Katy, will be based in an un­der­ground venue on Rose Street.

It is hoped the ad­vent of the Gilded Bal­loon Base­ment will help off­set the im­pact of the “rapid and wide-rang­ing clo­sure” of venues across the city.

Karen Koren also show­cased acts like Flight of the Con­chords, Alan Cum­ming, KT Tun­stall and The Rub­ber­ban­dits in Ed­in­burgh when they were un­known.

Blue­grass, jazz, soul, blues, folk and roots mu­sic acts are be­ing lined up to ap­pear in the venue. It was first used by Gilded Bal­loon for the 2017 Fringe af­ter it joined forces with Dan­ish ballet dancer and chore­og­ra­pher Peter Schau­fuss – who owns the the former Char­lotte Bap­tist Chapel – to pro­gramme shows un­der the ban­ner of the Rose The­atre.

It is the first year-round venue Gilded Bal­loon has run since the demise of its long­time home in the Cow­gate in a ma­jor blaze in 2002.

Karen Koren said: “It’s re­ally im­por­tant for us to put on all kinds of en­ter­tain­ment all year round at the Rose The­atre, from the­atre, com­edy and spo­ken word to live mu­sic. We want the venue to be al­len­com­pass­ing.

“I’m re­ally ex­cit­ing about do­ing these new live mu­sic nights as it’s the kind of thing we used to have year-round in our Cow­gate venue.”

Katy Koren said: “We hope our new weekly night will in­spire more and more peo­ple to sup­port and in­volve them­selves in the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of Ed­in­burgh’s mu­sic scene.”

Among the acts lined up to ap­pear ini­tially are Han­nah Rar­ity, the cur­rent BBC Scot­land Young Mu­si­cian of the Year, Ra­dio 2 Folk Awards win­ner Rachel New­ton, and Scots Singer of the Year Iona Fyfe.

0 Karen Koren is aim to ‘kick­start a re­vival of live mu­sic’

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