For Burns Night

A wee burns night poem for politicos:Burns

On Sunday raise a gless tae the Bard

Why no? You huv bin workin’ awfy hard

And as ye git tore in tae yer neeps

Ye’r thinkin’: May- hoo mony sleeps?

And who’s gonnae be on yon TV debates?

A parcel o’ rogues, or some ither ingrates?

 

It’s plein Labour’s no held in much affection

Leadin’ up tae this general election

Will we see MPs dae inither northern dash

Saltires in haun? – Dinna fash!

Cause patriot Jim’s got the upper haun

Oor health will be paid for by Londaun

Instead of MPs getting’ oan that train

It’ll be nurses comin’ tae ease the pain

 

And dinna caw the PM a sleekit loon

We’ve extra poo’ers – tis written doon!

Nic says naw

It’s her baw

And onywey the Bill will faw

Fir English votes for English law

It disnae go Farage enuech

‘Whit aboot us? Fars the proof?

 

Meanwhile the nats, draped in tartan

This weekend will be fartin’

They’ll stuff too much puddin’ in their sonsie faces

An’ forget aboot political graces

Hunners o’ members is awfy weel

Bit they’ll no be able to keep them in heel

 

It gies ithers gey muckle pain

Tae see the nationalists claim Rab as their ain

The bard a nat? dinna be silly

It’s plein tae see he’s a’body’s Wille

So this weekend dinna go starvie

At least we still have Patrick Harvie…

Edinburgh Film Completes Tour

Originally produced for Edinburgh Napier News.  

I caught up with Edinburgh Independent Film Maker Tim Barrow as his self produced and distributed film The Space Between completes its tour of screenings. He talks about the Creative Scotland Film Sector review.

space between yt2 from Tom Freeman on Vimeo.

The Space Between

The Declaration of Cineworld

first published by Planet Ivy on May 28th 2012

The Declaration of Cineworld

 

On Friday the Scottish National Party gathered together a coalition of fellow independence campaigners – Socialists, Greens and Celebrities – to launch its ‘Yes’ campaign for the 2014 referendum.

The setting was a multiplex cinema in Edinburgh. Continue reading

Holyrood Plays The Game

Originally published by Buzz Magazine on 30/3/12


According to the Independent Game Developers’ Association, the video games industry “has grown up largely unloved and ignored by the political and economic powers in our country.” That looks to be changing as a cross-party Scottish Parliament group on the video games industry held its first meeting this month.

Brian Baglow, who runs scottishgames.net, was at the “packed” meeting. Buzz caught up with the PR and digital media Freelancer recently to pick his brain about the state of the Scottish Games Industry.  He was surprisingly optimistic, and citedDenki Games as a perfect example of how Scottish talent has kept ahead of the curve.  Denki’s BAFTA winning Quarrel (pictured) was released on iPhone and iPad last year, and on Xbox live in January. Continue reading

Finland Says Goodbye to the Markka

Originally published by Edinburgh Napier News on 24th November 2011

 

Before leaving Scotland a friend handed over some old Finnish markka,
challenging me to see if I could “still use them.”

In truth the Finnish markka ceased to be legal tender in 2002. Finland adopted the euro when entering the Eurozone in 1999, and is still the only Scandinavian country to have embraced the single currency.

My only option, then, is to get them changed.  On a day when the euro crisis has deepened, and Nokia Siemens Networks has been forced to announce cutting a quarter of its workforce,  I show the 240 Finnish markaas, including two big green notes depicting the composer Sibelius to Jenni, the teller at Forex Bank.  She looks surprised to see them. “You want to get rid of them,” she advises, adding that from next year nowhere will take them, even the Finnish National Bank.  “Are the Finns sad about that?” I ask.  “No” she says instantly.

“With everything that’s been going on in the Eurozone, do Finnish people want their old currency back?” I ask, adding, “are you fed up of the euro?” Jenni’s smile falters.  She looks at me as if I am stupid.  “No, why?” she asks.

Her reaction will be a disappointment to Timo Soini, the outspoken leader of the far-right party True Finns, who made surprising gains in last year’s election.  Soini is an outspoken critic of the EU, and has since voiced his desire to run for the presidency.  He takes credit as attempts to derail the bailouts of Portugal and Greece.

Every Finn I speak to seems embarrassed by the True Finns.  “Finland is a Social Democratic country, like the rest of Scandinavia,” Taisto Oksanen, 47, a well-known Finnish actor tells me. “But in the last ten years we’ve seen that erode.  We didn’t have too much of a class divide before, but since the Euro some people have got very rich, and a few hundred thousand people have just dropped into poverty. Our education and social welfare has been damaged.   The old parties were seen as corrupt and in with business, so I think people voted for the True Finns for change.  But it’s happening all over Europe – people are voting for those that blame the immigrants.  Look at Spain.  It is history repeating.”

“True Finns are very conservative, want the Finnish markka back and to kind of isolate Finland from the rest of Europe.  I don’t know how the support packages will actually help the citizens and I think that the banks should also take some responsibility for all of this.” says International Business student Milka Tanskanen, 21. “ I was ten years old when we started to use Euro in Finland, so I don’t actually have any real experience of the Finnish mark.”

“The old notes were nice,” Oksanen tells me.  “The euro, the note, doesn’t mean anything to me.  It has less ‘value’.”