NHS Lothian to roll out MMR

Originally produced for Napier News.

In light of the measles epidemic in Wales and the threat of imminent spread to the rest of Britain, NHS Lothian has highlighted the importance of MMR vaccinations.

The health board has admitted that a significant number of Lothian’s teenagers and young adults are considered at risk from measles as they may not have completed or started the course of the MMR vaccine as a child. NHS Lothian is now offering the vaccine to teenagers in schools and through their GPs.

Professor Alison McCallum, the Director of Public Health and Health Policy at NHS Lothian, said:

“Measles, Mumps, and Rubella are preventable by two doses of the MMR vaccine and I would urge all parents to ensure that their children are fully protected from these three diseases. We are now offering the MMR vaccination as part of the school immunisation programme and hope more of our young people will take up the opportunity to protect themselves.”

FULL MMR 22 from Tom Freeman on Vimeo.

MMR As-live from Tom Freeman on Vimeo.

Miners Convictions Campaign

originally produced for Edinburgh Napier News

Holyrood rejects calls for Miner’s strike Policing inquiry

Campaigners today vowed to fight on after their calls for a Hillborough-style inquiry into the policing of the 1984 and 85 miners strike was rejected by the Scottish Government.

Ministers were also told they had a “moral duty” to review the convictions of nearly 500 Scottish miners, but community safety minister Roseanna Cunningham insisted that she did not have powers to quash convictions.

The highly charged member’s debate was spearheaded by Lothians MSP Neil Findlay (Labour), who remains determined that the campaign will carry on.

Miners.02 from Tom Freeman on Vimeo.

A BBC documentary into events at the Orgreave coking plant in Yorkshire during strike last year prompted South Yorkshire Police to refer itself to the Police Complaints Commissioner for England. Now Findlay has called for the Scottish Government to launch a similar inquiry in police practice north of the border.

“Disappointed that the minister did not agree to have a review, but the campaign goes on.” He said.

Continue reading

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

Salmond: Teacher Strike is “premature”

Today in parliament Alex Salmond praised Scottish teachers,
but refused to bow to impending strike action.
Teachers have responded by accusing the First Minister of ‘serving platitudes’.

Last week members of Scotland’s largest teaching union voted overwhelmingly to join other public sector workers in a national day of strike action on the 30th November. Salmond used first ministers questions today to praise the work of teachers. “I bow down to no-one who doesn’t recognise the contribution of Scottish teachers to Scottish Education” he said. But he also claimed that any move toward strike action was ‘premature’

“I’m a supply teacher. Our pay has been slashed already” said Scottish teacher Donna McGlynn, “but this strike is even bigger. It’s about pensions and it’s about the loss of McCrone time, meaning teachers will work more hours for less pay. It’s been over 20 years since teachers went on strike. Alex Salmond should see that we don’t do things like this lightly. It’s just platitudes. He has to see the severity of what’s going on in our profession. All these proposed changes will have a severe impact on our children’s futures, the education of generations. It’s a pebble dropped in a pond, but I fear the ripple effect.”

EIS general secretary Ronnie Smith said that the 82% vote in favour of industrial action showed “The patience of teachers and lecturers has been exhausted. Faced with a wide ranging attack on their pensions, on top of a two-year pay freeze, rampant inflation and education budget cuts, our members are signalling that ‘enough is enough’.”

Salmond also accused the Westminster Government of “Poisoning the atmosphere with regard to public sector workers” but vowed that they would get fairer conditions in an independent Scotland.