Prostitution is not a career choice, it's exploitation, abuse and violence.. it's slavery

“WITHOUT punters, there would be no prostitutes” – these are the words of a woman who survived prostitution.

She was speaking about supply and demand at the Unite trade union conference.

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How old Auntie Beeb turned anti-democracy

HE IS one of our most ­accomplished actors, so it’s no surprise Peter Mullan says he “owes everything” to the BBC.

But this week the star of Harry Potter and Sunshine on Leith said his faith in the BBC was shaken by its “horrendous bias” during the independence referendum last year.

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Super-fast trains are on the wrong track for a united Britain

IT WAS once described, by a Labour minister, as the “union railway” that would bring Scotland, England and Wales closer together.

That was always a crazy claim – every study of the giddyingly expensive High Speed Two railway scheme says the biggest beneficiary by far is London and the south-east.

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Trident rebel William McNeilly fires direct hit on establishment

WILLIAM McNeilly is no longer on the run. It is possible he may face court martial. We will see.

He has already endured a verbal firing squad – from the British ­military establishment.

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Welcome to the weird world of Westminster

SCOTTISH Questions in the House of Commons was always a strange affair.

Old Tories who knew nothing about our country would use the occasion to take a pop at us.

All too frequently, they were joined by Labour MPs, who appeared to hate the SNP-run Scottish Government much more than the Conservative Westminster one.

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SNP is now more than a political party.. it is a mass movement that will speak for all the people of Scotland

Scotland has spoken. From the housing schemes of Glasgow to the leafy suburbs if Edinburgh, from John o' Groats to the Mull of Galloway, message has been resounding. We want change. We want an end to austerity. We want Scotland's voice to be heard.

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Keir Hardie would back the SNP if he were alive today

HOW would Keir Hardie vote if he was alive today?

Would the Scottish founder of the Labour Party be SNP? There’s certainly a strong case to be made.

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Why everyone has fallen in love with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

THE Sturgeon surge is sweeping everything in its political path. I suspect Nicolacannot quite believe it herself.

No one could ever accuse her of being flashy. Quite the opposite – she is a modest person who has achieved her position through old-fashioned diligence and hard work.

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Here's why the Eton elite fear a Scottish Westminster invasion

“PANIC on the streets of London,” is a famous line from a song by The Smiths.

Now it’s used to described the right-wing press overreaction to the SNP unstoppability.

Morrissey would no doubt approve – he backed a Yes vote last year.

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Cuts pledge sounds Labour's death knell

“THERE will be cuts”. This simple statement by Ed Balls should be written in blood.

Because it’s a death warrant for Labour in Scotland...

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'Leaked' memo shows Nicola Sturgeon has dirty tricks brigade running scared

THE leak was bad enough. The lie was even worse.

The French ambassador denied that Nicola Sturgeon told her that she preferred Cameron to Miliband.

So did her consul in Edinburgh, who had given a third-hand account of the meeting to a UK civil servant, who then put it in a memo.

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A child is a gift.. I'd give anything to do it all again

THERE is no such thing as an ex-mother. A child is forever and so is the bond you have with them – that’s what we celebrate this Sunday.

But for many “empty nesters”, the feeling of being an ex-mother, while absurd, is overwhelming.

So, this politics-free part of the column today is for them.

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A £4.6billion investment shows Trident is nowhere near dead in the water

IS Britain a democratic country? You might think the answer is obviously yes. We will all be heading out to vote in the general election in a few weeks after all.

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Scottish Labour in a state of fear and loathing

PANIC, according to Collins English Dictionary, is “a sudden strong feeling of fear that prevents reasonable thought and action”.

Medical definitions suggest this can result in “senseless, hysterical behaviour” often triggered by a sense of “impending doom”.

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Local councils do have the power.. they just don't use it

WHO do you trust more, your local council or the Scottish Parliament?

In my experience, the Parliament wins hands down. On a democratic mandate alone, elections attract more voters than councils, where turnout is under 40 per cent.

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SNP were clear they would never govern with Tories, Labour should do the same

IT WAS man bags at dawn as the big beasts of British politics started 2015 with an unconvincing square go.

Chancellor George Osborne claimed Labour will fail to axe enough public spending in government.

But Ed Balls, his Labour shadow, hit back – insisting he was ruthless with a hatchet too.

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Independence referendum made 2014 a turning point in our nation's history

IT was a year like no other.

That’s what the BBC Scotland radio jingle told us on the hour, every hour, in 2014.

I agree with the state broadcaster – for once.

The year we will ring out at midnight was unique in Scotland’s history.

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Glaswegians showed their compassion as horrific accident showed fragility of human life

THE Winter Solstice, when night is at its longest, took place on Sunday.

The real darkest day arrived when the lights went out in Glasgow on Monday.

The George Square illuminations remained switched on at the request of the emergency services, to help their vital work.

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Even Jim Murphy can't shake off the Scottish Labour cringe

THE new leader of Labour in ­Scotland says he will change the party’s constitution to make it more “patriotic”.

My immediate reaction was: “Didn’t we see enough Union Flags in George Square on September 19 this year? Scary…”

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Like it or loathe it, tax is key to our success

Blame Napoleon for income tax. It was first levied to fight him and was only supposed to be temporary – at least that’s what William Pitt the Younger promised back in 1798.

Needless to say Prime Minister Pitt broke his promise… some things never change.

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