Thursday, 3 March 2016

SCOTS LANGUAGE & the British class structure

Letter Re John Woods letter National
Woods letter on the British class structure on our language is very telling. 'Principled Objection to the project of promoting Scots'. 

I lived aboard many years and on my return I particularly noticed the hierarchy in the UK with the Queen at the top - that appears to pervade and influence many aspects of society here. In Britain people attempt to determine where you are on this hierarchy by evaluating your accent. This is a top down, out-dated, elitist attitude that helps no one.

It used to be the UK news presenters all talked in a clipped Oxford English. Thankfully things have improved, and for example, the Glaswegian presenter Lorraine Kelly has achieved success with her Scottish accent - even though she was offered ways to tone down her Scottishness!  This hierarchy attitude stifles a country, when this tiny elite holds all the privilege and power. Of course the Old Money and Elite are against any change of any kind and actively work to prevent social mobility. 

Wood claims also that Scottish Independence is simply about a different kind of capitalism. I don't agree with this at all. Nicola Sturgeon and other SNP members - and also many of the great Scottish writers and artists - come from ordinary backgrounds and they work to encourage grassroots debate and social mobility. They attended their local state schools and therefore they also understand all walks of life.

By contrast the Eton elite in Westminster have none of this understanding and actively work against improving outcomes for the poorest and disadvantaged in society. The only change they want to see is towards greater wealth for their rich pals and the means to encourage this. 

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year!

Hi all,
Hope you are all well. Where does time go??

I've had a busy year - a bit of a rollercoaster with ups and down too - with kids passing final consultant exams which is good, and with loosing people which is not so good.  Plans for next year look good with my older son planning to move back to Edinburgh and my sister there now too. . A  year too of engagements and then weddings to look forward to in 2016.  

The Scottish referendum has meant a reawakening of political engagement here - with the disenfranchised, sometimes for the first time, feeling that their voices can make a difference.

I continue to enjoy my photography while devoting more of my time to writing. Writing however takes a great deal of time to get right.

I have a large archive of Photos on my site which are available to license and buy -

My Scottish Arts & Music Blog - PKImage musicfootnotes  continues to have good interest.  I expanded from doing mainly music into covering different aspects of Scottish arts, history and stories - 

I am looking forward now to Celtic Connections 2016 which brightens up the cold January nights. It gets better every year with many artists coming from across the world and highly unique collaborations.   

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! to all those who come over and read my blog and post on the Scottish Arts and Music Facebook page. Scotland has seen yet another year of a vibrant cultural scene. In fact Scottish culture has been having a revival alongside our stronger Scottish voices... Music and art continue to inspire me....Hoping 2016 brings some peace and sanity to all those who feel disenfranchised  : ))

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Scottish Arts and Music Blogger and portrait photographer

Pauline Keightley, Scottish Arts and Music Blogger and portrait photographer, Glasgow since 2007 

I have been shooting concerts in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, London, since 2007 - of traditional folk musicians, emerging contemporary talent and established major musicians such as Elton John and Fleetwood Mac,  I began shooting music in 2006 and received good feedback on my work. I took images of the singer songwriter Emeli Sande in 2007, five years before her UK break through album 'Our Version of Events' when I took photos at her Royal Albert hall gig. My images were used for her promotions. Sande sang at the London Olympic Opening ceremony 2012.  I also enjoy the photo-shoots of  authors at Edinburgh book festival. My images have been published in media that include – Daily Mail, Financial Times, The List, The Sun, BBC, News Group Newspapers Limited.

My photography is about creative & alternative style, natural light, composition and photo journalism. I aim to mix the old with the new and capture moods such as quiet moments of inner reflection.
My work has included Celtic Connections, Edinburgh Festival, Scottish Ballet, Manchester Jazz Festival (MJF), major concerts and artist promotions**. 

I have a large archive of images on my website – if you wish to license any for use please get in touch or to discuss commissions. Thanks . -

I also began blogging in 2007, mostly with music reviews. I then expanded into all the Scottish arts and music. You can contact on my Scottish arts ad music facebook page.  I grew up in Edinburgh and I live north of Glasgow now (and 10 years in America) which I hope gives me some unique perspectives.  

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Photography and Writing March 2015

I am still challenged by photography and I enjoy it a great deal. I am also keen to develop my writing. 

While I love art, I love writing equally as much. It is odd finishing working on a book. It seems like it may have nearly reached a point it is ready to be let go - while it is sad as it becomes part of who you are and sometimes new ideas keep coming and so it never feels really finished...?   

*MUSIC this year at Celtic Connections 2015
Celtic Connections folk festival was better than ever and I attended some incredible concerts this year –
The awesome Opening Concert Nae Regrets - We were treated to an outstanding opening concert!  Highly innovative. Multi-talented, multi-layered orchestra. Put a smile on my face -The Martin Bennett epic one off opening concert conducted by Greg Lawson, 
The Craig Armstrong concert of his film music with full orchestra was incredible - he wrote music for Romeo and Juliet and the Great Gatsby and more. The Punch Brothers were delightful with their high tempo banjos, quality acapella vocal harmonies. The concert for the life-affirming songs of folk revivalist Ewan MacColl, with Martin Carthy, Jarvis Cocker and Paul Buchanan. On top of all this it was a huge treat to hear live the powerhouse voice and music of legend Van Morrison. Mind-blowing. And not to forget the perfect concert with the Transatlantic band. 

I continue to take my camera everywhere and it is part of who I am..... 

I have revamped my photography website recently to include a Women Musicians gallery -

Organization is key perhaps!!?  

'There is no luck in photography - it is all timing, observation, experience and cunning.'  (Snowdon) 

Thursday, 4 December 2014

New Powers: SMITH Commission

Westminster, or Labour, claim they are now passing the buck to Holyrood and claim they are giving Scotland extensive NEW powers - when actually they are keeping the bucks firmly in London control. This new control of income tax for Holyrood actually means that 70% of Scottish taxes remain firmly with Westminster. 

Apparently once the Westminster parties spoke with their Heads in London numerous parts of the Smith Commission were scrapped.  Yet another stitch up for Scotland  - and with the guarantors of the VOW - both Brown and Alistair Darling, now set to retire. 

The ONLY move Holyrood can make now is to decrease Income tax rates in Scotland to attract tax payers here.  We cant' afford to loose tax payers venturing south where all the infrastructure and investment occurs.  They have set a fiscal trap for us. The tax and spend polices of the left gets no one anywhere.

Perhaps the Tories hope to kill social democracy dead in Scotland - but I think its roots are too deep here - in both our history and song. 

We need real economic powers to reverse the relentless over-centralizing to further prevent decline and harsh poverty in Scotland. 
Northern Ireland is about  to get control of its corporation tax - they also have a veto if England votes to leave Europe.   

As those in London moan about any Mansion tax - they should consider that 80% of the houses that would pay Mansion House tax are in London!!  How odd is that.  The best way it seems to solve these problems are to de-centralize the UK and less of the investment is centralized  - and instead invest in the rUK.