Scottish independence: A civilised debate?

Concerns over the nature and quality of the Scottish referendum debate have been thrust into the spotlight in the wake of the online abuse directed at author JK Rowling and carers' rights campaigner Clare Lally.

Ms Rowling was described as a "bitch" and Ms Lally a "liar, a quisling and a collaborator" on Twitter after both gave their support to the pro-UK Better Together campaign.

It followed Better Together head Alistair Darling's recent interview with the New Statesman magazine, in which he likened Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.

So how does all of that fit with the recent claim by the presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, Tricia Marwick, that the independence debate was an "inspiration to countries throughout the world"?

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JK Rowling tweet Ms Rowling was abused on Twitter donating £1m to Better Together
Anti-social media

The recent online attacks on JK Rowling and Clare Lally have perhaps become the most the most high-profile examples of online trolls on one side of the debate targeting supporters of the other side.

Ms Rowling's donation of £1m to the pro-UK Better Together campaign led to her being described as a "bitch" in a tweet by the Dignity Project charity, which carries out work to improve the lives of children in Africa. The charity later claimed its account had been "hacked".

And Ms Lally, who has a disabled daughter, said she was targeted by so-called "cybernats" after she spoke at a Better Together rally on Monday.

There have also been calls on Twitter for boycotts of businesses that have come out against independence, which has led the pro-UK side to argue that the nationalists were attempting to "shut down debate".

But supporters of the union have also been responsible for directing personal abuse at prominent nationalist figures.

On Wednesday, for example, a man was fined in court for sending an abusive message on Facebook to David Kerr, a former BBC Scotland journalist and SNP candidate for the Scottish Parliament.

And the unflattering language has not been confined to social media, with Better Together head Alistair Darling last week comparing Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il in an interview with the New Statesman

Mr Darling was also accused by pro-independence supporters of appearing to agree that the SNP was guilty of "blood-and-soil" nationalism - a term that has become associated with Nazi Germany. Mr Darling denies the claim.

And in April, lottery winners Colin and Chris Weir - who have donated more than £5m of their £161m jackpot to the independence movement - said they had been "smeared" by an article published in the Scottish Daily Mail newspaper.

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town hall meeting The referendum debate has seen the return of old-fashioned town hall politics to Scotland

The issue of online trolling, as upsetting as it is for its victims, is hardly confined to Scotland. Search Twitter for the name of virtually any high-profile public figure and the chances are someone somewhere will have have written something nasty about them.

And it must be remembered that not everyone on Twitter is spouting abuse - after JK Rowling announced her donation to Better Together, several nationalists defended the author's right to get involved in the debate and criticised the abuse she was receiving.

But what is remarkable about the independence debate is how the bile and venom which is too often found online has failed to spill over into the streets.

The referendum campaign has seen grassroots political activity rise to a level that not been seen in Scotland for decades, with hundreds of meetings and debates held in halls and community centres the length and breadth of the country.

But there have been very few reports of trouble, with the small number of mass rallies or protests that have been held also passing off without any disorder.

When hundreds of nationalist activists recently gathered in Glasgow to protest about perceived BBC bias in the referendum campaign, for example, they stood with their hands over their mouths in a silent protest.

And when tens of thousands took part in the annual Rally For Independence in Edinburgh last year, they covered their faces with nothing more sinister than face paint and smiles.

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pro-independence protest in Barcelona Many Catalans are envious of the Edinburgh Agreement, which committed both the UK and Scottish governments to respecting the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum
Seeing ourselves as others see us

While many Scots caught up in the midst of the referendum campaign may despair at some of the things they see and hear, it seems the debate is being seen in a much more flattering light from further afield.

Earlier this year, Catalan President Artur Mas admitted he was "jealous" of what was happening in Scotland.

He pointed out that the Scottish referendum was taking place with the full support and agreement of both sides, while the Spanish government was refusing to accept the legitimacy of a similar vote in Catalonia.

And in May, former Northern Irish First Minister Lord Trimble told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that a "Yes vote in Scotland would reinforce the argument against violence because it's a demonstration of how you can achieve major change through the political democratic process".

Foreign journalists covering the Scottish referendum have also commented on the peaceful nature of the debate, with Indian reporter Dilip D'Souza asking: "Can we learn from Scotland and the UK? As far as I can tell, the question of Scottish independence has always only been debated politically. No British military presence on the streets of Edinburgh and Glasgow, certainly. No hostile face-off with a neighbour".

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generic handshake Politicians on both sides have stressed the importance of putting differences aside after the referendum

A nation divided?

The online abuse and polarised debate has led several commentators to ponder whether Scotland will be left badly divided after the referendum.

But the Edinburgh Agreement, which was signed by both Mr Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron last year, commits both sides to respecting the outcome of the referendum and working together in the best interests of the Scottish people.

Senior figures on either side of the argument have already stressed the need for reconciliation after 18 September.

And the Church of Scotland has said it will hold a special "healing" service in Edinburgh on the Sunday following the referendum, with politicians from both sides expected to attend in a symbolic display of unity and respect.

As Ms Marwick pointed out in a recent BBC interview: "In 1979 when Scotland voted for an assembly and it was denied, people came together.

"In 1997 there were Conservatives who were passionately opposed to the creation of a Scottish Parliament. The coming together that we saw after both of these referendums, we will see again. I am absolutely confident of that."

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Scotland Live

    14:09: Fire Festival

    The end of summer and start of winter is being marked later with a huge Celtic fire festival in Edinburgh.

    The Samhuinn Fire Festival will feature ancient Celtic traditions, fire, drumming and acrobatics combined with pyrotechnics and martial arts.

    Samhuinn Fire Festival

    The event, held in Edinburgh every Halloween night to mark the turning of the seasons, will have space for more spectators on a new bigger route. It starts at 21:00 from the High Street and finishes at The Mound.

    14:03: Positive Signeul

    Head coach Anna Signeul has vowed to stay on and lead Scotland to the next European Championship finals despite suffering World Cup disappointment.

    Her side lost 2-0 in Rotterdam as the Netherlands completed a 4-1 aggregate victory in their play-off.

    Anna Signeul

    "Absolutely," the Swede replied when asked if she would remain in post.

    "We will qualify for the Euros in two years' time, that's for sure. We are disappointed, but when you see steady progress, we should be confident."

  3. 13:52: Your Pictures

    You have sent is some great pictures this week of Scotland, including this image by Benjy Boyle of Mandarin ducks on the River Leven near Balloch.

    Mandarin ducks on the River Leven near Balloch.

    Here is a selection of some of Your Pictures.

    13:51: Magnusson auction

    An auction of items owned by Magnus Magnusson, former presenter of Mastermind, is being held to raise money for charity.

    Author and journalist Mr Magnusson presented the BBC quiz show for 25 years. He died in January 2007.

    Magnus Magnusson

    A sale of books and an auction of his belongings will be held on 14 and 15 November in East Dunbartonshire, where Mr Magnusson lived.

    Proceeds will go to The Balmore Trust, a fair trade charity.

    13:45: 'Babies Ashes Scandal' Steven Godden BBC Scotland

    Eleven new families whose infants were cremated at Mortonhall crematorium in Edinburgh have registered their cases with Dame Elish Angiolini's National Cremation Investigation.

    The former Lord Advocate is also investigating a number of new cases brought forward from elsewhere in Scotland. The national investigation was announced in June following the publication of Lord Bonomy's report into infant cremation which recommended an urgent review of practices.

    The so-called "Babies Ashes Scandal" first emerged at Mortonhall where more than 250 families discovered their children's remains had been disposed of without their knowledge.

    13:25: Rapist could have personality disorder

    A man convicted of raping two women is to be assessed to determine whether he has a personality disorder.

    Andrew Peters, 33, was found guilty by a jury last year of raping the women who were 48 and 27 at his then home in Inverness. He had denied the charges.

    The High Court in Glasgow has heard that he requires further treatment and investigation before he can be sentenced. He is being held in the state hospital.

    13:18: STUC wants tax devolution

    The Scottish Trades Union Congress has called for major new powers for the Scottish Parliament.

    In a submission to the Smith Commission on devolution, the STUC said there should be full devolution of income tax and many welfare benefits.

    It also called for MSPs to have the ability to set a distinctive policy on immigration and asylum.

    13:08: Sarwar's promise

    Anas Sarwar has said the No campaign won the independence referendum "because of our Labour values, not despite them".

    Mr Sarwar has released another statement following his decision to resign as deputy leader of the Scottish Labour party.

    Anas Sarwar

    He added: "I make this promise to you - we will go forward from here emboldened. That we will come through the other side of this process more unified in purpose, more confident of our argument and stronger in will than we have ever been.

    "I will be playing my full part in helping to elect a Labour Government and Ed Miliband as our next Prime Minister. Let's start the job of changing our country."

    12:51: 32 arrests over referendum

    Police have now arrested 32 people over trouble in Glasgow on the day the referendum result was announced.

    The figure was revealed by Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House at a meeting of the Scottish Police Authority on Thursday.

    referendum protest

    He said officers at the gathering on 19 September faced a "difficult event".

    There were scenes of disorder when a group who appeared to be pro-Union supporters arrived and began to taunt Yes campaigners who had gathered there.

    12:42: Affordable housing

    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has highlighted the Scottish Government's investment in affordable housing ahead of a visit to Dumfries.

    She will address a rally of new SNP party members in the town.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Ms Sturgeon said Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership's 20-home complex in Troqueer was a prime example of the type of scheme they wanted to see.

    12:28: Friday feeling Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    We have all been there. A party where despite the best efforts of the DJ, the dance floor remains empty. Well, now those in charge of the tunes can guarantee to fill the floor following a new survey for Musicguard.

    It seems I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers tops the poll in Scotland to get you dancing, while Abba's Dancing Queen is the favourite across the UK.

    The Proclaimers "I'm Gonna Be" on that dancefloor in a second...

    And the tune guaranteed to make even the most enthusiastic mover take a seat - Agadoo by Black Lace.

    What is your favourite song to hear at a party? Email us or text 80295.

    12:10: Airport plan takes flight

    A long-term vision has been set out for Prestwick Airport - a year after it was taken into public ownership amid fears it could close.

    A 53-page report has highlighted efforts to boost freight and passenger numbers as key drivers of success.

    Prestwick Airport

    The business review document also places importance on Prestwick's bid to become the UK's first spaceport.

    The Scottish government bought the struggling airport for £1 last year and later announced £10m in loan funding.

    Text 80295 12:02: Halloween - Your Views

    Craig in Fife: Re guysing/trick or treating. When I was wee Halloween was trick or treating, Guy Faulks night was "guysing" where you make a "guy" and wheel it round the doors collecting money and sweets for your efforts i.e. "penny for the guy", we used to hand the money collected to the collection for the village fireworks.

    Hector, Fife: When I was a boy in the 50s nobody bought neeps at Halloween as there were thousands growing in nearby fields!

    Aileen: When my kids were small I always did a tumshie lantern for them, also as a primary teacher did one to take in to my class. I don't mind pumpkins too much. They are big and pretty. What I simply can't abide is the taking on of the horrible American custom of 'trick or treat'. Bring back our OWN custom of guising. In this, children did not expect something for nothing nor to go out prepared to take vengeance on a neighbour with a spiteful (even dangerous) trick. ;-(

    11:53: Mackintosh fundraiser

    One of Scotland's most popular artists has launched a calendar to raise money to help restore Glasgow School of Art's iconic Mackintosh building.

    John Lowrie Morrison OBE, known as "Jolomo", will donate all royalties from the his calendar to the Mackintosh Appeal, set up after the building was badly damaged by fire in May.

    John Lowrie Morrison

    John was a student at Glasgow School of Art from 1967 until 1972.

    11:40: No Sharp for Scotland Kheredine Idessane BBC Scotland

    Team Scotland returns to the track in Glasgow in the new year, but it will not include Commonwealth Games silver medallist Lynsey Sharp.

    Lynsey Sharp

    The 800m runner has told BBC Scotland she has no plans to do an indoor season.

    Team Scotland will compete against Team GB, Germany and France at Glasgow's Emirates Arena in the annual event, on Saturday 24 January.

    11:29: Dress to impress

    One woman's fashion collection has found its way into the National Museum of Scotland, discovers BBC Scotland's arts correspondent Pauline McLean.

    Margaret Coltman was an air stewardess from Renfrewshire, who, when she wasn't travelling the world, was shopping.

    Margaret Coltman's dress

    Her particular passion was for designer dresses and over several decades she amassed a collection which would thrill any fashion historian.

    11:18: Rugby League

    Scotland centre Joe Wardle believes his side can create history by beating France to win Rugby League's European Championship for the first time.

    Joe Wardle

    The match, at Netherdale in Galashiels, kicks off tonight at 19:30.

    11:08: SNP by-election victory

    The Scottish National Party has won a by-election held on Thursday for North Ayrshire Council.

    Grace McLean retained the North Coast and Cumbraes ward for the SNP with 2,021 votes.

    Independent Drew Cochrane was second with 1,190, Conservative Toni Dawson came third with 1,125, followed by Labour's Valerie Reid on 691 and UKIP's Meilan Henderson on 192.

    The by-election was held following the death of SNP councillor Alex McLean.

  19. 11:03: Scottish Labour shake-up - Your Views

    James Martin, Glasgow: All I ask is for Labour MPs, MSPs and MEPs to tell me: what is the purpose of the party, what will you do for Scotland, how and when? The fact Labour do not answer these questions but use every answer to bemoan the SNP or Tories is beyond pathetic. Talking down the other side but not giving a solution yourself is not going to get votes.

    Sinclair, Falkirk: If the polls are anything to go by, as a party with little support, why are Scottish Labour getting so much coverage?

    10:57: Smith Commission

    Today is the final day for members of the public to submit their comments to the Smith Commission on what further powers should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, following the independence referendum.

    The deadline is 17:00.

    10:46: War medal returned

    A World War One medal discovered down a well has been handed over to the family of the soldier who received it, reports Jackie O'Brien.

    William Hogg
    10:39: St Johnstone vs Motherwell

    Tonight, at 19:45, St Johnstone will be hoping to get over the disappointment of the midweek loss to Rangers in the League Cup.

    The Perth side take on struggling Motherwell in the Premiership.

    St Johnstone vs Motherwell

    You can listen to the match from McDiarmid Park on Radio Scotland, with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

    10:22: What's on the back pages?

    The latest on Rangers and Mike Ashley, and Celtic and Tonev. Meanwhile, Edinburgh Rugby make one man's day as the team are hit by a spate of injuries.

    Ibrox Stadium

    Read the sports gossip here.

    10:15: McGill's safeguard jobs

    A bus company run by Rangers directors James and Sandy Easdale says it has safeguarded jobs at another bus firm which is understood to have ceased trading.

    McGill's Buses said it has taken over 13 contracts previously run by Henderson Travel.


    It's in talks with the 120 or so Henderson Travel bus drivers and is offering them employment.

    Hamilton-based Henderson Travel runs services in the west of Scotland, and the Lanarkshire area in particular.

    Text 80295 09:59: Scottish Labour shake-up - Your Views

    Anon: Labour will never recover in Scotland because they are not listening to Scottish people. Jim Murphy, if elected, will reinforce WM control of the Scottish party. Is that going to woo Scottish voters - I think not.

    Ian Lyall: I've voted Labour all my life, but am now an SNP member... why has it taken umpteen years of Labour dominance in Scotland for them to suddenly waken up and promise the earth? They've had years to implement what they now advocate, why? Westminster is not the answer, and as for that arrogant Labour speaker!

    I Smith, Largs: People seem to not be able to differentiate between politics and the referendum. The referendum wasn't about party politics it was about staying in the UK or choosing to be independent. So it was perfectly sensible that all politicians, regardless of their party, were canvassing during the referendum.

    09:49: Sarwar analysis Glenn Campbell BBC Scotland news

    Anas Sarwar believes his decision to create a contest for the post of deputy Labour leader in Scotland is in the "best interests" of his party.

    It also removes a potential problem for Jim Murphy's campaign to replace Johann Lamont as leader.

    Anas Sarwar, Gordon Brown and Johann Lamont

    Some would have been reluctant to back an MP for the top job, while the deputy is also a member of the UK parliament.

    That combination would have left Labour without an elected leader at Holyrood until Mr Murphy was able to secure a seat.

    Now it will be possible for MSPs, MPs and even MEPs to compete for the deputy leadership.

    Some of those backing MSPs Sarah Boyack or Neil Findlay for leader might prefer a deputy from outside the Scottish Parliament, especially given that the next big electoral test is a UK general election.

    @bbctennis 09:43: Murray watch

    BBC Tennis tweets: Murray. Djokovic. Paris. Live tonight on @BBC5LSX and @BBCSport website. From around 6.30.

    Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray

    Andy Murray, who booked his place at the ATP World Tour Finals with victory over Grigor Dimitrov at the Paris Masters, faces world number one Novak Djokovic in the last-eight later.

    Text 80295 09:38: Scottish Labour shake-up - Your Views

    I Smith, Largs: Why are all the 'supposed' ills of Scotland being blamed on the Labour Party? Who has been in power in Scotland for years? The SNP who can't accept they lost in the referendum.

    Sean from Edinburgh: Surely Jim Murphy will need a current MSP with a very large majority to step aside to ensure he has any chance of getting to Holyrood if recent polls are anything to go by?

    Kenny, Lanark: I think Labour will only rise again if they can show that they prioritise Scotland. For example, go a lot further for their devolution proposals, stick up for Scotland's position of being dragged out of Europe etc, instead of playing politics with the priorities of Scotland.

    09:30: Findlay's pitch

    Neil Findlay MSP said he would commit to "full employment", and said the living wage "should become the norm".

    Neil Findlay MSP

    Speaking about his bid to become leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Mr Findlay wants to focus on social care, describing it "as the biggest crisis in our country at the moment and it is being completely ignored by the Scottish Government".

    Mr Findlay described the latest polls by Ipsos Mori for STV and YouGov for The Times - which suggest the SNP could have many more MPs in Scotland than Labour after the general election, as "pretty dreadful".

    "I don't think we should pretend that they are not," added the Scottish Labour leadership contender. "That requires a political response. It requires us to have policies that people recognise, and recognise as Labour, and we are addressing their issues.

    "If we don't have that political response, then we are going to be in trouble."

    09:24: Dugdale for deputy leader?

    James Matthews, Sky News Scotland Bureau Chief, tweets: I expect @kdugdalemsp to stand for dep leadership of Scot Labour. Wouldn't be a big surprise if she was the only candidate

    09:15: Boyack's leadership bid

    Sarah Boyack will focus on "social, environmental and economic justice", should she become the leader of Scottish Labour, and will work on issues such as pay day loan companies, inequalities in housing, and fuel poverty.

    Sarah Boyack

    Ms Boyack adds: "In the debate over the next few weeks, the party members are going to be choosing who they think is the best person to lead the Labour Party and also the best political platform."

    09:07: RBS probe

    Royal Bank of Scotland has set aside £400m to cover potential costs from an investigation into alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange market.


    The provision, revealed in its third quarter results, follows Barclays' decision to set aside £500m.

    Pre-tax profit at RBS came in at £1.27bn - up £260m on the previous quarter and far better than the £634m loss in the same period last year.

    08:55: Marra won't stand

    Labour's North East Scotland MSP Jenny Marra has announced she will not stand for the deputy leader position.

    "No, I'm not standing," she told BBC Radio Scotland's Morning Call.

    "I think there are going to be six candidates in the field and I'm looking forward to supporting one of them.

    Jenny Marra

    "I'm hoping that Kezia Dugdale decides to stand for the deputy leadership. I think she has many qualities that would be of great advantage to the Labour Party and the country at large.

    "Jim Murphy is standing, as you know, for the leadership and I'm co-chairing his campaign; I think he's got great qualities to bring to that as well."

    08:52: Tributes to Sarwar

    Two MSPs in the Labour leadership contest have paid tribute to the work of Anas Sarwar, who has resigned as the deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

    Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack made the comments on Good Morning Scotland, and also disagreed with a suggestion that Mr Sarwar, an MP, resigned to allow Jim Murphy MP to win the leadership contest and have a MSP as his deputy in Holyrood.

    08:50: Tune in Morning Call's Kaye Adams

    With the Labour Party currently searching for a new leader in Scotland, a new poll suggests Scottish Labour would face political annihilation if there was a general election tomorrow. Can Scottish Labour come back from the dead?

    Meanwhile, a 75-year-old woman who had £10,000 worth of jewellery stolen from her house has given £20 to the burglar who wrote her an apology letter.

    If you're a victim of crime, would you forgive the perpetrator?

    The lines are open 0500 92 95 00 or text 80295.

    You can listen live to the programme here.

    08:45: Why do we love a good scare?

    'In Edinburgh, it's nigh on impossible to walk down the Royal Mile without bumping into a ghost walk or a Burke & Hare tour. Our appetite for gore is seemingly insatiable.'

    Edinburgh witch tour

    The BBC's Business Reporter Elizabeth Hotson explores the lure of Edinburgh's 'dark tourism'.

    08:38: Glencoe fundraiser

    A competition to be held on indoor climbing walls on Saturday will raise money for Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team.

    mountain rescue

    The team has been trying to raise £50,000 for an extension to its base in Glencoe village to provide a new secure store for members' equipment after the team's store was broken into and kit was stolen last year.

    Up to 60 of the UK's top climbers are expected to contest the Scottish Mixed Masters competition at the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven.

    08:29: Halloween - Get Involved

    Are you heading out to a Halloween party tonight? Costume sorted? Any Halloween pictures or fashion own ghouls you'd like to share?

    Tweet using #ScotlandLive, email here or text a scary tale to 80295.

    08:26: Paranormal festival

    Happy Halloween everyone.

    They are certainly getting into the spirit in Stirling as Scotland's first festival of the paranormal gets under way.

    Paranormal festival in Stirling

    The weekend event features talks and workshops on ghosts, UFOs and aliens, with academics, enthusiasts and declared sceptics taking part.

    @LadyM_McManus 08:25: Halloween pictures

    Michelle McManus tweets: Happy Halloween all.

    Michelle McManus
    08:22: Today's papers

    It is all about Labour on the front pages of today's newspapers.

    The leadership bid of Jim Murphy, the resignation of Anas Sarwar, and the STV poll predicting a General Election meltdown are amongst the key topics explored by The Herald, The Scotsman and the Scottish Daily Mail.

    The Herald and the Scotsman

    Read all the latest in our Scottish newspaper review.

    08:19: Scottish Labour shake-up

    Scottish Labour is seeking both a new leader and a new deputy leader following the resignation of Anas Sarwar.

    The Glasgow Central MP announced on Thursday evening that he was standing down from his deputy role.

    Anas Sarwar

    He is currently interim leader of the party following Johann's Lamont departure and will remain in that role until her replacement is announced.

    Contests for the leadership and deputy leadership will run concurrently.

    Mr Sarwar's resignation came after fellow MP Jim Murphy announced he was entering the leadership race against Lothian MSPs Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack.

    08:14: World Cup hopes dashed

    It was sadly not to be for Scotland's Women as they were defeated 2-0 by the Netherlands in the World Cup play-off semi-final second leg in Rotterdam.

    Scotland vs Netherlands

    Read Cheri Burns's match report on a disappointing end to the qualifying campaign for Anna Signeul's side.

    08:09: Appeal over missing botanist

    The father of a botanist from Argyll who went missing in Vietnam a year ago has appealed for anyone with any information to come forward.

    Jamie Taggart, from the Linn Botanic Gardens at Cove on the Rosneath peninsula, was on a plant hunting expedition near the border with China.

    Missing poster

    Dr Jim Taggart said it would take "very freak circumstances" for his son to be found alive.

    But he said "someone, somewhere must know something" about what happened.

    The 41-year-old retained fire fighter was travelling by himself, on hired motorbike taxis.

    08:05: Weather update BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Hello, Gillian here. Exceptionally mild this am. Cloudy, with rain in W Isles & west coast. Some brighter spells later, especially NE & Lothians. 15-18C. Rain in West will pep up and spread East this evening, so a wet spell for guisers. It clears through the early hours. 7C. Happy Halloween!

    08:03: Miliband concedes Labour faces 'challenge'

    Ed Miliband admits that Labour faces a "big challenge" in Scotland as the process of finding a new Scottish leader continues.

    He was interviewed as he prepared to appear at a Labour function in Glasgow.

    Labour leader Ed Miliband

    Mr Miliband told the BBC he would work closely with whoever was elected as Scottish Labour leader.

    During Mr Miliband's visit to Scotland, two opinion polls were published which indicated a dramatic fall in Labour's Scottish support.

    The polls, by Ipsos/Mori for STV and by YouGov for The Times, suggested the SNP could have many more MPs in Scotland than Labour after the general election.

    08:00: Welcome Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    It's Friday and the latest instalment of Scotland Live as we bring you a comprehensive round up of the latest news, sport, travel and weather between now and 18:00.



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