LAST week, Holyrood Topical Questions prompted an update on how the Scottish Government is managing urgent safety measures relating to the unstable and crumbling concrete known as RAAC.

One East Lothian case at Preston Lodge High School, identified last term before Westminster publicly acknowledged the problem, is already being remedied.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, cabinet secretary for social justice, told her fellow MSPs that the Scottish Government has been taking action on RAAC for over a year, and local authorities are ensuring mitigation is in place.

In July 2022, Scottish Government officials contacted heads of property services and the Association of Directors of Education. Information on RAAC was shared and work has been ongoing. The government expects risk assessments to be carried out where RAAC is confirmed, and mitigation will follow current guidance from the expert Institution of Structural Engineers.

East Lothian Courier: Preston Lodge High School has been impacted by RAACPreston Lodge High School has been impacted by RAAC

Parents, pupils and school staff have legitimate concerns about safety; it was therefore astounding to hear UK education secretary Gillian Keegan tell Channel 4 News that “a school can collapse for many reasons”.

Ms Keegan’s casual comment is testimony to 13 years of Tory catastrophic misjudgment, austerity and underinvestment, and a weak Labour opposition’s failure to hold Tory governments to account.

As a lifelong supporter of European reconciliation and co-operation, I found heartening the display of enthusiasm for the EU in the normally jingoistic setting of the Last Night of the Proms.

Co-ordinated by pro-EU campaigners, including aptly named music lovers under the banner Thank EU for the Music, the EU hats, flags and banners were prominently and cheerfully waved during Land of Hope and Glory.

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Support for the EU is prompted by the destructive impact of Brexit on musicians, the concert itself a celebration of diversity and European heritage; even ‘Britannia’ was a statuesque Norwegian soprano.

Brexiteers reacted with fury, calling for an investigation by the BBC. The anti-Brexit campaigners defended their actions – which did not disrupt the performances – as democracy in action.

Musicians – like scientists – see Brexit as a disaster. Shared European culture – and solidarity – are to be celebrated.