GLOBAL condemnation of civilian massacres has not prevented more horrors being unleashed on Gaza, showing the Israeli government’s contempt for international pressure to avoid non-combatant casualties.

Advocates for peace must lobby strenuously for a negotiated two-states solution: military ‘victory’ isn’t possible and Scotland’s call for a permanent ceasefire in this madness must be redirected to both sides. Neither can ‘win’.

After Dubai’s COP28 climate conference, November 30 might be remembered as the date when the ‘loss and damage fund’ was finally approved: rich countries pledged millions of dollars in aid for poorer countries which do least to increase global warming but suffer most from climate change impacts.

COP28 outcomes are still to be agreed but a major declaration on the impact on greenhouse gases of food and agriculture shows more urgency as the world “lives through climate collapse in real time”, according to the UN Secretary General. COP28 also held its first ever ‘health day’ examining negative impacts of climate change on human health.

I’ve said previously that even in East Lothian’s safe and prosperous county, what our farmers grow and what we eat and consume, and what energy we use, impacts climate change and affects our health.

Local sustainability activists have long championed the planet and county infrastructure – such as East Linton station, opening soon – will bring further benefits, reducing car travel. November 30 was also the day we celebrated St Andrew, our patron saint shared with Greece. Cradle of both democracy and classical culture, Greek ideas transformed Europe, with Enlightenment Edinburgh being named ‘the Athens of the north’.

Denying Greece their symbols of national identity showed Rishi Sunak just as deaf to public opinion, as did Keir Starmer’s praise for Thatcherite policies that devastated Scotland.

A Scottish lord forcibly removed the Parthenon marbles to ‘save’ them – but for whom, if not for the Greek people? Identity is similarly embedded in the ancient Stone of Scone (or Destiny), throne of Scottish kings.

Even King Charles’s tie, embellished with the Greek flag, conveyed a coded message: send the sculptures home.