The ﬁrst foray into book-publishing by Rebel Inc. has ended in a legal settlement this week. with the Edinburgh underground magazine forced to revise a short story collection for a second time.
After courting notoriety with the magazine and related publications. the latest twist has left Rebel Inc. with an expensive reprinting bill.
Just three weeks after entering the Scottish bestsellers list at number two. its debut Children Of Albion Rovers — a collection of six novellas by new Scottish writers — attracted unwanted the threat ofa libel suit.
The writ came from the ex-wife of Paul Reekie. one of the book’s contributors. Isabelle Munay was brieﬂy married to Reekie in the 80s
and is now city editor of The Sun newspaper. She argued strong resemblances in Reekie’s story between herself and the character of the narrator’s girlfriend were defamatory.
In the original version of .S‘ubmr'ssimr the character. Kelly. shares her school. parental names. various addresses and the same career path as Murray.
By this time the ﬁrst edition. published on October 18 had all but sold out. and an amended version of the story appeared in the second edition published in mid November.
However. a further writ was immediately served by Murray‘s lawyers against the parent publishers — Edinburgh's Canongate Books — forcing the remaining 5000 copies of
the book to be recalled. Now a third edition will be published in Christmas week.
Jamie Byng. director of Canongate Books. is satisﬁed further revision of Reekie‘s story .S'ulmrissimr will see an end to legal complications. ‘I think we can safely say that things have been settled.‘ said Byng. ‘It is frustrating because sales were going so well. but in the last two weeks no one has been able to get their hands on a copy.‘
Byng could not divulge whether the out of court settlement reached with Murray‘s lawyers included any ﬁnancial compensation.
Loss of revenue from the book‘s withdrawal would be partially recouped by a hike in the book’s cover price. he added. (Deirdre Molloy)
Rebel writers back down over threat of libel action
Paul lleelrle: changed his story
Plans for a giant Hogmanay street party in Glasgow have been announced, but the celebration has been beset with delays and problems over late-night transport and sponsorship.
The mass George Square gathering of previous years has been expanded to include streets in the Merchant City area — although this may have had less to do with the desire for a street party. Until last week the organisers didn’t know if they were to receive backing from the City Council. and hence use of George Square.
The emphasis in Glasgow has always been on having a large party rather than large bands and this year is no exception. The line-up features an eclectic gathering of different musical styles. from cajun to ceilidh and from techno to the Gay Men’s Choir.
‘There is a limit to the number of people you can cram into George Square. so we wouldn’t have wanted to put on Wet Wet Wet.’ event director Neil Butler claimed.
What would certainly have been welcomed, though. is an earlier decision from the council on funding. Butler recognises that because of the implications of the recent budget for councils. spending money on a party was always going to be contentious.
‘Councillors are under enormous ﬁnancial pressure. The effect the budget had on the city almost led to the council pulling out.’ he said.
Opening up the event to nearby streets will have a beneﬁcial effect in allowing this year‘s events to be unticketed. ‘Last year we had 40.000 applications for l8.000 tickets.‘ Butler explained. ‘It was clear we were going to have to adapt our approach as we move towards the millennium where everybody will want to be involved. This is a big development.’ he added.
Spanning three stages and ﬁve streets (Chisholm Street. Pamie Street. Glasgow Cross. Albion Street and Bell Street) the programme includes the Callanish Ceilidh Band. the Deaf
Callanls: leadlng Glasgow Into the new year
Heights Cajun Aces and Macurnba
Glasgow Hogmanay plans beat the cuts
who blend Scottish melodies with Caribbean rhythms.
The ﬁnancial delays have left the organisers without the free buses sponsored in previous years by Im Bru and McEwan‘s. With no major sponsor eager to pay to get everyone home this year. it looks as if revellers will be provided with transport. but at an as yet unknown cost.
Details have yet to be ironed out: ‘There will be transport home. but it won't be free.’ Butler conﬁrmed. (Stephen Naysmith)
The List Is full guide to Glasgow Is Hogmanay is on page 18.
Edinburgh is to have its own dedicated television service with the launch in January of Live TV from a purpose built studio at Easter Road, home of Hibernian Football Club.
The station is the third of a planned network of local TV services to be run by Live TV. and aims to challenge the national services of BBC Scotland and Scottish Television.
‘We are basically offering something
‘which is not offered by STV or the BBC. which are broadcast from Glasgow: A local service for people
who want to know what’s happening in Edinburgh.‘ said senior producer Roderick Stuart.
The Edinburgh programme segments will be hourly. worked into the national schedule of Live TV’s cable channel. Presenters include former Hearts and Scotland Under 2| star George Wright. who will provide sports coverage, and former newspaper reporters from the Edinburgh Evening News.
Stuart claimed the footballer’s connections with Hearts. and the studio’s location — inside the South
Hibs ground to house new TV station
stand at Easter Road — will enable the station to provide the best soccer coverage in the capital. ‘Having a foot in both camps will hopefully be beneﬁcial to us.’ he said.
Details of the 24 January launch are not yet available. but construction work at the Hibs ground is underway.
Stuart claims the sight of Live TV cameras would become familiar in the run-up to the new year. ‘We are already out and about ﬁlming events in Edinburgh.‘ he added. (Stephen Naysmith)
Rough ride for new move on homelessness
The announcement by Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth that £15 million is to be made available for a Rough Sleepers Initiative in Scotland has been condemned as a poisoned chalice by homeless organisations.
Most have been lobbying for the initiative for several years. but their discontent stems from other spending plans which they claim include huge reductions in the amount of money available for house-building.
Shelter Scotland described cuts to the public sector housing budget as ‘economic and social madness’. For every £1 pledged to the Rough Sleepers Initiative. £35 is being lost to homeless people and those living in appalling conditions. they claimed.
Shelter director Liz Nicholson commented. ‘We are glad Mr Forsyth has ﬁnally accepted the arguments about the need for a Rough Sleepers Initiative in Scotland. However. an essential element is the availability of quality affordable homes. Mr Forsyth’s savage cut in the amount of money available for housing in Scotland has made that aim impossible to achieve.‘
Announcing the plans. the Scottish Secretary claimed. ‘l have been concerned for some time about the extent of rough sleeping in Scotland. While much is already being done. I believe it is not enough.’
However. the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations have also condemned cuts in spending. ‘There will be fewer than 1500 houses started next year. compared with 4000 last year and 6000 the year before that,’ said policy manager Dave Alexander. ‘Poor housing affects health and education and can lead to an increase in crime.‘
However the Scottish Ofﬁce denied there had been any cuts in investment. ‘On budget day the Secretary of State announced an additional £43 million for Scottish Homes over the next 16 months.’ a spokesman argued. (Stephen
4The List 13 Dec 1996-9 Jan 1997