TICKETS ARE ON sale now for events at the Edinburgh Hogmanay festival, widely regarded as one of the world’s best new year celebrations.

The main attraction will be Scots pop group Texas, who headline the Concert In The Gardens on 31 December ~ the first time the chart-toppers have played Edinburgh since August 1992. Further bands will be announced over the next few weeks.

An estimated 180,000 revellers are expected to attend the Virgin and McEwan’s Street Party on Hogmanay itself. However with more than 50 events over four days of diverse

celebrations between 29 December and 1 January, the programme is intended to make Edinburgh a top destination for millennium celebrations.

Other hot Hogmanay tickets include New Year Revels at the Assembly Rooms and the Tartan Tear-Up at the old GPO Building in Waterloo Place. Both provide plenty of opportunity to dance, drink and look daft in a kilt, plus access to the street party. Also on 31 December, look out for Jah Wobble on the Waverley Stage, Peatbog Faeries and Tartan Amoebas on the Royal Mile's Celtic Stage and Salsa Celtica on the George Street Latin Stage.

Texas to headline Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay also includes performances from international street theatre groups while home-grown theatre is represented by Grid Iron Theatre Company, who will perform The Bloody Chamber, a sell-out award- winner at this year’s Fringe. (Peter Ross) I Tickets, official passes and in formation for all events are available from the Hogmanay Box Office at 27 Market Street, Edinburgh. Tickets are available by credit card now and in person from Fri 27 Nov Call 0737 473 7 998 with any enquiries. The List will publish a full guide to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in our 78 Dec issue.

Texas: home but not alone stars

Drug book sparks row

GOVERNMENT ANTI-DRUG campaigns have been slammed as ’outdated’ and ’dangerous’ in a new book by Edinburgh author Kevin Williamson, Drugs And The Party Line.

Advocating a damage-limitation approach of education and decriminal- isation, Williamson hits out at the Government-funded Scotland Against Drugs (SAD) campaign, accusing its chairman Davrd Macauley, of sending out ’mixed messages’.

'Preaching does more harm than good,’ Williamson claimed. ’You have to accept that people are going to experiment wrth and use drugs, and educate them in how to use drugs safely'

However, Macauley rejected the book's claims, insisting SAD was right to aim at 'moving people to a drug- free state'. He said: ’A lot of the pomts Williamson makes are just plain wrong. The strength of his argument is undermined by bias, inaccuracy, a lack of research and a very selective representation of the facts.’

Harm reduction has its place, he said, ’but you have to be very careful of the message you are giving out to sixteen- year-olds. How many parents want their children educated in how to use drugs safely?’

Williamson, who is campaigning for the decriminalisation of all drugs from cannabis to heroin, remains optimistic. He believes the Government will be forced to announce a Royal Commission inquiry into drugs within the next year.

However, a Cabinet spokeswoman stated ’the Government have made it very clear that there are no plans to change drug laws.' (Claire Prentice)

I Kevin Williamson and Dr Howard Marks launched a nationwide Change The Drug Laws tour on Thu 20 Nov at the House Of Commons. It reaches Scotland on Tue 25 Nov, 7.30pm, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, [ 3

22 THE IJST 21 Nov—4 Dec 1997

Dentists have a brush with the arts

NO MATTER HOW many apples you eat a day, a visit to the dentist is never gOing to be fun. But Edinburgh’s new Dental Institute, which is housed within Lauriston Btiildings and opened last week, aims to reduce the fear factor with the help of four international artists.

’The idea was to distract and amuse patients and staff and stimulate patients into thinking about issues of dental health,’ explains Juliet Dean, director of Public Art Commissions and Exhibitions, who co-ordinated the project.

Replacmg the old Dental Hospital in Chambers Street, most of the {5.8 million cost of the new institute has come from the Scottish Office, while the Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Fund provrded a grant of £1l8,000 to cover the artworks, As Dean is eager to point out, it’s not a case of art competing against beds for cash.

The innovativeworks include glass walls containing mercury-filled Vials,

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gum-pink floors With filling shapes, a camera obscura and handrails containing apple slices.

Further distraction is provided by Jane Fawns Watt who has used fibre optics to create constellations" in the ceiling above each of the 34 dentist chairs 'So much of a trip to the dentist is about staring up at the cciling, l

Storm over homeless cash shake-up

AS GLASGOW'S FIRE Station hostel for the homeless celebrates its tenth anniversary, it isn't clear whether it will surVive until its eleventh

Support costs, including the pay of staff who run the project, can no longer be met out of housing benefit A court ruling, since accepted by the Government, means housing benefit will only pay for the rent on a property. The cost of treatment and support for people with disabilities, drug problems and even housing advice must now be found from elsewhere

Accommodation already being funded through housing benefit Will continue to do so until October next year. However, organisations have slammed the Government as short- sighted and are furious that they have been given little time to respond to the shake-up.

’Tliey are throwing the baby out With the bathwater,’ said David Bookbinder of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) 'They haven't given us enough time to respond they are talking about (hanging the whole system

’h/leanwhile projects in the pipeline are on hold, and desperately needed housing is sitting waiting to be filled or waiting to be built.’

Edinburgh's pioneering Pathway PrOject, which helps women who have been Victims of abuse, is also affected. ’We are in a fragile state,’ said Kate Alport, outreach worker.

The Government's approach is blisikered, she claims, especially in the wake of a report which found more than half of drug-users in Scotland had been sexually abused as children

'lt is outrageous In the last twenty

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Toothache: open wide and say aaa-rt

wanted to» take peoples' minds off the horrible things being done to them,’ she ‘ullfi.

What of the public's verdict7 'l like it, it's tc-itainly a lot better than the Old buildrng,’ commented pensioner David Mearns 'But I don’t think it would take my iiiind off a toothache.’ lClaire Prentice)

years, we’ve started to recognise the complex needs of people wrth drug problems and issues relating tO abuse,’ she said 'Now the Governriient seem to be saying "We'll just look at yOtir housing issue We don't want to know about anything else."

The Government has pledged to protect existing projects while the system is being ieVis‘ed However, they insist changers necessary.

Stitial Security Minister Keith Bradley, announcing the review, said housmg benefit had only ever been intended to (over housing costs 'Unfortunately It has been commonplace for it to also pay for the wide range of support services that vulnerable people may need in order to live in the community,’ he said. ’We now need to move the locus on to the long-term funding

solution ' (Stephen Naysmith)

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