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Newsweek Scotland: Wrapped in tinsel

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Derek Bateman Derek Bateman | 14:50 UK time, Friday, 23 December 2011

I've just got time to dash off a few lines as I'm being run off my feet searching for Sylvanian Families and Disney Princess dolls and there's a perfume I have to buy but I can't remember the name of it. However I know where the shop is so I should make it on time. I'm sure there's something else...oh yes - work. I almost forgot the programme which the producer is currently wrapping in Santa paper.

But don't let that put you off, there's no unnecessary tinsel on Newsweek. We stick sturdily to the news agenda and bring you a political discussion with Angus Macleod and George Kerevan on Holyrood voting down the Westminster welfare reform bill and what that means for Scotland...not to mention attempts in the Lords to force Salmond's hand on the referendum (sense of deja vu anyone?).

We have an Oxford professor on how the constitution is really England's problem. (He's a Labour member but tells us he would vote SNP if he lived in Scotland!) He is David Marquand, a kenspeckle figure since the days of Roy Jenkins in the seventies.

We have a first-hand insight from Professor Stephen White into the Russian elections which have set off a chain reaction 20 years after Gorbachev resigned. We have Charles Dickens (not live), discover a new planet and hear how our reporter delivered a Christmas baby.

If you have the stomach for it, we have a rich pudding on Hogmanay of quality debate spanning the globe and how events might unfold in the year ahead in Scotland with Murray Pittock and Gerry Hassan, in Britain, with Hilary Wainwright and James Cusick, in the US with Chris Carman and Ewan Macaskill and in the Arab world with David Anderson and David Pratt. That's all on the morning of December 31 and the producer will be very cross if you don't listen in.

Catch our Christmas Eve programme tomorrow at 8. And if you know where to get the Sylvanian Family, drop me an email.



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