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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space…

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Readers' letters

September 23: Name new Perth bridge after famous angler

September 23 2010

Today our correspondents suggest a name for a new bridge and discuss tax breaks for the computer game industry, green energy, religion and schools. Name new Perth bridge after famous angler Sir, One of your readers suggested that a bridge over the River Tay at Perth, intended for pedestrians and cyclists, was a waste of money. How very Scottish. The cost of £1.38 million appears a good investment given that Scotland is often seen as the sick man of Europe with high death rates from heart disease and strokes. Anything that enables us to improve our lifestyle by reducing the burden on our health services must be money well spent and the council should be applauded. As concerns a name for this landmark, might I suggest Ballantyne’s Bridge after Miss Georgina Ballantyne, who will forever be linked with the river having caught a Tay salmon in 1922 weighing 64lbs – a UK record for a salmon landed by rod and line. Kenneth G. N. Stewart.Landalla,Florence Place,Perth. Throwing good money after bad Sir, I am not sure if Steve Bargeton was being tongue-in-cheek in his recent diary column (September 18) but his opinion on the computer games industry was neatly juxtaposed with an article on the opposite page about the collapse of Dundee firm Realtime Worlds. Your political editor says that providing £40 million of tax breaks per year to the sector would provide the public purse with a net gain of £400 million in tax receipts and create 3500 graduate-level jobs and presumably solve world poverty and reverse global warming at the same time. If only life was that simple. The figures provided sound like typical industry/ political spiel. Meanwhile, back in the real(time) world, your other article quoted an industry expert as saying that the firm’s pivotal APB game attracted sales of only one ninth of that necessary for its survival. It seems unlikely that tax breaks would have somehow enhanced the game sufficiently to increase its sales nine-fold. As history has shown time and time again, throwing public funds at fundamentally uncompetitive products and businesses is just taxpayers’ money down the drain. Of course, taxpayer-funded assistance and a favourable regulatory environment can help industry in appropriate circumstances but the Scottish political mindset seems dominated by the need to find a deserving home for as much public money as possible – and there’s always a queue of willing recipients, whether in the private or public sector. And while the bills for the profligacy have to be paid eventually, both Labour and the SNP seem preoccupied with trying to deny their part in the spending spree, while the Tories and Lib Dems are being accused of threatening the economic recovery by being over-zealous in trying to turn off the tap. Stuart Winton.Hilltown,Dundee. Fantasy of green future Sir, The articles covering the views of the MSPs Jim Mather and Murdo Fraser on wind farms (September 20) are yet another reminder of the dangers of expanding onshore wind production in Scotland. Murdo Fraser is correct in pointing out the adverse effects on our landscape and hence tourism but the concept of visual amenity is subjective and personal. What is more objective and less arguable is the cost of installing the infrastructure and the vast amount of subsidies and incentives given to landowners and developers, relative to the amount of dependable electricity actually produced by wind turbines. Jim Mather and the Scottish Government have long known that wind farms are very poor sources of dependable power, frequently producing less than one per cent of UK supply. He and they also know that Scotland only produces around one-fifth of one per cent of the world’s carbon emission “problem.” As Energy Minister, Jim Mather owes us all an explanation of why he and his colleagues expect consumers to pay high prices to solve a “problem” that scarcely exists, using a system that scarcely works and at prices more and more people will scarcely be able to afford. It is time the fairy tale of wind power was ended. Ron Greer.Armoury House,Blair Atholl. Two-fronted attack on church Sir, Ian Wheeler asks if the threat of Islam is uniting Catholics and Protestants in the fight for survival (September 21). Let us hope so. Islam has powerful non-Muslim players in the field if you count the secular, the atheist and the left-liberal neo-Marxists, all with their own particular reasons for supporting Islam. The average British secularist disputes any religion but more so Christianity. The average militant atheist attacks the Christian God but, when challenged similarly to treat the Islamic God, refrains, claiming all religions are the same. The neo-Marxists are the most dangerous. Their liberal organisations support Islam in its anti-Christian and anti-capitalist stance which makes them useful in the fight to establish a “progressive” society. Andrew Lawson.9 MacLaren Gardens,Dundee. Educational poverty trap Sir, David Robertson’s suggestions that the way to improve school performance in Dundee is to have more religion in them is simplistic and laughable. He erroneously states that schools in Scotland which are not Catholic are Christian. Presumably he means Protestant. I have never come across a school in Scotland which describes itself as Protestant. They are non-denominational. The solution to the gap between the children living in poverty and those who are not is a redistribution of wealth. We do not need to scare children into obedience by telling them untruths about eternity in hell. Alan Hinnrichs.2 Gillespie Terrace,Dundee. Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to letters@thecourier.co.uk or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL.

Readers' letters

April 12: Can’t compromise solve fire stations dispute?

April 12 2010

This morning’s letters to the editor of The Courier discuss the Balmossie fire station campaign, Christianity, Forth Ports’ turbines plan for Dundee and council advice on recycling. Can’t compromise solve fire stations dispute? Sir,-Having written a letter of concern to your column during the early stages of the Balmossie Fire Station issue, I note with concern your front page article (April 9). The article indicated call-out figures for the stations involved but I have heard these figures do not include the number of call-outs Balmossie are involved in as back-up to other stations, which seems strange. It would also be interesting to be told who decides what criteria they use for selecting the station to initially attend major incidents, as I have again heard that the decision is no longer based on geographical area boundaries, which is also strange. As in all disputes everyone is looking to achieve their own aims; the Forfar community, understandably, seek full-time cover and those in Broughty Ferry wish to retain theirs. Could a solution not be found therefore to have full-time cover at both stations to allay everyone’s fears by relocating resources from the larger stations and making savings elsewhere without risking safety? Denis G. W. Thornton.20 Colliston Drive,Broughty Ferry. No longer a Christian country Sir,-For Britain to have been a Christian country “for over 2000 years” as M. Clark asserts (April 9) is remarkable considering Christ’s mission had not even begun 2000 years ago, when he was a boy. While the earliest hints of Christianity in Britain date to the Roman period, these islands remained largely pagan for centuries after the time of Christ. With the percentage of regular churchgoers in single digits, and the majority of those calling themselves Christian probably knowing little of Christian mythology and doctrine, it is an exaggeration to call Britain a Christian country now. I don’t give a hoot if Christians have a parade, subject to the same bye-laws as any other group doing the same. But, as their faith continues its welcome decline, parading Christians will increasingly be looked on as irrelevant eccentrics. Finally, M. Clark, should not forget the origins of Easter – a pagan spring festival. Dr Stephen Moreton.33 Marina Avenue,Great Sankey,Warrington. Missing out on the joke? Sir,-Poor George K McMillan just can’t win. When he tries to be serious his letters are a hoot. When he tries to be humorous, as in his letter about Easter, people like M. Clark take him seriously! Dr David Griffiths41 Haston CrescentPerth A religion under siege Sir,-Some of your recent correspondents have evinced a latent hostility to Christianity in the letters column. Atheists and sceptics there have always been, and I would defend their right to express their point of view. But today’s atheists and sceptics such as Richard Dawkins et al, rather than supplying a cogent critique in opposition, tend to produce a diatribe. Recently the BBC televised a programme suggesting there is a subtle undermining of Christianity, evidenced by a nurse going to a tribunal to defend her right to wear a cross as an expression of her faith, and a London Registrar disciplined for refusing to conduct a service for same sex couples as it violated her beliefs. In a secular pluralistic society both the religious and non-religious with different lifestyles must be tolerated, I suppose it is a matter of political correctness. The downside is the increasing fragmentation of society to be seen in broken relationships, broken homes and broken lives, not to mention the recent fiasco of a number of our honourable members helping themselves to taxpayers’ money. No doubt the relationship between the Kirk and the state has conferred certain privileges in the past and to some extent still does. Political correctness may hold this situation to account, but constructively the Church of Scotland is the largest caring agency, next to statutory bodies, for the care of the sick, the infirm, the afflicted and the addicted. Rev. J. Harrison Hudson.22 Hamilton Avenue,Tayport. No added value for Dundee citizens Sir,-I’m sitting at work in Edinburgh as I read the article ‘Giant turbines plan for Dundee harbour’ article with growing disbelief. The threat by Forth Energy to locate these on Dundee’s unique waterfront has to be exposed as the unacceptable face of private enterprise that it is. Seeking maximum return for their shareholders at the expense of anyone or anything else may encourage an increase in the value of any imminent share bid but will hardly represent compelling value for the citizens of Dundee. Forth Ports have loads of land on Edinburgh’s shoreline – can there be a compelling reason why there’s been no similar application here, I wonder? Bill Potter.28 Howe Street,Edinburgh. Rubbish advice from council Sir,-The latest directive from Angus Council says we are no longer allowed to put tea bags, coffee grounds or fruit and vegetable peelings into our green bins, which, just in case you don’t know, go to keep the world a greener place by composting the contents of the said bin. However, the leaflet also explains these same items make a useful compost for your garden. Aren’t local councils wonderful things! J. R. Smith.44 Glamis Road,Kirriemuir.

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Readers' letters

September 12: Hypocrisy over Christmas celebrations

September 12 2012

Today’s letters to The Courier. Sir, – Before we get into the usual Christmas rush I would like to raise a point. A couple of years ago the council in Dundee was browbeaten by a group of Christians, prominent amongst whom was the Rev Alan Webster, into changing the title of its winter celebrations. Ministers and Church of Scotland members celebrated in their triumph. However, for the Church of Scotland, the celebration of Christmas was for over 400 years seen as irrelevant to the Christian faith and until relatively recently Christmas wasn’t even a public holiday in Scotland. Now it seems that not celebrating Christmas has become some kind of sin against the Christian faith. Is it just possible that far from defending the Christian faith, there is a group of ministers who have little if any understanding of how Christian faith has been expressed in Scotland by the Church of Scotland and that whether one celebrates a particular day or doesn’t was and is still seen as irrelevant to many Christians in Scotland? The forces arrayed for the celebration of this day and which insist upon the celebration of Christmas aren’t necessarily even from within the church. Charles Dickens, for instance, who is regularly brought out with his Christmas Carol to harangue Christians and others into celebrating this day, wasn’t even a Christian. The word hypocrite hovers in the air. A sin against the Christian faith? Aye that’ll be right. Or as Job puts it to his supposed comforters: ”Surely you are the wise and wisdom will die with you.” Norman Wood.53 Roundyhill,Monifieth. Better off if road tax was abolished Sir, – Road tax should be abolished and the tax transferred to the cost of fuel. We would be better off as it would get rid of an army of civil servants administering the system that Gordon Brown and his government made worse. We now have a virtual police state as we are all watched and logged by cameras and computers checking up on us all the time. Tax transferred to fuel would simplify collection and it would also free up the police and the courts to pursue the real criminals. Then there are the foreign lorries and holiday makers who pay nothing to use our roads. Every day thousands of lorries from abroad arrive at our ports and damage our roads why should they not pay? There would be winners and losers but the high cost of fuel is down to government not the oil companies and it does not matter who we vote for among the big three, they are all the same. Governments use the motorist as a tax cash cow to cover up their incompetence. It is time the SNP spelt out what changes they would make in Scotland. We don’t want to swap one totalitarian regime for another. John George Phimister.63 St Clair Street,Kirkcaldy. Statistics can prove anything Sir, – I read with interest the article from Councillor Brennan headlined, ”Fear recession putting gender equality at risk”. In my opinion the article proves statistics can be used to prove anything. It shows 1,783 women are claiming job seekers allowance but fails to mention that over 6,000 Dundonians are claiming the same benefit. So, so using the statistics from the article, 4,217 men must also be claiming the benefit, plus taking the 2001 census for the city of Dundee the population of men was 68,038 compared to 75,352 of women a difference of 7,314 in favour of women. This means a much higher percentage of males per head of population claiming job seekers allowance to women. Looking at these statistics you could argue that it is the men of Dundee who are facing the inequalities. Statistics can be used to prove anything you like and are, therefore, dangerous to rely on. Allan Petrie.109 Blacklock Crescent,Dundee. What are we seeking? Sir, – Curiosity Rover’s search for ”life” on Mars presents a number of interesting possibilities … and difficulties. In the first instance, exactly what is the basic atom-particle difference between that which is deemed alive and that which is described as being dead?” As all known matter is formed of particle-circuits, then surely the only real difference is one of particle circuitry and nothing more? Ah, but what of intelligent life when the yardstick for ”intelligence” is but a construct of man’s mind? Perhaps Curiosity Rover should be searching for signs of love, joy and fair play. Kenneth Miln.22 Fothringham Drive,Monifieth. Vice versa Sir – As an ageing unionist/royalist who watched the final hour of the Mayor’s Parade in London, I can safely debunk assertions that Boris Johnson is after David Cameron’s job. David Cameron is after Boris’s job. A T Geddie.Glenrothes. Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to letters@thecourier.co.uk or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL. Letters should be accompanied by an address and a daytime telephone number.


Parliamentarians plan appeal as they seek European court ruling on Brexit

February 9 2018

A group of parliamentarians plans to lodge a legal appeal in an attempt to secure a European court ruling on Brexit. The politicians believe the UK Parliament could unilaterally stop the UK leaving the EU if the final Brexit deal is deemed unacceptable by the Commons. They want a definitive ruling from the European Court of Justice (CJEU) on whether the withdrawal process triggered under Article 50 can be halted by the UK on its own, without prior consent of the other 27 EU member states. The group took its fight to the Court of Session in Edinburgh but on Tuesday Judge Lord Doherty turned down a bid to have a full hearing on whether to refer the question to the Luxembourg Court, ruling the issue is  “hypothetical and academic”, and that he is “not satisfied the application has a real prospect of success”. Now campaigners have announced plans to appeal against his ruling to the Inner House of the Court of Session. Two of the original group of seven have withdrawn – the SNP’s Joanna Cherry QC and Liberal Democrat Christine Jardine – while director of the Good Law Project, Jo Maugham QC, which has backed the crowdfunded legal action, has been added. The remaining five members are Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer, SNP MEP Alyn Smith and Labour MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler. In a statement, Mr Maugham said they believe the judge’s decision was “flawed”. He added: “Establishing that, alongside the political route to revocability there is a legal route, is vital in the national interest. “If Parliament chooses not to withdraw the Article 50 notice then no harm is done by asking now the question whether it has that right. “But if Parliament does come to want to withdraw the notice, knowing it has the right to do so serves the national interest. “It improves the bargaining position of the UK, it ensures we retain the opt-outs and rebates that we presently enjoy, and it places the decision entirely in the hands of the UK’s Parliament and – if it chooses – its people.” Aidan O’Neill QC, representing the politicians, previously asked for the case to proceed through the Scottish court, arguing there was a genuine dispute between the two sides as to the proper interpretation of Article 50 which the court required to resolve. David Johnston QC, for the UK Government, insisted the application has no real prospect of success and that there was “no live issue” for the court to address. The policy of the UK Government is that the notification under Article 50 will not be withdrawn, he said. Finding in favour of the Government, Lord Doherty said: “Given that neither Parliament nor the Government has any wish to withdraw the notification, the central issue which the petitioners ask the court to decide – whether the UK could unilaterally withdraw the Article 50(2) notification – is hypothetical and academic. “In those circumstances it is not a matter which this court, or the CJEU, require to adjudicate upon.”

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit – a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

UK & World

Cross-party group loses bid to secure legal ruling on Brexit

February 6 2018

A cross-party group of parliamentarians has lost an early-stage bid to secure a European court ruling on Brexit. Seven politicians from four parties, not including the Conservatives, believe the UK Parliament could unilaterally halt the Brexit process if the final deal is deemed unacceptable by the Commons. They claim this offers a third option instead of Britain having to choose between a bad deal on the UK’s future relationship with Europe or crashing out of the EU with no deal. The group is ultimately seeking a definitive ruling from the European Court of Justice (CJEU) on whether the withdrawal process triggered under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union can be revoked by the UK on its own, without first securing the consent of the other 27 EU member states. Their legal team went to the Court of Session in Edinburgh last week to ask a judge to refer the question to the Luxembourg court. On Tuesday, judge Lord Doherty refused to move the case to a full hearing at Scotland’s highest civil court, saying the issue is “hypothetical and academic”, and that he is “not satisfied the application has a real prospect of success”. The politicians have a right to appeal against the decision to the Inner House of the Court of Session. The seven elected representatives who launched the case are Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer, MEP Alyn Smith and Joanna Cherry QC MP of the SNP, Labour MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler and Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine. None were present in court as the judge issued his decision. Aidan O’Neill QC, representing the politicians, previously asked for the case to proceed through the Scottish court, arguing there was a genuine dispute between the two sides as to the proper interpretation of Article 50 which the court required to resolve. David Johnston QC, for the UK Government, insisted the application has no real prospect of success and that there was “no live issue” for the court to address. The policy of the UK Government is that the notification under Article 50 will not be withdrawn, he said. Finding in favour of the Government, Lord Doherty said: “I am mindful that demonstrating a real prospect of success is a low hurdle for an applicant to overcome. “However, I am satisfied that that hurdle has not been surmounted. Indeed, in my opinion, the application’s prospect of success falls very far short of being a real prospect. “In my view, the Government’s stated policy is very clear. It is that the notification under Article 50(2) will not be withdrawn.” He went on: “Given that neither Parliament nor the Government has any wish to withdraw the notification, the central issue which the petitioners ask the court to decide – whether the UK could unilaterally withdraw the Article 50(2) notification – is hypothetical and academic. “In those circumstances it is not a matter which this court, or the CJEU, require to adjudicate upon.” The judge concluded: “I am not satisfied that the application has a real prospect of success … Permission to proceed is refused.” The legal action was launched following a crowdfunding campaign and is backed by the Good Law Project. Project director Jo Maugham QC tweeted after the hearing: “It’s plainly in the national interest that MPs, MEPs and MSPs, who face a choice whether to approve Theresa May’s deal, know what options are open to them if they don’t. “I will support an appeal against this decision – to the Supreme Court if necessary.”


Barefooted and munching Toblerone charity fundraiser’s Alan Partridge tribute on Dundee arrival

August 7 2013

Walking barefoot and munching on a giant Toblerone, a homeless ex-serviceman who has walked 4,000 miles for charity crossed the Tay Bridge into Dundee. Christian Nock, 39, has been on his epic journey around the UK coastline for a year raising more than £90,000 for Help for Heroes and made his entrance to Dundee with a reference to Alan Partridge. A huge fan of the comedy character, Christian said he wanted to re-enact the scene from the I’m Alan Partridge series, where the eponymous hero has a breakdown and drives barefoot to Dundee, scoffing the triangular treat. Despite his jokes, Christian’s journey has a serious message, as he walks to raise awareness for the plight of the homeless, around a third of whom are ex-forces. “I lost everything when my business went under. I was shoplifting and sleeping rough. I decided if I was going to sleep in doorways, I might as well sleep in a different doorway each night. “When I first started I didn’t care what happened. It has really been the last four months that the campaign has really taken off. I’ve had some mad times. I’ve driven Britain’s fastest lifeboat and slept on a beach with a local MP in Great Yarmouth. The council later bought a warehouse to help the homeless.” When The Courier caught up with Christian halfway across the bridge, he was in the company of Mike McRitchie, 30, of Wormit, who offered to take the weary traveller for a pint in Dundee. Mike said: “I saw on Facebook he was in Tayport and my house is about the same distance from the bridge so I just walked down, hoping to bump into him. “I think it is great that he is raising awareness for homeless ex-forces people.” Halfway across the bridge, Christian received a message that another £10,000 had been donated to his cause, which left him “buzzing” but he said he was grateful for every donation not matter how much. He said the welcome into Dundee was “fantastic”. Christian was heading to Monifieth but today will go and see Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa at the cinema with another supporter. He still has 3,500 miles to go on his journey and people can follow his progress on hisChristian Around Britain Facebook page. You can donate at Christian’s bmycharity page.