We will not be divided

THE TRAGIC EVENTS in Manchester this week dominated everyone’s thoughts. Flags flew at half-mast from the buildings in Parliament Square and the Royal Mile, including above the Signet Library. A minute’s silence was held at the General Assembly and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon expressed the solidarity of the people of Scotland with the people of Manchester and all those affected by the horrific attack saying “we will not be divided by those who seek to destroy our way of life”.

ANOTHER BUSY WEEK at the Signet Library and with this being General Assembly week, the annual service was held in St Giles’ Cathedral on Sunday. Writers to the Signet were, as always, represented at the occasion, with Deputy Keeper of the Signet Caroline Docherty and others attending. Each year HM the Queen appoints a Lord High Commissioner as her representative to the assembly, unless she attends in person. This year HRH the Princess Royal carried out the role. On Thursday the Princess Royal hosted a drinks reception in the Lower Library at the Signet Library before a light lunch in the Minto Room.

THURSDAY WAS a particularly full day for the WS Society, with the Royal visit, a conference and a cultural event all taking place within a few hours. Over 50 attended the football law conference in the the upper library during the working day, with a good number of those staying on for the highly anticipated Blizzard event in the evening. In a full upper library Daniel Gray introduced the event and a minute’s silence was held for the victims of the Manchester bombing. As ever with a Blizzard event, there were some great questions from the floor to the panel of football writers. These included “What was the weirdest press conference you’ve ever attended?”, “Which stadium always gives you the ‘wow’ factor?”, ”What relatively minor thing in football annoys you a disproportionally large amount?” amongst many others.

DEMAND FOR BLIZZARD tickets is always high, but even football, it turns out, cannot compete with the lure of the mysterious. Preview tickets for The Walter Scott Seance sold out in exactly 10 minutes, an unprecedented response to any event held at the Signet Library. Later shows will be announced on WS twitter and website. The aim is to provide a unique, high quality experience that will become one of the Royal Mile’s must-see attractions for both Edinburgh natives and visitors from all around the world. Several previews have already been held to great acclaim, with many leaders in the heritage field commenting it was one of the best events of its type they had seen.

MEANWHILE PRESIDENT TRUMP’S circus embarked on its brief world-wide tour. Lawyers continue to trail in the wake of everything to do with the Trump administration, with the President confirming on Tuesday that he was personally retaining his long-standing attorney Marc Kasowitz to represent him in the federal investigation into his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. Kasowtiz and Trump have an association lasting over 15 years. Known primarily as a litigator, he represented the President in a number of high profile cases, including the Trump University fraud claims, eventually settled with a $25 million payout just before the inauguration. In a the-jokes-will-write-themselves development, it transpires Kasowitz is currently engaged by OJSC Sberbank in an action brought by a US federal court, where OJS Sberbank is accused of conspiracy to raid the assets of a competitor. OJSC Sberbank is Russia’s largest bank. Who better to defend the President against charges of ties to Russia than a lawyer with, well, ties to Russia? Evidently, Trump is not concerned with what the American media calls the “optics” of this particular situation.

— “Writer”

Writer's Week is not intended to represent the views of the WS Society or its members.