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Society

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Scotland - A Tale Of Two Cities - 21 May 2014
The Scottish capital, Edinburgh, has an air of prosperity that explains why so many of its residents are happy with their lot and unwilling to risk the changes independence may bring. But in Kilmarnock it is a different story. The once proud industrial town has been named the worst place to live in Scotland, battling high unemployment and with pawnbrokers and discount stores dominating its shopping centre. The contrast between the two is startling and highlights the wide social divide among Scots ahead of a September 18 referendum when Scottish residents will decide whether to leave the United Kingdom after over 300 years to become an independent country.
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
A bird flies over homes in the Morningside suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland May 1, 2014. The Scottish capital,...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
A bird flies over homes in the Morningside suburb of Edinburgh
A bird flies over homes in the Morningside suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland May 1, 2014. The Scottish capital, Edinburgh, has an air of prosperity that explains why so many of its residents are happy with their lot and unwilling to risk the changes independence may bring. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Pedestrians walk past a row of flats across from the former site of the Johnnie Walker distillery in...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Pedestrians walk past a row of flats across from the former site of the Johnnie Walker distillery in...
Pedestrians walk past a row of flats across from the former site of the Johnnie Walker distillery in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 25, 2014. But in Kilmarnock it is a different story. The once proud industrial town has been named the worst place to live in Scotland, battling high unemployment and with pawnbrokers and discount stores dominating its shopping centre. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
British and Scottish flags fly outside the Lloyds Banking Group's Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh,...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
British and Scottish flags fly outside the Lloyds Banking Group's Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh
British and Scottish flags fly outside the Lloyds Banking Group's Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland May 1, 2014. The contrast between the two is startling and highlights the wide social divide among Scots ahead of a September 18 referendum when Scottish residents will decide whether to leave the United Kingdom after over 300 years to become an independent country. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Scotland's flag, the Saltire, flies outside a home in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Scotland's flag, the Saltire, flies outside a home in Kilmarnock
Scotland's flag, the Saltire, flies outside a home in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Pedestrians walk past a whisky shop on the Royal Mile, a busy street which runs from Edinburgh Castle...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Pedestrians walk past a whisky shop on the Royal Mile, a busy street which runs from Edinburgh Castle...
Pedestrians walk past a whisky shop on the Royal Mile, a busy street which runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace, in Edinburgh, Scotland, May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
A pedestrian walks past the former site of the Johnnie Walker whisky plant in Kilmarnock, Scotland March...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
A pedestrian walks past the former site of the Johnnie Walker whisky plant in Kilmarnock
A pedestrian walks past the former site of the Johnnie Walker whisky plant in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 25, 2014. The plant, which was Kilmarnock's largest employer, closed in 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
A busker plays the bagpipes on Princes Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh, Scotland April...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
A busker plays the bagpipes on Princes Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh
A busker plays the bagpipes on Princes Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh, Scotland April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
A busker plays the accordion on King Street, the main shopping street in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 27,...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
A busker plays the accordion on King Street, the main shopping street in Kilmarnock
A busker plays the accordion on King Street, the main shopping street in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Students ride a city bus on their way home from school in Edinburgh, Scotland, April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Students ride a city bus on their way home from school in Edinburgh
Students ride a city bus on their way home from school in Edinburgh, Scotland, April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Students gather after school as they ride their bicycles in the main shopping district in Kilmarnock,...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Students gather after school as they ride their bicycles in the main shopping district in Kilmarnock
Students gather after school as they ride their bicycles in the main shopping district in Kilmarnock, Scotland April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Retired widower Archibald Anderson drinks a pint of beer at the Cafe Royal in Edinburgh, Scotland May...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Retired widower Archibald Anderson drinks a pint of beer at the Cafe Royal in Edinburgh
Retired widower Archibald Anderson drinks a pint of beer at the Cafe Royal in Edinburgh, Scotland May 1, 2014. Anderson, who plans on voting "No" to independence remembers serving in the military alongside soldiers from England, Wales and Northern Ireland and says he "can't imagine why we would want to be separate." REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is seen on a television screen as patrons socialise in the...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is seen on a television screen as patrons socialise in the...
Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is seen on a television screen as patrons socialise in the Kay Park Tavern, a pub near the main business district in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 26, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
A member of the Edinburgh Rugby rugby team walks onto a pitch before practice outside Murrayfield Stadium...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
A member of the Edinburgh Rugby rugby team walks onto a pitch before practice outside Murrayfield Stadium...
A member of the Edinburgh Rugby rugby team walks onto a pitch before practice outside Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Rugby Park Stadium, a 15,000 seat venue where Elton John once performed, is seen though a gate in Kilmarnock,...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Rugby Park Stadium is seen though a gate in Kilmarnock
Rugby Park Stadium, a 15,000 seat venue where Elton John once performed, is seen though a gate in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 25, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Pedestrians walk along Princes Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh, Scotland May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Pedestrians walk along Princes Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh
Pedestrians walk along Princes Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh, Scotland May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
A pedestrian walks along King Street, the main shopping street in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 24, 2014....
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
A pedestrian walks along King Street, the main shopping street in Kilmarnock
A pedestrian walks along King Street, the main shopping street in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 24, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Souvenir merchant Steve Wright poses outside his shop, Clans of Scotland, in Edinburgh, Scotland April...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Souvenir merchant Steve Wright poses outside his shop, Clans of Scotland, in Edinburgh
Souvenir merchant Steve Wright poses outside his shop, Clans of Scotland, in Edinburgh, Scotland April 29, 2014. Wright, who plans on voting "Yes" to independence, says he thinks "The word 'no' should not be in the Scottish vocabulary this year." REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Neal Ingram, wearing a "Yes" t-shirt, poses near the Burns Mall in Kilmarnock, Scotland, April 29, 2014....
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Neal Ingram poses near the Burns Mall in Kilmarnock
Neal Ingram, wearing a "Yes" t-shirt, poses near the Burns Mall in Kilmarnock, Scotland, April 29, 2014. Ingram, who plans on voting "Yes" to independence and is politically active, looks forward to the people of Scotland being able to "make decisions for ourselves and not being tied to an unrepresentative government." REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Pedestrians walk along the Royal Mile, a busy street which runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace,...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Pedestrians walk along the Royal Mile, a busy street which runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace,...
Pedestrians walk along the Royal Mile, a busy street which runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace, in Edinburgh, Scotland May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
People gather under The Burns and Wilson Monument outside the Burns Shopping Mall in Kilmarnock, Scotland...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
People gather under The Burns and Wilson Monument outside the Burns Shopping Mall in Kilmarnock
People gather under The Burns and Wilson Monument outside the Burns Shopping Mall in Kilmarnock, Scotland April 29, 2014. Scottish poet Robert Burns grew up near Kilmarnock and his first book of poetry, "Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect", known as the Kilmarnock volume, was published there. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Pedestrians walk past the luxury 5-star Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Pedestrians walk past the luxury 5-star Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh
Pedestrians walk past the luxury 5-star Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
A boy passes a broken sign for Balmoral Road, the street where the former Johnnie Walker plant was located...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
A boy passes a broken sign for Balmoral Road, the street where the former Johnnie Walker plant was located...
A boy passes a broken sign for Balmoral Road, the street where the former Johnnie Walker plant was located in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 25, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Fettes College is seen though its front gate in Edinburgh, Scotland April 30, 2014. Last year, Fettes...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Fettes College is seen though its front gate in Edinburgh
Fettes College is seen though its front gate in Edinburgh, Scotland April 30, 2014. Last year, Fettes College, where Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair attended, was ranked the second-most expensive school in Scotland. Boarding at the school costs more than £21,000 a year. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
A man leaves the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 27, 2014. The Burns Monument Centre...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
A man leaves the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock
A man leaves the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 27, 2014. The Burns Monument Centre houses many of Burns' rare texts and local history archives. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Edinburgh Castle is seen in Edinburgh, Scotland, April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Edinburgh Castle is seen in Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle is seen in Edinburgh, Scotland, April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
A woman walks her dogs outside Dean Castle in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
A woman walks her dogs outside Dean Castle in Kilmarnock
A woman walks her dogs outside Dean Castle in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
Fog surrounds the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Fog surrounds the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh
Fog surrounds the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
RTR3Q5EP
May 21, 2014
Demolition work takes place on the Howard Park Hotel in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 25, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Demolition work takes place on the Howard Park Hotel in Kilmarnock
Demolition work takes place on the Howard Park Hotel in Kilmarnock, Scotland March 25, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/ECONOMY
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May 21, 2014
A welcome sign is posted on the outskirts of Kilmarnock, Scotland March 27, 2014. The Scottish capital,...
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
A welcome sign is posted on the outskirts of Kilmarnock
A welcome sign is posted on the outskirts of Kilmarnock, Scotland March 27, 2014. The Scottish capital, Edinburgh, has an air of prosperity that explains why so many of its residents are happy with their lot and unwilling to risk the changes independence may bring. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
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