One year old and waiting for Gordo

Well, hello there! It’s time to don your novelty paper hat and offer celebratory greetings. Why? Well, the Roundup has been around for a year this week, with Duncan producing SBR #1 (as it was then) on 1st October.

Since then, it’s the changes at the top that have been the most marked, even if they haven’t been all that surprising. This time last year, Tony Blair was forced into telling the public (well, the Labour Party) that he had made his last Conference speech as Labour Leader. This week, Gordon Brown’s first speech in the role has had people blogging. Richard Thomson produces an elegant summary what the new PM said. Another Richard, this time Richard Havers is also less than impressed. Meanwhile, Mr. Eugenides compares the principles in Brown’s speech with the principles in his policies, while Robert Sharp explains why Brown (or anyone, really) speaking in front of a blue background is a bad idea.

But the speech came in the context of widening speculation that a Westminster election is imminent. Gavin Yates casts his eye over the state of the SNP and Scottish Labour, and how an election would pan out, while Fitaloon notes that Scottish Labour MPs are cautioning Brown against going to the polls any time soon, and Shuggy examines the constitutional niceties of an early election. Tartan Hero, meanwhile, looks at the pros and cons of holding the election this Autumn, IndyGal is sure that it will be held this Autumn, and Jeff has a date for your diaries: November 8. Aileen Colleran has an alternate theory, however… she thinks the next Scottish Labour Conference would be a plausible time and place to announce an election in May 2008.

But whenever the election comes, could Alex Salmond stand in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, in an attempt to unseat Gordon Brown? Perhaps, say sources talking to Iain Dale. No, says the commenter who points out that the SNP have already selected a candidate there, and it isn’t Salmond.

Staying with Labour, but focusing their new Leader at Holyrood, bloggers are looking at her start in the job. Kenny Sheerin wonders if Wendy Alexander is supposed to appear rubbish. Rob Davidson suspects that Labour’s long-term prospects are tied more to how the party changes over Wendy Alexander’s leadership, rather than her speeches or even election results.

But the new her new speech at the Labour Conference did get other SNP bloggers such as Jennifer Dunn talking; Alexander’s apology for Labour’s defeat was criticised by David McDonald, and her claim that Alex Salmond and David Cameron were involved in an unholy alliance raised eyebrows at ASWaS.

One person did publicly agree with Wendy Alexander though, Helen Eadie MSP accused the SNP and Tories of working together in a ‘right-wing’ government. Scottish Tory Boy has the story, and explains what happened next!

Meanwhile, a couple of bloggers have noticed the passing of the You Scotland website, with little fanfare or attention. Richard Thomson has the story, while Duncan provides a cutting obituary.

Speaking of dead websites, the Usmanov saga rumbles on. Tim Ireland now has a temporary blog, while Matt Wardman looks at how the actions of Usmanov’s lawyers, Schillings, have led to more negative publicity, not less; and Mr. Eugenides informs us that the controversy has now been discussed in the European Parliament.

While we’re on the subject of Europe and long-running sagas, Belgium has gone more than 100 days without a government. So far, only Davie Hutchison seems to have noticed. However, he’s also noticed another story on a similar theme: this time, the scene is the Basque Country, and constitutional affairs there.

Staying abroad, and the events in Burma have bloggers impotently wringing their hands – much like governments worldwide. Angus Nicolson has his say, as do Elizabeth Maginnis and Peter Murray.

Elsewhere in the world, The Woolamaloo Gazette reports on Archbishop Francisco Chimoio’s ridiculous assertion that imported condoms are infected with HIV to kill off Africans, and CuriousHamster picks up on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s equally barking mad claim that there are no homosexuals in Iran. Flying Rodent, meanwhile, has some choice words to say about Rudy Giuliani, including his response to Ahmadinejad’s visit to the United States.

Back to more local concerns, and money is never far away from people’s minds: Demea at the Select Society criticises proposals for a Local Income Tax, and David Farrer examines how we define poverty.

Speaking of poverty, Holyrood Watcher tells us that Pauline McNeill MSP now cannot afford a speechwriter, and has to write her own speeches. And while we’re on the subject of our MSPs Bill Cameron looks at a proposal to house them.

Nuclear power comes up as well: Jeff examines the SNP’s position on nuclear, while Michael Greenwell reports on the future might hold for Dounreay.

Meanwhile, in health, Kevin Williamson and Mark McDonald react to news that Scotland has the second highest levels of obesity in the world (The USA occupies the #1 position).

And we can’t let a Roundup go without a look at the media: Mike Power looks at the tabloid frenzy surrounding a picture of a girl who looks like Madeleine McCann. Mark McDonald is exasperated with reaction to news that his colleague on Aberdeen City Council, Depute Provost John West, will no longer be studying for his law degree, and Red Squirrel has a picture for the ‘Just Plain Sick’ archive.

Also, commercialism seems to have run riot: Anastasia Beaumont-Bott is annoyed with dolls, and their marketing, while at completely the other end of the spectrum of human life, Alan Sharp is furious at the price of watching the Scotland rugby team. Staying with sport, Flying Rodent has this post on John Reid’s upcoming appointment as Chairman of Celtic, and this from Hibs fan Kevin Williamson suggests that Reid’s first job might be to teach fans how to spell their club’s name.

And finally, Mr. Smith has a tale that shouldn’t make me snigger, but does.

That’s it for this week… don’t forget to send your submissions for next week’s Roundup in to or via the thingymadoodah on the right. Here’s hoping for many more years of the Roundup!


  1. Congratulations! Happy birthday! Herzlichen Glueckwunsch! Many happy returns! Auf viele mehr!

    Am I the first? Seems so. Ha!

  2. After you have read these links and recovered from shock, can you email them to Two close friends collegues or relatives and ask them to do the same.

    The EU’s secret EuroMediteranian Project for Western Europe.

    Europe Sold out for oil

    Sharia law spreading in the UK.

    Dutch and Swedish Ministers admitting Islam is to be the Dominant Culture.