The election blame game, talking dogs, and Scottish Roundup embraces affirmative action for teuchters

A warm welcome to this week’s Scottish Roundup, which I’ve cunningly produced on a Monday just to keep you all on your toes. There’s a bumper crop of nominations this week, credit for which goes (if credit’s the word) to Doctorvee who nominated about a thousand people for my perusal. “Hero” is a word that bandied around all too lightly these days, but I think it’s reasonable to say that Doctorvee is the greatest hero in the history of the Internet.

Anyway, my faux chumminess is probably starting to grate, so on with the show.

The major Scottish news story was the Gould report into the election fiasco back in May, and a rather curious saga it was, too, with Gould being forced to backtrack just a couple of days after the report’s publication, when it became clear that opposition politicians and hacks were misinterpreting his suggestion of “a notable level of party self interest evident in Ministerial decision-making” as meaning that ministers were allowing party self interest to influence their decision-making. Apparently this wasn’t what he meant at all; what he really meant to say was that no-one was to blame and it was just one of those things. Cynical Chatter from the Underworld reckoned that Scotland is a banana republic; the same fruit was mentioned more than once by Curious Hamster (who has moved; note the new blog URL).

Predictably enough this led to the usual party knockabout; Cllr Andrew Burns was pleased to see that STV was not being blamed for the problems, Kezia Dugdale was “blown away” by the pettiness and hypocrisy of the SNP, and I myself wasn’t too impressed with Nicola Sturgeon’s verbal contortions. 1820 had perhaps the most succinct observation: “Gould looks likes a patsy.” And, as Love and Garbage noted, wee Dougie Alexander can’t even run a poll on his own website, which takes a special kind of incompetence.

The Nats get plenty of airtime in this roundup; this weekend they celebrated their first conference in government by going up to – where else? – Aviemore. The BBC’s near-spherical political editor, Brian Taylor, wrote up the trip on his surprisingly good blog. There were also some observations from My Rambling Thoughts and a good account of the conference jollity from J Arthur Macnumpty. SNP Councillor Mark McDonald can’t believe that Wendy Alexander (pbuh) doesn’t have an opinion on Trident. Havering On is unimpressed by Eck’s plans for a seat at the UN, though.

The other issue bubbling away under the surface, as it has for some time, is the increasingly tense relationship between Scotland and England, and this was explored during the week by John Redwood (another surprisingly good blog, even if you don’t share his politics) and Beau Bo D’Or, whose new logo for the Scottish Tories is irresistible. Indygal often complains about the BBC’s pro-English slant, but on this occasion, it seems, her sister was just being a bit of a numpty.

Further afield, Adam Smith Was A Socialist (liar!) despairs at the right-wing rhetoric of Eastern European politics; conversely, A Place To Stand crunches some of the numbers in the immigration debate and comes to some interesting, and controversial, conclusions. Tartan Hero quite rightly takes Tony Blair to task for his crass suggestion that he’s “like a abused and bullied wife” (it can be arranged, Tone), and the Reactionary Snob takes a big stick to David Miliband for suggesting that referenda are “the refuge of dictators and demagogues”.

Rhetorically Speaking looks at the hypocrisy surrounding the abortion debate, Mike Power is unimpressed by the “revelation” that most BBC employees on Facebook describe themselves as “liberal”, and the Flying Rodent reacts with suitable sensitivity to the news that Princess Diana’s last words were, apparently, “Oh, my God”. And, in far away Washington DC, Alex Massie takes US journalist James Fallows to task for comparing the Armenian genocide to the English “subjugation” of the Scots.

Away from matters political, Kim Ayres has some thoughts on passing 40 – indeed, hitting 41. Calum Carr writes on a troubling incident involved Mrs Carr. Kevin Williamson bemoans the loss of yet another Banksy, and Clairwil has a go at teachers who make excuses for underperforming children when they should be teaching them to read. Whoopdedoo warns of the perils of hugging strangers in the street (they might pee on you). And, for no particular reason, a couple of dog-related items; on the merits of luminous dog sick, and a quite, quite brilliant talking Glesga dug (with appropriately NSFW language).

On The Outside Looking In takes an engaging look at a subject close to my own heart; swearing. “There’s nothing quite like the simple pleasure of exclaiming “fuck!” when something goes wrong”, he says, and he’s absolutely correct.

Finally, following criticisms of the Scottish Roundup last week for being sexist (guest host Indygal having had trouble following through on her original plan for a female bloggers’ special; Doctorvee writes about the controversy here), the Blog Ombudsman has informed us that we are also hideously Central Belt, so it is with great pleasure that I present you with two excellent posts from Teuchterland; Angus Nicolson on Sunday ferry services in the Western Isles, and Silversprite muses on the incredible record of Finland in international sporting competition. (I didn’t even know they had the internet up there, so we’ve all learned something, haven’t we?)

Anyway, that’s all from me. Next week, we have a special roundup focusing on fat foul-mouthed Greek bloggers living in Scotland. Nominations to the usual place.


  1. You refer to Brian Taylor’s “surprisingly good website”. Fair enough but I have given up trying to post on it. I found it infuriating to have taken the time and trouble to post only to find when I press ‘submit’ I regularly got the “there has been a problem” message and the submission rejected becuase of site problems. Pretty poor show from the awesomely well resourced BBC.

  2. I have resisted the temptation to respond to last week’s furore. However I have to say, I did not think these guys were being sexist – it was a ****ing joke. I would have thought that was obvious to anyone. And in any case, it’s their website, they can do and say what they like. I don’t care, I wish I’d never written the thing and I cannot believe the fuss it caused. Right, hope that’s cleared that up. Good roundup btw 🙂