Archives » 2011 » August

Revolution in the air

Scottish Roundup is brought to you this week by Gavin Hamilton who blogs at The View from the Hills.

You say you want a revolution
well you know, we all want to rule the world…

You say you got a real solution
Well you know, we’d all love to see the plan…
(Lennon/McCartney 1968)

August is coming to an end.  Footy has returned, the kids are back at school and the Edinburgh Festivals are drawing to a close.  Traditionally this is still the heart of the silly season with no real stories in the news, but this month momentous change is in the air.

The end game seems to have arrived in the Libyan revolution and the latest instalment of the Arab Spring.  The futuristic transport plans of the City of Edinburgh are in tatters as the troubled tram project hit the buffers and Scottish football is looking for a radical solution as the last teams have been kicked out of Europe before summer’s even out!

All this and more was occupying the Macblogosphere this week.

The news this week has been dominated by Libya and the fall of Tripoli as the rebels and Nato reached tipping point against the Gaddafi regime.

The magnificently loquacious Lallands Peat Worrier writes “Send Megrahi back to chokey!”

In a bun dance on the other hand, writing about the reporting of Libya, writes, “Twitter – break the news not hearts” where she reflects on the power of Twitter in reporting the news, and reflects on some of the limitations too.

Edinburgh’s Trams
The domestic story that raised a big stushie this week was the ill fated Edinburgh Trams project – which was meant to revolutionise the city’s integrated transport system and environment.  This week the capital’s councillors voted to complete a truncated line to Haymarket only – thereby running between the airport and just outside the city centre.  Well, the proverbial has hit the fan!

Sean McP has an original take on the story and puts it all in perspective in “Old and Bent“. He describes ‘the politically motivated decision to vote for the worst option’ and despairs because he feels Edinburgh ‘has made a career of dither, lack of vision and small mindedness,’ irrespective of the political party involved.

A Burdz Eye View notes political posturing behind a poor decision in “Capital‘s leaders are far from inspiring“. She includes a vote which, when I looked, had most voting to complete the project, just ahead of those voting to mothball and a single solitary vote to go with what the council actually voted for.

Shoogly Peg in “Tram-pling Democracy” offers a west coast view of Edinburgh’s cock up.  Caron’s Musings gives a LibDem view in “What use is a tram line to Haymarket?” Suitably Despairing gives a Green view in “Trams effectively killed off.” While Andrew Burns argues Labour‘s case, and the case for what was voted for, in several articles on his excellent blog ‘…Really Bad Blog‘.  “£230 million per mile tram debt deal was unacceptable” is probably the main article.  (Sorry couldn’t find a SNP or Conservative view.)

Change has been in the air for our political parties too.  They have been in some disarray since our own so called ‘Scottish Spring’ and the SNP success at Holyrood.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have to find new leaders.  This week leading Scottish blogger Tom Harris MP put himself forward to be the Labour leader in Scotland, though Jeff Breslin, writing at Better Nation, thinks he is just trying to shake the process up in “Tom Harris for leader of Scottish Labour?” Tom Harris himself says he really does want the job writing at Labourhame in “Leadership ambitions”.

The week’s theme of change and big solutions is taken up by Mugwump, in which David Torrance writes about the search for a new leader of the Conservatives in Scotland, and argues “A no change leader – regardless of who it is – is political death.”

Nick Clegg, the Deputy PM and LibDem leader visited Scotland this week and shared his plans for changing the world as part of the Coalition government and got paint splattered for his trouble.  Caron’s Musings covered the visit in “Nick Clegg has to get out and about in Scotland more often”, while A Scottish Liberal cast a more critical eye over what Clegg is doing in “Nick Clegg visits Scotland”.

As far as the SNP are concerned, the Burd cast a critical eye over the SNP’s first 100 days at Holyrood this time and found it less than revolutionary, albeit practical – writing at Better Nation in “100 days have come and gone”.  Stephen Noon on the other hand shared his vision for the future in “Scotland’s New Deal” in which he highlights an interesting study of the economics of small independent states by a Plaid Cymru MP.

Revolution in other news…
Gerry Hassan wrote this week about Steve Jobs, relinquishing his role as Apple CEO through ill health.  As he notes, Apple and Jobs has changed the planet in “My own personal enlightenment: how the internet is remaking us.”

Closer to home Manguin’s Republic shows how the mighty have fallen this week in his tale of the recent downward turn in the life of Fred Goodwin in “What was that twinge?”

Speaking of events leading to the fall of the mighty, Subrosa wrote about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case and reflected “what constitutes a good victim?”

In “Auld Reekie roller girl role models” Mairi Campbell-Jack writes a guest post for Dorky Mum.  She explores how one subculture can provide a revolutionary different understanding of femininity.

Cranmer wrote about “Anti-Semitism at St Andrews University” in which he discusses an important case this week and whether it was revolt against the state of Israel or just anti-Jewish racism.

Kezia Dugdale in “Tuition Fees” discusses the important issue of whether UK citizens from outside Scotland will still have to pay fees at Scottish Universities in a case that reared its head last week and which may yet upset that particular apple cart.

Scottish Mum Blog has set up a new group on Brit Mums for bloggers who have an interest in adoption.  I include this because I believe adoption can completely change things for the better for those who are adopted and is such an important thing in our society.  She wrote, “Bloggers adoption group on Brit Mums”.

And finally…
Calzo is a talented music producer and sometime web designer from the Borders.  He is doing some original work in the studio and with a fusion of light, sound and performance which promises to change the world in another way – maybe a better way!

Read about it what he is up to on his blog also in, “Building Shep 3 RDs EP”

Would you save a life or just walk on past?

The headline story for this week’s Scottish Roundup comes from a blog I hadn’t seen before. However, Gordon Darroch‘s story of spotting a man outside the railings on a bridge is a lovely haunting read – I commend it to you.

Tongue twisters

Normally anything containing the phrase “self-organised unconference” would earn snorts of derision and swift relegation to the bin. However, I will forgive ScotGovCamp because what they do is probably quite important and I hope they coined it with a irony.

And Transatlantic Blonde explores the dropping of the c-bomb.  I was interested in the comments that talk about the word being a particularly popular one in Scotland.

In a similar (ish) neck of the woods, new girl The lass o’ Pairts talks about what happens when you use the f-word (no not that one this one ‘feminist’).

I predict a lot of hot air

For a few days riots were the only topic of conversation. Now the mess is largely cleared up and all that remains is the blame game and figuring out how to prevent it from happening again. On Burdz Eye View Jennie Kermode discusses whether they were English or British riots and why they didn’t happen here.

At Avizandum Times the sentences handed out to rioters are discussed.

Back to ‘get a flipping move on our you’ll miss the bus’ time

Parents up and down Scotland breathed a sigh of relief as their little darlings headed back into school again. Billy The Kid was troubled though about the items on his school shopping list. And I found the step to high school a bit of a big one.

Meeja, new meeja and local meeja

Caron Lindsay looks at Sally Bercow’s residence in the Celebrity Big Brother house thereby hitting the happy double of linking low-rent telly shows with politics.

Iain Hepburn on False Doorway discusses the issues around local TV services for Scotland.

New to the party A Man’s A Man, looks at the power of the epetition.

In some circles excitement about Social Media Week Glasgow (19 – 23 September) is building. Mark Calpin mentions his delight at being asked to sit on the advisory board. SMWGlasgow will have something for everyone whatever your level of social media experience. One of the most relevant for Roundup fans might be Blog Off run by our own Transatlantic Blonde.

Food – for the soul and the belly

At Jemma Eat World, among various tasty treats, is a Scottish take on the black and blue burger.

And Julie Scrumptious takes the rough with the smoothie.

Misssy M vlogs from Belladrum.

Random Thoughts of A Random Mind on the delights of a recent walk.

And finally

For those of us enjoying a moment out from the hamster wheel of our existences, here’s a little something. Landscapes 365 is the story of a couple who gave up the nine-to-five for a rural idyl.












A Riotous Week

The big London news this week was of course the intense drama and controversy of the Olympic beach volleyball test event. Um…well…that and the riots. The violence and looting that has broken out in London and elsewhere has inevitably resulted in a great amount of debate and disagreement.  So it is that this, RAD Software’s first Scottish roundup, must focus on the national discussion. That said, I won’t topics close to my own heart – technology and business – won’t be wholly neglected.

Do video games represent and entrench a violent generational shift? Amsaman analyses the role of gory video games in spurring the activities of the looting youth.  Suitably Despairing is more drawn to the civilising influence of Scotland’s revamped National Museum of Scotland, though not immune from being annoyed when the nation’s treasures are closed off to the public at 5pm sharp.

Subrosa presciently posts the late Jimmy Reid’s 1971 address to University of Glasgow students, in which he contends that ;

‘Society and its prevailing sense of values leads to another form of alienation. It alienates some from humanity. It partially de-humanises some people, makes them insensitive, ruthless in their handling of fellow human beings, self-centred and grasping. The irony is, they are often considered normal and well-adjusted. It is my sincere contention that anyone who can be totally adjusted to our society is in greater need of psychiatric analysis and treatment than anyone else.’

With the present back and forth concerning alienation, propriety and the winners and losers of contemporary society, Mr Reid’s challenge to conventional norms is particularly interesting.

Back on the topic of IT as a positive/negative force, In A Bun Dance reports her frustrations with modern applications of technology, enjoying the opportunity to enjoyably pass the time with digital baubles while lamenting the lack of modern solutions to the everday drudgery of housework. Maybe a good scrub gets out those riotous energies?

GHmltn has recently enjoyed a trip to Malta and has subsequent reflections on the beautiful island’s chaotic history. Having been controlled by various powers, and subject to different political settlements, Malta has a rich history. GHmltn considers that history is often more complex than it first appears, and is itself written by those with a reason to write a certain viewpoint into being; another thought to be borne in mind when assessing the present riot-related upset.

Kelvin Holdsworth considers the rioting more explicitly in his blog as he sets out the type of address he’d like to see from David Cameron, copping to his earlier Bullingdon Club involvement and setting out a more humane social policy. Blimple echoes this perspective, commenting that;

‘…another thing that’s pissing me off is the accusations that these rioters don’t have a real ’cause’ or real problems because they’re stealing plasma TVs and trainers – rather than food. Well it’s a little harder to break into a shop and steal education, jobs and opportunity.’

As someone who works for an IT company that services the manufacturing sector, my interest in creating opportunities and jobs is pretty significant. In that vein I’ll finish with one of the latest RAD Software blogs on the prospect of a recovering economy. Bye!

Say what you mean, mean what you say

It might be good to talk, but it’s not always easy to get your point across. The gift of communication also brings with it the potential for misunderstandings, wilful misrepresentation and downright foot-squarely-wedged-in-mouth verbal mistakes. And communication – good, bad and confused – is the theme of this, theshooglypeg’s first scramble up into the editor’s chair at Scottish Roundup. It’s a nice chair, actually, a big leather one that you can spin round on and pretend you’re James Bond. Somebody’s dropped some crisps down the back of it though.

Anyway, let’s begin. Ellen at In a Bun Dance is a woman who ought to know about communication, being a Proper Journo as well as a blogger, and she tells an interesting story about recently being asked to place a PR puff piece as legitimate news. She refused, of course, but no doubt somebody said yes. Also pondering journalism is The Burd, who has swooped onto the Scottish Government’s publication of every piece of media engagement it’s had in the last few years, and found that nobody seems very interested in talking to anyone but Alex Salmond. She concludes that our media is not doing a very good job of letting us know what’s going on.

Luckily, other people are devoting their posts this week to doing exactly that, and it would seem that what is primarily going on is some sort of festival in Edinburgh. Anybody heard of it? Dorky Mum certainly has, and she’s written about the events she’s most looking forward to. Natasha at The Pop Cop is also reporting from the front line of entertainment, simultaneously reviewing not one but two gigs whilst also reflecting on the difficulties of using words to describe music. And Mike Ritchie Media brings us a message from the world of commerce: start shopping, it’s nearly Christmas!

Of course, there are many different ways to communicate. Rose Garnett chooses to do so through fiction, and this week has posted the start of a spooky short story set in a Scottish pub. My guess is it’s going to end with somebody getting eaten. Janey Godley has a style of communication that is all her own, combining sharp humour with massive digressions, global travel and highly inventive swearing. This week she discusses going on holiday, using Twitter and not being at the Fringe. And A Home in the Highlands gets a message across without needing words at all, simply by sharing some stunning photos of our wee nation’s West Coast. They mostly get a mention because of the picture of happy dogs. If there’s any sight more cheerful than a happy dog, I’ve yet to encounter it.

And finally, Better Nation highlights some communication that probably shouldn’t have happened at all with a new feature, Worst Motion of the Week. For those who are not politically-minded, I’d like to assure you that this has nothing to do with toilety matters, but instead brings you the week’s most pointless proposal made in the Scottish Parliament. A valuable service, indeed.

That’s it for this week folks, so I’ll get down from this chair, dust the crisps off my trousers and hand back the keys to the blog. Toodleoo!