It has been a quite momentous week for Scottish politics. First David Cameron and Alex Salmond clashed over a future referendum on Scottish Independence. The Salmond announced that a referendum would indeed be held in autumn 2014. It is finally here – we are to be asked if we want Scotland become an independent country!
Of course many Scots have strong views on either side of the argument but, as a Radio 5 Live report in the week picked up, it is remarkable how many people are genuinely wanting to hear the arguments, discuss the pros and cons and make up their mind as to what they think is right for the future of the nation.
It is therefore sad when the debate becomes overly partisan and shouty. But then politicians and journalists have always had a tendency to be a ‘parcel of rogues’!
Nevertheless, this does all make for a vibrant blogging scene, and if you care to look there are a number of considered and interesting writers out there. This is perhaps all the more important as we debate, argue and consider our way forward.
First up this week is Peter Curran writing at Moridura. He is one of the Nat’s great polemicists – passionate, erudite, and well read, he rarely fails to stimulate. Also, I think something of a romantic, he is very partisan and you might not agree with him unless you are a dyed in the wool nationalist, but he writes well, challenges his reader and gets over many of the arguments from the Nationalist side. His blog-posting , “Labour’s last redoubt, I’m an Internationalist not a Nationalist” caught my eye as he comes at things a little differently. In the piece he muses on the nature of nationalism, imperialism and socialism and gives some perspective on where some Nationalists think we are at this moment in history.
Next up Jeff Breslin, these days an independent voice, albeit with nationalist sympathies. He is considered and well researched and his posting this week on Better Nation “Salmond attempts to wash Scotland’s hands of RBS exposure” throws light on one of the important sub-plots in this drama.
Andrew Page, is another thoughtful blogger, who despite the title of his blog “A Scottish Liberal” is very much his own man. Andrew, in “Independence Referendum announced…” considers the most effective way to conduct the debate and engage with the issues, highlighting there is more to work out here for all of us than to merely answer the Indy question.
Ian Smart, one of the left’s most intelligent bloggers, in his piece “Advice rejected” also takes up the theme of the need for constructive debate and to not sell Scotland short. He argues for the need for Labour to work with the Conservatives on the issues where they have common ground.
Finally Jennie Kermode, another good blogger who is a journalist, campaigner, film buff and loves a good argument at Den of the Hyena, gives a good summary of the week’s events and pleads for the debate to focus on real discussion points rather than just rant at us predictably. In particular, she picks out the need to also consider the Devo Max issue in her post ‘1001 nights’. Yes it could take 1001 nights to get us to the Referendum!
On a slightly different note…
“Is there a Plan B” gave an interesting perspective on it all from an English woman living in Scotland in her post “Politics – this time its personal”
High Speed Rail
On the point of real issues perhaps the other big story in politics last week was the development of the High Speed Rail project – a story which has an indirect bearing on Scotland’s status in the UK.
Chris Donnelly, writing in Tory Hoose discussed the significance of High Speed Rail to Scotland in his post “HS2, essential for Scotland”
The campaign’s first stushie
The first ranty stushie of the long referendum campaign blew up around Joan McAlpine, the well known commentator and SNP MSP.
Caron’s Musings, a well know LibDem blog wrote about it in, “How very dare you Joan McAlpine” in which she asks if McAlpine is turning herself into the Jan Moir of the SNP.
…and something completely different
There was more going on than politics last week – however momentous.
In a charming piece entitled “My wee shadow” a mum (Softthistle) talked about her son’s development.
A little food…
It is January and many of us are considering healthy lifestyles. Shaheen, a food blogger based in the West of Scotland looked at an eclectic year’s vegetarian recipes.
Perhaps taking up the theme of Scottish History – Tinned Tomatoes who runs a Scottish Vegetarian blog – highlighted a recipe she used for banana, coconut and chocolate chip flapjacks taken on a picnic to Stirling castle
…and a little music
With Burns night coming up “A traveller’s library” reviewed Acquaintance by Jim Malcolm in “Music Monday”. This is a new album of music featuring Burns’ songs – which brings me nicely back to “A parcel of rogues”!