Scottish Roundup’s normally strict avoidance policy regarding Tony Boaks’ Despairing Notes is hereby challenged by virtue of the fact that I’m Tony Boaks and I’m sitting in the biggest chair. Fasten your seatbelts.
The news, and hence the Scottish blogosphere, has been dominated by two main stories this week: ‘What are we going to do about Donald?’ and the other one. Many bloggers have chosen to deal with both in the same post, with varying degrees of how much both are entirely Alex Salmond’s fault.
It began innocently enough when a Holyrood committee wanted to question a range of experts on renewable energy and naturally called in Donald Trump. Billionaire ba’ heid Trump put himself in charge of Scotland’s energy policy some time ago and blew into town promising Scotland would become “a third world wasteland that global investors will avoid.” I didn’t think it sounded so bad if it meant he’d get back on the plane.
In Ten Lies of Donald Trump, Andy Wightman offers some of heid-the-ba’s most recent untruths. This is by no means a comprehensive list but will up your creativity in the swearing stakes. Of this mere tip of the iceberg number 6, “We’ve had tremendous support from environmental groups”, would have to be my personal favourite.
A Sair Fecht also questions Trump’s distant relationship with the truth (apparently Al Megrahi was seen jogging in the park last week). At one point he resorts to personal insults, something I would never do, but such is the strength of feeling regarding combover-boy. Rupert Murdoch is thrown into the mix and in the process A Sair Fecht offers a new word to the English language – the Murdump – describing what the First Minister has had to contend with in trying to coax jobs out of Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
Peter A. Bell focuses on the Leveson enquiry and how Salmond was or wasn’t involved in the BskyB deal. I have no idea what Chiels That Winna Ding means (and I’m technically Dundonian) but his argument is very clear and anyone who read the four innocuous emails in question would have to agree that they’re probably the dullest scandalous material ever released.
That didn’t stop Lallands Peat Worrier accusing Salmond of “astonishing naïveté,” something that doesn’t get said very often of the high heid yin, and herein lies the thrust of much of the debate that has followed. That is, is the First Minister a bit keen to court powerful businessmen? Wings Over Scotland discusses Labour’s policy in Labour’s Long Spoon and concludes their handling of the issue would have been no different. My own view is that it’s okay for successive Prime Ministers and opposition leaders to seek favourable press coverage and inward investment to their country but it’s simply not on for Alex Salmond to do the same.
Elsewhere, historian David Starkey has been up to his roguish tricks again. Starkers, or Tool Britannia as he is known in Scotland, called Alex Salmond a “Caledonian Hitler” who thinks “the English, like the Jews, are everywhere.” I thought this was nothing that a good skelp wouldn’t sort but when I said as much on Twitter, I was told I would have to join a long and disorderly queue waiting to administer it. Bella Caledonia takes a more rational view of this twisted little ego-ball in Starkey.
Turning from one horror to another, it’s important to remember that not all Scottish bloggers are dealing with news and current affairs. One of my favourite escapees is Edinburgh’s only supernatural crime fighter Rose Garnett. In The Ghost Formerly Known As…, Rose is confronted by the spectre of a murder past and is plunged into the start of a new case. A little dark relief for those in need.
Marianne Wheelaghan quotes Mark Twain in You have to write for a long time, to write like yourself …: “My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Fortunately everybody drinks water.” I suppose my own writing is more like lemonade in that it’s not so good for you but is a bit more fun.
My latest post at Tony Boaks’ Despairing Notes: Easily Mistaken For A Funny Blog was inspired by the Daily Record. It might be unusual for the Record to inspire anything other than despair but I should explain that it was Muriel Gray’s description of the paper which was responsible. In Muriel Gray’s Parrot, I encounter a most discerning reader who is vocal in his criticism of Scottish print journalism.
Tony Boaks is the main character in my blog. Everywhere else I’m known as @gregmoodie.
I like a good roundup on a Sunday but this one will have to do.