Challenging assumptions

One of the themes I detected from this week’s nominations was a readiness to challenge long held assumptions. Whether it’s broadening a political debate, or suggesting that the European Court of Human Rights isn’t perfect, albeit not for the same reasons as the Home Secretary, bloggers have been questioning ideas.

Kate Higgins finds positive aspects in Douglas Alexander’s speech on developing Scotland’s constitutional future.

 There is a whole separate blogpost to be written analysing this proposal but what is most interesting about this speech is its thoughtfulness.  Yes supporters might scoff but this is a leadership speech, not in terms of a pitch for position, but as an attempt to lead the debate and thinking around the kind of contribution Scottish Labour should be making in the National Conversation.

Lallands Peat Worrier is not so sure that the European Court of Human Rights is such a good thing:

In defending it against the predations of Grayling and May, however, I would invite folk on the political left to pause, and reflect a wee bit more about what sort of faith we should really invest in an institution which tells 97% of its applicants to buzz off, expressing as much feeling concern for their complaints as the most heartless Atos disability assessor.  An institution which is primarily accessible to rich applicants, and in dealing with its overtaxed docket, has increasingly resorted to reforms whose effective purpose is to make it harder for the poor and the legally unrepresented to have their cases taken up in Strasbourg.

Miranda Craig interviews Nine, who has many years’ experience at an outreach project supporting sex workers. Surely she’s welcomed the changes in the law in recent years and moves towards criminalising the purchase of sex. Well, no.

I really want to know how they’re able to reconcile campaigning for legislation that increases sex workers’ risk of violence. I’m especially perplexed by abolitionist agencies that have direct contact with sex workers: how does it feel to support kerb-crawling legislation, then see the women you support showing up with more and more tales of violence and desperation?

Over at Better Nation, James has concerns about immigration. But they’re not the same as the Daily Mail’s.

You might assume Labour would be really effective at opposing the so-called bedroom tax. Ian Smart begs to differ.

On to a story that has shocked the Catholic Church, Kelvin Holdsworth writes about the resignation of Cardinal O’Brien, obviously penned before this afternoon’s statement from the former head of the Catholic Church.

Those sellers behind those anonymous Keep Calm and Rape t-shirts who deny they sold such things and it was all a computer generated algorithm have been tracked down by Edinburgh Eye on Ebay – and their wares are not much better.

Tartantights’s blog tells us all about Bards in the Park.

Raymond Weir takes up astrology, maybe.

The Scottish Blogosphere welcomes back Stephen Glenn who’s just moved to start a new job in Kirkwall. And a familiar face crops up on the blog of young designer Emily Hogarth.

And, finally, Edinburgh folk have been all overcome by advent of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to the extent where they’ve been prepared to queue for hours for a box of the sweet treats. Charlotte tells us about her experiences. Were they all they were cracked up to be?

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