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Everything’s Debatable…

Imagine asking a Labour Blogger to sum up the week where Alex Salmond wins not one but two, Politician of the Year Awards and the SNP publish their first budget in power. An honour or a curse? You decide. For what it’s worth I thoroughly enjoyed it….So here goes:

Debatable Land argues that this weeks budget was sober and sensible, and suggests that if Salmond really wants to further the case for independence he should cut income tax in Scotland, fuelling English demands for a full review of the Barnett Formula.Andrew Burns argues that despite all the claims that this weeks budget will provide local authorities with more flexibility and autonomy, the truth of the matter is that if each individual council is forced to sign a “Single Outcome Agreement” all autonomy is lost as Councils give up their local agendas for national priorities in the name of a Council Tax freeze.

Staying in Edinburgh for a second, I’d like to welcome Cllr. Ewan Aitken back to the world of blogging – by far away his best post this week notes the frightening similarity between John Swinney and Arthur Daly.

Doctor Vee has a very well considered and argued piece on University Funding following the SNP’s budget whilst .

A Place to Stand demands more tax cuts to fuel the Scottish Economy and argues that in essence, Salmond’s Celtic lion has more of a purr than a roar whilst Parliamentary Questions takes a look at what’s next for the budget process.

It’s perhaps also worth commenting on the fact that there’s a real dearth of SNP blogs on the budget this week, there is however an abundance of posts on TV themed issues starting with Angus Nicolson who has a great piece on the challenge facing Gaelic Television. A view also held by Reactionary Snob who questions whose “value for money” the BBC Trust Unit is assessing.

Scottish Futures wonders whether a Scottish Doctor Who really is the best the Broadcasting Commission can come up with whilst Havering Havers notes the irony of the meetings being held “in camera” – especially when all the transcripts will be published at a later date – Anyone else think that the Broadcasting Commission recommending a Scottish Six is about as predictable as Margo MacDonald making a Point of Order at FMQs?
Another big political story this week was the news that Jonathan Aitken is take on a new role reviewing the Conservatives prison policy, Still Not Grown Up makes the excellent point that every time we laugh and sneer at the “disgraced ex Tory MP” we ignore the fact that prison is about both punishment and rehabilitation and that he has as much right to get on with his life and make a fresh start as the next person. A view that Tartan Hero might think about the next time he’s in the company of Lord Watson.

Perhaps the biggest event of the week was The Herald’s Scottish Politician of the Year Awards (for full results and comment see Mr Eugenides) and since nothing of any great significance happened there (!)… I’ve decided to exploit my position as guest editor and do my own little Awards ceremony. So here goes:

The Soapbox Award for Bravery goes to Matt Wardman for suggesting that it’s actually Shetland’s Oil.

The Soapbox Award for “Well Said” goes to J Arthur MacNumpty for arguing that just because the greens say they’re right, doesn’t mean they actually are!

The Soapbox Award for the Most Random Post goes to Scottish Tory Boy for defending the Spice Girls

and finally, The Soapbox Award for Most Likely to get Abuse goes to me for suggesting the SNP have been making policies disappear with a flick of their web wizardy wand.

And that’s all folks! Thanks for all the nominations this week. As always, email in with your favourite blogs of the week to scottishroundup@gmail.com