Well hello there! Sorry about last week. The funny thing about Christmas — that thing that’s supposed to be a holiday — is that everybody just seems to get stressed out, and we were all too busy to write a roundup! Never mind, because this week’s roundup is a bumper fortnight edition. And instead of a not-very-strict one link per blogger rule, there will now be a not-very-strict two links per blogger rule. Not that I’ll be sticking to it, you understand.
Looking back through two weeks worth of Scottish blog posts, there has been one dominant subject — independence. Much of this is because of the Labour conference that seemed to talk much more about the SNP than about Labour. Oh well. I keep on meaning to write about my current thoughts on independence on my own blog, but it’s going to be a rambling one, so you’ll just have to wait until I have enough time to ramble that much. In the meantime, here is what everybody else was saying about it.
Undoubtedly the post of the fortnight on this subject was by Mr Eugenides at Scottish Political News. He is worried that — while independence is looking more inevitable by the week — nobody has actually fully digested the potential consequences of independence. It does seem to me as though everybody has just got so used to independence being an issue that nobody actually bothers to tackle the substance or consider the actual consequences.
Otan2 called the comments from Gordon Brown utter bollocks. Otan2 reckons self-interest is at play here. If Scotland were to become independent, Brown couldn’t become PM! Brown said that independence would be bad because there are so many family connections that span across the border. To which Otan2 says:
After all, no other country in the world has foreigners living in it! There are no Swedes married to Norwegians or Turks to Bulgarians. The very thought.
But the biggest howls of pain / laughter were reserved for John Reid. Will Howells takes a look at Reid’s one track mind. Both Holyrood Watcher and Shuggy reckon he’s lost it. It being his damn mind, of course.
Illegal immigrants, we are told, are economic migrants coming into Britain under false pretences. But we don’t get very many up here now, so why would an independent Scotland receive more, when we are also being told separation would completely wreck our economy?
Mark McDonald wonders how Reid determined that an independent Scotland would be at greater risk from a terrorist attack. “Did he get on the phone to Osama Bin Laden and ask what his policy was on Scottish Independence?”
But my favourite post of the week about John Reid was this one by CuriousHamster. There is a lot to agree with there, but you’ll find out more about my views on it when I get round to writing that post.
Angry Steve asks, “Scotland should be independent from what?” Quite. For me, the question is not about why Scotland should be independent. It is about why Scotland should be independent.
Has Reactionary Snob told you how much he loathes the SNP? No? You’d better have a read then. The bit about oil and the SNP’s supposed “green” credentials particularly rings my bell.
Davie Hutchison tries to take the opportunity to claim that Scotland subsidises England with oil money, rather than England subsidising Scotland with tax money. I was reminded of Bagehot’s column last week (not a blog, I know, but quite relevant). It’s subscription only, but if you can get your hands on it…
There was also the small matter of an opinion poll that seemed to show that English people are now more in favour of independence than Scots are! Reading what commentators have to say south of the border, it definitely feels as if the tide has turned. Shuggy asks, “What future for the Union if supposedly conservative commentators aren’t willing to make conservative arguments in its defence?”
Reactionary Snob is most worried about Nicola Sturgeon’s hair. It’s true, and combined with that awful jacket, Nicola Sturgeon is definitely the least telegenic politician in Holyrood — and that’s saying something!
The other big issue of the past week has been Trident. Incidentally, Andrew reckons he has it in a nutshell. Malcolm Chisholm’s comments in particular have aroused interest from SNP members. Here are Mark McDonald’s thoughts. Meanwhile, Chisholm’s opponent in next year’s Edinburgh North & Leith election, Davie Hutchison, reckons Chisholm’s in the wrong party!
There was also a vote on same-sex adoption, and the SNP bloggers have been rather less quiet about Roseanna Cunningham’s involvement in that. Here are Tartan Hero’s thoughts on it. Bookdrunk is reminded why she really hates The Daily Mail.
At the risk of sounding catty the last organisation on God’s earth I would approach for advice about child welfare is the Catholic Church.
[I]t’s basically a semantic trick that tries to exploit our modern enthusiasm for free speech and a plurality of opinion and suggest that anyone who seeks to advance equality for homosexuals is somehow being ‘intolerant’ of the views of others. This argument is clearly nonsense since it could have been deployed in opposition to any social advance over the last few hundred years (racial equality, extending the franchise, abolition of child labour etc.)
Related to that is the supposed “war on Christmas”. Apparently ‘intolerant’ liberal secularists are determined to distort the true meaning of Christmas (funny, all I can see his the hyper-religious forcing everyone to be Christian for the traditional Pagan festival). Sending a card that says “Seasons Greetings” on it is now a heinous crime that is sure to send you straight to hell. But nobody cares about that because, as bookdrunk points out, secular Christmas cards are so much better than the stuffy old religious ones.
So, David Cameron’s been leader of the Conservatives for a year. Has he done a good job for the Conservatives? Here are two contrasting views. The Devil’s Kitchen thinks not, and points out a particular Polly Toynbee-related tipping point. On the other hand, Conservative Party member Cassilis reckons the Conservatives need to move with the times and embrace Cameron’s more modern direction.
J. Arthur MacNumpty has revealed the nominations for the first annual MacNumpty Awards. Here are the nominations for the Comical Ali award.
On the proposed, nonsensical “voluntary code of conduct” for bloggers, Robert Sharp notes that if you have a complaint about a blog, there is a form of redress — the comments section.
There are complaints aplenty being thrown around by The Devil’s Kitchen and Chad of UKIP Home. All I can say is, well done, Chad, for pissing off one of the blogosphere’s most prominent UKIP supporters. A big sarcastic applause goes out to you.
Alright, I think that will do for this week. Remember, get those nominations in for next week’s roundup (and I promise there will be one!) at the usual address: scottishroundup [at] gmail [dot] com. Seeya later!