SBR14: Time to start a Scottish Bloggers Association? And an English perspective on independence

Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s Scottish Blogging Roundup! I should just say thanks to all of those who have been linking to the roundup over this past week. It’s really encouraging to see other people supporting this project.

Sorry to start with a post about Scottish blogging (not again?!), but Holyrood Watcher has been looking over the pond and feels like a poor relation. Will Paterson feels a bit left out too. Over in the USA, the Media Bloggers Association is making waves. So why aren’t bloggers over here doing the same?

I should say that I don’t think this is any problem with the Scottish blogosphere per se. The US blogosphere has progressed further than all other bloggers in the world. Still, can Scottish bloggers emulate the success of our American counterparts? Will P reckons 2007 will be the year when blogs make an impact. He suggests setting up a ‘Scottish Bloggers Association’ and Holyrood Watcher and Grant Thoms add their own suggestions in the comments. What do you think? Pop over and leave a comment.

Away from the navel gazing stuff now. Clearly, the history of the union and the apparent drift towards England and Scotland separating is exciting everybody at the moment, because there have been masses of posts about it this week. I can’t really be bothered about it, but that might just be sour grapes because I’ve had an unfinished post sitting in my “drafts” section for months now, and I can never summon the energy to finish it!

Still, I may as well just link to what everybody else is saying. So here is Leyton with an interesting post. Here is Sarah’s perspective on “national identity”. For an English perspective, check out Iain Dale (where there are plenty of comments), John at The England Project and Notsaussure.

Elsewhere, following the death of Harry Horse and his wife in an apparent suicide pact, Mark McDonald thinks it’s time to allow people to “die with dignity”.

Angry Steve is angry about the government’s proposals to have people staying in school until the age of 18. Nothing to do with lowering unofficial unemployment figures of course! Shuggy, a teacher, has his say as well.

I think most teachers would agree with me that if a youth has managed to get through 11 years of compulsory education without acquiring the ability to read and write, the chances of this being sorted out with a further two years are pretty slim.

Scottish Political News has overheard a conversation on a train. Not any old conversation though. This was a particularly chatty press officer from the Scottish Executive, and she let slip some very interesting things.

Mr Eugenides looks on as the Home Office begins another round of “pass-the-blame-parcel”. CuriousHamster says that John Reid “is the personification of everything that is wrong with New Labour.

Davie Hutchison has taken a look at Duncan McNeil’s call for protesters at Faslane to apologise to victims of crime because the protest had a police presence. Hutchison unearths photographs McNeil himself attending a policed protest! Oh dear.

Richard Thomson comments on a ding-dong between SNP and Lib Dem MSPs.

But the SNP can’t take the high ground for long, because Reactionary Snob points out a certain irony in the SNP’s campaign against negative campaigning. Their campaign basically involves criticising Labour for its negative campaigning. Whoops!

Bookdrunk investigates Ewan Aitken’s call for sites like YouTube to be censored because they are apparently glorifying crime.

Pause now, to wallow in the irony of the situation: that a low quality video of teen violence that would have been ignored by everyone is only reaching a wide audience because of an article condemning it. An article published on January 8th, more than a month after the actual event.

Will Cllr. Aitken please now condemn The Evening (Five Week Delay For Your) News for enabling such violence to be glorified? Will he condemn himself for taking part in such a circle-jerk in the first place?

Following the news that gay people can now stay in bigots’ guest houses, Mike Power speaks about his time running a guest house. Meanwhile, Robert Sharp wants to know why, for the sake of consistency, such B&Bs don’t also ban unmarried heterosexual couples, given that the bible also condemns these? Plenty of comments there to get stuck into.

Meanwhile, The Tenement Tory has a bone to pick with the government for measuring success purely on the basis of how much money is spent.

Finally, The Select Society tackles a question posed by Nosemonkey… by changing the question.

Right, this is quite a long roundup already, and I haven’t delved as deeply as I thought I might. Which is a good thing! Don’t forget to get your suggestions for next week’s roundup sent to scottishroundup [at] gmail [dot] com. Seeya later!


  1. One difference between here and the US is time. They’ve been blogging since about 2003, whereas most blogs here seem to date from 2005-2006. They didn’t have much impact on the presidential election, but by heck they had an impact in November. It takes time to build up a netroots movement.
    Another difference is that the blogs were providing virtually the only media opposition to the Republican government, which gave them the fuel of publicity. Whether the same model of political blogging will work in Scotland is debatable, given the different political set-up. I’m sure that in two years we’ll have a thriving Scottish political blogscene. I just don’t know what it’ll look like.