SBR 20: Xenophobes on one side, fearties on the other

Good morning, and welcome to this week’s roundup. Something I’ve noticed quite a lot recently is that a lot of big stories (particularly to do with the SNP) happen on a Sunday — after the roundup has been posted!

This week was no different, and Jamie Stone’s X-word feels as though, in some ways, it was uttered ages ago. After all, a week is a lifetime in etcetera. Yet the debate over Mr Stone’s comments have been raging on in the blogosphere throughout the week.

Predictably enough, SNP supporters were quite angry. Grant Thoms called the comments “complete and utter lies for the sake of a political career.” Richard Thomson was even angrier, calling the accusation “the last refuge of a thick unionist who is losing the argument.”

On the other side of the coin, James Graham defended Mr Stone’s comments, saying that the SNP were in effect demanding that the “Lib Dems should apologise for stating the bleeding obvious”. He came in for a bit of stick in the comments though.

Meanwhile, Shuggy was impressed with the Lib Dems for once for telling the truth.

Among all the heat, strangely enough Councillor Terry Kelly was able to write something resembling a coherent thought on the matter (as Mr Eugenides in Mr Kelly’s comments and Longrider both also notice).

Reactionary Snob also seemed surprised that calling the SNP xenophobic now earns you a booing on Question Time. He wasn’t too impressed with the panellists on Question Time either — apart from Hardeep Singh Kohli. Small Nation was particularly critical of George Foulkes’s performance on Question Time.

Perhaps most notable, though, was the absense of Jack McConnell. Hardeep Singh Kohli aside, all of the panellists were the leaders of their parties. But McConnell was nowhere. Davie Hutchison says somebody should tell Jack there’s an election on, saying:

It’s not clear whether Jack is ducking the debate himself or if those in control of the Labour campaign don’t think he’s up to it.

Meanwhile, Holyrood Watcher has noted the claim that the event was the seventh time McConnell has declined an invitation to debate with Alex Salmond, and the fifteenth time he has declined to appear on Question Time. As Holyrood Watcher says, the longer he leaves it, the harder it will get. Donald Maclean’s comment there is also worth a look.

Max at Ambuscading was also distinctly unimpressed at the performances on Question Time. Meanwhile, Reluctant Hero has posted his own take on the week’s big talking points.

Also check out Will P’s series of three posts setting out why he is in favour of independence.

Curious Hamster gets stuck into a straw man set up by Iain Dale and his ilk — “everyone on the left hates Bushmerica”.

Meanwhile, Flying Rodent has an absolutely stonking post that gets stuck into claims that Europe is anti-America. Flying Rodent sarcastically asks, “Just How Fascist Are Those Europeans?”

Flying Rodent neglected to mention our hatred of cigarette smoke which Mr Eugenides calls fascist. Harry Potter is doing the sex on stage, but it’s the cigarette smoking that’s getting people up in arms.

The latest new political party to throw its hat into the ring is the Publican Party. They want to reverse the smoking ban and will be standing in four regions in the Scottish Parliament elections. Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting has taken a look and assessed the possible knock-on effects on other parties should the Public Party gain some seats.

Meanwhile, Gordon at Ranting’n’Raving is more worried about what’s happened to all the ashtrays.

The debate about smoking in public boils down to a choice between “the freedom to smoke” versus “the freedom to breathe clean air”. So Shuggy has an interesting question: “why is it easier to proclaim oneself to be a ‘libertarian’?”

Libertarian David Farrer gives a typically libertarian fisking to a Labour election leaflet.

Here is another slightly old story, but the post was written within the normal window for the weekly roundup. Anas has some thoughts on the Unicef report that placed the United Kingdom at the bottom of 21 countries for childrens’ well-being:

Of course the response from conservative commentators to the UNICEF statistics has been to decry the influence of liberalism and falling moral standards. Basically, they claim that society’s been rapidly deteriorating ever since the 60s gave everyone permission to sleep around, take drugs, and to openly show disrespect towards authority. Now that argument would be a lot more plausible if the Netherlands HADN’T TOPPED THE POLL.

Donald Maclean laments the fact that the Scottish Executive has dropped its pledge to cut class sizes for English and Maths classes:

The media don’t seem to have made much of this, yet it’s extremely important for education, discipline in schools, crime and the economy.
If you’ve never seen a lone teacher in charge of a class of 30+, you probably won’t realise what a thankless, dangerous and counter productive task it is. In a good class, it’s like trying to keep up 30 spinning plates.

Leyton has written about the train derailment in Cumbria. He is particularly angry at Bob Crow for already concluding that it’s the management’s fault.

Independent health candidate Julie Mcanulty tackles the idea that she is a single issue candidate, claiming that “PFI isn’t a single issue. It affects all major government and local authority briefs as I will demonstrate…”

Scott is shocked that somebody would throw a concrete slab off a bridge onto a motorway. But it’s not only Glaswegians that get up to that kind of nonsense, and you’ll read about what I witnessed in Edinburgh if you look in the comments.

It might be worth noting a new website called You Scotland. But it might not be worth noting. Apparently the people behind the website were on The Politics Show last week. But the reaction from the blogosphere has been muted and mildly critical.

Take, for instance, this post at Applied Planetary Engineering, this from Richard Thomson, Donald Maclean who reckons the forums are full of dross already and this from Small Nation. I am also unimpressed. I will be writing about that on my blog later though.

Finally, this video is a little bit old, and the news it refers to is indeed old news. But it’s still worth a look. This just goes to show you how much is going on in the Scottish blogo-vlogo-poddo-whatevosphere, and it’s not always easy enough to find.

Because of this I would also like to kindly ask for more of you to start nominating posts and blogs that we can feature here. Since starting the roundup I have discovered countless new Scottish blogs, which was my intention.

But now I am discovering new blogs and not checking them, as the demands on my time would be too high. So please do get those nominations in at scottishroundup [at] gmail [dot] com or by leaving a comment. We really would be most grateful.

If everything goes to plan, Curious Hamster should be in the chair for next week. But until then, seeya later!


  1. Thanks for quoting Applied Planetary Engineering and taking an interest. I couldn’t post to your other site as it wanted me to change cookies and things. They work OK on other sites so best leave alone. This what I would have put.
    Excellent. You have put the rest in that I didn’t in my review (Applied Planetary Engineering), spelling, grammar, multi-couloured swop shop colours and fonts, why ask for money when you have just started up a not very good site etc. I don’t get it, perhaps it will improve but they will have to make massive advances in every department. What I don’t understand is if you look at the biogs they are supposed to be professionals in e-democray. If this is supposed to be a flagship example of their work, what are they like on a rushed bad day.
    Time and time again in posts, emails, pages that appear and disappear they say that the quality wasn’t there because there were only five of them and only had 5 weeks to do it in. I certainly wouldn’t admit the site was a result of 25 person weeks work. Anyway it will be of some interest to see what they do. Very New Labour “Things Can Only get Better”. Thanks for quoting the blog and all the useful leads for other Scottish Blogs etc.
    Sometimes I visit Anastasias blog. She chair of some Milothian Conservative party but seems to write on everything but that. I find her funny at times and she always has an opinion

  2. Thanks for the comment Roger. Sorry about the problem on my blog. Not sure what could have been up. (Maybe the coComment plugin? That’s all I can think of.)

    Thanks for recommending Anastasia Beaumont-Bott’s blog as well — I’m always looking for new Scottish blogs to ensure as broad a range as possible on the Roundup.

  3. I don’t recall particularly defending Jamie Stone – my post was about Danny Alexander’s comments. As for getting stick in the comments, it was clearly a case of hitting a raw nerve.