SBR 28: The campaign heats up

Nominations close today and the parties are beginning to launch their manifestos. The campaign is now in full swing.

Mr Eugenides is not convinced by Nicol Stephen’s promises. Are any of the Lib Dems’ policies negotiable?

Let me save you some time, Nicol. They’re all negotiable, and your credibility is in the toilet anyway.

Blogger Neil Craig has revealed that his nomination is in, and he will be standing as the candidate for the 9% Growth Party. He has some very distinctive policies!

Meanwhile, Labour candidate Kezia Dugdale has scanned the manifestos to see what she makes of them. Her conclusion is that the SNP will face a last-minute backlash and that the Lib Dems will be the biggest losers.

But despite the fact that the campaign has heated up, and the fact that there are only a few weeks to go until polling day, Richard Leyton can’t find much information about the candidates standing in his ward. He will have three councillors come 4th of May, but he has only found sufficient information on two candidates!

Keep an eye on Will Patterson’s other blog, Scotland Decides, which looks like will be a good blog to read over the next few weeks.

Away from campaigning per se, what the Sunday Mail obviously hoped would be the story of the week turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. Alister says it is because Angus MacNeil admitted it and apologised. The story immediately became dead in the water.

Tartan Hero asks where the Sunday Mail‘s journalistic ethics are. given that the young women involved have themselves rebutted many of the claims made by the paper. It has also emerged that the protagonists were promised anonymity, which the Sunday Mail then broke. There is more from Iain Dale.

Indygal Anne McLaughlin is very angry about Labour’s big (brother) idea to use lie detectors on benefits claimants.

…here we have a Labour government sticking the boot into poor people, desperate people, once again.

In other Labour authoritarianism news, Clairwil is irate at Patricia Hewitt’s reaction to the captured sailors:

“It was deplorable that the woman hostage should be shown smoking. This sends completely the wrong message to our young people.”

It’s extraordinary, almost unbelievable. A member of the British government switches on the TV to see some British sailors taken hostage by Iran and thinks ‘tsk, smoking’. Exactly how much of a health Nazi does one need to be to react like that?

Small Nation looks at Ken Livingstone’s comments on Council Tax, made at the same time as Scottish Labour is attempting to defend the system against the SNP’s proposed Local Income Tax.

But while the SNP makes big noises about fiscal policy, what about monetary policy? James Graham wonders what currency an independent Scotland would use. In the comments he goes on to bemoan the lack of information on the matter on the SNP’s website.

(This isn’t to do with blogging or anything, but while we are on this subject, it might be worth pointing out this interesting paper written by Ronald MacDonald and Paul Hallwood, two leading advocates of fiscal autonomy. They make a strong case for sticking with the pound sterling from page 29 onwards.)

Meanwhile, Richard Havers at the rather good new blog Havering On is similarly worried at the apparent lack of attention being paid to issues of practicality surrounding independence.

Elsewhere, Richard Thomson celebrates Donald Trump’s comments about the ability of an independent Scotland to do well. He compares Trump’s views to those of Ian Rankin.

David Farrer tackles that old chestnut about public spending in Scotland. He has an interesting conclusion:

Scotland – inside or outside the Union – can survive perfectly well without those bribes to Labour voters. But can the Labour Party?

Now, with all of that politics nonsense out of the way, time for a spot of navel gazing. The blogosphere is currently talking about Tim O’Reilly’s suggestion of a “Blogger’s Code of Conduct” to follow in light of recent events.

Angry Steve says Mr O’Reilly needs a reality check, but Will Patterson has put a message on his blog nonetheless.

An article about the proposed code appeared in The Scotsman earlier in the week. Of course, it contained all of the usual clichés about blogging. Holyrood Watcher has this to say about it.

Meanwhile, Oliver Kamm has been at it again. For those who don’t know, Oliver Kamm made his name blogging, and then went on to become an MSM commentator. Since then he has taken many opportunities to take pot-shots at blogging — while continuing to blog himself. Mr Eugenides says all that needs to be said about the man.

But full marks to Reactionary Snob for this top fisking. The Devil’s Kitchen says just a bit more:

this attitude does seem to be redolent of pulling up the drawbridge (and dropping the portcullis) after one is safely across.

Some juicy YouTube action now. Tony Blair opened a YouTube channel this week. YouTuber AYEscotland comes along with a simple response.

Philo at The Select Society has heard all sorts of juicy secrets on the Edinburgh–Glasgow train.

I have gleaned (along with the occupants of the rest of the carriage) useful insights on Scottish Executive policy, the approach of a competitor to a pitch, and only yesterday, advance details of Scottish Labour’s manifesto.

But that is not what interests him today.

Finally, Anastasia Beaumont-Bott has taken some time out of politics to write a big rant about McDonalds.

And that’s it! I think that’s plenty though, there was a lot of brilliant blogging in the first half of this week.

As you have probably seen, I have tinkered a bit with the website and we now have tagging. I started tagging some older posts, but I have only gone so far back because it is quite time-consuming, and I also discovered that it really messes things up if I try to tag archive posts written by other users! But the feature is there in the sidebar if you want to use it.

Here is the plan for the next couple of weeks. Sunday’s roundup will be written by Richard Leyton. Next week will be another special — a roundup dedicated to anything but politics! That will be written by Clairwil. Sometime before the election there will also be a YouTube roundup.

Since the campaign is heating up, we could well end up having three (or more) roundups per week, especially if we want to squeeze the ‘specials’ in. But we will play it by ear and see how it goes.

In the meantime, the next roundup will definitely be on Sunday, so get those nominations in at Seeya later!