SBR 29: Controversy, Camper Vans and re-living historical moments

Good morning! Richard here, your guest-editor for this Scottish Blogging Roundup. There’s lots been going on this week, what with manifesto launches, television interviews, nominations closing and voting cards going out (at least here in Glasgow). The blogging community has been picking apart these events with its usual gusto, and I’ve done my best to relay some of the highlights from the last few days.

I think it’s only fair to start with perhaps the most toe-curling moment of the week. Tartan Hero dubs Scottish Labour party chairman Cathy Jamieson’s appearance on Newsnight Scotland and trying to explain Labour’s council tax proposals as “Car Crash TV”, and certainly as per the comments, it really has almost Paxman-and-Howard qualities.

CalumCarr is generally distrustful of the claim that Labour are moving away from a negative, fear-the-SNP, campaign.

Smart and clever rhetoric but we all know Blair too well. His words will be read as lies even if he speaks the truth. The truth: long forgotten in the Blair household.

Mickey at Scandalfax shows us a cartoon of Sheridan and the SSP as tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee, as well as an article from The Herald about Sheridan’s mother standing against the SSP’s only Glasgow councillor. I’ve noted myself that Solidarity is calling itself “Solidarity – Tommy Sheridan” to get his name on every ballot paper. Cynical ploy or effective tactic?

Perhaps Prophetrage might be able to help, but might be too busy with the forthcoming Solidarity battle camper van. I kid you not…:

Campaigning for Solidarity is moving up a gear. We’ve been making plans… one of which involves a pimpmobile battle bus. Well, battle camper van. Apparently someone from Solidarity mentioned the bus to Green MSP Mark Ballard, and he responded “Very nice, but we’ve got a battle train!” Well, that told us… not sure how useful a train is going to be in getting the message to people who don’t live within 10 yards of a railway line, but there you go…

Briefly moving away from the blogs, and the national press is beginning to cover the elections up here. Indeed the BBC is reporting that Blair himself on a visit to Glasgow is asking we resist the urge to give him a final kicking. So much for helping improve Glasgow’s reputation down south…

The Economist also weighs in with an interesting piece, and the BBC has fired up it’s election website, including some nice resources for every blogger. Their political correspondents have started blogging, including a controversional piece from Nick Robinson, who was at the SNP’s manifesto launch:

If Scots decide it’s time for Salmond and the SNP – as the polls suggest they will – they’ll also be deciding it’s time to take a first step on a long journey which could see the break up of Britain as we know it today.

What’s an election without a little bit of controversy? There’s certainly something building in the Western Isles and being relayed on a blog. Ex-councillor Angus Nicolson is concerned he’s being ‘gagged’ from appearing on Isles FM by his former party, and seemingly rather petulant one at that, the SNP. It’s not going away either. Probably one to watch over the coming weeks, and to see if has an affect on the outcome.

Flying Rodent isn’t impressed (is he ever?) by the BNP’s Party Political Broadcast, and Reactionary Snob has discovered that the Lib Dems have broken a manifesto pledge by page four of the manifesto itself.

TVForum has a serious discussion on that most implacable of indepence related questions: What would happen to Eastenders, Emmerdale and Big Brother? I suppose the good news (!?) is we probably don’t need to worry about Taggart.

Matt Wardman is frustrated by candidates with blogs simply dumping documents on the page, and provides some helpful pointers for any potential party-political blogger. Speaking personally, I’m just wondering when an SNP blogger is going to choose a different colour scheme than yellow on black… Whilst, to her credit, Anne McLaughlin (indygal) has a different colour scheme, she is singing Dancing Queen at the top of her voice at 6.30am…

McGellie looks at how the party manifestos are proposing to help entrepreneurship, and concludes it’s all just talk:

They all speak the language of enterprise and entrepreneurs. Business is the new rock and roll etc., etc. etc. In reality this is all just so much posturing. No one’s got a practical, costed policy that will give a new business what it needs – not training and education – we’ve got that – what new businesses need is money, spondoolies, cash, funding – on reasonable terms.

Speaking about my own little corner, I’ve continued to be rather frustrated by the lack of information about candidates and the rather annoying tactics in the council elections. One party, one vote, so to speak. That the Independent candidates haven’t seized on the Internet as their best resource seems somewhat strange.

There are some key marginals in this election, and for the first time in many years I actually find myself living in such, rather than a safe-seat. But the smallest majority of all is 99, in Galloway and Upper Nithsdale, and The Scotsman covers the fight between the SNP candidate Alasdair Morgan, and the incumbant Tory Alex Fergusson. Sadly though, neither of them seem particularly keen to consider the internet a core constituency.

Fresh off my Grand National betting disaster, Politicalbetting is asking whether the polls could be over-rating the SNP, and under-rating Labour and the Tories? Tartan hero isn’t convinced, although speaking of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, BBC Scotland’s political editor Brian Taylor relates of Alex Salmond’s fear of “doing a Neil Kinnock”

Ending with some useful reference links, in anticipation of the big day itself, Cameron Rose provides a useful link to a BBC resource explaining the ballot papers. Will Paterson at The Scotsman has a nice roundup of each of the MSP candidate lists – constituency and regional – including his own take on the likely outcome.

Lastly Facebooker users might be interested in this new group… Oh, and don’t forget to put aside your blushes and send in your suggestions and home-grown posts.

But that’s it from me. It’s been great fun, but also a lot of hard work trying to draw various strands together into a reasonably sized helping of political summation, trivia and humour. Full of admiration for doctorvee doing this as regularly as he does. Right, I’m off to watch the Grand Prix, and try and think of something that’s not political for the next while!


  1. Sorry I’ve not been able to take a look until now! A great roundup Richard. Once again, a few blogs that I had never heard of before! Thanks for doing it.

  2. Richard

    I didn’t know about Scottish Roundup until I found a link to my blog.

    May I commend you on your good taste in putting my contribution so high up the piece!!!

    I’ll visit again.

  3. Eh yes, can I also plug myself mercilessly? I do so simply because it works, I’m now off to read Calum’s! But yep, great idea and there’s nothing wrong with Dancing Queen.