Greetings to one and all: Mr Eugenides at the wheel for this midweek roundup of the best in Scottish blogging (though it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge a lot of sterling work from DoctorVee in assembling most of the material you’ll see below).
Anyway, to visitors from outwith these fine shores, we should inform you straight from the outset that there is an election on, and indeed there are now just seven days of campaigning left – so where better to start than with an unprecedented release of sewage?
Calum Carr has an appeal for “democracy to be heard”. Yeah, good luck with that, mate.
Shuggy is, it seems, a little more circumspect. For him, the goals of democracy are to be expressed a little more modestly:
it is a system that allows for a change of government without the resort to blood-letting that most of the other options have historically entailed. It is a secret perhaps because it is felt this is too modest an ambition for a polity.
But it shouldn’t be, at least not for anyone acquainted with human history and the human condition. For it is the glory and wisdom of representative democracy to have turned something once thought of as treason into a legitimate activity – indeed in some sense even our duty. I’m taking, of course, about opposition. Our system pays politicians to oppose whatever government happens to be in power. A facade to some; genius, if you ask me.
It may pass off without bloodshed – though not if I run into the bastards who have been stuffing Lib Dem leaflets through my letterbox every day for the past fortnight – but that’s not to say there won’t be a measure of fraud. The new electronic counting system in place for the elections has none of the safeguards usually applied to such systems in other parts of the world, as OurScotland’s blog explains. Oh, and postal votes are also open to massive fraud because, as the Red Squirrel’s Lair reports, the new postal voting system in place for the elections has, er, none of the safeguards usually applied to such systems in other parts of the world.
So, who’s responsible for these two potential fiascos? Can you guess?…
The polls certainly seem to point towards an SNP victory, but then again what do the polls know? As Holyrood Chronicles points out, two polls on the same day can say radically different things, which leads one inexorably to the conclusion that nobody knows anything. Meanwhile, SNP Tactical Voting crunches some numbers, as he’s been doing throughout. And Angus Nicolson looks at the situation in the Western Isles.
Assume the polls are right: what would an SNP win actually mean for Scotland? Over at Havering On, Richard’s view is that it will be almost entirely about kicking Blair. The Select Society noted that many small businessmen who should, you might think, be leaning towards the Tories, are actually backing Eck and his band of separatists, and suggests, correctly in my view, that this marks a real sea-change in business’ attitude towards the SNP. The Reactionary Snob suspects some businessmen are a little too close, though. Julie Hepburn is campaigning for the Nationalists, on the other hand, and says that the negative Labour campaign demonstrates that their time is passing.
High Politics sees the election as 1997 all over again. And DoctorVee points out what he sees as double standards from the SNP: parading celebrity supporters one day, and then deriding the other side for wheeling out Walter Smith to defend the Union. Scots and Independent, meanwhile, derides the other side for wheeling out Walter Smith to defend the Union.
At my own blog I had a bit of fun at the Nationalists’ expense by quoting the verdict of Professor Arthur Midwinter on the various parties’ manifestos. Worth reading not so much for my lefty-bashing, which was pretty boilerplate, or indeed my desperate attempts to big up the Tories, which were half-hearted at best, but more for the comments: a previous victim of Midwinter’s sharp tongue, Brian Monteith, popped up to put the boot into the good Professor.
For the sake of balance, C.B.Buckland saw the same article in the Scotsman and wasn’t the least bit impressed. In fact:
If I were doing policy for the Tories (donâ€™t know how that might ever happen), policy number one would be spending about Â£8 million on getting Annabel Goldie a haircut. She has a fringe like an umbrella and a backcomb like Michael Bolton in a wind tunnel.
Well, I laughed.
Tartan Hero has the YouTube of Jack McConnell getting well and truly filleted by Bernard Ponsonby. It’s glorious stuff, unless you’re a Labour supporter, in which case you might want to look away now.
The splendidly-named Anastasia Beaumont-Bott, with whom I now confess I fell instantly in love after reading her great diatribe against the Lib Dems (“nobody likes you, everybody hates you, think you should just go eat worms. Big fat squidgy ones, itty bitty skinny ones, see how they wiggle and squirm. You heard me Liberals – p*ss off!“), has had leaflets through the door from the “Have You Had Enough?” party and, frankly, ain’t impressed with them either.
The Scottish Blogging Roundup is an ecumenical feast, so let’s finish with a little relgion. Some bloggers have tried, bizarrely, to link the gunman behind the Virginia Tech massacre to radical Islam – on the most spurious of grounds. Osama Saeed points out the absurdity.
Let’s also savour MediaWatchWatch putting the boot into the Scottish Christian Party, whose views on some issues are fairly… robust.
And finally, on a not unrelated subject, Bookdrunk has the lowdown on a frankly astonishing survey of British university students:
A third of those polled thought latex condoms had holes in them large enough to allow HIV to pass through.