Bye bye Tony and Jack, Hello Gordon and Alex?

Hi folks! Once again, the Roundup is at my mercy. It turns out that half a week is a pretty long time in politics as well: Tony Blair has finally set a date for his departure, Gordon Brown’s campaign is underway, the smoke is starting to clear at Holyrood and even Councils have been subject to some intensive bloggery.

So let’s start with an end, just to confuse people: Tony Blair is standing down as Labour Leader (and so Prime Minister), and this has generated a few posts. Jeff is quite charitable to the outgoing PM, but most of the reaction is positive to Blair’s departure rather than Blair’s legacy. Shuggy is sceptical to say the least, while Reactionary Snob is celebrating the end of the Blair era. Mr. Eugenides, on the other hand, writes a parable about the last decade.

Given that the change of a head of government is a pretty big story, Duncan (who is far too modest to recommend his own posts) has been taking a look at stories that everyone else may have missed. Over at Rhetorically Speaking, the cost of ID cards comes under closer scrutiny.

Meanwhile, attention is turning to Blair’s likely successor. Will a Gordon Brown Premiership deliver major changes in UK politics? No, say IndyGal, Caron and Julie, who all note that Brown has been in Blair’s government the whole time, and has funded its policies.

But John Reid is still in the picture, and his name has been mentioned in connection with the Leadership… of Scottish Labour! Mr. Eugenides is terrified by the prospect of that. Richard Havers looks at the alternatives from Labour’s MSPs. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that Jack McConnell hasn’t actually resigned, but when people start blogging about your successor, it’s a sign that vultures have started to circle the current First Minister.

Staying with Holyrood, and people are still mulling over the campaign. Osama Saeed looks at the campaign by the Christian parties, and he’s not impressed:

As someone of faith myself, I was seriously turned off by their campaign along with the other Christian parties. I’ve never been taught that the way to win friends to your views is by chastising them. Great faith leaders are those that have provided hope to the people. Railing against homosexuality, abortion and more is going to get you booed, and that is what happened.

However, people are moving on from the campaign and looking at the aftermath. Richard Thomson is celebrating the election of a number of friends and colleagues to Holyrood, while Osama considers the election of Bashir Ahmad as the first Asian MSP, and the Asian community’s involvement in the Scottish political process. Looking at the terminology, Osama wonders if Linda Fabiani’s Italian background (and Italian knighthood) actually makes her the first ethnic minority MSP, and if technically, Tommy Sheridan was the first non-white MSP. Hmmmm…

Anyway, the main chatter is about the possible (probable?) change in government in Scotland and the various approaches to coalitions over the past couple of weeks. Jeff looks at the mechanics of choosing a First Minister, while Holyrood Watcher mulls over what’s awaiting Alex Salmond, assuming that he takes over from Jack McConnell.

The view from Ireland is being reported on at Small Nation, where eyebrows have been raised that Ian Paisley can say ‘yes’ to Coalition with Sinn Fein, but Nicol Stephen is saying ‘no’ to Coalition with the SNP. Staying with the LibDems, and Kezia Dugdale is fairly cynical about the LibDems’ approach, while Grant Thoms reckons that the party will suffer at the next Westminster election. Incidentally, Grant also warns us that the start of the campaign for that election is imminent. Good grief, can we not have a couple of weeks off first?

While the LibDems might not be interested in any kind of formal co-operation with other parties, this week saw the negotiation and completion of an agreement between the SNP and the Greens. Shuggy wonders if the failure to secure LibDem involvement makes the SNP-Green hook-up pointless, while Duncan asks what the Greens actually get out of this.

At local Council, level, however, agreements are being made. Grant Thoms has a run-down of where the SNP are now involved. Concentrating on Edinburgh, where the LibDems have taken control with SNP support and Conservative acquiescence (in return for the Convenership of the Lothian & Borders Police Board). Richard Thomson is positive, as you’d expect; Holyrood Watcher considers the fate of de facto SNP Group Leader Steve Cardownie, who originally defected from Labour; Labour Councillor Andrew Burns is understandably sceptical. In Renfrewshire, Red Mist reports on the new SNP-LibDem Coalition.

And finally, staying with local government in Renfrewshire, I couldn’t write the Roundup without mentioning the latest twist in the saga surrounding Paisley’s most famous (or should that be infamous?) Councillor. It seems he has supporters, but the old saying about ‘friends like these’ might apply. To be honest, though, this blog is worth mentioning if only for its description of one TerryWatch member: “EVIL ANTI LABOUR DEVIL KEEPS SINDY DOLLS IN A KENNEL THEN THROWS THEM AT DEREK HATTON AND PENSIONERS.” Priceless.

Anyway, things should revert to normal next week, so get your nominations in to scottishroundup@gmail.com. I have my ‘Bye-de-bye!’

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