The PM ignoring the FM as he impresses in FMQs

Welcome to this week’s roundup! You will see that I have at last made the changes I promised. I won’t bang on and on about them here — to save space, I’ve done all that on my personal blog. Fingers crossed everything works. But should anything seem to have gone a bit funny, please contact me.

But I do want to highlight the new nominations form. It is in the sidebar of every single page on this blog now, and it also has its own page here. I’m really keen to get some more nominations in. They are almost guaranteed to be included (unless I forget about it, dohh!). Hopefully this new form will provide a hassle-free way to nominate a post. Thanks to Richard Leyton for originally suggesting putting some kind of contact form in.

As I said, go to my blog for a fuller explanation of the changes. But right now I am going to press on with this week’s roundup.

This week the row over the fact that the Prime Minister (whoever that is) hadn’t yet called Alex Salmond to congratulate him on his victory became so intense that Gordon Brown eventually did pick up the phone. Time for a quick joke courtesy of Richard Thomson.

Richard Havers was not impressed with Gordon Brown’s refusal to answer Glen Campbell’s questions on the matter.

Stuart Blythe saw it not just as snubbing Alex Salmond, but also as snubbing of democracy. Like many others, Bill Cameron saw it as a sign that Labour were sore losers in their heartland, unable to come to terms with the will of the people.

A lot of people also noticed how different the Queen’s reaction was. She took the trouble to fly by helicopter to congratulate the new First Minister. David Farrer wonders if she did it just to annoy Mr Blair and Mr Brown.

What about First Minister’s Questions then? It was Alex Salmond’s first experience in the hot seat, and most think he coped very well. And it was fairly light-hearted. Brian Taylor compiled the best lines.

Louise at My Rambling Thoughts did not take to the humour so well:

[Jack McConnell] sarcastically stressed the words “First Minister” as if he still can’t believe that he was beaten, his face was either grey or white with bitterness and he banged on about how the new Executive should do exactly as he would do.

Mr McConnell had better get used to it. Toxic spotted this in a local bookshop. His book is half the price of Mr Worry. Now that is something to be worried about.

Septicisle at Obsolete has this in-depth post on Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s little comments about abortion. Korakious was pretty angry as well, particularly the comparison with the Dunblane massacre.

Meanwhile, Bookdrunk sums up the situation quite nicely:

Cardinal Keith O’Brien: it’s outrageous that these non-catholics aren’t listening to me

Shuggy was not too impressed with the SNP’s reaction to Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s comments though:

For the SNP to blandly point out that abortion is a matter reserved for the Westminster Parliament simply won’t do because they don’t approve of the situation where certain matters are reserved for Westminster.

I don’t remember Salmond making any similarly anodyne responses when the topic of Iraq was discussed during the election.

What to make of the current transport controversies? Holyrood Watcher pointed out that potential for the cynical point to be made. But he also points out that Labour have always done that sort of thing anyway.

Otan2 points out that a road upgrade probably wouldn’t make much different anyway. According to him, most accidents are caused by people speeding, not the “safety” of the road.

The results of the elections are still being digested, and it is clear that in the STV elections, people who were higher up in the alphabet were more likely to be elected. Not much of a surprise maybe, but all the same Tartan Hero will henceforth be known as Grant Aardvark-Thoms.

More seriously, he suggests randomising the ballot paper so that such advantages disappear. But back to the less serious stuff (or is it serious?), Will P suggests a groundbreaking new ballot paper design: the circular ballot paper. I guess it’s no more nonsensical than the one that was used for this year’s Scottish Parliament elections.

On the controversy surrounding the treatment of Tul Bahadur Pun, Mr Eugenides suggests a simple swap. Seems fair to me.

Osama Saeed is not impressed with Tony Blair’s attitude towards human rights.

If you have a strong enough stomach for tales from Glasgow City Council, visit Not the Record.

Meanwhile, over at A Scandal & A Disgrace, Metal4Life has looked at some hypocrisy from Edinburgh Labour Councillor Andrew Burns, whose blog post made the Edinburgh Evening News for the wrong reasons.

Podnosh has this about ideas from the Demos thinktank about the future of Glasgow. Any thoughts?

Agentmancuso has argued against Local Income Tax proposals. His greatest criticism is aimed at the SNP, noting that the SNP’s proposal could hardly be called local anyway. But he is not a fan of the Lib Dem plans either.

What do you make of the SNP’s stance in favour of keeping the monarchy? Graeme at Waxing the Lyrical thinks that, while there is no real popular movement against it at the moment, if and when Scotland becomes independent there will be.

Robert Sharp was in full-on pedant mode when he wrote to The Times about a mistake in an article about female monarchs. But in the process he notes that as female monarchs overlooked some of Britain’s most successful periods, Japan should maybe take a leaf out of our book.

Labour member Kezia Dugdale has revealed who she will vote for in the upcoming Deputy Leadership election. This blog is truly unique. How many blogs do you know where people would be praised for being “admirable exponents of Blairism”?

Is Bute House minging? David Torrance briefly set foot in it once, and doesn’t remember it being that bad.

Scottish Tory Boy explains why he likes Michael Portillo.

Bishop Hill writes about the “unbearable statism” of the Tories.

Flying Rodent spotted some badly-spelt nationalist graffiti. There are only four letters; how difficult is it to get “Alba” right?

Angus Nicolson reckons that VisitScotland could do a much better job of promoting the Hebrides. Meanwhile, Richard Havers think they could do a better job with Scotland as a whole, comparing their campaigns to those used by Ireland’s tourist board.

Just in case you were wanting to hear the acceptance speech made by Alex Salmond upon his appointment as First Minister, Matthew Wardman has posted full audio and text transcripts.

You might remember last week a few illiberal policies were noted in the roundup. This post from Reactionary Snob on National Illiberal Week was just too late to make it into that roundup, so I have included it in this week’s.

Silversprite has this about Facebook, which appears to be growing uncontrollably now. (Don’t forget the Scottish Roundup Facebook group, whatever that’s for!)

And just in case you were thinking that Scottish Roundup would be a Big Brother-free zone, ha! Yeah right. Here are the views of Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting and Sarah at Whoopdedoo.

That’s it for the moment. Don’t forget to get your nominations in at, or via our jazzy new form. Next week’s roundup will be edited by Holyrood Watcher.


  1. “But back to the less serious stuff (or is it serious?), Will P suggests a groundbreaking new ballot paper design: the circular ballot paper.”

    For the record, I should point out that the seriousness of my proposal is in direct proportion to the probability of my getting a very large grant from somebody to study it further.