Faith in People and Politicians

First, a brace of posts from one of my favourite blogs, Rhetorically Speaking, regarding our right to do stuff. Martin Kettle’s article on the film ‘Taking Liberties’ provoked a number of responses around the blogosphere, and bookdrunk’s offering is a good representation of the scorn it deserved. The principle under attack is that we should have the right to do something unless a law specifically prohibits it. Later in the week we find an example of a law which specifically protects such a right – breast-feeding in public. Why are such laws necessary? To acquire “a layer of legal protection” against those who seek to deny that right.

Its nice to browse beyond my usual roll of blogs, and I found Iain Gibson’s site quite interesting. He’s partisan, of course, but I think his style of gossip is actually quite informative about the way a parliament actually operates. Iain’s latest thoughts concern the difficulty the Liberal Democrats face at First Minister’s Questions – how to be original? Meanwhile, the list of committee chairs at Holyrood has been finalised. This, according to J Arthur MacNumpty, has caused a couple of people to throw their toys out of the pram. Davie Hutchinson makes the same point.

Another SNP supporter, Jeff worries that there is no such thing as society because he fails to get any help in moving fridge-freezers, or stopping cat brawls in Princes Street. But trawling through the blogs of councillors, researchers, activists and chair-people from all parties, all over the country, its hard not to get the impression that civil society is alive and well in Scotland.

Jamie Hepburn has just been elected to the Scottish Parliament, so its understandable if he feels positive about The Best Not-So-Wee Country In The World… but Cursed Tea (The Scottish Quine in America) thinks she can feel the optimism from across the pond. Meanwhile, Anastacia’s post about her illness, and launching LGBTory, is strangely uplifting too.

Having said that, following the local elections a few weeks ago, many blogs do carry a slightly tragic air, as representatives who have lost their seats have to put an “Ex” before the word ‘councillor’ on their blog. Up on the Isle of Lewis, Ex-Councillor Angus is depressed about something else: the falling number of children on the island.

If Scotland’s star is rising, then it needs a viable tourist board. Richard Havers worries that VisitScotland is not fit for purpose, and putting it under Executive control will only make it worse.

In UK politics, pretty much everyone has been using the word ‘feral’ in everything they write, after Tony Blair’s recent outburst. In 99% of posts I’ve seen on the issue, the response has been derisory. Shuggy is the 1% who says “Just because it’s Blair that’s saying something, that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.” He’s got a general point, although I’m still not convinced that The Independent was the most appropriate target.

The Flying Rodent’s thoughts on the conservative co-option of counter-culture: Witness The Power Of The Free Market TARDIS.

I liked Tartan Hero’s call for the UK to end discrimmination against the Catholic Church.

There’s not much Love on the streets of Falkirk though. Apparently Morrisons have pressed for one of their ex-employees, 22 year old Andrew Love, to be prosecuted for a “racially-aggravated breach of the peace”. Trying to silence one blogger raises the hackles of the rest, and Bill sticks up for the right to free speech. However (and this is one of the best things about blogging), the supermarket manager who made the complaint took to the comments. He claims that he was defending “a member of society that could not defend themselves.” Also on the subject of Freedom of Speech versus Tolerance of Bigotry, Clairwil’s review of The Islamist by Ed Hussain is worth a read. The comments are busy there too.

Finally: a rainbow on Islay.

1 comment