Labour on a high

Hello there. Good news, I think. I have felt myself flagging a little bit in recent months while writing the weekly roundups. I always felt that this would be too much work for one person (especially when that person was me), even with the occasional help of guest editors.

Ever since CuriousHamster (whose blog is greatly missed) went MIA, I have struggled a bit (though the excitement of the elections helped motivate my a lot up to May).

I think I have managed to rope in Will Patterson as a regular contributor. I chose him because, as you will know if you read his blog, he clearly has an enormous breadth of knowledge about both Scottish politics and blogging.

The current plan is to use a round robin system, with me doing one week, Will P doing the next, then a guest doing the following week before we start the cycle again with me. I also plan to make the ‘non-political’ specials more regular — roughly every six weeks. But more on that as and when.

In the meantime, I am back with another roundup, and since last week’s was one of those non-political specials, there are two weeks’ worth of political posts to sink our teeth into.

Angus Nicolson reckons there is only one party that will be happy following Thursday’s by-elections. Although given that Labour suffered slashed majorities in both, surely none of the major parties are best pleased. Labour will be relieved though, and Angus Nicolson speculates on the idea that Gordon Brown will call a General Election for early 2008.

Of course, Labour had another reason to feel relieved on Friday morning, when it was confirmed that no charges would be pressed following the Cash for Honours investigation. But Richard Havers points out:

Whatever happens in the future the main players in all of this, including Tony Blair, will be forever dogged by rumours and the whiff of scandal.

Meanwhile, Adam Smith was a Socialist says:

A party which has criminalised political opposition[…], conceived the ASBO and created more new criminal offences than ever before was suddenly on the receiving end. Funnily enough they didn’t like the trial-by-media, or the way the police treated the suspects as if they were common criminals.

Catch the views of Mr Eugenides on the issue here.

In the aftermath of the queue of cabinet ministers confessing to having used cannabis in the past, Holyrood Watcher has a dreadful confession of his own. Meanwhile, Kevin Williamson has this on the Richard & Judy perspective on drugs. And Shuggy asks:

Is it really unrealistically ‘libertarian’ to expect people, specifically some of those in the media, to be a bit more grown-up about this sort of thing?

Reactionary Snob makes the point that it’s a bit difficult for to government to expect youngsters to take lessons on drugs from them now. Bill Cameron makes a similar point. But Kezia Dugdale says that there needs to be an open and honest debate, and that begins with open an honest politicians.

Of course, it’s not just Labour politicians who get themselves into a pickle with the law and substances. Niall makes the obvious joke at the expense of Kenny MacAskill’s views on alcohol and crime.

Will Patterson has an in-depth post on the possibility of the creation of a separate Scottish Civil Service.

David Farrer’s post shows why a Scottish BBC should be opposed. Even if you don’t agree with his viewpoint, a Scottish version of the BBC would hardly bring an end to all of the arguments surrounding the operation of the broadcaster. And of course, London bias would only be replaced by Glasgow bias anyway.

Elsewhere in BBC news (that is news about the BBC, not BBC News), Jeff outlines why he thinks the hoo-ha about that controversial footage of the Queen is really a non story.

Bishop Hill is concerned about another case of the BBC sexing up a story.

Stuart Blythe describes himself as “pro-marriage and pro-family”, but he thinks the Conservative Party’s attempts to promote marriage will not be much help to the children of single parents. Bookdrunk says it amounts to social engineering.

But it is not only the Tories who are coming under criticism for their big ideas. Adam Smith was a Socialist (there is a code phrase for “I am a Socialist” if ever there was one!) criticises the Lib Dems’ plans on tax.

Councillor Terry Kelly’s many fans have been howling with laughter over this one. It turns out that Terry Kelly did not even vote in May’s elections. Photographic evidence is at Terry Watch, who also report that his excuse is that he simply “forgot” to vote!

But let’s not forget that some people would avoid the ballot box anyway. Kezia Dugdale discovers the reality of apathy.

Now for one of those issues that only affects England (at the moment), but is still capturing the imagination of many of us north of the border. Louise at My Rambling Thoughts posts her not very rambling thoughts on the organ donation debate going on at present.

Angus Nicolson compares the Gini coefficients of Scotland and the UK.

Bishop Hill has this on the reaction of socialists to the collapse of a company.

Holyrood Watcher takes banks to task for making large profits on trading foreign currency.

Here is Agentmancuso on the relationship between the Lib Dems and Labour.

Richard Thomson ponders the relevance of Scottish Questions as well as commenting on Jo Swinson being shuffled out of the Lib Dem front bench in Westminster.

Reactionary Snob noted two contrasting outcomes of two court cases connected with religion:

What will the bigots around the country think of this? One can only imagine…

Paul Quirk of the Entertainment Retailer’s Association seemingly appeared in Bookdrunk’s comments — only to be fisked.

Meanwhile, Steve is Angry at the Belgian authorities who have outlawed all filesharing. That’s right — not just sharing copyrighted files, but all filesharing.

Anastasia Beaumont-Bott has moved away from Scotland now, and finds herself having to point out that we do have television. (Only just, mind you…)

Here is a post for all fans of the Scottish Raj.

Richard Leyton looks at the bureaucracy of filling a hole in Glasgow (get your minds out of the gutter; it’s a hole in the ground!).

Anas is just shocked by what has happened at Cerne Abbas. (This is nothing to do with Scotland or politics, but I cannot resist including the animated gif that just had to be made!)

Finally, Angry Steve wants to know why around a quarter of people answer the phone on the toilet. I know of one person who had it revealed to her mid-phone call that the person on the other end was in the bath! Not necessarily the image you want in your head when having a phone conversation…

That’s it for this week. Like I said, all going well, Will P will be in the chair next week. So get those suggestions in please by using the form on the right or by emailing us at

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