Silly Season Brings Flags, Liberty and ‘Xtremism’ To Scotland

Hello, and welcome to this week’s roundup. I’m your host, Richard Thomson, and for the next few hundred words or so, I’ll be your guide on this week’s whistlestop tour around the small corner of the blogosphere that is forever Scotland.

With both Holyrood and Westminster now in recess, the silly season is officially upon us. As if on cue, the week started with a minor stushie over which flag should take precedence on our public buildings. Both Kevin Williamson and Joe Middleton concentrated on what they saw as the less savoury associations of the Union Flag, while Kezia Dugdale placed it all in the wider context of the constitutional debate, remarking in the process on the sea of Saltires which she says now fly over Edinburgh following May’s elections.

However, as Jeff asks in the comments, if this really is all about the SNP politicising the Saltire, then what then are we to make of the veritable blanket of red, white and blue over Gordon Brown’s Whitehall right now? What indeed. David Farrer took a stab at explaining over at Freedom and Whisky, as did BBC Scotland’s Brian Taylor, who de-constructed matters for us thusly.

As the week progressed, though, there was very little unanimity when it came to blogging topics, with some very different issues exercising bloggers. Mr Eugenides, sunning himself currently in Greece, chose to take a potshot at Home Office proposals to gather DNA samples from those guilty of ‘non-recordable’ offences. Continuing in a libertarian vein, there was also a call here from Mushkush for all drugs to be legalised.

Another blogger sticking a firework under a cosy ideological consensus this week was Adam Smith Was A Socialist, who made the unfashionable claim that the problem with election turnouts is that they’re not low enough. Making a welcome return to his keyboard was Jamie Hepburn, who contrasted the proposed reduction in the number of Scottish MEPs with the treatment accorded to the smaller accession states to the EU. Tartan Hero was mildly disturbed to find himself in agreement with Lord George Foulkes over the issue of the charitable status of private schools. Will Patterson, meanwhile, used the parliamentary recesses as an opportunity to assess the performance of the parties at Holyrood, based on some markers he set down back in January.

Angus Nicolson gave a cautious welcome to the announcement of the start date for the new Gaelic TV channel. However, with just £16-£17m to play with, he also wondered what sort of output viewers would actually get for their money. And would it be TV produced in the Gaidhealtachd, or simply more of the same from the meeja luvvies of Byres Road? Staying on a media theme, Craigblog considered the recent brouhaha over ‘rigged’ TV programmes, very sensibly wondering what the fuss was all about. This post from Whoopdedoo, as well as this one from doctorvee, would have made less pleasant reading for the BBC, however, as both got stuck into the failings of the Corporation’s new iPlayer.

Away from politics, I will admit to being guilty of the occasional lapse into good taste over at my own blog. However, it’s with particular glee that I point you in the direction of this post from Bellgrove Belle, who seemingly inspired by one of my efforts, chose to share with us all a picture of her arse. Before you get too excited, though, I should point out that she picked this one up on her holidays and it comes in a bottle…

Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe penned a poignant cri-de-coeur for William Topaz McGonagall to finally have a statue of his own in his adopted city of Dundee. Moving seamlessly from the ridiculous to the sublime, though, he also offered us this gem of a photograph. I think we’ve probably all worked with folk like that at one point or another!

Remaining on a Dundonian theme, both Holyrood Chronicles and Whoopdedoo mourn the passing of an old favourite. The Dandy, it seems, has fallen prey to the notion that it needs to fit into the ‘lifestyle’ of its young readers, who apparently are now too busy watching DVDs and texting their friends to bother about something as juvenile as being amused by a comic. How sad. After all, what could have been more ‘Xtreme’ than seeing Minnie the Minx putting in her neighbours’ windows with a catapult?

Nostalgia just ain’t what it used to be right enough. And with that tap on the dashboard, I’ll bring this week’s edition of the roundup to a safe and controlled stop. All suggestions for inclusion next week can be sent to Duncan and his compilers using the form on the right, or by good old fashioned email via scottishroundup@gmail.com. Enjoy the weather if you get the chance, and have a good week.

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