Hi folks! Itâ€™s the start of another term at Holyrood, and that means, I hope, lots of blog fodder. Itâ€™d be tempting to say that regular service can now resume, but firstly, weâ€™ve had lots to post about over the summer, and secondly, current affairs in Scotland can be gloriously irregular at times. Which, thankfully, gives us plenty to blog about.
Anyway, the saga of what would have been the Edinburgh school closures has got people to their keyboards, with the SNP turning against their LibDem coalition partners in the City and withdrawing their support for the plans. Anne at IndyGal supports the decision, noting the SNPâ€™s commitment to reduce P1-3 class sizes. Edinburgh Labour Councillor Andrew Burns welcomes the decision, but is exasperated at how the whole affair has been handled. Meanwhile, Justified Spinner has a bone to pick with the cityâ€™s LibDems, as he contrasts their stance on the school closures with their support for the tram network. On the other hand, Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting is troubled by the whole course of events, and is concerned that either the SNP groupâ€™s decision to allow the proposals to get this far in the first place was rash, or their decision to kill the current plans off now is a mistake.
Anyway, moving on from school closures to school-yard insults, George Foulkes, Labour MSP for Lothian, isnâ€™t accusing the SNP of stirring anti-English racism, but thinks they ought to stop saying things in a way that stir up anti-English racism. Kezia Dugdale takes a stand, putting Foulkesâ€™s comments into context and wonders why stories like this only pop up when Alex Salmond has an off day. Mike Power looks at the issue of anti-English prejudice. On the other side, Mr. Smith isnâ€™t impressed and wonders if this is as potent as Labour attacks on the SNP are going to get. Tartan Hero applauds SNP MSP Ian McKee (born and raised in England) for his response to the remarks, and accuses Foulkes (and other Unionists) of stirring up anti-Scottish feeling in England. Hereâ€™s my take on the matter.
From name-calling to name changes, the Scottish Executive has now opted to call itself the Scottish Government. â€œTreason!â€ is the cry over at Devilâ€™s Kitchen, while Duncan is a great deal calmer, but no more impressed. Nosemonkey compares the situation to the history of Canada, which steadily gained more powers from the UK from 1867 to 1982. At the Mushkush Miscellany, it was always called the Scottish Government anyway, and BellgroveBelle looks at the varying terms for the various bodies that call the shots in Scotland.
And itâ€™s not just the Government thatâ€™s being talked about. The Scotsman has been reporting on a poll looking at peopleâ€™s attitude towards Holyrood: 20% of respondents think that the Parliament has achieved â€˜a lotâ€™, compared with 8% three years ago. Richard Havers and Mr. Smith both find the paperâ€™s claim that Holyrood is bouncing back in the eyes of the public slightly ridiculous.
Still, say what you like about MSPs, they can still arrange for at least some form of government to come into being within a month of elections, which is more than can be said for their Belgian counterparts, who after three months, are no closer to doing so. Seeing as tensions between Flanders and Wallonia appear to be at the root of this, both David Farrer and Richard Thomson draw comparisons with the UK.
Meanwhile, back in Blighty, a proposal to create a national DNA database with everyoneâ€™s details on it has been mooted. Richard Leyton and Reactionary Snob are horrifed.
And do you remember the promises of how Scotland would benefit from London getting the 2012 Olympics? Holyrood Watcher does, and has noticed that they havenâ€™t materialised. Still, any visitors to the Games who made a detour to Edinburgh would probably end up crushed under the weight of parking tickets: The Woolamaloo Gazette has noticed the tactics of Edinburgh traffic wardens.
From despair at the Blue Meanies to despair at the Liberal Left: Shuggy is exasperated at its behaviour.
And on a grim note, the Madeleine McCann story has taken a dramatic twist, with the naming of the missing girlâ€™s parents as suspects. Kevin Williamson scrutinises their behaviour.
On a lighter note, Kenny Sheerin is sick to death of supermarket food and health scares. And Edinburgh Council has come under fire for more closure proposals: Angry Steve is less than impressed at their idea that pubs should close earlier. Meanwhile, Flying Rodent comes up with various measures that might discourage smoking. And from one vice to another, Kinglear looks at the value of marriage. The monetary value, that is.
And thatâ€™s it for this week. Next weekâ€™s Roundup will be brought to you by Gordon McLean. As always, you can send your submissions for inclusion to email@example.com, or send us a message via the dooberry on the right. Bye-de-bye!