Damn! You’ve caught me coming down your chimney to fill your stockings with bloggy goodness. You’re not supposed to look at them until the 25th, but seeing as the surprise is ruined you may as well get the good stuff now. I’ll be leaving a note though — lumps of coal for you next year.
Just in time for the end of the year, Solidarity have put themselves in the running for the award for Most Ironic Name for a Political Party of the Year. Their one and only elected representative has jumped ship — to Labour of all parties! Jeff and Will P analyse the situation.
But that’s not the half of it, because Solidarity’s only other meaningful member, Tommy Sheridan, has been arrested and charged with perjury. The best coverage came from the excellent Love and Garbage, which covers this story in almost obsessive detail.
But other bloggers stuck their oar in as well. Mr Eugenides was quick off the block with this post. Kevin Williamson was surprised Tommy Sheridan wasn’t charged with more (an entertaining comments thread as well). Jockshire is shocked by the idea that a politician would lie.
Another party that’s in a spot of bother at the moment is the BNP. Perhaps there should be another irony award, as Gus points out:
[Nick] Griffin is described by BNP dissidents as “behaving like a dictator”. But isn’t that what these guys are after?
Elsewhere in racism news, Michael Greenwell reports on a disturbing trend. Apparently some KKK propaganda promotes Scotland as some kind of haven for whites. Some are even using the Saltire as a racist symbol! Michael Greenwell’s post destroys the myths.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the week came when the Scottish Daily Express came out in favour of Scottish independence. This is big news for the independence movement as it brings it into the same league as Diana conspiracy theories, house prices, political correctness / health and safety gone mad, Christmas being banned and Maddie madness.
Grant Thoms jokes about “supping wi’ the de’il”. Coincidentally, he wrote about it in his 666th post!
However, Scottish Tory Boy, perhaps saddened by the paper’s ditching of his party, prods at the paper’s ulterior motives.
…what’s concerning me is that there doesn’t seem to be any Scot – or even anyone who writes about Scottish politics – who isn’t a) a nationalist, b) a shit-talker.
The press also goofed up a bit with their headline writing a couple of times this week, as Sarah found.
And while we’re at it, the next time somebody tells you that bloggers merely leech off the mainstream media, remember Adam Smith was a Socialist, who has had one of his blog posts plagiarised almost word-for-word in a letter in The Herald.
Indygal celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Scotland Act. Like the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union, there wasn’t much in the way of celebration, although a lot less has been made of this fact.
Neil Craig, as you might expect if you are a reader of his blog, has gone big on the announcement of the new Forth Road Bridge. He wants to know why the new bridge is expected to cost a minimum of Â£4.2 billion when the original bridge cost Â£314m in today’s prices and a tunnel might cost as little as Â£40m.
This is of great importance because if bloggers’ reports are anything to go by, trains are best avoided. Richard Thomson had a difficult journey up from London, squeezed in between carriages B and C with 27 other people.
Meanwhile, Iain Rubie Dale has spotted an anomaly in some ticket prices. Remember also that before you get on the train you could be one of the almost 10,000 people stopped and searched by British Transport Police, as Reactionary Snob notes.
The Liberal Democrats have a new federal leader, and it’s Nick Clegg. Will P takes a look at his prospects.
On the back of his victory, Mr Clegg hired 59-year-old Brian Eno to be yoof advisor. It impressed me. And Richard Havers made the most of the opportunity to say the great man’s full name! He also casts his mind back to a rather embarrassing-sounding foray into pop for David Steel.
Speaking of the yoof, Niall analyses a survey of them.
On Nick Clegg’s first day he caused a bit of a flap by confirming in a radio interview that he doesn’t believe in God. Jeff says that this makes him “question if Nick Clegg has the sufficiently robust scientific and logical mind”. Not sure I follow the thinking there, given that scientific knowledge is, by definition, made up of observable, testable, falsifiable phenomena. And whatever you believe about God, it certainly doesn’t come under the ‘scientific’ heading.
Cabalamat reckons that people who believe in God are “about as intellectually mature as children who believe in Santa Claus”. Elsewhere, Bookdrunk thinks Mr Clegg should have stuck to his original concise answer instead of expanding on it later on.
Meanwhile, Angus Nicolson ponders on Tony Blair’s conversion to Catholicism:
…our ex-PM has repeatedly cast himself as one of the most overtly religious leaders we have ever had, whilst obviously totally and utterly unclear about what he actually believed in. As Catholic commentators are noting, his voting record and political stance is close to anathema to the Catholic faith on issue such as abortion, civil partnerships and the war in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Robert Sharp has an interesting view on the Church of England. Does it represent Britain to some extent on the international stage, and if so is it not reasonable for atheists to poke their nose into its affairs?
While the story about Northern Rock has died down a bit, Holyrood Watcher is still analysing it and thinks it is going to end in tears.
On the credit crunch in general Bill Cameron ponders the implications of central banks printing money to try and solve the problem.
Scott at Love and Garbage has a must-read post about his memories of the Lockerbie bombing, which happened 19 years ago this week.
Stewart McDonald tackles the suggestion that the SNP are “villains of the year” towards the LGBT community.
Hopefully, those outraged by this trivial non-story will be just as broadminded when they find their teenage daughters sexy-dancing to my upcoming Christmas single Ho Ho Ho, Bitchez (Y’All Muthafuckin’ Reindeer Betta Step Tha Fuck Off).
Celtic Lion has a question about the fondness the SNP and the Conservatives have for Norway and Iceland. It doesn’t seem like much to me. David Cameron made one trip to Norway, and the SNP have been looking to Norway for inspiration for years and years. Celtic Lion are looking for anyone’s thoughts on the matter though.
Mind you, Reactionary Snob definitely thinks that the SNP and the Conservatives are “up a tree”.
Bishop Hill brings to our attention the news that a canton in Switzerland is implementing a flat tax of 1.8%! It will be very interesting to see how well it works.
Cassilis wonders where Boris Johnson has gone.
Perhaps more saliently, Mr Eugenides wonders where Wendy Alexander has gone.
If you can stand to take any more of it, here is some more on Trumptown from akatsukira.
Garry thinks that Gordon Brown should not smile. It is rather scary.
Rory Maxwell takes a look at Labour’s obsession with the Conservatives. A common observation, but it never gets boring to point it out.
Craig ponders why you sometimes get lots of variants of the same product.
Aaand finally, Alex Massie has this interesting post about the importance of cigarettes in cinema.
Aside from the odd mention of God and Santa (in the same breath), this has been a Christmas-free roundup. Not intentional, so I will leave you with this note from ASwaS, celebrating the Winter Solstice.
Things will be quieter next week as bloggers tend to put away their keyboards over the Christmas period. So there will not be a roundup next week. However, I have a feeling that Will P will pop up next week with some kind of post looking at how the changes in government over the past year have affected bloggers.
So the next proper roundup will be on the 6th of January — late for a first foot, I know. It will be presented to you by Reactionary Snob. So if you’re celebrating, have an enjoyable Christmas and a happy new year.
By the way, I have become aware of some problems with the nomination form. At least one submission was rejected as spam and never got to us. Moreover, it is now letting masses of spam in. So I’ll have a look at that over Christmas and see if I can fix it. But in the meantime, send all those nominations in to email@example.com. Your suggestions are very much appreciated.