Constitutional conversations, commissions and conferences

Hello and welcome to this week’s roundup! I hope you are not too sleep deprived from this spring forward nonsense. I am writing this very late on Saturday night, and I’m worried that I won’t get to sleep until around 6am (because I am bad at sleeping in general, not just because I’m writing this)!

It is a bumper week, so I’m afraid a lot of good posts will have to be left out. I will leave a link to the posts that narrowly missed out in the comments.

I suppose I had better start with the National Constitutional Conversational Commission which seems to have ramped up a gear this week. A good take comes from Pat Kane, who steps back to take a look at what these conversations mean for constitutional reform in the long run.

Niall is not to impressed with the pro-union one, whichever one that is. Their refusal to consider independence is undemocratic, he says.

Perhaps surprisingly, Jeff sees “shift of power from the SNP to the unionists”, concluding that their Commission is more confident than the misfiring National Conversation.

Henry McLeish got himself in hot water by suggesting that it might be okay to think about considering possibly becoming independent perhaps one day. Julie Hepburn was amused to see Labour’s reaction to his comments. Malc in the Burgh pointed out that McLeish didn’t even express a view on the National Conversation and that it was merely a statement of truth!

Speaking of controversial comments in favour of independence, Atlantic Exposure thinks Jeremy Paxman’s approach is healthy.

Iain Rubie Dale thinks the Lib Dems’ policy on an independence referendum is wrong. He’d rather see his party emphasises the ‘Democrats’ bit of the name.

There is also a conference going on at the moment. But, asks Julie Hepburn, is it a Labour conference or an anti-SNP conference?

Richard Thomson thinks Labour are failing to face up to the fact that the SNP won last year’s election.

Calum Cashley reckons Wendy Alexander’s speech fell flat. But Gordon Brown’s speech must have been pretty rousing because it has brought Scottish Politics out of hibernation — albeit to complain about Labour’s “pathological hatred” of the SNP.

You can’t have failed to have noticed the fuss caused by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Caron thought Gordon Brown was taking control freakery to a new level by refusing to allow a free vote on the issue.

Meanwhile, Lesley Hinds wonders if those who oppose the proposals would refuse their loved ones any treatment which may come about as a result of this research.

Quote of the week comes from — who else? — Mr Eugenides, who notes Jacques Rogge’s stance towards Beijing: “silent diplomacy”.

Brilliant. Next time you have a fight with your girlfriend, remember, she’s not refusing to talk to you; she’s “engaging in silent diplomacy”.

Stewart McDonald is calling for a boycott of the Games.

Clairwil has a good old rant about the media’s coyness in tackling the behaviour of Shannon Matthews’s parents.

Craig was impressed by The Daily Express‘s front page apology to Madeleine McCann’s parents.

Elsewhere on the poor, poor children front, David Farrer is concerned about children being put into care for the crime of being overweight. It seems as though the government has been hit by the “obesity epidemic™” then. Alex Massie expands further, although cutting back a bit might be a bit more sensible in the circumstances.

Continuing on the nanny state theme, Bernard Salmon is not too happy about government proposals to hide cigarettes away from view in shops.

Bellgrove Belle goes off message to point out that raising the legal drinking age to 21 won’t solve the problem of under-age drinking. Meanwhile, Angry Steve has his own unique take on the proposals.

Meanwhile, Bill Cameron has noticed that the government’s attempts to neuter Parliament have made a comeback.

It never ends — here’s another authoritarian state story, with Alistair reporting on the curtailment of celebrations at Firs Park when East Fife won the third division.

Gordon Brown has called on Scots to “reject narrow nationalism”. But as Kevin Williamson points out, if anyone is a narrow nationalist it’s Gordon Brown.

Michael Greenwell is another sceptic of Gordon Brown’s arguments against independence.

News has reached the mainland of a man’s attempts to prove that Scots law does not apply to Shetland. It begs the question — if Shetland became independent, what would become of “Scotland’s” oil?

In the wake of the chaos in Heathrow’s new Terminal 5, Richard Havers is not too impressed with Alex Salmond’s take on events.

Talking of Alex Salmond, Kezia Dugdale notes that the First Minister was booed at Hampden during the Scotland–Croatia match. He probably has that in common with most politicians, mind you.

And are there any politicians out there who are more unpopular than Hillary Clinton? It seems as though every week there is a new story about how someone dislikes her. Alex Massie notes the sour relationship between Clinton and the press.

From time to time we have featured the campaign led by residents of Pollok Park against the proposal to build an adventure park. Richard Leyton was dismayed to see the plan get the go-ahead.

David Meikle was upset at the result and names and shames those who voted in favour of the Go Ape proposal. But Ideas of Civilisation was impressed by the fact that voting wasn’t along party lines.

A rare piece of good news for Nicol Stephen. Holyrood Watcher is impressed by his performances in FMQs.

Some good old bread and butter politics here. Ewan Aitken reports on a good meeting to deal with complaints about anti-social behaviour.

Political Dissuasion wants to know what Michael Martin is hiding.

Bishop Hill notes that now that students have to pay their tuition fees in England, ‘Mickey Mouse’ subjects are being rooted out naturally.

Statue news now, and the statue of Adam Smith is nearing completion. He looks rather cross about it though, doesn’t he?

Paul Hutcheon is a quality political reporter, but is he really this good?

With the news that George Foulkes fell ill with high blood pressure, Will P hopes he takes it easy for the good of his health.

Finally Woken takes a look at two of Scotland’s favourite sweets. The Tunnock’s Tea Cake is a classic — one of my favourites. But tablet is far too rich for me.

How many of this week’s posts resembled this from Flying Rodent?

Phew! That’s it for this week. Don’t forget, all nominations are very much appreciated. I’ve not spotted much in the way of new blogs for a while, so if you see something new then do drop us a line. The contact form is to the right. Failing that, you can email us at Will P is back in the hot seat next week. And don’t forget to check out the comments for those posts that narrowly missed the cut this week.

1 comment

  1. As you will see, most of these are posts from people who already had a post featured, and I try to avoid including more than one post per blog if possible. Also, I thought the roundup was long enough already! But there were just so many fine posts that missed the cut this week, I felt awful. So here they are.

    A couple of interesting posts on voting systems, if that is your bag:

    Labour and ‘Change is What We Do’:


    More on the Constitutional Commission:

    Broadcasting review — I was surprised not to see more on this:

    Lovely leg of lamb:

    Advice for chaps — on second thoughts I should have included this, but never mind: