Better late than never…

Wow, it looks like we are back. Sorry if you were checking for the roundup yesterday. All of my websites were knocked over by this incident. I was in good company because a couple of other high-profile casualties were Statcounter and B3ta. The internet felt like a much quieter place yesterday, mostly because I wasn’t able to say anything!

Anyway, better late than never. Onward to this week’s roundup. It is quite an eclectic one I think. That’s partly thanks to some great nominations that were received this week, so do please keep them coming in. Now onto the roundup.

Richard Thomson takes note of a change in position in the Electoral Commission. Apparently they will now be willing to help the Scottish Government if it were to ask for assistance with an independence referendum. There is also an interesting discussion in the comments there about the wording of the referendum question.

Frank at New Saltire reckons that the SNP is doing everything in its power to divert attention from its LIT policy.

Meanwhile, as John Swinney calls for the Scottish Parliament to be given more powers to borrow, Stephen Glenn wonders if this signals that he is not confident that an independence referendum will be won and that the Calman Commission will be useful after all.

As things to from bad to worse for Gordon Brown amid the continuing fallout from the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, CyberNat feels the need to point out that the backlash against Labour started in Scotland a year ago.

Calum Cashley surveys the Labour Government’s legislative programme and worries that it is an exhibition of overlegislation. Could this be a sign of Gordon Brown’s desperation?

Meanwhile, as Gordon Brown tries to persuade oil companies to increase supply of North Sea oil, Alex Massie looks at who is really to blame for increasing oil prices.

But as the country apparently faces economic crisis, Labour faces financial crisis. A dream for Labour’s lazier opponents who can’t resist an easy potshot. Kezia Dugdale thinks that Bill Kidd should grow up.

As MPs look to give themselves another payrise, Bookdrunk wonders just why politicians seem so eager to make sure they are more and more loathed all the time. Mr Eugenides also wonders how politicians can increase their pay like this and concludes that they must only be unaware of how despised they really are as a class.

Perhaps what is even worse than what politicians pay themselves is what politicians pay their staff. Or rather, what they ask their staff to do once they’ve been hired. Jeff knows someone who works at Edinburgh Council and on Monday was asked to do just half an hour’s work in an eight hour shift. This costs the council £21 per hour!

Fay Young writes about the creation of Poetry in St Andrews Square, which has been set up with the help of Edinburgh Labour blogger Ewan Aitken.

Speaking of Edinburgh Labour, you have to take your hats off to them in one respect at least. They seem to ‘get’ social media (etc.). Several Edinburgh Labour councillors have blogs and now Edinburgh Labour has set up a YouTube account. This week the first video, about the “cuts, closures and chaos” that has taken place since Labour lost control of Edinburgh last year, was posted.

The negativity might not be to everyone’s taste. Ewan Aitken says the negativity isn’t in his nature, but he feels he needs to speak up for the city. Meanwhile, Andrew Burns notes that it probably won’t hold much sway in Edinburgh Council since YouTube is blocked there!

While Edinburgh Labour gets to grips with the new-fangled interweb thing, the media might not be coping so well. Mr Eugenides takes a look at the recent spat between the Guardian and the Telegraph over crackpot comments.

Elsewhere in media land, The Scotsman is hosting a series of debates. James at Two Doctors has a review of the first of these debates — but he wasn’t impressed with the audience: “It was like seeing the Herald’s and Scotsman’s online comments sections in person.” Ouch!

Do you remember the SSP? Apparently they still exist. But they don’t seem to be impressing many people these days. Will P likens their behaviour to that of an annoying-sounding person called X (let’s hope X doesn’t read J. Arthur MacNumpty!). In fairness though, if I had a name like X, I would probably behave strangely as well.

Bookdrunk is not too impressed with Stewart Lamont’s argument that Mary Whitehouse was decent and the permissiveness of the 1960s has indirectly led to child abuse.

Shuggy looks at voting systems and the BNP.

Voting systems certainly caused a lot of hand-wringing last Saturday. The aftermath of the Eurovision Song Contest saw the usual protests about political voting. For David Farrer it demonstrates some flaws inherent in democracies. Julie Hepburn took the opportunity to call for independence so that our own voting bloc can be created.

Meanwhile, Ewan Spence and I tried to debunk the Eurovision political bloc voting theory. An unprecedented 14 different winners in 14 consecutive years says it all for me.

Bishop Hill is impressed that the IPPR is recommending that school holidays should be shorter and more frequent (which I have always thought should be the case). But, argues Bishop Hill, it would be better for holidays to be set in response to demand rather than being imposed from the top down.

In the wake of the announcement that Superfast’s Rosyth–Zeebrugge ferry link will be axed later this year, Bill Cameron looks at the implications.

Caledonian Jim takes a look at those photographs of an uncontacted tribe that has been doing the rounds this week. He doesn’t blame them from staying away from the rest of civilisation.

This is not a particular area of expertise of mine, but plenty of people are talking about football at the moment. Both Jeff Breslin and Bernard Salmon reacted against Fifa’s plans to limit the number of foreign players in football teams. Who needs the nanny state when you can have nanny football, huh?

Meanwhile, Big Rab looks at the demise of Gretna FC and the pickle the SFL finds itself in as a result.

Holyrood Watcher wonders what qualifies Michael Parkinson to be a “dignity ambassador”.

Jacq Kelly is pleased to see that the Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh will be holding a Tracey Emin exhibition later this year.

Another mention now for PollyOdd, a fledgling Scottish political podcast. It now seems to have a permanent home here. Do check it out — the second edition is now available. I’ve not had the chance to listen to it yet, but if it’s as good as the first one it will be worth your while.

That is all for this week. Like I say, thanks for the nominations. If you have seen something that you think should be included in next week’s roundup, use the contact form on the left or email <a href=""

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