Bloggers united, Irish divided and David Davis out on a limb…

Well, if anyone thought that Politics was a dull affair then they would have to be in a coma all of this week to still think it doesn’t possess the ability to excite, enthuse and engage.


All of the 3 e’s above were in full show on the Scottish blogging scene with the question of whether the police should be granted the powers to hold individuals for 42 days without charge. Bloggers were mostly united in being up in arms about the affair: Stephen Glenn fears 42 days is just the beginning,  Angry Steve believes our historic rights are being pissed up a wall, Bill Cameron thinks we’re on our way to a dictatorship, Scots and Independent can’t comprehend Brown’s political tactics,  Calum Cashley suggests it’s unacceptable in a civilised world, Shuggy describes it as audacious but for all the wrong reasons. Infact, only one blogger that I could find was in favour of the legislation but I suspect he doesn’t know what he’s talking about….


A very direct disagreement over this bill arose between Mark Lazarowicz MP and Anseo. Mark, despite his ‘grave reservations’, gave 3 explicit reasons for why he was able to vote yes. This didn’t seem to appease Anseo who took umbrage at his MP’s lack of humanity and wafer thin belief in civil liberties. Consequently, the SNP blogger will now definitely be voting for Calum Cashley, Mark’s future opponent in Edinburgh North and Leith. If I was Calum I would be wondering why that was ever in doubt in the first place…!


Holyrood Chronicles described the Labour win as a pyrrhic victory, extending my vocabulary by a count of ‘1’ at the same time:

Is it worth having a victory that relies on the support of the progressive forces of Anne Widdecombe, the nine MPs of the Democratic Unionist Party and UKIP’s Bob Spink?

A fine point indeed!


But mercifully for Gordon Brown, his ‘victory’ may well not prove as pyrrhic as it could otherwise have been.


Yes, David Davis didn’t so much step into the spotlight this week but rather explode onto it replete with neon signs and dancing bears. He is resigning his constituency seat to stand again on this very issue of 42 days detention and civil liberties at large.


Mr Eugenides took a day to mull it all over before deciding in typically colourful language that Davis is “a fucking hero” and a “magnificent bastard”. Doctor Vee continued the somewhat contradictory compliments by calling Davis “mad but right”. A Place to Stand sees it as a courageous and calculated gamble. Calum Cashley swithers over whether it’s a daft move or a clever stunt. The admittedly anti-Tory Love and Garbage agreed with every word of Davis’ speech and was able to shake off cynicism at the same time. Ewan Watt was confused by Brown’s “farcical response” that the Tories are divided when Labour themselves had 36 rebels and the Tories only 1.  


Infact, contrary to the popular press, the blogging scene was again largely united in being impressed with the decisions of David Davis. It fell to Tory Councillor Jim Millar to inject a bit of pessimism and fear that there will be more damage to his party than is currently feared.


With Kelvin MacKenzie ready to stand against Davis, and even a rumour that our very own Smeato is to be standing, I am sure we haven’t heard the end of this story…


And while the DUP were saying Aye to 42 days, the Irish were saying “Non” to the EU Treaty, sending it back to Strasbourg for the Eurocrats to think again.


Angus Nicolson believes now is the time to have a “root and branch” review of why we need the EU, Tartan Hero thinks Ireland’s strength on the Euro stage should galvanise Scottish Nationalists, SNP Tactical Voter wants the European public to be at the forefront of EU minds,  Holyrood Chronicles suggests continuing with ratification is tantamount to pissing in the wind while Michael Greenwell is effusive in his thanks and appreciation for what the Ireland ‘No camp’ have done, especially as they were outspent by the ‘Yes camp’ 20 to 1.


It’s fair to say, there weren’t many Scottish blogging tears shed in the Irish No vote.


All this unity could never last though and, like many short-term love affairs, it took teenagers to bring about some disagreement.


It seems reducing the Scottish voting age to 16 is moving up the political agenda. Bellgrove Belle is delighted that young people will be listened to and not demonised but Ideas of Civilization prefers the limit to stay at 18. Mr Smith just finds it bizarre that the SNP can want 16/17 year olds to vote but thinks they’re not responsible enough to use sunbeds. I can see where the SNP are coming from though; with Tommy Sheridan on tv less and less then maybe kids aren’t getting enough warnings about how silly Scottish people can look with a fake bake!


Kezia Dugdale has been able to blog from the exotic location of Greece with some cleverly timed automatic postings. But with the Blogging Scene being so heavily loaded with SNP supporters, maybe it is best she is out of the country when she gives us her much-anticipated thoughts on Scottish Independence. In part 1 of this trilogy we learn, amongst other things, that a single extra MSP in Holyrood does not mean they should get their perfect referendum. A far cry from “Bring it On” if you ask me…


Meanwhile, MSPs turned inwards and discussed their favourite subject. How much money they get to spend at Holyrood. The debate was heavily trailed by Scottish Tory Boy (who isn’t as hard as Jamie Hepburn, apparently). Codger was interested that where others had to beg their boss, MSPs could just do what they like. SNP Tactical Voter was disappointed that the independent view was disregarded. But, well, I daresay there are many bloggers who may well get a wee payrise as a result of this and who can begrudge them that. (Mine’s a Fraoch next time anyone’s buying!)


The never-ending question of relations between Scotland and the rest of the UK was raised in various forms:


Ian Hamilton would like to see Trooping the Colour come North of the Border every now and again, particularly as that’s what Glasgow’s Queen’s Park was created for.


Stephen Glenn notes that after 30 years in waiting, Tam Dalyell has finally found his “least bad answer” for the West Lothian question. The unlikely provider is Ken Clarke. But Holyrood Chronicles is less impressed believing that Ken’s proposals are fairly “innocuous” (another one for the vocab list!).


Richard Thomson discusses the truth behind Scotland’s Oil and the contribution it makes to the UK coffers.


Not Working for the Clampdown wonders if the Westminster purge of the Scottish Mafia will extend to the German Bundestag where David McAllister (who has Scottish roots) is the head of the German Christian Democratic Party.


The eagle-eyed J Arthur MacNumpty has a pop at Michael McMahon (Labour MSP). J wonders why Michael is so keen to pull up Alex Salmond for attending Westminster but content to ignore George Foulkes’ attendance at the House of Lords.


But enough of this looking at UK/Scottish disagreements and relationship strains. Let’s have some good news and some more Blog Love.


Yes, Julie Hepburn rightly celebrates the saving of 800 jobs in Cumbernauld while Stephen Glenn gives us his thoughts on his favourite Scottish blogs.


And from me, well, despite it being Father’s Day today I will give the final word to 12,000 women via Cameron Rose’s celebration that the Moonwalk is underway. An army of females dressed in just their bras? I can’t think of a better way to finish the weekend off if I tried…


Nighty night.

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