Bloggers come to blows over booze

Hello and welcome to this week’s roundup. It is Saturday night and I am stone cold sober. That’s not because the SNP want me to stop drinking. Of course, it’s because I have a roundup to write. In my experience, it’s the best way to spend a Saturday night.

A fair amount of controversy has been caused by the SNP’s new proposals to tackle binge drinking. In fact, if the hope was to stop people having arguments to do with alcohol, it’s clearly backfired — you just need to take a look at the blogs this week.

Chris Dillow was fairly critical, seeing it as yet another example of the managerialist ideology that pervades political discourse at the moment.

But Tartan Hero was fully supportive, pointing to the fact that a recent trial in West Lothian coincided with a decrease in anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related crime. Along with him, Jeff Breslin seemed to be the biggest supporter of the SNP’s proposals.

But Scottish Tory Boy pointed out that there would be nothing to stop mischievous youths from getting their hands on alcohol via an older accomplice. And Stephen Glenn reckons it’ll mean people popping over the border to get their booze hauls.

Bill Cameron pointed to the inconsistencies in the SNP’s policies on age limits in different areas. Votes at 16, but no takeaway booze until 21? This contradiction was also pointed out by Bill Salmon. He, like many others, also pointed out that the government would almost certainly have no power to fix the price of alcohol as it would be against European competition law.

Alex Massie sees the SNP’s proposals as another instance of a government feeling that it has to do something, anything. Meanwhile, Iain Rubie Dale wins the award for bluntness.

Ideas of Civilisation was more balanced and admired the SNP for bringing up proposals that will not be popular with everyone.

On a similar note, Mr Eugenides picked up on a scheme whereby people who stop smoking will be given money on a card that will not allow them to buy booze or fags. Those who are familiar with Mr E will probably guess that he’s not exactly over the moon about the idea.

Matt’s Mic notes that it’s not been the greatest week for SNP ministers.

Clairwil is rightly fuming at some MEPs’ calls for the blogosphere to be regulated. Surreptitious Evil isn’t pleased either.

Ignoring that matter, these are exciting times for the Scottish blogosphere as one blogger has an exciting new job and another has made the front page of a national newspaper!

Councillor Andrew Burns is set to become the new leader of Edinburgh Labour group.

Tom Harris found himself in hot water for this post, though I don’t see much wrong with it myself. One of Tom Harris’s constituents, Richard Leyton, thinks that his blog should be commended. Meanwhile, Simon Dickson is in two minds about the Daily Mail‘s coverage.

I was actually more interested in Tom Harris’s weak defence of Andy Burnham’s comments about Shami Chakrabarti.

Indeed, as the fallout from David Davis’s announcement last week continues, sadly — but entirely unsurprisingly — the same old rough and tumble of politics Labour-style continues. Fitaloon called Andy Burnham’s smearing of Shami Chakrabarti “inexcusable”.

Bishop Hill wonders if in the end David Davis’s campaign will signify a fundamental realignment in British politics. Perhaps the ‘left’ / ‘right’ distinction (which most political junkies know is pretty nonsensical nowadays) will be superseded by a distinction between libertarians and authoritarians.

Will Patterson takes a look at the future of Highland Council following the collapse of the administration this week.

The methodology of GERS was altered this week, and Richard Thomson was pleased to see that the report now backs up the SNP’s beliefs. But Holyrood Watcher points out that all such reports will necessarily be based on strong assumptions that can drastically alter the conclusions.

This week Raj Persaud was suspended by the General Medical Council for plagiarism. But Alastair wonders if the GMC has brought psychiatry into disrepute more than Mr Persaud has since the complaint was made by the Church of Scientology.

Iain Dale (the Tory one) has launched his new Total Politics website. It comes complete with a Scottish political blogs directory. But Scott has pointed out some perplexing omissions from the directory — including my blog! Pah!

Lis has a story of almost having her mobile phone snatched from her hands by a man speeding along on a bicycle on the pavement.

Mike Smith has news of some alternative events for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

That’ll do for this week. Don’t forget to send your suggestions, either by using the nomination form on the right there or by emailing us at


  1. Poor Mr Dale (Tory one) only listing his name sake as a Scottish Lib Dem Blog. Maybe we should refer him to the dabate that Scottish Tory Boy had a little while back.