Good morning all, and welcome to Ewan Watt’s first ever Roundup.
I thought I’d start out today by congratulating those who finished in the Total Politics top 40 Scottish blogs, including the Roundup which lurked in a very impressive 31. No doubt Scottish blogs will have a strong showing in the UK top 100. Some fantastic entries… although no glaringly obvious omissions…
Although the Glenrothes by-election is looking more and more likely to be delayed until November, the race to succeed the late John McDougall still lingered in the headlines this week, notably Labour’s failure to get a candidate. In addition, Gordon Brown has allegedly “stepped in to help mastermind Labour’s bid to beat the odds and win the Glenrothes by-election.”
Mr Eugenides has already suggested that the First Minister should be breaking out the champagne. SNP Tactical Voting claims that the by-election is set to take place on either October 30th or November 6th. Furthermore, in a story close to home, Tactical Voting claims that there’s a strong rumour that Lindsey Roy CBE could be Labour’s candidate for Glenrothes, yours truly’s former Headmaster at Inverkeithing!
There’s also an interesting post here on SNP Tactical Voting about the potential role for bloggers in the forthcoming election. Stephen’s Linlightgow Journal notes that the Labour Party are already calling Glenrothes “hostile territory” and are preparing activists for the proverbial “run not a sprint”.
Next up we venture – rather than Zoom – across the pond and look at John McCain’s (he claims to be a distant relative of King Robert the Bruce y’know) running mate, Governor Sarah Palin. Due to the blanket media coverage I can’t remember what happened the night before McCain’s pick, but I’m sure some of us do. Shattered ceilings or walking on broken glass?
Yours truly thought it to be a fantastic pick, although deeply regretting the fact that I didn’t take a punt on Palin after I was told this two months ago by a McCain backer in Washington. The Debatable Land is waaaay ahead of the rest of us and is already looking at a Palin Vs Clinton match up in 2012, adding that it’s not “beyond the bounds of comprehension to anything like the extent it might have been just four years ago.” Pitty for the guy I know who owns Petraeus2012.com!
Playing Devil’s Advocate is Caron’s Musings who admits having no idea “what was in John McCain’s mind when he picked her to be his running mate, or why on earth she accepted”. Walk 500 Miles for Scotland is for Barack Obama and admits that another four to eight years of Republicanism will be hard to take.
Time will tell.
Closer to home, the Scottish Liberal Democrats selected Shetlander Tavish Scott to replace Nicol Stephen as their leader. J. Arthur MacNumpty is deeply sceptical about whether Scott can get the Lib Dems out of their present “mess”, adding that the member from Shetland will merely offer nothing more than a “visceral hatred” of the SNP.
Anthony Barnett goes a little further, asking if the selection of Scott is a clear example of the Lib Dems voting “for the hole into which they are digging.” Over at the Sound of Gunfire, apologies are offered to Mike Rumbles after Bernard Salmon confesses to regularly jinx Lib Dem leadership candidates.
Two Doctors takes Scott to task over his oscillating stance on an independence referendum and offers up the option of a “multi-option referendum”, an option that has not endeared the new Liberal leader. Richard Thomson congratulates Scott for receiving “a stonking” 59% of the votes cast, and after some complex arithmetic points out that his party must have a membership of 4,029.
The Scottish Government were taken to task for allegedly failing to fulfill its election promise to put 1,000 extra police on Scotland’s streets. Stephen’s Linlithgow Journal highlights the fact that the SNP have failed in this election pledge because they pledged 1,000 more police rather than 1,000 more recruits by 2011. Scottish Unionist grapples with the SNP’s spin machine revealing that the Scottish Government has overseen a net gain of 74 police officers and not the 150 as initial claimed. Mr Smith Goes to Holyrood asks why the SNP made such an election commitment if they had no chance of achieving it in the first place.
After a cracking medal tally in Beijing, Team GB returned to Blighty. Alongside their heroes welcome, Team GB encountered political bickering about whether Scotland should have its own team at the Olympics. Tom Griffin points out that acting Scottish Labour leader Cathy Jamieson has already distanced herself from Gordon Brown’s calls for a British football team to compete in 2012, suggesting that the home nations should compete against each other in a tournament with the victors going on to represent Team GB. Then, as Bill Cameron pointed out, Scottish – or British – Olympic hero Chris Hoy became the political football for allegedly poo-pooing the idea that Scotland should seceed from Team GB.
Richard Thomson claims that Hoy said no such thing. Scottish Unionist claims that this year’s Olympics were the “most political I can recall”, while at Ideas of Civilisation serious questions about a Scottish Olympic team are raised, in addition to the question that perhaps even the “SNP can be too Scottish.”
Meanwhile, Mr Eugenides went Union Jack hunting as the Scottish members of Team GB took part in an open top bus on the Royal Mile. His sociological experiment found one UJ. Otan2 scoffs at the BBC for calling “the shipping forecast, Jerusalem, Greensleeves and harmonies based on the chimes of Big Ben” British. Bill Cameron just enjoyed Boris Johnson’s “bravura performance”.
The Ben Lomond Free Press is shocked, disgusted and surprised at the World Health Organisation’s report about health inequalities in Britain, notably the fact that a male in Calton will live 28 years less than someone living fifteen miles away in Lenzie. Meanwhile, the Duke of Sutherland is offering the nation two of his paintings for Â£100m.
Bernard Salmon looked at the “kerfuffle” over the Duke of Sutherland’s offer, noting that he would be “quite happy” for the taxpayer to purchase such an important piece of culture that’s actually worth Â£300m if necessary to keep them here.
The Cumbernauld Comrade celebrates the fact that according to a team of researchers at the universities of Manchester and Sheffield, his home town is the fourth most cheerful place in Britain.
Havering Havers looks at the collapse of Zoom Airlines, notably the SNP’s excuse that the Government should be using its energy windfall to help the Scottish economy.
Malc In the Burgh was perplexed as to who would be firing questions at the First Minister from Labour’s side of the aisle, while Angry Steve believes that Edinburgh is a “great place to live”, irrespective of the research that had so pleased Cumbernauld Comrade.
Mushkush ridicules the war on drugs and calls on Scotland to buy opium from Afghanistan and emulate the Swiss by producing legal heroin. SNP Watch claims that the ‘modern’ Conservative Party are still the same old Tories.
Finally, Ideas of Civilisation analysed the falling standards of game shows and how this reflects on society at large.