A quiet week really…

Sadly there’s going to be no Scottish Roundup this week. I checked and checked but there just didn’t seem to be any worthwhile news taking place in the last few days.

Wait, what’s that you say? The near collapse of the world banking system? Capitalism in jeopardy? Marx’s predictions of the inevitable socialist triumph finally coming true?

OK, give me just one minute, I’d better look and see if there was anything of note.

[This might take a while, go and make a cup of tea or something]

Well you’re right, not only does it seem that there been a lot happening since last Sunday but the Scottish blogging world has not been slow to comment on it.

International finance

Bad jokes of mine aside, there’s no doubt that the ongoing global financial crisis unsurprisingly remains the top issue of the moment. For an excellent summation of the issue see Shuggy’s Blog.

And given that governments around the world, including the UK, have injected hundreds of billions of pounds (or respective currencies) into the world banking system there are various views on this with Ewan Aitken suggesting that the financial world has not been nearly grateful enough for this.

Tom Harris backs this view (and that of the Prime Minister) when he says that heads should roll at those companies responsible for the crisis. However Holyrood Chronicles is sceptical that this will actually happen and Two Doctors is sceptical that anything good will come from the bail-out at all.

Yousif Hamid and Bill Cameron look at different aspects of the deal and the potential implications for us all. Ideas of Civilisation and Holyrood Chronicles also offered some words of warning in future.

However it wouldn’t be a Scottish Roundup without attempting (like the Scottish media at large) to try and ‘put a kilt’ on the issue.

The spectacular financial problems that Iceland in particular faces has led some bloggers to question whether the SNP still want to hold this country up as a shining example of the success a small country can enjoy; Scottish Unionist and Love and Garbage commenting thus. Jim Millar makes a similar point about how the SNP have reacted to this situation.

Scots and Independent however refutes this, arguing that all countries are affected, independent, part of a union or otherwise, with Alex Massie backing this view.

Malc in the Burgh provides perhaps the most succinct summation of economic events around the world. I’m not sure if that’s a real front cover or not though…

Bogging hiatus

However the oncoming financial apocalypse aside, nothing excites people more than the chance of some navel gazing. The Scottish blogging community is no different.

As such it was a week for interviews with one blogger being mentioned on another’s blog. Matt Wardman got the ball rolling with a link to an interview with Tom Harris, following the latter’s exit from government. But the big blog story of the week in Scotland was Kezia Dugdale, Labour’s top blogging voice in Scotland, deciding to hang up her metaphorical keyboard, making the announcement in an interview with SNP Tactical Voting.

This provoked a flurry of responses – and a mention in the Edinburgh Evening News – most of which expressed their sadness at the passing of yet another blog, and saying how much they enjoyed reading Kezia’s comments. Crossing party lines Scottish Tory Boy, Stephen Glenn, Salt and Sauce and Justified Spinner all chipped in to this effect.

However there were some dissenting voices. J. Arthur MacNumpty criticised Kez’s decision on the grounds that he thinks she should reconsider (and he’s not included solely because he was nice about me). Bill Cameron is equally unimpressed, albeit for different reasons.

Moving away from the specific decision Jess the Dog and Holyrood Patter both offer thoughts on related issues – namely who blogs for Scottish Labour and indeed who blogs generally. Political Dissuasion says this blog’s closure is evidence of the nasty nature of nationalism.

Again in the wake of Kezia’s decision Doctor Vee also offered the interesting contention that in fact there’s more that unites Scottish blogs (regardless of constitutional positions) than divides them. A sentiment Adopted Domain agrees with. Whether John Prescott agrees is unclear, according to Bellegrove Belle.

And for the health of the blogging scene as a whole we can only hope the retirement bug isn’t catching too much, not least as Mr Eugenides and Adam Smith was a Socialist both announced a temporary cessation in activities.

Elections and such like

Unsurprisingly most other political issues have been swept aside this week. Even the date of the Glenrothes by-election, which has finally been announced as noted by Scottish Tory Boy. Bellegrove Belle offers her thoughts on the chances of the Prime Minister campaigning in Fife.

Doctor Vee defies the bookies (although increasingly less so) and suggests Labour could actually win here – which would be sort of a shock but also not really. Andrew Reeves suggests that the Tories are now doing everything they can to help the SNP win, something SNP Tactical Voting completely refutes, saying it shows the Lib Dems haven’t come to terms with Scotland’s new politics yet.

It was actually a bit of a week for Lib Dem political and election tactics being panned. Calum Cashley got the ball rolling before Two Doctors and J. Arthur MacNumpty offered their own supporting evidence.

And apparently there’s another election taking place in another country in the near future. Ewan Watt defies conventional public opinion and continues to back John McCain whilst taking a sideswipe at Iain Dale.

The big US election story of the week was of course that Sarah Palin, Republican vice-presidential candidate, has been found guilty of misusing her role as governor. As it happened so late only Tom Harris, Holyrood Patter and Political Betting have much comment on this. Finally Woken however suggests it’s not all bad news for Palin – although unfortunately not in a political sense.

Domestic events

As with the elections mentioned above Holyrood affairs also took a bit of a back seat this week. There have however been some further thoughts on the relationship between local councils and the Scottish Government, not least over the recent announcement that school meals will be free and who is supposed to pay for it.

Ideas of Civilisation offered his views on the refusal of many to understand what it actually means when you tell local councils that they can spend money as they see fit. Claims which are supported (in slightly different ways) by Scottish Unionist and Stephen Glenn.

A Scandal and a Disgrace however reserves his ire for all MSPs and how they spend public money, this time in terms of taxi claim receipts (or lack thereof).

Various other thoughts

In spite of everything else that’s happened this week my favourite article isn’t technically a blog, instead being an article from the British Journalism Review looking at the health of Scottish newspapers. It was however flagged up by new blog (whose name greatly amused me) Sour Alba, so it qualifies for inclusion in the Roundup.

Amused Cynicism raises the issue of more steps being taken to erode civil liberties in the UK. Angry Steve is just, well, angry.

Finally SNP Tactical Voting deserves another mention for his excellent pun in relation to an email sent out by Labour MSP Richard Simpson (who was formerly a GP) – I’ll let you check it for yourself rather than spoiling the surprise. It’s nice to finish on a light note after the tragedy of the previous paragraphs.

So that’s it for another week (and my first time doing the Roundup). Hopefully this wasn’t too long for everyone – although anyone who has ever read my blog before cannot be shocked by this.

Tune in again next week when your host will be J. Arthur MacNumpty.

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