Save Gordon, Save the World!

Hi folks! This, for the record, is the first Roundup under the new team system, and I’ve been looking forward to it, primarily because it allows me to refer to the ‘Best Political Team in the Blogosphere’, in the style of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. As the Wolfman is a personal hero of mine, that’s no bad thing.

Anyway. It’s no surprise that once again, the economy, and the Government’s reaction to the global downturn, is at the top of the agenda. Especially as it transpires that Gordon Brown has managed to save the world. In his words, anyway. Richard Thomson and Stephen Glenn have a little giggle at the PM’s slip of the tongue.

The thing is though, the Government’s popularity has picked up of late, prompting Drew to ask if difficult economic times are actually a political bonus for Labour.

But not everyone agrees that Brown is a hero, and he’s found a new critic in Peer Steinbrück, the German Finance Minister. Alex Massie finds himself in agreement with Herr Steinbrück, while McChatterer opines that he may have a point, but governments just don’t criticise other governments like that.

Financial matters of a different kind, now, and bloggers have been running the rule over the Government’s plans to reform the benefit system. Yousuf is in favour, while Ideas of Civilisation thinks it’s worth a shot, at least.

On a similar note, Clairwil has been reflecting on people’s wish to see how benefits are given out to parents in the wake of the trial of Karen Matthews.

Meanwhile, following the wringing of society’s hands at the outcome of the Matthews trial, and the case of Baby P, where the failings of social workers were blamed for the child’s death, Calum Carr asks why suicides are blamed on the victims rather than the failure of support networks that are meant to exist.

Staying with the rather grim theme, Dan Vevers echoes Margo MacDonald MSP’s call for a debate on assisted suicide.

Elsewhere, Bill Cameron slates the open verdict issued at the inquest into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Meanwhile, Holyrood Watcher recalls the idea of an ethical foreign policy, and finds that current examples of the Government’s approach fall well short.

And Michael Greenwell is less than impressed with the decision for the Republic of Ireland to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Environment policy plays a big part in this week’s Roundup: The Daily Rabble suggests that Scotland might need nuclear power, while James has two posts ripping into the Scottish Government: first on the new Forth Crossing, and second on the wider policy approach.

On a similar note, the Plane Stupid protest at Stansted Airport leaves both Bernard Salmon and Shuggy wondering what, exactly, direct action is supposed to achieve.

The people of Sark must be wondering what democracy was meant to achieve: Scott considers the result of the first elections on the island, and its unintended consequences.

Both Scottish Unionist and Holyrood Patter were watching Scottish Questions at Westminster last week, and seem to agree on what the half-hour session now consists of: the three UK parties joining together to slate the SNP. Regular readers of both blogs won’t be surprised to learn that they don’t agree on whether or not that’s a good thing.

Staying with Westminster, the ongoing Michael Martin saga continues. Over at the Steamie, the Scotsman’s new blog, David Maddox notes that the SNP are staying broadly supportive of the Speaker, which is ironic when you consider that the party fielded a candidate to challenge him at the last two General Elections while the other parties who are criticising him haven’t done so since he took over from Betty Boothroyd. Jamie reckons that the Tories are putting heat on the Speaker to avoid people looking to closely into the minutiae of Greengate, while Stephen Glenn found Michael Connarty’s impassioned defence of Michael Martin last Sunday somewhat less than 100% effective.

Malc in the Burgh suggests that the LibDems were on the verge of quitting the Calman Commission.

One political story that has got people to their keyboards over the weekend is the defection of Glasgow City Councillor Colin Deans from the SNP to Labour. Tom Harris MP is jubilant, Yousuf is pleased, particularly as Labour won a By-Election in East Ayrshire on Thursday as well, but not overly triumphalist (on the grounds that the SNP won one in North Ayrshire). Scottish Unionist reckons that getting Deans on board isn’t actually all that great for Labour, while IndyGal isn’t too sorry to see the back of the Councillor.

Meanwhile, Alister is sceptical about Tommy Sheridan’s call for a truce between the left wing parties in Scotland.

But who knows? After all, this week saw agreement between Boris Johnson, Tom Harris and Malc in the Burgh, all lamenting the apparent reluctance to celebrate Christmas as Christmas. On a similar note, Ewan Aitken understands that there seem to be two sets of Christmas stamps this year: one religious, one not so religious, and that you actually have to go out of your way to ask for the former.

Calum Cashley posts in defence of the proposed questions for the Census in 2011.

Ewan Aitken has a heartening tale on how the younger and older generations needn’t be at loggerheads.

And Mr Eugenides has some harsh words for Preston City Council, who are attempting to ban swearing in the City Centre. I know that neck of the woods well enough to avoid further comment: we’d get complaints otherwise.

Finally, anyone interested in Web 2.0 in Scotland (which I guess is nearly everyone who’s read this far) will be interested in the new Scotweb2 blog.

And that’s your lot for this week: Misssy M has the Non-political Roundup on Wednesday, while Malc is here on Sunday for the last Roundup before Christmas. As always, you can e-mail your suggestions in to or fill in the baddabing on the right. Bye-de-bye!

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