And so to 2009

Happy new year folks! It may have been the season of peace and goodwill, but there was still plenty for bloggers to think about as the curtain fell on 2008, and 2009 staggered drunkenly into the world.

Of course, it’s fashionable to look back at the past year, though no one did so with the same efficiency as Gus, who managed to condense 2008 into a couple of paragraphs.

However, most people opted to look forward: Caron, Ewan, Jess the Dog, Jeff, Stephen (though Number 4’s already fallen by the wayside) and Duncan all gaze into their respective crystal balls. Even I jump on the bandwagon.

Meanwhile, Tom Harris thinks of some New Year’s Resolutions for various folk, and Yousuf looks at what different bloggers won’t be saying.

Anyway, the ongoing strife in the Middle East is what’s motivated bloggers, and up to now, those Scottish bloggers who have commented have been on the same wavelength: Israel is coming in for criticism. Osama Saeed makes a return to the blogosphere to despair at the calls for revenge on all sides, and calls for the siege on Gaza to end. Cabalamat notes that for the Israelis, proportionality has gone out the window. Yousuf reports on on the reaction to the crisis in Scotland and again on the protest march in Glasgow yesterday. Meanwhile, Kevin Williamson thinks that the West should start taking Israel to task for its actions, and laments the lack of viable political choices for the Palestinians, while Ewan Aitken calls for a boycott of Israeli goods.

Elsewhere, the Pope managed to wind up the Scottish blogosphere just before Christmas, by equating the principle of two men engaging in a consensus relationship with climate change, despite the former causing far fewer floods than the latter over the course of the last few millennia, and that’s even if you take the Book of Genesis seriously! Anyway, Ewan Aitken believes that the Pope has got his priorities very badly wrong, Caron believes that sexuality is too private for any church or state to interfere with, Michael Greenwell rips the Pope’s remarks to shreds while keeping his tongue firmly in his cheek, and Mark highlights the absurdity of the statement in his post title. Stephen produces some far more thoughtful, personal reflections on the matter.

In a related matter, he also notes that the Vatican is no longer willing to adopt Italian law automatically. While on the other side of the coin, Shuggy wishes that the clergy would just stay out of politics altogether.

Elsewhere, the demise of Woolworths prompted some sadness and a little nostalgia for IndyGal and Ewan Aitken. And the behaviour of the shoppers who tore the carcass of the once-great retail outlet to shreds prompted anger from Silver Sprite.

In the realm of transport policy, Mr. Eugenides and James raise their eyebrows at Angus Robertson MP’s suggestion that Lossiemouth would be a good place for a spaceport. Oh, and James also puts forward a Green way to fly.

IndyGal isn’t impressed with Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Baker’s proposal to make convicted criminals wear high visibility jackets whilst on Community Service. Clairwil is less than impressed at LibDem Justice Spokesman Robert Brown’s proposal for tackling domestic violence, whie Stuart Winton doesn’t seem to be impressed with anyone’s attempts to address the Booze Culture.

And the Blogosphere’s love/hate relationship with the MSM continues into 2009: the decision of Channel 4 to allow a swivel-eyed fanatic to rant on its network has got people blogging… and, yes, Scott will be covering Tommy Sheridan’s stay in the Big Brother house all the way. Oh, and Tom Harris wasn’t overly impressed by the channel’s decision to offer airtime to Mahmoud Ahmedinejad either. Meanwhile, Ideas of Civilisation reflects on the need to inflate stories into more than they are, while Big Rab considers journalistic language. And Polaris lays into Holyrood magazine.

Twenty years after the Lockerbie bombings, Scott produces a moving post recalling the events of that night.

Radio Scotland’s Jeff Zycinski reflects on his own brushes with racism and prejudice.

Following Tory Frontbencher Nick Herbert’s Civil Partnership, Alex Massie discusses the differences between Conservatives in the UK and those across the Atlantic.

James attacks Donald Trump’s decison to put on hold the construction of extra housing around his golf development in Aberdeenshire.

Jess the Dog argues that the Government’s bailout of the banks hasn’t worked.

Julie Hepburn attacks a suggestion by UKIP that the Minimum Wage ought be ignored.

Money doesn’t seem to be a problem for George Foulkes: McChatterer isn’t impressed with his House of Lords expenses claim.

Yousuf Hamid is worried that security at the Scottish Parliament isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Health campaigner Julie McAnulty rips into Labour’s approach to health policy.

David Farrer suggests that the best way for governments to stop losing citizens’ personal data is to stop collecting it in the first place.

Jeff looks at the dynamic between Labour Leader at Holyrood Iain Gray, and Scotland Secretary Jim Murphy.

Finally, Angus Nicolson has a few choice words for UK Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, following his suggestion that websites could have film-style ratings.

So that’s your lot for the first Roundup of 2009. Duncan will be in the hot seat next week, and as always, you can nominate posts by e-mailing or using the twiddlydoodah on the right. Bye-de-bye!


  1. Do you think Twitter going down for 10 minutes as a result of me being wrong on 4 counts towards 9 though, or do I require a bigger meltdown?

  2. I always saw the post of “Culture Secretary” a sort of comfy sinecure designed specially to reward slack-witted politicos with what they dimly perceive is a responsible position with an impressive title, but is in reality a safe nook where they can do little harm to anything important. Nobody pays much attention to what a Culture Secretary says, but occasionally they do manage to embarrass themselves.