Just when you thought you knew what was going on…

Hi folks! It’s been a weird week – there have been a couple of odd twists and turns that no one would really have expected and you could be forgiven for thinking that there were a few early April Fools kicking around. Turns out that truth is stranger than fiction. Read on…

The first shock to the system was the European Parliament bursting onto the political scene following Gordon Brown’s speech to MEPs in advance of the upcoming G20 summit – a gathering not so eagerly anticipated by Holyrood Watcher. Unfortunately, it was nothing the PM said that got the Chamber noticed, but one of its members: Dan Hannan, Tory MEP, who launched into a blistering attack on the Prime Minister, publicised by Hannan hmself:

Bill Cameron cheers the intervention, which was largely ignored by the MSM, while Stuart wonders what the blogosphere fuss was about. Tom Harris MP, however, wonders if it’s right for a British MEP to be criticising the British PM abroad (I wonder what he makes of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s comments, as referred to by Bill). Tom’s comments, however, are torn into over at Political Dissuasion.

On a wider note, this story has offered Dan Hannan his fifteen minutes of online fame, and that’s got Tom Harris thinking: how would party machines handle it, if every candidate in an election took to bloggery or YouTube as the main way of promoting their campaign? Jess the Dog looks at the issue as well, concluding that the individual will become more important than the party.

And with the power of blogging being considered, there comes its flipside: Jeff looks at some of the risks.

Meanwhile, the online row over All-Women Shortlists continues. Kez takes up the case for the defence. Political Dissuasion uses some fairly robust tones to condemn the policy. Malc re-iterates that they shouldn’t be necessary, but wonders how we can get more women involved in politics, while James looks at gender balancing measures taken by the Greens, while criticising AWS. Over at Ideas of Civilisation, meanwhile, there’s the usual thoughtful, balanced reflections that we’ve come to expect, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of both sides.

Elsewhere, Dundee became a hotbed of political intrigue this week, after Lord Provost John Letford left the Labour Group and voiced his intention to vote in favour of an SNP administration at the upcoming Special Meeting of the City Council. BellgroveBelle hails the news that Dundee is about to become an SNP-led City, while Jeff reckons that the people who voted for Letford as a Labour candidate have every right to feel a little cheated. Stuart, meanwhile, comes in with the local knowledge and puts out two posts on the subject.

Continuing our theme of surprising tales this week, a report by the BBC’s Brian Taylor looks at how the SNP and Labour have started to co-operate on alcohol policy – a move hailed by Andrew Burns, and Lallands Peat Worrier who criticises opposition for opposition’s sake, and adds a charming new term to the political lexicon in the process.

Meanwhile, former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin’s house was vandalised by a newly-organised gang. As a former employee of Fred the Shred, Clairwil can’t resist a touch of Schadenfreude, James suggests other alternative approaches, while Yousuf does not see the funny side.

Still, what happened to Sir Fred isn’t likely to happen on any Donald Trump property: Richard Havers reports that the Menie Estate is now locked up.

And Duncan takes a look at reverse graffiti, which may suggest that Government condemnation of the vandalism at Fred Goodwin’s Morningside pad might not be overly effective.

Staying with security matters, it transpires that ordering a vegetarian meal on a flight gets your card marked as a potential terrorist, much to the chagrin of Caron and Stephen. It’s not often that carnivores like me get the chance to be smug these days, so I’m milking this one for all it’s worth. Then eating the cow afterwards.

Still, on a very serious note, at least vegetarians are getting fed, unlike the six people with learning difficulties who were simply left to starve to death while in hospital. Julie McAnulty has two posts on the scandal.

Elsewhere, the proposal to do away with the Act of Settlement has come under scrutiny: Jess the Dog is opposed to any change; James is suspicious of the timing and thinks that if you want to end discriminatory practices in choosing the Head of State, then the best bet is to elect them. Jeff is equally suspicious of the timing but hails the idea that, as a Catholic, he could marry Prince William if he wished. No you can’t, Jeff. He’s mine!

Anyway, back to reality. Malc notes that Gordon Brown supports self-determination. For the Falklands.

Yousuf suggests that a strong LibDem polling may actually be quite a good thing for Labour.

Holyrood Patter takes a look at MSP expenses.

Over at Leaves on the Line, eyebrows are raised at a Scotsman interview with Lord George Foulkes MSP, whose constitutional ideas would leave him out of both jobs.

Speaking of the Scotsman, Stephen spots the paper’s report on how Scotland will only learn the identity of its six MEPs for the 2009-14 Parliament on the Monday after the Thursday poll, and notes how the paper neglected to mention that this is what happened in 1999 and 2004.

Forward comments on looming strike action at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail.

And no Roundup is complete without a look at the MSM and its priorities: this week it’s the turn of Ideas of Civilisation to reflect on what makes the media tick. Personally, I think the MSM could take a leaf out of the blogosphere’s book when it comes to priorities, but I’m too busy to go into any further detail now as I intend to spend the rest of today on thisissand.com.

So as I’m off to play with virtual sand, that’s very much your lot for this week. Don’t forget that you can e-mail your suggestions for next week, or send them on through the twiddlywhosisface on the right. Bye-de-bye!

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