The swines!

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s roundup. Massive apologies for the lateness of the roundup this week. I was busy last night watching the Eurovision Song Contest. Congratulations, incidentally, to Norway — although I don’t see what was so great about it that it was the runaway winner.

The party atmosphere of the ESC was ruined somewhat though by the arrest of gay pride activists by the Moscow police. Bill Cameron shares his thoughts.

The Roundup is late today because I have been very lethargic and have begun to exhibit symptoms of a heavy cold. I hope I’m not coming down with swine flu, though attention this week has largely been focussed on other snouts — those in the trough.

For Clairwil, it’s been a bit of an eye-opener. Far from being confined to, say, Labour in the West of Scotland, or a long-running Conservative government, it turns out that corruption happens right across the political spectrum.

Clairwil provides a handy list of smaller parties that you could choose to vote for. Though it goes without saying that you should be careful who you vote for. Fitaloon reminds us that Ukip are the worst of all when it comes to expenses and corruption.

Shuggy found something to disagree with on both sides of the expenses argument. But James points out why he does not yet find this scandal boring.

For those of you who may be tiring of expenses, Caron has taken a look at some of the good things that MPs have done this week.

The jury is out on whether he has been good or bad, but he certainly seems confused. Just what was going on with Mark Lazarowicz this week, Jeff wonders?

The Telegraph didn’t get all of its analysis right. Many eyebrows were raised in particular over the newspaper’s complaint that Alan Reid, MP for Argyll and Bute, claimed £1,500 to stay in bed and breakfasts within his constituency. Andrew Reeves pointed out why this was a foolish complaint. Stephen Glenn went as far as to ask for Telegraph journalist Martin Beckford to resign.

Subrosa and John Connell remind us about Heather Brooke’s major role in uncovering the expenses scandal.

David Farrer wonders if this scandal is the moment libertarians have been waiting for.

Kirty Connell looks at the history of MPs’ pay, and notes that the introduction of an MP’s salary in 1911 weakened the discipline of the Labour Party.

Now attention is turning to Michael Martin. A week ago, Mr Eugenides called him unfit for office. Later on, Bernard Salmon noted just how deep the crisis became for the Speaker. Now Jeff asks why it is a convention not to criticise the Speaker of the House.

Radio Scotland’s Jeff Zycinski reveals all about the BBC’s expenses culture.

Bloggers were also concerned this week with gay minister Scott Rennie. After SNP MSP Dave Thomson waded in, Bernard Salmon pointed out the “Gnat MSP’s anti-gay bigotry”.

Jeff responded, asking why someone would want to join a club which doesn’t welcome them. But this raised the hackles of gay bloggers Will Patterson and Bill Cameron, who both took Jeff to task for his views.

Alan Smart acknowledged 15 years the death of John Smith.

Anseo has a cautionary tale for Labour spin doctors who may try to tell you that a smaller sample size gives you a more accurate opinion poll. All very well when it improves the picture for Labour, but it will bite them in the backside sometime, as it has done this week.

Alex Massie attended the Scottish Conservative Party conference, and took the opportunity to reflect on what an improved Tory performance would mean for Scotland.

Meanwhile, Richard Shields is unimpressed with a Scotsman article about how public spending will be cut by a Conservative government. He argues that public spending will have to be cut by any government.

Speaking of public finances, Bishop Hill suggests a change in the way the level of government spending is publicised by the Adam Smith Institute. Rather than Tax Freedom Day, he thinks a Tax Freedom Time would bring it home to people more.

Andrew Reeves assesses the BNP election leaflet where all of the supporters are fake.

Labour have also produced some dodgy campaign material, though dodgy in a different way. Lallands Peat Worrier analyses their Party Political Broadcast.

Willie Rennie reports on the progress of the Driving Instructors Bill.

Meanwhile, during Breastfeeding Awareness Week, Caron calls on governments to get tough with formula manufacturers.

That’s all for this week. Will Patterson is in the hot seat for next week. And don’t forget that this Wednesday it is this month’s NoPoScoBloRo, hosted by Armin Grewe from Islay Blog (and don’t forget to check his weekly Islay Blogging Roundup too!). So get those nominations — political or non-political — in by using the boom bang-a-bang on the right, or by emailing us at Thanks!


  1. Morning DV. Hasn’t the Irn Bru worked? Oh dear, it must be man flu. Lie in a darkened room for 24 hours.