The dangers of being a blogger

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s roundup. There has been a lot of news this week, and perhaps the biggest story has been the death of Michael Jackson. All sorts of political bloggers wrote about him this week, but I have decided it would be better for this story to be covered in the next non-political roundup, which will be published on 15 July. So keep an eye out for that if you’re interested — I can assure you there are already some great Michael Jackson posts in the bank waiting to be featured here.

Apologies for the navel-gazing start to this week’s roundup, but two of the biggest topics this week have surrounded issues to do with blogging.

First of all, early in the week there was concern in the blogosphere when The Times won the right to reveal the identity of anonymous blogger NightJack. Iain Hepburn notes that The Times has previous form in this area, having also outed Girl With a One-Track Mind, and dissects the newspaper’s justifications for its actions.

Jeff takes a broader look at the issues surrounding blogging anonymously.

A spanner was thrown into the works of the SNP’s campaign for the Glasgow North East by-election when front-runner Grant Thoms withdrew his nomination. Jeff had the scoop.

Those who keep an eye on the Scottish blogosphere will know Grant Thoms as Tartan Hero, who for a period was one of Scotland’s most popular bloggers and was certainly featured in this roundup a number of times. Sadly, you won’t be able to read his archive as he has decided to delete the blog.

Lallands Peat Worrier wondered if his decision to delete Tartan Hero was an attempt to avoid being “indygalled”. When The Herald reported that Mr Thoms withdrew from the race, it appeared to give credence to LPW’s theory.

But I was confused as to why anyone things deleting their blog would work, as it surely only brings attention to the fact that you may think there is a problem with it.

Coincidentally, Lib Dem blogger Charlotte Gore this week wrote about how she felt being a blogger made it impossible for her to be a PPC. Stephen Glenn wrote his thoughts on this.

Will P has a different theory as to why Grant Thoms felt that he had to withdraw. In the harsh atmosphere of a by-election (as opposed to a general election), was there the risk that he would face a homophobic campaign from the opposition? Shocking if true.

In a similar vein, you will remember a few weeks ago Scott Rennie being mentioned in the Roundup. Well, this week Ruaraidh Dobson wrote about a trip to Edinburgh as part of a counter-protest outside the General Assembly where Scott Rennie’s fate was being decided.

This week saw the election of a new Speaker for the House of Commons. The process they use to elect the Speaker is interesting. They keep on voting until one of the candidates has at least 50% of the vote, with the most unpopular candidates eliminated in stages. Which brings up a good question which Malc asks: why do they persist in lumbering us voters with the rigged First Past the Post system when it is not good enough for them?

Caron writes about the traditional and ceremonial aspects of the election of a new Speaker. Harmless tradition or outdated relics that increase the distance between the Houses of Parliament and the voters?

Indygal celebrates the passing of “world leading” climate change legislation this week. If it’s good enough for Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s good enough for her.

Not good enough for James at Two Doctors though, saying it’s all very well having an ambitious target, but you need the policies to help reach it too.

As Nicola Sturgeon urges Westminster to hand over cash to pay for a Swine Flu vaccination, Bernard Salmon points out the irony in the SNP’s desire for Scotland to be independent while going cap in hand to Westminster.

Meanwhile, Yousuf takes a look at that old chestnut, North Sea oil revenues. He analyses a Scotland Office report which suggests that North Sea oil may not be as lucrative as some like to think.

SNP MSP Bill Wilson has called for it to become mandatory for supermarkets to label foods in Scots, including “syboes” instead of “spring onions” (eh?). Big Rab is predictably scathing.

Lallands Peat Worrier is also at a loss, and takes the opportunity to also lay into Christine Grahame’s hysterical reaction to the National Library of Scotland asking a worker to remove his tartan tat from his work desk. Flying Rodent also wrote about this flaggy form of nationalism and the hysteria generated by the story.

Meanwhile, David Maddox has a look at the national identities of two major Scottish sport stars, Chris Hoy and Andy Murray.

Jeff outlines why there needs to be a public enquiry into the Iraq War.

Both Scottish Politics and Subrosa have something to say about David Cameron’s views on nuclear weapons being based in Scotland. But isn’t he right? Defence is a reserved area…

Meanwhile, Bill Cameron adds his thoughts on David Cameron’s comments on devolution.

Shuggy dissects the attempts from some in the liberal left to deal with the BNP. Meanwhile, Yousuf has a look at the news that two members of the Scottish Youth Parliament have been exposed as BNP members.

Andrew Burns puts forward his side of the story after being evicted from the Edinburgh City Council Chamber.

Alan Wallace has a guest post from Helen Critchell about the perceived drop in standards of education.

Angus Nicolson has a frustrating experience trying to deal with Business Gateway.

Disappointed at the state of politics in the UK, Political Dissuasion writes a letter to the political class.

Iain Hepburn analyses The Guardian’s failed attempts to generate outrage over BBC expenses.

Willie Rennie brings us news of the latest Lib Dem victory over Labour. In a similar vein, Bellgrove Belle writes about her experiences in the East End 5k.

And that’s it! Phew, that turned out to be a bit of a bumper edition. Next week’s roundup will be edited by Caron. As always, make sure you get those nominations in either via the form on the right or by emailing us at And don’t forget to follow @ScottishRoundup on Twitter. Thanks!

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