Hi folks! Just when you think you can turn your back on things for a time, events intervene and throw a curve ball at you.
Which is why this week’s lead story has to be the Glasgow North East By-Election: a few days ago, there were two possible SNP candidates: BBC journalist David Kerr and SNP Group Leader on Glasgow City Council James Dornan. Despite Kerr being seen as the favourite, Dornan was selected. Jeff and David cheered the decision, but as you can imagine, Yousuf wasn’t overly impressed.
Of course, Kerr had to end his involvement with Newsnight Scotland if he wanted to be a politically active By-Election candidate, so Kez reflected on how one decision can radically affect your life, with reference to a crap movie. Having said that, Kerr landed on his feet by getting a job as a Special Advisor. Kez waded in again, unimpressed.
However, Jeff wasn’t overly sympathetic to this way of thinking, comparing this career move with a similar one undertaken by Iain Gray in 2003. And look where he is now!
So things were going swimmingly until this morning’s papers, when the Sunday Herald carried a story detailing previous financial difficulties experienced by Cllr Dornan. He has now stood down: Jeff and Yousuf have the first reactions, while you can get a look at Dornan’s statement over at The Universality of Cheese.
This has not been a good week in publicity terms for the SNP: the Glasgow North East saga is only half of the problem. As the row over Diageo’s plan to quit Kilmarnock continues (Flying Rodent sums things up as only he can), Alex Salmond managed to secure a meeting with the company, only for the appointment to clash with a planned TV appearance, and sent Angus Robertson to the meeting in his stead. Kezia is horrified; Jeff notes that while the story behind this may be more complicated, it does look bad for the FM, while Christian points out that the meeting was sprung on the FM at a moment’s notice, and believes that the media are over-egging the pudding. Subrosa echoes this, by pointing out that the attacks on Alex Salmond let Diageo and their planned job cuts off the hook.
Staying with booze, Holyrood Patter takes a look at the Scotch Whisky Association’s objections to a minimum price for alcohol, and questions why they’re the ones complaining, while Julie hails plans to regulate where and how alcohol can be displayed.
More serious matters now, and a bloody week for UK forces in Afghanistan. Fitaloon has been faithfully following the grim sequence of events. There are just too many posts to pick one out: take a look through them. Jess the Dog and Flying Rodent have their own ideas on how to approach the situation there.
In nearby Iran, the row over the allegedly rigged (I have to say ‘allegedly’ or George Galloway will shout at me) election continues, but has dropped off the radar somewhat. Mr. Eugenides notes that for some, it was never on the radar in the first place.
Meanwhile, there’s a new possibility that Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombings, may be transferred back to Libya. Jeff argues that this should take place, so Megrahi can live out what little remaining time he has closer to his loved ones. Lallands Peat Worrier points out some of the catches.
Elsewhere, we have a story that no one would have cared about a year ago: the resignation of former US Vice-Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin as Governor of Alaska. Alex Massie is scratching his head, Bucket of Tongues is less than impressed, but Neil Craig is confident that we haven’t seen the last of her.
Speaking of former senior party figures who have all but vanished from public life, Jack McConnell’s poor attendance record at Holyrood has been scrutinised: Scottish Tory Boy takes the former First Minister to task.
At Westminster, the scandal surrounding the News of the World paying to hack into celebrities’ voicemail, engulfing former editor and current Tory PR man Andy Coulson, hasn’t resonated all that much in Scotland: Bucket of Tongues looks at events, and decides that Coulson must stand trial.
Shuggy considers reactions to French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to ban the burka.
Stuart looks at Scottish Government plans to let Councils set their own policy on the sale of knives.
Calum takes a closer look at last month’s Euro election results.
Four years on from the 7/7 Bombings, Andrew has his memories of the day.
Finally, Stephen has his own, far happier fourth anniversary to celebrate.
That’s your lot for this week: it’s NoPoScoBloRo time on Wednesday, with Misssy M orchestrating proceedings. On Sunday, we get political again, this time with Scottish Unionist in the hot seat. Bye-de-bye!