The Blogosphere BBQ

Hi folks! With politicians taking a (well-earned?) break, there’s been a veritable smorgasbord of issues discussed in the blogosphere this week, much like the Summer barbecues we would have if we could guarantee the weather – there’s a little something for everyone. Unlike barbecues, however, there’s little or no chance of food poisoning from a dodgy burger.

First on the grill is a spot of navel-gazing. With Labour, the Tories and LibDems all having some form of hub for bloggers, Jeff wonders if there should be some sort of SNP equivalent. Subrosa questions whether one is actually necessary, while Kez accuses SNP spin doctors of trying to suppress the possibility.

There’s no substantive link between that and the next post, but there are curious echoes of Kez’s post in this piece by Calum Cashley, regarding a split Labour’s reaction to Paisley securing regeneration funding, with Councillors hailing the cash, and Wendy Alexander finding points to criticise.

On a similar note, Christian takes a look at Richard Baker’s activities over the past few days, and comes to the conclusion that he’s the weakest member of the Labour front bench.

Speaking of liabilities, Harriet Harman’s comments that men can’t be left to their own devices (*cough* Margaret Thatcher *cough*) as far as the Labour Leadership is concerned raised eyebrows, particularly with Holyrood Patter and Political Dissuasion.

And on the subject of very unfortunate comments, Stuart looks at the case of Councillor Kenneth Gunn, an SNP Councillor in the Borders who called a radio phone-in and, well, basically damned Scotland’s gay population to Hell.

On a lighter note, Malc has a look at a recent LibDem leaflet in Edinburgh North & Leith, and has a few quibbles with the details on the ever-present bar chart.

Meanwhile, Jeff has heard that the LibDem candidate there, Kevin Lang, isn’t too happy with John Barrett, the departing MP for Edinburgh West, for announcing his intention to stand down long after Lang secured the North & Leith selection.

Still, the LibDems do at least have a candidate lined up for the Glasgow North East By-Election, as reported by Andrew Reeves.

Speaking of the By-Election, Scottish Unionist and Stephen Glenn are unhappy with the decision to hold a National Conversation event in the constituency. Subrosa, however, argues that the meeting would have been arranged before the By-Election was needed and that the Calman Commission would have done well to have held an event in the area.

While we’re on the subject of Calman, Moridura notes that the Scottish Government is currently better prepared to implement its provisions than the UK Government.

That said, it’s no surprise, as it seems that minds at Westminster are now being concentrated on another important matter, as Tom Harris discusses. Yup, it’s time for Parliamentarians to get their Christmas cards sorted.

More serious considerations now: Andrew and Caron take a look at the figures surrounding surgical errors, and come to the conclusion that while the matter is serious, the risk is relatively low.

Christian has this post reminding us of the homelessness problems in Edinburgh.

Meanwhile, the assisted suicide debate progresses: Malc has a guest post by PJ on the issue, while Lallands Peat Worrier looks at the state of the law surrounding it in Scotland. FlyingRodent, meanwhile, takes a look at some of the various stances being taken on the issue.

Economic considerations now and Neil Craig has two interesting posts: the first on the space industry and the second on how governments are lagging behind the private sector when it comes to technology prizes.

Meanwhile, in a week when we learned that Gordon Brown is using his holiday to take part in voluntary projects in Kirkcaldy, Jess the Dog wonders why he’s not tackling many of the issues involved as Prime Minister, while Duncan looks at the state of the economy in the town and notes how the area’s MP is responsible for how things have turned out there.

Stephen chews over the decision to send the Number 2 at the British Embassy in Iran to Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s endorsement ceremony and asks what kind of message it sends.

Clairwil casts an angry eye over planned changes to disability benefits.

Malc fisks Paul Hutcheon, while Dave is taking a look at the Scottish Government’s approach to Gaelic.

Bill Cameron questions the decision to release Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs from prison on compassionate ground, and to send Abdelbasset Ali al-Megrahi back to Libya.

But while Bill is asking why they’re being let out, David is asking why families are still being kept in Dungavel.

Staying with immigration, Mr. Eugenides suggests administering the British Citizenship Test to politicians, while Shuggy is sceptical over the criteria for the new points-based immigration system.

In other news, the Totnes Primary has Tom Harris and Yousuf looking at the significance of the event and whether open primaries are the way forward for selecting parliamentary candidates. Frankly, all I can think is how ‘the Totnes Primary’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as the New Hampshire Primaries or Iowa Caucuses. Maybe it’s just me.

Finally, James dares us to reveal the political events that we’ve dreamt. And I don’t think he’s asking about the time I was delirious with food poisoning and thought I was Gordon Brown…

So that’s your lot for this week. If you want to send in a link for next week’s Roundup, you can use the doodah on the right, or send us an e-mail to You can also follow us on Twitter: @ScottishRoundup. Bye-de-bye!


  1. Me too – I was getting hungry, and it has been a long time since I last saw Will in real life.

    Perhaps another blogger’s meet-up during the Edinburgh abomination, sorry, festival…