A bad spell for Gordon Brown

While the other part of this week’s Roundup focuses on the Glasgow North East by-election, there’s been no shortage of other topics to keep the MacBlogosphere talking this week, and as guest editor I’ve examined a few high and not so high profile issues in a little more detail, with the usual miscellany following.

With the contemporary high profile of environmental issues the Green Party’s James is pleased at the results of an opinion poll showing a lack of public enthusiasm for the Forth Road Bridge replacement, and he also proffers a comprehensive look at the various issues. The indefatigable Jeff agrees – albeit casting some doubt on the survey methodology – and takes a wider look at sustainable transport issues. Meanwhile, Gary Marshall compares the economics and practicalities of travelling by plane and train, and plumps for the eco-unfriendly option.

Perhaps last week’s story saying most about the sad state of much of our political discourse was Spelling-gate – Gordon Brown’s ostensibly slapdash note of condolence sent to the bereaved mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan – and yours truly attempts to use several sources to conclude that The Sun’s attempt to discredit the prime minister backfired. But Advanced Media Watch takes a more critical approach, albeit with a smidgen of sympathy, while Rantin Rab suggests a rather Machiavellian attempt by Mr Brown to exploit the newspaper, assuming he’s not being tongue-in-cheek! However, Jack Deighton examines the circumstances surrounding the recording of the phone call and is extremely sceptical about the motives of Mrs Janes. Caron, on the other hand, manages to be totally uncynical and empathises with both parties, but not the dastardly Sun. Alex Massie carries a Politics Home poll showing strong support for Gordon Brown. Meanwhile, Jess the Dog links the controversy to the wider issues of equipment shortages, the ill-defined war aims and related politicking.

Sticking with the military theme, Scottish Tory Boy asks MSP Christina McKelvie what precisely the SNP have done for Scottish veterans in view of her claim that support for them is now “streets ahead”.

With an outbreak of the superbug C. Difficile at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee hitting the headlines this week, Subrosa uses her own experiences to proffer some thoughts on infection control.

Bill takes a nostalgic look at the fall of the Berlin wall on its twentieth anniversary, but seems distinctly un-nostalgic about socialism, despite acknowledging that the ancien régime at least provided some kind of comfort blanket for the East Germans.

A lucky CJ blogs from the European Parliament, where he’s been attending a seminar on politics and the web, and where he made a presentation on the Scottish blogosphere. He contrasts the conflictual nature of our own medium with the more consensual approach on the Continent. Chris also contemplates the future of the MacBlogophere and asks whether anyone is actually listening to us. Perhaps only to the extent that we’re preaching to the converted!

Neil Craig takes a sceptical look at both the forthcoming Copenhagen climate change summit and supra-national government.

PoliticsScot reflects on another FMQs triumph for Alex Salmond on the back of open goals from Iain Gray and Tavish Scott.

John Ault outlines some sage advice for election candidates who may get too big for their boots, but provides anecdotal evidence that at least one polling clerk may contribute  to the ego massaging! And MP Jo Swinson confirms her opposition to all-women shortlists, but is equally critical of the all-men equivalents. Continuing with the theme of Lib Dems and election candidates, Stephen Glenn examines the issue of political pillow talk.

Saturday’s anti-Muslim demonstration by the BNP-esque Scottish Defence League inspired a ‘unite against facism’ message from Indygal. On another nationalist note, Independence Cymru makes common cause with other Celtic nations.

But with SNP attention now turning to the referendum bill (note the pun!), SNP Tactical Voting suggests a postponement until after the 2011 Holyrood elections.

Away from the political bear pit domestikated celebrates Sesame Street’s 40th birthday, while dissident group In Trust for Scotland tries to influence the future direction of the National Trust for Scotland.

On a humorous note, Sky TV’s rumoured decision to launch a dedicated Scottish channel leads Big Rab to speculate on a possible schedule.

Sad news for the MacBlogosphere this week as the civilised and deservedly popular Malc in the Burgh seems to pack his keyboard away, but in true soap opera style leaves his broadband connection open with the possibility of occasional posts and a future return – haste ye back!

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