There’s No Business Like Snow Business

Hi folks! Is it just me, or is the thought of -3 being described as ‘tropical’ beginning to grate a little? Never mind, the appalling weather has brought out some excellent blogging, so it’s good for something.

Bill Cameron brings us the view from Nairn, while Stephen is one of a number of bloggers to carry that NASA photo of a Britain under whiteout conditions. Meanwhile, Scott at Love and Garbage is beginning to tire of the MSM’s constant begging for our pictures of the weather – at least he didn’t have to watch Tuesday’s Granada Reports, where the hapless Lucy Meacock said, “We love to get your pictures, and you never fail to disappoint us.” Some mistake, perhaps?

Anyway, everything is political, and it turns out that the weather is no exception. Anne McLaughlin is baffled that Iain Gray appears to be blaming the First Minister for the cold snap, while Subrosa scrutinises the party leaders’ performances on an FMQs that seemed to revolve around snow.

At local Council level, Stuart Winton reports on how the SNP MSP for Central Fife and an SNP Fife Council have criticised, er, SNP-led Fife Council for the gritting (or lack of it) in the Kingdom. And Jeff reports on an SNP Edinburgh Councillor whose response to criticism of the Council’s performance could best be described as indelicate.

Meanwhile, Mr. Eugenides reports on an unforeseen effect of the adverse conditions.

Still, speaking of playing away from home in the winter, the ice should, in theory, provide the perfect occasion for a Bonspeil, essentially a curling battle royale taking place on a sufficiently frozen loch. Unfortunately, health and safety concerns derailed the planned Grand Match on the Lake of Menteith, to the dismay of Alex Massie and Stephen Glenn.

However, a bonspeil in Lochmaben went ahead, for the sole reason that the police were prevented from enforcing health and safety regulations by, um, health and safety regulations, to the delight of Skip Cottage Curling and Bishop Hill.

Anyway, from frozen lakes to damp squibs now as we discuss the botched attempt to defenestrate Gordon Brown. Eric Joyce MP provides the Westminster view of Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt’s call for a secret ballot to determine whether or not Gordon Brown is fit to lead the Labour Party.

Over at Holyrood Patter, there’s speculation that this latest fiasco provided the ideal opportunity for members of the Cabinet to secure concessions from the PM, a theory which appears to be backed up by this post by Subrosa.

Anseo and Torcuil Crichton are of the view that this latest row is utter madness seeing as Labour were on the verge of pushing the Tories onto the back foot, and it goes without saying that Labour activists are livid at Hoon and Hewitt, if posts by Andrew Burns and Yousuf are anything to go by. Meanwhile, James at Scot Goes Pop! asks if Gordon Brown’s ejection would provide a boost to the SNP’s fortunes.

Elsewhere, Jess the Dog reckons that the real mistake came when Tony Blair stood down in 2007 – had he hung on, perhaps Gordon Brown could have gone into the election as the ‘Change’ candidate. Shuggy, however, thinks that the challenge, such as it was, was too weak and came too late.

Indeed, the weakness of the challenge prompts Calum Cashley to wonder how the pair ended up getting into the Cabinet in the first place, while Mr. Eugenides notes Patricia Hewitt’s past form, sending identical ‘gizzajob’ letters to Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley in 1983. Staying with the form book, Kirsty Connell brings some historical perspective to how past Labour Leaders have seen their time at the top come to an end.

Nevertheless, this latest round of internal party bickering has served to overshadow the fact that the ‘Long Campaign’ is now underway and we are very much in election mode even if we still don’t know the precise date of polling day, and to celebrate, we have a new wave of Tory posters. Jess the Dog considers the underlying strength that the Tory campaign has, in terms of the different approaches the party can take. Scott, meanwhile, provides an eloquent yet exasperated summary of the present landscape, while Tom Harris seems less than sympathetic with those who are bored of the whole thing already. Mind you, if this state of play rumbles on for another few months, the chances are we’ll all be flagging by Easter.

Still, the Scottish Tories are enthusiatic, if the results of their private polling in eleven target seats is anything to go by. Unfortunately, the blogosphere is not so enthusiastic, judging by the fact that Anthony Wells, James Kelly and Yousuf all find bones to pick with the findings, and the reporting.

Anyway, while the Tories may be looking forward to polling day, it’s a safe bet that the Democratic Unionist Party isn’t. With Iris Robinson, wife of Northern ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson, and famous in her own right for claiming that homosexuality was a treatable illness, withdrawing from politics following revelations regarding her mental health, an affair with a man forty years her junior, and some undeclared loans to help said toyboy set up a business, events across the North Channel have prompted some comment. You get the feeling that both Caron and Mr. Eugenides wanted to rip into her but thought better of it given her depression and the intense strain that her husband is clearly under. Stephen, meanwhile, has followed this story carefully, and notes the end of her political career.

Closer to home, Jim Mater announced that construction of the Beauly-Denny power line will indeed go ahead. Suitably Despairing hails the decision but is baffled that it’s going to take a decade to build, while Angus Nicolson also welcomes the news but notes his own experience in trying to shape SNP policy on wind farms, suggesting that the party hasn’t quite nailed down its energy policy.

Finally, Stewart Kirkpatrick is planning to launch a new online newspaper for Scotland – Jeff and Lallands Peat Worrier await developments with anticipation.

So that’s your lot for this week. Next week, Andrew Reeves enters the hotseat and as always, you can send in your suggestions via the thingummybob on the right, with a message to scottishroundup@gmail.com, or with a tweet to @ScottishRoundup. And don’t forget that the deadline for nominations for the Scotblogs awards is at 1800 hrs this Wednesday, so send your suggestions in to ScottishRoundUp+awards@gmail.com. Bye-de-bye!

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