Turning Left?

Hi folks! It’s been a busy and varied week in the blogosphere, and there’s been plenty going on for you all to get your teeth into.

The thing is, just as we’re supposedly heading for a rightward turn at Westminster, Holyrood appears to be facing the other way. Scottish Socialist Youth has a report from the PCS strike, which ended up affecting business at Holyrood as Labour and SNP MSPs announced that they were refusing to cross the picket line at the Scottish Parliament. Dave over at Holyrood Chronicles has two posts on the hyperbole surrounding this decision, while Stuart queries the motives and symbolism surrounding what was, essentially, the Parliamentarians’ secondary strike.

Meanwhile, it’s not just in supporting the PCS that MSPs have started moving to the left: SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn has tabled a motion praising Venezuelan socialist visionary leader/bloodthirsty tinpot dictator* (delete as applicable) Hugo Chavez, and has gained support from other SNP and Labour members, much to the chagrin of Andrew, Caron, and Mr. Eugenides.

Anyway. In other news, there’s an election coming up (no, really, it’s crept up on us, this one) and with the outcome too close to call, all eyes are on the LibDem Spring Conference to try and gauge their approach to a Hung Parliament. We didn’t learn that, but we did learn their election slogan. Stephen approves. Tom Harris doesn’t.

Meanwhile, Neil Craig sets out what ought to go in the upcoming budget (I suspect that he isn’t holding his breath, though).

Still, despite the recession, economic projections are turning out to be less controversial than environmental ones. Bishop Hill takes a look at attempts to predict the planet’s climate 100 years from now.

On a similar note, the recent spate of earthquakes and the devastion caused by them generates this post at Scottish Socialist Youth, where it’s argued that poverty and deprivation are the main cause of the catastrophe rather than the earthquakes themselves.

Ironically, while tectonic plates seem to be shifting at the moment, High Speed Rail isn’t – the first part of the line will go no further than Birmingham and it’ll be a long while before it reaches Scotland. Now, I’m all in favour of anything that gets travellers to the points failure at Oxenholme Lake District sooner, but Joan McAlpine has a more thorough set of comments on her desire for the HSR network to reach from London to Scotland, while Osama Saeed looks at discussions on who should foot the bill for a line north of Carlisle. He then follows that up with a second post in which he notes that the choice is either “trains or Trident”, and Jeff agrees.

Meanwhile, Glasgow is still the centre of attention, though not just for the Steven Purcell saga. The suicide of three asylum seekers in the Red Road area has generated this thoughtful post from Joan McAlpine, and a wider discussion of asylum policy under Labour led to this exchange of views between James, and Tom Harris, posting on each other’s blog (which explains why the links are that way round).

Staying in Glasgow, Subrosa reports on the logo for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, while Big Rab points out that it looks eerily similar to another part of the designers’ portfolio.

Moving along, East Lothian is also in the news for the local Labour party’s ongoing attempts to de-select their local MP: Andrew, Jeff and Mark all report on how, after years of trying, the local activists may finally be getting their way – and what the consequences are for Labour.

Meanwhile, in Dundee, Stuart fesses up to not knowing whether, for the purposes of Parliamentary representation, he lives in East or West Dundee, noting that an Angus Councillor apparently doesn’t realise what constituency he lives in either.

And in West Dunbartonshire, the Council’s continued ropey performance has led to an audit, which in itself has managed to raise a few more questions, if this investigation by Mark is anything to go by.

Maybe we should all just move to Edinburgh: these photos by Scott Liddell certainly present a good case for doing so.

Meanwhile, The Kiosque reports on two exhibitions by Frances Walker. She’s managed to get two displays on the go, but Crabbit Copy looks at some of the pitfalls of portfolio management.

Elsewhere, Peenko has an interview with Fiona Soe Paing, one half of audio-visual duo Colliderscope. And over at Elba Sessions there’s a review of singles by Chris T-T and Kill the Captains, while Aye Tunes has a review of the new EP from Miss The Occupier.

Meanwhile, The Pop Cop has two good posts this week, the first on the indie disco tracks that get everyone going, and the second a review of the Mumford and Sons gig at ABC1. I don’t think their opinion of the UK’s Eurovision entry will be overly high, though. Caron tries to find the positives. James Kelly doesn’t.

This week’s BBC Question Time managed to exasperate Martin Kelly. He should instead have gone with Subcity Radio’s Debate is Free, which held its own Election Question Time this week.

Speaking of election coverage, Jess the Dog is appalled that reporting from Afghanistan will stop during the campaign.

Richard Havers has analysed some of the reporting in the Scotsman, and come to the conclusion that it has ceased to be a newspaper.

Bill Boyd discusses communication skills for the 2010s.

Robert Sharp discusses how people are exercising too much caution on the blogosphere, lest their posts come back to haunt them. Over at Clinically Fed Up, there’s a post about not so much the caution as, well, pretty much that bizarre combination of joy and terror which came with being asked to send something into Ian Hamilton’s blog.

Ideas of Civilisation looks at how rules and reality rarely map onto each other successfully.

Elsewhere, the old chestnut that is homophobia in sport has popped up again, must to the anger of Stephen

And over at Left Back in the Changing Room there’s a look at suggestions to expand the Scottish Premier League.

So that’s your lot for this week. Next week it’s the turn of The Enraged Greek in the chair. As always, you can nominate posts for inclusion using the dooberrythingummyjig on the right, dropping us a line at scottishroundup@gmail.com or following our Twitter account @ScottishRoundup. Bye-de-bye!


  1. How sad it all is – and infuriating. I think the thing that depresses me the most is the fact that the UK general election is, as you say, too close to call.

    If the British people, following twelve years of Fuhrer Brown’s rule, are not seeking desperately to elect ANYONE (including Attila the Hun or any other despot) as a preferable alternative, then I truly despair!