Digital disasters

Hi everyone! It is a while since I have felt the spicy heat of the hot seat. My last roundup was in fact way back in January. I decided to give myself a bit of time off actually writing the things, as real life has become a bit busier and time consuming. But I thought I’d better get round to doing it again sometime, so here I am.

Election makes twits of Labour

This week, the General Election campaign was officially launched. For some, this is what it’s all about. Others will be dreading it. Speaking personally, even though this is the first time I am actually involved in a campaign, I am finding the General Election as a whole to be a bit “meh”. I’m not sure I can actually handle the next month, but like it or lump it, the campaign is going to dominate the next month.

The campaign got off to the worst possible start for Stuart MacLennan, who was Labour’s candidate in Moray. Mr MacLennan’s politically incorrect tweets landed him in water that is even hotter than the hot seat I’m currently sitting on.

There has been a lot of chat about this election being “the Twitter election” or “the blogging election”, where social media plays the pivotal role in the campaign. Most of it is nonsense really. I seem to remember widespread predictions about 2005 being the internet election too. 2001 was probably the same.

But there is no escaping the fact that Twitter has already played a huge role in Stuart MacLennan’s election. It’s a real clanger though. A Pretty Simple Blog asked why Mr MacLennan was not more savvy in light of the fact that he even noted that he may make a Twitter gaffe. Who is to say more people won’t be caught out?

It is fair to say that this is probably not the positive role the social media flag-wavers had in mind for this election. I guess one positive is The Sun‘s headline yesterday morning — “Twit hits the fan” — which at least made me smile when I saw it while buying lunch.

But the BBC’s normally jovial Brian Taylor seemed less amused when he wrote about the saga on his blog: “You name it, he had a pathetic comment to offer, tedious yet unpleasant too.”

Lallands Peat Worrier marked the return of the ‘Indygalling’ phenomenon. Meanwhile, Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting wondered if this will put paid to the jibes about over-enthusiastic SNP activists being ‘cybernats’.

Will Patterson joined in, also recounting his experiences of Mr MacLennan from his days in student politics at the University of Edinburgh.

Labour member Jamie Smyth is a bit more forgiving than most, noting that “I’m guessing Stuart was there for experience as a PPC so the loss isn’t make or break.”

Stuart MacLennan wasn’t the only Labour candidate getting into a bit of a mess with Twitter. Scott at Love and Garbage brought our attention to this stunning leaflet where Linlithgow candidate Michael Connarty advertises his Twitter username as being ‘yourname’. I also like those snappy URLs and email addresses.

Digital Economy Bill

It is reassuring to know that these are the people who have rushed through the Digital Economy Bill, which means that your internet connection could be cut off if there is suspicion that it has been used to download copyrighted material. Scott wrote a letter to Michael Connarty, his MP, and shared it with his blog’s readers.

If, by any chance, you have missed the controversy surrounding the Digital Economy Bill, Labour MP Eric Joyce provided the background. Meanwhile, digital law expert Lilian Edwards cast her eye over the bill and the online reaction to proceedings.

Edinburgh-based journalist Jodi Mullen listed the MPs who voted against the Digital Economy Bill, looking in particular at Edinburgh’s MPs. If you want to check how your MP voted, you may like this handy tool.

On a similar note, if you are of a skeptical bent, check out Skeptical Voter, which has plenty of information on MPs’ views on issues important to skeptics.

The Alternative McLeish Report

The football fans among you may be aware that Henry McLeish is currently working on a review of the running of football in Scotland. Rob Marrs at Left Back in the Changing Room said, “I think he needs to be pretty radical – and I’m not sure he will be.”

Enter the Alternative McLeish Report, with the involvement of a number of Scottish bloggers producing “a joint document which will be splashed in the hope of influencing the course of events in a real way”. The project already has the involvement of Inside Left, More Than Mind Games, Avoiding the Drop and The Scottish Football Blog.

Further digital woes and more…

We have all performed the thought experiment, but how many of us could actually cope well if our phone died? Well, Ellen Arnison has been going through the ordeal and has reported on how she has been coping.

And here is something a bit different — a blog maintained by a Mini. Called Hamish. Dressed up as a Highland coo.

It is not car-shaped, but a Highland cow features on the cover of a 1984 single by a Scottish band called Memphis. It features in The Vinyl Villain’s Great Scottish Singles series. As JC says, “[It is] one of the great all time ‘lost’ Scottish 45s in that it came, it saw and it completely failed to conquer.”

Set the challenge of photographing something ugly, Clinically Fed Up decided to feature Perth City Hall. “Not visually ugly, but ugly by its existence.” I think the photographs look great.

Genealogists may be interested in the useful information from My Scots Ancestors on tools to make using Google to research your family history easier.

Help required!

That’s your lot for this week. As ever, please keep those nominations coming in. Your help is vital for us to feature a wider range of great Scottish blogging. You can use the handy form on the right, or you can email us at Or drop us a tweet @ScottishRoundup.

I am also looking for some more guest editors in the coming weeks. Will Patterson is in the hot seat next week, but the whole rota is open after that. So if you fancy giving it a shot, please do let me know.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions as to how the General Election should be covered by Scottish Roundup, I am all ears. I was asked by someone what the plans are, and I had to confess that I haven’t yet given a moment’s thought to it! I know, I am just full of lame excuses at the moment.


  1. The best way you could cover the election is by ignoring it. It’s wall to wall everywhere else and it’s nice to take a break by reading your excellent round up. Failing ignoring it, it’d be worth flagging up the important stuff which is being ignored. Like the implications of the Digital Economy Act. It’s a mess and will have to come back for bags of amendments in future. There’ll be other stuff too, no doubt. Stuff that politicians think the public isn’t interested in but are wrong about that. Just a couple of thoughts, but thnx or your links here; expands my reading and broadens my narrow mind!