Adapting to coalition government

Hello and welcome to this week’s roundup! Attention is gradually turning away from politics and ahead to an “ice cream summer”. I can certainly tell you that on a scorching 25 degree Saturday afternoon / evening, there is definitely no better way to spend my time than sitting in front of a computer in a stuffy room trying to collate the best of the week’s blogs.

Even though the coalition deal was sealed over a week ago now, bloggers are still getting used to the situation. NoYo is optimistic about the situation, pleased at the potential for a new style of politics to emerge. Neil Craig is less keen on the prospects.

Coalition does involve compromise, and Caron has already been made uneasy by the way the government has treated Sehar Shabaz:

Home Secretary Theresa May is imminently deporting Sehar Shabaz and her 8 month old daughter Wania. Sehar was at the centre of controversy earlier in the week after she and her baby were detained at Dungavel after both Tavish Scott and Alistair Carmichael had said that child detention would stop. It has now been confirmed that the Liberal Democrats have been successful in ending this practice and no children will be detained at Dungavel in the future.

That’s all well and good, but I’m not convinced that sending them to Yarls Wood is actually a better solution. I’d have liked to have seen all detention of children suspended while the system was reviewed.

More policy difficulties come in the form of the compromise over the Conservative proposal to repeal the Human Rights Act. As Scott from Love and Garbage pointed out, this was never really going to be on the cards. Nick Robinson comes in for particular criticism for failing to understand the constitutional reality of this matter. Lallands Peat Worrier adds his analysis of the situation.

Meanwhile, Alastair Tibbitt from Greener Leith was invited to 10 Downing Street to discuss “the big society” with David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

Of course, there is the kneejerk anti-Toryism for the coalition to contend with too. Dean MacKinnon-Thomson looks at the challenges that face the Conservatives in Scotland.

At first glace, as Prime Minister Cameron entered Holyrood [his first visit anywhere as PM] he could still hear the faint noise of a protest. “Tories, Tories, Tories, out, out, out,” was the familiar cry. Out pumped the traditional battle cries, out flew the red banner- socialism invoked and the elderly Ms Thatcher still treated as the Great Satan.

However on closer inspection this mob of socialists, anarchists, and Bolsheviks turned out to be predominantly teenagers and students- members of the fresh faced Scottish Socialist Youth. They chanted, they hated, they protested…but most of them could hardly remember a Conservative government, and they certainly weren’t around for the miners strike.

You could sense that this wasn’t your traditional anti-Tory protest at all, this crowds opposition, hate and hostility was born from second-hand experience; a borrowed synthetic rage. Borrowed from youtube footage of Ravenscraig, Orgreave and Wapping. Most of it all just names to these student protesters.

And with the Lib Dems now partnering with the party that’s so unpopular in Scotland, what next for the Scottish Liberal Democrats? That is what Planet Holyrood calls the Tavish Scott Question.

In a similar vein, Ideas of Civilisation wonders if the chances of any party partnering with the Liberal Democrats in the Scottish Parliament have been scuppered. If so, will this close the door on an independence referendum?

But while Westminster tiptoes its way towards a more consensual style of politics, Patrick Harvie thinks that the consensual atmosphere in Holyrood needs to be turned down a notch:

It was useful to talk of consensus on the issues we did agree on. But it’s time to recognise that we have no consensus on how to reach those long term [emissions] targets, or even on how quickly to get started.

Now that the election is over, Kezia Dugdale presented a series of entertaining stories from the campaign trail.

Peter Cherbi looks into an apparent “anti-client policy” at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

Meanwhile, Planet Politics bemoans the lack of engagement shown by Dundee City Council, following the apparent failure of a community council.

Tom Harris went beyond the call of duty in order to find out about the reality of abusive drug addicts clogging up pharmacies.

Eagle-eyed Will Patterson was apparently one of the few to spot that the Scottish Conservatives had a reshuffle this week, and was straight in analysing Annabel Goldie’s moves.

Dark Lochnagar has a novel take on the deficit situation.

Following on from last week’s closure of The Pop Cop blog, Ellen Arnison is left wondering how she would feel if her blog was shut down.

If you’re looking forward to the Eurovision Song Contest this week, you can probably do a lot worse than subscribe to Ewan Spence’s Unofficial Eurovision Podcast.

Scott Liddel shared his photographs from a trip to Edinburgh Zoo.

That’s your lot for this week! Many thanks to Lallands Peat Worrier who suggested the lion’s share of these posts. As you can see though, we could still do with more blogs about stuff that isn’t politics.

Please don’t be shy! Nominate away. If you see any good blogging that you should be featured here, please use the contact form on the right, or email Also don’t forget you can now follow us on Twitter @ScottishRoundup.

We’re also looking for more guest editors too. So if you fancy giving it a bash please do not hesitate to contact us!


  1. A bit disappointed that the two posts I nominated about the terrible situation with Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens didn’t appear. Any reason, Duncan?

  2. Definitely. Don’t mean to put you on the spot but I’m still looking for someone to edit next week’s roundup, so if you were up for doing it it would be ideal! Give me an email if so.

    I need to look into why the message didn’t get through to me.