Won’t someone please think of the children?

One of the issues that got a number of Scottish blogs buzzing was the announcement at the start of the week at the Conservative Party Conference by Chancellor George Osborne that child benefit would be cut for parents on the higher rate of tax.

Efrafandays agrees that, even though there are a number of problems with the proposals, there are merits in the idea but does worry about the possible end to universal benefits and how some more affluent people may resent paying for services that they do not use.

The Burd then steps in with a well reasoned and argued post wondering why, after years of demonization, lone parents are now deserving of so much political and journalistic protection from the cut in child benefit. Skilfully slicing through the media myths about the cut she ends by reminding those who think the proposal can be corrected with a married couples allowance that lone parents are, well, single.

The Conservative Party conference also inspired some other bloggers to post, or at least post about other commentators’ views about the conference. Allan at Dispatches from Paisley feels that the Prime Ministers speech to conference was, in essence, Blairite in nature. Stuart Winton at Planet Politics wonders if Telegraph commentator Peter Oborne actually understands what a low wage is when he described £40k as a modest sum. Stuart also wonders if Labours leader in the Scottish Parliament Iain Grey understand how measly a £7 an hour ‘Living Wage’ actually is.

At the Conservative Conference Scottish Reception, the Prime Minister stated that the Tories would be ready and willing to fight for the Union if Alex Salmond ever called such a ballot. That prompted Love and Garbage to remind David Cameron that while there is a large body of opinion that feels that the Scottish Parliament does not have the legislative competence to hold a referendum on independence, Westminster certainly does. If anyone needs courage to hold a referendum it would be the Prime Minister.

In another post Stuart Winton also highlights how Scottish Labour is justifying how it can have different policies compared to Labour in Westminster. Using the example of knife crime both new leader Ed Miliband and Iain Gray feel that since Scotland has a particular problem with knife crime there should be a particularly Scottish solution thus allowing Iain to claim that Ed ‘gets’ devolution.

This week Ed Miliband also got a new Shadow Cabinet which prompted a couple of posts. Dean at New-Right highlights the fact that many of the people elected to the Shadow Cabinet were supporters of David Miliband rather Ed. The vagaries of this process mean that people like Jim Murphy become Shadow Secretaries of important departments based, not on ability, but instead the need to counter the problems of weak leadership. Dean also feels that the selection process requiring a minimum number of women further limits the leader of the Labour Party’s ability to choose the best people for the jobs required of them. Over at Devolution Matters, Alan Trench blogged on the various options Ed Miliband had regarding the Welsh and Scottish Shadow Secretaries. He also touches upon the challenge facing the Labour Party in Westminster regarding the Calman Commission recommendations.

The Marquis reminds us that although the new Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson, despite holding a number of Cabinet posts, is relatively free of the mud that stuck to people associated with both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. However The Marquis does not feel that Alan Johnson should be seen as a benevolent politician due to the way that chief drugs adviser Professor Nutt was ruthlessly dispatched following a disagreement over policy based evidence making.

Edinburgh University Scottish Nationalist Association calls into question the understanding that Iain Gray has of economics. Calum Ashley offers a much more considered understanding of the economic viability of an independent Scotland. SNP bloggers are also upset with the BBC for not paying over £20m to be the host broadcaster for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. NewsNet Scotland and Mark MacLachlan at The Universality of Cheese both highlight other areas of high BBC expense in an effort to demonstrate the anti-Scottishness of the BBC.

Still with the political scene, Sheridan Trial: The Sequel attracted the attention of a few bloggers including, obviously, Tommy Sheridan himself. For a more detailed record of the trial then James Dolman has created a blog to where he will be posting live updates and analysis from the perjury trial of Tommy and Gail Sheridan. However, there is some disagreement about how long the trial will be. Iain Nisbet at Absolvitor reports that the Herald newspaper feels that trial could last a few months with the Legal Aid bill toping a cool half million pounds. The Ben Lomond Free Press offers a different opinion on the length of the trial stating that the prosecution may cut the number of its witnesses it calls due to the high level of corroboration. Lallands Peat Worrier blogs on a possible defence witness, Prime Ministerial Spin Doctor Andy Coulson, and how he could be asked questions that could be linked to the phone tapping scandal.

Lallands Peat Worrier also blogs very concisely and thoughtfully on the draft of the Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill and the strange insistence of a number of Labour MSPs linking the Bill to the World’s End Murders given that the original trial collapsed due to a lack of evidence.

This week also saw two other blogs from the legal arena with Jonathan Mitchell QC covering both the new website of the Scottish judiciary and the ‘Statement of Principles of Judicial Ethics for the Scottish Judiciary’ that can be found on the new website. Michelle Hynes-Mcilroy at LegaleagleMHM has a much more personal blog covering her studies and activities.

Over at Bright Green Scotland they are covering the story of the objections to a Biomass Plant being proposed for Leith in Edinburgh including an open letter signed by a number of key public figures and organisations.

Two Scotsmen abroad have personal blogs detailing their trials and triumphs. Seumas is our man in Brussels and he gives the story of how the SNP MEPs addressed a potential moratorium on oil drilling in EU waters. Craig Hunter is in Japan teaching English and this week gave us the story of the reaction of the community to him wearing a kilt, including one woman who was so shocked she crashed her car.

At Scotland for the Senses, Purest Green gives us her opinions of a number of Scottish Soaps as well as a request for someone to invent a smell-a-blog.

Finally, and in recognition of my chaotic use of the English language, I would recommend Mike Ritchie’s blog and his determination that the grammar, stupid phrases, meaningless responses and a general sloppiness to the use of English should be ended as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading (and with a bit of luck this will have automatically posted at 10 minutes past 10 on the 10.10.10)

Comments are closed.