On freedom, getting old and…yes, politics.

It’s been a funny week as far as the weather has been concerned.  Ellen discusses a day out at the Whangie in the snow, which allowed her to appreciate how “beautiful, surprising and uplifting” Scotland is. 

Indeed it is.  There is nothing quite as surprising as the range of subjects Scottish bloggers attempt to get their teeth into. 

Neil kicks things off by taking a look at the lessons that can be learned from the Japanese earthquake and the later explosion at the nuclear reactor plant, while expressing criticism of the lack of honest journalism.  Meanwhile, closer to home, law student Alistair Sloan considers whether changes to civil legal aid rules will become a barrier to accessing justice.

Interestingly, freedom seems to be a concern for a number of Scotish bloggers this week.  David Farrer writes in support of the free market, while Freedom-2-Choose reports on drinks giant Diageo severing its ties with an alcohol awareness charity in response to the drinks industry being excluded from a major summit, arguing for wider participation in such events. 

Andrew Reeves is interested in promoting economic freedom in the developing world, and asks us if we can afford to invest £15 to develop businesses in Benin, Indonesia, the Phillippines or Togo?  He recommends a microlending scheme operated by Care International UK and supported by TV presenter Kate Garraway as a means of empowering aspiring entrepreneurs in these countries.   Indygal also considers our international responsibilities, concentrating on the humanitarian work being carried out in Malawi but also reminding us of the other “53 countries that could do with our help”. 

Some of us are obviously worried about how society views those of a certain age.  Ellen wonders how celebrities deal with the ageing process while Doctor Vee also muses about the problems associated with appearing too old. 

Meanwhile, Mike Ritchie is clearly infuriated by unnecessarily complex and bureaucratic language and extols the virtues of the Plain English Campaign.  

Turning our attention to politics now, and Welshman Alwyn Ap Huw is distinctly unimpressed by the SNP’s recent party political broadcast, comparing it to a Greek tragedy.   Neil Craig is equally unenthused with the SNP, at least as far as renewable energy is concerned.

It’s spring conference season, and Michael Ironside reflects on the SNP’s spring conference while I review protests at the Lib Dems’ events in Perth and Sheffield.

Caron refers to an ERHC report suggesting that the majority of Scots would welcome marriage equality and urges the Scottish government to take action.  Why, she asks, should Scottish politicians be so timid on the matter?    Bellgrove Belle argues that Labour’s position on the council tax is both confused and contradictory.  Lallands Peat Worrier highlights the democratic benefits of including Patrick Harvie, the leader of the Scottish Greens, in televised debates. 

Away from party politics, Fair Votes Edinburgh regrets the lack of options on the ballot paper for the AV referendum, while also providing an update on the campaign in Leith.

A Burdz Eye View attempts to get to grips with some of the issues facing the teaching profession.  But why does the EIS persist in promoting merely the interests of its members rather turning its attention to the wider matter of facilitating a good education for our children?  On a similar note the same blogger also asks “who will champion Scotland’s children?”, questioning Holyrood’s commitment to children’s issues but praising the efforts of four MSPs whose contributions to pushing children up the political agenda are considered “outstanding”.  

And that concludes this week’s magical mystery tour of Scotland’s blogosphere.  To think that one day people will write albums about this kind of stuff…


  1. Thanks for the mention. However I wouldn’t agree that I was arguing for ‘greater corporate freedom in decision-making processes and wider participation in such events’. I was arguing that excluding the drinks industry from relevant policy discussions is wrong. This is not the same as saying that corporate interests should dominate discussions at all times.

  2. I don’t think I suggested that you were arguing that corporate interests should DOMINATE discussions (clearly you weren’t), merely for an equality with charities as far as freedom in decision-making was concerned. Still, I’ve amended the post now.