Sluts, Trams, Bigots and Barbie

This week’s Scottish Roundup is brought to you by Colin Millar (@colin_millar on twitter) a leadership and management enthusiast, Ambassador for the Chartered Management Institute and blogger.


They say a week is a long time in politics and this proved to be the case for the SNP.  Despite having a majority in the new Scottish Parliament,  they were delivered a few blows in quick succession recently.

The first was a quiet protest at the SNP’s manifesto pledge to reform Scotland’s police services after their consultation (which was heavily premised on the creation of a single Scottish police force) suggested respondents are not in favour of centralisation believing the case remains to be made regarding perceived benefits.

The second was a continuance of the very public debate about the Supreme Court’s role in Scottish justice which resulted in the First Minister giving a rather heated and, some commented “childish” interview in Holyrood magazine, views he refused to apologize for despite pressure from all other parties in the Scottish Parliament.

Tony Kelly, the lawyer on the receiving end of the First Minister’s vitriol stated he was seeking legal advice on action against Alex Salmond and Holyrood magazine, the Guardian amongst other newspapers covering this story.

This was followed by incongruence in the SNP’s deliberations over new legislation to outlaw “sectarian” behaviour.  The First Minister bowed to widespread public pressure and announced a delay to allow further consultation on their proposals.  This was immediately preceded by the Communities Minister, Roseanna Cunningham, announcing a delay was untenable as the legislation had to be laid before the new football  season kicks off, the First Minister’s change in direction resulting in Ms. Cunningham being “caught offside”.

The sectarian legislation debate prompted Absolvitor to pose a few probing questions about what actually constitutes a criminal offence should this law be passed.  Does singing the national anthem constitute an offence? What about answering a ringing cell phone during a minute’s silence?  A cartoon strip?  Questions Roseanna Cunningham and her aides may struggle to answer expeditiously and conclusively by her own admission.

Lallands Peat Worrier also comments on this topic in “Cunningham up before the beak”, noting the small print of this proposed law even had the Ministerial sponsor stumped on occasion, instead offering a “wild guess”.

Perhaps it’s just as well the pressure brought to bear did result in a short delay to make sure the legislation does what it’s supposed to otherwise convictions obtained using it may end up in the Supreme Court!

Money, Money, Money

There was good news for the voting public for a change.  The taxpayer having shouldered the burden of our bungling banks now starting to return to profitability; Liberal Democrat MP Stephen William suggested everyone on the Voter’s Role receive a share of the benefits.  This move was backed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat MP, Nick Clegg.  Paul McGarry asks “How do you share the problem of bank ownership”.

Slut Walks

Scotland witnessed a number of “Slut Walks”, organised events to remind the administrators of justice and the public at large that women should not be subjected to physical assault or abuse regardless of their attire.

At the same time, Strathclyde Police’s Chief Constable, Stephen House, admitted “disappointment” at the increase in rapes and murders recorded in his Force’s area.

Bright Green notes this recent movement has fell victim to political hyperbole in the Conservative Party’s subsequent press release, despite a rape victim’s plea for politicians to avoid this kind of language.

Where’s the “Burdz”?

A Burdz Eye View notes a distinct lack of the female of the species on Newsnight Scotland.  As popularised by the (in)famous ex-footballing  personality caricatured on “Only an Excuse”, Burdz Eye View asks “where’s the burdz”.

Olympian Struggles

The SFA, along with their counterparts in the Wales and Northern Ireland Football Associations, refuse to join Team GB to compete in the London 2012 Olympics, contrary to press releases from the English FA suggesting agreement to the contrary.  The SFA suggests amalgamation into Team GB, even for a single tournament, would begin to erode its independent identity.  Andrew Page, a Scottish Liberal Democrat outlines why he feels “Team GB would be good for Scotland”.

Barbie & the “real me”

On indivual identity, Dorkymum writes “In praise of Barbie”. Reading Dorkymum’s blog, I was reminded of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

In the book, Stephen explores what makes people “highly effective” and using some very personal and poignant reflection on his relationship with his son, reminds us that we need to explore and celebrate the values and attributes quintessential to who we are.

This piece reminds me of that fantastic piece of advice “Be yourself….everyone else is taken.”

Damn Tram

Unlike the seemingly ill-fated Trams In Edinburgh (TIE) project, the subject of Better Nation’s reflections, this blog must come to an end, on time and on budget.

Have a great week!


  1. Hi Ed,

    When writing up the editorial and considering the content, I did really like your blog but I get the impression this is a story that’s going to run for a while to come yet and there may be further developments soon.

    On that basis and trying to keep the editorial a reasonable length, I thought I’d leave the ASH article for someone to pick up in future editorials.

    I hope you found the content of the editorial interesting.

    Best wishes,