We start this weekâ€™s Roundup with some thoughts on the rules we live by, who gets to set them, and why they exist. In a Bun Dance wonders why the kids in her street have to play football in the road, not on the nice patch of grass nearby, simply because somebody has stuck up a No Ball Games sign. In a similarly inquisitive mood, Scottish Mum is curious about the rules that govern her childâ€™s Direct Payments, and why the money can be used to pay someone else to spend time with her son while she does the ironing, but not to pay someone else to iron while Scottish Mum and Scottish Child hang out.
It certainly does seem odd, as does Axaâ€™s decision to contest the Scottish Parliamentâ€™s legislation that people with asbestos-related conditions deserve compensation. Absolvitor discusses the Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling against Axa, who are surely rethinking the PR impact of trying to deny compensation to seriously ill people. And speaking of bad PR decisions, can there be anyone who hasnâ€™t been incredulous at both Braehead Shopping Centre and the policeâ€™s handling of what it can only be a matter of time before we start calling Ice Cream-Gate? Andrew Page at Scottish Liberal muses on the implications of Braeheadâ€™s no-photos rule for freedom and the law. Of course, this story keeps on growing new arms and legs, so donâ€™t be surprised to see it pop up in next weekâ€™s Roundup too.
Rules can be made by councils, Parliaments and courts, but the really tricky ones are those that some people believe are made by God. And this week there is not one but two interesting posts on the topic of same sex marriage,both from religious leaders. David Chillingworth, the Bishop of St Andrews, has a post at Thinking Aloud that provides an excellent defence of both tolerance and the secular state. And Kelvin Holdsworth, the Provost of St Maryâ€™s Cathedral in Glasgow, explains Whatâ€™s in Kelvinâ€™s Head about the debate so far, and how it can be improved. Itâ€™s a thoughtful post and itâ€™s hard to disagree with his conclusion that,
â€œWe donâ€™t all have to agree but we are all called to behave charitably and there has been an absence of love in this relentlessly bitter campaign and it diminishes us all.â€
The same sex marriages issue has been widely covered in the media. Nine, writing at Bella Caledonia, moves us on to a topic that has been covered seldom and badly: the experiences of travellers and journalists in Kurdistan. Itâ€™s a lengthy but illuminating post that reminds us of the need to maintain a healthy scepticism when reading news reports. Which would also serve us well when reading the Grazia article that is the subject of Happy Science. The article reported on research which found that empowered women in Sub-Saharan Africa were less likely to be coerced into unwanted sexual activity. Unfortunately, and in common with many other media outlets, Grazia transformed this story into â€œBossy Women Have Less Sexâ€.
Astounding, as is the fact that Suitably Despairingâ€™s post was the first I knew about the disastrous drought enveloping the island of Tuvalu, in the Pacific Ocean.
Closer to home, the New Right blog has some thoughts about the Tory party leadership contest, and speculates that the divisions between the candidates are too great to be overcome post-election. Finally, because what is the point in editing the Roundup if you canâ€™t shamelessly plug your own blog, the always wonderful Shoogly Peg applauds the Fawcett Societyâ€™s planned protest against UK Government cuts turning back time on gender equality.
So that about wraps it up for this week. Iâ€™ll be back for another stint in the editorâ€™s chair in November, unless I get barred before then, so I wish everyone a happy, safe and blog-filled month. See you when the clocks have gone back!