A Selection of Highly Recommended Scottish Blogs For Your Delectation

Long, long ago I placed a “blog roll” on the side of this page listing blogs I liked and which I thought would be worth visiting.

I thought I would do something similar, but in the form of a blog post.

Partly this is because it is well worth doing, and all of the blogs in question deserve as wide attention as possible…

Partly it is because, after Thursday’s four blog posts, and two which are partially drafted, I am looking for a bit of relief from Nimmo Smith fatigue (but do not worry, I will have more to say about the decision and its implications and reception).

All the blogs below have a connection, either close or tenuous, with the law. However I think each one comes from better writers than me, and undoubtedly each one benefits from the author not being afraid to edit their thoughts down!

Quite sensibly none of them are as prolific and verbose as I am, so rather than make them daily visits, if you popped on every week or so, then I am sure that you will enjoy what has been added to each site that week.

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The first comes from a lawyer, and an esteemed one at that, but is more about Scottish politics, and particularly Scottish Labour Politics.

Ian Smart has been a successful solicitor in Cumbernauld for a long time. Even though he was in charge of a small firm, he was willing, over a number of years, to devote substantial amounts of his time to serving the members of the Airdrie Faculty as their representative on the Law Society Council. This resulted in him achieving the position, a couple of years ago, of President of the Law Society of Scotland.

Along with his legal career, Ian has been active for many years in the Labour Party. Indeed he sought selection as a candidate at the last election but, somehow, the Party did not choose him. I suspect that was a huge mistake by Scottish Labour.

After the debacle for Labour of the 2011 Scottish elections, Ian started his blog with the following statement:-

“I’ve always thought blogging was for people who needed to get a life but, in the aftermath of Scottish Labour’s 2011 defeat, needs must”.

Since then Ian has been blogging away, once or twice a week, on the issues of the day. His most recent piece is entitled “Of The Bedroom Tax: Tories, Hypocrites and Numpties” and it contains much of what I like about Ian’s writing. It makes clear political points, even if they would be subject to serious debate and, unlike most people connected to a political party, he is unafraid to criticise his own.

He ends the above piece saying:-

So, in summary, I’m angry with the Tories for their malice; the Lib-Dems for their complicity; the SNP for their cynicism and the Labour Party for its ineptitude as an opposition.

Maybe I should become a Green.

(I think the last line is his joke.)

As well as his astute political brain, Ian also has written some deeply moving and emotional pieces about what is important to him in his life. His is a blog well worth bookmarking and following.

He is a fine writer, dedicated lawyer, cultured gentleman and committed politico – and also he is an extremely nice man.

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From one lawyer in practice, I turn next to a very good friend who saw sense some time ago and moved from the law into something far more sensible.

Martin Kelly has been blogging for longer than anyone I know.

He has written probably millions of words on issues of politics, in Scotland, the UK and around the world. He has mentioned and discussed many erudite writers about whom I had no knowledge until I read what Martin had to say about them, and this prompted me, always to my benefit, to find out more.

He also writes vibrantly about his Roman Catholic faith. Martin and I do not agree on everything – for one I am sure he thinks I spend far too much time addressing football-related issues!

He too writes from the heart as well as from the head, and some of his pieces referring to his own life would deserve Pulitzer Prizes, never mind Orwell Prizes!

Martin’s most recent post concerns the resignation of Pope Benedict and his last address to the Cardinals. He writes:-

As a tired but nevertheless prayerful old Bavarian bowed out, he allowed himself a parting shot heard not merely around the world but in Heaven itself, one that will echo down the arches of the years to the end of time – the new man must clean house at the centre, and he and his successors must keep it clean thereafter.

Martin is a fine man, a proud and happy father and an excellent husband. He is also a great friend. Read his blog. You will be entertained and enlightened.

——————————————————

Next we have the Lallands Peat Worrier.

As he says himself on his blog:-

I am a traditional Scottish, quasi-intellectual “peat worrier” who is a supporter of the Scottish National Party, but who remains distinctly intellectually free floating. If prodded, I would give my inward political affiliations as Robespierrist Neo-Jacobin. Besides my political enthusiasms, I’m professionally interested in Scots and European human rights law and institutions; moral philosophy and ethics, sociology (particularly of law) with the odd dod of criminology for that recidivistic frisson.

I like that bio.

I have never had the pleasure of meeting, or even speaking to, LPW, but we have exchanged thoughts on the seemingly interminable Tommy Sheridan legal shenanigans, and tweeted back and forth over the early days of the live coverage of Scottish cases before the UK Supreme Court.

He, along with the next blogger on the list, more of whom below, helped inspire me to write, building on the foundations I gained from reading James Doleman’s unsurpassed Sheridan Trial Blog.

LPW has many astute insights into the machinations of Nationalist politics but, as per the bio, without sticking rigorously and unquestioningly to the SNP party line.

Independence of mind in a supporter of independence is a potent combination.

LPW also produces excellent analyses of legal issues, and has been particularly wise in addressing issues about the courts themselves.

His most recent post notes the new (but relatively unpublicised) appointments to the UK Supreme Court.

In it he makes the very relevant though ignored point that, with Lords Reed and Hodge comprising the Scottish duo in the Supreme Court, there will not, health and acts of God aside, be a further vacancy for a Scot on the Supreme Court till nearly 2030. LPW writes about how this might head off at the pass some Scottish jurists who have ambitions for a place at the top of the Scottish judiciary.

He writes:-

A comparison with the two Scots lawyers who’ll now sit on the UK Supreme Court is an instructive one. On admission to the Faculty, the second Scottish judge on the Court, Lord Reed, was about 27 years old, Hodge was 30.  In judicial terms, both of the Scottish justices are now in the green salad days of their youth, Lord Reed 56, and Hodge 59 years of age.  That’s a half-decade younger than their most youthful English or Northern Irish colleague.

Barring ill-health or disaster, both men potentially have more than a decade and a half of judgin’ in London before them. If Reed and Hodge prove as zesty as Lord Hope, the no vacancies sign will hang outside Middlesex Guildhall for a substantial period of time and they can expect to be colleagues on the Court until 2030. Unless, of course, we win the referendum in 2014, in which case the brace of Justices will have to seek gainful employment elsewhere…

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Finally today comes a remarkable blogger and tweeter, who appears to be obsessed with scones, pasties, Guardian live-blogs on weather, look-alikes who don’t resemble the person they are meant to look like, and the preponderance of tiny people appearing on BBC Question Time.

I refer of course to the unique Love and Garbage.

You can find his twittering here.

He was able to obtain a first draft of the questions asked by the Vicky Pryce jury which was ultimately discharged for being too silly for being unable to reach a verdict.

His draft included such queries as:-

1. Can we rely on the readings of chicken entrails by the juror who sacrificed a chicken on the third day of deliberations?

2. If we believe that the accused had an identical twin who is wholly evil and may have committed the crime can we use this in reaching our decision?

3. Is the episode of The Tweenies featuring Max dressed as Jimmy Savile something we can take into account in reaching our decision?

I defy anyone to read his blog and not laugh.

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So that is four for today.

Read them and enjoy them!

I do and I am hugely grateful to them all for the time and effort they put into their varied writings. (But please remember to come back here for the turgid and self-important drivel!)

Posted by Paul McConville

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22 Comments

Filed under Blogging

22 responses to “A Selection of Highly Recommended Scottish Blogs For Your Delectation

  1. Budweiser

    Paul

    Thanks for that.

  2. Thanks also Paul. They seem fine writers. I have bookmarked them and will probably spend the rest of my life as a bog viewer, taking up most of my day but increasing my knowledge of how this great life works. Who needs a kindle!

  3. Ps. But you will also be my favourite blogger.

  4. Sorry Paul, am having a sit-in protest (on this site) until @Willy answers my simple, fair and straight forward uncontentious question ……Not cam, Not Adam, Not carson, nobbody else ……. just @Willy

    • Maggie

      @newtz
      Good luck with that newtz,but don’t hold your breath 🙂
      He’s too busy celebrating the Not Guilty verdict handed down by
      LNS….. What do you mean,they were found guilty on all counts?
      Really ? You’re not having me on newtz ? The Troll Commander
      Cam and his minions were off the wall high and “Partaying” like
      there was no tomorrow.Are you sure they know that they’ve been
      found guilty ? I’m going to investigate this lunacy and get back to
      you,more than Mr Wan….( I KEEP doing that,is that what’s known
      as I Freudian slip ?) I mean Mr Wonka will do 🙂

      • Maggie

        @newtz
        ” a” Freudian slip.I am not,not ever have been Sigmund Freud,even
        in a past life. Though I have been Cleopatra,like everyone else seems
        to have been in their past lives.God, no wonder that woman had issues,
        talk about multiple personalities. 🙂

      • Ah ha ….. very good …. no comment (Ooops) …. i promised ….. notice i even give the answer …. and since i also promised that it was not a trick question …. i will even highlight that i used the word …. ‘inference’ ….. so does that help @Willy ……. waiting !

    • cam

      Newtz,,,does this make you a willy watcher?

      • LOL ……. that is sooooo funny …….. laughing as i type ….. stop it cam

        • oks …. on that i will cease and desist (still smiling at cams comment !) ………. I know @Willy has a life and is almost certainly getting on with it this fine morning, ……… and it may seem that i’m hounding, but no offence was intended or otherwise ….. now, what was Paul mentioning above ……

  5. mick

    singing about a guilty and fine not titles stripped there criminal thinking like that and to be avoided in business as they have no morals and dont do pleading or saying sorry or constructive critisisimins there scum and deserve the new found postion in scotland div3 a hope they go bust and die agian they are celabrating being found guilty of hidding 46 mil from the sfa register its not over as every fan in scotland is on to there chairmen theres a long way to go in this and i for 1 will be here for the day the decision is reversed

  6. mick

    no matter what happens the are a nonentity in football due to there cheating and are a new club in div3 there hating it and shows week in week out

    • cam

      Jeez,mick what did you say to Adam that needed edited?
      C’mon it is all just a big wind up,don’t take it seriously.
      The sun is out,so are the Buddies.
      Do you think Lord Nimmo Smith looks nice in a wig?

  7. Maggie

    @Paul
    I’m also sorry for the digression.Got a little sidetracked into some
    badinage with my cyber pal newtz.I like him Paul AND he knows tons
    of stuff about computers.
    What a coincidence that you post a link to Mr Smart.
    Last evening I attended a meeting at which Ms Johann Lamont was
    speaking,and the conclusions that I,and those accompanying me,
    reached,were the same as those you mentioned above from Mr Smart.
    I haven’t yet read his full post,but I will after lunch, and get back to
    you.
    Thank you for all your recommendations Paul,I’m already looking
    forward to reading “Love and Garbage” as I’ve been a little
    too interested in the Vicky Price trial for my own good,my
    feminist credentials are being sorely tested by it.
    On one hand I’m sceptical that a woman of Ms Pryce’s undoubted
    abilities would allow herself to be maritally coerced by a husband ,who
    is quite obviously a self reverential,self interested sociopath,and not
    on the same intellectual level as she,though I do feel there has been
    a profound lack of dignity by all parties. I feel incredibly sad for their
    children and the devastation heaped on their family,which may
    never be repaired.

    On the other hand I’m praying for the jury to see the wisdom of
    ignoring this and “sticking it to Huhne big time” by finding Vicky
    innocent. I believe “sticking it to someone big time” IS the
    correct legal term Paul but as ever,I’m willing to stand corrected 🙂

    • david

      Greeting-faced Johann and her useless band of incompetent nonentities , some of whom like Baker would not be out of place in a kindergarten, seek to represent Scotland.
      What a shower.
      I can only hope that people make the right choice in the referendum and unleash the talents this country used to be famed for.
      And move everyone on from this sectarian nonsense.
      I deal with Ian Smart here in Cumbernauld, great guy, wrong party.
      He wouldnt be happy with the result today though.

  8. ……
    Big news from the SPL …….Hearts have stolen a march on mick and their rivals by launching a phone app which allows fans to order their half-time pie from the comfort of their seats.

    statement …
    “Supporters seated in the upper sections of the Wheatfield Stand will have the unique opportunity to use their Android or iOS smartphones to skip the queues and have their food delivered direct to their seats, ensuring that they don’t miss a minute of the action on the pitch.”

  9. Just want to say that today’s Ross Co Vs Inverness CT game is a massive match for both …….. potentially a lot at stake …….

  10. Thank you for that, Paul as ever you are very kind.

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