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5 September 2008updated 05 Oct 2023 8:17am

Palin is the new Chuck Norris

Curbing Scottish drinking, being named after a favourite fishing spot and giddy excitement over Bris

By Paul Evans

Lead on, Salmond

Alex Salmond is either Scotland’s wise and benevolent national father, or an irresponsible toadman squatting in a rank pool of ideologically incoherent populism. This week, the SNP leader and First Minister unveiled the Scottish government’s legislative agenda for the coming year.

Jeff on SNP Tactical Voting was “honestly, genuinely impressed and excited”. Responding to the party’s plans to tackle binge drinking (by banning cheap booze, off-license sales to under-21s, and so on) Jeff remarked that:

“I also welcome the plans to combat alcohol issues in Scotland. This is a deep-seated issue and once again the SNP aren’t scared to try and tackle a problem head on, despite lots of carping from the sidelines from opposition parties.”

Time to crack open the Buckie! But Scottish Tory Boy found the Nats apparent keenness to raise the age at which booze can be purchased odd, considering their simultaneous enthusiasm for a lower voting age.

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The Lib Dems broadly backed SNP plans for a local income tax to replace Council Tax, and Stephen Glenn admonished Labour’s Cathy Jamieson for her objections, writing:

“The fact is if Labour’s aim really is to best serve the hard working poor that LIT is one hell of an assistance to them after Gordon’s various pulls on their meagre wages.”

In case anyone had forgotten, there’s also a by-election waiting to kick off in Glenrothes. Scottish Labour blogger Kezia Dugdale was shortlisted in the hunt for Labour candidate, but eventually lost out to Lindsay Roy, a man who she says is “popular but forthright and has a lovely calm manner to him”.

After launching its new programme for Scotland, and as the woes of Labour in Westminster drag on, the SNP will be smelling blood in the Kingdom of Fife.

What have we learned this week?

The minor parties are not without their headaches. This week Iain Dale reported with some glee that former One Man and His Dog presenter Robin Page is unhappy at his failure to secure UKIP candidature for the next European elections.

Meanwhile, MEP Caroline Lucas is seeking to become the first leader of the Greens, and sets out her stall in an exclusive NS blog. Lucas formerly shared the “principal speaker” role with Derek Wall, who this week caused a frisson at Socialist Unity by posting a graphic depicting the evolution of Labour’s red rose into a swastika. Satire you could cut butter with.

Across the Pond

I was born in Bristol, but my parents never considered naming me after the place. Alaska folk are different though, and Sarah Palin named her daughter after the state’s Bristol Bay, which apparently has great fishing.

The furore over young Bristol’s pregnancy aside, The Hill’s pundit blog was a frothing wreck, giddy with excitement as the new Republican VP nominee prepare to give her speech to the GOP Convention. He longed for the party to let her speak without a scripted agenda, and dreamed:

“Palin should have fun with it. I almost wish they trusted her enough to unplug the prompter and let her speak from her heart.”

He was not disappointed by her “electrifying address”. Perhaps they should have just let her shout? For a laugh, read Sarah Palin Facts, a site dedicated to proving that Palin is the new Chuck Norris. And for all the news from the Republican Convention, check out Matt Kennard’s reports from St Paul.

Video of the week

As the SNP again prove to be the freshest thing on the menu, lets take re-visit the former career of the party’s MP for Perth and North Perthshire, Pete Wishart. Catch him here, playing the keyboard for Runrig, in a live performance of The Cutter at Glasgow Barrowlands. Lead singer Donnie Munro sought unsuccessfully to unseat Charles Kennedy, as Labour candidate in the 1997 general election.

Quote of the week

“…fortysomething fatherhood has its blessings. Sleep however is not one of them…”

Guido congratulates Nick Clegg, as he awaits fatherhood for the third time.

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