Never slow to jump on a bandwagon, Wings Over Scotland would like to announce, after endless media speculation, a long-awaited rearrangement of our popular and much-used links column. We like to keep our blogroll relatively lean (with at most 20, 10 and 5 links per section), because when you link indiscriminately to everyone you might as well just have a single button that leads to Google. We also sigh when we see blogs linking to long-dead sites that haven’t been updated in months or years, or even ones that have been outright deleted. Quality, not quantity, is our benchmark.
Brand-new faces include National Collective (Scottish Politics) and Political Betting (UK Politics). Despite misgivings about the character of their proprietors in both cases, both are valuable and admirable resources. Our other debutant is Mark Steel, whose concise and biting satirical columns in the Independent rarely reference Scotland (and so find themselves in UK Politics), but are unmissable reading all the same for those troubled by the thought that the neoliberal consensus has consumed England entirely.
Returning from exile is Scotland’s finest newspaper journalist Iain Macwhirter (Scottish Politics), after a long period of silence saw his personal blog excised from the list. Lesley Riddoch has fallen by the wayside to make room, not due to any decrease in the merits of her postings but to a marked drop in their frequency, as well as the fact that they can almost all be read in the Scotsman anyway. (For similar ubiquitousness reasons, Gerry Hassan steps aside for the Jimmy Reid Foundation.) We prepare ourselves wearily for the imminent assault on our gender-balance shortcomings.
Meanwhile, in the customary shock promotion, an outbreak of considered and intelligent commentary sees Kevin McKenna elevated, for a probationary period, from Zany Comedy Relief to the Scottish Politics section. (We hope this recategorisation might also persuade Mr McKenna to desist from the “comedy” pieces he occasionally attempts. They are not, and let’s put this delicately, his strongest suit.)
Filling his place in the ranks of the Nutjob Squad is inevitably the increasingly-tragic figure of Ian Smart, for whose ability to function in society by the time the referendum comes round we seriously fear at the current rate of deterioration in his sanity.
We’re still actively seeking sites of considered and worthwhile Scottish debate from a Labour perspective – including Unionist ones – which might reach the same heights as the Tory-leaning Alex Massie in the Spectator (whose features, even when we fundamentally and vehemently disagree with their ideology and content, are almost always thoughtful and well-sourced), but the substantial percentage of previously-unrepresented Labour voters who do back the Yes campaign are now represented by Labour Voters For Independence (Scottish Politics). We’ve chosen their more active Facebook page over the actual website.
If you know of a regularly-updated site – of any political persuasion or none – of serious analysis and comment with regard to Scottish politics, that we’re not currently featuring and should be, let us know.