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Newsweek Scotland: big and interesting stories

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Derek Bateman Derek Bateman | 17:25 UK time, Friday, 19 August 2011

Some big and interesting stories around this week but none compare to the momentous event of little Hannah Bateman starting school. What is it about a white shirt, grey skirt and schoolbag and the earnest look on a five-year-old's face that fills a parent with awe, hope and worry all at the same time? We pretended not to be choked and waved her off.
What kind of world will she grow up in, we wondered. Will she become a rioter? To be honest there are occasional early signs of rioting tendencies at home. But after some of the sentencing this week we're keeping quiet in case David Cameron has her off to boot camp.

We will discuss with Simon Lee and James Cusack the reaction to the rioting by the Conservatives and ask if their hardline is undermining their attempts at "detoxification". It's interesting that there are no complaints about real rioters getting their just desserts but it's pretty hard to justify jailing first offenders and blighting their lives with a prison record when their pathetic attempts at initiating trouble totally failed. England's prisons are already full, remember, and costing taxpayers a mint. And do you turn silly young men into model citizens in a prison culture?

Mr Cameron welcomed the verdicts. Maybe it's because he's learned his lesson about giving people a second chance. Which brings us to another stain on the Tory side of the Coalition... the Prime Minister's links to the phone hacking affair. The latest revelations about the NoW look terminal for some. We might soon be able to contrast rioters' sentences with those of newspaper executives. Is it reasonable to jail a first offender for four years for inciting trouble on Facebook but give an executive a shorter term for perverting the course of justice (allegedly). The ultimate sanction for that is life.

A year ago we let you listen in to me taking our correspondent Reevel Alderson to task over Lockerbie. The multi-layered enigma of Flight 103 drives me insane. I just don't know what to believe. Since tomorow is the second anniversary of Megrahi leaving Scotland we will do it all again with me getting ever more exasperated. Since Scotland got it in the neck for the release, I might ask him what would have happened if the tragedy had occured over England. Would there even have been a trial and conviction? Or was it only Scots law that made that possible? You can eavesdrop on us again.

And we hear about the Indian anti corruption campaigner terrifying the government in Dehli. Don't you just love it when a simple idea catches fire and spreads through the people with or without Facebook? Now I'm off home to find out how the first day at school went. Join me tomorrow at 8.

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