A week in Scottish politics: 10 – 16 August 2012


Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 10 to 16 August 2012 which are freely available online.

Thursday 16 August
Devo max: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments that the SNP can’t risk and all or nothing referendum and suggests the party wants a second question on Devo Max.

Post-Olympic gloom: Iain MacWhirter in the Herald comments on the post-Olympic gloom that has occurred with train fare increases, increasing inflation and decreasing high street sales.

Employment figures:  Tom Miers in Scotsman comments on the official unemployment figures published by the Office for National Statistics and questions why is unemployment falling when the economy is supposed to be shrinking.

West coast main line: Iain Docherty in the Scotsman and Chris Nash in the Herald comment on the decision to award the West coast main line rail franchise to FirstGroup.

University places: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments on the admissions policies in Scottish universities which allegedly discriminates against Scottish students in favour of fee-paying students from outside the EU or from the rest of the UK, blaming the Scottish government’s reluctance to introduce some type of tuition fee in Scotland for the situation.

Wednesday 15 August
Independence debate: Gregor Gall in the Scotsman, suggests that weaknesses in the respective sides of the independence debates could turn out to be their greatest strengths.

Olympics and independence: Andrew Nicholl in the Sun suggests that the notion that Britain’s Olympic success has caused a major setback to the independence cause is wide of the mark.

Dandy: Alan Taylor in the Herald comments on the news that the Dandy comic’s circulation has apparently fallen to an unsustainable level and publishers DC Thomson may stop production of the comic.

Tuesday 14 August
Scottish Tories: Andrew Whitaker in the Scotsman comments that Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson should start to propose a viable alternative for the future of the party, if the Conservatives are to reverse their 20-year trend of decline.

Frustrated teachers: Alex Wood in the Herald comments on the anger and pessimism of Scottish teachers ahead of the new term, as they are faced with implementing the new Curriculum for Excellence amid budget cuts and school reorganisations.

SNP emails: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments that the First Minister is trying to avoid a straight yes/no referendum on Scottish independence.

Monday 13 August
Olympics: Douglas Alexander in the Scotsman comments on the impact that Olympics success will have on the campaign for independence.

Olympics and Scottish Identity: Iain MacWhirter in the Sunday Herald comments on the identity crisis faced by Scottish athletes and the ability of Scotland to maintain the level of investment in sport should independence be achieved.

Nato: Ian Bell in the Sunday Herald comments on the SNP proposals to drop their historic opposition to an independent Scotland joining Nato.

Friday 10 August
Scottish Voters hold balanceGeorge Kerevan in The Scotsman comments on how Scots in the Corby constituency will play a large part in determining David Cameron’s future.