A week in Scottish politics: 12 to 18 October 2012


Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 12 and 18 October, which are freely available online.

Thursday 18 October
SNP Nato Vote: SNP MSP Marco Biagi comments in the Scotsman that “there is a false narrative that voting Yes means only endorsing the SNP vision of an independent Scotland” including with regard to Nato membership. 

Home Rule Commission: Tavish Scott in the Scotsman gives his backing to Liberal Democrat proposals that a “federal UK” is the way forward while  Ian MacWhirter in the Herald comments that Liberal Democrat plans for a federal UK should be tested in a referendum and Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments that the idea of achieving a federal system of government for the United Kingdom is “positively loop”.

Independence: John McLaren in the Scotsman examines whether Scotland will be better off financially by staying in the UK or becoming independent.

SNP referendum campaign: Michael Kelly in the Scotsman comments that the SNP are not fully explaining the consequences of leaving the UK.

Economic forecast: David Bell in the Scotsman comments on what he believes will be a “painfully slow” recovery for the Scottish economy.

Starbucks: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments on the wider issues following reports that Starbucks has not paid corporation tax in the UK for the past three years.

Wednesday 17 October
Trident: Liam Fox in the Scotsman comments on his support for Alex Salmond’s plans to keep an independent Scotland in NATO and urged that the First Minister give assurances to member countries that Scotland would keep Trident “for as long as it takes to move it elsewhere”.

Independence: Brian Wilson in the Scotsman argues that it is not necessary to become an independent country to change the long-term vision for Scotland.

Public spending after independence: Ian Bell in the Herald comments on warnings that an independent Scotland would have to cut public spending immediately and keep cutting for decades.

Independence: Alex Salmond in the Guardian comments on what he believes voting ‘yes’ in the referendum will mean for Scotland.

Starbucks: Daniel Johnson in the Mail comments on news that coffee retailer Starbucks has reportedly paid just £8.6million in corporation in the 14 years it has been trading in the UK, despite generating sales of more than £3billion.

Gary McKinnon: Trevor Salmon in the Scotsman comments on the Home Secretary Theresa May ruling against extraditing Scottish computer hacker Gary McKinnon to the USA under human rights legislation as there was a high risk the Aspergers sufferer would attempt to commit suicide.

University funding: Christine Jardine in the Scotsman comments that university funding in Scotland needs to change if Scotland’s institutions are to retain their global rankings.

Tuesday 16 October
Referendum deal: Prime Minister David Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond yesterday agreed on a deal to hold a single question referendum on Scottish independence in 2014. The referendum agreement hands power over legislating for the referendum to the Scottish Parliament, meaning details such as the date of the vote and the extent of the franchise will be decided at Holyrood.  Comment and analysis from: Peter Jones in the Scotsman, Ewan Crawford in the Scotsman, Stephen Noon in the Scotsman, John Curtice in the Herald, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Janan Ganesh in the FT, Joan McAlpine in the Record.

Monday 15 October
Commentary on referendum deal: In the Scotland on Sunday Eddie Barnes notes that Mr Cameron’s reception in Edinburgh on Monday will mark the beginning of a fierce campaign. Writing in the Scotsman Lesley Riddoch argues that Scottish voters have been let down by the agreement which ignores the 40% of voters who wanted something between the status quo and full independence. In the Telegraph, Alan Cochrane comments on Mr Cameron’s success in bolstering support for the Union.

Sunday 7 October
NATO: Writing in the Sunday Herald, First Minister Alex Salmond spells out the case for staying within Nato while maintaining support for a ban on nuclear weapons.

Friday 5 October
SNP Conference: George Kerevan writes in The Scotsman that the discussions at the SNP conference in Perth ought to focus on staying in NATO, rather than focusing on the Scottish economy, as it may help the SNP win the independence referendum.