A week in Scottish politics: 28 September to 4 October 2012


Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 28 September and 4 October, which are freely available online.

Thursday 4 October

Ed Miliband and the Union: One of the most potent threats to a “yes” victory in the independence referendum would be the prospect of a likely Labour victory in Westminster in the 2015 election set for just a few short months after the independence vote, writes Gregor Gall in The Scotsman. In order for this to be realised, however, Ed Miliband must stop pulling the party to the right, alienating its traditional union support base.  Iain MacWhirter in The Herald feels that in seeking to promote “one nation”, Labour has taken on a monumental task and argues instead for a federal UK.

BBC Scotland cuts: Dr Michael Higgins laments, in The Scotsman, the cuts being made to the BBC in Scotland, including 17 jobs in news and current affairs. He writes that the inevitable lessening in quality and quantity of Scottish content will be an affront to Scottish identity, and will play into the hands of Alex Salmond, who has long advocated a separate Scottish version of the BBC.

“Tarnished” RBS: Bill Jamieson argues in the Scotsman that so toxic has become the reputation of RBS, that nothing short of a total rebranding will get the bank back on its feet.

Juries: Michael Kelly writes in today’s Scotsman that, for all its ills, the jury system is still one of the most fair that can be mustered, and the recent suggested reforms of it are not a good idea. (Scotsman page 30)

Curriculum for Excellence: Gaynor Allen argues, in The Scotsman, that in order for the Curriculum for Excellence to be truly effective, more will need to be done to tell parents about it and to get them on board. (Scotsman page 29)

Wednesday 3 October

Johann Lamont: Christine Jardine in The Scotsman comments on the Scottish Labour leader’s remarks about cutting benefits, suggesting they might be best for the future prosperity of Scotland

Universal benefits: The SNP should pay attention to Johann Lamont’s warning that Scotland could find it difficult to fund the SNP’s ‘universalism’ particularly over the provision of benefits and social security, according to Brian Wilson in The Scotsman.

Ed Miliband: Ian Bell in The Herald argues that the UK Labour Leader short prioritise substance over style if he wishes to become the next Prime Minister.

Tuesday 2 October

Lamont proposals: Writing in the Daily Record, Joan McAlpine compares Johann Lamont’s speech decrying Scotland’s “something for nothing” society to Mitt Romney’s attack on Americans who pay no income tax.

Irish example: Writing in The Scotsman, Peter Jones explains that the economy is likely to play a leading role in debates over the referendum. He points to Ireland, once held up as a model for the Scottish economy post-independence which has struggled to recover from the economic crisis.

Monday 1 October

Labour and the welfare state: Columnists responded this weekend to Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont’s speech which called into question some of the SNP’s entitlement policies, particularly for the better off. The leader has been criticised by the SNP for what they view as Conservative economic policies. (Brian Monteith in The Scotsman, Kerry Gill in the Daily Express, Andrew Nicoll in the Scottish Sun, Tom Gordon in the Sunday Herald, Andrew Whitaker in Scotland on Sunday)

Friday 28 September

David Cameron: Alison Rowat in The Herald comments on the Prime Minister’s recent visit to the US and his fumbling appearance on an American chat show, declaring that attempting to look “big” in America only seeks to show how removed he actually is from the more pressing concerns that he should be addressing in Britain.

Glasgow City Council cuts: Glasgow City Council Leader Gordon Matheson in the Daily Record slams the SNP for their treatment of Glasgow, believing that Glasgow City Council has been dealt a “dreadful deal” from the Scottish government despite its successes.