A week in Scottish politics: 26 October to 1 November 2012


A week in Scottish politics: 26 October to 1 November 2012

Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 26 October and 1 November, which are freely available online.

Thursday 1 November

EU Membership: Ian MacWhirter in the Herald comments on UK membership in the EU, and why there exists a real possibility that Britain could leave.

Importance of small businesses: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments on why he thinks small business is the key to economic recovery.

Wednesday 30 October

Salmond inquiry: Brian Wilson comments in the Scotsman on the appointment of Sir David Bell onto the panel of advisers on the ministerial code set to investigate Alex Salmond.

Scottish independence: Allan Massie writes in the Scotsman that the SNP have suffered from not appealing to the emotional reasons for an independent Scotland and that the SNP did not need to set out a detailed programme for a post-independence Scotland.

Trident: Ian Bell comments in the Herald on Trident’s future and the financial investment being made in it by the Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary. He also comments on the boats continuing to be in Scotland.

Scotland’s independence: John Kay comments in the Financial Times that Scotland’s debate on independence lacks seriousness at a fundamental level.

Tuesday 30 October

Trident: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph says that the splits in the Coalition over Trident allow the SNP breathing space in light of their resignations last week and do not help the campaign to keep Scotland in the union. Whilst Polly Toynbee in the Guardian says Ed Miliband should take advantage of the coalition splits over the issue of a nuclear deterrent and propose a ‘third way’.

Independence Ewan Crawford in the Scotsman says that, as the UK Coalition imposes public sector cuts on Scotland, the prospect of independence and control over oil revenues presents an opportunity for Scots to exercise greater self-empowerment in voting for independence.

Monday 29 October

Alex Salmond and EU: The First Minister has claimed that Scotland would enter the European Union as a successor state although Nicola Sturgeon revealed that the government had not taken legal advice to justify this claim. Unionist campaigners accused Mr Salmond of lying with his remarks and a controversy erupted surrounding the First Minister. Andrew Nicoll in the Sun believes that Mr Salmond has disappointed voters whilst Ian Bell in the Herald points out that independence is not about the First Minister, urging voters to focus on the proposition rather than the personality.

Sunday 28 October

Salmond & the EU: Writing in the Sunday Herald, Tom Gordon assesses Mr Salmond’s opportunities to regain public following the revelation that the Scottish government had not taken legal advice regarding an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU.  Andrew Whitaker comments in Scotland on Sunday that the issue presents an opportunity for Alistair Darling and the Better Together Campaign

Savile investigation: Writing in the Sunday Herald, Iain MacWhirter reflects on his time at the BBC and how the allegations have been handled by the organisation.

Friday 26 October

SNP to provide answers before Independence: Jim Sillars in The Scotsman writes that it is important for the SNP to answer key questions regarding fiscal control, currency position and European trade before the independence vote.

Donald Trump: Joyce McMillan in the Scotsman comments on Donald Trump’s attempts to build a new golfing resort at Menie in Aberdeenshire.

The end of recession: George Kerevan in the Scotsman and Alison Rowat in the Herald comment on new figures which report a 1% GDP growth in the three months from July to September.