A week in Scottish politics: 30 November to 6 December 2012


A week in Scottish politics: 30 November to 6 December2012

Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 30 November and 6 December, which are freely available online.

Thursday 6 December

Autumn statement: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman discusses the ongoing debt burdens outlined by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement and how a “shovel ready” approach of house building may provide the key to recovery in Scotland. Ian MacWhirter in the Herald comments on the bleakness of our current economic situation, whilst Jeremy Warner in the Daily Telegraph remarks on the mountain of debt that the UK is struggling to tackle. Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph comments on what he regards as being “fiscal gutlessness” from the Chancellor in the face of Britain’s economic crisis.

Wednesday 5 December

Creative Scotland: Ian Bell in the Herald comments on the future of Creative Scotland amid calls for chairman Sir Sandy Crombie to resign.

Independent Scotland: Brian Wilson, writing in the Scotsman, comments on the lack of evidence supporting Nicola Sturgeon’s claims that an independent Scotland would be fairer and wealthier.

Autumn Statement: Ruchir Shah in the Scotsman comments on George Osborne’s upcoming Autumn Statement and where funds are needed most.

Booze culture: Alan Massie comments in the Scotsman on the drinking culture in Scotland and advocates a strong dose of shame to fight against it.

Tuesday 4 December

Royal baby: Harry Mount in the Telegraph comments on the announcement that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant .

‘Team Scotland’:  Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments on Nicola Sturgeon’s key note speech,  saying that it outlines her left-wing views of Scotland’s future.

Scottish answer to Leveson: Joan McAlpine in the Record argues that due to the different legal system in Scotland, there should be a separate Scottish response to Lord Leveson’s recommendations.

Miliband and Leveson: David Maddox in the Scotsman comments on Ed Miliband’s backing of Lord Leveson’s recommendations.

No campaign: Ewan Crawford in the Scotsman comments on the No campaign and the impact of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Austerity: Peter Jones in the Scotsman reflects on a chart published by the Ernst & Young ITEM Club suggesting that the more austerity in an economy, the less growth there is.

Autumn Statement: Comment and reflection ahead of Wednesday’s Autumn Statement from the Chancellor. (Rachel Sylvester in the Times, Janan Ganesh in the FT, Michael Devereux in the FT, Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian)

Starbucks controversy: Christine Jardine in the Scotsman comments on the reports that Starbucks pays no corporation tax and the impact that independent coffee shops have on their local economy.

Alcohol intake: Dr Evelyn Gillan in the Scotsman comments on new NHS figures which show that the amount of alcohol consumed by Scots has declined over the past two years. 

Monday 3 December

Watchdogs: Writing in The Scotsman, Lesley Riddoch urges both financial and media watchdogs to have increased powers, particularly given the close relationships between business, the media, government and the police.

Sunday 2 December

Press regulation: In the Sunday Herald, Iain MacWhirter questions the wisdom of recommendations that would require journalists to ensure that material leaked complied with data compliance regulations. Writing in the Sunday Herald, the First Minister Alex Salmond proposes the adoption of a model of press regulation similar to that adopted in Ireland. Writing in Scotland on Sunday, Eddie Barnes challenges proposals for unique Scottish legislation. In the Scottish Sun, Andrew Nicoll argues that a ‘light-touch’ approach to state control of newspapers is inadvisable, saying that it is up to the readers to influence the press.

Friday 30 November

Leveson Report: Joyce McMillan in the Scotsman discusses the idea that the Leveson Report challenges a free and dynamic civil society, as Alison Rowat in the Herald comments on the confusion of the Leveson Report. Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments on politicians’ search for the right response to Leveson, whilst Harold Evans in the Guardian discusses his disappointment over the fact that the Leveson Report talks little about the idea of ownership, in particular the way New International came to hold such influence in the first place.

Constitutional debate:  Murdo Fraser in The Scotsman writes that the last year has strengthened Scotland’s relationships with the UK and support for maintaining the UK in opinion polls.  Despite this, he believes that a “third-way” for the future of Scotland that involves more devolution and making the Scottish Parliament more responsible for raising the money it spends should not be ignored as it offers a long-term, sustainable solution.