A week in Scottish politics: 22 to 28 February 2013


Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 22 and 28 February, which are freely available online.

Thursday 28 February

Independence: John McLaren in The Scotsman comments on Scotland’s fiscal and monetary policy prospects in the event of independence.

NHS: Christine Jardine in the Scotsman comments that the Scottish government should admit mistakes over political use of waiting lists.

Wednesday 27 February

Catholic Church: Ronnie Convery in the Scotsman, Dani Garavelli in the Scotsman and Joanna Moorhead in the Guardian comment on problems facing the Catholic Church following Cardinal O’Brien’s resignation amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour. 

Lord Rennard: Mary Riddell in the Telegraph comments on the impact the allegations against Lord Rennard could have on Nick Clegg following uncertainty over what the leader of the Liberal Democrats was aware of.

Eastleigh: Brian Wilson in the Scotsman considers the Eastleigh by-election, due to take place this week, and its consequences for the UK government’s coalition.

Independence and the economy: Michael Fry in the Scotsman comments on the opportunities that independence could offer to Scotland’s entrepreneurs.

Yes campaign: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman comments that the Yes campaign needs to convince risk-adverse voters they should take the chance on independence.

Scotland in Europe: Alex Orr in the Scotsman comments on the impact small countries with the EU can have.

A&E waiting: Margaret Watt in the Scotsman argues that people who may be suffering from a serious illness should not have to wait with individuals with minor injuries at A&E.

Tuesday 26 February

Church crisis: Bill Leckie writing in the Sun and John Haldane writing in the Scotsman comment on Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s resignation, the allegations made against him and the effect in the Catholic Church.

AAA rating and independence: Joan McAlpine writing in the Daily Record comments on the UK losing it’s AAA credit rating and the effects the downgrading will have on the ‘No’ campaign against Scottish independence. Peter Jones writing in the Scotsman criticises the suggestion that an independent Scotland would have a better credit rating than the UK.

Lord Rennard: Vera Baird writing in the Guardian comments on the allegations made against Lord Rennard and criticises the treatment of women in politics. 

Monday 25 February

Lib Dem harassment claims: Gabby Hinsliff in the Guardian comments on the charges of sexual harassment levelled against Lord Rennard in a Channel Four report. 

Glasgow referendum: Writing in the Scottish Sun, Andrew Nicoll reflects on the implications of Glasgow’s referendum on independence, noting that the Yes campaign would have been better off remaining at a distance from the campaign.

UK Credit Rating: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Lesley Riddoch in the Scotsman and Andrew McKie in the Herald comment on the decision by Moody’s to downgrade the UK’s AAA credit rating to Aa1.

Sunday 24 February

Steven Purcell on the implications of independence: In his first interview since leaving office three years ago, Steven Purcell speaks with the Sunday Herald about the referendum on independence and its implications for Glasgow. He urged city leaders to be prepared for both outcomes, despite not being in favour of independence.

UK Foreign Aid policy: Writing in the Sunday Herald, Ian Bell criticises Prime Minister David Cameron’s remarks about earmarking foreign aid for peacekeeping and defence related operations. He argues that such a policy puts foreign aid workers at risk and represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the uses and purposes of aid.

Scotland’s economic future: Writing in Scotland on Sunday, businessman and Better Together board member Phil Anderton puts forward his case for remaining within the Union, noting that independence would bring increased costs for businesses and investors and arguing that the UK as a whole provides greater economic security.

Friday 22 February

Patient Satisfaction: Alison Rowat speculates about the nature and future of patient trust in the NHS.

Patient Waiting Times: Alan Cochrane comments on Alex Salmond’s defence of the Government with regards to the manipulation of waiting time statistics. Cochrane examines Salmond’s defence Nicola Sturgeon, not just in relation to her actions but against the personal attacks levelled against her.