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A week in Scottish politics: 5 to 11 April 2013

Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 5 and 11 April, which are freely available online.

Thursday 11 April

Thatcher’s legacy: Continued comment and analysis discussing Margaret Thatcher’s impact on both Scotland and the UK as a whole, including Westminster tributes. (David Maddox in the Scotsman, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Bill Leckie in the Sun, Leo McKinstry in the Express, Iain Duncan Smith in the Telegraph, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Martin Kettle in the Guardian, Jacqueline Rose in the Guardian, Robin Harris in the Mail)

Bedroom Tax: Andrew Burns, the Labour leader of Edinburgh City Council, used an article in the Scotsman to call on his party and the SNP to work together in opposition to the ‘Bedroom Tax’.

Independence: Iain MacWhirter in the Herald argued clarity is needed on the prospects for Scotland’s economy post-independence following a report by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.

Public Health: Michael Kelly in the Scotsman argued that sanctions against the individual and companies supplying consumer products may have to be introduced to protect public health. 

Wednesday 10 April

Thatcher’s legacy: Continued comment and analysis discussing Margaret Thatcher’s impact on both Scotland and the UK as a whole. (Alastair Dalton in the Scotsman, Shan Ross in the Scotsman, Brian Wilson in the Scotsman, Allan Massie in the Scotsman,  Tam Cowan in the Record,  Ann Widdecombe in the Express, William Hague in the Telegraph, Peter Stanford in the Telegraph, Elizabeth Truss in the Telegraph, Radek Sikorski in the Telegraph, Ferdinand Mount in the Telegraph, Rowan Pelling in the Telegraph, FT page 2, Robin Harris in the Mail,  Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian, Frances O’Grady in the Guardian)

Scotland and the USA: Following Tartan Day in the US on April 6, Alex Salmond in the Scotsman looks at the historical links between Scotland and the United States.

Sir James Crosby: Terry Murden in the Scotsman and Daniel Schafer & Jennifer Thompson in the FT comment on former HBOS chief executive Sir James Crosby decision to relinquish 30 per cent of his pension pot and has asked to be stripped of his knighthood following  last week’s report by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking into the collapse of HBOS.  

Tax system: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman comments that Scottish voters need to be presented with a more efficient tax system.

Tuesday 9 April

Legacy of Margaret Thatcher: Ian Bell writes in The Herald that Margaret Thatcher was the last authentic class warrior in Westminster politics. He claims that her spirit prevails in a broken country.

Margaret Thatcher’s effect on independence: In the Scotsman Ross Martin states that the passing of Margaret Thatcher will have a bearing on the referendum in 2014. He believes it will work in favour of the independence campaign.

Monday 8 April

Pensions crunch: Andrew McKie in the Herald comments that the real challenge to the welfare state is pensioners are living longer and may require more assistance.

Sunday 7 April

Welfare: In the Sunday Herald, Ian Bell reflects on public opinion on welfare recipients and the impact of the cuts on the working poor. In Scotland on Sunday, Euan McColm comments on the SNP’s use of the bedroom tax to mobilise support

Class in Britain: Writing in the Sunday Herald, Vicky Allan responds to the results of the BBC’s Great British Class Survey, commenting that the success of the survey reflects a persistent obsession with class while failing to reflect the realities of the current economic situation.

Friday 5 April

Austerity: Joyce McMillan writing in the Scotsman comments on Labour MP Helen Goodman’s experience of living on the typical benefits of a woman her age and criticises those that suggest the poor exaggerate their plight or are benefit “scroungers”.

Joan Burnie writing in the Record criticises the general public for demonising the poor as scroungers.

Independence: Michael Fry writing in the Scotsman calls for the SNP to adopt the benefit and taxation system laid out by Nobel prizewinning economist Sir James Mirrlees and argues that doing so would greatly benefit the campaign for independence.

Entitlement: Susan Dalgety writing in the Scotsman argues that under the current economic climate we can no longer afford to sustain a culture of entitlement such as free prescriptions and eye tests.

HBOS: Fraser Nelson writing in the Telegraph and Nils Pratley writing in the Guardian comment on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking finding former chairman Lord Stevenson and former chief executives Sir James Crosby and Andy Hornby were to blame for “catastrophic” management failures that led to HBOS’ downfall.

Scotland Week: Alison Rowat writing in the Herald comments on the opposition’s criticism of Alex Salmond for pushing independence whilst in the US for Scotland Week and suggests Salmond gives more speeches in Scotland on independence.

Trident: Simon Jenkins writing in the Guardian questions David Cameron’s response to the nuclear threat from North Korea and his ascertains that the UK needs Trident to as a nuclear deterrent.