A week in Scottish politics: 26 April to 2 May 2013


Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 26 April and 2 May, which are freely available online.


Thursday 2 May

Scottish Currency: Iain Macwhirter from the Herald has criticised George Osborne for his suggestions that Scotland could lose the pound sterling. He questions Scotland’s need for the pound.


Wednesday 1 May


Scottish currency: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman comments on disagreements within the Yes campaign over whether an independent Scotland should keep the pound.


Ed Miliband: Seumas Milne in the Guardian comments on what Ed Miliband has to do to for Labour to win the next general election.


Satire: Brian Wilson in the Scotsman comments that attempts to satirise politics in Scotland can end up being met with vitriolic hostility.


International spotlight: Peter Geoghegan in the Scotsman comments on the greater international attention being placed on Scotland due to the independence debate.


UKip: Allan Massie in the Scotsman and Ian Bell in the Herald comment on the emergence of Ukip.


University code: Robert Smith in the Scotsman comments on the importance of the new university code of governance.


Tuesday 30 April

Scottish currency: Peter Jones in the Scotsman and Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comment on reports that number of independence supporters have called for an independent Scotland to adopt its own currency in order to take full control over the economy.  Supporters of a Scottish currency are said to include former SNP deputy leader Jim Fairlie, former SNP leader Gordon Wilson and Scottish Socialist leader Colin Fox.


Universal credit:  Keith Anderson in the Scotsman comments on changes to the benefits system.


Universal benefits: David Maddox in the Scotsman and Colette Douglas Home in the Herald comment on the debate surrounding universal benefits, such as winter fuel allowance, going to all pensioners including those who are wealthy.


Labour election strategy Polly Toynbee in the Guardian comments that a policy of house building could be a vote winner for the Labour Party going into the next election.


Monday 29 April


Yes Scotland: Lesley Riddoch writing in the Scotsman argues the SNP is failing to fight back positively against what she describes as ‘the relentless negativity of the No Campaign’.


Cigarette Ban: Brian Monteith writing in the Scotsman argues that the Scottish Government’s ban is the latest attempt to demonise smokers. He is also unconvinced that there is any evidence to suggest it will reduce the numbers of young people taking up smoking.


Sunday 28 April


Church of Scotland: Euan McColm writing in the Scotland on Sunday argues the SNP might have been too quick to dismiss the intervention of the Church of Scotland in the referendum debate.


Currency and Economy Debate: Andrew Wilson writing in the Scotland on Sunday argues the currency question is not about whether Scotland could use sterling after independence but whether it should. Iain MacWhirter writing in the Sunday Herald argues the Better Together campaign is having success at creating doubt, highlighting pensions as the latest area of uncertainty.


Friday 26 April


Currency debate: Ian Bell writing in the Herald questions whether the debate on the currency of an independent Scotland will offer any real change for the public.

Alan Cochrane writing in the Telegraph comments on the discussion at First Minister’s Questions about Scotland’s currency if Scotland becomes independent.


UK economy: Official figures have shown the UK economy has avoided a triple-dip recession, growing by 0.3% in the first quarter of the year. Although the figure is higher than the 0.1% most economists had predicted, Chancellor George Osborne has been criticised by Labour’s Ed Balls and the Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney who have both called for him to change his approach to economic recovery. Comment and analysis from Alison Rowat writing in the Herald and  George Kerevan writing in the Scotsman.


Scottish coronation: Joyce McMillan writing in the Scotsman argues that the suggestion of a Scottish coronation for the Queen’s successor could result in people embracing republicanism.

Pensions: David Wood writing in the Scotsman discusses the impact Scotland becoming independent would have on pensions in light of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland’s warnings of a multi-billion-pound pension bill for businesses.