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A week in Scottish politics: 21 to 27 June 2013

Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 21 and 27 June, which are freely available online.

Thursday 27 June 2013

Spending review: John McLaren in the Scotsman, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, George Parker in the FT, Janan Ganesh in the FT,  Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph, Peter Oborne in the Telegraph, Alex Brummer & Simon Heffer in the Mail, Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian and Martin Kettle in the Guardian comment on the Chancellor’s spending review.

Holyrood: Tavish Scott in the Scotsman comments on the decision to change Holyrood’s recess for next year, meaning that the parliament will be closed for four weeks prior to the referendum.

Constitution: Natalie McGarrie in the Scotsman sets out why an independent Scotland should have written constitution.

Falkirk Labour: Robbie Dinwoodie in the Herald comments on the crisis within the Falkirk Labour Party.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Referendum: Peter Duncan in the Scotsman comments that both sides in the referendum debate need to improve their campaign strategies.

Welfare and independence: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman comments that statistical smokescreens are being used in the debate about the affordability of welfare following independence.

Tuesday 25 June 2013  

Independence: Peter Jones from The Scotsman claims that a major flaw with the idea of Scottish independence is uncertainty. He states that the biggest uncertainty is currency and although there is no real reason why a Scottish currency could not work, people prefer familiarity.

Monday 24 June 2013

Young Voters: Jane Devine, writing in the Scotsman, argues that allowing 16- and 17- year olds to vote in the referendum is a good step, but only if they are given positive reasons to vote.

Historical Figures: Rosemary Goring, writing in The Herald, argues that historical figures like Robert Burns shouldn’t influence the way that people vote in next year’s independence referendum.

Robert Burns: Rosemary Goring in The Herald comments on Alex Salmond’s claim that Robert Burns would have supported the SNP’s campaign for independence for Scotland.

Spending cuts: Jeff Randall in The Telegraph and Peter McKay in the Scottish Daily Mail, comment on George Osborne’s plans for further defence cuts and the Government’s spending review.

Commercialisation of Loch Lomond: Andrew McKie in The Herald comments on the row over suggestions that greater commercialisation could be key to the future of Scotland’s first national park.

NHS red tape: Jacky Davis in The Guardian comments on the results of a poll by the British Medical Association which suggests that doctors in the UK believe that red tape is obstructing their attempts to make improvements.

Friday 21 June 2013

Referendum: Pete Martin writes in the Scotland that both sides of the referendum debate need to discover big themes and emotional depth if they hope to engage more voters. Failing to do so, he contends, will result in many people choosing not to take part in the referendum.

Tax Evasion: Michael Fry argues in the Scotsman that the G8’s ten-point plan to tackle global tax evasion is unrealistic and fails to take into account the fact international business thrives on evasive practices. He also questions David Cameron’s new-found enthusiasm for the issue despite his failure to seriously tackle domestic banking reform.

Pensions: Alan Cochrane writing in the Telegraph criticises the lack of clarity from the SNP on the fate of pension schemes in an independent Scotland. He also highlights Ms Lamont’s claim that the First Minister has five pensions backed by the UK Government. 

Sex Education: Joyce McMillan, writing in today’s Scotsman, argues we must find ways to educate young people about sex that take into account the complex realties of life in 2013. She believes educating children at a younger age is unlikely to be successful in reducing teenage pregnancy rates.