A week in Scottish politics: 28 June to 4 July 2013


Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 28 June and 4 July, which are freely available online.

Thursday 4 July 2013

BBC: Peter Oborne in the Telegraph comments on the BBC Trust’s report of a “deep liberal bias” present within the BBC that prevented it from accurately reflecting public views on immigration.

Labour and the Unions: Martin Kettle in the Guardian comments on Unite paying for hundreds of their members to join labour party constituency associations across the UK.

Childcare: Jackie Brock in the Scotsman comments on the need to reduce the cost of childcare to help support low-income families.

Right-to-buy: Michael Kelly in the Scotsman comments on the SNP’s decision to abolish the existing right-to-buy scheme by 2017.

Wednesday 3 July 2013

MPs’ pay: Simon Jenkins in the Guardian argues reigning in MPs’ pay will help them ensure that MPs keep a tighter grip on the salaries and bonuses awarded to very senior people within the public sector.

Vince Cable: Ian Bell in the Herald comments that the Business Secretary’s claims that Independence will destabilise Scottish business are unhelpful to the Better Together campaign and damaged by the Coalition government’s wider outlook.

Iain Gray: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman comments on Iain Gray’s appointment as Labour’s shadow finance secretary.

Aberdeen by-election: Christine Jardine in the Scotsman comments on the Aberdeen Donside by-election result.

Paying the bills: Grahame Barn in the Scotsman comments that public bodies paying SMEs on time, rather than waiting up to 120 days, or more, would be a boost to the sector.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

MPs’ pay: David Maddox in the Scotsman, 1, Jack Straw in the Telegraph, Collette Douglas Home in the Herald all comment on the reports that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is considering giving MPs a pay rise of about £7,500.

Oil & independence: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments that a serious debate about oil wealth and independence is needed, rather than rhetoric and abuse.

Yes campaign: Jim Sillars in the Scotsman comments that the Yes campaign should try to be more diplomatic when talking about an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU, rather than threats such as closing the North Sea to EU fishing boats if there is a problem with our continued membership.

Labour: Dan Hodges in the Telegraph comments on the recent problems facing the Falkirk Labour party and questions the powers of both trade unions and Tom Watson MP within the party as a whole.

Next election: Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph comments that the odds remain against a Conservative outright win at the next general election.

Public spending: Polly Toynbee in the Guardian comments that the policy of spending more money on public services by the previous Labour government worked, so asks why the current Labour Party won’t defend it.

Scare tactics: Joan McAlpine in the Record accuses the no campaign of scare tactics over claims that Scots would pay more to use their mobile phone if Scotland was independent

Monday 1 July 2013

Scotland and the EU: Brian Monteith in the Scotsman comments on an official statement about Scotland’s strategy for EU entry in response to questions from David Lidington, the minister for Europe at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, about Scottish Independence.

Mark Carney: Lord Lamont in the Telegraph and Panel of experts in the Guardian comment on Mark Carney’s first day in his new job as the governor of the Bank of England.

Married couples: Melissa Kite in the Guardian comments on David Cameron’s pledge to introduce legislation on a tax break for married couples within months.

Independence costs: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments on the warnings of rising phone bills and charges for road users following a yes vote in the independence referendum.

Friday 28 June 2013

Referendum: Joyce McMillan writing in the Scotsman argues it is natural and understandable that Scotland’s artistic and cultural communities should overwhelmingly favour a Yes vote in next year’s independence referendum. Despite considering many members to be opposed to the SNP, she believes there is general disillusionment with Westminster and natural rejection of the negative campaigning of the No side.

Michael Fry in the Scotsman laments the lack of political journals offering a space to debate ideas and future visions of Scotland, something that he contends is still of great importance.

Gregor Gall in the Scotsman believes it has become evident in the year since the launch of Yes Scotland that the SNP is not really in favour of independence ‘but rather a federal form of devo-max.’ He predicts a confused narrative will undermine the chances of securing a Yes vote in 2014.