A week in Scottish politics: 9 to 15 August 2013


Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 9 and 15 August which are freely available online.

Thursday 15 August 2013

University funding: Lucy Hunter writing in the Scotsman comments on the removal of the cap on rest of the UK students being given places at Scottish universities and the growing concern that Scottish applicants are being turned away in favour of fee-paying students. 

House prices: Bill Jamieson writing in the Scotsman criticises the use of house price statistics to scaremonger over the cost of buying a home.

NHS: John McTernan writing in the Scotsman argues that choice and competition will help improve services within the NHS and patient care.

Glasgow development: Michael Kelly writing in the Scotsman comments on Glasgow’s city managers’ plans for development including making the city one of the top ten European city centres for international business and visitors. Mr Kelly goes on to criticise the constraints of planning consent and conservation, and suggests this is holding Glasgow back. 

Wednesday 14 August 2013 

Referendum campaign: Brian Wilson in the Scotsman criticises the use of civil servant and Scottish Government resources for the independence campaign, whilst Michael Fry in the Scotsman comments upon the international interest in the outcome of the independence referendum.  

Creative Scotland: Following news that shows about the independence referendum would not be included in next year’s Edinburgh International Festival, Alan Taylor in the Herald comments that the arts should not be made to be apolitical. Jenny Hull in the Courier comments on the arts side-stepping the issue of Scottish independence.

Government support: Whilst polls show increased confidence in the Government’s handling of the economy, Allan Massie in the Scotsman comments that there are still electoral challenges that the Conservative Party must overcome to win the next General Election, whilst Ian Bell in the Herald questions the signs of economic recovery.

Energy policy: Martin Livermore in the Scotsman argues that an independent Scotland would be unable to cope with the increased prices and reduced energy security that will be produced by the Scottish Government’s focus on renewable energy – with nuclear energy a preferable option.

Tuesday 13 August 2013 

David McLetchie: Magnus Linklater in Times paid tribute to Former Scottish Conservatives leader and Lothian MSP David McLetchie. 

Crowd funding: Joan McAlpine in the Daily Record comments upon readers of a Scottish political blog, Wings over Scotland, crowd funding their own referendum opinion poll.

Monday 12 August 2013 

Party Leadership: Andrew McKie, writing in the Herald, comments on the leadership of the Labour party and the Conservative party.

Land Reform: Lesley Riddoch, writing in the Scotsman, comments on the need for land reform in Scotland.

EIF and Independence: Brian Monteith, writing in the Scotsman, comments on the debate about the absence of the independence referendum in next year’s official EIF programme.

Shooting Season: Cate Devine, writing in the Herald, comments on the high expectations for the grouse shooting season following this summer’s heat wave.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Aberdeen Donside by-election: Euan McColm, writing in the Scotland on Sunday, comments on Alex Salmond’s school visit during the Aberdeen Donside by-election.

Independence Referendum: Jim Gallagher, writing in the Scotland on Sunday, comments on the possible outcomes of next year’s independence referendum.

Population: Ian Macwhirter, writing in the Sunday Herald, comments on population growth and immigration in Scotland.

Friday 9 August 2013

Fringe and independence: Joyce McMillan writing in the Scotsman comments on the lack of work about the independence referendum at this year’s Fringe Festival and suggests that Scotland’s thinkers and artists have moved on from the topic.

Border control after independence: Fiona MacGregor writing in the Scotsman argues that, as in Sweden and Denmark, it is possible to establish political boundaries between Scotland and the rest of the UK without imposing geographical ones.

Bank of England: George Kerevan writing in the Scotsman comments on the increasing role of politics in banking and criticises Mark Carney’s statement on Britain’s economic policy.