A week in Scottish politics: 30 August to 5 September 2013


Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 30 August and 5 September which are freely available online.

Thursday 5 September

Labour Funding: Dan Hodges in the Telegraph comments on the GMB trade union reportedly cutting the amount of cash it donates to the Labour party from £1.2million to £150,000, and the expected loss of up to £9million in party funding as a result of reforms planned by Ed Miliband.

Independence: Iain Macwhirter in the Herald comments on George Osborne’s claims that Scotland would be economically worse off as an independent nation.

Economic Union: Jim Gallagher in the Scotsman, argues that both Scotland and England benefit from the existing economic integration of the United Kingdom, and that the existing fiscal union leads to a fairer distribution of wealth throughout the UK. 

Wednesday 4 September

Legislative programme: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments on Alex Salmond’s announcement of the Scottish government’s legislative programme for the year ahead. 

Opinion poll: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman and Ian Bell in the Herald comment on recent opinion polls about the independence referendum.

Bill Walker: Emma Cowing in the Scotsman comments that Bill Walker to be forced out of office as an MSP following his conviction for 23 counts of domestic abuse.

Scotland and the UK: Stephen Noon in the Scotsman comments that whatever the outcome of the referendum, Scotland and the rest of the UK will remain closely linked.

Oil wealth: Brian Wilson in the Scotsman comments on Scotland’s oil and gas industry and its impact on the independence debate.

Tuesday 3 September

Clares Law: Colette Douglas Home comments on the possible new ‘Clare’s Law’ coming to Scotland. The law allows women and men to check into a partners past for convictions for violent behaviour. (Colette Douglas Home in the Herald)

Monday 2 September

Devo Plus poll: Following the publication of a Devo Plus commission poll which found 59% of respondents intend to vote ‘No’ in the upcoming independence referendum (compared to only 29% intending to vote ‘Yes’), Angus Macleod in the Times argues that the Yes campaign will not be able overturn the unionists’ lead in the polls, whilst Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments that the Yes campaign is divided. Meanwhile, Andrew McKie in the Herald comments upon the hypothetical nature of the choice Scottish voters will make in the independence referendum.

Syria: Lesley Riddoch in the Scotsman comments that Prime Minister David Cameron must not make the mistake of considering all military interventions alike, whilst John Harris in the Guardian argues that the UK reaction to possible military intervention in Syria highlights public frustrations with the political elite.

Policymaking: Brian Monteith in the Scotsman comments that contemporary politicians must do more to consider a wider body of evidence related to their policy positions.

Friday 30 August

Syria: Following the Commons vote against military intervention in Syria, comment and analysis by Joyce McMillan in the Scotsman, George Kerevan in the Scotsman, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian and Simon Jenkins in the Guardian.