A week in Scottish politics: 6 to 12 September 2013

Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 6 and 12 September which are freely available online.

Thursday 12 September

Scottish Budget: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments on the Scottish government’s spending plans for the next two years.

By-election: Susan Dalgety & Kate Higgins in the Scotsman urge both Labour and the SNP to adopt all-women shortlists to select candidates from for the Dunfermline by-election on 24 October.

UN & the bedroom tax: Zoe Williams in the Guardian comments on Raquel Rolnik’s (a UN special rappateur on housing) report, which called for the coalition to scrap the bedroom tax.

Alex Salmond: Alex Massie in the Scotsman considers whether Alex Salmond will continue to lead the SNP if Scotland votes against independence next year.

Wednesday 11 September

MSPs’ salaries: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments on the impact of Bill Walker’s conviction and resignation as an MSP, as well as the new measures which will mean that jailed MSPs will be stripped of 90 per cent of their salaries.

Ed Miliband: Ian Bell in the Herald, Mary Riddell in the Telegraph and Seumas Milne in the Guardian comment on Ed Miliband’s speech to the TUC conference.

STUC: Dave Moxham in the Scotsman comments that the Scottish Trades Union Congress and many of their affiliated unions have yet to make up their mind on whether Scotland should become independent.

Currency: Brian Wilson in the Scotsman comments on the SNP’s currency plans for an independent Scotland.

Universities: Alastair Sim in the Scotsman argues that universities in Scotland are key to economic growth.

Tuesday 10 September

Red Paper Collective: Pauline Bryan and Tommy Kane in the Herald comments on the publication of ‘Class, Nation, and Socialism: The Red Paper on Scotland 2014’, the central theme of which looks at how the interests of the working class people are best served and advanced.

Opinion polls: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments on the opinion polls being used to measure support for Scottish independence. He also writes about the influence of the economy on public opinion, and whether it is as important as other factors such as public perception of MSPs and MPs

Monday 9 September

Opinion poll: Following the publication of a poll that found strong support for the SNP amongst Scottish voters, despite the majority being against independence, Brian Monteith in the Scotsman comments that whilst much could happen before the 2016 Holyrood election, the figures suggest the SNP could remain the largest party despite a referendum defeat. 

TUC: Amid warnings of party infighting and controversy regarding the Labour Party’s investigation into their candidate selection in Falkirk, Andrew McKie in the Herald comments that whilst reform of Labour Party funding might be right, Ed Miliband’s efforts to reshape his party’s relationship with the unions has damaged his leadership. Tom Watson in the Guardian meanwhile argues that the Labour Party must remain relevant to the trade unions.

Glasgow: Following the release of figures that showed almost a third of households in Glasgow have nobody aged 16-64 in employment, Gillian Bowditch in the Sunday Times comments that the SNP could leave a lasting legacy by reversing Glasgow’s problems of unemployment and poor life expectancy. Euan McColm in Scotland on Sunday comments that the progress made by Glasgow City Council’s education department will make a difference to the city’s future.

Independence: Following the publication last week of a Treasury report into the economic prospects of an independent Scotland, John McLaren, Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Bell in the Sunday Herald each critique the ‘Westminster view’ of Scotland. Eddie Barnes in Scotland on Sunday comments on the influence of practical considerations in fuelling scepticism about independence and support for the union.

Friday 6 September

Syria: David Pratt writing in the Herald warns of the wider international dangers of the Syrian conflict.  

Syria and independence: Alex Massie writing in the Scotsman comments on the SNP’s indecisiveness on Syria and how it fits with their desire for an independent Scotland to be taken seriously on the world stage.

Referendum campaigns: Natalie McGarry writing in the Scotsman comments on the Yes and No campaigns and encourages them to look towards the future not the past.

Ed Miliband: Alison Rowat writing in the Herald comments on Ed Miliband’s future as leader of the Labour party following the GMB’s decision to cut funding.

Universal Credit: Richard Littlejohn writing in the Mail criticises Iain Duncan Smith and the Department for Work and Pensions over the Universal Credit scheme and its flawed IT system.

Independence and trade: Michael Fry writing in the Scotsman criticises claims by HM Treasury and George Osborne that independence would result in a significant drop in trade between Scotland and England.

Vocational education: Alan Cochrane writing in the Telegraph comments on and supports Sir Ian Wood’s calls for greater vocational training in Scottish schools.