A week in Scottish politics: 4 October to 10 October 2013


Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 4 and 10 October which are freely available online.

Thursday 10 October

Referendum: Gregor Gall comments in the Scotsman that it is unlikely that a No win in the referendum will definitively settle the constitutional position.

Flag row: Mark Smith comments in the Herald that the Union flag should not be linked with only negative historic events and that to deny its flying is to deny the modern role of the UK in Scotland’s history.

Royal Mail: Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman that Alex Salmond’s plan to renationalise the Royal Mail might not be a vote-winner, and that the huge take-up of shares proves a desperation to get the Royal mail out of government hands.

Access to drugs: Helen Puttick comments in the Herald that the Government must be firm with pharmaceutical companies.

Animal Welfare: Gilly Mendes Ferreira of the Scottish SPCA comments in the Scotsman that education is the best way to stop the stream of cases of neglect, abandonment and abuse to animals, and that a profound difference can be made by teaching this to children in schools. (

Wednesday 9 October

Press regulation: Tom Harris in the Herald, Brian Wilson in the Scotsman and Tom Harris in the Telegraph comment on proposals from the UK government for regulation of the press.

EU vote: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman comments on Tory MP Adam Afriye’s call for a referendum on EU membership next year.

Second chamber: Michael Fry in the Scotsman outlines why a second chamber would be helpful in an independent Scotland.

Reshuffle: Allan Massie in the Scotsman and Ian Bell in the Herald comment on the reshuffle which saw Michael Moore sacked as Scottish Secretary and replaced by Alistair Carmichael.

Help to buy: Simon Jenkins in the Guardian comments on the UK government’s Help to Buy scheme.

Tuesday 8 October

Scottish Secretary: Michael Settle in the Herald comments on the decision by Nick Clegg to sack Michael Moore as Scottish Secretary and replacing him with Alistair Carmichael.  

Labour reshuffle: Polly Toybnee in the Guardian comments on Ed Miliband’s reshuffle.

Housing: Peter Geoghegan in the Scotsman argues that more houses, rather than help-to-buy-schemes which will push up house prices, are needed to help address problems in the housing market.

Policing: Wayne Mawson in the Scotsman explains the changes to policing in Scotland and the provision of front-counter services.

Police Scotland: Stefan Morkis and Kieran Andrews in the Courier analyse the first six months of the single Scottish police force.

Fatal Accident Inquiry System: Matt Jackson in The Herald describes the current system as ‘slow, under funded, and generally prone to missing the point.’ He is concerned that the cuts to legal aid budgets will affect families who should be ‘at the heart of the inquiry process’

Monday 7 October

SNP defence policy: Alan Cochrane in the Daily Telegraph discusses the 86-page defence report to be released tomorrow and questions the practicalities of the SNP’s defence policy, arguing the length of the report is reflective of many problems could arise.

Independence Referendum: Lesley Riddoch in The Scotsman argues that “independent-mindedness” in Scotland is lacking and questions the mental, physical and emotional demands necessary for independence.

NHS pay rises: Andrew McKie in The Herald comments on the SNP’s approach to health and welfare spending.

Friday 4 October

Independence and the pound: Ed Balls writing in the Scotsman argues that it benefits Scotland economically to remain part of the UK and that Alex Salmond should not assume an independent Scotland would be able to keep the pound.

Payday loans: Alison Rowat writing in the Herald comments on payday lenders and the recent warning that tougher regulation will be brought in to better protect consumers.

Ed Miliband: Polly Toynbee writing in the Guardian comments on the fall out between the Daily Mail and Ed Miliband.

Tory conference: Joyce McMillan writing in the Scotsman criticises the Conservative Party for being out of touch with Britain and accuses them of bullying those falling on hard times.

TV debate: George Kerevan writing in the Scotsman criticises David Cameron’s continuing refusal to engage in a televised debate with Alex Salmond over Scotland’s referendum.

First Minister’s questions: Tom Gordon writing in the Herald comments on Labour leader Johann Lamont’s questioning of Alex Salmond over college student numbers.