A week in Scottish politics: 22 November to 28 November 2013


Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 22 and 28 November which are freely available online.

Thursday 28 November

Independence debate: Iain MacWhirter comments in the Herald that the SNP seem to be hoping that Scottish voters will tire of ‘abstractions about currency’ and will be much more interested in their focus on child-care costs.

Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman that the White Paper ‘fails to pass examinations’ and that further work is needed before we can reach any conclusive answers on the future of Scotland or the UK.

Michael Kelly argues in the Scotsman that the SNP have missed an opportunity with the White Paper to truly open up debate.

Peter de Vink comments in the Scotsman that the case for a Yes vote is mounting and that the ‘advocates of fear’ need to offer Scotland real reasons to stay in the Union, but that it may already be too late for them to do so.

Sue Cameron comments in the Telegraph that a Yes vote would offer some wonderful ‘what ifs’, and that the possible complications are endless but not really addressed in the White Paper.

Martin Kettle comments in the Guardian that Labour must answer the SNP with more than a slogan, and that they need to answer the question: Better Together for what?

Driving under the influence: Helen McArdle comments in the Herald that setting a drug-drive limit for legal drugs will be a long and difficult road.

Wednesday 27 November

Independence white paper: George Kerevan in the Scotsman, Matt Qvortrup in the Scotsman, Dr Angus Armstrong, Dr Monique Ebell and David Bell in the Scotsman, David Maddox in the Scotsman, Stuart Crawford in the Scotsman, Andrew Whitaker in the Scotsman, Brian Wilson in the Scotsman, Terry Murden in the Scotsman, Phillips O’Brien in the Herald, Andrew McKie in the Herald, David Torrance in the Herald, Iain Macwhirter in the Herald, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Allan Massie in the Telegraph, Kerry Gill in the Express, and Simon Jenkins in the Guardian all comment on the SNP’s white paper on independence.

Migration: David Cameron in the FT argues that tighter rules are needed on free movement within Europe and migrants’ rights to welfare.

Job opportunities: Professor Ewart Keep in the Scotsman comments that the growth in low-paid and low-skilled jobs in Scotland is dissuading individuals from investing in education.

Corroboration: Allan Massie in the Scotsman argues that attempts to abolish corroboration in Scotland remove a vital and effective part of the Scottish legal system, saying that the attempts to anglicise Scots law should be resisted.

Tuesday 26 November

Not quite the “greatest show on Earth:” Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph argues that Salmond’s ‘love of conflict won’t win over the doubters.’

Monday 25 November


Lesley Riddoch writing in The Scotsman claims the white paper will be at best a summary of what is already known, as it does not answer fundamental questions surrounding the possibility of a Yes vote.

Alan Cochrane writing in The Daily Telegraph accuses the SNP of “an arrogance born of desperation”, warning that the Scottish people remain unconvinced in the face of Alex Salmond’s independence “wishlist” as outlined in the white paper.

Andrew Nicoll in The Sun argues that making history is more than just picking a date, adding that Alex Salmond should concentrate more on the 50% of Scots who have stopped voting, for example.  

Brian Monteith in The Scotsman discusses the “flawed” campaign of the SNP in its attempt to persuade the public to vote Yes in order to make Scotland a more equal society.

David Torrance writing in The Herald highlights the need for political reality to be considered in the lead up to the referendum, adding that the Left and the SNP rely too much on fantasy.

Friday 22 November

Labour and Co-op Bank: Joyce McMillan writing in the Scotsman comments on the scandal surrounding the Labour Party and disgraced former chairman of the Co-op Bank, the Rev Paul Flowers.