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A week in Scottish politics: 29 November to 5 December 2013

Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 29 November and 5 December which are freely available online.

Thursday 5 December

Independence: Brandon Malone comments in the Scotsman that it is inconceivable that Scotland would be excluded from the EU after a Yes vote, and that the remainder of the UK cannot claim to be a continuing state either.

Osborne’s Autumn Statement: Andrew McKie comments in the Herald that, despite the fact that George Osborne has a credible case to claim that his policies are working, he is unlikely to assure the country that they can relax the purse strings just yet.

2015 election: John McTernan comments in the Scotsman that David Cameron must play to his strengths if he is to win a second term, which involves being compassionate and not trying to play tough.

Wednesday 4 December

Core subjects: Ian Bell in the Herald comments on the study by the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) claiming that students in Scotland outperform their counterparts in other UK countries, in core school subjects such as maths and reading.

Tuesday 3 December

Currency: Peter Jones in the Scotsman argues that the Scottish Government needs a currency plan.

Monday 2 December

Clutha tragedy: Alan Cochrane in the Daily Telegraph writes on the humbling stoicism of Glaswegians in the face of the Clutha helicopter crash.

White Paper: Lesley Riddoch in The Scotsman questions the lack of “enthusiastic, critical or detailed response” to the free childcare system pledged by the Scottish Government’s white paper.

David Torrance in The Herald discusses the SNP’s dismissal of Westminster’s welfare and economic policies as “unfair”, arguing that the Scottish Government has failed to produce an imaginative alternative in their White Paper and instead relies on anti-Conservative rhetoric.

Brian Monteith in The Scotsman questions the safety of relying on oil funds to finance an independent Scotland.

Sunday 1 December

Ian McWhirter writing in The Sunday Herald discusses the aftermath of the White Paper’s release and the criticism surrounding its publication, adding that it neither allayed fears nor did it increase support.

Friday 29 November

White Paper: Alison Rowat writing in the Herald criticised the White Paper for being patronising towards women and argues that the Scottish Government already has the powers to implement the childcare policy put forward in the White Paper.

EU membership: Kerry Gill writing in the Daily Express comments on the Spanish Prime Minister’s warning that Scotland would have to re-apply for EU membership.

George Kerevan writing in the Scotsman criticises EU “scaremongers” for insisting an independent Scotland would not remain part of the EU and would have to re-apply for membership.

Alan Cochrane writing in the Telegraph questions whether Alex Salmond should be praising Nicola Sturgeon as much as he does or whether Ms Sturgeon should take over the campaign for independence.

Independence: Fraser Nelson writing in the Telegraph questions why the UK Government is not making more of an effort to make the case for the Union.

Energy bills: Richard Westoby, director of retail economics at SSE, writing in the Scotsman warns that British households are wasting money by failing to insulate their houses sufficiently.

Tuition fees: Andrew Denholm writing in the Herald criticises the assertion in the White Paper that Scottish universities could continue to charge students from the rest of the UK tuition fees after independence whilst remaining free for Scottish and EU students.