A week in Scottish politics: 21 March to 27 March 2014

Reform Scotland’s round-up of comment and analysis pieces we have referred to in media summaries between 21 and 27 March which are freely available online.

Thursday 27 March

Welfare reform: Iain MacWhirter comments in the Herald that, although they insist that they are only responding to public opinion becoming more anti-welfare, by voting for welfare to be capped, Labour, the party that created the welfare state, has lost much of its credibility.

Scottish economy: Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman that a series of robust figures from the Bank of Scotland’s Business Monitor show that Scotland is not being held back by Westminster’s austerity measures, and that claims that we are “being robbed” or “missing out” are unfounded.

GP resources: Helen Puttick comments in the Herald that many patients feel rushed when visiting their GP, and that, if GPs had more resources and more time to do their jobs, people might feel more comfortable raising “one last thing” in their appointment, which may improve health outcomes.

Wednesday 26 March

Scottish Labour: George Kerevan in the Scotsman and Ian Bell in the Herald both warn that Scottish Labour must return to its traditional roots and values. They claim that in recent years the SNP has been the champion of social democratic values in Scotland.

Referendum debate: Allister Heath in the Telegraph comments on the decline in North Sea oil revenue.

Tuesday 25 March

Opinion polls: Magnus Gardham in the Herald and Joan McAlpine in the Daily Record comment on opinion polls with regard to the independence referendum.

Independence:
Peter Jones comments in the Scotsman on the redundancy of an economic case for independence if reasons to oppose the currency union are demolished.

Michael Fry comments in the Scotsman on Nicola Sturgeon’s promise to publish an interim constitution for an independent Scotland this summer.

Alan Cochrane comments in the Daily Telegraph on the reportedly growing list, compiled by Better Together, of those who have raised concerns about the risks of independence.

Madeleine Bunting comments in the Guardian on how powerfully the north has shaped all the national identities of the United Kingdom.

Scottish Universities: Jackie Kemp in the Guardian comments on the feelings of academics at Scottish universities towards independence.

Monday 24 March

Labour Party conference: Lesley Riddoch in The Scotsman argues that the Labour Party is losing momentum, but that the issues raised by Johann Lamont should be addressed regardless.

Independence referendum: Brian Monteith in The Scotsman comments on George Osborne’s Budget and suggests that the Scottish Conservatives should take a similarly “bold” approach to devolution.