A week in Scottish politics: 6th to 12th June 2014


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


Thursday 12th June

Political adviser: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph  argues that the First Minister should sack his adviser Campbell Gunn.  Mr Gunn made inaccurate claims about Clare Lally after she spoke out against independence.  12)


Better Together donation: Tom Peterkin in the Scotsman comments on JK Rowling’s donation of £1m to the Better Together campaign.


Social media and independence debate: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman discusses comments being made on social media about the independence campaign.


Self-government: Iain Macwhirter in the Herald comments that it is the choices Scotland could make to improve quality of life that are the great opportunity of self-government. 

Federalism: Martin Kettle in the Guardian comments that the nations of the UK should engage with federalist opinions before the referendum, because if there is a no vote they will have to engage with it afterwards.  


Wednesday 11th June

Gordon Brown: Allan Massie in the Scotsman and Ian Bell in the Herald comment on Gordon Brown’s intervention in the independence campaign.


Independence & the EU: Gavin Hewitt in the Scotsman comments on what he sees as some of the challenges that an independent Scotland would face with regard to EU membership.


Tuesday 10th June

Post referendum: Murray Pittock in the Herald comments that regardless of the outcome of the referendum, there will be changes in Scotland.


100 days: Harry Reid in the Herald comments on 100 days until the referendum.

Gordon Brown:  Gordon Brown in the Guardian comments that the Better Together campaign needs to make a positive case for the Union.

Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph and David Maddox in the Scotsman comment on Gordon Brown’s intervention into the referendum campaign.

Wealth & independence: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments that the referendum will be decided on whether people think they will be richer or poorer under independence.


Monday 9th June

Independence campaign: David Torrance comments in the Herald that positive campaigning must be tempered with realism, and that despite the talents of Alex Salmond, his uttering of the words” yes we can” sounded a little desperate.

Monarchy & independence: Mure Dickie comments in the Financial Times on how Scottish independence would have far-reaching implications for the future of the Monarchy north of the border.

Final 100 days:

Lesley Riddoch comments in the Scotsman that, with only 100 days to go before the referendum, the Yes campaign still has time to change hearts and minds by campaigning at the grassroots level.


Brian Monteith comments in the Scotsman that, for all the claims and spins and exaggerations, the opinion polls regarding the independence referendum have not moved a huge deal since the launch of the Yes campaign, but as the100-day countdown begins, the Unionists are finally getting their message across effectively.

Alan Cochrane comments in the Telegraph that Better Together’s danger is that they may now get complacent in the final 100-day stretch, thinking that the Nationalists have nothing else to pull out of the bag.


Sunday 8th June

100 days: Alex Massie comments in Scotland on Sunday on how both the Yes and No camps are struggling to create coherent visions in the last 100 days of the referendum campaign.

Opinon polls: In the Sunday Herald, Iain MacWhirter wonders how Better Together can still be ahead in the polls despite being “dismal, negative and with no poetry”.

Identity: Euan McColm comments in Scotland on Sunday that voters’ sense of identity will be a key factor in the referendum battle, because, realistically, Scotland is no longer being held back by Westminster in any tangible way.


Friday 6th June

Obama on independence:  Hamish Macdonnell comments in the Times that President Obama’s comments may not be such a boost for the Better Together campaign, as he is no longer the galvanising force for change that he once was.

Independence debate:

Alison Rowat comments in the Herald on the various calls that have been made for increased decency in the independence debate, and says that when the future of our country is at stake, there is no room for polite debate.

Joyce McMillan comments in the Scotsman that Ed Miliband’s response to the Queen’s Speech was impressive, and that the plan for government he outlined is a better reason to vote No in the referendum than the scare stories we are always hearing about.

Alcohol: Gerry Braiden comments in the Herald on the mixed messages that are given in Scotland regarding alcohol consumption