Reform Scotland News: 15 September 2014


Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary:  15 September 2014

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is highlighted and underlined.


In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News.



Independence debate: In a highly unusual contribution to the independence debate, the Queen has said that she hopes Scots will “think very carefully” when voting in the referendum. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 5, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, FT page 1, Daily Express page 1, Daily Record page 1, Sun page 1, Guardian page 1, Daily Mail page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 15)


Alex Salmond yesterday warned Scots that Thursday could be the last chance in a generation to secure an independent Scotland, but left the door open for another referendum. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 1, Press and Journal page 11, Courier page 14)


Research from the Centre for Policy Studies has suggested that financial sector flight after a vote for independence could cost the economy £9 billion, and that the Yes campaign have severely underestimated the economic risks of leaving the UK. (Scotsman page 9, Telegraph page 6, Daily Express page 3, Courier page 16)


Former defence secretary John Reid has criticised Alex Salmond for indulging in anti-English sentiment to secure Yes votes for the referendum, and for scaring Scots about the future of the NHS. (Herald page 7)


Two senior figures in foreign affairs and defence have declared their support for the Yes campaign. Retired senior Faslane naval intelligence officer Lieutenant-Commander Colin May and former British Ambassador Donald MacLaren have both said that the Union has been negative for Scotland. (Sunday Herald page 12, Daily Record page 7)


The Better Together campaign distanced themselves from a “proud to be British” Orange Order rally in Edinburgh on Saturday, where more than 15,000 people from Orange Lodges across the UK travelled to the capital to march to save the Union. (Scotland on Sunday page 6, Sunday Times page 2, Press and Journal page 14)


Alex Salmond has declared that a victory by just a single vote would be enough to initiate the break-up of the UK, but that he is still hoping for a more decisive Yes. (Times page 10)


The BBC has rejected claims of bias as over 1,000 Yes supporters protested outside its Scottish headquarter at Pacific Quay in Glasgow, complaining that the coverage of the referendum has been one-sided in favour of the No campaign. (Herald page 5, Telegraph page 4, Times page 11, Daily Express page 3, Daily Record page 1, Sun page 9, Daily Mail page 10)


The No campaign has retained a narrow overall lead in the polls, despite, according to Scotland’s leading psychologist John Curtice, failing to inspire voters. Panelbase, Opinium and Survation polls all put the No campaign slightly ahead, while the ICM poll put Yes ahead by a bigger margin. A poll of polls put No just two points ahead at 51% to 49%. (Herald page 8, Sunday Herald page 7, Sunday Times page 1, Daily Record page 7)


Adam Posen, a leading global economist and former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee has warned that, in the event of Scotland becoming independent, the burden of economic insecurity, caused by Scotland lacking creditworthiness on the international markets, will fall on the poorest people in the country, as it is the less-skilled and less-wealthy who are the most vulnerable to swings in employment. (Scotsman page 9)


A One Poll survey for Good Morning Britain has found that 53% of respondents from England, Wales and Northern Ireland do not want Scotland to leave the UK. (Herald page 5)


Alistair Darling has said that the “bullying” tactics of the Yes campaigners during the independence campaign have been the worst he has ever encountered in over 30 years of participating in politics. (Scotsman page 6)


In the Sunday Times, Jason Allardyce comments on how historical Scottish heroes may have voted.


Niall Ferguson comments in the Sunday Times on the consequences of voting Yes.


Gillian Bowditch argues in the Sunday Times on how we can’t just vote for a better Scotland, but can work to make it so.


Paul Kelbie comments in the Sunday Times on how the migrant vote will be crucial on polling day.


Iain MacWhirter comments in the Sunday Herald on how scare tactics do not work.


In the Sunday Times, Tony Allen-Mills comments on the divisions that have been created in Scotland since the campaign began.


Gillian Bowditch comments in the Sunday Times on how women can still save the Union.


Lesley Riddoch comments in the Scotsman on the effects of Better Together’s top-down campaign.


David Torrance comments in the Herald on the nature of bias in the referendum debate.


Brian Monteith comments in the Scotsman on the use of uncivilised tactics in the independence campaign.


Alan Cochrane comments in the Telegraph on the dangers of prematurely declaring victory.


Malcolm Rifkind comments on the security of both Scotland and the rest of the UK in the event of a Yes vote.


Scotland in the EU: Alex Salmond has announced that talks have already taken place with major European states about the prospect of an independent Scotland joining the EU, but critics, including Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, have said that the other EU countries, many of whom are facing their own separation movements, “will not be queuing up” to give him everything he wants in Brussels. (Scotsman page 4)


Christian Oliver comments in the Financial Times on the hurdles faced by Scotland joining the EU.



Retail surge: Figures published by the Scottish Retail Consortium have shown that there were 1.8% more shoppers hitting Scotland’s high streets in August this year compared to the same month last year. (Herald page 3)


Pension laws: A relaxation on the rules regarding how much cash people can take out of their pension pots could trigger a spending boom among the over-55s up to the value of £5 billion. (Telegraph page 8)



Transplant list: the Department of Health has said that patients in Scotland could be sent to the back of the queue or denied transplant organs from the UK altogether if Scotland were to become independent. (Times page 13)


Teacher training: Just days before they are due to start, hundreds of trainee teachers in Scotland have been left without a school placement after problems emerged with the new national students placement system which matches trainees with schools. (Herald page 2)