Reform Scotland News: 18 September 2015


Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 18 September 2015

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


Union on “borrowed time”: Nicola Sturgeon will warn that the UK is living on “borrowed time” at a speech in Edinburgh today. She will accuse the Westminster government of treating Scots with “disrespect” and failing to fully deliver on the promises made during the referendum campaign. David Cameron meanwhile will urge the SNP to “move on” from their focus on independence and respect the No vote delivered last year. However, new polls show that Scotland is now split down the middle over the issue of independence: results of five polls conducted over the last month show opinion to be closer than at any point during the referendum campaign. (The Scotsman page 1, page 5, The Herald page 1, The Times page 1, The National page 2, The Telegraph page 1, Financial Times page 2, The Sun page 2, Daily Record page 8 plus insert page 1 – 16, Scottish Daily Express page 1, Scottish Daily Mail page 6, The Guardian page 1, The Courier page 13-15, Press and Journal page 11-13)


Joyce McMillan in The Scotsman warns that those keen for a second referendum represent a tiny minority of the population and that Nicola Sturgeon should ignore their voices and focus on the business of governing the country.


David Torrance in The Scotsman claims that although the Better Together campaign won the “battle” of the referendum, it failed to win “the war” over the independence question. The result of continued support for the Yes campaign has been the loss of many formerly prominent union-supporting political figures in Scotland.


Kenny Farquharson in The Times (page 33) suggests that Nicola Sturgeon’s claims of “numerous triggers” for a second independence referendum are unfounded and simply means of placating SNP members.


Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph notes that despite its “disastrous” year in office, the SNP is still unassailable in Scotland, as a result, David Cameron should not be complacent regarding Scottish independence.


Ewan MacAskill in The Guardian (page 13) notes that voters in the independence referendum saw a Yes vote as a means of escaping Tory rule: Nicola Sturgeon now has a credible rival in Jeremy Corbyn – she should not become complacent.


Cybernat: According to experts from Oxford Dictionaries, the term “cybernat” is the most used independence referendum term one year after the event. (The National page 3)


UK and EU exit: Former First Minister Jack McConnell, has warned that he fears the UK will leave the EU, possibly prompting Scottish independence within the next five years. (The Herald page 6)


Corbyn could prompt indyref: Alex Salmond has said that Jeremy Corbyn’s divided Labour party could help push Scotland towards another independence referendum. He notes that the combination of failure to fulfil “the vow”, David Cameron’s austerity politics and Labour’s unelectable position “compresses the timescale” for a second independence vote. (The Scotsman page 5, The Sun page 2)


Scotland Bill: Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, has accused the SNP of “bluff and bluster” and of “stoking zealotry” by refusing to accept the outcome of the 2014 referendum. He urged the SNP government to work constructively and accept the sensible proposals in the new Scotland Bill. (The Scotsman page 6, The Herald page 6, The Telegraph page 12, The Sun page 2, Scottish Daily Express page 5, Scottish Daily Mail page 6)


Jeremy Corbyn: The new Labour leader has been warned that he faces defections by MPs unhappy with his leadership. The Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron claimed he had received “unsolicited texts” from well-known figures expressing their “distress” at the party’s direction. However, Labour moderates today scored their first victory in forcing their leader to commit to campaigning for continued EU membership. (The Scotsman page 10, The Times page 14, Financial Times page 1, Financial Times page 3, The Guardian page 8)


Alison Rowat in The Herald wonders how equipped Jeremy Corbyn’s team are to deal with the backlash from political bunders.


Ruth Davidson in The Courier (page 30) asks whether Jeremy Corbyn’s single issue politics qualify him as an effective leader of the opposition.


SNP antagonism: The SNP’s “antagonism” to scientific advice is deterring the country’s top scientists from working with ministers leading to the government’s inability to fill the post of chief scientific advisor. (The Scotsman page 19, The Herald page 8)


Fracking: Nicola Sturgeon has refused to say whether a decision will be taken on the issue of fracking before the Scottish elections despite calls from an internal SNP pressure group calling for an outright ban and questions from Conservative, Labour and Green MSPs. (The Scotsman page 19, The Herald page 7, The Times page 26, The National page 7)


SNP Equality:  Jeane Freeman in The National makes the case for increased gender equality in Nicola Sturgeon’s cabinet and in Scotland generally.



RBS: The Royal Bank of Scotland has paid out £84 million to resolve lawsuits claiming it sold toxic residential mortgage-backed securities to two credit unions that subsequently went bust. (The Herald page 3)


Local government

Edinburgh council: Edinburgh Council is to offer redundancy to all staff, except those in education, as it moves to cut 2,000 jobs. (The Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 5, The National page 4, Daily Record page 2)