The Herald & Sunday Herald
If that sounds harsh, perhaps we could speculate that the biggest of Scottish Labour's beasts was misinformed. In any event, someone forgot to tell Gordon Brown that goring members of your own herd might count as counter-productive. <p>Or have we missed something about the meaning of the phrase Better Together?
The "fruitcakes and loonies", as the Prime Minister once described the United Kingdom Independence Party members, now have their hands on the windpipe of the Tory party. Cameron insists that he will listen in future to what they are saying. What does he mean? <p> Well, by common agreement, Middle England turned out to vote for UKIP last week, not only because of antagonism towards the European Union, but also because of fears of immigration being out of control, antipathy towards welfare "scroungers", discontent at government plans to introduce same-sex marriage and resentment at climate change and human rights policies "coming from Europe".</p><p> UKIP says it wants to "repatriate" English law from Brussels. It was, as many defeated Conservative candidates pointed out, a reaction against liberal "metropolitan" Conservatism by the ranks of traditional grassroots Tory voters.
The Treasury has indeed decided to "make things sound as difficult and obstructive as possible". The argument over the currency that might be used in an independent Scotland is essentially political, not economic. But then, what did the Finance Secretary expect? <p>Mr Swinney, a moderate man, probably understands exactly what George Osborne is up to with his Scotland Analysis: Currency and Monetary Policy report. In effect, the Chancellor has come to Glasgow and said: "Vote for independence if you like.
Custom byline text: robbie dinwoodie CHIEF SCOTTISH POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT Ian Taylor's Vitol international trading group also avoided UK tax and has been linked to dubious deals in Serbia, Iraq, Iran and Libya. Mr Taylor is president and chief executive of Vitol. It was founded in Rotterdam, operates out of London but headquartered in Switzerland, which has allowed it to sidestep European Union rules on issues such as sanctions. <p> The SNP said the claims against Better Together's chief donor and his firm were "serious and raised urgent questions" the No campaign must answer.
The Sunday Hearld, in it's latest edition, reported that the No campaign had a war chest of £2m. Nearly half of this "war chest" was donated by Chief Exec of Vitol - the Dutch multinational energy and commodity trading company - Ian Taylor. This substantial donation of £500,000, from a large oil trader, was celebrated by the Better Together campaign leaders as blow to the Yes campaign.
In fact, something quite extraordinary is happening, which is transforming the world of work, making a nonsense of Government policies such as the much-criticised Work Programme and turning a once prosperous and relatively secure society into one driven by insecurity and debt. It also poses a very serious question about Scotland's future. <p>You see, UK unemployment – at 2.5 million – is a lot lower than it should be.
In a video posted on YouTube of a talk at Edinburgh Central Library, he said: "I'm often asked how will I vote? If I'm being honest, today I would vote against independence but my views are changing. <p>"I'm being quite honest with you ...
Members of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee accused Michael Moore of leaving Scotland with "a blind vote" and adopting a "puzzling", "unsustainable" and "totally irresponsible" position of offering to address uncertainties while refusing to approach the European Commission (EC) for answers. <p>Former Tory Scottish Secretary Lord Forsyth, an arch-critic of devolution and independence, suggested Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney had a point when he criticised the UK Government for not exercising its exclusive power as the EU member state to talk to the EC.</p><p>Fellow Tory peer Lord Lawson said Scotland is "perfectly capable of being independent" and accused Mr Moore of letting the nation down badly by refusing to explore the full consequences of a yes vote.</p><p>Labour peer Baroness Kingsmill described Mr Moore's position as "quite astonishing".
Custom byline text: BY NICOLA STURGEON Deputy First Minister Indeed it does – underlining the point that the real question mark about Scotland's place in Europe comes from being governed by the Westminster system, and therefore from a No vote in next year's independence referendum. <p>I agree with Nick Clegg's comment last week that uncertainty about the UK's position in the EU could have a "chilling effect" on jobs and investment – although the irony of Mr Clegg being the Deputy Prime Minister in a government that is presiding over this very uncertainty will not be lost on people.
Custom byline text: And when the judges instead picked a design that Gordon Matheson strongly disliked, he scrapped the project in what the sources described as "a fit of pique". Although the chairman of the judging panel was officially David Mackay, a partner in MBM Architects Barcelona, the Sunday Herald has been told by two sources that Matheson made it clear at the first meeting that he would be de facto chairman as he was council leader and the redesign was his brainchild, adding that public opposition would not affect the outcome. <p> The sources say Matheson then appeared to pre-empt the judging process by saying he thought Option 6, by architects Burns & Nice, should win. He also openly criticised Option 2, by John McAslan & Partners, sources said.
Custom byline text: Professor Joseph Stiglitz served on the Fiscal Commission and its working group under chairman Crawford Beveridge, which reported this week on how an independent Scotland within a Sterling zone could flourish. The US expert is understood to have pressed for the inclusion of a section in the report making the direct link between social and economic inequality and stunted economic growth. <p> Mr Stiglitz said countries which are more unequal do not grow as well and are less stable. A concentration of income restricts economic growth by limiting the potential of people to contribute productively.</p><p> At the same time inequality may restrict government investment in infrastructure, education, and technology.
Custom byline text: Exclusive, by Paul Hutcheon Johann Lamont's shake-up of her party will also include the reintroduction of "twinning" first-the-past-post seats on a gender basis in a bid get more female candidates elected to the Parliament. However, one senior party source said the reforms were a "damp squib and tweaking at the edges".
John Swinney, the Scottish Finance Secretary, was ridiculed by the House of Lords economic committee on Tuesday for trying to argue that an independent Scotland would be able to remain in the EU because it would still be part of the UK when the negotiations took place. The "last refuge of the scoundrel" sneered one Peer. "Doesn't know what he's talking about," said another. <p> Their lordships' eyes rolled to the ceiling in mock amazement as a diffident Mr Swinney tried to argue that the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, had not said what he clearly had said in a letter to the committee. Namely, that after independence Scotland would become "a third country with respect to the EU" and that the various treaties "would no longer apply on its territory" and that the new entity would have to apply for membership "like any other state".
This week we could probably add that it's unwise to mistake any nation's approach to self-determination with the attitudes embraced anywhere else. Do that and you're asking for trouble. There are simple beliefs held in common, of course. Self-determination is, famously, a cornerstone of international law. It binds together the United Nations (resolution 1514) and attracts better than its fair share of lip service. No one, if you believe a word, is against self-determination.
I admit straightaway to being very sympathetic to the Yes campaign. Yet I hope I am open- minded enough to allow myself to be persuaded, against all my current instincts, to consider changing my mind if the Better Together campaign can come up with some genuine, realistic positivity about Scotland's future as a constituent part of the UK. Unfortunately what we are getting right now is relentless, unremitting and very tedious negativity.