Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Scotland

Analysis and Comment (53)

The SNP is still struggling to woo women. The SNP is still struggling to woo women. byronv2

Scotland Decides ’14: why are women wary of independence?

Poll after poll shows Scottish women are considerably less keen on independence than men. Alex Salmond has been reaching out to women voters since the campaign kicked off two years ago. We asked our panel…
UK nuclear policy arguably would mean cheaper power bills in independent Scotland. UK nuclear policy arguably would mean cheaper power bills in independent Scotland. Sebastian Bartoschek

Ed Davey’s claim that Scottish energy bills would rise after independence is a fantasy

The twin goals of UK energy policy should be to ensure security of supply for households and businesses, and to ensure the electricity we use is affordable. Unfortunately, the current UK coalition government…
Go back to your constituencies and prepare to vote Labour! Go back to your constituencies and prepare to vote Labour! Danny Lawson/PA

Salmond courts women and Labour voters – and keeps a close eye on UKIP

Of all the party conference speeches SNP leader Alex Salmond has made over the years, Saturday’s in Aberdeen was probably the biggest. As the last conference speech before referendum day on 18 September…
Irish situation is delicate enough without talk of referendums anywhere near Stormont. Irish situation is delicate enough without talk of referendums anywhere near Stormont. Joel Riley

Scottish ballot is not stoking nationalism in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s oldest joke is that a man is asked, “Are you Protestant or Catholic?” to which he replies, “Actually I’m Jewish”. His questioner responds: “Yes but are you a Protestant or a Catholic…
There’s been a reorder: What would Taggart have made of this Police Scotland malarkey? There’s been a reorder: What would Taggart have made of this Police Scotland malarkey? STV

Scotland’s single police force has had teething troubles, but there’s progress too

Break out the bunting: this month sees the first anniversary of one of the most important developments in the policing in Scotland – the creation of a unified force. Police Scotland was created through…
We should beware removing the ancient corroboration rule We should beware removing the ancient corroboration rule Penn State

The courts must not become social engineers to secure more rape convictions

The recent decision by the Scottish Parliament to scrap the need for corroboration in criminal trials is designed to solve a longstanding problem: there is a low rate of convictions in rape cases and…
One of Scotland’s most popular politicians. One of Scotland’s most popular politicians. Andrew Milligan/PA

Margo MacDonald, independent Scot, 1943-2014

The Scottish Parliament prides itself in the number of visitors it receives. They might hope for a sighting of the first minister, but Margo MacDonald was the member the public was keenest to actually…
Your friendly neighbourhood liquor store down Toronto way. Your friendly neighbourhood liquor store down Toronto way. Joseph Morris

Minimum alcohol pricing: Canada’s accidental public health strategy

I have watched with fascination as successive UK and European governments have pledged to make cheap alcohol a thing of the past by introducing minimum unit pricing or MUP. David Cameron announced his…
The poll tax was a key milestone on the road to the Scottish referendum. The poll tax was a key milestone on the road to the Scottish referendum. Stephen Fyfe

Scotland Decides ’14: what does Alex Salmond owe the Poll Tax?

This week saw the 25th anniversary of one of the key events in recent Scottish political history. On 1 April 1989, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government introduced a new tax in Scotland to replace…
The Catalans want an independence referendum in November. The Catalans want an independence referendum in November. Liz Castro

Catalonia deadlocked as nationalists plan new offensive

Welcome to Breaking Nations, a series of articles that examines independence movements across the globe ahead of the Scottish referendum in September. To begin, Dani Cetrà gives us the view from Catalonia…
Prefab resprout: Here they come again! Prefab resprout: Here they come again! wikimedia

Prefab housing is coming back, and this time it’s permanent

In the late 1950s, more than a decade after the war and not long after the rock and roll explosion, Britain embarked on a house-building programme the like of which we have never seen before or since…
The final countdown. The final countdown. Scottish Government

Scotland Decides ’14: The Conversation expert panel

Britain’s most significant political event of 2014 takes place on September 18, when the people of Scotland will vote on whether it should become an independent country. It is a referendum with massive…
Pinning hopes on the pound. Pinning hopes on the pound. gominokouhai

Scotland Decides ’14: all about the money as currency debate rages on

Scots would continue to use the pound as part of a formal currency union after independence, the SNP long argued. But Chancellor George Osborne ruled that out in a recent speech, following advice from…
Scotland is considering an assisted suicide bill. Scotland is considering an assisted suicide bill. Matt

Assisted suicide bill is laudable, but poorly drafted

A bill on physician-assisted suicide is being considered by the Scottish parliament. It is the second attempt by independent member Margo MacDonald, who has Parkinson’s disease, to get such a law onto…
Now, where to put my cross? Now, where to put my cross? Cx1uk

Scotland’s referendum: can we trust the polls?

Opinion polls can have a profound influence on the atmosphere of a campaign. If they suggest that one side is well ahead, the media loses interest. The politicians get less space and perhaps airtime, while…
Sir David Gill, the most important astronomer you’ve never heard of? Sir David Gill, the most important astronomer you’ve never heard of? Uncredited via Wikimedia Commons

Sir David Gill – Scotland’s most notable astronomer?

There have been 10 astronomers royal for Scotland since the honour was created in 1834, only three of whom were Scots. I believe Aberdonian Sir David Gill (1843-1914), who never held the honour, trumps…
Scarlett Johansson as a man-hunting alien in Under the Skin. Scarlett Johansson as a man-hunting alien in Under the Skin. TWITAI

How to get more films like Under The Skin made and develop domestic talent

Film making in Scotland has never been easy. Scots' almost unrivalled appetite for cinema rarely finds its way into the pockets of performers, producers, crew or facilities. We make so few films each year…
Child poverty is not going away. Child poverty is not going away. Need Not Greed

Scots more likely to blame parents for child poverty

Evidence about poverty is meant to be troubling. The only crumb of comfort for campaigners is that the harsh realities of everyday life portrayed through statistics, imagery and narratives can be the catalyst…
Scotland strategy paving the way. Scotland strategy paving the way. Ale'streets

Scotland aims to be smoke-free by 2034 but what about e-cigs?

Given just how well established anti-smoking campaigns in Britain now are, many of today’s smokers, and younger smokers in particular, have taken up the habit with at least some awareness of the damaging…
HMP Grampian opened for business early in March. HMP Grampian opened for business early in March. George Lamb

Scotland’s newest prison is another nod to Scandinavia

HMP Grampian, which opened in March, lies on the southern side of the fishing port of Peterhead. This is high on the north-east Scottish coast, more than 50km north of Aberdeen. It is a public project…
Will this be how the Record celebrates a Scottish No vote? Will this be how the Record celebrates a Scottish No vote? Lis Ferla

Which way will Scotland’s tabloids go on independence?

Few things are most closely scrutinised by media watchers than The Sun’s headlines at election time. “Will the last person in Britain please turn out the lights” is often seen as crucial to the outcome…
The future of Scottish criminal law is in justice secretary Kenny MacAskill’s hands. The future of Scottish criminal law is in justice secretary Kenny MacAskill’s hands. Danny Lawson/PA Archive

Scrapping corroboration rule will undermine Scottish justice

A woman alleges she was raped by a man she met at a party. She says he forced his way into her flat after walking her home. He claims she invited him in and that the sex was consensual. There are no witnesses…
Can CCS cast a new light on fossil fuel-fired power stations? Can CCS cast a new light on fossil fuel-fired power stations? Alan Murray-Rust

A step forward for CCS, but much greater strides are needed

Despite the evidence that shows greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels are leading to changes in the planet’s climate, the development of large scale technologies to slow or stop these effects has…
Scottish marines dashing through the glens near Dundee. Scottish marines dashing through the glens near Dundee. David Cheskin/PA

How to strengthen Scottish defence after independence: cooperate with London

The Scottish government’s commitment to a post-independence defence and security budget of £2.5 billion, “exceeds most of the earlier predictions” and would place it in the top six of NATO countries for…
Barroso is doing no favours for the Yes campaign. Barroso is doing no favours for the Yes campaign. Virginia Mayo/AP/PA

Kosovo’s EU struggle is no precedent for Scotland

President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso’s comments on Scottish EU membership during his recent interview with Andrew Marr were discredited as an example of the fear-mongering pervading…
Puzzled? Stuck? Or just apathetic? Scotland’s undecideds. Puzzled? Stuck? Or just apathetic? Scotland’s undecideds. David Cheskin/PA Wire

Hard evidence: who are Scotland’s undecideds on independence?

A lot of things have been said about those who have not made their minds up yet with regards to whether they will vote yes or no in this year’s referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future. Sometimes…
Tough times for one Lerwick store. Tough times for one Lerwick store. Andrew Milligan/PA

Amazon retail culture a blessing and a curse for Scots island life

E-commerce has irreversibly transformed our lives by giving us greater control over how, what, where and when we purchase. The further away an area is from traditional shopping regions, the more pronounced…
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face. Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face. Wikimedia Commons

A Robert Burns is for life, not just for 25 January

On 25 January, people all over the world will congregate to feast upon a spicy sheep’s stomach – but not before they’ve recited a poem in its honour. The occasion is Burns Night, the poem is Robert Burns’s…
Can Scotland generate enough energy to go it alone, or is it blowing in the wind? Can Scotland generate enough energy to go it alone, or is it blowing in the wind? Ben Curtis/PA

Scotland benefits by paying for its energy, not UK’s mistakes

Could Scotland benefit from having an independent electricity system? Our report published this week found that it could – if it meant Scotland paying for (and benefiting from) its own renewable energy…
Shadows of things to come (or so they hope…) Shadows of things to come (or so they hope…) Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The Queen, the pound and the EU: Salmond’s Scotland plan

Just two days after the latest polls showed the “Yes” vote for Scottish independence gaining on the pro-unionists, the Scottish government’s White Paper, Scotland’s Future: Your Guide to an Independent…
The writing was on the wall for some in city licensing review. The writing was on the wall for some in city licensing review. Andy Bell

Police attitude to sex saunas is wrong, bizarre and dangerous

Scottish police were forced to issue a statement that they did “not advocate the banning of condoms” after a BBC report, which ran under the headline “Police ask for condom ban in Edinburgh saunas”, said…
On a level playing field? On a level playing field? Lynne Cameron/PA

An independent Scotland may turn to Sweden for inspiration

What sort of political system could Scottish independence produce? The debate in the referendum of 2014 shares with debate on the devolution referendum in 1997 a focus on the Nordic experience. In both…
Hands up if you want to end the union. Hands up if you want to end the union. Andrew Milligan/PA

One year to go: Scottish vote that will shape Britain’s future

A year away from the Scottish referendum, we have opinion polls almost weekly, as the media tries to discern the rise and fall in the standings of the rival teams. Yet the most striking fact is the stability…
Popular south of the Border? Popular south of the Border? David Cheskin/PA Wire

Growing support for Scottish independence … in England

The introduction of devolution in Scotland and Wales and its re-introduction in Northern Ireland was one of the major achievements of the Labour government. Yet its aspirations for fostering devolution…
It’s a date: Scotland gears up for next year’s vote. It’s a date: Scotland gears up for next year’s vote. Andrew Milligan /PA Wire

Poll says Yes to Scottish independence … or does it?

Well, at last we have a referendum poll that is generating some excitement. Hitherto every poll has put the No side ahead, and indeed often (as in Sunday’s YouGov poll for Devo Plus) quite a long way ahead…
Scottish island energy would be transformative for the UK, and for the communities that build them. Scottish island energy would be transformative for the UK, and for the communities that build them. Andy Butterton/PA

Islanders can’t cash in on their rich seams of renewable power

The islands off the north and west of Scotland hold the UK’s best renewable resources, yet for more than a decade energy policies have prevented them from realising their full potential. Due to long out-of-date…
There’s more wind in Scotland than in England, and not just in the pipes. There’s more wind in Scotland than in England, and not just in the pipes. Danny Lawson/PA

It’s advantage Scotland when it comes to wind power

A frequent claim heard is that the UK is Europe’s windiest country. This is a partial truth; Scotland is the windiest country, whereas England is far from the windiest. To see the truth of this one need…
Big question: Scotland will get the chance to decide on its future. Big question: Scotland will get the chance to decide on its future. Scottish government

Scottish independence: simple question - but no easy answers

Foundation essay: This article on the debate over Scottish independence is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the UK. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and…
Talk of a 100% renewables Scotland by 2020 is more than just hot air. Talk of a 100% renewables Scotland by 2020 is more than just hot air. Kara Allyson/Flickr

Reaching the 100% renewable target is now possible, but sustaining it might be trickier

When the Scottish Government set itself the target of generating 100% of the country’s electricity from renewables by 2020 many people scoffed. Now that goal is only six years away. Is it reachable? Remember…
Alcohol: your arms can carry more than your liver can handle. Alcohol: your arms can carry more than your liver can handle. PA/David Cheskin

Alcohol act dropped sales, now it’s time for minimum unit pricing

The evidence is in. Sales of alcohol in Scotland have decreased since the 2010 Alcohol Act was introduced. The act restricted the display and promotion of alcohol to a single area of any store. It banned…
Catalans march though the streets of Barcelona demanding independence. Catalans march though the streets of Barcelona demanding independence. Maria Poblet

Catalonia: independent but united with Europe?

In the biggest rally for Catalan independence ever, an estimated crowd of 1.5 million people flooded the city of Barcelona with red-and-yellow striped flags on Catalonia’s national day, the Diada. Tax…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (1)