By Andy Wightman


Nicola Sturgeon today announced the Scottish Government’s legislative programme for the remainder of this Parliament. It contains a proposal for a new Land Reform Bill as well as a Succession Bill and a review of the Council Tax. Announcements of further proposals are expected in the consultation paper to be published next week.

After a decade of absence, it’s great to see the land question back on the political agenda. This is an important, substantial and meaningful set of proposals. Taken as a whole, they will hopefully shift the baseline of the debate – that is to say the set of assumptions and norms that have too often been taken for granted and in which politicians have too often been reluctant to tackle.

By Thomas Connolly

Finance Secretary John Swinney was promoted as two long-standing colleagues lost their Cabinet posts in First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's new government today.

As expected, Swinney will combine his finance role with that of Deputy First Minister, a role for which he was tipped heavily.

Derek Bateman considers the positive reaction to Scotland's new First Minister


It is doubtful if Gordon Strachan would have been lauded with such fervour if he’d won the World Cup. Indeed, it is probably Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win that provides the last national outpouring of such undiluted affection.


In an age of citizen cynicism and a measurable disengagement from Westminster and institutional politics generally – to be confirmed today in a UKIP-dominated by-election – the un-selfconscious public love for both Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon is something of a phenomenon, especially in dour, unemotional Scotland.

Analysis by Thomas Connolly

Labour faces another devastating week at the hands of opinion pollsters, following the revelation that it stands to lose a staggering 35 seats to the SNP at next year’s UK general election.

The Survation poll, published in the Labour-supporting Daily Record, also carried the astonishing claim that party leader Ed Miliband is “completely” trusted by a derisory two per cent of Scottish voters.

By a Newsnet Reporter

Journalists at BBC Scotland were hampered in their coverage of the independence referendum by poor management, budget cuts and London indifference, according to their union leader in Scotland.

In a devastating critique of what was going on within BBC Scotland headquarters at Pacific Quay, National Union of Journalists’ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran described how a series of decisions were taken with little or no consultation.

By a Newsnet reporter

Nicola Sturgeon MSP took on the Scottish National Party leadership today, alongside her newly-elected deputy Stewart Hosie MP, on the platform at the annual conference in Perth.

Mr Hosie's election surprised some, given that popular MSP Keith Brown had been tipped as the deputy leadership favourite in a three-way contest that included Angela Constance MSP.

On the day of Alex Salmond's final First Minister's Questions at Holyrood, Derek Bateman considers his legacy.

What was the pinnacle? After 20 years in leadership and seven as First Minister, Alex Salmond would be entitled to reply that longevity was his ultimate achievement.

More correctly, he could point to consistency, the true hallmark of success and one that contrasts sharply with the ebb and flow of personalities among his many opponents.


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