Although Scottish Politics have managed to establish their own government and parliament, there are some “grey” areas that have been the subject of debate and controversy not only among political parties, but the media and public opinion in general.
Based on media coverage and political analyst reports, these are currently the top 3 controversial issues of Scottish Politics today:
1) Scottish independence debate
The Scottish independence debate is currently the no1 issue of the Scottish political agenda occupying the majority of headlines in media, over the last few years.
The debate is focused around the question of whether Scotland should remain a part of the U.K or establish its independence as a sovereign state, with radical political and socio-economical reforms as a result. The political parties actively favoring the Scottish independence act are the Scottish National Party, the Scottish greens, and the independent MSP member Marco MacDonald while Scottish Labour party and the liberal democrats are standing against.
The government announced the launch of a referendum to give Scottish people the chance to hold the future of Scotland in their own hands in Autumn 2014, but it is still unclear what will be the result since the public opinion seems divided. The latest public opinion polls have revealed a slight majority of Scottish people voting against the independence but things are still unclear since the gap is becoming smaller with each month.
2) London’s influence and Scottish inability to self-regulate the press
As a dependent secondary state member of the United Kingdom, Scotland received very little attention from large British media like the BBC. While Scotland has its own media, they are still subject partially to press regulations and media influence of London. The Scottish press and the media have received numerous harsh critiques from the public and independent political analysts in the past accusing them of political propaganda and violation of free speech that serves the interests of London-which is currently the main constitutional state of authority of U.K. The problem is further fuelled by Scottish inability to self-regulate press and the major division and disagreement of the main political parties of Scotland.
3) Very limited power in Europe
Scotland is currently a single constituency member of the European Parliament with only 6 members representing the interests of Scotland independently. Even though the country has its own higher educational institutions, organizations, trade unions, financial services and a total population of over 5 million, Scotland is not a sovereign state to claim more power in the European Union Parliament. This of course brings a series of extra concerns and questions (e.g. How will be Scotland represented in the European Parliament in case becomes a sovereign state?), which again stem with the issue of public independence.
It is obvious that the common denominator here in which all other major Scottish political problems arise, is the issue of Scottish Independence which is still unsettled and highly controversial. The issue is complex in all aspects and the Scottish government will have to find solutions for the future of Scotland-who is currently at stake- and take into consideration alternative scenarios whatever the results of the public referendum in 2014.