Scotland 1) Cameron: Don’t destroy the Union to kick ‘effing Tories’…

Cameron1‘David Cameron has pledged to stay on as Prime Minister if Scotland becomes independent but urged voters not to break up the union just to give the “effing Tories a kick”. In an passionate address in Edinburgh, Mr Cameron said that he will remain Prime Minister in the event of a Yes vote to “make that [independence] happen”.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Graeme Archer’s column: A town called Ardrossan

Scotland 2)…as No edges into the lead

‘Scottish separatists suffered a series of hammer blows yesterday in the battle for the future of Britain. On what was being dubbed Alex Salmond’s Black Wednesday, the SNP leader was accused of lying about oil reserves, a poll put the No camp back in the lead and big firms admitted they were considering moving to England. The poll found 53 per cent of Scots would say No in next week’s referendum on independence.’ – Daily Mail 

>Today: Brian Monteith’s column: The No campaign must go beyond politicians and get personal

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Labour are to blame for this mess in Scotland

Scotland 3) RBS would move to England

RBS logo‘The Royal Bank of Scotland has confirmed it would relocate parts of its business south of the border in the event of a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum next week, following a similar announcement from Lloyds Bank on Wednesday. In a statement issued to the stock exchange on Thursday morning, the bank said that as part of its contingency planning, “RBS believes that it would be necessary to re-domicile the Bank’s holding company and its primary rated operating entity (The Royal Bank of Scotland plc) to England.”’ – FT

Scotland 4) Might Murdoch back Yes?

‘Rupert Murdoch’s Sun is teetering on the brink of advising its readers of its Scottish edition to vote yes in the independence referendum. The tabloid has prepared the ground over the past week by damning the Better Together campaign, which is urging the Scots to vote no, and heaping scorn on the leaders of the three main English-based parties.’ – The Guardian

>Yesterday: WATCH: Fox argues against Scottish independence – “Why should our families be torn apart?”

Scotland 5) Farage: You can’t be independent and in the EU

EU Flag‘The problem for the Scots, though, is if they vote ”yes’’ next week, they will not get independence. Rather, they are voting for rule by Brussels. As Mr Cameron has brutally discovered, no EU member is truly independent.’ – Nigel Farage, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Rebecca Coulson on Comment: Would the North East of England survive a Yes vote next week?

America expands ISIS air strikes into Syria

‘President Obama last night vowed to expand air strikes into Syria as part of an American-led coalition to destroy the extremists of the Islamic State and deny them any “safe haven”. Speaking on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America, the president who has said he was elected to end ‘dumb wars’ found himself facing the nation and explaining why he was returning to the crucible of Iraq.’ – The Times (£)

  • He’s changed his tune on asking Congress – The Guardian
  • Mass brothels provide fighters with sex slaves – Daily Mail
  • Assad still using chemical weapons on civilians – Daily Mail

Back in black: Budget surplus by 2018

Osborne-Headshot3‘Britain is on track to deliver the biggest turnaround in public finances by any advanced economy since the Second World War, according to a report. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility says that if current policy remains in place the public finances will return to balance by 2018-19 – producing the first surplus for 18 years.’ – Daily Mail

1980s sitcom star in the running for Clacton candidacy

‘A 1980s television star is in the running to take on Ukip for the Conservatives in next month’s Clacton by-election. Giles Watling played a vicar in Bread, a sitcom charting life in Liverpool under Margaret Thatcher. An audience of 21 million people tuned in in December 1988 to watch his character marry Aveline Boswell, an aspiring model from a staunch Catholic family who lived off the state.’ – The Times (£)

  • Boris backs road pricing – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Two candidates shortlisted for the Clacton by-election

Russia cuts European gas supplies

Russian flag‘Fears of a gas war caused by the conflict in Ukraine increased yesterday when Poland, Slovakia and Germany all said that deliveries from Russia had been cut substantially this week. Warsaw was in turn forced to switch off its own supply line to Kiev.’ – The Times (£)

Lord Hill gets financial services gig in Brussels

‘The most powerful Briton in Europe will have his work cut out if he is to make the most of his position. His job title is a mouthful but the job itself could help to lift Europe out of the doldrums. It puts an economic liberal at the heart of the world’s largest trading bloc.’ – The Times Leader (£)

Bring back Assisted Places, report urges

BARRIE CHARACTER EDUCATION‘An opinion poll by the Trust found 41 per cent thought all children should have the chance to go to private school at taxpayers’ expense. Only 29 per cent were against, with the rest undecided. The Assisted Places Scheme began during Margaret Thatcher’s first term in power and was open to bright pupils from low and middle-income homes in England and Wales.’ – Daily Mail

  • Morgan: Grandparents should read to children – Daily Mail
  • Learn from Finnish schools – The Sun Says (£)
  • Record numbers of young people plan to vote in 2015 – The Sun (£)

>Yesterday: James O’Shaughnessy on Comment: Eradicating childhood illiteracy should be at the heart of the next Conservative manifesto

Sharia-compliant student loans to attract young Muslims

‘Muslim students are to be offered Sharia-compliant interest free loans by the government in an attempt to get more Islamic pupils to go to university. Since tuition fees were increased in September 2012, many Muslim students have been put off continuing their education as it was expected the loans, which are paid back above the rate of inflation, would be used to cover the rising costs – contrary to their beliefs.’ – Daily Mail

Grayling bans Playstations from jail cells

Grayling470‘All games consoles in young offenders’ cells are being removed on a direct order from Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. From now on, only a few will be allowed in communal areas – and then only as a reward for inmates who have shown the very best behaviour.’ – The Sun (£)

  • ‘Spartan but fair’ is the right approach – The Sun Says (£)

News in Brief

And finally…being right wing makes you happier

‘Those with politics that lean to the Right were found to have higher levels of well-being – even when their favoured political party was in opposition. They benefit from the belief that problems are a person’s own making – which helps them deal better with whatever life throws at them.’ – Daily Mail