Brian Taylor, Political editor, Scotland

Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

This is where you can find my take on what's happening in the world of Scottish politics

Impassioned pleas as end in sight

15 September 2014
Jockey Carol Batley, representing the "No" vote, (L) and jockey Rachael Grant, representing the "Yes" vote, prepare to take part in a "Referendum Race" sponsored by Ladbrokes at Musselburgh racecourse on September 15, 2014

Entirely understandably, there is the sense of an end game. But that does not mean in the slightest that the passion has drained from this referendum. Absolutely the reverse.

Two speeches today exemplify that phenomenon, in different ways. Both Alex Salmond and David Cameron delivered emotive and emotional arguments.

Both were surrounded by supporters but, of course, reaching over their heads to the undecided across Scotland.

The prime minister was in Aberdeen: a fleeting visit in the midst of global crisis. The tone was set in advance by a video, played to the crowd, summoning up the Churchill wartime spirit. Ruth Davidson enhanced that by stressing that her choice of No was driven by the heart, rather than the head.

Then the main act emerged onto the stage. The PM said millions throughout the rest of the UK - and many in Scotland - would be "heartbroken" should independence come about. It would be breaking up the UK family of nations.

Alex Salmond at Edinburgh airport

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A remarkable electoral event

11 September 2014
yes and no supporters

So where are we?

With each side eager to assign gloom and despondency to the other. Chaos, says one. Despair, says the other.

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Personal pleas

10 September 2014
David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband
David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband campaigned in Scotland ahead of the referendum

Different perspectives. Different pitches. Different leaders. Different venues. But a common thread.

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg all campaigned in Scotland today urging people to reject independence.

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Symbolism and pragmatism

9 September 2014
Ruth Davidson, Johann Lamont and Willie Rennie
The Scottish leaders of the three main pro-Union parties backed a timetable for more powers

Symbolism all around. Behind the three pro-Union Scottish party leaders, the Holyrood Parliament. Beyond, in the distance, Calton Hill where they previously declared their joint support for more devolved power.

And the first minister?

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Together, yes - but scarcely chums

8 September 2014
Campaigners
The Better Together campaign faces a series of challenges

It may not be outright panic. But it is hardly calm, measured insouciance either.

Better days may - or may not - return for Better Together but, right now, it is scarcely glad confident morning.

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Are you excited or anxious ahead of the referendum?

5 September 2014
Johann Lamont
Labour's Johann Lamont argued people who voted SNP did not necessarily support independence

Consider this referendum. Yes, yes, I know, you do little else. But reflect upon the emotions stirred by said plebiscite.

Are you enthralled or enervated? Are you intrigued or underwhelmed? Perhaps above all, are you enthused by the prospect of independence - or apprehensive? Are you excited or anxious?

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The social justice competition

4 September 2014
No and Yes signs

Both are party leaders. Both are offering "social justice" as a key objective.

However, Ed Miliband and Alex Salmond reach rather different conclusions as to the best way to deliver that aim.

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Why turning up matters

1 September 2014
Chris Erskine scores for Dundee United against St Mirren

Turning up matters. (Just ask the St Mirren defence who found, on Saturday, that the mighty Dundee United attack had decided to step up their game at precisely the right moment. Or, indeed, moments. A magnificent trio of them.)

In the referendum campaign, both sides are, of course, seeking every vote.

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Scottish independence: Putting the knife in

29 August 2014
David Cameron
David Cameron spoke at the CBI dinner in Glasgow

It could have been Alex Salmond talking.

I see no evidence, said the leader on the platform, that business investment has been deterred by this forthcoming referendum. Quite the reverse.

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Business schmoozing - austerity style.

28 August 2014
Pies
Food

"Whit yis wantin'?"

The business tycoon raised a languid eye, brushed a minute fleck of dust from his gold cuff-linked wrist and gazed at the waiter with a mixture of anticipation and irritation. "I'm sorry?"

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More Correspondents

  • Douglas Fraser, Business and economy editor, Scotland Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    Money and business matters from a Scottish perspective


  • Nick Robinson, Political editor Nick Robinson Political editor

    The latest on what’s going on in and around politics


  • David Cornock, Parliamentary correspondent, Wales David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

    Welsh view of Westminster, the personalities and Parliament


About Brian

Brian has been a journalist for ever, well, since 1977.

He covers politics in all of its guises - UK, European but mostly Scottish.

Before joining the BBC he spent six years as a lobby correspondent at Westminster.

He has lectured on politics and identity across Europe and the USA and has written two books - and co-written a handful of others.

At St Andrews University, he studied literature.

He is a proud, patriotic Dundonian and fanatical supporter of Dundee United Football Club, losing no opportunity to trumpet their many glories.

He is married with two sons.

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