Referendum round-up: Four weeks to go

Scotland Decides - Review of the week, with James Cook

It's four weeks to go until the referendum and, with the debate ramping up, it can be be easy to lose track - but we're here to help.

Each Friday, we'll give you a round-up of the big referendum stories, the small referendum stories, and the weird ones from the far-flung corners of the internet.

We'll also take a look at what you've been saying on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and other social media sites.

So, here's what's been going on this week.

  • Remember, you can follow our comprehensive referendum coverage on Twitter and Facebook.
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Toodle-oo the noo, FMQ
Final FMQs

Thursday saw the final edition of First Minister's Questions before the referendum vote - due to the Purdah period, as explained here by BBC Scotland Political Editor Brian Taylor.

The next opportunity to see your favourite cast of Alex Salmond, Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie and the gang will be 25 September.

Or will it?

The Sunday Herald's investigations editor Paul Hutcheon tweeted during the session: "Senior SNP source: 'This will be one of Salmond's last FMQs.'"

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Wood I Lie to You?
Oil

The major talking point of the last FMQs before the vote was oil.

Specifically, Sir Ian Wood's intervention in which he claimed the Scottish government's White Paper estimate of 24bn barrels of oil available to extract from the North Sea was 45%-60% too high.

Alex Salmond said of the estimated figure - of which he insists there could be 15-16.5bn of barrels up to 2050 with the ultimate potential of 24bn barrels of oil - "that's a lot of billions of barrels and Scotland should welcome it".

However, Labour leader Johann Lamont accused the First Minister of "not listening" to the oil expert.

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#ImpartialBecause
SNP #YesBecause

On Thursday, a referendum related hashtag took the Twitter world by storm.

#YesBecause - a campaign started by cultural pro-independence group National Collective, where tweeters outlined their reasons for voting Yes to independence - was trending worldwide after no more than an hour.

A subsequent #NoBecause effort got off the ground, too.

John Beattie's radio programme then asked for your views based on the twitter hashtags - listen again on our magical iPlayer.

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The Cauld Enemy

James McAvoy nominates Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling to take part in the ice bucket challenge

A couple of very special videos could be circulating soon.

On Friday, actor James McAvoy took part in the ice bucket challenge - and "as it is the year of the Scottish referendum", he's only gone and nominated First Minister Alex Salmond and Better Together chairman Alistair Darling.

With each side desperate to win your vote on 18 September, this could prove decisive.

They have 24 hours.

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Letters addressed
Posting a letter

I think it's safe to assume Department of Work and Pensions permanent secretary Robert Devereux and Health Minister Alex Neil will not be pen pals after the referendum vote.

The DWP sent a memo to its employees offering what it described as "referendum guidance".

First Minister Alex Salmond called it "deeply concerning", adding: "They are not to instruct the workers on how they should vote. That is something for a bygone age."

It subsequently emerged Health Secretary Alex Neil wrote a letter to all NHS Scotland staff to "set the record straight and reassure our hard working NHS staff" over the referendum, something Labour MSP Jackie Baillie described as: "The height of hypocrisy from the nationalists."

Have you seen something you think should be in next week's Referendum Round-Up? Tweet it using #RefRoundUp, or message us on Facebook.

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