Public Affairs: Soap Box - Lee Whitehill, director, Interel Consulting

For the commentariat, one of the fault lines running through the coalition Government has been its lack of strategy and overreliance on tactics in responding to the latest horror headline in the Mail or Telegraph.

In Scotland, however, it appears that they are hitting a very different note.

A cohesive and measured campaign has set out a number of defining moments, such as last week's agreement on the wording of the referendum question, and has wrested momentum away from Alex Salmond who, after winning power in 2007, is suffering from Gordon Brown's axiom that after seven years the voters get fed up with you.

The media have rather mischievously reported that Sir Jeremy Heywood 'has broadened his empire' and is 'leading the charge against Scottish independence'. This is because he chairs a team of mandarins engaged on a 'Benefits of the UK' project involving 13 different departments feeding into five working groups asking 'what have the Romans ever done for us?' north of Hadrian's Wall on the economy, health, the EU, welfare and Europe.

In fact, this is not about the civil service replacing a political operation at Number 10.

This is the result of careful planning that began in the summer and is part of a strategy designed to move the debate beyond the usual suspects in Parliament and the Daily Record to engage with those stakeholder groups.

This includes the Scottish professions, who feel slightly underrepresented by the mainstream but who have an intense interest in the outcome of the referendum.

While the main political parties have joined forces under the banner of Better Together, Alistair Darling and co must be watching the PM with interest and calculating the potential electoral impact were he to repeat the trick across the UK as a whole in time for the general election in 2015.

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