REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 17 MAY 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 17 May 2010

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All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined. 

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In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News. 

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Politics

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Budget: Chancellor George Osborne has announced he will deliver his first emergency Budget on June 22, exactly six weeks after the new UK Government came into office. (Herald, Daily Telegraph, Guardian  

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Spending: Chancellor George Osborne has accused the former Labour government of ‘crazy’ spending decisions and a ‘scorched earth’ policy of hidden spending in the final period of the Labour Government. He is commissioning an independent audit to plug the ‘black holes’ while Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to restrict civil servant bonuses to high performers only. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 1, Times page 8, Financial Times page 1, Guardian page 1, Press and Journal page 5, Daily Express page 1, Sunday Times page 1) 

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Calman Commission: Scottish Secretary Danny Alexander has pledged to push forward the Calman recommendations to hand tax-raising powers to Holyrood “within weeks”. (Scotsman page 8, Daily Telegraph page 5, Press and Journal page 1, Daily record page 2, Times, Sunday Times page 1 

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SNP: Scottish parties are still adjusting to the results of the General Election with the SNP unsure of how to react to ‘Westminster cuts’ that the SNP will have to administer. Kenny Farquharson writes in the Scotland on Sunday that the SNP underestimate people’s understanding of the economic crisis and the cuts we will have to face. Jim Sillars interviewed in the Sunday Times says there is no life left in the SNP. (Sunday Post page 15, Sunday Times page 9, Sunday Herald page 9-11) 

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Scottish Conservatives: Annabel Goldie, leader of the Scottish Conservative party, has outlined her plan for Holyrood, saying she has the clear support of her party to fight the Scottish parliamentary elections. (Scotsman page 7, Courier page 7, Daily Mail page 12, Times) 

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Lib Dems: The Liberal Democrats have voted overwhelmingly in support of the coalition deal with the Conservatives at a meeting of delegates in Birmingham. Former leader Charles Kennedy, however, has said he did not support the coalition, prompting Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray to write to 100,000 Scottish Liberal Democrat voters ‘betrayed’ by the coalition urging them to switch their allegiance in the Scottish Parliament elections next May. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 1, Times page 9, Financial Times page 2, Courier page 10, Guardian page 4, Sunday Herald page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 1) 

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Political Reform:  A series of constitutional changes to be announced by Nick Clegg this week are expected to include the right for voters to sack ‘corrupt’ MPs and plans for a wholly or partly elected House of Lords. Further reform of the House of Lords will include the creation of more than 100 peers to make it more ‘reflective of the vote’ at the general election. (Daily Telegraph page 4, Times page 1) 

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Labour Leadership: Ed Miliband has said he wants to win back the voters who were attracted to Tony Blair in 1997. David Miliband is also running in the leadership race, with Ed Balls expected to join the race this week and John Cruddas and Andy Burnham are also thought  to be canvassing support. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 7, Daily Telegraph page 4, Courier page 10, Daily Mail page 13, Sunday Post page 2, Sunday Herald page 10, Scotland on Sunday page 2 and page 13, Sunday Times page 2) 

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MP Safety: The leader of the House of Commons, Sir George Young has asked for cross-party discussions on MP safety after the stabbing of Stephen Timms, the former Treasury minister. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 6) 

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Tory MEP:  Scotland’s only Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson has said his party lacks ‘vision’ north of the Border. (Sunday Herald page 2) 

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Coalition Government: With Tory and Lib Dem backbenchers already expressing doubts about the durability of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition, The Sunday Times explores how cuts could break the coalition apart. (Sunday Times page 14-15) 

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Economy

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Labour Market: Scotland’s jobs market experienced the highest demand for permanent staff in three years showing growing confidence among Scottish employers. The unemployment rate, however, continues to grow. (Scotsman page B1, Herald page 26) 

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Bank Reform: Industry chief Angela Knight has warned Vince Cable that his plan to break up banks would make them less competitive and cause further job losses. (Scotland on Sunday page B1, Comment by Terry Murden page B2, Sunday Times page B4) 

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Crime

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Police Taser: Amnesty International has called for a pilot programme in Strathclyde that allows officers to use tasers to be scrapped for being unlawful and in breach of human rights. (Herald page 1) 

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Civilian Police: The Police Federation has warned that an increasingly ‘civilianised’ police force is unable to cope with emergencies, thereby endangering the public. (Daily Telegraph page 2) 

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Vandalism: Vandals in custody have caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage in Scottish police stations over the past two years. (Scotsman page 15, Press and Journal page 7)  

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Transport 

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Volcanic Ash: Airports across the UK closed yesterday due to further volcanic ash disruptions, affecting tens of thousands of passengers. Richard Branson, boss of Virgin Atlantic has criticised the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to close Prestwick Airport yesterday as ‘overly restrictive’ and ‘beyond a joke’. Prestwick is expected to open today at 12.45pm, while Edinburgh and Glasgow airports are expected to remain open today. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Times page 3, Press and Journal page 9, Guardian page 1, Sun page 1) 

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BA Strikes: BA and Unite will hold talks today at the conciliation service ACAS in efforts to avert the first of the four five-day strikes due to start on Wednesday. The leader of the BA cabin crew has accused the airline of being ‘vindictive’ while BA is taking legal action in the High Court to try and stop the industrial action. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 6, Financial Times page 2, Sunday Post page 4) 

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Health

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NHS Jobs: Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has guaranteed that no NHS employee will face compulsory redundancy as part of plans to tackle public spending pressures. This was accompanied by a pledge to protect the quality of frontline care and a promise that at the end of the SNP term of government more people will be working in the NHS than when they came into office. (Herald page 7, Press and Journal page 7, Daily Express page 2) 

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Junk Food Ban: More than 100 diabetes experts have called for a ban on advertisements for “unhealthy food” targeted at children in order to tackle Type 2 diabetes. They argue the current restrictions on television adverts should be extended to newspapers, magazines and billboards. (Scotsman page 2, Times page 6, Press and Journal page 15) 

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Healthy School Food: A Scottish Government scheme regulating the amount of salt, fat and sugar in school dinners has backfired according to figures showing the uptake of school meals has plummeted. The head of the company responsible for Glasgow’s school canteens has argued the regulations are too inflexible and do not allow them to compete with fast food outlets. A watchdog has called for pupils to be kept in school during lunch to prevent them buying unhealthy food. (Herald page 5, Daily Telegraph page 7) 

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Carer Bullying: A survey by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers has found that two out of three children who care for sick or disabled family members in Scotland are bullied at school. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 5, Courier page 3, Guardian page 6) 

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Homeopathy: Hundreds of members at the British Medical Association conference have passed a motion attacking alternative medicine and remedies arguing it should not be supported by the taxpayer and the NHS. (Herald page 10) 

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Doctors have claimed that patients with incurable Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are not getting the best standard of care across Scotland, with services in some parts of the country unable to cope with the growing number of cases. (Scotsman page 20) 

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Faulty Equipment: Incidents of faulty ventilators, anaesthesia equipment and defective MRI scanners have been flagged up by worried NHS staff. (Sunday Post page 1)