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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 27 JULY 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 27 July 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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Calman commission: Scottish Secretary Michael Moore hailed “an important symbolic moment” as he started working on the Calman Commission’s recommendations, which he said would be implemented in full by 2015. Technical groups will be set up in the next couple of weeks, working out the shape of the bill as well as the secondary legislation needed. Treasury Minister David Gauke has admitted that the definition of a Scottish tax payer is yet to be decided. John Swinney, who led the Scottish Government’s demand for even further financial devolution, said that the financial proposals would be the perfect opportunity for the Coalition Government to cut down on the Scottish budget. (The Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 6, The Press and Journal page 8, The Daily Telegraph page 6, The Courier page 8, Scottish Daily Mail page 1, The Sun page 2.) 

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Al Megrahi: Yesterday the US Government published confidential diplomatic correspondence to refute claims that it had been willing to consider alternatives to the custody of the Lockerbie bomber. The letter, dated 12th of August 2009, stated that the US Government would strongly oppose any release that would permit Megrahi to travel outside of Scotland. (The Scotsman page 11, The Herald page 8, The Times page 11, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Courier page 9, Scottish Daily Mail page 1, The Daily Mirror page 6.) 

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Labour leadership: Allan Massie questions if Scotland will stay loyal to Labour if there are no Scots dominating the party. (The Scotsman page 29.)

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AV referendum: The Interim Electoral Management Board has written to Nick Clegg and Michael Moore to express their concerns over the referendum date. The election officials state that having the referendum on the same date as the parliamentary election could create major difficulties as some voters could be forced to travel to two polling stations. (The Herald page 6, The Daily Record page 2.)    

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Economy

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Defence cuts: The Coalition Government has made clear that they are going to cut 20 per cent of the defence budget, with Scotland’s air bases and regiments among the key areas likely to be hit by any defence cuts. During a weekend meeting of the UK’s new National Security Council discussions were made to cut all the 36 Harriers in operation, which could impact the two Harriers being built at the Clyde. (The Scotsman page 8 and page 9, The Press and Journal page 9.) 

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Unemployment: The Central Scotland Green Network hopes to introduce a working scheme for young unemployed Scots. Following the Civil Conservation Corps example used during the Great Depression in US, the young unemployed would be put to work building paths and planting trees. (The Scotsman page 15.)  

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Justice

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Drug users: Professor David Nutt, a former drug adviser for the Labour Government, said yesterday that simply waging war against drug users would not work. He argues for a new approach, focused on civil sanctions such as suspending drug users’ driver’s licences and increased focus on treatment. (The Scotsman page 2.)  

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Health

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Mental health: Public Health Minister Shona Robison has admitted that none of the health boards in Scotland will meet the NHS efficiency (Heat) targets to stop the increased prescription of anti-depressants. (The Press and Journal page 6.)