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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 07 OCTOBER 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary:

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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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Cameron’s Conference Speech: The Prime Minister’s speech focused on the ‘Big Society’ and was a general appeal for people to get involved, even borrowing the famous wartime rhetoric “Your country needs you”. He also stressed that “we are all in this together” whilst reaffirming his commitment to spreading the load to those who could best afford it best. He also used this opportunity to voice his opinion against the Scottish Government decision to release al-Megrahi. (Scotsman pages 6&7, Herald page 1&6, Telegraph pages 1, 2&4, FT pages 2&3, Guardian pages 1&2, 6&7, Times pages 1&2, 6&7, Courier page 10, Daily Express page 1&4, Scottish Sun pages 1, 8&9, Daily Mirror page 1,6&7) 

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Scottish Conservative Candidates in Controversy: Ivor Tiefenbrun, Conservative candidate for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn, has stood down amid controversy over comments he made that Scot’s were “so thick” for disliking Margret Thatcher. This was followed by further controversy after another prospective Conservative MSP, Colin McGavigan, referred to carers as the “great unwashed” on his Twitter account. This continued stream of blunders has reportedly led some to question the selection process used by the Scottish Conservatives. (Scotsman pages 1&4, Herald page 2)

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The Gathering: Sir John Elvidge, the top Scottish civil servant at the time the Scottish Government authorised the £180,000 loan, said a loan of this nature to assist a company was not unusual and he was not surprised that it had not been brought specifically to his attention at the time. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 2)

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Defence Cuts: The National Security Council is to meet today and once again next week to discuss and finalise its plans for defence cuts. (Scotsman page 8)

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Economy

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Nature Tourism: Scottish Natural Heritage reports that nature tourism, including everything from mounting biking to game shooing, produces £1.4 billion a year and provides 39,000 full-time jobs. (Scotsman page 23, Herald page 9, Courier page 7)

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Deep-sea Drilling: Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, has declared that deep-sea oil drilling will continue in Scottish waters regardless of the outcome of a vote in the European Parliament on imposing a moratorium. (Scotsman page 13)

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Alcohol pricing: Scottish beer prices are now among the highest in the UK with the average cost of a pint at £2.90. (Scotsman page 14&15)

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Justice

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Sheridan Trial: The trial of Tommy and Gail Sheridan continues as ex-political ally Allen Green, former national secretary of the Scottish Socialist Party, went before the High Court of Glasgow yesterday to say that Mr Sheridan had asked him to destroy minutes of a meeting where he had admitted to attending a swinger’s club and that when Mr Green had asked him to end the defamation case against the News of the World, Tommy had replied that he was “in too deep” and could not afford to drop the case.  Mr Green also claimed that Mr Sheridan had said he planned to act like the infamous Jeffrey Archer, who was eventually jailed for four years after being found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice. (Herald pages 1&5, Scotsman page 12, Telegraph page 16, Times pages 11, Courier page 6, Scottish Daily Mail page 9, Daily Express page 9, Scottish Sun pages 1,4&5)

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‘Tesco Law’: The Legal Services Scotland Bill has been passed by MSPs with the effect that non-legal professions such as supermarkets will be able to form partnerships with law firms in order to offer legal services to consumers. This amounts to a potentially serious and controversial reform of the Scottish legal profession. (Scotsman page 20, Herald page 5, Times page 3)

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Policing: Scottish police forces have been told by HM Inspector of Constabulary, Bill Skelly, that they must do more to keep tabs on released sex-offenders. (Herald page 8)

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Transport 

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Free Travel for Elderly: Audit Scotland has issued a report saying the national concessionary scheme for the elderly should be reviewed, as although popular, management and structure leave it open to fraud and misuse, with costs increasing substantially year on year. Proposals to reduce costs included raising the minimum age from 60 to 65 or imposing a flat rate 20p charge per journey. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 1&7, Courier page 11, Scottish Daily Mail page 8, Daily Record page 16)

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Glasgow Subway: Renfrewshire Council is examining its £3 million funding of the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, with the possibility that it might pull out of funding the Subway.

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Local Government

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Glasgow- Edinburgh Link Project: The publicly funded Glasgow-Edinburgh Collaborative Initiative will be scrapped; with sources in both Glasgow and Edinburgh suggesting that they feel very little has been achieved. The project is estimated to have cost at least £600,000. (Herald page 11)

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Health

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Alzheimer’s Treatment: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidance saying the use of key drugs for people with mild symptoms previously denied, should be made available on the NHS. This amounts to a huge policy u-turn and although this guidance is for England, it is likely that the recommendations will also be taken up in Scotland. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 4, Guardian page 4, Scottish Daily Mail page 1&6)

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Scottish Hospitals: Levels of MRSA and Clostridium are at a record low according to Health Protection Scotland. (Scotsman page 21, Herald page 11)

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