Reform Scotland News: 19 May 2011


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


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



SNP: In the first speech of his second term in office Alex Salmond has demanded a massive and immediate transfer of powers on tax, broadcasting and the European Union to his new administration. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 3, P&J page 1, The Courier page 1, Daily Telegraph page 10, Guardian page 10, Daily Mail page 4, Daily Express page 1, Daily Record page 2, Sun page 2)


Alistair Darling: Former chancellor Alistair Darling has called for an immediate vote on Scottish independence to stop the SNP “stoking up a sense of grievance” ahead of its planned referendum. (Scotsman page 10)


Renewable Energy: Alex Salmond has pledged to move “still faster and further” to secure Scotland’s place as the green energy powerhouse of Europe. In an address to delegates at All Energy 2011, the UK’s renewable showcase in Aberdeen, he announced ambitious plans for Scotland to produce 100 per cent of its electricity needs from green energy sources by 2020. (Scotsman page 14, Daily Express page 5)


Kenneth Clarke: Kenneth Clarke has apologised to a rape victim and admitted using the wrong form of words after he appeared to suggest that some rapes were less serious than others. The Justice Secretary faced calls for his resignation yesterday, after he seemed to draw a distinction between date rape and “serious rape, with violence and an unwilling woman” during a radio interview. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 4, Times page 11, P&J page 5, Courier page 10, Daily Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1, Financial Times page 3, Daily Mail page 10, Daily Express page 2, Daily Mirror page 7, Sun page 6)


Trident: Defence Secretary Liam Fox has given the go-ahead for the first stage of replacing Britain’s nuclear submarine fleet. However, despite the award of £3 billion of contract, a question mark remains over the replacement of Trident after Dr Fox confirmed a review will be carried out into alternatives. In a concession to the Conservative’s Lib Dem partners, a final decision in replacing the existing Clyde-based fleet is not due until 2016, a delay of two years.(Scotsman page 16, Herald page 5, Guardian page 2, Financial Times page 4)


Olympic Torch: The Olympic torch will spend six days travelling the length and breadth of Scotland next year as part of the build-up to the London 2012 Games. It will arrive in the UK a year from today for a 70-day, 8,000 mile torch relay starting at Land’s End and ending in Westminster the day before the opening ceremony.(Scotsman page 12, Herald page 5, Times page 22, P&J page 7, Courier page 12)


Tommy Sheridan: Tommy Sheridan will use human rights law to try and clear his name. Sheridan was jailed for three years in January after being found guilty of lying under oath during his defamation cases against the News of the World. The Jailed former MSP has now lodged the ground for his appeal which will centre on the argument that he did not get a proper hearing. (P&J page 9)


National Trust Row: It has been alleged that families are leaving a tiny Hebridean isle in frustration because they are unable to control their own affairs. The planned departures will see the population of Canna drop from 22 to 14 this year, with no children left at the island school. Residents claim that they do not have a big enough say on the island, which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland. (Daily Telegraph page 6, Daily Express page 35)



Oil: Sir Ian Wood, Scotland’s first oil billionaire, has warned Aberdeen is in danger of failing to capitalise on its potential as a major centre for the booming renewable energy sector. He said that “The North-east of Scotland needs a proactive, co-ordinated marketing campaign focused on the offshore wind operators, highlighting the critical mass of expertise and technology that doesn’t need to be sited close to the field location, and which exists in the highest quality in Aberdeen”. (Scotsman page 14, P&J page 21)


Oil flights: The UK has backed down on tax the oil and gas industry for every worker it sends offshore on helicopters. Ministers had been considering applying the top rate of air passenger duty (APD) to all flights to rigs and platforms. The move would have cost the vital sector £165 million a year- on to top of the £10 billion tax grab announced in Chancellor George Osbourne’s Budget in March. (P&J page 1)


Unemployment: New figures have revealed that unemployment in Scotland fell by 8,000 during the first three months of the year. The drop to 208,000 between January and March means the Scottish unemployment rate stands at 7.7 per cent- the same as the UK average. (Scotsman page 17, Courier page 13, Daily Express page 10)


Unemployment Disaster: The Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has targeted the “hidden disaster” of unemployment among the lost generation of Scotland’s 16 and 17 years olds, who are to be helped in a new multi-million-pound UK Government job programme. (Herald page 5)


Outdoors: Figures have shown that visits to Scotland’s great outdoors were worth £2.5billion to the Scottish economy. According to the Scottish Recreational Survey, 48 per cent of Scottish adults visited the outdoors for leisure or recreation at least once a week in 2010. This is up 2 per cent on 2009 and 4 per cent on 2006. (Scotsman page 24)


Architecture: A record ten buildings in Scotland are to compete for Britain’s top architecture prize. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has selected 89 buildings across the UK to go forward, with the six-strong shortlist due to be announced in the summer. (Scotsman page 10)



Glasgow Caledonian: The threat of compulsory redundancy has been lifted from staff at Glasgow Caledonian University. Restructuring plans could have led to 95 posts being axed. The university confirmed that the necessary savings had been achieved within its schools and that the risk of redundancy would be removed from all administrative and support staff in schools. However, the fate of those working in human resources and marketing has yet to be decided. (Scotsman page 21)



Aviation Tax: Scotland’s Transport Minister, Keith Brown, has stepped up calls to devolve power over aviation taxes as a report warned duty increases proposed by the Coalition could dissuade 230,000 passengers in Scotland from flying and cause £2.6 billion of damage to the UK economy. (Herald page 7)



Legionnaire’s: Two new cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been confirmed, as health chiefs continue to investigate an outbreak. So far, three people have died while a further six have take ill in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire health board areas. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 11, Courier page 13)


Hospital Superbug: A new report has revealed that the number of patients catching hospital infections in Scotland continues to fall. For the third year in a row there has been a significant drop in the number of elderly people suffering clostridium Difficile. Around 2200 cases were recorded last year- 38 per cent down on 2009. (Scotsman page 20, Herald page 3)


Paracetamol Dosage: Research in Aberdeen and Edinburgh has found that many prescriptions issued by GPs for paracetamol either exceeded the recommended does for small children, or are not strong enough for older youngsters. (Scotsman page 24, Daily Express page 15)