Reform Scotland News: 31 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.



Alex Salmond: The First Minister has been accused of using his political office to promote the fight for Scottish Independence instead of focusing on domestic issues and improving the Scottish economy, as promised in his manifesto. (Times page 14, Express page 5)


Nuclear closures: Germany’s plan to shut its nuclear power plants is causing a row in Scottish politics, with leading SNP politician, Fergus Ewing, claiming the move was the same “route that Scotland wishes to go down”. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 4, Record page 2, Express page 4)


Holyrood Majority: Sir Andrew Cubie, a key figure in the formation of the Scottish Parliament, has admitted those who created it never thought one party could win an overall majority. He also praises the SNP for managing such a “remarkable achievement”. (Scotsman page 2 & 30)


Supreme Court controversy: Scottish ministers are angry about the Supreme Court ruling on Nat Fraser’s conviction for murdering his estranged wife Arlene, and are now calling for the power to deal directly with Strasbourg over human rights ruling, bypassing the Supreme Court altogether. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 6, Courier page 3, Press and Journal page 10, Sun page 6, Monday’s Scotsman page 2, Monday’s Mail page 2, Monday’s P&J page 1, Sunday Herald.)


Clergy Controversy: A second Kirk minister has announced his intention to quit the Church of Scotland because of the controversial decision to allow openly homosexual clergy into the fold. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 5, Press and Journal page 7, Times page 16, Mail page 23, Express page 2, Sun page 24)


Drinking age: People under the age of 21 could be prevented from buying alcohol in some shops under a new scheme to be launched in Scotland. (Herald page 2)


Independence referendum: The Queen has apparently discussed the repercussions of an independence referendum with Prime Minister David Cameron. (Monday’s Scotsman page 2, Monday’s Herald page 6, Andrew McKie in Monday’s Herald, Monday’s Times page 3, Monday’s Express page 5, Sunday Times page 1)


Meanwhile Professor John Kay, one of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers, has said that Scotland would gain little from independence. (Monday’s Times page 3, Monday’s Sun, Monday’s Record page 2, Monday’s P&J page 9, Monday’s Telegraph page 4, Scotland on Sunday page 1, John Kay in the Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Times page 5)


Spending plans: Brian Monteith in Monday’s Scotsman argues that the SNP’s policies of preserving middle class subsidies such as free tuition fees, free prescriptions and free personal care for the elderly will mean that Scotland’s poorest will suffer more than they would if they lived in England.  Hamish Macdonell in Monday’s Mail comments that Scotland will be in debt for generations to pay for these pledges.



House Prices: A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has forecast a 1.4% fall in UK house prices in 2011, but expects prices to then rise by an annual rate of 4% over the subsequent 4 years. (Scotsman page 11, Press and Journal page 10, FT page 4, Telegraph page 2, Record page 2, Mirror page 20, Express page 2, Sun page 19)


Nation of renters: According to a study by high street bank Halifax, the common perception is that Britain will become a nation of renters within a generation because young people are giving up on the dream of home ownership. (Scotsman page 16, Courier page 13, Press and Journal page 10, FT page 4, Guardian page 12, Times page 10, Mail page 29, Sun page 2)


Local Government

Council powers: New Cities Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has insisted she will not interfere with Glasgow City Council’s activities. (Herald page 6)



Internet Safety: According to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency (CEOP), more children are being rescued after being targeted by online paedophiles. (Scotsman page 13, Press and Journal page 10, Guardian page 11, Times page 16)


Knife Crime: Scotland’s most senior frontline police officer, Chief Superintendent David O’Connor, has called for a mandatory jail term for those caught carrying knives. (Herald page 7)



Legionnaires’ disease found on trains: Scotrail confirmed that traces of a potentially fatal bacterium have been found in the toilet water systems of trains in Scotland. The bug is linked to Legionnaires’ disease, which caused three deaths in recent weeks. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 11, Courier page 3, Press and Journal page 10, Telegraph page 11, Record page 2, Express page 10, Monday’s Herald page 1)


Trams: Mike Marwick in Monday’s Scotsman argues that cancelling the trams in Edinburgh is not an option



YouthLink: Youth work organisation, YouthLink, has attacked the planned cuts to courses at Strathclyde University, saying the proposal to close its community education course was “short sighted and ill thought out”. (Herald page 10)



Ovarian Cancer: Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have developed a new technique that could benefit women with ovarian cancer. The discovery would allow physicians to deliver the most effective, targeted treatment for the patient. (Herald page 9, Mail page 5, Express page 7, Sun page 30)


Heart operations: Patients in Scotland are reportedly being denied access to a treatment which replaces a crucial valve in the heart without the need for invasive surgery because the NHS has refused to fund the procedure. (Monday’s Scotsman page 13, Monday’s Express page 4)