Reform Scotland News: 21 July 2011


Reform Scotland

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.



BSkyB bid and hacking scandal: Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt revealed yesterday that the Prime Minister had been party to discussions regarding the proposed Murdoch takeover of BskyB, though added the discussions were irrelevant.  The comments came as David Cameron expressed regret for employing Andy Coulson.  It has also emerged that Andy Coulson was only granted mid-level security clearance for working at Whitehall, which avoided “developed vetting”, in contrast to previous director of communications who were given higher security clearance and subject to more detailed background checks. (Scotsman page 1, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, John McTernan in the Scotsman, Times page 1, Sun page 6, Herald page 1, Guardian page 1, Seumas Milne in the Guardian, Mail page 6, Express page 6, Mirror page 1, Record page 1, FT page 2, John Gapper in the FT, P&J page 5, Courier page 8, Telegraph page 1, John McTernan in the Telegraph)


BBC: The dominant position of the BBC will form part of the inquiry into the UK’s media.   The inquiry is expected to look at the question of “plurality” across all areas of the UK’s media as well as looking at media ethics. (Scotsman page 8, Neil Blain in the Scotsman, Hugh MacLachlan in the Scotsman, Tom Peterkin in the Scotsman, Times page 8, Iain Macwhirter in the Herald, Guardian page 4, Mail page 7, Record page 5, FT page 2)


SNP MSP court battle: SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie has lost a court battle over an unpaid £4,000 electrician’s bill.  Mike MacKenzie was a director of Mike MacKenzie builders when the action was started but quit as a boss of the firm after being elected to the Scottish Parliament in May. (P&J page 1)



Economic outlook: Scotland’s economy grew by 0.1% in the last quarter, compared to a 0.5% growth across the UK.  Scotland’s construction industry suffered badly with a drop of 3.6%. (Scotsman page 2, Times page 12, Herald page 30, Mail page 19, FT page 3, Courier page 1, Telegraph page 9)


Bankruptcies:  The number of Scots declaring bankruptcy rose by 1,057 in the first three months of the year, the biggest rise in three years. (Scotsman page 12, Jeff Salway in the Scotsman, Herald page 12, Express page 15)


Banking reform: The Treasury Select Committee yesterday warned that the Independent Commission on Banking’s (ICB) interim report had not addressed issues such as a full split of the banks and corporate governance in enough detail. MPs said it was necessary to give more explanation why the ICB did not back full separation of the retail and investment sides of banking. (Scotsman Business 1, P&J page 10)


Interest rates: The Bank of England has signalled that interest rates are to remain low with some experts believing there could be no rate rises until 2014. (Express page 1)



GP wait:  Patients are reportedly waiting up to two weeks to see their GP.  Part of the problem is attributed to pressure on doctors’ surgeries from an ageing population and rising immigration. (Mail page 1)