Reform Scotland news: 29 September 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



Miliband Q&A: During a question-and-answer session at the Labour party conference yesterday Ed Miliband said that opponents of Scottish independence must argue their case in a more positive way.  He was also asked about any future role for his brother and indicated that he would be “happy” to have in the Shadow Cabinet. He denied that he was shifting labour to the left, that he was anti-business and even that he was “weird”. (Scotsman page 8, The Herald page 6, Times page 6, Guardian page 16, Seumas Milne in Guardian, Daily Telegraph page 4, The Sun page 2, Courier page 14, Press and Journal page 11, Daily express page 15, Daily Mail page 6, Financial Times page 2)


Tavish Scott in the Scotsman comments on Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour Party conference.


Professor James Mitchell: Professor James Mitchell, who was a member of the Christie Commission on the Future Delivery of Public Services, told Holyrood’s local government committee yesterday that further cuts to key public services may be necessary and that he feared some policies, such as pledges on the number of police officers and nurses, were being driven by media pressure and political tribalism rather than good governance. (Scotsman page 6)


Worst place to live in Europe: A study commissioned by has suggested that the UK is the worst place in Europe for quality of life.  The UK was ranked poorly with regard to high prices, lower holiday entitlement, low levels of sunshine and highest retirement ages, though had the fourth highest income. (Scotsman page 14, Ron McQuaid in the Scotsman, Herald page 12, Times page 5, Guardian page 7, Daily Telegraph page 16, Daily Mirror page 35, Press and Journal page 15, Daily Mail page 28)


Tory leadership contest: Lord Forsyth has described Murdo Fraser’s plans to create a new centre-right party to replace the Scottish Conservatives as the “greatest political error” since the Jacobite Army turned back at Derby.  Lord Forsyth, who is supporting Ruth Davidson’s bid to replace Annabel Goldie, made his comments following Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s endorsement of Murdo Fraser. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 6, Times page 21, Courier page 13, Press and Journal page 8, Daily express page 2, Daily Mail page 12)


“Tescotax”: The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has said that the Scottish Government has failed to answer key questions regarding its calculation and assessment or the proposed new levy on retailers selling alcohol. (Herald page 6, Press and Journal page 19)


Labour: Labour MSP Hanzala Malik under fire for serving both as an MSP and a councillor. (Herald page 6)


SNP MSP rule breach allegation: SNP MSP Christine Grahame, the convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee, has been reported for allegedly breaching parliamentary staff and breaching rules of donations. (Herald page 7)


Politicised civil service: Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats joined forces on the eve of Sir Gus O’Donnell’s, the Cabinet Secretary, visit to Scotland today to ask that he intervene in the growing row over the politicisation of the civil service. Tavish Scott, former Scottish Lip Dem leader, says Sir Gus should be “reading the Riot Act” to the permanent secretary”, stating his job must be to stop the politicisation. (Daily Telegraph page 11)



Tourism jobs: According to a new report by People 1st nearly 10,000 tourism and hospitality jobs need to be created each year in Scotland until 2017 to cope with events such as the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and the second Year of Homecoming. (Scotsman page 1)


Renewables: Yesterday Al Gore praised the Scottish Government’s green energy plans at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh.  However, Mike Salter, Chairman of the Scottish Chamber of Commerce, warned that the cost to businesses of subsidising the country’s renewable ambitions could leave them bankrupt due to increases in electricity bills. (Scotsman page 4, the Herald page 3, The Sun page 2, Daily Telegraph page 14, Courier page 9, Daily express page 18, Daily Mail page 6)



Communication with parents: Bill Maxwell, chief executive of Education Scotland, has said that evidence suggests that improving the way teachers communicate with parents is the key to drive up standards in schools. He said that one or two parents’ nights a year were not enough and that regular feedback was needed. (Scotsman page 10)


Glasgow University: Glasgow University has announced that it will charge students from the rest of the UK £6,750 a year to study at the “ancient” university, with the exception that those studying dentistry, medicine and veterinary medicine will be charged the maximum £9,000. (Scotsman page 11, The Herald page 10, Times page 14, Daily Telegraph page 14, courier page 11, Press and Journal page 9)



Lockerbie bombing: Libya’s interim justice minister, Mohammed al-Alagi, has indicated that he will work with Scottish authorities investigating the Lockerbie bombing to help bring to justice all those involved in the carrying out the attack. The Crown Office has asked Libya’s National Transitional Council for access to papers which could implicate more suspects.  (Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 5, Daily Record page 4, Daily express page 4)


Jail term: Appeal court judges in Edinburgh have halved the amount of time Robert Foyle will spend in prison before being eligible for parole.  Robert Foyle was convicted of raping a school girl while on the run from an open prison.  The reason for the reduction was due to the Court of Criminal Appeal re-writing the rules regarding how minimum terms, or punishment parts, of prison sentences should be calculated.  (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 7, Times page 25, Daily Telegraph page 1, The Sun page 19, Daily Record page 1, Courier page 10, Press and Journal page 9, Daily express page 7, Daily Mail page 7)


Anti-sectarian legislation: Michael Kelly in the Scotsman comments on the Scottish Government’s proposed anti-sectarian legislation.   While saying it is right to tackle the problem, he suggests that current proposals are anti-democratic. (Daily Mail page 14)



Congestion: A report by the Campaign for Better Transport has found that Edinburgh was the second worst out of 13 European capitals for congestion, behind London, and third worst for dependence on cars. (Scotsman page 20)



Edinburgh Royal Infirmary: An unannounced inspection at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary found dirty toilets, dusty floors and badly stained walls. The inspection found that five of the nine wards and departments inspected were clean but there were problems in the other areas. Unions and Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon have previously called on NHS board to bring cleaning back in-house as part of moves to tackle hospital-acquired infection. (Scotsman page 17, The Herald page 1, Courier page 9, Daily Mail page 30)


Smoking bans: A new report published in medical journal The Lancet has found that tobacco control programs can cut health care costs. The report outlines the benefits Scotland has experienced since the introduction of smoke bans in public places. (Herald page 7, Press and Journal page 9)