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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 6 SEPTEMBER 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.

 

Politics

Conservative leadership election: Tory financier Sir Jack Harvie, who raises money for the Scottish Conservative Party through Focus on Scotland dinners, has warned that the “arrangement would most certainly not apply” if Murdo Fraser won the leadership contest and created a new Scottish centre-right party.  However, at his launch yesterday, Murdo Fraser reportedly unveiled a number of new potential donors who backed the idea of a new party. (Scotsman page 1, Hamish Macdonell in the Scotsman, David Maddox in the Scotsman, Herald page 1 ,Robbie Dinwoodie in the Herald, Times page 3, Guardian page 17, Courier page 1, Telegraph page 10, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Daily Record page 2, Daily Mail page 8, Daily Express page 12, The Sun page 2)

 

Independence: Jack McConnell, the former Labour First Minister, is expected to accuse pro-unionist parties of being “asleep on the job” in a speech in the House of Lords today.  He is expected to suggest that the pro-unionist parties and businesses should come together to form something similar to the Constitutional Convention to lead the fight for the union.   The call comes as a new poll by TNS-BMRB suggests support for independence is increasing.   The poll put support for independence at 39% while 38% support separation and 23% remain undecided. (Scotsman page 8, Paddy Bort in the Scotsman, Joan McAlpine in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Courier page 8, Daily Record page 2, Daily Mail page 2, Daily Express page 10, The Sun page 2)

 

Scottish Labour leadership: In a submission to the review of the Scottish Labour party’s operations, trade unions have said that they believe that the leader of the party in Scotland should be an MSP. (Times page 3)

 

Twitter row: Environment minister Stewart Stevenson, who took to Twitter to criticise people who smoked in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens during the festival fireworks, has reportedly been accused of being illiberal and intolerant by the pro-smoking lobby. (Scotsman page 14)

 

Economy

Double-dip recession: There are new fears of a double-dip recession following the worst slow down in the services sector, which accounts for 75% of the UK’s economy, for a decade and a fall in the stock markets which saw £49 billion wiped off the FTSE 100 yesterday. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 26, Times page 1, Guardian page 1, Telegraph page 1, Daily Record page 10, Daily Mail page 4, Daily Express page 44, The Sun page 2)

 

Oil industry tax: Alex Salmond has said that the oil industry should be consulted on any new changes to offshore taxation.  His comments come on the back of proposals by the UK government to increase the supplementary charge on oil production from 20 to 32 per cent. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 3, Courier page 13)

 

Financial impact on pregnancies: New research by Red Magazine suggests that one-quarter of women are delaying or deciding against having a baby as a result of the recession. (Herald page 5)

 

 

Education

University fees: Edinburgh University has outlined plans to charge students from the rest of the UK (RUK students) £9,000 a year.  This would make Edinburgh the most expensive place to study in the UK due to Scottish degrees normally taking four years compared to three years in England.  Both Aberdeen and Heriot-Watt are also likely to charge the maximum £9,000 a year though will offer the fourth year free to keep costs on a par with universities south of the border. (Scotsman page 1, Simon Jennings in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Times page 15, Courier page 12, Telegraph page 1, Daily Record page 10, Daily Mail page 11, Daily Express page 10, The Sun page 2)

 

Transport

Forth Bridge: The task of painting the Forth Bridge is about to be completed and due to the specialised paint used, it is hoped it won’t need to be done for another 20 years, ending the modern myth that painting the Forth Bridge is never-ending. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 5, Times page 18, Guardian page 16, Courier page 13, Telegraph page 2)

 

Justice

Court inefficiencies: Audit Scotland has found that delays and late decisions to drop cases in Scottish courts are costing the Scottish justice system up to £40million a year. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 4, Times page 10, Courier page 13, Telegraph page 10)

 

Single police force: The Scottish Government is facing last minute pleas from Cosla to abandon plans for a single Scottish police force.  An announcement on the future structure of policing in Scotland is expected to be announced as part of the government’s legislative programme this week. (Scotsman page 9)

 

English riots: Ken Clarke writes in the Guardian blaming the recent riots on a justice system for England and Wales which is broken and failing to rehabilitate offenders and as a result has helped to create a “feral underclass”.

 

Sectarian legislation: Abertay University sociology and criminology lecturer Dr Stuart Wilson is expected to tell the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee today that the Scottish Government’s legislation to tackle sectarianism at football games is a “snobs law”.  He has described the proposed legislation as an “absolute farce” and was being used by politicians who lacked perspective on the issue. (Courier page 1)

 

Reoffending: An £81m rehabilitation programme by the Scottish Government has reportedly caused reoffending rates to fall by just 1% over the last three years, leaving the recidivism rate at 44% within two years.  (Daily Express page 1)

 

Health

NHS Lanarkshire: According to a leaked confidential memo the Scottish health board is reportedly facing a staffing crisis following admissions by senior administrators that providing an adequate level of care has become “challenging”. (Herald page 9)