Reform Scotland News: 13 October 2011


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


Reform Scotland

Scotland’s Economic Future: In the third part of the Scotsman’s serialisation of ‘Scotland’s Economic Future’, to be published by Reform Scotland, David Bell examines Scottish growth and employment rates and the need to develop a radical approach to skills formation in Scotland in order to rebalance the economy.



Boundary changes: Seven of Scotland’s Westminster constituencies are set to disappear under proposals to be announced by the Boundary Commission today.  The plans are part of proposals to see the total number of MPs cut from 650 to 600.  Edinburgh and Glasgow are each expected to lose one seat while key figures such as Charles Kennedy and David Mundell could see their seats carved up. (Scotsman page 1, John Curtice in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Times page 5, Daily Record page 4, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Daily Express page 10, Daily Telegraph page 14)


Scottish Labour: Scottish Labour MP Douglas Alexander is due to give the annual Andrew John Williamson Memorial Lecture at the University of Stirling tonight.  He is expected to say that the Labour party’s position in Scotland has been seen by the public as “opposition for its own sake” and complaining about the SNP while failing to say how the Labour Party would improve Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, Douglas Alexander in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Times page 8, Daily Record page 4, Courier page 11, daily Express page 4)


Liam Fox: Liam Fox has signalled he is determined to remain as defence secretary, despite further questions over the role of his friend Adam Werrity. Employment minister Chris Grayling acknowledged that Westminster was rife with gossip about Dr Fox’s private life, though said he heard nothing calling into question the defence secretary’s ability to do his job. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 7, Times page 1, Sun page 8, Guardian page 1, Daily Mail page 6, Financial Times page 1, Press & Journal page 5, Daily Mirror page 8, Daily Express page 7, Daily Telegraph page 1)


Gay Marriage:  The Most Rev David Chillingworth in the Scotsman considers the Scottish government’s proposal for same-sex marriage while Michael Kelly, also in the Scotsman, comments on the political implications of the controversial issue.


SNP fury: As the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee announced two separate inquiries into the Scottish government’s proposal for independence last night, the SNP accused other parties on the committee of ganging up to hold a “rigged” inquiry into independence. (Herald page 6, Times page 1, Daily Record page 19, Press & Journal page 10, Daily Express page 4, Daily Telegraph page 1)



Unemployment: Unemployment in Scotland rose by 7,000 to 212,000 according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.  The UK as a whole recorded the highest level of unemployment since 1994, rising to 2.57million in the quarter to August. (Scotsman page 1, Brian Ashcroft in the Scotsman, Times page 7, Guardian page 2, Daily Mail page 2, Financial Times page 3, Press & Journal page 13, Daily Mirror page 1, Daily Express page 2)


Energy bills: Households could see a fall in their energy bills following a decision by Scottish and Southern Energy to auction all of its power on the open market.  It is hoped the company’s decision will boost transparency in the market and remove a barrier to entry for new suppliers. (Scotsman page 20, Daily mail page 1, Press & Journal page 11, Courier page 1)


Scottish economy: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman considers the Scottish Government’s economic plan.


CAP reform: EU Agricultural Commissioner Dacian Ciolos has published his proposal for reform. In Scotland, the whole CAP package of direct payments and rural development is worth more than £650 million to framers and crofters. (Herald page 26, Press & Journal page 19, Courier page 16, Clive Aslet in Daily Telegraph)



Asbestos payout: The Supreme Court has backed legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament which calls on insurance companies to pay compensation to people who have developed pleural plaques from working with asbestos. (Scotsman page 12, Paul Arnell in the Scotsman, Kenny MacAskill in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Times page 18, Sun page 13, Daily Record page 9, Press & Journal page 7, Courier page 1, Daily Express page 14, Daily Telegraph page 6)



Air Passenger Duty: Travel agents and airport operators have complained that the government’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) is damaging Scottish business. The Fair Tax on Flying alliance has estimated that the duty cost Scottish businesses travellers £12.4m last year. (Herald page 1)



Lockerbie bombing: The Lord Advocate and the relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing have reportedly been refused access to the latest interview by Reuters of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi following a formal request. (Herald page 5)