Reform Scotland News: 4 November 2011

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 4 November 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



Euro-zone debt crisis: It is expected that further UK taxpayers’ money will be pumped into the IMF with the hope of shoring up the Euro-zone debt crisis to a figure above £29 billion in an effort by David Cameron to boost IMF funds. This comes amid fears the Euro-zone could break up, reflected in the Greek Prime Minister dropping plans for a referendum on the European bail out and a vote of confidence this evening. It is also feared Greece may have to leave the euro. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, P&J page 5, Courier page 1, Mail page 10, FT page 1, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1)


SNP’s green energy plan: The Scottish Government’s green energy policy has been criticised by a report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, doubting the viability of the SNP’s targets for renewable energy, while also claiming it could push more Scots into fuel poverty. The report comes in the same week as Citigroup warned against investing in Scotland’s young green energy industry, arguing that the energy plan would increase energy bills by £900. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, P&J page 9, Courier page 9, Express page 16, Mail page 19, Sun page 2,Times page 11, Telegraph page 1)


Unison:  Members of Unison, the biggest public sector union, are expected to join the strike set to take place on 30 November, although only one in three reportedly cast a vote in the ballot. (Scotsman page 2, P&J page 5, Courier page 11, Sun page 2, FT page 2, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1)


Tom Harris: Labour MSP and leadership hopeful Tom Harris has said he is ‘as Scottish as anyone’ in response to accusations from Labour MSPs that his leadership bid is a Westminster take-over. (Scotsman page 16, Courier page 9, Times page 11)


Independence commission: The UK coalition government has said it will consider setting up a commission looking into Scottish independence that will look into the benefits of staying within the UK and the consequences of separation. (Herald page 3)


Single police force: Senior civil servants would like to make the new single force a non-departmental public body (NDPB), which would mean the force would have to pay millions of pounds in VAT. The proposition has also raised concerns about independence from officials. (Herald page 4)


Anti-Sectarianism Bill: The SNP will go ahead with the Bill that aims to eliminate football related sectarianism, despite claims from opposition parties that it is rushed and flawed. The Law Society of Scotland, the Scottish Human Rights Commission and the Scottish Justices Association, among other groups, reportedly found flaws in the bill. (Herald page 6, Courier page 9, Mail page 26, Express page 2, Sun page 2, Record page 1, Times page 5)


Isle of Man: SNP MSPs have pointed to the constitutional arrangements that govern the Isle of Man as an example of ‘devo-max’ in action, whereby Westminster only controls immigration and defence. Kenny Gibson MSP has called for Scotland to be given the same powers as the Isle of Man. (Time page 5)



CEA: The Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) is undergoing a shake-up that will see Nobel prize winning economist and former World Bank chief economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz join the council. Former Royal Bank of Scotland chief Sir George Mathewson will take the role of chief economic adviser. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 6)


Edinburgh house prices: Edinburgh city centre house prices have fallen 10% compared with this time last year. (Scotsman page 15)


Power plant bid: Councillors on North Ayrshire Council are due to vote on a controversial £3 billion coal-fired power plant, which has so far received 21,000 objections from locals. The bid is to be the subject of a public inquiry. (Herald page 2)


Hybrid ferries: Clyde ferries are to be transformed into hybrid vessels by Ferguson Shipbuilders in a deal worth £22 million with the promise of 100 jobs. (Herald page 3, Scotsman page 21, P&J page 9, Guardian page 14)


£100m business park:  Oil and gas giants have signed up to a £100 million business park that, it is claimed, will save 1,200 jobs, while encouraging the creation of more positions. (P&J page 7)



Flu jab: Less than a third of at-risk people have the flu jab, according to Health Protection Scotland. (Scotsman page 9)



University links in Dubai: Alex Salmond has opened a Scottish university campus in the International Academic City, Dubai. The £35 million Heriot-Watt campus has trebled the capacity of 1,500 students. Mr Salmond is on a tour of the Middle East with the hope of forging business and education links. (Scotsman page 18)