Reform Scotland News: 2 December 2011



Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 2 December 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



Same-sex marriage: The Church of Scotland has joined other religious groups in Scotland in condemning Alex Salmond’s proposed legislation on same-sex marriage. There is debate as to whether the proposal could have an effect on the independence referendum. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 3, P&J page 19, Courier page 1, Times page 3, Mail page 19, Express page 2)


Edinburgh Barracks: Speculation over the fate of Redford and Dreghorn barracks in Edinburgh was raised by Major-General David Shaw, who reportedly indicated in a speech that the plans to move to Kirknewtown are in doubt. (Scotsman page 1)


New minister: Alex Salmond announced a new minister dedicated to youth unemployment will be appointed to tackle the 100,000 people aged between 16 and 24 who are out of work. It has been announced that £30 million would help fund the new minister’s task. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6, Courier page 12, Telegraph page 18, Mail page 10, Sun page 2, Record page 10, Express page 2)


Sectarianism: Nil By Mouth, a charity set up to tackle sectarianism, has called for the implementation of a 13-point plan it released in the run up to an MSP vote on laws to tackle hate-crime and religious sectarianism. (Scotsman page 6)


Iran: Increased pressure has been applied to Iran after further EU sanctions yesterday evening, after fears its nuclear programme would negatively affect the power balance in the Middle East. The sanctions include an additional 180 individuals and Iranian businesses having their European assets frozen and banned from travel in Europe. Those targeted are involved with Iranian shipping lines, financial services, energy and transport or working with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 16, Courier page 16)


Educational Institute of Scotland: Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), will step down at the end of March after nearly twenty years in the job. He has been credited with helping reach the 2001 McCrone agreement. (Scotsman page 13)


Scottish election: The SNP reportedly spent more than the other three main parties combined in this year’s election, spending over £1 million. The £1.14 million spend is down from £1.38 million spent four years earlier, with Conservative spending down from £601,982 to £273,462. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 6, Times page 8, Mail page 2, Sun page 2, Record page 6, Express page 4)



Eurozone: UK financial institutions faced increased calls for bonuses to be cut due to anxiety over the effect of the eurozone crisis on the UK, as Sir Mervyn King warning that the crisis had put Britain in an ‘extraordinarily dangerous’ situation. Similarly the Bank of England’s financial policy committee (FPC) said the eurozone crisis was the biggest threat to the UK’s banking system, with fears the Euro’s collapse would cost the UK £200 billion. These calls come as David Cameron is set to meet Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris today to discuss the euro-zone crisis, and as Mario Draghi hints at a euro-zone aid plan. Speculation has been fermented by comments from Nicolas Sarkozy suggesting France and Germany would pool tax and spending. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 5, P&J page 5, Courier page 1, Times page 1, Mail page 8, Express page 6, FT page 1, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 1)


Public sector wages:  Public sector wages in Scotland are expected to face a 1% cap similar to England’s, after Alex Salmond announced the Scottish Government did not have the funds for larger pay increases. Research from the House of Commons Library shows 4.6 million women and 2.6 million men will suffer as a result of the two year 1% cap on pay rises in the public sector, leading to attacks on the UK coalition government that the cuts are having a particularly bad effect on women. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 1)


Fuel bills: OFGEM has proposed a simpler and more competitive energy market, wanting customers to be able to compare and change suppliers easily, after finding that up to 60% do not consider switching suppliers worthwhile. (Scotsman page 17, David Pratt in the Herald)


Wind farms: Fergus Ewing, the Energy, Enterprise and Tourism minister, has proposed a moratorium on wind farm development be put in place until councils are given clearer government guidance in light of energy firms trying to buy up land to develop wind farms quickly. (Scotsman page 19)


Airport sale: The managing director of Prestwick airport, Iain Cochrane, has not ruled out the sale of the airport. Ryanair passenger numbers are expected to flat line next year, with the carrier accounting for 98% of passenger flights from the airport. (Herald page 10)


Scottish housing: Scottish houses have been found to hold their value better than elsewhere in the UK, with house prices in Scotland falling 18% while the rest of the UK saw a 24% drop. (Herald page 11)


Whisky exports: Exports of whisky are now worth £125 every second to Scotland, with sales jumping by almost a quarter in the first nine months of the year to £3 billion. (Mail page 11)



Lockerbie bombing: The UK government has faced calls to ignore data protection rules to allow the release of more information on Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi’s abandoned appeal against his conviction for the murder of 270 people. (Scotsman page 7, P&J page 14, Courier page 14, Mail page 20)