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Reform Scotland News: 31/01/12

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. 



‘The voice of the Scottish people’: A coalition of business leaders, the third sector, unions, religious groups and other organisations, including Reform Scotland, have joined together to set out “the voice of the Scottish people” in the referendum debate and to give more attention to a middle option between the status quo and full independence. (Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 6, The Sun page 8, The Press and Journal page 12, Alan Cochrane in The Daily Telegraph)


Ed Miliband: Speaking in Scotland yesterday, Labour leader Ed Miliband described the SNP’s plans for independence as “shutting the door on the problems of your fellow citizens”. He pledged to fight Alex Salmond on the issue, arguing that there are strong economic, commercial and family links between Scotland and the rest of the UK. (Scotsman page 12, The Herald page 6, The Sun page 9, The Guardian page 8, The Daily Mail page 10, The Daily Express page 1, The Press and Journal page 12, The Courier page 14, The Daily Telegraph page 4, The Times page 4, John Curtice in The Times)


Oil: John McLaren in the Scotsman comments on the oil wealth in Scotland.


Scottish news: Jeremy Peat, the former BBC national governor for Scotland, has commented that TV news slots in Scotland are “severely constrained” and viewers should be offered an alternative to “England-only stories”. (Scotsman page 3, Jeremy Peat in the Scotsman)



Bankers’ bonuses: John Hourican, a senior executive at RBS from Sir Fred Goodwin’s era and currently the investment banking chief, is thought likely to be in line for a £4.4m shares bonus from RBS.  The bank is due to announce details of more bonuses within a month prompting calls on the government to introduce a “bonus tax” on payouts to financial workers. David Cameron has urged RBS to show “restraint” but has made it clear that he will not block the bonuses. (Scotsman page 1, Mark Freebairn in the Scotsman, Peter Jones in the Scotsman, David Maddox in the Scotsman, The Daily Mirror page 7, The Daily Record page 10, The Daily Mail page 6. The Daily Express page 6, The Press and Journal page 16, The Courier page 19, Rachel Sylvester in The Times, Roger Carr in The Times, The Financial Times page 1, The Herald page 1, Colette Douglas Home in the Herald)


Ban on incompetence: Hector Sants, the chief executive of the FSA, yesterday told MPs on the Treasury select committee that there should be a change in the law to ensure that “incompetent” bankers such as Sir Fred Goodwin can be barred from working in the sector again. (Scotsman page 5)



Tommy Sheridan:  Tommy Sheridan was released from prison yesterday after serving 12 months following his conviction for lying under oath during his defamation action against the News of the World.  He vowed to clear his name and said his fight against News International was “far from over”.  (Scotsman page 1, Gregor Gall in the Scotsman, The Herald page 1, The Sun page 1, The Daily Mirror page 30, The Daily Record page 1, The Daily Mail page 1, The Daily Express page 7, The Press and Journal page 13, The Courier page 3, The Daily Telegraph page 11)


Prisoner attacks: Official figures have shown that violence against prison wardens has reached a five-year high. There were 188 assaults on officers in 2011, a 50 per cent increase over four years, and an additional 698 prisoner-on-prisoner attacks. (Scotsman page 20, Clive Fairweather in the Scotsman)


Chhokar case: Joan McAlpine in the Scotsman comments on the decision by the Crown Office to reopen the murder case of Surjit Singh Chhockar.


Trial fast- track justice scheme: New figures have shown that a pilot fast-track justice scheme in Glasgow has seen nine out of ten offenders working within their community within 24 hours of sentencing. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has praised the trial. (The Herald page 6)


University fees: The Scottish government has claimed its position on tuition fees has been vindicated following the release of figures which show that Scotland’s universities have been protected from the worst UK-wide downturn in applicant numbers. Official figures show that applications to Scottish institutions are now at their highest ever levels with the slight decrease in applications from Scottish students being outweighed by the increase in interest from other EU countries. (Scotsman page 16, Simon Jennings in the Scotsman, The Herald page 4, The Daily Mail page 4, The Press and Journal page 20, The Courier page 21, The Times page 14, The Daily Telegraph page 8)


Local Government 

Steven Purcell:  Former leader of Glasgow city council, Steven Purcell, was held for several hours by the police following a disturbance at his home over the weekend.  Mr Purcell was told this month that he would not face corruption charges linked to his time in office. (Scotsman page 7, The Daily Record page 9)

Glasgow bid for Youth Olympic Games: Glasgow has been confirmed as the sole UK bid for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.  The city submitted its proposal to the British Olympic Association who will decide over the next few weeks if they will go to the Olympic Committee with the proposal. (The Herald page 5, The Press and Journal page 15)