Reform Scotland News: 10 February 2012


ll 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


Donald Trump:
 The business tycoon Donald Trump has launched an attack on the First Minister over wind farm developments off the Scottish coast and the plans to streamline the planning process for such applications.  He accused the First Minister of being ‘hell-bent on destroying Scotland’s coastline and therefore Scotland itself.’ (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 3, Telegraph page 14, Express page 14, FT page 4, Sun page 2, Record page 10 and 11)

Forth Bridge contracts:  There have been calls for an immediate review of the decision to hand work to supply steel for the new Forth crossing to overseas firms.  Workers at the Tata-run steel plant in Motherwell have criticised the decision and written to Prime Minister David Cameron asking him to intervene, which Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont raised the matter at First Minister’s Questions yesterday. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 9, Times page 16, Telegraph page 9, Sun page 14, Record page 11, Mail page 7)

BBC row: Alex Salmond is reportedly to make a formal complaint to the governing body of the BBC over his exclusion from a rugby broadcast.  This follows a meeting with the Chairman of the BBC’s governing body Lord Patten.  The First Minister defended his use of the word ‘gauleiter’ to describe a BBC official at First Minister’s Questions. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 8, Times page 3, Telegraph page 20, Alan Cochrane in The Telegraph, Express page 9, Sun page 2, Mail page 5)

Flexible pensions: During a visti to Sweden for the Northern Future Forum, David Cameron expressed his support for the Norwegian flexible pension system that enables people to choose the age at which they start to claim it, with the level of payments automatically adjusted according to changes in life expectancy.  A Senior No.10 advise, David Halpern, has also reportedly said that elderly people should be encouraged to go back to work and move into smaller homes which has led to accusations of ‘social engineering.’ (Herald page 10, Times page 10, Telegraph page 1, Express page 6, Mail page 1)

MSPs’ Expenses:  MSPs are reportedly claiming more that £6,000 a day in expenses according to new figures. (Express page 7, Mail page 4)

Quantitative easing:
The Bank of England has injected a further £50 billion into the economy in a bid to prevent recession, which is done by effectively printing more cash, which was criticised by elderly groups for making pensioners poorer.  At the same time the Monetary Policy Committee of the bank held interest rates at 0.5 per cent. (Scotsman page 6, Telegraph page 1, FT page 2)

Local Government
Glasgow budget:
  The ruling Labour administration in Glasgow has squeezed through its spending plan for the city with a majority following resignations from the Labour group. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 7, Express page 8, Record page 2)

Possible Alzheimer’s cure:
A potent anti-cancer drug could hold the key to curing Alzheimer’s after it was found to reverse the effects of the killer brain disease. (Express page 1, Mail page 7)

Exam delay:
  Education Secretary Michael Russell has urged schools not to delay the introduction of new exams and has pledged more support for the transition from Standard Grades to the new National Qualifications due to be in place by 2013.  The Education Secretary has also announced he is to end the chartered teacher scheme set up a decade ago to improve teaching standards, a decision criticised by the teaching unions. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 4, Mail page 12, TESS page 5)