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Reform Scotland News: 14 February 2012

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

Politics
Moore/ Salmond meeting:
Alex Salmond and Michael Moore reportedly failed to make any breakthrough in discussions yesterday about the independence referendum. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Times page 5, Sun page 2, Record page 10, Mail page 2, Express page 2, P&J page 12, Courier page 1, David Clegg in the Courier, FT page 4)

Alex Salmond has apparently commented that as David Cameron is “in charge” of UK government policy on the referendum, he is the person the First Minister wants to speak to. (Scotsman page 8, Telegraph page 8, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph)

Independence good for English regions: Alex Salmond gave a speech in Liverpool last night where he said that “structural changes” would be needed in the rest of the UK if Scotland became independent and that could be of benefit to English regions. (Scotsman page 10, David Torrance in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Times page 19, Record page 10, Express page 2, P&J page 13, Courier page 8, Telegraph page 4)

Jim Leishman: Former footballer and manager Jim Leishman has been selected as a prospective Labour council candidate in Fife. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 6, Mail page 27, Express page 2, P&J page 12, Courier page 4)

Scottish public sector bonuses: The Scottish government has apparently been warned that it will be expected to follow the UK government in adopting a tough stance on public sector bonuses. Although the Scottish government suspended access to bonuses in 2011/12 and 2012/13, more than half of Scottish quangos still pay bonuses. (Scotsman page 15, Courier page 3, Telegraph page 4)

Independence wording: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments that the SNP should not be able to dictate to the media which words, such as ‘independence’ rather than ‘separation’, can be used to describe their policy.

Autonomy: Tom Miers in the Scotsman argues that the Scottish Parliament doesn’t need any more powers as it has all the autonomy it needs but chooses not to use it.

Falklands: Actor Sean Penn has accused the UK of “ridiculous colonialism” amid rising tensions over the Falkland Islands. (Sun page 2, Mirror page 15)

Economy
Merlin
: Colin Borland, from the Federation of Small Businesses, has called for the Merlin lending agreement made by the UK’s five main banks to be scrapped after the banks fell short of the £76bn lending target for small and medium-sized enterprises during 2011. (Scotsman page 12, David Bell in the Scotsman, Herald page 8, Guardian page 30, Mail page 19, FT page 1)

Rangers: Rangers Football Club is reportedly facing administration over unpaid bills to HMRC which could cost the club up to £75million. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Sun page 1, Mirror page 15, Record page 1, Mail page 1, Express page 1, P&J page 56, Courier page 1, FT page 1, Telegraph page 1)

Local Government
Exhibitions in Glasgow:
Glasgow City Council has pledged to find a way round measures contained in the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act which mean temporary free exhibitions or shows need a license costing between £124 and £7,500. (Herald page 7)

Transport
Edinburgh airport:
The American owner of Gatwick and London City airports, Global Infrastructure Partners, is one of four reported first round bidders for Edinburgh airport. (Express page 19, Scotsman page 36)