Reform Scotland News: 21/02/12


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. 




Passport control: David Lidington, the UK minister for Europe, has warned that an independent Scotland may need passport control on the border with England if Scotland didn’t inherit the UK’s opt-out of the EU agreement on the free movement of people.  He commented that opt-outs such as those on the Schengen agreement and the euro “require not just bilateral agreement between the UK and an independent Scotland – it would require the agreement of all the other member states as well”.   Alex Salmond has dismissed these comments with a spokesperson calling them “tired old scare stories”. (Scotsman page 1, The Times page 5, The Daily Record page 2, The Daily Express page 15, The Press and Journal page 12, The Daily Telegraph page 1)


Salmond and the Tory grandees: Alex Salmond has accused Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Lord Forsyth of having “learned nothing” since their time in power after they attacked proposals to give Holyrood financial powers.  Salmond also called on David Cameron to explain what his position is with regard to the powers of the Scottish Parliament. Downing Street has signalled that David Cameron is soon to give more details on which powers he might be prepared to give to Holyrood if Scots voted no to independence. (Scotsman page 5, Joan McAlpine in The Scotsman , The Sun page 8, The Herald page 6, The Times page 5, Jim Crumley in The Courier, The Daily Record page 8, The Press and Journal page 12, Alan Cochrane in The Daily Telegraph)


Murdoch backs independence: Rupert Murdoch has used his twitter account to hint that he supports Scottish independence. (The Courier, page 10, The Herald page 6)


Oil wealth: Tom Miers in the Scotsman questions why the SNP hasn’t already set up an oil fund, arguing that the Scottish government could have done so if it wanted to.




Rangers: Further coverage of the crisis at Rangers. (Scotsman page 11, The Courier page 56, The Daily Record page 1, The Daily Mail page 1, The Daily Express page 64)


Nuclear: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments that nuclear energy could be a green solution.


Scottish Water: The UK government yesterday admitted that if England’s rivers and reservoirs continue to dry up at the current rate, some of Scotland’s water supply could be siphoned off for use down south. (The Herald page 3, The Times page 3, Magnus Linklater in The Times, The Daily Express page 24)


Scottish Film Industry: Alex Salmond has announced plans to make Scotland a “production powerhouse” in the film industry. (The Times page 20, The Herald page 5, The Courier page 14, The Press and Journal page 18)


Small business: Scottish business has borne the brunt of the recession with more than 30 small businesses reportedly closing every day. The scale of the decline is four times higher than England with the number of firms with fewer than ten workers falling by more than 11% since 2008. (The Daily Mail page 4)


Local Government


Aberdeen gardens: The First Minister has backed the controversial £140m City Garden Project in Aberdeen. Police have been called in to investigate the online abuse directed at senior figures behind the project (Scotsman page 11, The Herald page 5, The Press and Journal page 10 )


CCTV: Scottish local authorities have reportedly spent more than £33m running 6,414 CCTV cameras across the country between April 2007 and March 2011. (Scotsman page 15, The Herald page 1, Colette Douglas Home in The Herald, The Press and Journal page 14)




Ryanair: Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, is expected to announce today a “significant” number of Ryanair’s routes from Edinburgh airport are to be cut. (Scotsman page 3, The Herald page 7, The Times page 37)


Rail network “unfit for purpose”: Business leaders claimed yesterday that large sections of Scotland’s rail network were not fit for purpose. The Scottish Chambers of Commerce argued that services north of Perth are poor and there was a problem of “reliability” on the shorter commuter routes, including the link between Edinburgh and Glasgow. (The Daily Telegraph page 6)




Border Agency: The UK Border Agency is to be split in two following the revelation that hundreds of thousands of people were let into the UK without being checked against a Home Office watch list. (Scotsman page 10, The Herald page 2, The Guardian page 4, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Daily Mail page 2)




Exam appeals: The EIS has called for a delay in the way exam appeals are handled due to concerns that some pupils may lose out because of uncertainty with the new qualifications system.  As a result they argue that the current appeals system should be maintained until after the new national qualifications are brought in. (Scotsman page 1)


Row over supply teacher pay cuts: Scotland’s largest teaching union bowed to public pressure over controversial plans to cut the salary of supply teachers. The Educational Institute of Scotland backed moves for a review of the agreement after outcry over the already low numbers of supply teachers available. The EIS has also signalled that it may call strike action next month over proposed cuts to public sector pensions. (The Herald page 6, The Times page 10, The Courier page 10, The Daily Mail page 19)




Campaign for early-diagnosis of cancer: A new campaign has been outlined that hopes to reduce the number of cancer-related deaths in Scotland by 300. The £30 million project seeks to increase the number of people diagnosed in the early stages by 25% and will concentrate on the three most common cancers in Scotland: breast, bowel and lung. (The Herald page 7, The Courier page 15, The Daily Express page 4)