Reform Scotland News: 13/03/2012


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. 




Benefit cuts: A new report commissioned by charity Save the Children has suggested that changes to the benefit system will see 100,000 Scottish single parents being unfairly hit. The Universal Credit system has been found to detrimentally affect single mothers who work long hours. Douglas Hamilton, Save the Children’s head of Scotland said, “In trying to reform the benefit system, the government is in danger of condemning a whole generation of Scottish children to a life of poverty”. (The Scotsman page 12, The Daily Mirror page 4, The Press and Journal page 12, The Guardian page 8)


Plans for Trident: Conservative peer Lord Fraser of Carmyllie has stated that the Trident nuclear submarine should be moved to Scapa Flow in Orkney in the event of Scotland achieving independence. He has suggested that the Northern Isles, along with their oil and gas fields, should remain a part of the UK. (The Times page 1, The Sun page 2)


Miliband criticises SNP: Labour leader Ed Miliband has criticised the Scottish Government’s efforts to end child poverty. In a press conference yesterday he stated that the problem could be tackled far more effectively if Scotland remained part of the Union. (The Scotsman page 13, The Herald page 2, The Daily Record page 6)


Comment on referendum:  Peter Jones in The Scotsman on the Scottish referendum’s possible effect on the 2015 UK general election.  Kerry Gill in The Daily Express on the grassroots momentum for independence.


Falkirk MP quits Labour Party: Eric Joyce, the MP for Falkirk, yesterday announced his intention to leave the Labour Party. Joyce, who has previously admitted to head-butting a Tory MP in a Westminster bar, stated that while he is leaving the party he will not be giving up his seat. (The Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 6, The Daily Express page 2, The Daily Mirror page 2, The Press and Journal page 14, The Sun page 2, The Daily Mail page 5, The Guardian page 13 , The Daily Record page 4, The Courier page 2)


Trump criticises Salmond: American business leader Donald Trump has spoken out in criticism of Alex Salmond over his plans for renewable energy developments. Trump launched a personal attack on the SNP leader saying that he would “destroy Scotland”. However, Trumps comments were sparked by his view that the SNP’s proposed wind farm would destroy the view of his planned golf course in near Aberdeen. (The Scotsman page 13, The Herald page 3, The Press and Journal page 19, The Sun page 2, The Daily Mail page 20, The Daily Telegraph page 6,The Courier page 2)



Energy proposal: A leading industry expert has suggested that the SNP’s proposed green energy plans will only create 300 new jobs. It had previously been claimed that the plans were likely to create up to 50,000 new positions. However, renewable power economist Richard Marsh has argued that those claims have been greatly exaggerated. (The Daily Telegraph page 6)


Decrease in Scottish Skiing: Scottish ski resorts have experienced a drastic reducing in visitors this year due to high temperatures and lack of snowfall. The five main resorts annually generate about £30 million for Scotland’s rural economy. However this year they have seen their visitor numbers drop by more than half compared to 2011. (The Herald page 10, The Daily Mail page 30)



Tories back Universities over new targets: The Scottish Conservative Party has backed Universities Scotland in their opposition to new plans which set university admission targets designed increase the intake of students from deprived backgrounds. Universities have opposed the plans outlined last week by Education Secretary Michael Russell that set targets for widening access, stating that the proposals would not address long-standing problems of inequality across society. (The Herald page 6)



Lockerbie Bomber: A secret report has revealed a number of flaws in how the Lockerbie bomber case was handled by Scottish prosecutors. The 281 page Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission dossier shows that several important documents were not made available to the defence. It suggests that had this information been shared the outcome of the trail may have been very different. (The Herald page 1)


Paul McBride: The funeral of Scotland’s most high profile QC Paul McBride was held yesterday in Glasgow. Almost 1,000 people attended the service, including leading figures from politics, sport and the law. (The Scotsman page 8, The Herald page 3, The Daily Express page 6, The Press and Journal page 14, The Sun page 6, The Daily Mail page 13, The Daily Record page 1, The Daily Telegraph page 6)



New alcohol proposals: Labour has today unveiled new plans to tackle Scotland’s alcohol problems. Their proposed legislation seeks to crack down on retailers selling to underage drinkers, as well as specific targeting of problem drinks such as Buckfast. Labour are the only major party to oppose the Scottish Government’s new plans for minimum pricing of alcohol. The proposals come just as a new study shows that two Scottish towns have the UK’s highest number of alcohol-related deaths. (The Scotsman page 16, The Herald page 6, The Daily Express page 22, The Daily Mail page 4, The Press and Journal page 16)


Prostate Cancer: The Scottish Medical Consortium has ruled that a new drug for prostate cancer will not be available on the NHS. The £3,000 a month drug “abiraterone” has been found in clinical trials to extend the lives for prostate cancer patients. Criticisms of the ruling have been centred on the fact that Lockerbie bomber, Al-Megrahi, was treated using the drug. The SMC has also ruled that the first oral pill for MS sufferers, Fingolimod, will not be available. (The Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 2, The Daily Express page 1, The Sun page 2, The Daily Mail page 1, The Daily Telegraph page 1 )