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Reform Scotland News: 2 March 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

Scottish Labour:  Douglas Alexander will say today the party must change if it is to once again be successful in Scotland. There will also reportedly be a stark warning from Scottish Labour leaders that the party’s MPs and MSPs cannot expect a “job for life” and will have to “earn the right” to remain in post if Labour is ever to return to power north of the Border. This is amid fears that Scottish Labour’s current crop of election candidates are not good enough to prevent the party suffering repeated defeats at the hands of the SNP. (The Herald page 6, The Scotsman page 1, The Daily Telegraph page 11)

Ed Miliband: Labour leader will warn at the Scottish Labour Conference today that throwing up new borders will not make Scotland a fairer country and attack “old-fashioned” Tory politics and “SNP separatism” as recipes for failure. (The Herald page 6, The Press and Journal page 12, The Courier & Advertiser page 10)

Powers for Holyrood: The Labour Party is promising new powers for Holyrood as the party’s Scottish conference kicks off in Dundee. However, Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has ruled out supporting “devo-max” and the transfer of all economic powers to Holyrood, insisting it was independence in all but name. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has called for “radical” talks about handing several new financial powers to Scotland if the nation votes against independence.  (The Sun page 2, The Scotsman page 5, The Press and Journal page 12, The Courier & Advertiser page 11)

Titian masterpiece: The National Gallery in London and the National Galleries of Scotland have announced that Titian’s masterpiece Diana and Callisto had been saved for the nation in a £45 million deal. (The Herald page 9, The Times page 4, The Scotsman page 7, The Daily Telegraph page 12)

Independence referendum: Alex Salmond will today tell a major conference on the future of the Union, organised by The Times, that the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are “mired in negativity” in their opposition to Scottish independence. Meanwhile a new poll shows that a clear majority of Scots believe the independence referendum ballot paper should include a second question. Engineering leaders have also added to calls from business for a speedy referendum on independence, amid warnings that uncertainty could undermine company development. (The Times page 1, The Times page 10, The Herald page 1)

Alex Salmond and Rupert Murdoch: First Minister Alex Salmond reportedly came under fire yesterday over his choice of new “best friend”, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. (Daily Express page 10, The Daily Telegraph page 12)

NATO and Scotland: An independent Scotland could apply to join Nato and build defence links with other north European countries, in a dramatic shake-up of the Scottish National Party’s defence strategy. (The Guardian page 12, Daily Express page 2)

 

Economy

Green job boost for Scotland: Nick Clegg will today reportedly raise hopes in his speech to the Scottish Liberal Democrats that the world’s first Green Investment Bank will be based in Scotland. (The Herald page 7, The Press and Journal page 12)

Rangers: The law firm at the heart of Craig Whyte’s Rangers takeover could face bankruptcy if a legal ruling forces it to pay out millions of pounds for its involvement in an alleged sham investment scheme. (The Herald page 1)

Isles fuel duty cut: Areas of the Highland mainland could be included in a cut-price fuel scheme if a new initiative for the islands proves a success. (The Press and Journal page 1)

 

Education

Scottish Studies: A Scottish Government think tank has claimed that every pupil should complete a course of Scottish Studies that is embedded within the curriculum from primary one to secondary school. The Scottish Studies Working Group, set up by SNP, has called for a new type of qualification to be drawn from a range of subjects within Scottish Studies, including literature, history and language, and sat by every pupil. (The Herald page 5, The Times page 5)

 

Justice

Jail numbers: Scotland’s prison population has reportedly hit a record high. The nation’s 15 jails are crammed with 8,316 inmates, up from the previous high of 8,301. (The Sun page 2)


Transport

HS2 rail extension: The Scottish and UK governments are reportedly to work together to extend a high speed rail network north of the Border following a “constructive” meeting of ministers in Edinburgh. (The Herald page 7)

Missing marks on roads: Lives are being put at risk because vital safety markings are missing from a huge proportion of Scotland’s roads, motoring groups have warned. Emergency repairs are required to repaint white lines on 87 per cent of the road network north of the Border. (The Scotsman page 12)