Reform Scotland News: 24 April 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


House of Lords: A joint parliamentary committee report published yesterday has called for reforms to the House of Lords, including reducing peers from almost 1,000 to 450 with 80 per cent elected and 20 per cent appointed.  However, 12 of the 26 members of the committee opposed the final report and some critics claim the changes would increase the cost of the House of Lords from £19m a year to £433m a year. (Scotsman page 6, Alan Trench in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 2, Rachel Sylvester and David Steel in the Times, P&J page 12, Courier page 15, Guardian page 4, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, Daily Mail page 8, FT page 2).

Nadine Norris MP: Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire, Nadine Norris, has accused David Cameron and George Osborne of being “arrogant posh boys” who have no understanding of ordinary voters and has referred to a “very narrow clique” at the top of government. Cameron condemned the remarks and vowed to ‘stay in touch’ with voters. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Guardian page 4, Daily Mail page 4).

West Lothian Question: Sir Malcolm Rifkind has proposed that bills before the House of Commons that are either English only or substantially English should have a majority of both UK MPs and English MPs in order to be passed. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 6).

HMS Astute: According to an inquiry into the nuclear powered submarine, HMS Astute’s, grounding off Skye in October 2010, senior officers did not follow correct protocol, the commanding officer failed to act on three separate requests from other officers to reduce speed and alter course, and the submarine’s main radar system was not on when the vessel ran aground.  (Scotsman page 1, Howard Wheeldon in the Scotsman, Herald page 3, Times page 7, P&J page 18).

Donald Trump: Speaking ahead of his appearance at the Scottish parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism committee tomorrow, Donald Trump has said that First Ministers Jack McConnell and Alex Salmond both gave him assurance that proposals to build an 11-turbine wind farm within one and half miles of his golf course in Aberdeenshire would never get the go-ahead. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Times page 3, P&J page 6-7, Courier page 13).

Struan Stevenson, a Tory MEP and campaigner against wind power claims that Alex Salmond’s green energy pledge is not transforming the country and the figures which are being used are “complete mythology”. (Herald page 2).

Johann Lamont & STUC: Labour’s Scottish leader, Johann Lamont addressed the Scottish Trade Union Congress in Inverness yesterday and warned trade unionists not to be “seduced” by the SNP and claimed the SNP government is deceitful and pledged for Scottish Labour to continue listening to trade unionists. (Herald page 7, Express page 8, Daily Record page 2).

Gay marriage: Azeem Ibrahim in the Scotsman comments the Scottish imams should not be opposing gay marriage but focusing on drugs, poverty and crime.

Lib Dems: David Maddox in the Scotsman comments that the policies advocated by Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander have shifted the party further away from its roots.

Saltire and the SNP: Kerry Gill in the Daily Express discusses how the SNP do not have the right to use the Saltire as an exclusively nationalist symbol in the discussion of independence.


First-time buyers: A report published by suggests that the average age young house-hunters think they will be able to buy their first home at is 37. (Scotsman page 11).

Youth unemployment: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments on the need to address youth unemployment in Scotland.

University rankings: The Complete University Guide 2013 has listed Glasgow University just one place behind Edinburgh. This comes after Edinburgh has slipped three places, now ranked 16th, whilst Glasgow, now 17th, has climbed four places. (Herald page 3).

Edinburgh Airport: Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which owns Gatwick and London City airports, bought Edinburgh Airport in a £807million deal. (Herald page 5, Times page 13, Times page 39, Express page 11, Sun page 4, Courier page 35, Daily Mail page 25).

“High-fliers” and independence: A poll of 1000 Scottish ‘high-fliers’ showed that 56% would not return to Scotland or stay in Scotland to pursue their careers if Scotland were to become independent. The poll also showed that only 6% believed that job security would increase with independence. (Daily Express page 2, P&J page 15).


Police cuts: Mull is fighting plans to cut police cover by 30%. It would just leave three offices on Mull with one police constable moved to Oban. (Herald page 8).

Local Government

Elections: Jim McCormick in the Scotsman comments on the upcoming local elections saying that the use of the single transferable vote makes the results hard to predict.

Dundee renovation: Dundee council hopes to attract new residents after announcing plans for an £1billion waterfront redevelopment and the new planned V&A centre of design. The campaign is part of Dundee’s One City Many Discoveries initiative. (Herald page 4).

Postal votes: Postal voters in North Lanarkshire have been told to keep ballot papers as they remain valid ballots although the guidance note accompanying them is incorrect. Special arrangements have been made for Royal mail to deliver a new guidance leaflet to 26,500 voters. Almost 17,000 voters in Perth and Kinross have applied for postal votes and these voters are seen to be decisive in the upcoming council elections, where a turnout of 45 per cent is predicted. (Herald page 7, P&J page 15, Courier page 5).


Heart-attack scan:  Scottish scientists have been testing a new scanning technique that could save tens of thousands of lives from predicting heart attacks before they have them. The lead researcher has been Dr Marc Dweck from the University of Edinburgh. (Scotsman page 12, Express page 5, Daily Mail page 26).