Reform Scotland News: 25 May 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. 



Independence campaign: The £2 million Yes campaign is being officially launched in Edinburgh today at Cineworld in Fountainbridge, with the slogan ‘Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.’ The campaign is being launched as a new YouGov poll suggests that 33 per cent of people support independence versus 57 per cent who want to stay in the UK and 10 per cent who are undecided. In addition, the poll found that 28 per cent of people who voted SNP in the last election do not support independence, and 12 per cent of that group ‘don’t know,’ leaving 58 per cent of SNP voters who support independence. The No campaign is being led by Alistair Darling, who commented that the poll shows that Alex Salmond does not speak for Scotland. A piece in the Scotsman reports that Henry McLeish supports the devo-plus proposal. Pro-independence campaigners are reportedly split on whether to retain the monarchy and sterling. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 5, Telegraph page 1, Telegraph page 2, Record page 2, Sun page 2, Press & Journal page 13, Mail page 4, Courier page 2)


Leveson inquiry: Jeremy Hunt has come under increased pressure as a private memo to David Cameron in 2010 revealed that he supported News Corporation’s bid for bSkyb. The UK government played down the memo, pointing out that the note was consistent with public statements made by Mr Hunt at the time. The disclosure came as former special advisor Adam Smith gave evidence at the inquiry yesterday. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 5, Times page 3, Telegraph page 1, FT page 1, Express page 4, Guardian page 1, P&J page 13, Mail page 6)


Lockerbie: Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim El Keib has given assurances that the Libyan government will cooperate with investigations into the Lockerbie bombing, in the first meeting since Megrahi’s death on Sunday. (Herald page 1)


Pope meeting: Catholic leaders have reportedly vetoed a meeting between Alex Salmond and the Pope over concerns that it would send out the wrong message. (Mail page 1)



Recession: The UK economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in the last quarter, worse than the 0.2 per cent expected by the ONS. This may have been largely due to a 4.8 per cent fall in construction. The figures have led to renewed calls to Chancellor George Osborne for a ‘Plan B’. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Guardian page 32)


Greek exit: Nick Clegg has warned that a Greek exit would cause “irrevocable damage” to the EU, a warning which contrasts with David Cameron’s “make up or break up” stance. Sources suggest that in the case of a Greek exit, Conservative MPs would demand a referendum on EU membership. Some fund managers have confirmed that they are dumping euro assets following a surprise slump of 5 per cent this month. A Citigroup report predicted that Greece may exit the euro on New Year’s Day. (Scotsman page 8, Times page 1, FT page 1, Express page 2, Mail page 2)



Police privatisation: David O’Connor, the president of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents, has said that police forces should consider whether “all kinds of work and support work” could be undertaken by private companies. (Herald page 2)


Schoolboy death: A 14-year-old child died yesterday after an alleged fight at school in Glasgow. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 11, Express page 5, Sun page 1)



Alcohol minimum price: A minimum alcohol price of 50p per unit is set to come into effect next spring, after MSPs backed the plans. Scotland will become the first country in Europe with minimum alcohol pricing, and legal challenges are expected. Labour did not support the proposals over concerns about the “windfall” that supermarkets are expected to gain. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Times page 10, Telegraph page 6, Express page 2, Record page 2, P&J page 12, Mail page 12)


E coli outbreak: There have been two confirmed and four suspected cases of E coli O157, and three children are in hospital. All of the children attend a nursery school in Aboyne, Royal Deeside, though the school has not been closed and other sources of the infection are being investigated. The last significant outbreak was in 2002. (Scotsman page 9)


Male Pill: Edinburgh University researchers have found a key reproductive gene with could lead the way for development of new male contraceptives, and also treat male infertility. (Scotsman page 17)



Smart phone tickets: Bus operator Stagecoach has started trials using smart phones as bus tickets, using near-fields communication technology. (Scotsman page 16)