Reform Scotland News: 6 June 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. 



Parliament inquiry: David Cameron is reportedly under pressure to explain why he initiated an investigation into allegations that Baroness Warsi breached the ministerial code by allowing her business partner to accompany her on an official visit to Pakistan, but has not initiated an inquiry into Jeremy Hunt’s handling of News Corporation’s BSkyB bid. (Scotsman page 12, Times page 14, Telegraph page 14, FT page 2)


Ken Clarke has criticised the “lynch mob” mentality that is forcing Cabinet colleagues such as Jeremy Hunt and Baroness Warsi to defend themselves against the claims that they broke the ministerial code. (Herald page 6, Guardian page 13)


Monarchy: Brian Wilson in the Scotsman writes that although there is currently little appetite for republicanism, there are still many areas in need of reform, such as abolishing the “class-based honours system, dispensing with titles, taking land reform seriously”.


Alex Salmond has urged Scots to start flying the Lion Rampant flag as well as the Saltire. The Lion Rampant was historically the flag of the King of Scots, and Salmond has supported its position as, “the people’s flag, as well as the monarch’s flag in Scotland.” (Times page 14, Telegraph page 13)


Powers of the Parliament: Stewart Sutherland in the Scotsman outlines the new powers given to the Scottish Parliament under the Scotland Act 2012 and comments that any constitutional change short of independence has consequences for the UK as a whole and therefore needs to involve them.


Yes campaign: Tom Peterkin in the Scotsman questions whether cracks are beginning to show in Alex Salmond’s performance.


Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) leader Colin Fox has claimed that rekindling the 1980s ‘spirit of the poll tax rebellion’ would persuade Scots to vote ‘Yes’. (Mail page 12)


SNP & BBC: The SNP has accused the BBC of imbalance after it announced the panel for tomorrow night’s Question Time. Nicola Sturgeon and Alan Cumming will reportedly be outnumbered by pro-Union speakers, including Annabel Goldie, Alistair Darling, and Charles Kennedy. (Herald page 2)


Olympic torch: Scottish police have held security talks about the Olympic torch relay following the disruptions in Northern Ireland. The torch is due to arrive in Stranraer on Friday, and will then be moved to Glasgow to start a week-long relay around Scotland. (Herald page 7)


Same-sex marriage & Church:  During its annual gathering, the General Assembly of the United Free Church of Scotland is to call on the Scottish Government to abandon any plans for same-sex marriage legalisation. (Herald page 9)



Employment opportunities: The number of vacancies in Scotland rose by 7 per cent in May, compared to a rise of 5 per cent across the UK as a whole. (Scotsman page 18, Iain Gray in the Scotsman, Herald page 7, Express page 10)


Bonuses: According to a new report from Incomes Data Services (IDS), finance directors in Britain’s top companies are receiving bonuses and added extras of up to 14 times their basic pay. Directors received a 9.5% increase in pay and bonuses last year, taking typical income to more than £1 million. (Herald page 5)


Fuel poverty: The Existing Homes Alliance is calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a programme to make homes more energy-efficient. The group has argued that the scheme could help to reduce fuel poverty and boost the economy. (Herald page 6, P&J page 19)


Eurozone: Ian Bell in the Herald discusses the damaging effects of a potential collapse of the Euro.


Independence: Rupert Soames, a leading Scottish businessman, has called on Holyrood to produce an in-depth analysis of how an independent Scotland’s economy would operate to allow “reasonable people to make a reasonable judgement”. (Times page 16)


Green power: The Scottish Climate and Energy Forum (SCEF) has argued that Scotland’s ambitious renewable energy targets can only be delivered if the industry is nationalised. (P&J page 14)


A renewables company in Dundee, Burcote Wind, has warned that foreign firms will be the biggest winners in the SNP’s wind energy drive because Scotland lacks the expertise to make turbines. (Mail page 27)



Legionnaires’ outbreak: One person has died and 16 others are in a critical condition following an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Edinburgh.  The source of the outbreak is currently all known but the people affected all live or work in the south-west of the city. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 16, Sun page 1, 8 and 9, Express page 15, Record page 1, Telegraph page 14, Guardian page 13, P&J page 15, Mail page 16, Courier page 18)


Raigmore superbug: Three people at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness have contracted a superbug.  Although all patients have reportedly now been released from hospital, it is the third outbreak of a superbug at the hospital this year. (Scotsman page 5)


Autism funding: The Scottish Government has announced the Autism Development Fund will increase by £500,000 to £1.5m annually. (Herald page 4)


Cannabis: A new report by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) claims that there is a dangerous lack of awareness about the effects of smoking cannabis. (Herald page 12, P&J page 14)



Drink-driving: Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, has said that he wants to use new powers granted to Holyrood to cut the limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100mls of blood. The Institute of Advanced Motorists has argued that cutting the legal alcohol limit by nearly 40% will unfairly hit drivers who marginally fail breath tests, and divert resources away from other areas. The group has claimed that a driver, who has had one glass of wine, could face a year’s ban, a large fine and the loss of their job. (Express page 10, Sun page 12, P&J 16, Mail page 21, Courier page 18)


Local government

Marches in Glasgow: Glasgow City Council is planning to review its processions policy, including whether a ban on playing music outside places of worship should be lifted.  Currently, all marches are expected to stop any music while passing any place of worship. (Scotsman page 20, Herald page 4)


Green energy: Scottish councils are apparently advising power companies wanting planning permission for new green energy projects to keep secret details that would create complications. (Telegraph page 16)