Reform Scotland News: 7 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

Politics

Independence: Ed Miliband has stated that he believes the rest of the UK should have their say ahead of the independence referendum as the future of the United Kingdom is “too important” to be debated only in Scotland. This statement has come after Jeremy Clarkson’s “shrugged his shoulders” at the breakup of the UK. (Scotsman page 1, FT page 4, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 1, P&J page 13, Guardian page 13)

Scotland Act 2012: The Scottish Government will today outline how it intends to use new powers over stamp duty and landfill tax, which are being devolved to Holyrood. The new powers come into force in 2015. (Scotsman page 8)

Monarchy: Michael Kelly in the Scotsman comments on the hypocrisy of the Nationalists and particularly Alex Salmond as the diamond jubilee took place, stating the monarchy is just one of the many obstacles in the way of the SNP as it begins its campaign for independence.

John Macleod in the Daily Mail supports this as he states that Alex Salmond and his “minions” were not slow on muscling in on the national celebrations and that the First Minister and his party were visibly shaken by the impact of the Diamond Jubilee in Scotland. (Mail page 17)

Scottish regiments: There are reported fresh fears over the future of Scottish regimental names such as the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the Black Watch which will be fuelled by the Defence Secretary today. Philip Hammond will reiterate that rationalisation of the Army means some units will inevitably be lost of merged. (Herald page 1, Times page 13, Mail page 19, P&J page 13, Guardian page 2

Green Energy: Power firms have urged Alex Salmond to clarify how he will fund his green energy targets if he succeeds in breaking up Britain. The Scottish Government wants 100% of the country’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020 but industry representatives have told MSPs they have no idea how the target would be achieved if Scotland becomes independent. (Mail page 12) 

Economy

Whisky: A £1 billion investment in Scotch whisky production was welcomed yesterday as a boost to the whole Scottish economy as drinks giant Diageo announced plans for a major expansion in distilling capacity over the next 5 years creating hundreds of jobs. However Diageo’s chief executive took the opportunity to attack the Scottish and UK governments for their intentions to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol. (Herald page 7, Times page 7, FT page 3, Record page 6, Express page 8,, Telegraph page 2, Marcin Miller in the Telegraph, Mail page 9, P&J page 11, Guardian page 3) 

Wind farms: An offshore wind farm opposed by US tycoon Donald Trump could help cut the cost of renewable energy production by £45 billion, MSPs have been told. The project which is proposed to be off the coast of Aberdeen is now being considered by Scottish ministers. (Scotsman page 10, P&J page 15)

The debt burden: Nicholas Tsagourias in the Scotsman comments on the issue of the division of UK debt if Scotland becomes independent, and how this issue must be discussed sooner rather than later.

Scottish Water: Alex Salmond will make a major U-turn on the ownership of the Scottish Water if he wins independence for Scotland, converting the iconic company into a model his government has previously condemned as “privatisation”. (Times page1)

Scotland’s monetary system: A high-profile former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has backed Alex Salmond’s controversial claim that an independent Scotland should be represented on the interest-rate-setting body. He stated an arrangement would be beneficial for an independent Scotland and the Bank of England. (Times page 15)

Health

 Legionnaires’ outbreak: A further eight people are now being treated for the disease, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 21. Public officials warned the outbreak is likely to escalate in the coming days and health officials are still waiting for test results which they hope will identify the source of the outbreak. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 6, Sun page 1, Express page 1, Telegraph page 10, Mail page 1, P&J page 20, Courier page 3, Guardian page 9)

Education

Teachers strike: Members of Scotland’s largest teaching union, the EIS, will begin their annual conference today with renewed calls for industrial action amid growing anger over changes facing the profession. Five motions have been put forward for industrial action regarding pay, conditions, pensions, public sector cuts and ongoing changes to the curriculum. (Scotsman page 14)

Legislation: A call has been made to the Scottish Government to act quickly to address the shortcomings in education legislation highlighted by the recent ruling that ministers were not justified in preventing an islands council from closing four schools last year. (Herald page 4)

Justice

Scottish police service: Labour MSP Graeme Pearson,  a former head of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement, has criticised the lack of accountability for the new Police Service of Scotland and called for a non-party political commission to be established to hold it to account. (Herald page 2)

 

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