Reform Scotland News: 24 July 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



Foreign officer controversy: The Scottish Government has advertised for a ‘director of external affairs,’ reportedly viewed by some as a precursor to a Scottish foreign office. The move was condemned as premature by critics including Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, who argued that it is an “abuse of public funds.” (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 12, Times page 15, Mail page 4)


Trident alarm: The lack of contingency plan for Trident if Scotland votes for independence in reportedly causing alarm in the UK government. (Herald page 6)


‘Polarising’ SNP: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments on the problems of polarising public opinion that the SNP face.


Gay marriage: Alex Woods comments on gay marriage in The Scotsman.


Catholic Church: Major changes in the Scottish Catholic Church are expected to be announced today, while it also emerges that controversy has erupted over plans to split up the Church’s 800-year-old archive. (Herald page 1, Herald page 5)


Salmond BSkyB support: Vince Cable said that there was no mention of jobs in Scotland in News Corp’s bid for BSkyB, reportedly undermining Alex Salmond’s claim that he supported the bid because of Scottish job creation. (Telegraph page 1)


Tony Blair interview: Charles Moore interviews the former Prime Minister in The Telegraph.



Short-term bonuses: A report by Professor John Kay for Business Secretary Vince Cable has found that the ‘bonus culture’ focussing on short-term gains at the expense of sound long-term investment is damaging UK businesses. Industry analysts say that there is no ‘silver bullet’ to change banking culture. (Scotsman page 1, FT page 3)


Cash-in-hand tradesmen: Exchequer Secretary David Gauke called people who pay tradesmen in cash “morally wrong,” as the UK government is estimated to miss out on about £2 billion on taxes on ‘off the books’ transactions. (Scotsman page 8, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 1)


Milk prices: A voluntary code of practice has been agreed by milk producers and processors, though the matter is reportedly still not considered entirely resolved. A demonstration took place yesterday in support of the famers at the new Asda at Inverness. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 1, Times page 5, Sun page 2, Record page 8, Guardian page 8)


Chinese oil bids: Two Chinese firms announced major acquisitions worth over £10 billion in North Sea oil firms. (Press & Journal page 1)


Fruit crisis: Scottish strawberry growers are facing losses of up to £10 million due to poor weather this summer. (Herald page 4)


FTSE 100 fall: The FTSE 100 index fell by 2.1 per cent yesterday, reportedly wiping billions off pensions. (Express page 1)



Edinburgh-Glasgow train: The Sunday service between Glasgow and Edinburgh will double in frequency from September. (Herald page 2)



Skin cancer: The number of people in their 50’s with skin cancer has tripled over the last thirty years. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 2, Record page 27, Express page 4, P&J page 15, Mail page 10)


Ambulance cleanliness: A Healthcare Environment Inspectorate report has given the Scottish Ambulance Service a month to rectify failures of cleanliness. (Scotsman page 1, Record page 6)



Police chief: The post of chief constable of Scotland’s single police force has been advertised with some controversy surrounding the post’s £208,000 salary. (Herald page 10, Telegraph page 10, Sun page 12, P&J page 19)


Fire service cars: There is controversy surrounding the luxury company cars used by fire chiefs that are partly funded by public money. (Scotsman page 16)