Reform Scotland News 4 July 2012

Reform Scotland

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

 Reform Scotland

Ipsos Mori poll: Further details of Reform Scotland’s opinion poll by Ipsos Mori have been published showing that 28% of people who would vote SNP and 52% of people who would vote Labour believe that Scotland should remain part of the UK but with the increased powers outlined in Devo Plus. (Scotsman page 10, Herald Page 9, Times Page 16, Sun Page 2, Press and Journal Page 11, Record page 9, Express page 8, Mail page 12, Courier page 18)

Politics

Tornadoes crash: Two RAF crew members are feared dead following a crash between two Tornado GR4 fighter jets 25 miles south of Wish in the Moray Firth. (Scotsman page 4, Jim Ferguson in the Scotsman, Herald page 1 Times Page 5, Sun Page 9, Press and Journal Page 6, Record page 1, Express page 7, Mail page 5, Courier page 3)

 Attack on independent Scotland: Colonel Stuart Crawford and Professor Malcolm Chalmers yesterday told the Commons defence select committee that an independent Scotland risked a 9/11 style attack because it would not be able to afford Typhoon or Tornado fighter jets. Professor Chalmers also suggested that an independent Scotland may be ‘doomed to co-operate’ with England over nuclear weapons if it wanted to obtain full membership of the European Union (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 6, Times Page 17, Record page 9)

Talks on independence: Ten UK government departments, including the Foreign Office, Treasury and MoD have reportedly confirmed that the SNP government has not opened talks with them to discuss the prospect of an independent Scotland. (Scotsman page 10)

Referendum question: Alex Salmond has reportedly dismissed an invitation from opposition leaders for an independent body to devise the referendum question. (Express page 8, Courier page 18)

New tax powers: David Bell in the Scotsman comments that the Scottish Government must plan now how it will use the increased tax powers which will come into force in 2016.

 Same-sex marriage: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman comments that same-sex marriage is the biggest issue facing Scottish politicians with more than 70,000 responses to the Scottish government’s consultation compared to 21,000 on the constitution.

 Referendums: Allan Massie in the Scotsman comments that the debate over a referendum on the EU may help the SNP.

 Economy

Bob Diamond: Bob Diamond, the former chief executive of Barclays, resigned yesterday suggesting that the Bank of England condoned the Libor rate fixing.  Emails from 2008 have been released by Barclays between Bob Diamond and Paul Tucker, deputy governor of the Bank of England, where Mr Tucker said “it did not need to be the case” for the Libor rate to be as high as it was and suggested that Mr Tucker was under pressure from “senior figures at Whitehall” who were questioning why Barclays were registering high rates of interest.    Bob Diamond is also expected to give evidence to the Commons Treasury select committee today. (Scotsman page 1, Brian Wilson in the Scotsman, Robin McAlpine in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Ian Bell in the Herald, Times Page 1, David Wighton in the Times page 17, Sun Page 6 Daily Telegraph Page 1 Press and Journal Page 12, Record page 11, John McFall in the Record, Express page 5, FT page 1, John Kay in the FT. Richard Lambert in the FT, Mail page 1, Alex Brummer in the Mail, Courier page 16, Guardian page 1, Seumas Milne in the Guardian)

 Inflation: The British Retail Consortium shop price index has indicated that inflation on goods bought in shops has fallen to its lowest level for three years at 1.1 per cent in June.  (Scotsman page 14, Guardian page 25)

 Banking: Prosecutors have indicated that they are investigating possible wrongdoing in the Scottish banking industry and the Crown Office has confirmed that prosecutions could be forthcoming. Whilst the investigation has been going on for some time, the scope of enquiry has been widened due to ‘recent developments’, according to the Crown Office. (Herald Page 7, Times Page 6, Sun Page 6, Daily Telegraph Page 1)

 Pensions: John Swinney, Scottish Finance Secretary, has criticised the UK Government for affording him no flexibility as he embarks on key pension negotiations. Mr Swinney claims that, by requiring any Scottish pension proposals to be approved by the UK Treasury, the Westminster Government is attempting to ensure parity of Scottish and UK pension arrangements. (Press and Journal Page 18)

 Education

Truancy: According to official figures half of all Scottish school children are missing lessons due to truancy or unauthorised family holidays.  337,041 pupils missed at least half a day of school last year without permission. (Scotsman page 12)

Children & Young People Bill: Aileen Campbell in the Scotsman outlines the new Children & Young People Bill.

 Transport

Unemployed on the buses: Five of the UK’s main bus operators, including Scotland’s Stagecoach and First Group, are to offer the young unemployed discounted fares on their services. The scheme is expected to begin in September. (Herald page 3)

Local government

Commonwealth Games: A  strategy launched yesterday by the leader of Glasgow City Council, Gordon Matheson, hopes to ensure that Glasgow hosts major events in up to ten sports prior to the 2014 Games. This would be in addition to the bid for the 2018 Youth Olympics as well as the Track Cycling World Cup, due to take place later this year in the city. (Herald page 11)

Health

Legionnaires’ outbreak: The Legionnaires’ outbreak in south-west Edinburgh has led to the death of a third man. (Scotsman page 8 Herald page 1, Express page 5, Mail page 24, Courier page 3)