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Reform Scotland News: 30 August 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. 

Politics
News of the World:
The former editor of the News of the World Scotland, Bob Bird, has been arrested and charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice, in connection with Tommy Sheridan’s defamation case against News Group Newspapers Ltd in 2006. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 7, Times page 16, Sun page 2, Express page 5 , Record page 1, P&J page 19, Courier page 13)

Scottish Household survey: According to the 2011 Scottish Household Survey, a third of women in Scotland do not feel safe walking their local streets alone at night.  11.7 per cent of people complain of drug misuse and drug dealing in their neighbourhood and 13.9 per cent complain of rowdy behaviour. The survey also revealed that the number of Scots using portable electronic devices to access the internet has more than doubled over the past year. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 5, Sun page 2, Express page 15, Telegraph page 9)

IT problems: Three public bodies, Registers of Scotland, the Crown Office and Disclosure Scotland, have spent more than £133 million on IT programmes that have been written off, delayed or ended early according to Audit Scotland. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 11, Times page 19, P&J page 16)

Referendum deal: Scottish Secretary Michael Moore is reportedly set to claim today that the UK and Scottish governments are close to agreeing a deal on a legally binding referendum on Scottish independence. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 6, Times page 7, Sun page 2, Express page 7, Telegraph page 11, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Courier page 2)

Impact of Scottish Parliament on Scots Law: Alistair Bonnington, a former Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Glasgow, has claimed that “Holyrood has done more harm to Scots law than Westminster managed in over 300 years”.  Mr Bonnington sites issues such as a lack of independence for the Crown and the change in the double jeopardy law. (Times page 7, Alistair Bonninghton in the Times)

Cost of cuts: Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran has claimed that the UK government’s policies on benefits and the economy are costing Scottish households £450 a year. (Herald page 6, Record page 8)

Nato: Michael Kelly in the Scotsman argues that as Nato is committed to nuclear weapons, it would be impossible for and independent Scotland to join Nato while opposing such weapons.

Nick Clegg: Martin Kettle in the Guardian considers Nick Clegg’s leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

Economy
Wealth tax:
George Osborne has reportedly criticised Nick Clegg’s proposal of a wealth tax commenting that it would drive away Britain’s wealth creators. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Iain MacWhirter in the Herald, Times page 15, Camilla Cavendish in the Times, Express page 7, Leo McKinstry in the Express, FT page 2, Howard Davies in the FT, Telegraph page 6, Ian Martin in the Telegraph, Mail page 8, Stephen Glover in the Mail, Guardian page 6, P&J page 18, Courier page 19)

Benefit cuts: Scotland’s top civil servant, Sir Peter Housden, has reportedly said that new “substantial” reductions in welfare spending were discussed at meeting of senior UK Cabinet ministers. (Sun page 2)

Food & drink industry: Tavish Scott in the Scotsman comments on some of the regulations and restrictions facing Scotland’s food and drink industry.

Health
Alcohol sales: The amount of alcohol bought in Scotland has fallen for the first time since records began in 1994, though the sales are still 10 per cent higher than they were in 1994 and are 20 per cent higher than sales in England and Wales. (Scotsman page 1, Peter Rice in the Scotsman, Herald page 5, Times page 16, Sun page 2, Record page 19, P&J page 15)

Older Scots: A report by Age Scotland has suggested that the proportion of life people can expect to spend feeling fit after the age of 65 has dropped for Scots.  Separate findings for the Office for National Statistics also suggests that the health of Scottish men is now failing in their late-50s rather than early-60s. (Herald page 1, Telegraph page 10)

Methadone: Susan Dalgety in the Scotsman comments that as methadone has been found to be implicated in many drug-related deaths, there is an urgent need to re-examine how we treat drug addicts.

Education
Britannica:
Every school in Scotland is to receive free online access to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, with the publishers hoping to take on websites such as Wikipedia to prevent children coming into contact with “inappropriate or factually inaccurate material” online. (Scotsman page 1, P&J page 14)

PE teachers: According to official figures the number of full-time PE teachers with permanent contracts has dropped by 7 per cent since 2007, though some schools have made up the short-fall by appointing teachers on temporary contracts. (Herald page 7 , Record page 10)

Learning: Ruth Wishart in the Scotsman comments that the “how of learning as much as the what” is vital in a child’s education.

Science: Alasdair Allan in the Scotsman sets out what the Scottish government is doing to improve science teaching in schools.