Reform Scotland News: 11 October 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



Cameron’s conference speech: Yesterday Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.  He said that the party had a “moral” mission to create an “aspiration nation” and commented “I’m not here to defend privilege, I’m here to spread it.”  He also argued that the Tories would be the party to tackle poverty and injustice, and that stopping Scottish independence was his top priority. (Scotsman page 1, David Maddox in the Scotsman, Record page 2, Sun page 1, Herald page 6, Iain MacWhirter in the Herald, Daily Express page 5, The Times page 1, Press and Journal page 16, The Courier page 15, Telegraph page 1, Peter Oborne in the Telegraph, FT page 2, Matthew Engel in the FT, Mail page 8, Max Hastings in the Mail, Guardian page 1, Jonathan Freedland  in the Guardian, Martin Kettle in the Guardian)


Creative Scotland: There is reportedly pressure on Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop to “unpick” Creative Scotland, the government arts funding quango. (Scotsman page 13, The Courier page 3)


Referendum deal: The SNP has accused the UK government of jumping the gun by suggesting a deal had been reached on the independence referendum.  Alex Salmond has said that there are still areas of disagreement and it would be “unwise” to say an agreement had been reached. (Scotsman page 5, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Matt Qvortrup in the Herald, Daily Express page 5, The Times page 8, Press and Journal page 11, Telegraph page 6)


Lower voting age criticised: Plans to give the vote to 16 and 17 year-olds in a referendum on Scottish independence have been criticised in the House of Lords. It is expected that when the referendum agreement is reached provisions will be in place allowing those as young as 16 to vote. (Herald page 6, The Courier page 14)


SNP & quangos: Keith Aitken in the Express comments on SNP policies towards quangos.


EU: Michael Fry in the Scotsman considers whether the UK would be better off leaving the EU.



Green policy and oil: Speaking at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference yesterday, Alex Salmond said that there was no contradiction in the Scottish government promoting green energy while continuing to extract hydrocarbons from the North Sea. He also renewed his support for offshore windfarms, commenting that they did not spoil the landscape and announced a £103 million fund created to attract more private investment in renewable energy. (Scotsman page 8, Press and Journal page 1, page 25, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 21)


Business decline: A report by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has identified decline in the manufacturing, retail, tourism and construction industries in the third quarter of 2012.  The report also says that businesses have become more cautious about their future profitability.  (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 1, Daily Express page 4, The Times page 8, The Courier page 32, Mail page 19)


Graduate employment:  According to a study by the Higher Education Careers Service Unit, although Scotland is one of the best places in the UK to find a well-paid graduate job, though jobs are largely concentrated around Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The report also indicated that 14.7 per cent of those graduating across the UK in 2011 had found low-skilled employment. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 11, Telegraph page 16)


Job boost at Scottish Power: Scottish Power has announced the creation of 340 new jobs in Glasgow. (Herald page 3)


48 hour extension for Hall’s: Hall’s meat processing plant in Broxburn, which has been under threat of closure since July, has been given an extra 48 hours until the fate of the plant is decided. (Herald page 7, Daily Express page 13, The Times page 8)


Food prices to soar: Experts have warned that food prices are likely to experience a rise after a disappointing summer for farmers, with the wheat harvest down by almost 20% in Scotland compared to last year. (Daily Express page 1, The Times page 15, The Courier page 16)



 Cigarette machines: Sinclair Collis, a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco, yesterday lost a legal battle against Scottish legislation passed in 2010 to outlaw cigarette vending machines.  The decision means that ban can now be implemented. (Scotsman page 1, Record page 4, Herald page 12, The Times page 8, Press and Journal page 19, The Courier page 14, Mail page 2)


Abortion: Tavish Scott in the Scotsman comments on the comments made by UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil regarding abortion.


Women’s Aid funding cut: Almost one third of Women’s Aid groups in Scotland have had to reduce their services after a cut in funding, leaving women and children reportedly at risk of domestic abuse. (Herald page 5)