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Reform Scotland News: 23 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

 

Politics
David Cameron: Prime Minister David Cameron has suggested that he hopes that the Better Together campaign will achieve a ‘crushing’ win in the 2014 independence referendum, settling the argument for generations. (Herald page 6)

Independence consultation: All 26,000 responses to the Scottish Government’s consultation on independence will be published today. The SNP was criticised last night for the late publication of the data as the deadline for submission of responses was in May. The order to enable the Scottish Parliament to hold the referendum will go before Holyrood and Westminster today (Scotsman page 10, Times page 19, P&J page 11)

Referendum spending: Willie Sullivan, Scottish director of the Electoral Reform Society has suggested that the SNP should not be allowed to set the spending limit for the independence referendum and that any limits should be decided by an ‘independent referee.’  (Times page 19, FT page 4)

Helicopter rescue: A helicopter yesterday ditched 34 miles south of Shetland. The actions of the two pilots and rescue services were praised as all on board were rescued. The incident brings fresh safety concerns about the model, the Super Puma, which is used extensively to transport oil workers around the North Sea. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Sun page 1, Record page 4, Express page 7, Telegraph page 14, Guardian page 4, P&J page 1, Mail page 11, Courier page 1)

Defence contracts: UK Defence Minister Philip Hammond has warned that Scotland could lose key Royal Navy defence contracts in the event of independence. Answering a question in the House of Commons, he said that Scottish companies would only be able to bid for contracts within Scotland or ‘competed for outside the UK, placed by the UK or other governments.’ (Record page 2, Sun page 2)

Creative Scotland: In response to an open letter from leading figures in the Scottish arts scene, Creative Scotland has announced that it will carry out internal reforms and ensure that emphasis will be placed on specialist knowledge when dealing with artists. (Herald page 1)

Savile scandal: The editor of BBC’s Newsnight programme, Peter Rippon, has stepped aside to allow a full investigation into the decision not to broadcast an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile. (Herald page 5, Colette Douglas Home in the Herald, Times page 1, Sun page 1, Record page 10, Express page 5, FT page 1, Telegraph page 1, Martin Bell in the Telegraph, Guardian page 1, P&J page 12, Mail page 1, Courier page 13)

Thinking: Sir Ian Byatt writes in the Scotsman that fostering a system in which analytic thinking and debate are allowed to thrive is key to driving Scotland’s economic growth.

Independence referendum: Peter Jones in the Scotsman suggests that the outcome of the independence referendum will be decided on whether Scotland will be better off financially as an independent country, if the electoral gains by Catalan and Basque nationalists are taken as an indication, while  Alex Massie in the Scotsman suggests that the SNP’s campaign for independence focuses too much on their opponents rather than the arguments they are making.

Monarchy: Kerry Gill in the Express suggests that the role of the Queen in an independent Scotland threatens to create large amounts of discord within the SNP.

Transport
Edinburgh trams: It was revealed yesterday that the Edinburgh tram project has only £100m of its budget left with only a tram depot in Gogarburn completed. Edinburgh City Council chief executive Sue Bruce insists the project will be completed to the revised budget of £776m and that test runs of the entire system will begin by early 2014. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 2)

Health
Nursing cuts: MSPs are warning of a future crisis in nursing if cuts in student places continue whilst retirement rates amongst NHS staff continue to rise. The Royal College of Nursing has also said that the 19% drop in student nursing places over the last two years is a cause for concern. (Herald page 1, Record page 2)

Breast cancer: A team of scientists at the Beatson Institute in Glasgow have discovered how breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. They are the first in the world to discover this and hopes are high that the breakthrough could result in advancements in treatment of the illness. (Scotsman page 1)

Education
Postgraduates: Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, principal of Edinburgh University, has warned that Scotland needs more postgraduates in order to promote economic growth. His calls come as new figures suggest the number of Scots taking postgraduate courses in the country has fallen by 1.5%. (Herald page 4, Telegraph page 16)