Reform Scotland News: 24 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



EU membership legal advice: First Minister Alex Salmond yesterday confirmed to the Scottish Parliament that the Scottish government had not obtained legal advice on an independent Scotland’s place within the EU.  His statement led to him being accused by Labour politicians of being a liar due to comments he had made to Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics show in March.  (Scotsman page 1, Brian Wilson in the Scotsman, Sun page 1, Telegraph page 1, Herald page 1, Record page 4, Express page 1, Times page 1, C&A page 15, P&J page 12, Guardian page 17)


SNP rebels: John Finnie MSP and Jean Urquhart MSP both resigned yesterday from the SNP following the party’s change in policy over Nato.  (Scotsman page 4, John Curtice in the Scotsman, Sun page 4, Telegraph page 5, Herald page 6, Record page 4, Express page 5, Times page 2, C&A page 14, Mail page 1)


Jimmy Savile & the BBC: The BBC’s director general yesterday told the House of Commons culture committee that Newsnight editor Peter Rippon was solely responsible for pulling the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against Jimmy Savile. Newly published emails suggest that Peter Rippon dropped the story because it had happened 40 years ago and that the girls were “teenagers, not too young”.  George Entwistle also told Parliament that the BBC is investigating nine current employees over allegations of serious sexual assault (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 1, Rod Liddle in the Sun, Express page 7, Times page 1, David Elstein in the Times, Simon Jenkins in the Guardian, Mary Riddell in the Telegraph, Express page 7, Herald page 2, Record page 21, Courier page 18, P&J page 18, Mail page 6)


BBC and public trust: Culture Secretary Maria Miller has reportedly claimed that the Saville scandal has raised “very real concerns” about public trust in the BBC. She called for three independent inquiries to be set up by the BBC to investigate child abuse, the axed Newsnight show and sexual harassment. (Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1)


Referendum: The Scottish government yesterday published the analysis on the responses to the independence consultation.  There were 26,000 responses, with 62 per cent supporting a straight yes/no question. (Scotsman page 4, Sun page 5)


Speaking at EU meetings: External affairs secretary Fiona Hyslop yesterday accused the coalition government of blocking Scottish government ministers speaking at key EU meetings. (Scotsman page 6)


Scotland after independence: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman questions the SNP’s claim that Scotland could be the 6th richest country in the OECD following independence.


Independence impact on science: Iain Gray in the Scotsman argues that independence would lead to a reduction in research funding, highlighting that currently Scotland gets 12 per cent of UK research funding for physics, which would likely fall to about 8.6 per cent it we became independent.


Creative Scotland: Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has reportedly admitted that Creative Scotland has not delivered what the artistic community needs but the response from the board, following a letter of protest by more than 400 artists, has been encouraging. (Herald page 3)



Economic crisis: Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King yesterday said “such is the scale of the global adjustment required; the generation we hope to inspire may live under its shadow for years”. (Sun page 2, Telegraph B1, FT page 1, Ross Clark in the Express)


Super puma aircraft: All three major operators which run flights for crews working in the North Sea oil and gas industry have grounded their fleets of Super Puma aircraft following Monday’s ditching in the North Sea. (Scotsman page 15, Sun page 12, Herald page 7, Record page 14, Express page 15, C&A page 19, P&J page 1)


Offshore wind farm: Planner’s behind Scotland’s biggest offshore wind farm have lodged applications for two farms within the Firth of Forth Wind Zone. Anti-wind farm protestors have attacked the scheme, claiming the turbines will be hard to maintain and will produce expensive energy. (Herald page 5)


EU quota for women on boards: A plan that would reportedly force all publicly traded companies to have boards made up of at least 40% women has been scrapped after lawyers ruled any mandatory gender caps were illegal. (FT page 9, Roger Carr in the Times, Guardian page 21)


Starbucks: A quarter of UK-based Starbucks stores are reportedly running at a loss and its low corporation tax payments are a result of overexpansion. Troy Alstead, finance chief of Starbucks, has made these statements in response to claims that Starbucks has been avoiding UK tax. (FT page 3)



Loophole allows dangerous artificial hips: Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has pledged to correct the “weakness in the regulatory system” which allows potentially dangerous artificial hips to be implanted into British patients. The Daily Telegraph and British Medical Journal also revealed that some Indian and Chinese manufacturers are being told to mark their products as ‘made in Europe’. (Telegraph page 1, Jeremy Hunt in Telegraph)



National Care Leavers Week: Aileen Campbell in the Scotsman highlights that this is National Care Leavers Week and outline some elements of the Children & Young People Bill which will help young people leaving care.