Reform Scotland News: 3 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


Ed Miliband: In his speech to the Labour Party conference in Manchester, leader Ed Miliband was reported to have sought to move his party towards the centre ground by invoking the phrase ‘One Nation’ to describe his desire to emphasise the similarities between the different strands of UK society. He also used the speech to show his passion for keeping the UK together. (Herald page 1, Ian Bell in the Herald, Scotsman page 1, Telegraph page 4, FT page 1, Express page 2, Record page 8, Sun page 2, Mail page 8, Guardian page 1, Courier page 16, P&J page 12, Times page 8)

Johann Lamont:  Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont yesterday said that Alex Salmond is ignoring tough questions on how independence will affect Scotland’s finances. In other developments, Ms Lamont suggested that Education Secretary Mike Russell had written that he was against universal benefits in his 2006 book Grasping the Thistle. (Scotsman page 6, Brian Wilson in the Scotsman, Christine Jardine in the Scotsman, Courier page 17)

Independence referendum: Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander yesterday said that First Minister Alex Salmond’s decision to hold the independence referendum in 2014 was thought of whilst facing repeated questioning during a televised debate. He also stated his opinion that support for independence would remain stagnant. (Scotsman page 5)

Harriet Harman: Backing the pro-Union Better Together campaign, leading Labour MP Harriet Harman said that First Minister Alex Salmond was ‘smug’ and ‘arrogant’, stating her belief that Scottish Labour had got the better of Mr Salmond since the 2011 Scottish elections. (Record page 9)

Glasgow council: The leader of Glasgow City Council Gordon Matheson used his speech to the Labour Party Conference to announce that council employees will see their minimum living wage increase from £7.20 to £7.50 from April 2013. In addition, some private sector employers such as SPT have signed up to the scheme. (Scotsman page 5)

Gaelic language: The Scottish Conservatives have said that attempts by the Scottish government to increase the use of the Gaelic language must deliver on its promises to justify the increased funding. The plan, to begin from 2014, hopes to preserve the future of the language in Scotland. (Herald page 6, Mail page 6, Courier page 17)

Homelessness: The number of homeless people in Scotland fell 13% compared to last year. There were 10,395 applications for help with temporary accommodation. Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said that the figures show that the Scottish government’s efforts to tackle the issue were working. (Scotsman page 16)


Prisons: New proposals recommend that email privileges be granted to Scottish prisoners after the success of the ‘Email a Prisioner’ scheme allowing outsiders the opportunity to email inmates. The proposals suggest that the scheme should become a two-way service. (Herald page 4)

Televised trials: Aamer Anwar QC and Donald Findlay QC yesterday stated their opposition to Scottish court proceedings being televised. However, whilst giving evidence to Holyrood’s Justice Committee, Steven Raeburn of the legal magazine The Firm suggested that the televising of trials merely represented a further way to increase public engagement with the judicial process. The committee also heard a suggestion from justice campaigner Iain McKie that professional juries should be used when the issues in cases are particularly complex. (Herald page 2, Scotsman page 12, Express page 9, Record page 2, Mail page 10, Jack McKeown in the Courier page 25, Times page 16)


University report cards: A report card introduced by UK universities, including leading Scottish institutions such as Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities, could one day replace degrees, according to Sir Robert Burgess, vice-chancellor of Leicester University. The cards detail students’ activities outside academic study such as membership of university societies and voluntary work. (Scotsman page 10)

School discipline: The Scottish Government’s Behaviour in Scottish Schools 2012 report has found that there has been a marked increase in class disruption caused by mobile phones whilst there are still instances of violence towards teaching staff. However, the report does not speculate on the reasons for such behaviour. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1, Express page 2, Mail page 2)