Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 12 November 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.
BBC director general resigns: After only two months in the job, BBC director general George Entwistle resigned. His resignation comes after Newsnight broadcast a film which led to false allegations of paedophilia against Lord McAlpine, a Tory peer. All investigations by Newsnight have been halted and an investigation is taking place. Speaking on Sunday, Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, pledged a radical overhaul of the network and said that despite calls, he would not resign. Union leaders have raised concerns about job cuts and journalistic standards in the wake of the crisis. The BBC may face a lawsuit by Lord McAlpine who is also said to be considering suits against those who identified him on twitter.( Scotland on Sunday page 1, Tom Peterkin in Scotland on Sunday, Atholl Duncan in the Scotsman, The Herald page 1, Andrew McKie in the Herald, Guardian page 1, The Sunday Times page 1, Financial Times page 1, Neil Midgley in the Daily Telegraph)
Scottish Independence Convention report: The cross-party Scottish Independence Convention published a report on the state of the campaign for independence thus far. The group reportedly issued the formerly secret report in order to counter the SNP’s interpretation of independence which has faced criticism in recent weeks. (Sunday Herald page 8, Scotland on Sunday page 1)
Independence campaign: Writing in The Scotsman, Brian Monteith urges politicians on both sides of the independence debate to avoid politicising days of commemoration for their personal ends.
Madeline Albright on independence: Speaking at an event in Glasgow, former US Secretary of State was asked about the prospect of independence. In response, she urged people to think about how they could work together rather than separately. (Daily Record page 2, The Sunday Times page 1, Daily Express page 15, Scotsman page 6)
Imperial Tobacco challenge: Imperial Tobacco will challenge the Scottish Parliament’s restriction of tobacco displays and vending machines which was brought about under public health and safety legislation. This is the third challenge to the Scottish Parliament brought before the UK’s Supreme Court. A small number of Sainsbury’s stores have pulled tobacco from their stores in response to the Government’s levy on tobacco and alcohol sales. (The Scotsman page 42, The Herald page 7)
House prices: The ‘reality gap’ between what homeowners ask for and the final sales price is closing, as people become more realistic in their asking prices and buyers increase their offers. (The Herald page 5)
Business and independence: Writing in the Herald, Keith Cochrane urges businesses to become actively involved in the debate over independence and asks the Scottish and UK governments to provide clarity on the maintenance of a single market, regulation, and human capital. (The Herald page 21)
Financial jobs: London has lost its top spot as the world’s financial capital and is expected to drop into third place behind New York and Hong Kong by 2015. The Centre for Economics and Business Research pointed to increasing regulation, taxation policy and ‘banker bashing’. It is expected that London will employ 237,000 in the financial sector, down 30% from its peak in 2007. (The Sunday Times page B1)
Private sector growth: Figures released by the Bank of Scotland reveal stagnant private sector growth and increasing costs for businesses, particularly in response to rising food and fuel costs and a slump in exports to Europe. (The Sun page 2, Daily Express page 10)
Construction funding: Scottish ministers have faced allegations of cutting funding for construction programmes despite urging UK-wide investment in ‘shovel-ready’ projects. The Scottish government denies cuts, pointing to larger capital investments in 2012-2013. (The Times page 10, Scotland on Sunday page 8)
Cycling injuries: A 13% increase in serious injuries for cyclists on Scottish roads has forced the government to rethink road rules and safety measures. The Scottish government has committed to increasing the number of cyclists but transport campaigners say that without the proper safety measures in place, these numbers will increase. (Sunday Herald page 10)
Radioactive contamination: Government scientific advisors have found that cancer cases in communities living near Dalgety Bay in Fife have doubled. The prevalence of liver and blood cancers is reportedly linked to discarded radium in the area. (The Herald page 8)
Women and lung cancer: The number of women diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK is set to rise by almost 70,000 over the next 30 years. Researchers attribute it to smoking rates which peaked in women later than men and longer life expectancy which makes cancers more prevalent. (The Scotsman page 11, Daily Express page 2)
Teacher training: The Scottish Government will require teachers to take literacy and numeracy tests before entering the classroom. This move came in response to a report by Graham Donaldson which found that many primary school teachers lacked literacy, numeracy, and classroom management skills. However, some academics question whether this goes far enough. Professor Lindsay Patterson feels that we should demand more of prospective teachers. (The Sunday Times page 22)