Reform Scotland News: 15 November 2012


Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 15 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.


In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News



Salmond calls for former BBC chief: Alex Salmond has called for former BBC director-general Greg Dyke to be re-appointed as head of the crisis-hit broadcaster, arguing that this will restore public confidence in the corporation. (The Herald page 1)


Salmond not concerned about RBS: The First Minister has said he is not concerned about the future of the Royal Bank of Scotland in light of suggestions that the bank would consider moving headquarters if independence brought “extra difficulties”. (The Herald page 6, The Sun page 2)


Coastguard closures: MPs have expressed concern at the coalition’s decision to close two of Scotland’s coastguard centres, citing no satisfactory explanation for the move. (The Herald page 11)


EU membership for independent Scotland: Spain’s former justice minister yesterday added to the calls that an independent Scotland should re-apply to join the European Union. (The Daily Express page 2)


CIA and independence: International Relations expert Dr Daniel Kenealy has said that MI6 should meet with the CIA to discuss issues of secret intelligence should Scotland vote yes to independence. (The Scotsman page 8)


Holyrood committees: Alan Cochrane in the Daily Telegraph comments on how committees in Holyrood differ from committees in the House of Commons, acting as “cheerleaders’ for the government, rather than challenging them.



UK faces low growth: Sir Mervyn King yesterday announced that the economy may shrink in the last quarter of 2012 and that the UK will have to get used to “persistently low growth”. (The Scotsman page 1, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, The Daily Record page 2, The Times page 8, Ian King in the Times, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Financial Times page 1)


Unemployment in Scotland rises: The number of people out of work in Scotland has continued to rise, despite a drop in figures for the UK as a whole. Alex Salmond commented that figures were partially dependent on the Olympics. Opposition parties have called for the First Minister and his government to take responsibility for the rise in unemployment. (The Scotsman page 4, Brian Ashcroft in the Scotsman, the Herald page 6, The Daily Record page 6, Daily Express page 2, The Sun page 2, The Times page 8, The Daily Telegraph page 5)


Profits for energy firms: Customer groups have displayed disappointment after energy firm SSE announced a 9% hike in prices, only to reveal a £400m profit a few weeks later. (The Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 4, The Daily Record page 6)


AG Barr merger: Scottish ministers have asked soft-drinks company AG Barr to declare the plans for its workforce after the Irn-Bru maker agreed a £1.4billion merger with rival Britvic yesterday, which could see a possible 500 job losses. (The Herald page 1, The Daily Record page 6, The Sun page 2, The Times page 8)


Football financial troubles: Alan Taylor in the Herald comments on the problems surrounding Scottish football.



Education secretary accused of ‘bullying’: Kirk Ramsay, the former Stow college chairman who quit his job this week after a fall-out with Education Secretary Mike Russell, has reportedly accused the Scottish government minister of bullying and intimidation. The SNP yesterday made clear it would block any official enquiries which wished to further examine the claims. (The Scotsman page 1, Allan Massie in the Scotsman, Tavish Scott in the Scotsman, The Herald page 9, The Daily Record page 6, Daily Express page 4, The Sun page 2, The Times page 3, Lindsay McIntosh in the Times, The Daily Telegraph page 1)


Scottish literature in English exams: Plans for a compulsory question on Scottish literature in the Higher English exam have received further criticism after secondary headteachers spoke out against the idea. They have said that the Scottish government’s proposals will be a move towards “teaching to the test” and restrict pupil choice. (The Herald page 5)



Review into medicine access: A review has been ordered on into the way drugs are assessed for use in the NHS in Scotland, which health campaigners’ hope will remove the ‘postcode lottery’ for patients. It is hoped that new drugs already in use in the rest of the UK will be made available in Scotland. (The Scotsman page 14)


Concerns over new superbug: There is growing concern after a new superbug – a mutated strain of E.coli – which is resistant to the most powerful antibiotics has been found in a Scottish patient in the first case of its type north of the border. (The Herald page 2)