Reform Scotland News: 29 November 2012


Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 29 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




Leveson recommendations: The Prime Minister will announce later what action the government will take in light of the recommendations within the Leveson Report which is due to be published later today. In light of the press dispute south of the border, First minister Alex Salmond has said that rather than supporting state regulation he would suggest putting newspapers in Scotland under an independent regulator, thereby taking away the current ability of the Scottish press to judge disputes itself. (The Scotsman page 1, Brian Donohoe in the Scotsman, The Herald page 6, Ian MacWhirter in the Herald, The Daily Record page 8, The Sun page 1, The Daily Telegraph page 6, Sue Cameron in the Daily Telegraph, The Times page 12, David Aaronovitch in the Times, FT page 2, The Daily Express page 2, Leo McKinstry in the Daily Express)


Holyrood over-ruled on Mental Health Act: The Scottish government must prepare itself for hundreds of compensation claims after a Supreme Court ruling yesterday decided that it had acted unlawfully. Scottish ministers have been criticised for not passing the necessary measures to allow patients with mental health problems in non-state hospitals to appeal against the level of security imposed on them. (The Herald page 1)


£500,000 Ryder Cup trip: Opposition parties have criticised the SNP for spending nearly £500,000 on sending Alex Salmond and 34 others to the Ryder Cup in Chicago. The trip was made in the hope of maximising the economic benefits of hosting the tournament in Scotland in 2014. (The Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 5, The Daily Telegraph page 4, The Times page 1)


Claims independence will harm UK influence: Kent University professor Richard Whitman has said that the UK’s influence would decline should Scotland choose to become independent, ceasing to be one of the European Union’s “big three”. (The Scotsman page 9, The Herald page 6)



Under-employed: Official figures have revealed that the number of “under-employed” people in Scotland has risen by 37% since the start of the economic downturn in 2008. These are people wanting to work more hours, but not being able to get them. (The Scotsman page 18, The Herald page 9, FT page 3)


Scotrail fares: Scotrail passengers will face a 3.9% rise in their train fares this January. However, this will be the first time Scotland’s main train operator has not raised ticket prices by the maximum permitted amount (at 4.2%). (The Scotsman page 12)


BAE systems and Scottish independence: Michael Kelly in the Scotsman comments on the prospect of BAE systems deciding to close their shipyard on the Clyde, and the suggestion that further companies will shun Scotland should it become independent.


The “green” bank and Scottish independence: The chairman of the new “green” bank has said he does not know what will happen should Scotland choose independence in 2014. The bank was launched yesterday in Edinburgh to help the UK realise its renewable energy potential. (The Daily Telegraph page 1)



Doctors say no to strike: Doctors have voted against strike action in response to pension cuts. However Brian Keighley, the chairman of the British Medical Association in Scotland, has said that doctors are still angry about the way the Scottish government has handled plans to change the NHS pensions. (The Scotsman page 7, The Herald page 2, The Daily Telegraph page 8, The Times page 3, The Daily Express page 4)


Minimum alcohol pricing “unfair”: The European Union’s ruling body has declared minimum alcohol pricing to be incompatible with EU regulations saying it could lead to restrictions on foreign imports, thereby creating a competitive disadvantage in Scotland. This comes after plans were announced yesterday to also introduce minimum pricing in England and Wales. (The Scotsman page 13, The Herald page 6, The Daily Record page 10, The Daily Telegraph page 4)


Local government

Fewer council houses: The number of council houses is at its lowest in at least 10 years with figures at around 320,000 in March of this year, despite a major building drive in the last few years. However, the number of applicants on the list for social housing in Scotland has also dropped to an 8-year low. (The Scotsman page 16, The Herald page 6)



High education “power grab”: Academics and opposing politicians have criticised new legislation that they say puts too much power in the hands of the Scottish government. The bill suggests significant reform on the college sector, as well as ensuring that all institutions comply with new rules on governance. (The Herald page 9)


University applications drop: The number of students applying to University has seen a record drop as £9,000 tuition fees continue to put off applicants. Despite not facing fees to study at Scottish Universities the number of Scottish school leavers applying for university also dropped by 8.7%. (The Daily Telegraph page 1)