Reform Scotland News: 18 January 2013

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

Politics

Algerian hostages: 30 killed during assault on Algerian soil as a reported 600 are freed. The goal of the assault was to free the hostages taken by the Islamist terrorist group. Among the dead include at least 2 Britons and 11 militants. David Cameron has cancelled his speech on Britain’s role in the EU in order to address the situation; asking the country to ‘expect the worst’. The situation has been developing since Wednesday when militants seized a BP gas plant taking the workers there as hostages in response to French operations in Mali against Islamic rebels. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1, FT page 1, Daily Record page 1, Sun page 1, Daily Express page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, The Guardian page 1, Nabila Ramdani, P&J page 1, Daily Mail page 1, Courier page 13)

 

EU: David Cameron has cancelled a speech in Amsterdam in which he was expected to outline his stance on Britain’s role in the EU. Mr Cameron has asserted that he wants Britain to play a central role in EU politics by addressing deep rooted structural problems that are weakening the Union. However, this comes amidst criticisms from EU leaders that Britain cannot pick and choose which areas of Europe it would like to be involved in. (FT page 2, David Torrance, Sun page 2, Daily Express page 7, Daily Telegraph page 1, Polly Toynbee, P&J page 16, Daily Mail page 4)

SNP leadership: Harriet Harman has launched an attack on the SNP leadership claiming that it was backwards and that ‘women were an afterthought for the SNP’. This comes as Labour launch its campaign in the South Lanarkshire Council by-election where victory could see Labour take control of the council. (Herald page 6)

Independence: Alex Salmond has expressed wishes to have a written constitution for Scotland. This would give Scottish people a clear indication of their citizenship rights if a Yes vote is achieved. (Herald page 2, Scotsman page 14, Joyce McMillan, George Kerevan)

Alex Salmond: Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has been warned of moving too fast towards independence. After announcing his desire for a written constitution, Mr Salmond came under criticism for avoiding discussion of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of independence in favour of grand nationalistic sentiment. (Daily Express page 4, Daily Telegraph page 13, Times page 19, Alan Cochrane, P&J page 17, Courier page 14)

V&A: The project to build a V&A outpost in Dundee has received over £4m in private donations. (Herald page 9, Scotsman page 13, Times page 3, Courier page 9)

Glasgow Council: The future of Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, has been called into question as he was reportedly apprehended by police for carrying out a sex act in a public area. (Herald page 3)

Economy

Bankruptcy: Rich list Scot Thomas Coakley has been declared bankrupt. The businessman is thought to owe the Scottish heating firm MMaxx Underfloor Heating Ltd up to £1.5m for work done on his Renfrewshire home. (Herald page 5)

EU: With the postponement of David Cameron’s anticipated EU speech, speculation has emerged on the possible impact an EU exit would have on the British economy. (FT page 3, Guardian page 14)

Employment: Official statistics have revealed the level of public and private sector jobs. They show that 40% of workers are reliant on the public sector in some island communities. (Times page 19)

 

Health

BMA Scotland: BMA Scotland have accused the SNP of not doing enough to oppose pension contribution increases proposed by the Westminster government. They announced that they are ending all negotiations with the Scottish government regarding pensions. (Herald page 12)

Education

 School closures: Schools facing closure may have the legal right to appeal withdrawn. Cosla has reportedly stated its intent to remove the appeal process without replacing it with an alternative safeguard. This is in response to claims that the current process is not working. However, amidst cuts to local authority budgets many small rural schools have been closed. (Herald page 7)