Reform Scotland News: 12 March 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



Chris Huhne: Former Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne and his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, have been sentenced to eight months in prison for perverting the course of justice. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 5, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, FT page 2, Sun page 1, Record page 6, Express page 4, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 1, Courier page 13, P&J page 12)


Independence and EU: Peter Jones writing in the Scotsman comments on Scotland’s relationship with the European Union and questions how an independent Scotland would become a member state.


Catholic Church: Tom Devine writing in the Scotsman comments on the struggles facing the Catholic Church in Scotland and encourages it to make a fresh start.


Act of Union: Paul Scott writing in the Scotsman refutes claims made in a document on the Scotland Office website that Scotland was extinguished by the Act of Union in 1707.


Referendum debate: Prime Minister David Cameron is reportedly unlikely to face Alex Salmond in a live TV discussion on the referendum. Any televised debate is expected to be between the First Minister and Labour’s Alistair Darling, who leads the No campaign. (Herald page 3)


Wind farms: Civil servants have been accused of attempting to gag anti-wind farm protestors by a community councillor who took the UK government to the United Nations over the building of wind farms. (Herald page 8)


City reform:  George Osborne has been accused of showing contempt for parliament after he refused to toughen up his proposed regulatory regime for the City. The cross party commission on banking standards has called for a tougher framework to be imposed in an attempt to give tax-payers greater protection against any future banking crisis. (FT page 2)


Greens and SNP: The SNP have reportedly been attacked by the Green Party for their reliance on the oil industry. The parties are the two main parties supporting a Yes vote in next year’s referendum and the division could cause problems for the Yes Scotland campaign. (Record page 16)



Oil boom: The Scottish Government’s first Oil and Gas Analytical Bulletin was unveiled by Alex Salmond yesterday. It predicts that production of oil and gas in Scottish waters could generate up to £57bn in tax revenue over the next six years. However, the SNP have been accused of distorting figures after a Scottish Government document warned of falling revenue from the North Sea. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 11, Peter Jones in the Times, Telegraph page 8, Sun page 2, Joan McAlpine in the Daily Record, Express page 12, Mail page 8, Courier page 15, P&J page 11)


Diageo: An overhaul at drinks giant Diageo is expected to lead to job losses among its 4,000 employees in Scotland. The overhaul has been designed to save the company £60million a year. (Scotsman page 1, Courier page 27)


Spending cuts: Former defence secretary Liam Fox has called on Chancellor George Osborne to freeze spending for up to five years in a bid to tackle the national deficit and fund tax cuts. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Guardian page 15, Max Hastings in the Daily Mail)


House sales: Although prices are still falling, Scottish house sales rose for the fourth month in a row in February. The figures are at their best level since the middle of 2010 but remain below their pre-crisis norm. (Express page 2)


Scottish economy: The Bank of Scotland’s latest purchasing managers index has suggested that Scotland is avoiding a triple-dip recession and the health of the private sector has continued to improve in February. (Express page 2)



Jimmy Savile: A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has found that a series of failures allowed Jimmy Savile to become one of the UK’s most dangerous and prolific paedophiles. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 4)


Rape: Scottish Women’s Aid have expressed concern that remarks made by Scotland’s leading sex crimes prosecutor Alison Di Rollo could lead to victims blaming themselves for the attack. Ms Di Rollo had warned that young people who drink too much leave themselves vulnerable to rapists. (Scotsman page 14)


Military abuse: A public inquiry into claims that UK soldiers murdered and tortured Iraqis has heard that the abuses were not instances of individual misconduct but “planned, calculated and trained abuses by branches of the state”. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 2)



Primary teachers: A petition calling for the Scottish Government to make it a legal requirement that primary school pupils be taught by a qualified teacher for 25 hours a week has been rejected. (Scotsman page 17)



NHS 24: Health advice line NHS 24 has been urged to rethink how it deals with patients suffering from bleeding when they call following a case of a patient who was told to wait 90 minutes for a return call from a doctor and later collapsed in hospital car park from loss of blood.  (Scotsman page 16)


Surgery safety: Patients at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital have had their operations cancelled after medics raised fears over dirty surgical equipment. Dr Jean Turner, executive director of the Scotland Patients Association, said the situation was “appalling”. (Herald page 1)


Attacks: Reported incidents of physical and verbal violence towards health workers in Scotland have soared according to new figures. In Lothian, they have increased from 274 in 2009 to 1,888 last year. The figures have sparked concern that not enough is being done to protect NHS staff. (Express page 16, Mail page 19, Courier page 15, P&J page 17)