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Reform Scotland News: 6 March 2013

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 6 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

Politics
Troops:
The SNP has accused the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, of going back on a pledge made by his predecessor, Liam Fox, to base 7,000 troops in Scotland and develop a “super-barracks” outside Edinburgh.   Philip Hammond told the House of Commons yesterday that 4,000 troops would be based in Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Tim Ripley in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Record page 5, Sun page 1, Express page 1, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Mail page 1, P&J page 12, Courier page 1)

Second referendum: Gordon Wilson, a former leader of the SNP, has suggested that Scots should be asked to vote in a second referendum after independence to decide the country’s EU membership, currency and defence. (Scotsman page 6, P&J page 14, Courier page 15)

Catholic Church: Further comment and analysis on the state of the Catholic Church in Scotland following recent revelations regarding Cardinal O’Brien.  (Stephen McGinty in the Scotsman, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, Herald page 7, Record page 4, Sun page 1, Express page 23, Times page 4, Mail page 12, P&J page 16)

SNP councillor: SNP councillor and former leader of East Lothian Council, Dave Berry, has resigned from the SNP following controversial tweets he made likening Scotland’s relationship with the UK to slavery. (Herald page 2, Record page 4, Times page 11)

Chris Huhne: Chris Huhne has reportedly quit the Liberal Democrats and the Privy Council following his admission that he lied over a speeding offence. (Herald page 6)

Referendum campaign: Brian Wilson in the Scotsman comments on the positive and negative messages used in the referendum campaign.

Political debate: Robin McAlpine in the Scotsman comments that the possibility of independence is improving the quality of debate in Scotland.

Economy
Bankers’ bonuses:
The “broad majority” of EU member states reportedly favour a cap on bankers’ bonuses, however, the Chancellor told negotiations in Brussels yesterday that he could not support the proposals as they currently stood, fearing they would harm the City.  (Scotsman page 1, Allan Massie in the Scotsman, Herald page 5, Ian Bell in the Herald, Sun page 2, David Wighton in the Times, FT page 1, Joshua Chaffin in the FT, Mail page 2, Guardian page 1, Simon Jenkins in the Guardian)

FTSE: The FTSE 100-Index closed yesterday at its highest level since the banking crisis at 6432. (Herald page 1, Express page 4, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 1)

GERS: Jim Gallagher in the Scotsman comments on Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland (GERS) publications and what the figures suggest for an independent Scotland.

Justice
Specialist Crime Division:
The Specialist Crime Division of the new Scottish single police force became operational yesterday. (Herald page 12)

Education
Commission on School Reform:
Jenny Hjul in the Courier comments on the final report of the Commission on School Reform, ‘By Diverse Means: Improving Scottish Education’, which was published on Monday.

Health
Specialist nurses:
According to a review by the Scottish Heart Failure Nurse Forum, the majority of NHS boards in Scotland are failing to provide enough specialist heart-failure nurses. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 8, Mail page 29)

Newborn babies: The neonatal expert advisory group, which was set up by the Scottish government, has issues recommendations to help improve care for vulnerable babies. (Scotsman page 22)

Whooping cough vaccine: There is reportedly a row between GPs and Midwives over who should be carrying out whooping cough vaccinations for pregnant women, potentially leaving some newborn babies unprotected.  The Royal College of Midwives Scotland has said that GPs are funded to perform vaccinations and if midwives were administering them antenatal appointments could be much longer.  However, GPs are worried that some women would not show up to attend a separate appointment. (Herald page 1)