Reform Scotland News: 7 May 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.
Lawson and the EU
: Former chancellor Lord Lawson has called on the UK to leave the EU commenting “I strongly suspect that there would be a positive economic advantage to the UK in leaving the single market”. (Scotsman
page 1, Times page 1, Nigel Lawson in the Times, Mail page 2)
Nigel Evans: Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell has reportedly commented that Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans should not step down over allegations of rape and sexual assault as it would set a “terrible” precedent. (Scotsman
page 4, Herald page 5, Times page 8, Guardian page 12, P&J page 20, Courier page 17)
Pension costs: John Swinney has reportedly written to Holyrood’s finance committee and admitted that there had been a “significant factual error” in the pension liabilities reported by the Scottish government.  Initially the estimates for the Scottish Teachers Superannuation Scheme had been “overstated” by £1.2bn, but Mr Swinney states in his letter that this error was later “revised upwards” to £1.8bn. (Scotsman
page 8)
Trade unions: A report from the IoD has suggested that the Competition Commission should be handed powers to investigate trade union mergers. (Scotsman
page 10, Express page 1)
Lottery: Tory MSP Nanette Milne has called on the Scottish government to explain how the National Lottery would operate in an independent Scotland. (Scotsman
page 13, Sun page 2, Express page 10, P&J page 13, Courier page 17)
‘Mum-friendly’: The Mother’s Index in Save the Children’s ‘State of the World’s Morthers’ report has ranked the UK 23 for the best place to be a mother. (Scotsman
page 21, Express page 18, Telegraph page 2, Mail page 10, P&J page 16)
Letting agents: According to the UK’s Property Ombudsman, complaints about unscrupulous practices involving letting agents have more than doubled since 2008. (Herald page 1, P&J page 14, Courier
page 2)
Ian Smart: Labour activist and former president of the Law Society, Ian Smart, has been accused of racism after reportedly claiming ethnic minorities would become scapegoats following independence (Herald page 1, Sun
page 7, Record page 2, Express page 11)
Queen’s Speech:
David Maddox in the Scotsman and Andrew Haldenby in the Telegraph look ahead to tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech.
David Watt in the Scotsman comments that innovative and radical solutions are needed to improve our welfare system.
Independence: Michael Settle in the Herald considers what may actually change following independence.
The UN:
Joan McAlpine in the Record outlines why it would better for Scotland to have its own seat at the United Nations.
Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments that Alex Salmond is right to commit an independent Scotland to a sterling zone.
Economic figures:
Jeremy Peat in the Herald considers the latest economic data.
Energy: Research papers published by the David Hume Institute have suggested that an independent Scotland would face a greater struggle to meet energy demands because the smaller an economy is, the less able it is to to trade electricity, has a smaller storage capacity and a more restrictive transmission system. (Times page 1)
Alan McDevitt, chairman of the BMA’s Scottish GPs committee, has warned that doctors in Scotland will not be able to deliver a “massive” new programme of vaccination without help from other health specialists as GPs were already “stretched to the limit”. (Scotsman
page 1)

Local government
Aberdeenshire councillor Fergus Hood has defected from the SNP to the Lib Dems. (Scotsman
page 14, Herald page 6, Record page 2, Express page 10)

Tiffany Jenkins in the Scotsman comments that giving anonymity to the accuser but not the accused in cases of rape or sexual assault is unfair and it would be better if both were named.

: Rod Grant, headteacher at Clifton Hall School, a private school in Edinburgh, has called for an end to the “outdated, indefensible and cruel” system of ‘setting’ by ability in primary school. (Scotsman
page 11)
University code: Teaching unions the EIS and UCU have called for a new code of governance for Scotland’s universities to be dropped. (Scotsman
page 12, Telegraph page 11)