Reform Scotland News: 7 June 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.



Creative Scotland: Janet Archer, a former dancer and choreographer, has been appointed as the new chief executive of Creative Scotland. Scottish novelist and artist Alistair Gray has reportedly expressed concern over the appointment being another “colonist” who will not settle in Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 7, Times page 9, Telegraph page 4, Courier page 18)


Scottish Conservative conference: During a speech at the Scottish Conservative Party conference, Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to argue that independence does not answer the major challenges facing the UK and Scotland. He is also expected to face calls from First Minister Alex Salmond to apologise for the conduct of the pro-UK campaign. Alex Salmond has said that the campaign has spread “fears and smears” over the consequences of independence. Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson is also reportedly facing the most critical weekend of her leadership as the party’s Scottish conference gets underway today. There has been discontent and confusion amongst the party over her enthusiasm for greater devolved powers for Holyrood, which she had previously rejected.  (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Times page 17, Sun page 2, Express page 2, Record page 9, Mail page 4, Telegraph page 1, Courier page 1 and page 20)


Independence and equality: Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has argued that the only way to create a more equal society in Scotland is for Scotland to become independent. During a speech at Edinburgh University, Ms Sturgeon warned that if Scotland remained in the UK it would remain vulnerable to policies such as the bedroom tax. (Scotsman page 4)


Devo-max: According to a Scottish Social Attitudes survey, the Scottish people are favouring a devo-max style settlement, where the Scottish Government is given full control over tax-raising and spending. This option had been suggested as a third option on the ballot paper at next year’s referendum but was ruled out. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 6)


Prison voting ban: MSPs have rejected moves to allow some inmates to vote in next year’s referendum despite concerns that a ban could breach European law.  A human rights lawyer has warned that the decision may be challenged in court. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Express page 10, Courier page 7, P&J page 15)


Arts in Scotland: Joyce McMillan writing in the Scotsman comments on culture secretary Fiona Hyslop’s speech in Edinburgh last Wednesday and the appointment of Janet Archer as chief executive of Creative Scotland.


Young people and independence: George Kerevan writing in the Scotsman comments on the Edinburgh University study that showed the majority of 14-17 year old Scots will vote no in next year’s referendum. He also warns the SNP to take this as a wake-up call to make their cause more appealing to Scotland’s young people.

Fraser Nelson writing in the Telegraph also comments on Edinburgh University’s study and warns that the SNP’s case for independence may be falling apart.


Independence and defence: Professor Sir Hew Strachan writing in the Scotsman criticises the SNP’s defence plans in the event of a Yes vote in next year’s referendum.  


Benefit reforms: Scotland’s most senior Catholic, Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia, has criticised Iain Duncan Smith over benefit reforms and expressed concern that vulnerable people are suffering an injustice due to the changes. He has called for the UK Government to rethink its reforms. (Herald page 1, Record page 9)


Ukip and by-election debates: Ukip is expected to make formal complaints after claiming it was frozen out of debates in the run-up to Holyrood’s by-election for Aberdeen Donside. (Herald page 6)


Currency union: Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has said the UK Government has yet to be contacted by the Scottish Government on how an agreement to share the pound might be policed. (Herald page 6)


Referendum campaigns: Alison Rowat writing in the Herald comments on the public faces of the Yes and No campaigns and what they suggest about how the different campaigns see Scotland.


Labour donation: Ed Miliband and George Osborne have traded charges of hypocrisy over party funding as it emerged that Labour had received a donation of shares from TV shopping channel magnate John Mills. Mr Mills admitted he had given the party shares rather than cash because it was “tax efficient”. Labour suggested the Chancellor’s involvement in the matter was hypocritical, given the Tories’ own efforts to seek donations that avoided tax. (Times page 6, Telegraph page 7, Record page 2, Guardian page 17, Mail page 20)


First Minister’s Questions: Alan Cochrane writing in the Telegraph comments on Alex Salmond’s success during First Minister’s Questions at responding to Labour leader Johann Lamont’s criticisms of the SNP.


EU legal advice: Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that although legal advice has been received on an independent Scotland’s position within the European Union, it will not be published. (Telegraph page 4)


Duke of Edinburgh: The Duke of Edinburgh has been admitted to hospital to undergo exploratory surgery following abdominal investigations. He is expected to remain in hospital for up to two weeks. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 5)



DIY approach: Research by Strathclyde University has found that the recession has led to a record number of Scots starting their own business. The Scottish Government has supported moves to provide finance for start-ups but the findings have been accompanied by a call for public and private agencies to co-ordinate with each other in a “Team Scotland” approach. (Times page 18)


Deficit and Labour: Ed Miliband has argued that spending under the last Labour government is not to blame for the deficit leaving Britain ill-prepared for recession. Mr Miliband also argued that the best way of controlling social security expenditure is to tackle unemployment. (Telegraph page 14, Mail page 20)


Oil and Shale gas: Andrew Wilson writing in the Telegraph criticises the spending of revenue raised by North Sea oil and gas reserves and argues that the UK should take the Norwegian approach of creating a sovereign wealth fund from revenue from shale gas reserves.


Wind turbines: Alex Salmond has been criticised for continuing to allow thousands of wind turbines to be erected over Scotland’s countryside. The criticism has come as local communities south of the Border are given more power to block developments of wind farms. (Telegraph page 4, P&J page 18)

Donald Trump has also renewed calls for plans for the offshore wind farm set to be built near his site for a second golf resort to be axed. (Record page 29, Courier page 3, P&J page 3)



Helpline launch: Police Scotland has launched a helpline for parents worried about children who attended a Lochaber nursery at the centre of a child-abuse investigation. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 5)


Local Government

Laptop fine: Glasgow City Council has been fined £150,000 by the Information Commissioner following the theft of two laptops containing personal information of thousands of council tax payers from its offices. (Herald page 1)


Referendum uncertainty: Scottish councils may face millions of pounds in additional borrowing costs as their English counterparts become wary of the financial risk of lending to Scotland beyond next year’s referendum. It is thought that Fife council was denied a loan by an English council because they would not deal past the 2014 referendum. (Times page 1, Richard Kerley in the Times)



Teachers’ strike: Larry Flanagan, the head of Scotland’s largest teaching union the EIS, has warned the Scottish Government that members will take industrial action unless ministers find a solution on pension reform. During the union’s annual conference in Perth today, Mr Flanagan is expected to say teachers will not tolerate working until 68 and that the UK coalition government has stacked the deck against Scotland on the issue. Concerns have also been raised by the union over reports that teachers are using their own money to cover shortages of basic supplies in schools. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 9, Record page 8, Mail page 2, Courier page 18)


Abortion: Scotland’s largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland, has heard that young girls who fall pregnant are not always given appropriate information at school about abortion. The union has called for a review into the way abortion is addressed in schools. (Herald page 1)


Graduate payment: Scottish Labour’s candidate for Aberdeen Donside Willie Young has said he supports a graduate payment for higher education. Mr Young has reportedly said that although in an ideal world university tuition would be free, those who can afford to pay for it should. (Times page 2)



Cancer rise: MacMillan Cancer Support has predicted that by 2020, 47 per cent of people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. The charity has warned that the NHS will struggle to cope with the rise in the number of people getting cancer and surviving unless changes are made to how services for patients are provided. (Scotsman page 1, Guardian page 15, Mail page 19, P&J page 18)