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Reform Scotland News: 15 July 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
Independence paper: Alex Salmond has commented that part of the Scottish government’s white paper on independence should be “composed by one of Scotland’s great literary talents”. (Scotsman 
page 8, Times page 14, Telegraph page 1, Express page 2, Sun page 2, Alan Bissett in the Guardian)
 
Miliband brothers: In an interview on the Andrew Marr programme, David Miliband commented that his relationship with his brother Ed, who beat him in the Labour leadership contest, was “healing”, but admitted that he would “never erase” the memory of the defeat. The former foreign secretary also admitted that the Conservatives could win the next general election. (Scotsman 
page 12, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 6, Record page 2, Sun page 2, Mail page 12, Guardian page 6)
 
‘No’ victory?: Senior coalition sources have reportedly claimed that the ‘no’ campaign has already won, and the only question left was the margin by which Scotland would reject independence. (Herald 
page 1)
 
Trident: CND has called on the Lib Dems to recommend scrapping Trident when ministers set out their alternatives to the nuclear deterrent tomorrow. Dr Liam Fox, the former defence secretary, has warned that if the UK downgrades its nuclear deterrent then it will be at risk of ‘nuclear blackmail’ (Herald 
page 6, Times page 2, Telegraph page 2, Mail page 8)
 
A Sunday Herald investigation suggest that the cost of getting rid of Trident from Scotland would be £150m. (Sunday Herald 
page 1, Ian Bell in the Herald)
 
Saltire: Highland councillor Jim Craword, an independent member for Inverness South, has lodged a formal complaint about Alex Salmond waving a Saltire at Wimbledon, suggesting that he needs ‘a slap on the wrist’. (P&J page 12). 
Jane Devine in the Scotsman, however, writes in defense of the First Minister’s actions.
                                                                                                                            
Labour and the unions: Ed Miliband is considering plans to reduce the block vote of trade unions in the leadership elections. Currently, the vote is split three ways between the trade unions, MPs and constituency party members. (Telegraph page 2)
 
Common Weal: The SNP are reportedly set to get a briefing on the Common Weal plan at an away day. The model reportedly explains how an independent Scotland could thrive as a big-state, high-tax country. (Sunday Herald 
page 10)
 
Independence campaign: 
Brian Monteith in the Scotsman argues that asking questions about what might happen following independence isn’t being negative of scaremongering.                                         
Conservatives in the North-East: 
David Skelton, writing in the Telegraph, comments on how the Conservatives can ‘win back the working class’ by appealing to voters in areas, such as the North-East of England, where the Labour party is losing influence. (Sun page 2, Guardian page 10)
 
‘Churnalism’: 
Tanya Gold, writing in the Guardian, comments on ‘churnalism’, which encourages people to mock politicians without examining their policies.
 
Salmond Vs Darling: 
Iain Macwhirter in the Sunday Herald compares Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond and considers that the SNP are today “more Labour than Labour ever were”.
 
Labour & independence: 
Stephen Noon, chief strategist for the Yes campaign, in the Scotland on Sunday, claims that the Scottish Labour Party will have an important role to play to make an independent Scotland a success.
 
MPs’ pay: 
Gerald Warner in the Scotland on Sunday argues against the proposed increase in MPs’ salaries.
 
Local/central control: 
Martin Sime in the Scotland on Sunday agrees with the Local Government Regeneration Committee’s report that many of the barriers to reforming public services could be overcome by a change in attitudes and behaviour.
 
Economy
Sick days: Two separate reports, by the CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers, have published findings on sick leave.  The CBI report found that sick days cost the British economy £15bn a year and up to one in eight are faked. The second report found that the cost to the economy could be as high as £29bn and that British workers were twice as likely to say they were ill ,when they were not, than workers in the USA. (Scotsman 
page 1)
 
‘Bedroom tax’: Motor Neurone Disease Scotland has reportedly called on the UK government to clarify the exemptions to the bedroom tax following what it believes was a contradiction between what David Cameron has said and the advice from the Department for Work and Pensions. (Herald 
page 9)
 
Corporate Law Proposals: Vince Cable will today announce proposals to reform UK corporate law, including plans to make negligent directors personally liable for the debts of failed companies, and stronger powers for regulators. (FT page 1)
 
Illegal workers: An average of two Scottish firms a week are reportedly fined for hiring illegal workers. (Mail page 1)
 
Scottish Jobs: The job market in Scotland is improving according to the Bank of Scotland, with rises in both average pay and the number of permanent job vacancies last month. (Telegraph page 10, Courier 
page 16)

Health
A&E: A report by the Herald claims that ministers were warned 21 out of 24 A&E departments were regularly unsafe, months before the winter hospital crisis hit.  The College of Emergency Medicine reportedly sent a report to the then health secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, last April outlining concerns. (Herald 
page 1)

Transport
M9: Maintenance work on resurfacing a 700m stretch of the northbound M9 at Plean has not been completed on time and is expected to cause further delays to traffic. (Herald page 10)

A9: Daniel Edgar in the Herald argues that dualling the remainder of the A9 can’t be delayed.