Reform Scotland News: 16 August 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



Nato membership: Scottish Government officials have held informal talks with Nato to discuss an independent Scotland’s membership with the organisation. Nato indicated that an independent Scotland would be required to uphold current Nato articles requiring members to have a stable defence policy and to sign up to its nuclear “first-strike” stance. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 1, Times page 7, Lord Robertson in the Times, Angus Robertson in the Times, Express page 21, Record page 8, George Robertson in the Record, Sun page 2, Guardian page 10, Mail page 6, P&J page 11, Courier page 20)


Manifesto for Union: It has emerged that the last of Whitehall’s “manifesto for the union” reports may be released weeks before the 2014 referendum. The UK Government had initially been due to release all 13 policy documents by the end of this year but have said they are not rushing future publications. (Herald page 6)


Popularity polls: An Ipsos Mori opinion poll has placed Labour leader Ed Miliband as the least popular major political party leader. Mr Miliband’s rating has worsened since the beginning of the year with 63 per cent of those asked saying they did not like him compared to 51 per cent in January. (Telegraph page 10)


Football fans: The Scottish FA and Metropolitan police have praised Scottish football fans for their behaviour before, during and after the England versus Scotland football match. Westminster city council reportedly cleared an estimated 10,000 beer cans from London’s Trafalgar Square following the match. (Herald page 5, Telegraph page 10, P&J page 14, Courier page 15)


Conscientious objector clause: The Free Church of Scotland has called for a “conscientious objector” clause to be included in legislation for same-sex marriage to protect clergy who believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Ministers have claimed that the legislation already contains protection for the clergy but the Faculty of Advocates have rejected this claim and added that parents and teachers are not protected if they refuse to allow children to learn about gay marriage. (Herald page 8, Telegraph page 8, Mail page 10, P&J page 21, Courier page 25)


Alex Salmond: Alan Cochrane writing in the Telegraph comments on the decreasing popularity of Alex Salmond and the impact it is having on the campaign for independence.


Referendum: Andy Maciver writing in the Scotsman argues that regardless of whether or not Scotland votes in favour of independence, most Scots want constitutional change and that for those who fear uncertainty the worst outcome would be a narrow No vote.



Road safety: A report to Aberdeenshire Council has revealed that the number of specialist police road safety advisers in the North-east has fallen from ten to two since the creation of Police Scotland. (Scotsman page 22)


Web exploitation: Police Scotland are investigating the case of a Dunfermline teenage boy who died last month. It is thought the teenager became caught up in a webcam blackmail plot after Skype conversations were recorded. The teenager’s death preceded the suicide of Hannah Smith who took her own life after being bullied online. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 3, Telegraph page 10, Times page 1, Mail page 7, Courier page 11)



Obesity: Scottish Government health minister Michael Matheson has warned that hospitals and supermarkets must do more to combat Scotland’s growing obesity problem. Mr Matheson urged health boards to ensure healthy eating messages were being followed.  According to a recent poll, more than half of people in Scotland rely on ready meals and takeaways at least three times a week. (Scotsman page 10)


Cancer patients’ food: NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is looking into developing a dedicated menu for patients at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre following patient complaints about the pre-prepared food and concern that it is hampering their recovery. (Herald page 1)



University acceptances: Scotland’s universities are expected to receive a financial boost after figures have shown acceptances to UK applicants are at a record high. The number of Scottish students and applicants from outside the EU getting places has also increased. It has also been revealed that a record number of Scots have been accepted to university this year. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 8, Telegraph page 7, Times page 19, Record page 2, Sun page 2, Mail page 19, P&J page 14, Courier page 19)


Medical guidance: A study for Scotland’s Children’s Commissioner has found that councils are not doing enough to provide for the needs of pupils with disabilities and health conditions. The report calls for ministers to produce new guidance for schools that reflect legal and policy changes over the last decade and greater consistency around health care plans for pupils. (Scotsman page 22, Herald page 7, Courier page 20)


Local Government

Stirling strike: Workers at Stirling council are preparing to take industrial action in a row over claims they have been offered a 1.5 per cent pay cut and asked to work an extra hour per week. (Herald page 4)


Glasgow Lord Provost: Gerry Braiden writing in the Herald criticises Glasgow’s Lord Provost for being hypocritical and lacking diplomatic skills in her letter to the Mayor of Rostov-on-Don in response to anti-homosexual propaganda in Russia.


Energy plan: Glasgow City council are proposing to set up an energy company in a bid to cut fuel poverty, improve the environment and create jobs. The council has said the firm could sell energy to the National Grid, using the cash raised to tackle fuel poverty. (Record page 2)