Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 9 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.
Population growth: Scotland’s population has reached its highest recorded level with 5.31million people living in the country. Scottish Government external affairs secretary Fiona Hyslop said that despite having an ageing population, it was positive to see the under-fives population increase. She also welcomed immigration to Scotland; however figures showed an overall decrease in the number of people moving to Scotland from abroad. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 10, Telegraph page 2, Times page 4, Express page 7, Record page 8, Sun page 2, Guardian page 6, Mail page 10, P&J page 15, Courier page 19)
Aberdeen by-election: Scotland’s top civil servant, Sir Peter Housden, has cleared Alex Salmond of any wrongdoing by visiting an Aberdeen primary school in the days before the Aberdeen Donside by-election. Aberdeen City Council’s leader has insisted an investigation is still needed and has written to the UK’s most senior mandarin. (Scotsman page 1, Telegraph page 1, P&J page 1)
Fracking: Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that Britain would be making a mistake if it did not seriously consider fracking and the prospect of cheaper gas prices. He added that safety did need to be assured and environmental procedures would need to be established. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 8, Guardian page 8, Mail page 24)
Leveson inquiry: Lord Justice Leveson will appear in front of MPs in October to answer questions about the phone-hacking scandal inquiry and his recommendations for tougher press regulation. (Scotsman page 10)
Referendum slogans: Pro-UK campaigners have claimed that the Yes campaign has had to resort to taking their catchphrase “the best of both worlds” in a bid to reassure voters over independence. A senior SNP source said it was arrogant for the Pro-UK campaign to claim “ownership of language”. (Scotsman page 16)
Fringe and independence: Joyce McMillan writing in the Scotsman comments on the lack of work about the independence referendum at this year’s Fringe Festival and suggests that Scotland’s thinkers and artists have moved on from the topic.
Border control after independence: Fiona MacGregor writing in the Scotsman argues that, as in Sweden and Denmark, it is possible to establish political boundaries between Scotland and the rest of the UK without imposing geographical ones.
Yes campaign: Mark Shaw, chief executive of the Edinburgh-based Hazledene group, has been appointed as operations director by the Yes campaign. (Telegraph page 8, Mail page 12)
Anti-gay laws demonstration: Equality campaigners will protest outside Russia’s consulate in Edinburgh today over anti-gay laws. The demonstration comes after Moscow stopped “homosexual propaganda” being given to children. (Sun page 2, P&J page 19)
Bank of England: The new Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has warned that banking culture in Britain needs to change or banks risk becoming disconnected from society. He criticised the profit-driven culture that led to mis-selling of banking products and urged policy makers not to pull back from stimulating the economy too early. Prime Minister David Cameron has reportedly supported Mr Carney’s statement. (Scotsman page 8, George Kerevan in the Scotsman, Herald page 2, FT page 1, Guardian page 21)
Railways: Firms in Scotland made £154million from rail work last year with projects like the Edinburgh-Glasgow line and the new Borders link supporting around 4,300 jobs in addition to the 2,100 staff working directly for Network Rail. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the figures show investment can support skilled jobs and growth. (Sun page 2, Courier page 13)
Misconduct: New figures have revealed that more than two doctors a week are investigated for misconduct in Scotland. Figures also showed that only a small number of cases investigated by the General Medical Council resulted in doctors being suspended or struck off the medical register. The Scottish Conservatives have called for an explanation as to why so few doctors were disciplined. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 6, Times page 22, Express page 1, Record page 14, Mail page 2, P&J page 18, Courier page 23)
Antibiotic resistance: Hospitals in Scotland have been warned that cases of organisms resistant to carbapenems – the antibiotics usually used as a last resort – have increased in Scotland in recent years. A Scottish Government spokesman said the issue was a key priority for the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland. (Scotsman page 22)
Funding cuts: Fears over huge cutbacks at NHS Highland have been sparked as the Scottish Government claimed it could still break even despite figures revealing the health board would be nearly £10million in debt by April. NHS finance director Nick Kenton said the situation was concerning but not out of the ordinary. (Sun page 2)