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Reform Scotland News: 17 October 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

Grangemouth: Alex Salmond has reportedly given his assurances that there are contingency measures in place to prevent petrol stations running dry due to the shut down at Grangemouth refinery, which include the shipping in of supplies. (Herald page 1, Telegraph page 1, Scotsman page 1, Times page 1, Daily Express page 4, Daily Record page 8, Sun page 2, Daily Mail page 1, Guardian page 29, Press and Journal page 11, Courier page 1)

Royal Mail Strike: Postal workers have voted in favour of a one-day strike over concerns linked to the privatisation of the Royal Mail. (Herald page 2, Telegraph page 4, Scotsman page 9, FT page 2, Daily Express page 13, Daily Mail page 2, Guardian page 28, Press and Journal page 17)

Prisoner voting: A bid by prisoners to be allowed to vote while serving their sentence has been vetoed by the Supreme Court, but the court failed to rule that a blanket ban is lawful. (Press and Journal page 16, Daily Mail page 10, Courier page 16)

SNP conference:  A new mobile phone app dubbed ‘Yesmo’ is to be launched at the SNP conference.  The app will allow door-knocking activists to refer voters’ questions and concerns straight back to Yes Scotland’s HQ. (Herald page 6, Times page 4, Press and Journal page 12, Courier page 24)

Independence:  EU leaders have been accused of being biased against an independent Scotland, after downplaying an independent Scotland’s right to membership and suggesting it will be compelled to join the Euro and pay more towards the EU budget. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 7, Press and Journal page 13, Courier page 17)

Ian Macwhirter comments in the Herald that the SNP needs to be seen to be thinking progressively, and should ‘be bold’ by holding a cross-party pre-referendum national convention to map the way forward after a Yes vote.

SNP members have been warned that they should not ‘delude themselves’ that they are winning the independence campaign, and Alex Salmond has been accused of having a ‘bunker mentality’ over criticisms and failings. (Telegraph page 8)

Alan Cochrane comments in the Telegraph that Alex Salmond will need more than applause from his followers to win the battle, and that while his party rank-and-file may cheer loudly, separation remains unpopular.

Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman that securing a Yes vote is not the only challenge facing the SNP at the moment, and that there are troubling questions lying beneath its main objective of independence.

James Mitchell comments in the Guardian that it is possible that the SNP can still win the referendum campaign if they can convince Scots that they will protect the welfare state.

Gaelic: The Scottish government has announced £350,000 of additional funding for MG Alba to boost the spread of the Gaelic word. (Scotsman page 19, Daily Mail page 29)

Press regulation: Conservative minister Nick Boles has attacked plans to regulate the press by saying that newspapers should refuse to cooperate with the Royal Charter and mount a legal challenge. (Daily Mail page 8)

 

Economy

Employment: Official statistics show that levels of employment in Scotland have reached their highest level in five years. (Herald page 11, Telegraph page 5, Scotsman page 1, Times page 4, FT page 24, Daily Express page 2, Daily Mail page 19, Guardian page 7, Press and Journal page 34, Courier page 18)

Fisheries: Rural Affairs Minister Richard Lochhead is in Luxembourg to argue against EU plans to cut the amount of days fisherman can spend at sea, claiming that the measures will ‘cripple’ Scotland’s fishing industry. (Daily Mail page 24, Press and Journal page 15)

Wind turbines: the SNP have decided to ignore a ruling by a senior judge against the spread of wind farms because they believe that the turbines are in Scotland’s “national interest”. (Telegraph page 12)

Fracking: The British Geological Survey (BGS) are to begin work on estimating the amount of shale gas in the Central Belt. (Times page 5, Daily Express page 2, Daily Mail page 12, Courier page 22)

 

Education

University and College Union:  The UCU has called for higher education in Scotland to be paid for mostly through general taxation, and that immigration caps for students and teachers should be lifted. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 7)

 

Health

Asbestos:  Asbestos Action Tayside has expressed concerns after it was revealed that the number of asbestos-related hospital admissions has increased by a third in the last five years. (Herald page 3)

 

Justice

National Crime Agency: Deputy chief constable Iain Livingstone has expressed concerns about the lack of clarity over the Scottish remit of the new National Crime Agency. (Herald page 1)

 

Transport

Prestwick Airport:  Helen McArdle comments in the Herald that the Scottish Government’s rationale in stepping in to save the airport was sound, but is unsure whether pumping public money in to it long-term is a viable option.

Michael Kelly comments in the Scotsman that the only sensible reason for taking on Prestwick Airport is to shut it down in an orderly fashion, and that the airport under public ownership will serve no other purpose but to divert resources from a more sensible central hub solution.