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Reform Scotland News: 11 November 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 debate: Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael will reportedly say on Wednesday that the pro-independence campaign mixes “politics and patriotism” by portraying those who support the Union as less Scottish. (The Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 8, Daily Mail page 4, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Sun page 2, Press & Journal page 12)

An analysis paper launched today by Conservative universities minister David Willetts will warn that the future of research in Scotland could be under threat from a vote for independence; claims of which the Scottish Government have dismissed as “nonsense.” (The Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 8, The Times page 4, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Sunday Times page 6)

Teachers in Scotland are reportedly to be issued with “independence packs”, used to teach “SNP manifestos” in plans unveiled by the Scottish Government’s education quango. (The Times page 4, Daily Express page 2, The Daily Telegraph page 14)

In claims based on the contents of the National Assets Register, Alex Salmond will demand £10billion worth of UK assets – including some embassies and museums – if Scotland becomes independent. (The Daily Express page 2, The Scotsman)

An analysis compiled by a pro-independence economist of Scottish Government expenditure and revenue data found that the Union has cost Scotland £64 billion over 30 years. (The Sunday Times page 6)

Former First Minister Henry McLeish has said George Osborne’s austerity measures push ‘Scots towards independence.’ (The Sunday Times page 6)

Brian Monteith in The Scotsman claims that the SNP have lost touch with reality on a number of issues, including shipyards and welfare reform.

Shipyards: Supporting the claims of several UK Government ministers, former defence secretary John Reid has said UK warships would no longer be built in Scotland if it becomes independent. (The Herald page 6, Daily Express page 2, Lord Reid of Cardowan in the Daily Express, The Times page 1, The Daily Telegraph page 2,  Daily Record page 2, The Sun page 2, Press & Journal, Gillian Bowditch in The Sunday Times page 30)

However, Britain’s most senior military commander, Chief of Defence Staff Sir Nicholas Houghton, has contradicted senior coalition members by suggesting that the rest of the UK could continue to build warships on the Clyde should Scotland become independent. (The Scotsman page 1)

Andrew Nicoll writing in The Sun (page 8) discusses the politics surrounding the Clyde shipyard.

Falkirk selection: Former First Minister Henry McLeish has become the latest Labour Party member to call for a reopening of the inquiry into the controversy surrounding the selection for the Falkirk West seat. (The Scotsman page 12, The Times page 4, Daily Express page 17, Gillian Bowditch in The Sunday Times page 33, The Sunday Times pages 1 & 16

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Scottish Labour Party Jackson Cullinane has been drawn into the scandal after it was reported that he was involved in the campaign to sign-up union members to influence the constituency selection process. (The Herald)

Labour Party: David Torrance in The Herald discusses Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Party.

Tributes have been paid to Labour MSP Helen Eadie who has died at the age of 66 after battling cancer. (The Times page 15, The Herald page 7, Daily Express, The Courier, The Sunday Times page 6)

Economy

North Sea oil and gas: In a report published today, opportunities and challenges facing companies and the Government are to be outlined in a bid to provide a new lease of life for oil and gas exploration and production in the North Sea. (The Daily Telegraph page B1)

Employment boost: According to Bank of Scotland’s latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI), the private sector in Scotland enjoyed robust growth last month. (The Daily Telegraph page 14)

Health

Smoking: Research conducted by Stirling University has found that Scottish teenagers are easily lured by slim-line cigarettes, believing that they are more stylish, feminine and may even be safer than other brands. (The Scotsman page 15, The Herald page 1)

Justice

Smacking: Campaigners have called for a complete ban on smacking children after research conducted in Scotland finds it poses a significant risk to child development. (The Herald page 6)

Education

University pay: In figures released by the NUS and Unison, nearly one-third of Scottish universities and colleges reportedly pay their staff less than the Living Wage rate. (The Herald page 11, Daily Record page 2)