Reform Scotland News: 14 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


Police Scotland: Spending watchdog Audit Scotland has warned that the new single police force for Scotland may not be able to achieve the £1.1 billion of savings predicted.   The report also suggests that the move to a single Scottish police force was hampered by a “difficult relationships between the Scottish Government, the SPA and Police Scotland”. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1, Telegraph page 8, Times page 1, Daily Express page 1, Daily Record page 1, Sun page 2, Daily Mail page 19, Courier page 1)

New Conservative chairman: Richard Keen QC, reportedly one of Scotland’s most respected lawyers and known in court as “The Rottweiler”, has been appointed as the new chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party. (Herald page 6, Telegraph page 1)

Independence referendum: Legislation to allow the Scottish independence referendum to take place will be passed by MSPs at Holyrood today. (Herald page 6, Courier page 23)

Alistair Carmichael has challenged Scottish ministers to “stop dodging key questions” and to explain clearly what the overall cost would be for setting up a Scottish state from scratch. (Scotsman page 4, Daily Express page 4, Daily Mail page 28)

Colin MacKay, head of the Scottish Government’s strategy unit has revealed that the SNP will not make a pledge in the upcoming referendum White Paper to keep the pound as the currency for an independent Scotland (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 16, Times page 23, Courier page 21)

Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman that a major concern in the approach to the referendum is our relationship with the European Union, and that more clarity is needed about an independent Scotland’s place in the EU before voters can make a decision.

Relations with China: Stephen Roman comments in the Scotsman that South Asia represents huge opportunities for Scotland, and that now is the time to embrace the ‘new China’ and to take advantage of Scotland’s good reputation in the East.

Bedroom Tax: Over a quarter of Scotland’s Labour MPs have not voted on the Westminster bedroom tax motion, leading SNP welfare spokesperson Eilidh Whiteford to reportedly say that this is clear evidence that only a Yes vote will be able to get rid of this tax. (Herald page 2, Courier Page 15, Daily Record page 2, Press and Journal page 16)

North Sea cod: Scottish fishermen are protesting after the Marine Conservation Society announced that cod is to remain on the list of fish to avoid (Scotsman page 23, Telegraph page 2, Guardian page 11, Daily Mail page 8)


Welfare Reform: A group of more than 40 charities, faith groups and unions in Scotland have joined to call for an increase in benefit rates, and for ‘compassion’ to be put back at the heart of the welfare system. (Herald page 1)

Economic recovery: As unemployment falls to its lowest level in 3 years, the Bank of England signalled yesterday that the UK’s recovery had “finally taken hold”, and a rise in interest rates by 2015 moved into view. (Scotsman page 1, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, FT page 1, Daily Express page 2, Press and Journal page 40, Sun page 4, Daily Mail page 4, Courier page 21)

Iain MacWhirter comments in the Herald that, despite the economic recovery and the fact that Scotland is continuing to recover faster than the rest of the UK, economic policy is dangerously unstable and it is accelerating the geo-economic divide in the UK.

Commonwealth Games: Alex Salmond has predicted that the Games will have a positive long-term impact on the Scottish economy, and will benefit businesses for a generation. (Herald page 2, Scotsman page 5)


Right to die bill: A bill that would allow assisted suicide in Scotland will be launched at Holyrood today by independent MSP Margo MacDonald. (Scotsman page 15)

Dr Murdo Macdonald comments in the Herald that passing a law in Scotland that would legalise assisted dying is a boundary that our society must not cross.


Rail Workers: The union representing rail workers in Scotland has announced that it wants extra pay for its members who will be on duty during the Commonwealth Games next year, in the form of “recognition and reward” payments. (Herald page 4, Scotsman page 10)