Reform Scotland News: 15 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



Shipyards: BAE Systems have told staff at Govan and Scotstoun that lay-offs will be phased over the next three years. First Minister Alex Salmond has said he is optimistic that as many as possible of the 835 Clyde shipyard workers facing the axe will find gainful employment elsewhere. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 5, Telegraph page 11, Times page 15, Express page 10, Record page 2, Sun page 2, Mail page 34)


Referendum: MSPs have called for the referendum campaigns to be conducted in a constructive manner. The calls came as they voted through the legislation that will deliver the poll next year. (Scotsman page 5, Record page 8, Sun page 2)


Scottish Tories: Richard Keen QC, one of Scotland’s leading lawyers, has backed the Better Together campaign following his appointment to chairman of the Scottish Conservatives. Mr Keen has argued that the referendum provides an ideal opportunity for the party to regain support in Scotland. His comments come as a YouGov poll revealed 54 per cent of Scots would never vote Conservative. (Scotsman page 14, Times page 29)


Assisted suicide: Independent MSP Margo MacDonald has said a controversial bill that would legalise assisted suicide will not be blocked by Scotland’s party leaders and is more likely to be passed by Holyrood than any previous attempt to change the law. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 10, Telegraph page 7, Times page 15, Express page 17, Record page 8, Sun page 2, Mail page 12, P&J page 14, Courier page 33)


Labour and Falkirk: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has called on the Labour party to “come clean” about the process for selecting its parliamentary candidate for Falkirk. The calls came after it emerged that a former candidate for the Falkirk nomination admitted paying for 11 members to join the party last July. Eric Joyce, MP for Falkirk, has also claimed he has identified at least 15 people on the party’s membership who do not live at their registered addresses. (Scotsman page 21, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 12, Record page 2, Mail page 8, Courier page 14)


Green campaign: The Scottish Green party has launched its independence campaign today. Green MSP Patrick Harvie has said the campaign for independence will have more success if they focus on positive changes. (Record page 8)


Young voters: A new study has shown that Scottish teenagers are comfortable with identifying as both Scottish and British. 45 per cent of 14 to 17 year-olds defined themselves as equally Scottish and British compared to 22 per cent of 18 to 24 year-olds. (Times page 7)


Carers: Holyrood’s education and culture committee have warned that benefits should not be deducted from people who are paid to look after their relatives when parents are unable to care for them. HM Revenue and Customs has called for more detail on the proposals before making a decision. (Scotsman page 23)


Typhoon fund: The Scottish Government has pledged £600,000 and a further £1.45 million has been raised in public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal to help victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. (Times page 4, Courier page 32)


Politician of the Year: First Minister Alex Salmond has become the first three-time winner of the Herald Scottish Politician of the Year award. Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont won debater of the Year and Sir George Reid received a lifetime achievement award. (Herald page 7)


First Ministers Questions: Alan Cochrane writing in the Telegraph comments on Alex Salmond’s and the issue of an independent Scotland’s currency and the accusations that an SNP Minister has attempted to intimidate an academic opposed to independence.


Independence: The Principal of the University of St Andrews has called on her staff to defy political intimidation and speak out during the independence debate. The calls come after reports of an SNP Minister attempting to intimidate a leading academic who spoke against independence. (Telegraph page 1, Courier page 13)


War crimes: Prime Minister David Cameron has called of an inquiry into allegations of war crimes during and after Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009. Speaking ahead of the Commonwealth summit, Mr Cameron said he would send a “tough message” to Sri Lanka’s government over its human rights record. (Scotsman page 8, Guardian page 10, P&J page 17)



Wage gap: A report by the Economic and Social Research Council published today has revealed that Scotland’s highest earners make 20 times more than those in the bottom 1 per cent. The report also showed that Scotland’s level of inequality has not increased. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 2, Mail page 4)


Sterling and independence: The Scottish Government has reportedly acknowledged that it cannot guarantee a sterling currency union with the rest of the UK if Scotland becomes independent. Opposition parties have placed increasing pressure on Alex Salmond to set out alternative plans for an independent currency. (Scotsman pages 4-5, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 7, Times page 1, Express page 2, Guardian page 8, Mail page 4, P&J page 13, Courier page 13)


George Kerevan writing in the Scotsman questions what Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael and the rest of the UK Government’s plans are if Scotland does become independent and there is not a currency union.



Police Scotland: Chief Constable Sir Stephen House has defended police reform and hit back at Audit Scotland’s statement that the creation of a single force had been hit by disputes between key officials and groups. (Scotsman page 11)



Asbestos: Scotland’s biggest health board NHS Glasgow and Clyde is facing a raft of prosecutions after patients, visitors, staff and contractors were exposed to asbestos in its buildings. It has also been revealed that NHS Scotland does not have a deadline for becoming asbestos-free. (Times page 6)



Qualifications: According to census information, around a quarter of people aged 16 and over held no qualifications in 2011. East Ayrshire had the highest proportion of people having no qualifications at 34% whilst Edinburgh had the lowest at 17%. (Herald page 14, Times page 30, Mail page 11)


Local Government

Saunas: Andrew Burns, head of Edinburgh City Council, has said that even if the long-standing policy of licensing saunas is scrapped, Edinburgh would remain tolerant of the sex trade. (Scotsman page 7)


Building repairs: Homeowners in Edinburgh are to get bills fir the first time since the local council building repairs scheme was axed last year. Edinburgh Council will issue reminders for up to £20,000 in a bid to collect debts from the failed scheme. (Scotsman page 14)