Reform Scotland News: 4 November 2013

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 4 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

Unite: Stephen Deans, Unite’s official at the centre of the Grangemouth dispute, is to stand down from his position as Labour Party chairman of the Falkirk constituency, amid continuing allegations of vote-rigging. Ed Miliband, meanwhile, faces continued pressure to reopen a probe into the claims. (The Herald page 1, The Scotsman page 1 and pages 4&5, The Sun page 4, The Times page 2, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Sunday Times page 1 and pages 14&15)

Unite leader Len McCluskey claims that the leaked emails revealing allegations of vote-rigging are “a trap being laid by Tory central office.” (The Herald page 2, Daily Express page 2)

Independence Referendum: Professor Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor in bacteriology at Aberdeen University, has said a Yes vote would undermine Scottish universities’ reputation for “world-leading” innovation. (The Herald page 3, The Scotsman page 1, The Times page 25, The Daily Telegraph page 8, Daily Express page 21, Press & Journal page 12)

One of the Labour Party’s most respected figures, Sir Charles Gray, has voiced his support for an independent Scotland. (The Herald page 6, Daily Record page 2)

The GMB has become the fifth union to back a No vote (Daily Record page 2, Daily Express page 21), while Respect leader George Galloway claims that Westminster rule represents a better future for Scots. (The Sunday Times page 7)

Members of the Obama administration have reportedly voiced concerns over an independent Scotland, arguing that intelligence security would be weakened. (The Sunday Times page 1, Gillian Bowditch in The Sunday Times page 30)

China trade mission: Alex Salmond has arrived in China on a trade mission, where he hopes to develop trade with one of the world’s leading economies, citing a mutual interest in golf and whisky. (The Scotsman page 7, Daily Express page 5, The Sun page 1, The Times page 9

Meanwhile, the First Minister has accused the Home Office of potentially damaging Scotland’s future relationship with the country; after two teachers had their visas refused and were told they had just days to return home. (The Herald page 5)

David Torrance in The Herald discusses the independence “riddle” posed by Alex Salmond’s trip to China.

SNP: First Minister Alex Salmond, Holyrood Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon have all been shortlisted for Scotland’s top political award. (The Herald page 6)

Homelessness: Housing charity Shelter Scotland has warned that almost 5,000 children in Scotland will be homeless this Christmas and have launched an appeal to urge the Scottish Government to adopt guidelines on minimum standards of temporary accommodation. (The Scotsman page 9, Daily Record page 2, Press & Journal)

State guardian proposals: According to a survey conducted by the Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC), 74% of parents did not approve of Scottish Government plans to introduce a state guardian for every young person. (The Scotsman page 9)

General election 2015: In a deal reportedly worth £500,000, David Cameron has signed up Australian election guru Lynton Crosby to work full time on securing a Conservative general election win in two years’ time. (The Herald page 6, The Daily Telegraph page 4, The Sunday Times page 1)

Fiscal powers: Brian Monteith in The Scotsman argues that the Conservative Party cannot continue to resist the advances of devolution.

Economy

Living wage: Businesses that sign up to pay the living wage will reportedly be given a 12-month tax break worth up to £1,000 per worker, under plans released by Labour. (The Scotsman page 8, Financial Times page 2, The Sun page 2, The Times page 9, The Daily Telegraph page 4)

Independent tax system: The most recent paper from the Scottish Government’s fiscal commission will call for the creation of a simpler and fairer tax system under an independent Scotland. (Daily Record page 2)

Local Government

Council sick days: More than 9,000 Scottish council workers are off sick every day according to figures released by the watchdog Audit Scotland. (The Sun page 2)

Transport

Airport sale: The renamed BAA, Heathrow Airport Holdings, is said to be considering the sale of Aberdeen, Southampton and Glasgow airports in a deal said to be worth over £1 billion in order to fund a third runway for Heathrow. (Daily Express page 5, Daily Record page 2)

Education

Zero-hour contracts: According to teaching union EIS, universities are exploiting staff with zero-hour contracts, which particularly discriminates against women. (The Herald page, Daily Express page 21)

Sex education: A survey by the Scottish Government of more than 1,000 pupils has found children of secondary school age have a “worrying” attitude towards sex. (The Times page 15)