Reform Scotland News: 7 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

Shipyards: The coalition has been accused of ‘playing politics’ with the future of Scotland’s shipyards and of trying to influence the independence referendum outcome by suggesting that Scotland risks the loss of Royal Navy orders if it leaves the UK. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, FT page 1, Daily Express page 1, Daily Record page 1, Sun page 1, Daily Mail page 6, Guardian page 13, Courier page 13, Press and Journal page 12)

Iain Macwhirter comments in the Herald that the fight for the Clyde shipyards is evidence that we really are ‘in it together’.

Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman that Scotland needs to face the reality that things have changed and they can no longer afford a Royal navy shipbuilding programme on such a scale as they have in the past, but that this was not a huge problem because, although the Govan yards clearly matter, there is now much more to Scotland’s economy than shipbuilding.

Alan Cochrane comments in the Telegraph that the shipyards on the Clyde must remain British to ensure that they survive in the future, and that the situation for Scottish shipbuilding will be much worse if Scotland decides to leave the UK.

Malcolm Chalmers also comments that Scottish jobs were saved by the looming referendum, but that a Yes vote would have huge implications for the shipyards’ continuing operation.

Independence referendum: The latest TNS BMRB poll has found that more than half of voters are demanding more information about the economy and jobs before voting in the 2014 referendum, and that the Yes campaign is failing to gather further support as voting patterns appear to be stabilising. (Herald page 6, Times page 17, Daily Mail page 30)

Unite: Michelle Hornall, one of the key witnesses claiming that the union Unite tried to fix the selection process for a new Labour MP, is reportedly sticking by her accusation. (Times page 1, Telegraph page 12, Daily Mail page 10, Guardian page 2)

Phone hacking trial: Jurors in the phone hacking trial were told that former England coach Sven Goran Eriksson was hacked by the News of the World for the entire time he was in charge of the team. (Telegraph page 15, FT page 2, Daily Express page 9, Guardian page 10, Press and Journal page 16)

Population increase: Rising levels of immigration are expected to contribute to Scotland’s population rising 9% by 2037, according to figures from the National Records of Scotland. (Scotsman page 9, Telegraph page 10, Daily Express page 11, Daily Mail page 4, Guardian page 9, Courier page 19, Press and Journal page 21)

Rail link inquiry: Scottish Labour have called for an independent inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of the Glasgow rail link project which swallowed £30 million of taxpayers’ money before being scrapped. (Scotsman page 16)

Karen Whitefield: The former Labour MSP has reportedly revealed that she will put her name down for selection on the all-women shortlist in Falkirk (Times page 16)

Economy

Benefits: Statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions have suggested that stricter penalties for benefits claimants are forcing people to rely on food banks. (Herald page 2, Guardian page 16, Courier page 11)

State pensions: Concerns over pensions are increasing as data from the National Records of Scotland suggests that the number of over 75s is predicted to double in the next 25 years. (Herald page 3, Daily Mail page 4, Telegraph page 10)

Economic recovery: A new paper from the Centre for Economics and Business Research has forecast Scotland to recover from the recession next year, leading to the lowest unemployment rate in six years. (Scotsman page 1, Daily Mail page 19)

New car sales: Figures from the Scottish Motor Association have shown that the number of new car sales in Scotland is growing twice as fast as the average UK rate. (Herald page 8)

Fuel Duty: A fuel duty discount planned for rural areas in Britain, including large parts of the Scottish Highlands, has been delayed after complaints were made that some areas had been excluded. (Scotsman page 18)

Education

Life sciences partnership: A new framework agreement between the Scottish Funding Council and the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong will mean that Scottish Universities will be working with Hong Kong institutions to share expertise in life sciences. (Herald page 4)

University management: The Jimmy Reid Foundation has warned that Scottish Universities are increasingly being controlled by small cliques of senior managers with ‘too much power’, and that input from staff and students is diminishing. (Herald page 9)

Justice

Sentencing reform: Lord Carloway has, in a landmark speech, paved the way for Scottish sentencing to be overhauled when the new Scottish Sentencing Council is created, indicating that the Council will focus on rehabilitation rather than retribution. (Scotsman page 8)

Corroboration: Michael Kelly comments in the Scotsman that corroboration is a fundamental part of a fair justice system and that by getting rid of this ancient safeguard the Scottish Government is attacking civil rights rather than defending them.

Crime

Commonwealth Games: Policing during next summer’s Commonwealth Games is reportedly likely to be put under further strain as a result of sectarian violence stemming from Northern Ireland’s parade season. (Herald page 7)