Reform Scotland News: 4 December 2013


Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 4 December 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

Glasgow helicopter crash: Investigators analysing the cause of the Glasgow helicopter crash will be asked to produce their findings “as quickly as humanly possible”, Alex Salmond revealed yesterday. Meanwhile, it has emerged that Europe’s aviation safety watchdog was told three years ago to recommend that all twin-engine helicopters used by emergency services be fitted with flight data recorders. The probe has been complicated by the absence of a so called “black box” which would have provided a precise account of events aboard the stricken helicopter in the minutes before it went down. (Herald page 5, Telegraph page 11, Scotsman page 8, Emma Cowing in the Scotsman)


Independence white paper: The executive director of the Institute for Chartered Accountants in Scotland yesterday labelled the Scottish Government’s white paper for independence as a “political manifesto” rather than a “business plan”, saying that accountants wanted to see more figures backing up the argument for independence. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 6, Express page 17, P&J page 14, Mail page 8)

Alistair Darling: Former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling has reportedly been dubbed “comatose” by senior Conservatives, amid frustrations over Darling’s leadership of the ‘better together’ campaign. (FT page 1)

Tax cuts: Prime Minister David Cameron has signalled that middle-class earners will have to wait until the end of the decade for tax cuts, despite the economic recovery, saying that only when the public finances are in surplus will ministers be able to cut taxes on the middle class. (Telegraph page 1, Express page 1, Mail page 1)

Shetland wind farm: American tycoon Donald Trump’s plans to fight the Scottish Government over the 103-turbine ‘Viking’ wind farm project on Shetland have been rejected by judges. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 9, Record page 11, P&J page 10)

Guardian Snowden files: Only 1% of intelligence files leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden have been published by the Guardian newspaper, its editor yesterday told MPs. (Times page 25, Scotsman page 11, Guardian page 6, Mail page 15)

Referendum: The SNP are reportedly planning on another referendum on independence within 15 years if Scotland votes ‘No’ next September. The SNP supposedly believe they could ask the public to vote again as soon as 2029 if their plans to leave the UK are rejected. (Record page 8, Courier page 21)


China: The Chinese newspaper, Global Times, reportedly seen as an unofficial voice of the Beijing Government, has said the UK is only “suitable for tourism and overseas study”, whilst also stating that “Britain is easily replaceable in China’s European foreign policy”. Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron moved to defend his trip to China, highlighting how the two countries had agreed deals totalling almost £5.6billion. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, FT page 3, Times page 12, Telegraph page 8)

Construction sector: Continued growth in the UK services sector are said to underpin hopes that the country’s economic recovery is gathering pace, although the Scottish construction industry is reportedly yet to see the results of the UK upturn. (Scotsman page 35, Herald page 24, Times page 52, Express page 50, Courier page 25, Guardian page 25)

Sterling-zone: Alex Salmond’s threat to refuse to take on a share of the UK national debt, should the UK government reject an independent Scotland’s claim to a shared sterling zone, has been accused of being “certainly not credible” by American investment bank Jeffries International. Meanwhile, experts at Deutsche Bank AG and Citigroup Inc backed Salmond’s proposal for a currency union, saying that a Sterling-zone between all parts of the UK is the only practical solution. (Times page 2, P&J page 14)

Independence: A majority ‘Yes vote’ in next year’s referendum could reportedly see Britain lose many millions of pounds in brand value, according to chief executive of leading consultancy firm Brand Finance. (Herald page 6)

Grangemouth: A £300million blueprint to transform Grangemouth into the UK hub of the US shale gas revolution has been unveiled. Owner Ineos reportedly hope that the plan will reverse losses and secure the future of the plant, which was recently the centre of a major industrial relations dispute. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 7, Courier page 25)


Corroboration: Police have been accused of a U-turn after officers across the ranks swung behind plans to abolish the requirement for corroboration in Scottish criminal trials. The Scottish Police Federation (SPF) and the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS) are now supporting the reform. Meanwhile, research by Police Scotland has claimed that removing the need for corroboration would give 3,000 additional victims of crime access to justice. (Scotsman page 18, Herald page 1, Times page 6, Express page 28, P&J page 15)


Core subjects: Scotland outperforms other UK countries in core school subjects, such as maths and reading, according to a major international study by the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa). (Herald page 10, Ian Bell in the Herald, P&J page 18)


Underage drinking: Scotland’s most senior police officer, Sir Stephen House, has said the requirement to demand drinkers who appear under 25 produce identification before they are served, a key piece of government policy, has made no impact on underage drinking. (Herald page 2)