Reform Scotland News: 21 January 2014


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



Lord Rennard: The Lib Dem peer Lord Rennard has threatened legal action against his party after the Liberal Democrats suspended for bringing the party into disrepute by refusing to apologise to four women who have complained about his alleged inappropriate behaviour. (Scotsman page 1, Christine Jardine in the Scotsman, David Maddox in the Scotsman, Times page 1, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, Express page 2, Ross Clark in the Express, FT page 3, Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 1 and page 4, Joan Bakewell in the Telegraph, Courier page 25, Record page 8, Mail page 8, Guardian page 1, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, P&J page 16)


EU membership: Professor Kenneth Armstrong, director of the Centre for European Studies at Cambridge University, has argued that Scots should have been asked whether they wanted to remain in the EU as part of the independence referendum. (Scotsman page 4)


Independence and equality: A report by the Economic and Social Research Council has suggested that independence to good have little scope to reduce the gap between rich and poor as big tax rises could drive people down south, while increases in benefits could discourage people from working and harm public finances. (Scotsman page 4, Times page 2, Herald page 2)


Balls & Salmond: Ed Balls has reportedly urged the First Minister to meet with him to discuss the proposals for keeping the pound, should Scotland become independent. (Scotsman page 4, Times page 2, Herald page 2, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 8, Courier page 19, Record page 6)


Ukip & mothers: Nigel Farage reportedly commented yesterday that mothers are worth less to City firms than men, though women prepared to sacrifice family life can do as well as, if not better, than men. (Scotsman page 7, Times page 17, Express page 2, FT page 2, Telegraph page 12, Guardian page 2, P&J page 16)


Chris Huhne: Barrister and part-time judge Constance Bristow yesterday made a number of allegations during her trial at Southwark Crown Court yesterday about the breakdown of the marriage of former energy secretary Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce. (Scotsman page 14, Times page 19, Herald page 8, Telegraph page 5, Courier page 25, Mail page 13)


Ukip Chairman: Arthur Thackeray, the Ukip Scottish chairman, has been asked by his party to engage with Nil By Mouth, a leading anti-sectarianism charity, after his comments about a local authority being for “gays, Catholics and Communists”. (Herald page 5)


Referendum Information Packs: The UK Government will be sending out the first in a series of information packs to student groups, trade unions, councils and small businesses in Scotland highlighting the benefits of the Union whilst repeatedly emphasising that many major issues cannot be decided until after a Yes vote, as part of its campaign to defeat the drive for Scottish independence. (Herald, page 6, Telegraph page 8)


Separation of powers: Michael Fry in the Scotsman outlines why he believes separation of the executive and legislative branches of government would benefit and independent Scotland.


English devolution: Hugo Rifkind in the Times argues that if regions of England want to break free from London’s dominance they should consider emulating Scottish devolution.



Ed Miliband: Janan Ganesh in the FT asks Ed Miliband if choice and competition are so desirable in the private sector, why is he so adverse to their presence in the public sector?



Scottish Water: Scottish Water has been fined £10,000 for an incident in July 2011 where more than 12,000 litres of sulphuric acid leaked into a river. (Scotsman page 15, Times page 13, Herald page 3, Courier page 9, Record page 2, Mail page 6)


Benefits: Labour announced policy proposals yesterday which could see workers who lose their job after four or five years receiving £20-a-week more in benefits to reflect the contributions they have made. (Times page 18, Express page 6, FT page 4, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 12, Courier page 20, Mail page 2)


Benefit fines: More than 200 benefit claimants per day face cash fines for breaking job seeking regulations, with a large rise in cases in one deprived area of Glasgow. Charities have said that claimants are unaware of the rules they are supposedly breaking. (Herald page 1)


Consumer politics: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments on Ed Miliband’s speech where he said he wanted the Labour Party to go into the next general election as “the party of competition”, “the party of the consumer” and “the party of hard-pressed families”.


Help to Buy: More than 200 people in Scotland have been able to buy new homes with help from the Scottish Government with Nicola Sturgeon calling the scheme “crucial” in helping people get on the property ladder. (Herald page 11, Sun page 2, Courier page 19)



Stop and Search: Tam Baillie in the Herald comments on a report from Edinburgh University which highlights the widespread increase in the use of non-statutory stop and search, particularly on children and young people.



Efficiency savings: According to the QuEST annual report, more than £1.1billion has been invested in frontline care in the NHS over the past five years as a result of efficiency savings. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 8, Sun page 2, Courier page 11, Record page 1)