Reform Scotland News: 31 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


Independence referendum: Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, has publicly distanced herself from comments made on Independence by Lord Lang in the House of Lords. The claim by Lord Lang was condemned by Alex Salmond. Former Conservative Scottish Secretary Lord Forsyth has also reportedly warned that if Scotland became Independent Scottish soldiers in the British army would be “mercenaries in a foreign country”.  (Scotsman page 8, The Times page 12, The Daily Telegraph page 5, Daily Record page 9, The Herald page 3)

Alan Cochrane comments, on page 5 of the Daily Telegraph, that Lord Lang’s claims could be perceived in different ways. He also comments on how Johann Lamont slipped up when reportedly referring to various matters that Scotland would control as “wee” things.

Sir Peter Housden, Scotland’s most senior civil servant, has reportedly been asked to look into claims that the SNP are using taxpayers money for promoting the Yes campaign. (The Times page 2)


Green targets: In its attempt to reach national and international climate change objectives Scotland’s environment agency has reportedly failed to reach a third of its targets. (Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 1)


Commons Rebellion: Rebels MPs within the Tory party have failed to pass legislation which would allow foreign criminals to be deported, despite European Human rights laws. Downing Street, fearing a serious rebellion, told ministers to abstain from voting. (Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 1, The Times page 11, The Financial Times page 2, The Sun page 2)


Control Rooms Axe: Scotland’s Police Authority have backed plans to axe half of Scotland’s control rooms. (Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 1, Daily Record page 11)


Island Revolt: The island of Coll, in the Hebrides, is divided on whether or not to introduce mobile phone coverage or not. Some community members believe that new technology would ruin the tranquillity of the island. (Scotsman page 19, The Herald page 10)


Bedroom tax: There has been a call to scrap the ‘bedroom tax’ by Holyrood’s welfare reform committee. (Scotsman page 22, The Herald page 6, Daily Record page 2, The Sun page 2)


Time for Reflection: Proposals to change “religious observance” times to “time for reflection”, by the Church of Scotland, have been rejected by congregations on Lewis. (The Herald page 1)


Golf: An independent Scotland could cause problems for golf in England, as they do not have their own governing body, James Graham, the Duke of Montrose, reportedly claims. (The Sun page 2)


Trident: A report published by the Royal United Service Institute military think tank has reportedly argued that the UK does not always need at least one nuclear missile submarine at sea to act as a nuclear deterrent. (The Herald page 4


Scotland joining the Euro: Graham Avery, who negotiated Britain’s entry into the common market in 1970, has reportedly said that an Independent Scotland would be a member of the Euro within 18 months and would not be forced to adopt the Euro. (Record page 9)



Scottish currency: The Better Together campaign is launching a leaflet this weekend which will warn that Scotland going Independent would lose the security of the pound. (Daily Telegraph page 2)

Martin Wolf comments, on page 13 of the Financial Times, that if Scotland went Independent it would be a mistake for the rest of the UK to go into a currency union with them.

Former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars has reportedly said that Alex Salmond’s plan to share Sterling with the remainder of the UK is “clueless”. (Daily Record page 8)



Train Staff Badges: Scotrail have reportedly been forced by rail unions to scrap reported plans to ban staff from wearing Better Together badges. (Scotsman page 11, The Herald page 7)


Car smoking ban: Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume has reportedly claimed that most Scots would support a ban on smoking in the car when children are present. (Daily Record page 2)



Sporting chance: The Dundee Academy of Sport is running a project to encourage academic study and access to Universities through sport (Scotsman page 20)


Exams: There has reportedly been a drop of about 10% in the number of Scottish students enrolling for national exams. This has prompted fears that subject choices are being restricted for young people. (The Herald page 1)