Reform Scotland News: 12 February 2014

Daily Political Newspaper Summary:  12 February 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

Politics

Floods: David Cameron yesterday commented that “money is no object in this.  Whatever money is needed, we will spend it”, with regard to the flood relief in England.  Fourteen severe flood warnings are currently in place in southern England. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Ian Bell in the Herald, FT page 2, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1, Courier page 14, P&J page 16)

Weather: Energy & Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has commented that the UK should brace itself for more extreme weather as climate change is happening “here and now.” (Herald page 1)

Currency veto: George Osborne is expected to make a speech in Edinburgh tomorrow underlining the UK Government’s opposition to a currency union in the event of Scottish independence. (Scotsman page 5, Record page 2, Herald page 1, Guardian page 2)

Independence & Barclays: The chief executive of Barclays has said that his bank “could make independence work”. (Scotsman page 12, Sun page 2, Herald page 6, Mail page 5, Courier page 17, P&J page 12)

Billboards for independence: The Yes campaign has reportedly reserved outdoor advertising space worth up to £2.5million for four intensive periods of poster advertising thought to be planned. (Telegraph page 1)

Dangerous Dogs: Alex Salmond has reportedly outlined plans to introduce laws to control dangerous dogs which would see all dogs in Scotland licensed and micro-chipped. (Record page 5)

Culture: Playwright David McLennan has commented that he hopes Scotland will remain within the UK and said that Scottish culture thrives within the UK. (Herald page 6)

White Paper: The Scottish Conservatives are reportedly considering asking Scotland’s top civil servant, Sir Peter Housden, to investigate whether public funds were misused in the publication of the White Paper on independence following news of a private meeting between civil servants and SNP officials last summer to discuss the paper. (Mail page 4)

Ukip: George Kerevan in the Scotsman comments on the growth of Ukip.

Neighours: Allan Massie in the Scotsman comments that the Scots and English have more in common than he thinks the SNP are willing to admit.

Energy bills: Tom Greatrex in the Mail argues that energy bills could increase in an independent Scotland.

Economy

Donald Trump: Donald Trump’s organisation last night announced that it would be focusing “all of our investment and energy” on a new golf development in Ireland, following the Scottish Government’s approval of an offshore wind farm, which Mr Trump claims blights his Scottish golf resort. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 14, Record page 12, Express page 14, Herald page 9, Telegraph page 10, Mail page 8, Guardian page 13, Courier page 2, P&J page 1)

Faslane strike: Workers at the Faslane naval base have voted to take industrial action for two hours next week, the first strike at the site in 42 years. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 2, Herald page 5)

Alexander & Clegg: Nick Clegg is reportedly concerned that Danny Alexander has “gone native” in the Treasury by signing up to George Osborne’s plans for further spending cuts. (Sun page 2, P&J page 11)

Interest rates: Three former members of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee have suggested that interest rates could rise before the end of the year. However, the Bank’s Governor, Mark Carney, has warned that the UK is still too weak for interest rates to be increased in the near future.  (FT page 2, Telegraph page 1)

Education

Tuition fees: EU Commissioner for education, Androulla Vassiliou, has reportedly commented that any attempt to treat Scottish students and those from the rest of the UK differently following independence, could be regarded as a “covert form of discrimination on grounds of nationality”. (Scotsman page 8, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 5)

Child guardians: The Church of Scotland has said that the Scottish Government’s plans to introduce a named guardian for every Scottish child “diminished the role of parent” and could reduce the time available to support children in need of help. (Herald page 1, Aileen Campbell in the Herald, Mail page 10)

Health
Doctor test:
There have been reported calls for a review of the recruitment of foreign doctors in Scotland after one medic scored only 17.5% in a knowledge test. (Scotsman page 18)

BT legal action: BT is reportedly planning to sue NHS National Services Scotland for £20million over a computer contract, following a decision by Lord Malcolm at the Court of Session that damages would be an appropriate remedy for the breech in procurement regulations. (Herald page 5)