Reform Scotland News: 7 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



Independence referendum: David Cameron will today call for England, Wales and Northern Ireland to let Scots know that they want them to stay in the Union. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, Financial Times page 1, Scottish Daily Express page 4, Daily Record page 2)


The European Parliament will reportedly publish within weeks its own legal advice on whether Scotland can be fast tracked to EU membership. (Herald page 1)


The level of support for Independence amongst business leaders has been called into question by Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont during First Minister’s Questions yesterday. This was following the Chief Executive of BP, Bob Dudley, saying he was against Independence. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 5, Times page 9, Scottish Daily Express page 1)


Bob Holman, a prominent Labour party member has backed independence, reportedly saying that it will give Scotland a better chance to fight inequality. (Scotsman page 14)


Uncertainty has reportedly been cast, due to the referendum on Independence, over BAE systems plans to build a £200 million “frigate factory” on the Clyde (Scotsman page 22, Times page 4)


Philip Stephens comments in the Financial Times on the future of the Union and the forthcoming Independence referendum.


Labour and the NO vote: John Curtice, one of Scotland’s leading pollsters, has reportedly claimed that a yes vote in the referendum would theoretically deprive Labour of more than 40 MPs, costing the party the equivalent of 250,000 votes. (Financial Times page 3)


Investments: Hamish Buchan, chair of the Personal Assets Trust, has reportedly claimed that there will be an 18 month window for shareholders to evaluate their holding, if there is a yes vote for independence. (Herald page 29)


Bannockburn: A bill of up to £250,000 is reportedly being faced by Tourism chiefs to ensure a scaled back celebration of the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn goes ahead. (Scotsman page 8)


Coal mining and Councillors: It has been reported that councillors on East Ayrshire Council received gifts and trips from coal mining companies and neglected to hold them to account for environmental damage. (Herald page 1)


Expenses: The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Donald Wilson, has come under fire for his expenses after reportedly attending less than half of the engagements that he had claimed to. (Herald page 5)


Minimum Alcohol pricing: Legislation on a minimum unit price for alcohol of 50p has been claimed by the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) to breach EU trading rules. (Scotsman page 21, Herald page 4, Times page 11)


CCTV: NHS Lothian staff are reportedly receiving personal CCTV cameras to help protect them, following recent verbal and physical abuse in the car park of St John’s Hospital, Livingston (Herald page 7)


George Square: A new surface to George Square, which reportedly cost £500,000 and was only laid 5 months ago, already needs repairs. (Herald page 13)


Scotland 2014: Sarah Smith, the reporter and daughter of the late Labour leader John Smith, has reportedly hit back at “cybernats” questioning her impartiality over the referendum as she is going to front the new Scotland 2014 programme on the BBC. (Daily Telegraph page 1)




Economic Growth: A new report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) predicted an increase in its growth forecast for 2014, from 2% to 2.5%, returning to the levels they were at in early 2008. (Scotsman page 1)


Keeping the pound: The chairman of Westminster’s Treasury select committee, Andrew Tyrie, yesterday said in the House of Commons that a currency union would be unacceptable to voters in Scotland and England. (Scotsman page 4, Times page 9)


New Cars: Scots are reportedly buying new cars at a faster rate than the rest of the UK. (Herald page 10)



Corroboration row: Alex Salmond has had to come to the defence of the Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill following attacks, over the planned abolition of corroboration, from both the Tories and Lib-Dems during First Minister’s Questions. (Herald page 2, Times page 2)


Alan Cochrane comments, on page 11 of the Daily Telegraph, on the Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.


Drink Driving: A Scotsman, who reportedly was five and half times over the limit, one of the highest recorded drink driving alcohol levels in Scotland, was given community service as the Sheriff reportedly said that the Jail time would be too short. (Herald page 4)



Potentially deadly cheese: The Food Standards Agency has reportedly recalled batches of the award winning Loch Arthur Creamery Criffel cheese, due to bacteria being found that could be very dangerous to certain people. (Scotsman page 12)


Obesity: Professor Steven Blair, from the University of South Carolina, will warn about the importance of exercise, as well as diet, to tackle obesity, at a conference in Edinburgh today. (Scotsman page 23, Herald page 12)


Legal highs: MSPs have heard of the dangers of legal highs being potential more harmful than illegal drugs, whilst debating New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). (Scotsman page 24, Herald page 2)


Mental Health: Dr Donald Lyons, chief executive of the Mental Welfare Commission (MWC) reportedly believes that in recent years significant advances have been made over psychiatric illnesses. (Herald page 22)



Curriculum: Graeme Logan in The Herald comments that the new curriculum, which has been ten years in the making, is working effectively.