Reform Scotland News: 23 May 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


Please note that there will be no media summary on Monday 26th May due to the Bank Holiday.



Research Funding: Leading scientists have expressed concerns about a threat to research funding in the event of Scottish Independence. They claim Scottish universities received 13% of funding from the UK Research Council Grants despite having only 8% of the population. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, Record page 23)


Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph discusses the open letter, signed by leading academics, on the impact of independence on university funding. 


European Elections: Ahead of yesterday’s European Elections, Alex Salmond made a final call for the people of Scotland to ‘reject the intolerant agenda’ of Nigel Farage’s UKIP. Although final results in Scotland will not be available until Monday morning, early signs show a low turnout. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 6, Times page 6, Express page 2, Record page 22, Sun page 2, FT page 3, Press and Journal page 11)


Ed Miliband came under fire yesterday from his own party over fears of a predicted lack of success in the European Elections. Senior party figures voiced concerns over Mr Miliband’s image, labelled him as ‘out of touch’ with the public and criticised his ‘lacklustre’ campaign which failed to tackle the threat of UKIP. (Times page 7)


Kevin McKenna in the Herald discusses Scottish attitudes to immigration and its impact socially and economically with reference to the significance of the issue in the European Election campaigns.  


Referendum Debate: Alistair Darling stated that discussion has yet to take place about a potential televised debate between Alex Salmond and himself but admits it would be extraordinary if such a debate did not happen. He also warned that the world will be watching Scotland and hopes both sides of the campaign conduct themselves appropriately. (Scotsman page 13, Sun page 2)


Professor Anthony King of the University of Essex has labelled Alex Salmond’s 18 month timescale for a move to Independence as unrealistic and dismissed claims that the Edinburgh Agreement guarantees the UK’s goodwill in negotiating an independence settlement. (Herald page 6)


Joyce McMillan in the Scotsman discusses the positive messages that the Better Together campaign has focused on this week but maintains the need for a ‘radical re-think’ in order to counter the ‘thoughtful and positive grassroots activism’ of the Yes Campaign.


Marriage Equality:  Scotland’s first openly-gay minister has called on the Kirk to re-think the issue of same-sex marriage and called for the SNP’s written constitution in the event of a yes vote to apply the term ‘marriage’ to all couples and to cement the role of all faiths in Scotland. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 13, Times page 9, Press and Journal page 12)


Censorship Claims:  The SNP have been accused of using their parliamentary majority to censor criticism of the Scottish Government and ‘tone down’ reports against the will of opposition members. (Telegraph page 1)



Renewable Energy:  Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has given the go-ahead for a new wind farm in South Lanarkshire which would power 50,000 homes, create local jobs and generate $4million for the local community. (Herald page 10)



Schools Merger: Labour’s Sir Charles Gray has voiced concerns that the proposed merging of two schools in North Lanarkshire Council is for reasons of profit rather than education. (Herald page 3)


Skills Shortage: Doug Marr in the Herald discusses the skills shortage, particularly in the oil and gas sector and calls for closer links between higher education and industry as well a change in attitudes and perceptions.



Elderly Care: Lyndsay Buckland in the Scotsman discusses recent improvements recommended by Healthcare Initiative Scotland to improve standards for the frail elderly.



 Court Expenses: The Crown Office has promised to chase down court expenses from individuals suspected of being behind organised crime to deliver serious financial blows and therefore disrupt criminality. (Herald page 9, Express page 2, Sun page 30)