Reform Scotland News: 6 May 2014

Daily Political Newspaper Summary:  6 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



Nuclear weapons: Professor Malcolm Chalmers, research director of the Royal United Services Institute, has argued that an independent Scotland may be forced to postpone banning nuclear weapons from its territory in exchange for easier passage into Nato and the EU. (Scotsman page 12 )


University research and independence: 102 academics have signed a letter arguing that their research base would be protected and allowed to thrive, rather than harmed, by independence. (Herald page 1)


Politicians & twitter: The Herald has produced the top 10 Twitter list of Scottish MSPs based on the number of followers. (Herald page 6)


Risk-takers: According to a study from Stirling University, there is a link between people willing to take a gamble and their willingness to support constitutional change. (Times page 6, Harry Reid in the Herald)


Scottish Parliament: Yes Scotland has been accused of scare tactics after publishing an article warning that the Scottish Parliament could be scrapped after a ‘no’ vote. (Sun page 2, Record page 2, Telegraph page 7)


EU membership: Jean-Claude Piris, a former legal counsel for the European Council and the Council of Ministers, has suggested that David Cameron’s demands to renegotiate British membership of the EU would not necessarily require a treaty change. (FT page 3)


UK population: According to a report by Policy Exchange, non-white people will make up between 20 and 30 per cent of the UK’s population by 2050, compared with the current 14 per cent.  The think tank advises politicians not to treat minority voters as a bloc. (Telegraph page 1  , Guardian page 7)


Independence comparisons: Peter Jones in the Scotsman accuses the SNP of making misleading comparisons when making their case for independence.


Civil service: David Maddox in the Scotsman comments that civil service impartiality of both sides of the independence debate is under scrutiny.



Oil & gas sector: According to figures from Scottish Enterprise, international sales from companies serving the oil and gas sector grew to £10bn in 2012-13. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 2, Record page 2, Express page 2, Mail page 27)


Energy bills: Tom Greatrex in the Herald argues that reform is needed in the energy market.


Interest rates: The Bank of England is expected to have its first detailed discussion about raising interest rates this week. (FT page 2)


Zero-hours: A letter from employment minister Esther McVey has suggested that jobseekers could risk losing their benefits if they refuse to take zero-hours contract roles. (Guardian page 1)



Speed camera campaign: Alex Salmond has accused Danny Alexander of putting “votes before lives” due to the latter’s involvement in a campaign against the introduction of average-speed cameras on the A9. (Telegraph page 7)



Asthma care:  The National Review of Asthma Deaths, published today, has highlighted prescribing errors in 47 per cent of asthma deaths and room for improvement in the care received by 83 per cent of those who died. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1)


E-cigarettes: The Royal Environmental Health Institute for Scotland has called for a ban on the public use of electronic cigarettes and a ban on advertising the products in and around Commonwealth Games venues. (Herald page 7, Colette Douglas Home in the Herald, Times page 20, Express page 7, Kerry Gill in the Express, Mail page 19)


Dental delays: The British Dental Association in Scotland has said that vulnerable dental patients are having to wait up to three months for NHS treatment costing more than £350 because the approvals system “is in meltdown”. (Herald page 11)


Heath checks: Health Secretary Alex Neil has confirmed that the Scottish Government has scrapped its plan for specialised health checks for 40 year olds. (Times page 7, Record page 8, Express page 7)