Reform Scotland News: 23 June 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 debate: London School of Economics Professor Patrick Dunleavy has estimated that the immediate cost of establishing an independent Scotland would be £200 million, but with hundreds of millions more being needed to build the government and IT systems of the new state. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 1, Press and Journal page 12, Courier page 15, Times page 1, Daily Express page 2, Daily Record page 9, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 1)

The BBC has announced plans for Scotland’s biggest ever debate to be held the week before the referendum in front of an audience of 12,000 teenagers at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. The debate will be on independence, and the participants are likely to be Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling. (Herald page 1, Sunday Herald page 1, Press and Journal page 12, Times page 4, FT page 3, Daily Express page 2, Daily Record page 9, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 14)

More than 100 solicitors, QCs, legal academics and advocates have come together to form Lawyers for Yes, a pro-independence group claiming independence will offer citizens the benefit of being protected under a written constitution. (Herald page 6)

Radical Independence canvassers took to the streets yesterday carrying leaflets with the slogan “Britain is for the rich, Scotland can be ours”. Radical Independence offers a different vision of an independent Scotland from that set out by the SNP. (FT page 3)

Police in Scotland are investigating as it emerged that Alex Salmond has been the recipient of death threats. (Scotsman page 9, Daily Record page 2)

Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, has warned that warnings from high-profile figures about the dangers of creating bitter divisions within Scotland risk making things worse. (Sunday Times page 6)

Scottish sprinting legend Cameron Sharp, who won gold medals for Scotland in the 1978 and 1980 Commonwealth Games, has endorsed the Yes Campaign. (Sunday Times page 7)

David Torrance comments in the Herald on the Monarchy, and the significance of the Bannockburn anniversary celebrations for the independence debate.

In the Scotsman, Lesley Riddoch comments on the BBC’s new political show Crossfire.

Andrew Nicoll comments in the Sun that England may decide to try and get rid of Wales and Northern Ireland if Scotland leaves the United Kingdom. (page 8)

Tom Peterkin comments in Scotland on Sunday on the ramped-up advertising campaigns of both sides in the final run-up to the referendum.

Vernon Bogdanor comments in the Guardian that unless there is a No vote, Scotland will become a “fax democracy”, reduced to the status of a lobbyist.

Kezia Dugdale comments in the Daily Record on Alex Salmond’s appeal to the youth of Scotland.


Further devolution: Days after the three main opposition parties staged a public show of unity over the devolution of more powers to Scotland in the event of a No vote, Richard Keen QC, Chairman of the Scottish Conservatives, has dismissed Labour’s plans for further devolution as “incoherent, unworkable and confused”. (Sunday Herald page 13, Times page 2, Sunday Times page 1, Telegraph page 11)


Centralisation: A report by Reform Scotland has revealed how Scotland would become the most fiscally centralised democracy in the world under the SNP’s current proposals for independence. (Sunday Times page 7)


Republic of Scotland: Anti-Royalists within the Yes campaign have reportedly pledged to use the creation of a Scottish constitution to reject the monarchy and install an elected head of state. (Scotland on Sunday page 1, Daily Express page 2)

Brian Monteith comments in the Scotsman that the talk of a People’s Republic of Scotland may lose Yes votes.

Colin Fox comments in Scotland on Sunday that there would be no place for the monarchy in an independent Scotland.


Ed Miliband: Tim Shipman and Francesca Angelini comment in the Sunday Times on Ed Miliband’s performance as Labour leader.



Consumer confidence: The Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report for May shows that, despite low wage rises, consumer confidence in the UK is continuing to grow. (Herald page 5)


Welfare reforms: According to research carried out by Holyrood’s Welfare Reform Committee, people living in Scotland’s most deprived areas are being hit five times as hard by UK-wide welfare reforms as those in the most affluent areas, with 12 of the 20 worst affected areas being in Glasgow. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 4, Daily Mail page 8, Telegraph page 14)


Currency: Scottish economist Professor Jeremy Peat has said that there is no clear choice for Scottish currency post-independence, and that the SNP’s plan A, a currency union with the rest of the UK, would constrain Scotland’s fiscal policy. (Courier page 15, Press and Journal page 12, Scotsman page 9, Sun page 2)


House prices: Leading property agency Savills has claimed that house prices will rise more quickly if Scotland remains in the UK. (Times page 4)



University drive: As part of a £400,000 initiative to promote equal access to higher education, pupils as young as 11 will be told of the benefits of going to university or college in a drive by Glasgow University targeting secondary schools across the West of Scotland. (Herald page 13)



Tribunal charges: Figures obtained under the freedom of information act show that, since the introduction of fees in July last year, the number of employment tribunals has fallen by 68%, prompting lawyers and unions to voice fears over access to justice. (Herald page 1)


Stop-and-search: It has emerged that Police Scotland have exaggerated the number of weapons found in their stop-and-searches, with 41% fewer weapons actually being found than were reported found. (Daily Record page 2)


Reducing reoffending: With the support of an £8 million grant, young people leaving prisons in Scotland will receive mentoring on contributing to society to reduce the chances of them reoffending. (Telegraph page 14)



Health policies: A poll for the British Medical Association has revealed that 74%of Scottish people believe that health policies are made to win votes rather than to do what is best for the NHS. (Scotsman page 10)


Negligence: NHS Scotland paid out more than £36 million in claims for clinical negligence last year, with opposition parties claiming that the increase is caused by staff shortages due to funding cuts. (Times page 11)