Reform Scotland News: 9 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



Further devolution: The Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and Labour are reportedly on the brink of an unprecedented joint pledge to guarantee more powers to the Scottish Parliament if voters reject independence. (Herald page 1, Times page1, Telegraph page 7, Courier page 17)

Alex Salmond has dismissed the prospect of further devolution, saying that it is “foolish” to trust the promises of other parties who are under pressure, and that the only way of guaranteeing more powers for Scotland is through independence. (Scotsman page 1)

Former Scottish Conservative chairman Peter Duncan comments on the proposed agreement between the unionist parties. (Sunday Times page 4)

Peter Duncan comments on Ruth Davidson in the Sunday Times and says that this time, unlike in the 70s, a female Conservative leader has actually got it right when it comes to further devolution.


Andy Murray: Andy Murray has criticised Alex Salmond’s waving of the Scottish flag at his Wimbledon victory last year. He also highlighted the fact that he has been playing for Great Britain for 16 years .(Times page 2, Herald page 3, Scotsman page 3, Telegraph page 1, Daily Express page 9, Daily Record page 2, Sunday Times page 1, Sun page 7, Press and journal page13, Courier page 3)

Gilliam Bowditch comments in the Sunday Times on whether the sporting success of Scottish athletes like Andy Murray can actually encourage people to vote Yes in the referendum.


Independence debate: The United States have warned the SNP that independence could result in Scotland’s membership of NATO being vetoed. The head of influential defence think tank the Royal United Services Institute has said that there was “zero chance” of Scotland joining NATO if the SNP removed the UK’s nuclear weapons from Scottish waters as they have promised. (Sunday Times page 1)

Figures from the latest British Social Attitudes Survey have revealed that a large majority of people in England want Scotland to remain in the UK, with only 1 in 5 people south of the border supporting Scottish Independence. (Herald page 6, Daily Mail page 7, Sunday Times page 5, Press and Journal page 12, Courier page 14)

Alex Salmond has dismissed Barack Obama’s appeal for Scotland to remain in the UK as a ‘stunt’ orchestrated by David Cameron. (Daily Express page 2, Sun page 6)

Former Defence Secretary John Reid has been criticised by Yes campaigners for using the D-Day commemoration events in order to gain No votes. (Daily Express page 2, Sunday Times page 4, Sun page 7)

Taggart actor Alex Norton has encouraged people to ignore “unionist scaremongering” and to support Scottish independence. (Sunday Times page 5)

In the Sunday Herald, Iain MacWhirter wonders how Better Together can still be ahead in the polls despite being “dismal, negative and with no poetry”.

Ian Blackford comments in the Sunday Times on how a Yes vote might ensure more economic growth in Scotland.

Euan McColm comments in Scotland on Sunday that voters’ sense of identity will be a key factor in the referendum battle, because, realistically, Scotland is no longer being held back by Westminster in any tangible way.

David Torrance comments in the Herald that positive campaigning must be tempered with realism, and that despite the talents of Alex Salmond, his uttering of the words” yes we can” sounded a little desperate.

Mure Dickie comments in the Financial Times on how Scottish independence would have far-reaching implications for the future of the Monarchy north of the border.

Ian Dey comments in the Sunday Times on the effectiveness of emotional warfare in the independence referendum.


Final 100 days: As the 100-day countdown to the referendum begins, both sides of the campaign are raising their game in a bid to win over undecideds, with female voters looking to be the key nationalist target. (Financial Times page 4, Guardian page 3, Daily Record page 2, Press and Journal page 12, Courier page 16)

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has accused Alex Salmond of “breathtaking arrogance” after it was revealed that the First Minister has already appointed a taxpayer-funded ‘transition team’ to oversee Scotland’s journey to independence, despite there still being100 days to go until the referendum. (Daily Mail page 1)

As the final months of the independence campaign are upon us, Alex Salmond is to launch an ambitious blueprint for returning Scotland’s industrial glory. (Sunday Herald page 11)

Lesley Riddoch comments in the Scotsman that, with only 100 days to go before the referendum, the Yes campaign still has time to change hearts and minds by campaigning at the grassroots level.

Brian Monteith comments in the Scotsman that, for all the claims and spins and exaggerations, the opinion polls regarding the independence referendum have not moved a huge deal since the launch of the Yes campaign, but as the100-day countdown begins, the Unionists are finally getting their message across effectively.

Alan Cochrane comments in the Telegraph that Better Together’s danger is that they may now get complacent in the final 100-day stretch, thinking that the Nationalists have nothing else to pull out of the bag.

Alex Massie comments in Scotland on Sunday on how both the Yes and No camps are struggling to create coherent visions in the last 100 days of the referendum campaign.


UK security: Former Royal Navy Chief Lord West has said that the prospect of Scottish independence is currently the greatest strategic threat to UK security. (Scotsman page 4, Sun page 2)


Child guardians: Opponents of the controversial scheme to appoint a named guardian to every child in Scotland are due to gather together today to speak out against the policy, arguing that the plan undermines the role of the parent in favour of government intrusion. (Herald page 5, Daily Mail page 4)


Commonwealth Games: The organisers of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games could be forced to dip into an emergency Scottish Government fund. The official cost of hosting the games is said to be standing at £563 million. (Scotsman page 12, Sunday Herald page 3)



Foreign investment: An inward investment project by Dakatri Diagnostics of Cambridge, Massachusetts, that Alex Salmond said last year would bring 126 jobs to Scotland, has failed to materialise, taking some of the shine off findings by Ernst & Young that Scotland is the premier British destination for FDI outside London. (Times page 4)



Road maintenance: A survey published today by Transform Scotland has revealed that 84% of Scots would prefer existing roads to be repaired before any new roads are built. (Scotsman page 16)



Private school tax breaks: Teachers across Scotland are to launch a nationwide bid to deprive private schools of their charitable status, despite recent moves to improve access to pupils from poorer backgrounds. (Herald page 4)



Hospital care: One of Scotland’s most senior nurses Professor June Andrews has claimed that a conspiracy of silence exists to hide how dangerous hospitals are, and that this is preventing public debate on how the NHS should cope with its understaffing and lack of resources. (Herald page 1)


Research funding: Sir Paul Nurse, one of Britain’s leading scientists has warned that research into the treatment of diseases such as Cancer could be harmed by Scottish independence because the biomedical teams that are working in Scotland rely on funding from UK organisations that may not support them if they were no longer working in the UK. (Sunday Times page 2)