Scottish news bulletin: 9th February 2009
All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.
RBS Bonus Row: Alistair Darling is set to announce an independent review into Britain’s banking system amid concerns over lack of vigilance by directors and the prospect of huge bonuses for staff. (Scotland on Sunday page 9, Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1, Guardian page 4, FT page 1, Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 5, Daily Mail page 1)
Charities: UK ministers will announce today a £40m bailout for charities dealing with the effects of the recession, but the lifeline is a fraction of the sum the government was urged to provide at crisis talks last year. (Guardian page 1)
Unemployment: Official figures are expected to reveal on Wednesday that the total number of unemployed people topped 2m at the end of last year, the highest figure since 1997. (FT page 3)
Alcohol Policy: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill took an unprecedented step of touring Glasgow’s bars and nightclubs in the early hours of yesterday to see first hand the issues and problems facing the trade. (Herald page 1, page 8)
Forth Crossing: Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson has pledged the new Forth crossing at Queensferry will be toll free. (Courier page 9)
Scotland’s Education System: Scotland’s education system is failing tens of thousands of pupils who are starting a secondary school without a basic grounding in literacy or numeracy, according to new figures published on Sunday. (The Sunday Times page 1)
Devolution: David Cameron pledged that if he was to become Prime Minister he would end the cross-border war between the UK and Scottish Governments, and insists he would introduce a new ‘maturity and respect’ for Scotland. (Scotland on Sunday page 1, page 20, Herald page 6, Courier page 11)
Bashir Ahmad MSP: More than 1000 people packed into Glasgow Central Mosque on Sunday to pay respects to Bashir Ahmad, the first Muslim of the Scottish Parliament, who died of a heart attack on Friday at the age of 68. (Scotland on Sunday page 2, Sunday Post page 3, Herald page 6)
Nuclear Energy: The Scottish Government will come under renewed pressure this week to reverse its ban on building nuclear power stations or risk plunging the country into a jobs and energy crisis. (Scotland on Sunday page B1)
List MSP: One of Scotland’s best-known political bloggers, Anne McLaughlin, is poised to enter Holyrood as the next SNP MSP. (Guardian page 15)
Independence: Support for independence has hardened in the face of the global recession, despite Labour predictions that the crisis would see more Scots turning to the Union for protection. Currently 38% support independence and 40% oppose it. (Sunday Herald
Royal Mail: Gordon Brown is being urged to scrap, or at least postpone, plans to part-privatise Royal Mail in the face of a growing revolt by Labour MPs. (Times page 41)
Reform Scotland is an independent, non-party think tank that aims to set out a better way to deliver increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the traditional Scottish principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility.