Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 1 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.
Scotland and alcohol: Alex Salmond has been accused of characterising Scotland as a “nation of drunks” in an interview with GQ magazine. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 1, Express page 2, Mail page 10) and has reportedly defended his remarks made about Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in the same interview (Herald page 1, Mail page 10, Guardian page 23, Courier page 1, Douglas Alexander in the Mail, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph)
Gerry Adams: Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was arrested last night in connection to the 1972 abduction and murder of Jean McConville. (Scotsman page 1. Sun page 1, Record page 1, Times page 1, Express page 9, Herald page 1, Mail page 1, Courier page 2, Telegraph page 1)
Population: According to the National Records of Scotland there were 5,327,770 people living in Scotland in mid 2013, an increase of 14,100 on last year. (Scotsman page 8, Record page 29, Times page 2, Express page 2, Herald page 10, Mail page 19, P&J 19).
No Borders project: A Scottish millionaire is reportedly launching a pro-union project which aims to put ordinary people at the forefront of the referendum (Herald page 6).
EU pricing: The Court of Session in Edinburgh has referred the legal challenge against alcohol minimum pricing legislation to the Court of Justice of the European Union (Herald page 9, Record page 2, Sun page 2, Times page 8, P&J page 15).
Zero hours: Unions have called for action against zero-hour contracts after a study by the Office of National Statistics showed that 1.4 million jobs involved contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of hours (Herald page 9, Guardian page 1).
EU elections: The SNP have launched their European elections campaign, claiming that if Scotland left the UK they could gain access to more benefits (Herald page 6). Keith Aitken in the Express and Catherine MacLeod in the Herald, both give their views on this.
Iain Macwhirter looks at the referendum debate thus far and claims that, regardless the outcome of the vote, Scotland will be a different country (Herald page 3).
Uncertainty over ‘No’: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments that even a ‘no’ vote in the referendum could lead to uncertainty which could see some businesses move south of the Border.
Royal Mail sale: Labour accused the privatisation of the Royal Mail as a ‘£1bn sip-off’ for taxpayers as the 16 investors given preferential treatment in the deal were revealed to include hedge funds and overseas sovereign wealth funds (Herald page 2, Mail page 8, Guardian page 14, FT page 1).
Financial transaction tax: the European Court of Justice has rejected a legal challenge by George Osborne against the proposed financial transaction tax which threatens to ‘ravage pensions’ (Express page 1).
Voting ‘Yes’ consequences: Research for the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has indicated that one in six businesses would consider leaving Scotland in the event of a ‘yes’ vote (Herald page 6, P&J page 14) while researchers at the Centre for Economics and Business Research Express have warned that 40,000 financial sector jobs would move to London (Express page 8, Mail page 11).
Baby ashes scandal: Dame Elish Angiolini’s report into the baby ashes scandal at Mortonhall crematorium in Edinburgh was published yesterday. It stated that hundreds of parents faced a “life-time of uncertainty” over what happened to their children’s remains. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Sun page 8, Record page 1, Times page 1, Express page 7, Mail page 1, Guardian page 13, P&J page7, Telegraph page 1).
Hospital problems: an inspection report published by Health Improvement Scotland has raised concerns about the care given to older people (Herald page 3, Times page 6, Record page 6).
School standards: According to figures published in the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy, more than a third of children in second year at high school were “not yet working within the level” expected for numeracy. (Scotsman page 9, Times page 2, Express page 2, Herald page 7, Mail page 19).
New universities: A new league table for the world’s Top 100 younger universities, produced by the Times Higher Education Magazine, features three Scottish institutions, namely Heriott-Watt, Stirling and Strathclyde University (Herald page 3, Times page 20, Mail page 19).