Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 16th 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.
Enhanced Devolution: In a visit to Scotland yesterday, David Cameron pledged to devolve further powers to Scotland in the event of a No vote. He reportedly portrayed himself as the ‘guardian of devolution’ by referring to previously fulfilled promises but was unable to confirm a timeframe for the changes. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 1, Sun page 9, Express page 2, FT page 2, Times page 7, Guardian page 16, Press and Journal page 12)
Alison Rowat is the Herald discusses the merit of Prime Minister’s visit to Glasgow yesterday and whether the Prime Minster is an ‘asset’ or a ‘liability’ to the No Campaign.
Donations to SNP: Lottery winners Chris and Colin Weir have donated a further £1million to the SNP, bringing the total they have given to the Yes campaign up to £5.5million. The owner of Stagecoach buses has also pledged a donation of £1million(Scotsman page 7, Herald page 2, Telegraph page 1, Sun page 2, Express page 2, Times page 7)
Sport for Yes: Footballer and TV pundit Michael Stewart helped launch the Sport for Yes campaign yesterday, saying he believes a Yes vote would lead to an upsurge in self-belief and confidence. (Scotsman page 7)
Scottish MPs: The House of Lords has recommended that Scottish voters should still be allowed to elect MPs in 2015 and that Scottish MPs should leave at the formal point of independence from the UK. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6, Times page 7)
Ticket Fiasco: Following a technological meltdown involving sales of Commonwealth Games tickets, ticketing agents have been forced to delay the launch of tickets for the Rugby World Cup. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 1)
European Elections: Joyce McMillan in the Scotsman discusses predictions for the upcoming European Elections based on opinion polls and notes the different level of success Ukip is experiencing in England as opposed to Scotland.
Nuclear Stance: Colin Fleming of the University of Edinburgh has produced a paper suggesting that an independent Scotland would compromise on its anti-nuclear stance and operate a ‘Don’t ask’ policy on Nato ships docking in Scotland, to ensure quick and easy re-entry into the Western military alliance. (Herald page 6)
Committee System: SNP MSP Willie Coffey has described claims the party is undermining the committee system by protecting ministers from criticism and embarrassment as ‘unfair’ and ‘disappointing’. Willie Coffey, a member of the Public Audit Committee, was refuting claims by opposition MSPs that SNP committee members failed to reflect on evidence that was critical of the government. (Herald page 6)
Research: Andrew Denholm in the Herald discusses the psychology of the referendum debate and the future of university funding through UK-wide research councils.
Salmond’s Appeal: A poll by Survaytion which asked 1003 Scots about their views on independence has found that a dislike of Alex Salmond is deterring over a third of Scots from voting Yes. (Express page 2)
Bruce Heir: A descendant of Robert the Bruce has claimed that a Yes vote is ‘the wrong way forward’ because he fears it is not possible to be independent in the modern, interdependent world and that it would leave Scotland divided. (Times page 1)
Immigration: Speaking to Holyrood’s External Relations Committee, Strathclyde University Professor Robert Wright warned that boosting immigration was not the answer to Scotland’s economic needs as it would not solve the problem of Scotland’s ageing population. (Scotsman page 6)
Bank’s Uncertain Future: The Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group has warned Bank of Scotland shareholders that the independence referendum was creating uncertainty and that the impact on their investments was not yet known. (Telegraph page 4)
Air Weapons: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has unveiled plans for new laws restricting the use of airguns, sparking reaction from shooting and countryside groups who claim it would unfairly penalise the law-abiding and not cut crime. (Scotsman page 19, Herald page 7, Record page 6, Express page 4)
Health Minister: Johann Lamont has called for Health Secretary Alex Neil to be sacked following allegations that he deceived the Parliament over his role in the controversial shake-up of NHS services in his constituency. Alex Salmond has dismissed her demands. (Scotsman page 10, herald page 6, Telegraph page 6, Record page 8, Express page 9, Times page 2)
Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph discusses Alex Salmond’s reluctance to sack Alex Neil and states that the Minister must be held to account for his actions.
NHS Failures: Health campaigners from Marie Curie Cancer Care and The Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care have demanded a new strategy for end-of-life care for Scottish patients, claiming more needs to be done to ensure people died when they wanted to and with appropriate pain relief and support. (Scotsman page 18)