Political Newspaper Summary: 23 February 2015
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.
Survation Poll: A poll commissioned by the SNP has shown that 60% of people support the idea that withdrawal from the EU should require ‘four nation consent’ rather than a simple majority across the UK. The same poll showed that 62% of voters agree that a big team of SNP MPs would give the nation more say at Westminster (Sunday Herald page 11, Herald page 6, Scotsman page 4, Record page 2, Courier page 14, P&J page 13, Sun page 2, National pages 6&7)
Votes at 16: The House of Lords has criticised plans to give Holyrood the power to lower the voting age, claiming it will lead to similar pressure across the UK (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 7, National page 1-3, Times page 7, P&J page13)
Pre-election Talks: Nicola Sturgeon is calling for the SNP to be allowed to hold pre-election talks with the UK Civil Service (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 13, Telegraphpage 10, Record page 6, Mail page 2, Courier page 14)
Nicola Sturgeon: Andrew Wilson in Scotland on Sunday discusses Nicola Sturgeon’s first 100 days in office.
Unstable Union: David Torrance in the Herald discusses difficulties for the Unionist parties in the upcoming election and what is needed to sustain the UK.
Jim Murphy: The Labour leader appeals to yes and no voters to vote Labour in the general election to keep out the Conservatives. He has also confirmed that he has dropped the ‘yes for Labour’ campaign slogan as it is too backward looking (Scotland on Sunday page 8, Sunday Herald page 10)
Ed Miliband: In the Sunday Herald Iain Macwhirter suggests that Ed Miliband’s chance of becoming the Prime Minister may lie with the SNP.
Conservatives: On the back of the Conservative party conference there are discussions on Ruth Davidson’s leadership and the chance of recovery in Scotland (Brian Monteith in the Scotsman, Gillian Bowditch in the Sunday Times (page 27), Andrew Nicoll in the Sun (page 8)
David Mundell: Alex Salmond in the Courier believes that David Mundell will lose his seat in the upcoming election (page 18)
Alcohol Ban: In the Sunday Herald Ian Bell argues that football and alcohol are a bad combination.
Named Person: In Scotland on Sunday, Dani Garavelli argues that many parents are wrongly opposing named person legislation on ideological grounds.
Fracking: Lesley Riddoch in the Scotsman discusses the implications of fracking, including financial gains for local councils
ID Cards: Lord Phillips has warned that Scots may be forced to accept “ID cards by the back door” if ministers push ahead with plans for a public sector database (Times pages 1&2, Mail page 2)
Childcare: In the Record, Kezia Dugdale dismisses SNP claims that their free childcare policy is a success
Oil and Gas: With the oil and gas sector shifting focus to onshore exploration, Scotland could be on the verge of a decommissioning bonanza (Sunday Herald pages 36&37)
Exports: A report by N-56 claims that Scotland could enjoy a £77 billion trade boost by reducing over-reliance on the rest of the UK for exports (Scotsman page 33)
Energy Market: Westminster’s energy committee has called for a study into the charging system, which currently penalises consumers in the north and north east (P&J pages 6&7)
NHS Crisis: Colin Howie, President of the British Orthopaedic Association has warned against the creeping privatisation of the NHS in Scotland, while emergency medical consultant Martin McKechnie claims that systemic problems are causing a crisis (Heraldpage 1, Record pages 1, 4&5)
Targets: In the National, Carolyn Leckie argues that an obsession with targets is hampering NHS workers (page 8)
E-Cigarettes: In Scotland on Sunday, Euan McColm argues against the ban on E-cigarettes on hospital grounds.
Obesity: According to NHS Health Scotland almost half of Scots could be obese by 2030 (Sunday Times page 10, Scotsman page 17)
Mental Health Care Initiative: Police and psychiatric nurses will work more closely in a new pilot scheme between Police Scotland and NHS Greater Glasgow in a bid to revolutionise front line mental health care and unclog A&E units (Herald page 11)
Police Scotland: A Survation poll shows the majority of the public support the practice of stop and search, but only a minority of respondents believed the overall service had improved since the creation of the single force. There is also discussion of Sir Stephen House’s position, amidst claims that Police Scotland and officials tried to obstruct research into stop and search (Euan McColm in Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Herald pages 1, 4&5, National page 15, National page 12 Times page 17, Mail page, Courier page 15)
Prison Officers: Leaders of the Prison Officers Association have signed a controversial no strike deal with Scottish Government Ministers (Scotland on Sunday pages 1, 4&5, Sun page 4, Express page 2, Times page 4, Record page 2)
Early Release: Eric Murch, Director of Operations at the Scottish Prison Service has warned that scrapping automatic early release for prisoners serving more than four years will increase the number of inmates by over 400 in the next 10 years (Herald page 5, Scotsman page 12)
Free Tuition: A Freedom of Information request have shown a fall in the number of Scots students and a rise of EU students accepted at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee Universities, prompting criticism over free tuition (Sunday Times pages 1&4, Scotsman pages 1, 4&5, Telegraph page 11, Sun page 2, National page 5)
Attainment Gap: In the Herald, Stephen Naysmith discusses the attainment gap for young deaf Scots learners
London Challenge: The First Minister is to visit Blue Gate Fields Junior School in London’s Tower Hamlets to learn lessons from the English initiative that helped raise attainment (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 7)