Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 6 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.
Smith commission: The “pick n mix” deal of post-referendum powers for Holyrood could turn “messy” and leave Scotland unable to deliver meaningful economic change according to economist Professor Anton Muscatelli of Glasgow University. (The Scotsman page 8)
Scottish independence: Nick Clegg has claimed that Scotland would become independent “in a heartbeat” if the UK elected to leave the EU. (The Herald page 1, The National page 4, Scottish Daily Mail page 8)
English votes for English laws: Joyce McMillan in The Scotsman claims that English votes for English laws (Evel) will result in a UK that fails to do justice to Scottish interests.
Jim Murphy: Jim Murphy launched a Bill that aims to give children of prisoners the legal right to additional classroom support. (The Herald page 1, Daily Record page 9)
Land Reform: The Duke of Buccleuch has expressed “absolute dismay” over the SNP’s plans for land reform, stating that his estate will “almost certainly become smaller” as a result. (Financial Times page 3). Mure Dickie in Financial Times suggests that the SNP’s proposal smacks of class war and a further advance of the state.
SNP candidate: The SNP have been urged to deselect their candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Mhairi Black, after comments she is reported to have made. (Daily Record page 8, The Sun page 4)
Gordon Brown: Martin Kettle in The Guardian suggests that Gordon Brown should stay in British politics as his presence is good for both Scotland and the Union.
Benefits sanctions: Employment minister Esther McVey is under pressure to launch an independent investigation into claims staff feel pressured to penalise benefits claimants. (Daily Record page 2)
Lobbyist ban: Political lobbyists could be effectively expelled from the Scottish Parliament unless they adhere to a strict code of conduct. The Holyrood standards committee recommended a register to “cover significant lobbying activity”. (The Scotsman page 10, The Courier page 15)
Refugee candidate: A Syrian refugee who came to Scotland ten years ago will stand for the Scottish Conservative Party in the Inverclyde constituency stating that the Conservatives represent the values he “dreamed about” while living under the Assad regime. (The Scotsman page 12)
Helen Chambers in The Scotsman claims that bold ideas must be put forward to tackle Scotland’s problems such as child poverty and women’s inequality.
Staff shortages: The Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh has warned that there is an increased risk of death and poorer outcomes when staffing levels are reduced. They suggested that minimum NHS staffing levels be introduced to reduce death rates. (The Scotsman page 14, The Herald page 1, The National page 3, Daily Telegraph page 13, The Times page 1)
A&E times: Nicola Sturgeon is considering the weekly publication of A&E waiting times after targets were not met. (The Herald page 6, The National page 3) John MacLeod in the Scottish Daily Mail claims that Kezia Dugdale’s presentation of A&E statistics was worthy of an “orchestral score”. Jenny Marra in The Courier claims that the NHS in Scotland is struggling. Alan Cochrane in the Daily Telegraph is frustrated that the SNP appear to escape the blame for poor performance in the NHS.
Organ donation: TV presenter Lorraine Kelly has backed Labour MSP Anne Taggart’s Bill to change the current “opt-in” organ donor register to an opt-out system in Scotland. (The Herald page 3)
Stop and search: Police Scotland have revealed plans to scrap “consensual” stop and search procedures after growing concern over its widespread use and targeting of children. Ruth Davidson accused Police Scotland of acting too slowly over stop and search. (The Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 6, The National page 11, Daily Recordpage 2, Scottish Daily Mail page 1,The Courier page 15, Press and Journal page 14, Scottish Daily Express page 2, Daily Telegraph page 2, The Times page 5) Kath Murray in The National suggests that people’s rights need to be formalised. John Cooper in the Scottish Daily Mail states that the police need to have the consent of the community in carrying out their work.
Drugs squad investigation: Scores of detectives in Tayside have been under continued investigation for three years and with no charges brought, The Scottish Police Federation has questioned the conduct of the probe. (The Herald page 4)
School cuts: Parents have hit out at West Dumbartonshire council’s attempt to save £1 million by reducing school hours by 2.5 hours per week. Council leaders will hold emergency talks in Edinburgh. (The Herald page 3, Scottish Daily Mail page 8)