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Reform Scotland Media Summary 30 March

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 30 March 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.

In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News

Politics
SNP Conference:
  In a speech to SNP Conference, Nicola Sturgeon said that the SNP will bring down any fledgling Tory government and provide the ‘backbone and guts’ to make a Labour-led alternative more radical.  She also said that the SNP would move to abolish the House of Lords and create a fair voting system, as well as announcing the SNP would increase the minimum wage to £8.70 per hour by 2020 and provide new funds to tackle domestic violence (Sunday Herald pages 10&11, Scotland on Sunday pages 1, 4&5, Sunday Times page 7)

50p Tax:  Deputy SNP Leader Stewart Hosie brought the prospect of a post-election deal with Labour a step closer when he said in a Conference speech that the SNP would back Labour on the introduction of a 50p top rate of income tax across the UK.  This was echoed in John Swinney’s speech where he pledged to reintroduce the top rate of tax. Mr Hosie also said the SNP would demand talks on the contents of Labour’s first legislative programme in return for their backing (Herald page 6, Scotsman pages 1&4, Guardianpage 10, P&J pages 12&13, Courier page 16, Sun page 2, Record page 9, Express pages 1&2, National page 3, FT page 2, Times page 7)

All female shortlists:  the SNP voted in favour of allowing the introduction of all female shortlists for the 2016 Holyrood election (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 4, P&J page 13, Courier page 17, Express page 2, National page 3)

Party rules:  The SNP have been accused of ‘gagging’ their MPs after the party passed a rule change to block new MPs from speaking out against party policy (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 5, Mail page 11, Record page 9, Times page 6)

BBC Bias:  During a Q&A session at SNP Conference, Alex Salmond said that the BBC would remain biased against the SNP unless power over broadcasting is transferred to Holyrood (Herald page 1, Scotsman pages 1&5, Mail pages 10&11, Express page 1, Times page 6, Telegraph pages 1&5)

SNP Westminster Challenge:  In the Scotsman Lesley Riddoch discusses the challenges for the SNP of having a strong presence in Westminster as well as at Holyrood. Also, in the Guardian Neal Ascherson discusses challenges for the SNP in Westminster, suggesting they risk becoming part of the system, outflanked by radicals.

Democratic Legitimacy:  In the Herald David Torrance discusses the notion of democratic legitimacy, accusing the SNP of trying to re-write history.

Angus Robertson:
  Angus Robertson in the Sunday Herald says that Scotland’s voice is only valued by Westminster when it is singing their tune.

Labour-SNP Coalition:  In the Sunday Herald, Iain Macwhirter discusses whether Ed Miliband is ‘tough enough’ to form a government with the support of the SNP.

Nicola Sturgeon:  In the Telegraph, Alan Cochrane suggests that Nicola Sturgeon is frustrated with former leader Alex Salmond’s antics.

Alex Salmond:  In the Sunday Times AA Gill interviews Alex Salmond as he gears up for the General Election (page 18)

Tory Poster:  Alex Salmond has criticised the Tories over their ‘stupid’ poster depicting Ed Miliband in his pocket (National page 2, Record page 9)

British Values:  Gillian Bowditch in the Sunday Times says that the Scots are more like the English than the SNP would like people to believe (page 25)

Labour:  In an election essay in Scotland on Sunday, Douglas Alexander says that radical tax and welfare policies and preserving the Barnett formula are vital to ending austerity.

BES Survey:  Analysis by the British Election Survey has found that Labour is unlikely to win back voters they lost to the SNP during the referendum (Herald page 6, Scotsmanpage 4, P&J page 11, Courier page 16)

Campaign Launch:  Labour launch their election campaign in Glasgow with the message that only a vote for Labour in the General Election can oust the Conservatives and deliver ‘social justice’ across the UK (Scotsman page 6)

YouGov Poll:  A new opinion poll by YouGov taken after the studio interviews with Jeremy Paxman shows that Labour have opened up a four point lead over the Conservatives with Labour on 36% and the Tories on 32%.  (P&J page 11, Sunday Times page 1)

ComRes Poll:  According to a ComRes poll for the Daily Mail, the Conservatives have a four point lead over Labour.  The same poll also suggests that one in five Labour voters think David Cameron would make a better prime minister than Ed Miliband (Mail page 12)

Liberal Democrats: Kicking off a campaign tour in Kirkintilloch Willie Rennie says the Lib Dems will invest an extra £800 million in the Scottish NHS (Scotsman page 7, P&J page 14, Courier page 16)

Alistair Carmichael:
  Alistair Carmichael has said that the SNP will not be major players in post-election talks (Herald page 6)

Conservatives:  David Cameron says he will win back ‘instinctively Conservative’ voters as he set out a series of policies aimed at traditional Tory voters including the prospect of a new tax break for married couples (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 7)

Secret Service:  In response to a question during an SNP conference event, Robin McAlpine, Director of the Common Weal think tank said he believes UK secret services intervened in the referendum campaign (Herald page 9)

Hate Speech:
  Brian Monteith in the Scotsman questions why Labour and the SNP define the debate in Scotland as being for or against the Tories.

Oil Fund:  In the P&J (page 22) and Courier (page 14), Alex Salmond hits out at the UK Government’s failure to set up an oil fund when times were good.

Media:  Ian Bell in the Sunday Herald discusses the media portrayal of the parties in the General Election.

Economy
High Growth Companies:
  The proportion of high-growth companies in Scotland is growing faster than elsewhere in the UK thanks to the lower cost of setting up a business according to data compiled by the Business Growth Fund (Scotsman page 33)

Health
Welfare Reforms:  A draft study by West Dunbartonshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership has found benefit cuts and reforms are undermining efforts to help recovering drug addicts and alcoholics (Herald pages 1&2)

Meningitis B:  A vaccine for Meningitis B will soon be given to all infants in Scotland once talks have been held between the Department of Health, the Scottish Government and GlaxoSmithKline (Herald page 7, Scotsman pages 1&11, Mail page 8, Guardian page 13, P&J page 10, Courier page 19)

Palliative Care: In the Herald, Stephen Naysmith discusses the difficulties around end-of-life care for those with dementia.

NHS:  On the back of Nicola Sturgeon’s conference speech in which she praises NHS staff, Chris Deerin in the Mail suggests that not all NHS staff do an amazing job (page 14)

Transport
Job Seekers:  Under the new ScotRail franchise, jobseekers will get free rail travel to interviews plus a month’s free travel when they secure a job (Herald page 12, Mail page 8, P&J page 10, Courier page 19)