Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 09 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.
Labour- SNP Coalition: During his speech at the Scottish Labour party conference, Jim Murphy ruled out a General Election pact with the Tories, however, both he and Ed Miliband did not rule out a coalition with the SNP. Caroline Flint, Margaret Curran and Ian Stewart all also refused to do so during interviews. David Cameron moves to exploit the Labour split, warning that such a deal could lead to the break-up of the UK, but Labour suggests that the Conservative attacks on a post-election deal with the SNP are the real threat. (Sunday Herald page 4, Scotland on Sunday page 5, Sunday Times page 2, Herald page 6, Mail page 6, Courier page 19, National page 4, Times page 1)
In the Herald David Torrance believes it is unlikely that Ed Miliband will swallow his pride and hold talks with Nicola Sturgeon.
George Kerevan in the National thinks that Labour would seek a deal with the Lib Dems post election and try to form a minority government.
In the Sunday Herald Iain Macwhirter discusses the effect the SNP challenge has had on Labour policies.
Alex Salmond in the P&J (page24) and Courier (page 14) discusses the SNP’s role in Westminster post the general election.
In the Telegraph, Alan Cochrane suggests that rumours of Labour’s demise are premature.
Tom Peterkin in Scotland on Sunday discusses how Labour can avert electoral disaster.
In the Scotsman Lesley Riddoch suggests that Labour will suffer in the General Election because they lack any distinct policies.
Jim Murphy Pledge: The Labour leader attempted to reach out to disaffected Labour voters during his speech as he promised a £160m package for education and helping young people from Scotland’s poorest families (Sunday Herald page 6, Scotland on Sunday pages 1, 4&5, Sunday Times page 2)
Low Pay: Jim Murphy will today set out plans to use “Make Work Pay” contracts to ensure private firms pay workers the living wage (Scotsman page 4, Record page 14)
Tony Blair Donation: Dundee East Labour candidate Lesley Brennan has rejected a £1,000 campaign donation from Tony Blair, amidst calls from the SNP for other candidates to do the same. However, the Labour party has said that the donation is to the party as a whole and cannot be refused (Herald page 1, Scotsman pages 4&5, Mail pages 1&4, P&Jpage 13, Courier pages 1&2, Sun page 2, Record page 14, Express page 2, National page 5, Times page 8)
Trident: Labour’s shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan has said that the party’s election manifesto will contain a commitment to renew the nuclear deterrent, with the SNP attacking the party’s stance as being out of touch with the people of Scotland and its own MPs (Herald page 6, Courier page 13, National page 2)
Clause 4: Labour members endorsed a constitutional clause that gives Scottish leaders more control over policy at the one-day conference in Edinburgh (P&J page 12)
Sexism Row: Labour MP David Hamilton has faced criticism after he made a sexist jibe at First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a conference speech (Mail page 6, Sun page 2)
Compulsory TV Debates: Ed Miliband’s plan to make televised leaders debates compulsory has been mocked by critics (Telegraph page 6)
Devo-Max Deal: Professor Adam Tomkins has suggested that David Cameron could deliver full financial independence to Scotland in the event of sweeping SNP gains in May to ward off a second referendum on independence (Sunday Times pages 1&2)
English Devolution: Conservative historian Lord Lexden has warned that the UK will face disintegration unless England is given devolution comparable to that enjoyed by Scotland (Telegraph page 4)
Scottish Greens: Speaking at the party’s conference in Dundee, Patrick Harvie says the Scottish Greens will push a progressive agenda, prioritising equal pay, boardroom quotas and backing a £10 minimum wage (Sunday Herald page 8, Scotland on Sunday page 11)
MoD Cuts: According to the Royal United Services Institute, a multi-million pound black hole in MoD finances will mean thousands of Scottish soldiers and other personnel face losing their jobs (Herald pages 1&6)
NHSCR: Officials could face investigation into breaches of privacy laws after crosschecking census returns with the NHS Central Register (Mail page 10, Iain Bell in the Sunday Herald, Dani Garavelli in Scotland on Sunday)
Women: In Scotland on Sunday Nicola Sturgeon outlines her ambitions for Scots women saying if you are good enough nothing should stop you. She has also repeated her calls for gender quotas in board rooms (Record page 15)
Second Referendum: The SNP has been accused of going back on a promise after it emerged the party may put another independence referendum on its 2016 Holyrood manifesto (Express page 2)
In the Sunday Times, Gillian Bowditch and Jason Allardyce suggest that Alex Salmond may still be able to achieve his dream of independence (page 24). Meanwhile, Euan McColm in Scotland on Sunday suggests that the SNP surge does not mean there will be a second independence referendum.
Scottish Water: Scottish Ministers have delayed plans to award a contract to supply water in Scotland to private company Anglican Water amidst a public outcry (Sunday Times page 6)
Twitter: Jim Murphy and Labour are poised for an online battle in the run up to the General Election as figures show he is the most unpopular politician online (Sunday Times page12)
Budget Row: A row has emerged between Danny Alexander and George Osborne over how to fund a rise in the personal income tax allowance (Sun page 2)
APD: A study commissioned by Edinburgh University concluded that cutting APD by 50% would generate an additional £1bn for the Scottish economy by 2020 and create around 3,800 jobs (Herald page 2, Scotsman page 33, Courier page 32)
Energy Skills Shortage: SSE has warned that the industry is facing a skills shortage with half the sector’s work force expected to retire by 2023 (Herald page 4)
Anti-Austerity Proposals: Liberal Democrat ministers claim that Treasury figures published today prove that Nicola Sturgeon’s anti-austerity policies will increase UK debt (Herald page 6, Scotsman pages 1&4, Mail page 6, P&J page 13, Telegraph pages 1&13)
Junk Food Ban: The BMA in Scotland has aligned itself with health bodies and the Scottish Government to urge Westminster to introduce tougher licensing for junk food and alcohol advertising (Sunday Herald page 29, Scotland on Sunday page 8, Scotsman page 10, P&J page 20)
Assisted Dying: In Scotland on Sunday, Andrew Tickell discusses the need for an assisted dying law in Scotland.
Plain Packaging: Drug misuse expert Dr Neil McKeganey has warned that plain cigarette packing has led to an increase in smokers in countries that have introduced it (Times page 6&29)
Police Scotland: Police Scotland has become embroiled in a row over claims its public satisfaction survey was rigged (Sunday Herald page 11, Mail pages 1&4)
Prison: In the Herald Shona Craven discusses automatic early release and the effectiveness of prisons.
Community Managed Schools: Brian Monteith in the Scotsman discusses the potential for Nicola Sturgeon to ‘wrong-foot’ Labour by supporting self-governance within the education system.