Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 23 April 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.
War of words: Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron have traded personal attacks in the General Election campaign. As the Tories announced warnings over the consequences of the SNP holding power at Westminster, Alex Salmond criticised the Prime Minister for a lack of direct engagement with voters and said he would write Labour’s budget if Ed Miliband becomes Prime Minister. Mr Cameron also compared Mr Salmond to a pickpocket, to which the former First Minister replied that “The Tories have been picking Scotland’s pocket for years”. (The Herald page 1, The Scotsman page 1, The Sun page 10, The Daily Express page 6, The Times page 10, The Daily Telegraphpage 4, The Courier page 14, The Press and Journal page 10, The Daily Mail page 1)
UKIP: Prime Minister David Cameron has received a poll boost with a snapshot showing that in 10 Tory-held seats being targeted by Ukip, Nigel Farage’s party would be trailing in third behind Labour. (The Herald page 6, The Daily Mail page 2)
Nigel Farage has said that millions of migrants would arrive on boats in Europe over the next few years if Italy and Greece do not send a clear message that they will be turned back (The Scotsman page 6, The Courier page 14)
Pensions: Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy will claim today that there are just two weeks to save the UK State pension in Scotland, after Gordon Brown wrote to 350,000 households to warn that SNP plans for devo max would mean savage cuts in public spending. (The Herald page 7, The Scotsman page 5, The Financial Times page 3)
Labour: Gordon Brown has joined Labour leader Ed Miliband in accusing David Cameron of playing the English nationalist card by stirring up English hatred of Scots in an attempt to win the election. (The Herald page 7, The Daily Record page 9, The National page 2, The Times page 1, The Courier page 13, The Daily Mail page 8)
Labour-SNP pact: The Chancellor George Osborne highlighted an independent treasury analysis and disclosed that the SNP would add £6 billion to Britain’s debt interest bill, an equivalent of £350 for each household. He added that a Labour-SNP administration would lead to people losing jobs and higher taxes and would put the UK in recession. (The Daily Telegraph page 1)
Danny Alexander: Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander said the “ginger lobby will save his Highland seat” (The Daily Record page 9, The Press and Journal page 12)
Ed Miliband: The labour leader was accused yesterday of being “out of touch” with ordinary people after he denied his multi-million pound home was a “mansion” (The Daily Express page 6, The Daily Telegraph page 4)
Scots tactical vote: Michael Gove has rejected Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s call for Conservative supporters to consider tactically voting for Labour candidates who are best placed to keep Nationalists out of Scottish seats. (The Times page 8, The Press and Journal page 11)
Public Services: Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has warned that there is a “clear and present danger” to public services from the prospect of David Cameron attempting to run a Tory minority Government. (The Herald page 6)
Westminster Culture Shock: Chris Law, the SNP candidate for Dundee West, said there was a flavour of “political culture shock” expected to hit Westminster. The SNP is expected to win more than 40 seats, which would introduce to the UK parliament a large cohort of politicians whose aim is to reshape UK’s constitutional map (The Financial Times page 3)
Downtrodden Scots: The former SNP leader Gordon Wilson said the “London elite” has kept Scotland in the same UK household and treated Scots like the “downtrodden staff of Downtown Abbey” (The Daily Express page 6, The Press and Journal page 10)
Election campaign: Iain Macwhirter comments in the Herald about the similarities between the General election and the referendum campaigns, that is “beyond parody”.
Scottish character traits: Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman on the difficulties to face taxes in Scotland, and on the lost character of the “canny Scot”.
Project Fear: Lesley Riddoch comments in the National on the comeback of “project fear”.
SNP-Tories: Jennifer Dempsie comments in the Courier on the vile language used by the Tories towards the SNP and how the Tories are fighting to keep their jobs.
Insolvency: The number of Scots going bust has fallen to the lowest in a decade; a total of 11,161 personal insolvencies were recorded in 2014-2015. (The Sun page 2)
SNP and Justice: Lord McCluskey, who served as a judge in the High Court for 20 years, claimed “serious misgivings” within the SNP about removing corroboration were silenced in the run-up to last year’s independence referendum. This followed the announcement of the Justice secretary Michael Matheson that a provision to scrap corroboration would be removed from the Criminal Justice Scotland Bill. (The Scotsmanpage 1)
Air guns laws: MSPs will today sign off legislation which ends a decade long battle and which starts air gun laws in Scotland. (The Sun page 2)
Middle class students: St Andrews University has issued a warning that moves to recruit more pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are discriminating against the middle class, a warning that comes three years after the Scottish Government instructed all universities to increase the number of students from the poorest backgrounds by 40 per cent. (The Herald page 1, The Daily Mail page 4)
Media summery via Reform Scotland. Go to www.reformscotland.com for more.