Nicola Sturgeon furious over opposition tax taunts, battle joined for second votes in May, and should Mr Bean speak for England?

Hello and welcome to The Midge, your first bite of the day’s politics in Scotland and elsewhere.

Herald Scotland:


  • Battle joined for second votes in Holyrood poll
  • Sturgeon furious at tax taunts
  • Cameron to Poland and Denmark in search of EU support
  • Mundell on Swinney: he’s “chancing his arm” on Scotland Bill 
  • First head to head TV clash for Clinton and Sanders

06.00 BBC Radio 4 Today

NHS England told it could save £5bn … PM to Poland … Labour MP Harry Harpham dies … Two injured in Glasgow motorcycle display … Earth Wind & Fire founder Maurice White dies.

07.00 BBC Good Morning Scotland

Think tank says Labour tax rise would hit high earners hardest … Planes from Zika zone to be sprayed … UN ruling on Assange due… Accident at Glasgow motorcycle display … Edinburgh tourist bodies to get “China ready” … Lorries make phased return to Forth Road Bridge.

Front pages

Herald Scotland:

In The Herald, Daniel Sanderson says opposition parties are ramping up efforts to win list seats as a new poll predicts the SNP will take 69 out of 73 constituency places. Inside, Tom Gordon dons his tin hat to take in the ding-dong over tax at FMQs. 

The National proclaims “victory” as anti-feminist Roosh V cancels UK meetings. 

The Evening Times pictures Scots model Eunice Olumide, who has won a part in a new Star Wars film. 

The Scottish Daily Mail homes in on the fears of the two-fifths of young Scots, identified in a Bank of Scotland survey, who reckon rising prices mean they will never get a foot on the property ladder. 

Promoted stories

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The Independent highlights a side effect of global warming – bored, depressed dogs who are not being walked enough due to the rotten weather. 

The Guardian has a report from Cologne, scene of sex attacks at Hogmanay, as the city holds its annual carnival. 

The Sun reports that two audience volunteers were hurt in a crash at a motorcycle display event at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro. 

The Telegraph cracks why no-one was able to solve the puzzle put out by GCHQ at Christmas – there was a typo. 

The Times has polls showing 45% support for Brexit in England, but in Scotland two thirds want to stay in the EU. 

The FT has discovered that little attention is being paid to ships sailing to Europe, raising fears that the smuggling of people and arms is going undetected 

Camley’s cartoon

Herald Scotland:

Camley hitches a ride on the property hamster wheel

Need to know

Herald Scotland: David Cameron has championed the Big Society

Another Friday, another once more unto the breach effort by David Cameron as he journeys first to Poland then to Denmark in search of support for his EU renegotiation plans. Warsaw, where he meets Polish PM Beata Szydlo, will be the more difficult stop of the two. With more EU nationals working in the UK than any other country, what happens in Britain has become a local issue for Polish politicians keen to show they are standing up for citizens abroad. Though vital to get Poland on side, or at least not campaigning actively against the deal, every day away for Cameron means one fewer spent persuading his own MPs that this is a deal worth having. 


  • London: News conference with Julian Assange’s legal team.
  • Warsaw: David Cameron visits Polish PM Beata Szydlo
  • London: Business Secretary Sajid Javid to set out Government support for space sector.
  • Manchester: Grassroots Out event with Nigel Farage, David Davis and Kate Hoey.

Talk of the steamie: comment sections

Herald Scotland: Clydesdale BankAlison Rowat in The Herald wonders if Nicola Sturgeon can teach Hillary Clinton a thing or two about campaigning. Marianne Taylor says don’t underestimate the lure of independence once the Brexit campaign gets going, and business editor Ian McConnell examines where the Clydesdale Bank goes next. 

Jan Moir in the Mail sympathises with the “very tired” Marianne Faithfull on the non-joys of getting older. “Yes, Marianne, ageing is hell but what is the alternative?”

In the National, Patrick Harvie joins the tax debate – the only way is up says the Greens’ leader. 

Kenny Farquharson in the Times says Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has no alternative but to tack left on tax. 

Afore ye go

Herald Scotland:

"Having your cake and eating it, and having a bit of everybody else's cake too.”

Scottish Secretary David Mundell on Finance Minister John Swinney’s approach to the fiscal framework talks. 

Herald Scotland:

“That's what they offered.”

Hillary Clinton’s response to the revelation that she was once paid $675,000 by Goldman Sachs for three speeches. Anderson Cooper, CNN

Herald Scotland:

"Cameron's deal with EU a nothing. How can sensible Cabinet colleagues accept this?”

Rupert Murdoch on David Cameron’s proposed settlement. Twitter

Herald Scotland:

“Mr Assange has never been arbitrarily detained by the UK but is, in fact, voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest by choosing to remain in the Ecuadorean embassy.”

A Foreign Office spokesman on a UN legal group’s finding, to be confirmed today, that the WikiLeaks founder is being unlawfully detained. 

Herald Scotland:

"You must be mishearing. The day I apologise to you, Hell will freeze over.”

Broadcaster Andrew Neil to shadow Commons leader Chris Bryant during a radio skirmish. You can take the laddie out of Scotland…

Herald Scotland:

“It’s a great privilege to play for displaced people in Calais. As a theatre company, the only gesture we can offer is this – a show that we hope speaks to the human spirit at its greatest and its darkest moments.”

The Globe’s artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole, whose company performed Hamlet in the “Jungle”. 

Herald Scotland:

Alan Partridge, The Chuckle Brothers, Bounce the golden Labrador, Mr Bean, Kingsley the Partick Thistle mascot…

Just some of the internet responses after the Daily Mail down south used its front page to ask “WHO WILL SPEAK FOR ENGLAND?” in Europe. BuzzFeed

Herald Scotland:


German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal approval rating, down 12 points from last month. Analysts are blaming her migrant policies. ARD

Herald Scotland:

Paddington, Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!, Clark The Shark Takes Heart

Some of the books that will replace toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals in a special promotion this month.

Herald Scotland:


It’s the Super Bowl on Sunday, which means it’s the Puppy Bowl on the Animal Planet cable channel. Pups from rescue shelters have their own event, complete with commentary.

Thank you for reading. See you Monday. is the online edition of Scotland's favourite newspapers, that brings you your Daily news. Every day we bring you the best in Scottish news, sport, entertainment and opinion, including breaking news, picture galleries, videos and live blogs.

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