Pick of the Press: Metro

Were the Metro newspaper to have a leader column, it would be no surprise if it were slightly left-leaning. But it doesn’t though that doesn’t stop the freesheet liking its environment strories and charity tales; it is often strong on the issue of international aid. And so, when the opening paragraph of its front page today includes the words, ‘human rights’, you’d be forgiven for assuming this might be a good, old-fashioned campaigning tale.

Suppose it is a campaign of a sorts, but it is certainly not on behalf of people’s human rights. The Scottish Prison Service has, reports the paper, set aside £51 million for human rights claims by prisoners, and the Tory justice spokesperson at the Scottish Parliament, Bill Aitken, probably speaks for many in being upset. Prisoners are seeking compensation for being required to ‘slop out’ and they may receive cash through a now closed legal loophole.

It’s a new take on a well-known saga, which saw Andrew Nicoll in the Scottish Sun, in March, report that £67 million had been set aside.

Elsewhere, there’s an attractive picture of autumnal trees and another of a humming bird in flight. Firemen are pictured abseiling an Edinburgh hotel to raise money for a memorial fund set up in honour of a colleague who died in a fire in July.

The big lifestyle aspect to the paper today includes an interview with the author of erotic novel, The Sexual Life of Catherine M. Turns out – as her new work, Jealousy, suggests – she was not as liberated as her once prodigious sexual appetite suggested. On finding out her husband was also having affairs, she sunk into a depression.

But pages 42 and 43 illustrate recent staff losses; where once there were by-lined pieces from Scots arts writers, the previews of music gigs, art and theatre are more listings like. Still, there is a review of an opera being staged in Edinburgh, so not all is lost.