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Daily Political Media Summary: 8 May 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Job losses: Barclays is to shut down the Goldfish call centre in Cumbernauld with the loss of 900 jobs. 800 jobs are also under threat at Au Naturale which fell into administration yesterday. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 15 & 32, P&J page 8, Courier page 1, Mirror page 4, Daily Mail page 6, Sun page 19, Times page 28, Daily Record page 1, Daily Express page 2)

GDP data: Economists at DTZ have said that there is enough data available in Scotland to produce an expenditure approach measure of GDP which would meet IMF standards and allow the Scottish Government to improve the reliability of economic growth data. (Herald page 32)

Business & politics: Peter MacMahon in the Scotsman (page 37) comments on the links between politicians and the business world.

Tourism: Philip Riddle, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, has argued that the tourism industry could capitalise on the credit crunch if more people chose to holiday at home. (P&J page 9)

Tax exodus: Old Mutual, the £7billion London listed insurance group, GlaxoSmithKline and British American Tobacco are the latest companies to consider relocating their headquarters away from the UK to a lower-cost country. (Time page 45, Telegraph pageB1)

Price fixing: The FT (page 11) reports that the UK is amongst a number of countries where regulators are clamping down on price fixing.

Crime

Overcrowding in prison: Audit Scotland has reported that despite £300m being spent on improving conditions in the past six years in prisons, overcrowding remains at an all time high. The report also suggests that plans to build an additional three prisons will fail to cope with the expected rise in prisoners. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 1, P&J page 6, Courier page 2, Daily Mail page 19, Times page 28

Firearms: The Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, has backed plans which could see Scotland piloting a licence scheme for buying airguns. (Herald page 8, Scotsman page 6, P&J page 12, Courier page 11, Sun page 19, Daily Express page 13)

Cannabis: Further coverage on Westminster’s decision to re-classify cannabis. (Telegraph page 8, Scotsman page 16, P&J page 5, Courier page 1, Daily Mail 10, Times page 9, Daily Record page 12, Daily Express page 2, Guardian page 6, FT page 4)

Racist crimes in the north east: New figures show that the number of racist crimes committed in the North East of Scotland has soared from 275 in 2003/04 to 462 in 2006/07. (P&J page 10)

Education

Faith schools: The Scottish Conservatives have called on the Church of Scotland to set up taxpayer funded faith schools, similar to Catholic schools, in an effort to boost the number of young worshippers in the church. (Daily Mail page 20)

Health

Heart attack A&E: The Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank is to become the centre for serious heart attacks for Greater Glasgow and Clyde while Hairmyres in East Kilbride will serve Lanarkshire and most of Ayrshire. Under the proposals patients suffering severe heart attacks will be taken straight to these two hospitals, by-passing other A&E departments. (Herald page 1, P&J page 10)

£40m for care of the elderly: A £40m shortfall in the cost of free personal care of the elderly is to be met by the Scottish Government, though it also intends to increase pressure on Westminster to reinstate £30m in benefits for older people. (P&J page 13, Courier page 3, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 9,Daily Mail page 13, Daily Express page 2)

Life sciences: The Scottish Government has unveiled plans for a £10m national life sciences institute in Dundee. (P&J page 3, Courier page 7)

Obesity link to Alzheimer’s: Being overweight can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s by 80% scientists from Johns Hopkins University announced yesterday. (Daily Record page 30, Daily Express page 30, Telegraph page 10)

Local Government

Trump: A statement of case, lodged by the Trump organisation ahead of next month’s inquiry into the planning application for the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, has made clear that Donald Trump has no intention of moving his championship golf course away from the sand dune system at the centre of the controversy. (Scotsman page 16)

Glasgow not Aberdeen: Hotel developers are reportedly shunning Aberdeen in favour of Glasgow because it is easier to get planning permission in Glasgow. (P&J page 4)

Subsea cable: A subsea cable along the west coast of Scotland is to be considered by the Scottish Government as an alternative to the controversial Beauly to Denny power line. (Courier page 10)

Transport

Inverness by-pass: The Scottish Government is under pressure to back plans for an Inverness by-pass as soon as possible due to its importance to a new college campus in the city. (P&J page 7)

Terminal 5: Willie Walsh, head of BA, yesterday told MPs that Heathrow had been a “national embarrassment for years” and that the opening of terminal 5 has been “a disaster” (Daily Mail page 25, Guardian page 22)

Politics

Labour party stance on independence referendum: Under questioning by David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Gordon Brown failed to back Wendy Alexander’s support for a referendum on independence. The Prime Minister said there would be no change in policy until the Calman Commission had reported. Wendy Alexander came under further fire when it was revealed that despite Ms Alexander’s suggestion that she would introduce her own referendum bill in the Scottish Parliament, parliamentary rules governing private members’ bills prevent her from doing so because it is the Scottish Government’s intention to bring forward legislation on the issue within the four year term. (Herald page 1, Michael Settle in the Herald, Scotsman page 1, P&J page 1, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Courier page 1, Mirror page 6, Daily Mail page 1, Sun page 1, Times page 1, Magnus Linklater in the Times, Daily Record page 2, Keith Aitken in the Express, Daily Express page 6, Guardian page 12, FT page 2)

Gordon Brown: Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail (page 14) comments that Gordon Brown needs to embrace his softer more emotional side, while Seumas Milne in the Guardian (page 29) comments that the Prime Minister has to put the interests of his core voters at the heart of his politics.

Ray Michie: Tributes were paid to Baroness Michie of Gallanach who died yesterday. The Lib Dem peer represented Argyll & Bute in the Commons from 1987 to 2001. (P&J page 6, Courier page 9, Daily Mail page 24, Daily Express page 13)

Labour part loans: The Labour party is in discussion with wealthy businessmen to try and renegotiate more than £10m of loans to prevent the party running out of money. (FT page 1