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Daily Political Media Summary: Monday 26 May 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Scottish Labour Market: The Scottish labour market recorded ‘solid’ rises in both temporary and permanent staff appointment in April according to the Bank of Scotland’s latest labour market report. The report’s barometer saw a rise to 53.4 up marginally from 53.5 in March. However this was ‘comfortably’ above the equivalent barometer for the wider UK job market, which indicates a faster rate of labour market improvement for Scotland compared with the UK overall. (Herald Business page 1, Herald page 5, Courier page 3, P&J page 15)

TLG Education: TLG Education, the high profile business set up by leading Scottish entrepreneur Norma Corlette has gone into liquidation with the loss of all twenty jobs. The company claimed to work with “over 100,000 young people every year” and is “one of the largest and most successful education providers of its type in the UK.” However Corlette admitted that “mistakes were made” and she now wished to pass on the lessons of her mistakes to aspiring entrepreneurs (Herald Business page 1).

Oil Supplies: The International Energy Agency (IEA) is to investigate whether the world could run out of oil in four years’ time. Concerns have been raised about what might happen in 2012 when demand for oil, aided by the growth of countries like China and India, reaches ninety five million barrels a day. (Herald Business page 1)

Oil Prices: The UK government will net an extra £4 billion in North Sea oil revenue due to the rising cost of oil, figures released by the Scottish Government suggested yesterday. (Herald page 6, courier page 10, 11, Sunday Post page 2, Daily Telegraph Business)

Scottish Widows: Life assurer Scottish Widows is being faced with a £1 billion compensation claim after allegedly giving “negligent” advice to up to one hundred company pension schemes. (Herald page 3, Courier page 12, P&J page 15, Sunday Times page 3, Daily Express page 45)

Channel 4: Scotland is to benefit from a £50 million fund set up by broadcaster Channel 4, which aims to increase the amount of public service broadcasting in the digital media. The fund called Four Innovation for the Public (4IP) will invest in a range of digital media hubs around the UK, including Glasgow. (Herald page 2)

FSA: It was claimed yesterday that former CBI director general Adair Turner is to become the new chairman of city watchdog the Financial Services Authority. (Courier page 12, P&J page 15, Sunday Times Business page 1, Daily Express page 45)

Air Travel: A ‘boom’ in Scots travelling by air is set to undermine government attempts to cut pollution and emissions levels. (Sunday Herald page 7)

FlyGlobespan: Scottish budget airline FlyGlobespan is to be prosecuted after it emerged that it allowed a 757 passenger airliner to fly to America with faulty instruments. (Sunday Times page 7 Daily Express page 7)

Scottish Futures Trust: Scotland could face an exodus of businesses and talent if Alex Salmond goes ahead with his Scottish Futures Trust initiative. (Sunday Times Business page 1, John Penham in the Sunday Times Business page 2)

US Hedge Fund: A leading US hedge fund is urging the board of a US oil company to quit the “failing North Sea.” (Scotland on Sunday Business page 1,3)

Shipbuilding: The Scottish shipbuilding industry is to launch a “skills offensive” in a new promotional campaign to attract new workers. Scotland on Sunday page 5, Daily Mail page 5)

Crime

CCTV: Information obtained by the Scotsman has suggested that only one in seven incidents caught on CCTV in Scotland was followed by an arrest at the scene. It claims that over two hundred thousand crimes have been caught on CCTV in Scotland over the past four years, at a cost of £42 million. However, it is still not known how many crimes have been solved. (Scotsman page 1, 4-5 )

Mugged MP: East Lothian MP Ann Moffat has branded the ‘group of youths’ that attacked her and left her unconscious as “the scum of the earth.” Ms Moffat was attacked whilst jogging on Friday night near her constituency home in Port Seton. The attack left her with broken ribs and cuts and bruises to her legs, head, hands and face. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 9, Courier page 1, 2, P&J page 1, Daily Record page 9, Daily Mirror page 11, The Sun page1, 7, Daily Mail page 5, Daily Express page 1, 6)

Methadone: Scottish Ministers have been urged by one of Scotland’s leading drug experts to withdraw methadone from heroin addicts after a set period, in a new approach to drug treatment. Neil McKeganey of Glasgow University is arguing for a two year limit on methadone prescriptions, claiming there are too many drug addicts who are using the heroin substitute for long periods whilst still using illegal drugs. (Scotsman page 9, Sunday Times page 2)

Police Computers: Police forces in Scotland are to receive a share of a £50 million government grant in order to invest in more hand-held computers for officers. It is hoped that with the introduction of more of the devices an average of 99 minutes per shift can be saved due to less paperwork. (P&J page 6).

Football Hooligans: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has contacted the UK government urging them to close an alleged legal loophole which he claims means hooligans involved in the violence which marred Rangers UEFA Cup defeat in Manchester, could still attend matches in Scotland. (Sunday Herald)

Rogue Traders: New legislation aimed at cracking down on so called ‘rogue traders’ will be introduced by the UK government this week. The move aims to outlaw practices such as making misleading statements, using fake credentials and employing aggressive sales practices. The legislation enacted in order to comply with an EU directive is being billed as the biggest overhaul of consumer protection laws in 40 years (Herald page 9, P&J page 8, 13)

Female Police Chief: Scotland’s highest ranking female police officer is to be made acting chief constable of Fife constabulary in a ‘historic’ promotion. Norma Graham, already deputy chief constable with the force would make history as she would be Scotland’s first ever female chief constable (Herald page 4)

Burns Memorial: Police in Glasgow yesterday were investigating a number of attempts by people to steal football shirts from the memorial for former Celtic player and manager Tommy Burns, who died recently. (Herald page 4)

Knife Crime: Latest statistics have shown that fifty seven people died in Scotland as a result of knife crime in Scotland, a rise of 27% since 1998. (P&J page 5, 13, Sunday Post page 1-2, Daily Mirror page 4, 10, Daily Express page 9, 12)

Attack on Girl: A 14 year old girl was savagely attacked by a gang of youths who then proceeded to film the incident on their mobile phones. Dayna Dickson claimed she was “lucky to be alive” after the incident in Fife. (Daily Record page 1,4-5)

Transport

Car Travel: David Leask writing in the Herald (page 11) questions whether the rising cost of fuel will lead to the end of people driving cars. Recent figures have shown that car traffic in the UK fell by 3% in the last quarter of 2007. This has led to more people seeking alternative methods of transport, with the train the most popular choice. However, whilst it is conceded that “the car is still king” it is agreed by most that its “crown ain’t shiny anymore” (Also see Sunday Post page 12, Scotland on Sunday page 10)

Road Deaths: Three people died yesterday in what the Herald (page 9) called “a spate of road accidents across Scotland.”

High Speed Rail Link: Graham Bell in the Sunday Herald (page 76) comments on the plans to introduce a high speed rail link between Scotland and London. This was complemented by Colin Donald’s coverage (Sunday Herald Business) of the further plans to introduce a high speed continental rail link which would connect Scotland with continental Europe.

Road Ruin: Scotland’s roads are being left in a “dangerous state of disrepair” and need £1.7 billion to be spent on them, according to new figures published by councils. (Daily Mail page 1, 4)

Education

Student Debt: The abolition of the graduate endowment was a key policy platform of the SNP Holyrood manifesto, however it has now been claimed that 3,000 people are in danger of becoming “unintended victims of the process.” This comes after the Student Awards Agency for Scotland, informed postgraduate students that they must pay off what they still owe immediately. This poses a major problem for students who now face taking out additional student loans or facing debt recovery action by the Sheriff courts. (Herald page 12, Herald page 1, 4)

Study Abroad: The Scottish Government is considering introducing a grant that could see Scottish students take their entire undergraduate degree abroad. (Sunday Herald page 23) 

Health

Alcohol: People in Scotland are now consuming twice as much alcohol as they were five years ago, according to a new report. The last survey found that on average men were drinking 17.2 units a week, whilst women consumed 6.5 units. However a new study by Health Scotland has suggested that this has now risen by almost twice these amounts. It has also been suggested that patients will now be questioned by the NHS about the alcohol use, in a bid to tackle alcohol abuse (Scotsman page 9, Sunday Herald page 1, 4-5, 41, Scotland on Sunday page 1, Daily Mail page 25 Daily Telegraph page 15, The Times page 8)

Heart and Cancer Deaths: It is hoped that heart and cancer deaths in Scotland will be radically reduced by the introduction of a revolutionary scanner, capable of capturing images of entire organs in a fraction of a second. The £1.6 million machine, which could potentially improve diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, cancer and other conditions, will begin operating in Edinburgh in January (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 8, Courier page 3, P&J page 10)

Oral Cancer: Alcohol and genetics play a significant role in oral cancer, says a new report by Scottish researchers. They have found that the risk of developing cancer of the mouth, larynx, pharynx and oesophagus is related to genes and how quickly the body breaks down alcohol. (Herald page 5)

Smoking: The UK government is to “follow Scotland’s lead” and introduce tough smoking measures in England. The plans to “force cigarettes under the counter” were unveiled by Health Secretary Alan Johnson yesterday. (Herald page 6, FT page 2)

Cancer Breakthrough: Scientists at Dundee University have made a ‘breakthrough’ which could lead to the early detection of breast cancer. (Herald page 4, P&J page 3)

Ambulance Service: Life saving ambulance treatments are under threat from the Scottish Government, the Labour Party claimed yesterday. Health spokesman Margaret Curran claims that ambulance managers are being “pressured into meeting efficiency targets of 3%.” (Herlad page 2, Courier page 9, P&J page 10)

Strathmartine Hospital: Explorers wandering around the old Strathmartine hospital in Dundee have discovered official papers, old medicine bottles and even bones in the abandoned building. (Courier page 6)

Prostate Cancer: A new collaboration by Scottish researchers could lead to a ‘breakthrough’ in treatments for prostate cancer “within a few years.” (Sunday Herald page 10)

Rural GPs: It has been claimed that a lack of rural GPs in Scotland is “liable to cost lives.” (Sunday Herald page 18)

Local Government

Luxury Estate: An English property developer is seeking to turn the Dall Estate on Perthshire’s Loch Rannoch into a £500 million luxury resort, which will include a golf course, shopping centre, concert hall and cosmetic surgery clinic (Herald page 5, P&J page 3, Sunday Herald page 6)

£400m Shortfall: Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander claimed yesterday that councils in Scotland are facing a £400 million shortfall as a result of the Council Tax deal orchestrated by the Scottish Government. (Courier page 3, P&J page 8)

New Towns: The Green Party has claimed that building new towns in the A96 corridor will “drain other parts of the north of their population, jobs and infrastructure.” (P&J page 6)

Energy Plant: Barbara Glidden, an American environmental campaigner has joined a protest against the proposal to build a £50 million residual waste energy plant in Peterhead. (P&J page 4)

Politics

Scottish Labour: David Maddox writing in the Scotsman (page 6) comments on the alleged telephone conversation between Labour party officials at Holyrood and Westminster. During the conversation it is alleged that Holyrood officials told their counterparts to “just butt out and let us get on with it.” This comes after some Labour MSPs became frustrated at the way the Scotland Office is looking into the legalities of Alex Salmond’s Scottish Futures Trust initiative. (Also in Sunday Times page 2)

Labour Leadership: Foreign Secretary David Miliband has played down suggestions that he is being urged to challenge Gordon Brown for the Labour leadership. This comes after days of mounting pressure on the Prime Minister after poor results in the local elections and Crewe and Nantwich by-election. (Scotsman page 8, Ian Macwhirter in the Herald, Herald page 1-2, 6, Courier page 1,2, 10, P&J page 1,7, Martin Ives in the Sunday Times page 19, Sunday Times page 1, Sunday Post page 2, Tom Brown in Scotland on Sunday page 19, Scotland on Sunday page 18, Daily Record page 8, Daily Mirror page 12, Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun page 8, Daily Mail page 8-9, Daily Telegraph page 1, Janet Daley in the Daily Telegraph, Jim White in the Daily Telegraph, FT page 2, The Times pages 6-7, Guardian pages 1, 4, Jackie Ashley in the Guardian)

Afghanistan: Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg writing in the Herald (page 6) reflects on his visit to Afghanistan where he witnessed “first hand the work of Scottish troops.”

Tory MPs: The Scottish Conservatives aim to return between four and ten MPs at the next Westminster election according to Deputy Leader Munro Fraser. (Herald page 6)

Independence: Tam Dalyell, former MP for Linlithgow has claimed that the very existence of the Scottish parliament is a “first step towards independence.” He also claimed that any referendum held should include a question which asked whether the Scottish parliament should “remain in being.” (Herald page 6, Courier page 3, 10, P&J page 8, Daily Mail page 2)

Rent Scheme: A Fife MSP has called for a Scotland wide scheme which protects tenants from having their deposits unfairly withheld by unscrupulous landlords. Such a practice is a continuing problem for tenants in the private sector in Scotland, which already lags behind England and Wales which introduced similar legislation a year ago. (Courier page 4)

Alex Salmond: First Minister Alex Salmond has promised to fight a future Conservative government at Westminster if it introduces policies “it has no mandate to introduce.” (Sunday Herald page 2, Daily Express page 6, Times page 4)

Act of Settlement: A Scottish Conservative candidate claims that any moves to change the act of settlement would damage the monarchy and lead to the breakup of the Commonwealth (Sunday Herald page 2)

Independence Referendum: The Scottish Government might not have the power to organise an independence referendum, the shadow Scotland secretary has claimed. David Mundell has said that there were “serious question marks” over the legality of such a poll. (Sunday Herald page 2, Scotland on Sunday page 9)

Terror Measures: Gordon Brown is to abandon plans to extend the proposed extension of terrorist detentions, after it became clear that he risked defeat, something that would further undermine his already damaged authority. (Sunday Herald page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 1, Daily Telegraph page 4)

Refugees: The SNP has been accused of ‘betraying’ refugees by failing to denounce the Westminster Government’s policy of seizing refugees and their families in dawn raids and then detaining them in immigration holding centres. (Sunday Herald page 9)

New Labour: James Cusick writing in the Sunday Herald (page 12) asks whether anyone in the cabinet is capable of “saving New Labour”.

ID Cards: Civil liberties campaigners have won a judicial review of Scotland’s microchipped entitlement card scheme, dubbed the ‘backdoor ID card’ (Sunday Herald page 25)

Conservatives: Ian MacWhirter discusses in the Sunday Herald (page 33) what the UK would be like with a David Cameron-led Conservative Government. Also see Eddie Barnes in Scotland on Sunday (page 12)

Police: Ian Bell in the Sunday Herald (page 36) gives his opinion on why the Police should have the right to strike.

English Row: Alex Salmond has provoked a row with England by claiming that St George was “a mythical figure who didn’t exist.” He also claimed that Scotland has a “more credible patron saint” because there is historical evidence that St Andrew had lived. (Sunday Times page 9)

Expenses: Health Minister Ann Keen has been severely criticised after it emerged she has paid £430,000 to insure her 70 year old husband’s life and claimed the premiums back on her parliamentary expenses. (Sunday Times page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 3, Daily Mail page 10, Daily Express page 8, 12)

Boot Camps: A Conservative government would introduce ‘boot camps’ for unemployed young people aged 18-21 in an effort to cut the number of unemployed young people. (Guardian page 2)