Daily Political Media Summary: 17 June 2008


All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Property factors: Scotland’s factors are to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading following complaints of poor service and lack of competition. (Scotsman page 2, Express page 6, Herald page 1)

Treasury re-organisation: George Osborne yesterday said that a Conservative Government would radically restructure the Treasury by scaling back the department and returning to a focus of holding other departments’ spending to account. (FT page 2)

Housebuilders: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman (page 31) argues that policies should be unveiled in a mini-budget in the autumn, including removing stamp duty on first time buyers, to help alleviate problems facing the house building industry.

Inflation: The latest inflation figures are due out to day with many expecting an annual increase of more than 3% following increases in oil and food prices. Such a level figure that would mean Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, would have to write to the Chancellor and explain how the Bank will restore stability. The credit crunch continues to worsen with the price of oil reaching record levels and house building projects at their lowest since the Second World War. (Guardian page 1, Mail page 12 and 72, Times page 1, Herald page 29, Alf Young in the Herald)

Tax-Break for Emigrants: Wealthy Brits are taking advantage of a tax law that allows them to transfer their savings to an offshore pension plan and not pay any tax provided they emigrate permanently. (Daily Telegraph page 6)

UEFA violence: Manchester City Council’s report into the violence during and after the Rangers UEFA cup final in May found that the first reports of violence and antisocial behaviour were at 11.30am with escalating problems from 4pm. (Scotsman page 7, Times page 9, Daily Telegraph page 9, Herald page 9, P&J page 11, Express page 20, Mail page 8)

Rape Cases: The amount of rape cases reported to the police and resulting in a conviction has fallen from a figure of 3.9% in 2005/6 to a new low of just 2.9% in 2006/7 a new study has reported. It also outlines many of the prejudices that will be held by members of a jury when deciding on a verdict. Moreover as many as one third of all rape allegations will now go no further than a police investigation. Previously, every case was reported to the procurator fiscal. (Herald page 1 and 17)

Police in Schools: In the Herald, Marisa Duffy explores the controversial issue of having police officers in schools. There are now 44 so called ‘campus-cops’ in Scotland.

Ferry service: A new ferry service between Jura and the mainland began yesterday. The ferry service, operated by Islay Sea Safari, is the first for 36 years. (Herald page 9)

Free Travel: There will be a review of the scheme to give pensioners free bus travel amid growing fears from opposition MSPs regarding the schemes future. (Daily Record page 6, Courier and Advertiser page 3, Express page 2, P&J page 13, Times page 19, Herald page 6)

Fuel strike: At 6am today Shell tanker drivers returned to work at marking the end of their 4-day strike. However the drivers have warned that they will stage a second 4 day strike from Friday if talks over pay and conditions are not resolved in the next few days. Workers from rival companies joined a walkout in support of Shell colleagues at the Grangemouth oil refinery yesterday, reducing fuel to many more forecourts in Scotland. (Scotsman page 15, Daily Record page 4, Courier and Advertiser page 2, Daily Telegraph page 4, P&J page 8, Express page 1, Mail page 1, Times page 43, Herald page 8)

Glasgow School of Art: Glasgow School of Art has confirmed plans for a major re-development of its city-centre campus after being rewarded £50m from the Scottish Funding Council. (Herald page 9)

Castlemilk High School: Castlemilk High School in Glasgow, which is in one of Scotland’s most deprived areas has been rated by inspectors as one of the best schools in the country. Headteacher Brian McAlinden said that the school had been on a mission to instil in pupils a desire to increase and fulfil their potential. The school was made a School of Ambition in 2003. (Herald page 3)

Drinking laws: Further comment on the SNP’s proposals to ban the sale of alcohol off-sales to under 21s. More details are to be announced by the Government today, however the Conservatives and Lib Dems are expected to oppose the proposals. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has warned the Scottish Government that minimum pricing for alcohol will hammer the whisky industry. Plans are to be laid out today that may see supermarkets and off-licences charge 40p per unit of alcohol. (Scotsman page 22, Hamish Macdonnell in the Scotsman, Mirror page 10, Daily Telegraph page 13)

Local Government
Trump: An ecologist advising Donald Trump on his planning application for the Menie Estate admitted yesterday at the public inquiry that he did not believe that the course should be built on environmentally sensitive land. (Scotsman page 14, Courier And Advertiser page 9, P&J page 12, Herald page 7)


Scotland’s Year of Homecoming: Yesterday the First Minister launched the “biggest ever celebration of Scotland’s achievements and culture” to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Homecoming in 2009 to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth. 100million people with blood links to Scotland are to be targeted to persuade them to visit Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Daily Record page 18, Courier and Advertiser page 9, Daily Telegraph page 13, Herald page 11, P&J page 1,Mail page 31)

Barnett formula: Iain McLean, Professor of politics at Nuffield College, Oxford has said that the Barnett formula should be scrapped as it gives Scotland more than its fair share of public spending. (Scotsman page 15)

Green issues: Writing in the Scotsman (page 28) David Cameron argues that adopting environmentally friendly policies can sit along side our economic interest.

Disenchantment with Politics: Douglas Fraser in the Herald writes that the ongoing credit crunch and the rejection by the Irish of the Lisbon treaty highlights how voters are becoming disenchanted with politics, and where possible are giving politicians a kicking.

Reform Scotland is an independent, non-party think tank that aims to set out a better way to deliver increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the traditional Scottish principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility.