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Daily Political Media Summary: 30 July 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Job losses: Wolfson Microelectronics is expected to announce job losses at its Edinburgh headquarters. 55 jobs are also set to go a pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, who yesterday announced plans to shed jobs at its manufacturing plant in Angus. (Scotsman page 29, P&J page 1, 7, Daily Express page 28, Herald page 27)

Mortgage drop: The number of new mortgages being issued fell to record lows in June, which raised the possibility of the government stepping in and guaranteeing mortgage bonds in an effort to reignite the housing market. The industry is currently awaiting a report from former HBOS chief Sir James Crosby on the state of the mortgage market. (Guardian page 25, Daily Mirror page 8, Daily Mail page 17, Daily Mail page 10, Times page 34, Alice Miles in the Times page 23, Telegraph page 8, FT page 3, Courier page 10, Herald page 2)

Post Office saved: A Post Office in the Angus village of Glamis, which was regularly used by the late Queen Mother has been saved from closure. (P&J page 1, 7, Herald page 11)

BP: The oil giant BP sparked outrage yesterday when it announced quarter year profits of £4.3 billion, approximately £2 million an hour, largely due to the high price of oil. The figure was up 61 percent on the same period last year and sparked fresh calls for a so called ‘windfall tax’ on the oil industry. (Daily Mirror page 9, Daily Express page 1, 2, Daily Mail page 2)

Scottish economy: John Kay in the FT (page 11) argues that Scotland needs to develop and exploit the advantages of Scottish businesses on an international scale rather than focusing on a sense of victimhood.

Crime

Stolen passports: 3000 Blank passports worth an estimated £2.5 million on the black market were stolen as a delivery driver bought a chocolate bar and a newspaper from a corner shop. The raid on the delivery van has sparked a debate about the way in which such items are transported, after it emerged that blank passports are not moved around in armoured vehicles like cash. (Daily Mirror page 12, Daily Express page 19, Daily Mail page 25, Telegraph page 13)

Samurai sword attack: A samurai sword ‘battle’ erupted in the streets of Glasgow on Sunday night leaving one man dead and four others in hospital. At least 12 men were involved in the incident which took place in the east end of the city. (Daily Record page 1, 4-5)

Transport

Flyglobespan: Scotland’s largest independent airline Flyglobespan has cancelled numerous flights as it struggles to cope with the ongoing credit crunch and high price of oil. Reports suggest the airline has told hundreds of passengers their flights had been cancelled. This comes as British Airways is due to announce a range of cuts in domestic and international flights from Scottish airports this winter. The announcements mark the continuation of a difficult period for the airline industry. (Daily Express page 10, Daily Mail page 4)

Health

Alzheimer’s drug: Rember, a new drug developed by Aberdeen University is being hailed as a breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer’s after trials showed it slowed the progression of the disease by as much as 81%. (Scotsman page 1, Guardian page 12, P&J page 1, 10, Daily Express page 15, Daily Mail page 1, 4, Daily Record page 21, Times page 15, Telegraph page 1, FT page 2, Herald page 5)

Syphilis: Cases of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) syphilis have risen by 1,100 per cent in the last 11 years NHS figures have shown. The rise in binge drinking and drug taking has been blamed for the increase. (P&J page 13, Daily Express page 8, Daily Mail page 17, Daily Record page 12, Times page 17, Telegraph page 9)

Unused medicines: The cost of unused or wasted medicines could pay for an extra 600 nurses in Scotland. Prescription medication which is still consumable is being thrown away by patients who choose not to take the medicine. Scotland’s largest heath board yesterday admitted that unused drugs cost it £2 million a month. (Daily Express page 19)

NHS dentistry: Almost half of adults in Scotland are not registered with an NHS dentist according to official figures. In addition one in five children are not receiving regular dental treatment. This is all in spite of considerable expenditure from the Scottish Government to ensure dentists remain with the NHS. (Daily Mail page 17, Herald page 11)

Politics

Gordon Brown: Further speculation about whether Gordon Brown will be replaced as Labour leader. The rumours continue as David Miliband sets out in the Guardian (page 28) how he thinks Labour can win the next general election. This comes the day after Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman was forced to deny she was plotting against the Prime Minister. It is reported she declared “this is my moment” following the party’s defeat in the Glasgow East by-election (Scotsman page 10, Gerri Peev in the Scotsman, Sun page 2, Guardian page 1, Geoffrey Wheatcroft page 29, P&J page 5, Daily Mirror page 6, Daily Express page 4, Daily Mail page 6, Times page 1, 8, Telegraph page 2 and 13, Iain Martin in the Telegraph, FT page 2, Courier page 2, Herald page 6)

Labour deputy leader: Following Cathy Jamieson’s resignation as deputy Labour leader in the Scottish Parliament, three Glasgow MSPs have put themselves forward to replace her – Johann Lamont, Bill Butler and Des McNulty. Ms Jamieson’s resignation as deputy leader came on the day she announced her intention to stand in the contest to replace Wendy Alexander as Scottish Labour leader. (Scotsman page 10, Sun page 2, P&J page 9, Dorothy Grace-Elder in the Daily Express page 16, Daily Express page 4, Daily Mail page 6, Times page 5, Herald page 6, Courier page 1, Herald page 6)

Scottish Cabinet tour: David Maddox in the Scotsman (page 22) comments on the Scottish Cabinet’s tour of Scotland and its efforts to convince the public of the benefits of independence. (Sun page 2, P&J page 9, Kerry Gill in the Daily Express page 12, Courier page 7)

Liberal Democrats: Scottish Lib Dem leadership hopeful Ross Finnie writes in the Scotsman (page 25) that the Lib Dems need to start setting the political agenda rather than following other parties. (Sun page 2)

Lib Dem donor: An arrest warrant has been issued for businessman and Liberal Democrat donor Michael Brown after he breached his bail conditions ahead of his trial on fraud and money laundering allegations. (Guardian page 12, Daily Mail page 25, Times page 19, Courier page 3, Herald page 1)

Lord Varley: Former Labour Cabinet Minister Lord Varley, who served as Industry Secretary in the 1970s, died yesterday at the age of 75. (Herald page 2