Daily Political Media Summary: 14 August 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Recession: The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, yesterday warned that economic growth would be “broadly flat” for a year, with possibly “a quarter or two of negative growth” along side rising unemployment and inflation. The outlook caused the pound to fall against the dollar yesterday. Mervyn King also dismissed measures by the Treasury to end the mortgage drought. (Sun page 6, Guardian page 28, Nils Pratley in the Guardian, Courier page 2, Times page 38, David Wighton in the Times, Herald page 34, Alf Young in the Herald, FT page 1, P&J page 12, Mail page 8, Alex Brummer in the Mail, Mirror page 6, Telegraph page 4 andB1)

Unemployment: Unemployment figures which were released yesterday showed that while unemployment was growing across the UK as a whole, in Scotland the total was done by 9,000 over the year. (Herald page 3, Courier page 2, Times page 9, FT page 2, P&J page 17, Record page 2)

HBOS: HBOS is expected to cut more than 400 jobs at its mortgages services division. The cuts are on top of 650 job cuts already announced for its business banking division. (Scotsman page 9, Express page 2, Herald page 3, Record page 4)

Gang culture: According to a report published by the Prince’s Trust, one in three young people in Scotland does not have a parent it regards as a role model, which is contributing to the drive towards gangs. (Scotsman page 8, Mail page 7, Record page 8)

Free bike hire:
People in Dundee and Dumfries are to be offered self service cycle hire as part of a new Scottish Government green transport drive with the first 30mins free. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 3, P&J page 1)

A9: An online petition started by Tory MSP Murdo Fraser calling for the A9 to be dualled has received over 5,000 signatures. (P&J page 3)

University clearing: Research by the education foundation Edge found that thousands of students who find their university course through the clearing system later regret their choices. (Scotsman page 12)

Heart screening:
The Scottish Government yesterday launched a pilot heart screening scheme to help prevent sudden deaths in young people. (Herald page 13, Scotsman page 17, Express page 8, Courier page 10, P&J page 12, Mail page 27, Record page 30)

Birthing units: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde is to perform a u-turn and recommend retaining midwife led birthing units at Vale of Leven and Inverclyde Royal hospitals. (Herald page 1)

John MacDougall: Further coverage of the death of Glenrothes Labour MP John MacDougall as well as speculation on whether the SNP can overcome the 11,000 majority to win the seat in a by-election. (Scotsman page 1, Hamish Macdonell in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Sun page 2, Guardian page 7, Express page 4, Kerry Gill in the Express, Courier page 1, Times page 3, FT page 4, P&J page 9, Mail page 1, Tom Brown in the Mail, Record page 2, Mirror page 14, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph)

Scottish Labour leadership: Further coverage of the Scottish Labour leadership contest. Iain Gray is now the favourite to replace Wendy Alexander having secured the support of more unions, constituency parties and elected members than his rivals, though trade union Unison has backed Cathy Jamieson. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 5, Iain Gray in the Scotsman, Sun page 2, Express page 4, Courier page 7, Times page 15, P&J page 10, Record page 2)

The Labour Party: The Scotsman (page 22 and 23) asks a number of figures inside and outside the Labour Party, how the party can win back Scotland.

David Cameron and the North: David Cameron has distanced himself from the Policy Exchange report calling for mass immigration from northern cities to the south east of England calling the report “rubbish from start to finish”. (Herald page 6, Guardian page 13, Courier page 2, FT page 4, P&J page 9, Mirror page 6, Stephen Bayley in the Telegraph)

‘The Kinnock Test’: Daniel Finkelstein in the Times (page 23) argues that the British electorate always votes for the right party at election time.

BBC Alba: A new Gaelic digital TV channel is to be launched by the BBC next month. (P&J page 6)