Daily Political Media Summary: 22 August 2008

Economy

Energy: Westminster has been accused of putting the development of green energy at risk by shelving plans to subsidise projects in the Scottish Islands (Scotsman page 1).

Mortgages: According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the number of loans for house purchases in Scotland fell by 34% year on year in the second quarter of the year. However, the UK as a whole fared much worse with a 46% drop (Scotsman page 33, Express page 6, Times page 3, Herald page 2). Alf Young comments on the Scottish Government’s policies on affordable homes (Herald page 17).

Thatcherism: Alex Salmond yesterday said that Scots “didn’t mind the economic side [of Thatcherism]so much, but we didn’t like the social side at all.” The contenders for the Labour leadership in Scotland were quick to condemn the idea that Scots were happy with Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies (Sun page 1, Mail page 6, Record page 2, Courier page 11, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 11).

Glasgow Airport: Councils in the west of Scotland are reportedly engaged in secret discussions about teaming up with Manchester Airport Group to buy Glasgow Airport (Herald page 1). Peter Jones in the Scotsman examines the Competition Commission’s recommendations on UK airports.

Ageing population: Britain is to have more pensioners than children for the first time in history, according to the Office of National Statistics (Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 9).

Crime

Court reform: Elish Angiolini in the Sun (page 6) responds to recent criticism about the use of fiscal fines and whether they are letting violent offenders off lightly.

Education

Helpline for teachers: A new helpline for teachers has been set up. Recent statistics have shown that teachers are three to six times more likely to take time off work through stress or depression that the rest of the workforce (Courier page 6, P&J page 12).

Health

Palliative services: An Audit Scotland report has found that provision of palliative care varies significantly across the country and that most care is skewed towards cancer patients. The Scottish Government is due to publish a palliative care action plan later this year (Times page 27, Courier page 11).

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde: The finance director of Scotland’s largest health board has said that it will need to find savings of £42m this year as part of the Scottish Government’s public sector efficiency drive (Herald page 6).

Politics

Scottish Labour contest: Further coverage of the contest to replace Wendy Alexander. Contender Cathy Jamieson yesterday called for reform to the way bus services operated. Andy Kerr called for specialist centres to take care of the elderly (Sun page 2 and page 38, Times page 27, Record page 2, Courier page 11).

Loss of data: A memory stick containing the personal details of the entire prison population south of the border has been lost by one of the Home Office’s private contractors (Scotsman page 8, Times page 1, Herald page 1).

Festival of Politics: Speaking at the Festival of Politics at the Scottish Parliament yesterday Denis Healey insisted that Gordon Brown could still win the next general election. Douglas Hurd said that the Prime Minister should remember that a failure to listen to others had contributed to the down fall of Margaret Thatcher, with regard to the poll tax, and Tony Blair, with regard to the Iraq war (Scotsman page 16, Courier page 11, Herald page 6, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph).