Daily Political Media Summary: 5th August 2008

Reform Scotland
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Daily Political Media Summary: 5th August 2008
\r\nAll newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.
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\r\nEconomy
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Northern Rock
: Northern Rock has announced losses of over £500million for the first half of the year. (Scotsman page 5)
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\r\nWindfall Tax: Alex Salmond and Gordon Brown are once again on a collision course as the Scottish First Minister calls for a windfall tax to be placed on energy companies while the UK Premier has said he will work with the energy companies to find a solution to the rising prices for the consumer. (Press and Journal page 1, Herald page 6, Courier page 9)

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Energy Merger: The Government has stated that it favours talks between British Energy and French firm EdF revived, rather than a merger between British Energy and Centrica. (Daily Telegraph page B1)
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\r\nTax Changes: In the Herald, Alf Young comments on the changes Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling have made to the British tax system, particularly to capital gains tax.
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\r\nRegulatory Review: The Regulatory Review Group has made a series of recommendations to try and improve the regulatory burden facing Scottish businesses. (Press and Journal page 16, Courier page 3)
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\r\nStamp duty: The Prime Minister is reportedly going to temporarily scrap stamp duty to kick start the housing market. (Sun page 2)
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\r\nRBS: The Royal Bank of Scotland group is expected to post half year losses for £1.7bn next week. If it is announced, it will be the largest loss in British banking history. (Magnus Linklater and page 3 of the Times)
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\r\nCrime
\r\nKiller banned from pub: Judge Lord Matthews caused anger yesterday by banning a man who killed his wife from going to the pub. The Judge said that because the 74-year old had dementia it made him unsuitable for prison and banning him from the pub and imposing a home detention curfew was more meaningful. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 21, Daily Mail page 8, Daily Mirror page 16, Daily Record page 23, Times page 9, Daily Express page 7)
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\r\nScottish prisoners: Prisoners at Saughton Prison are to be given phones and showers in their cells. (Monday’s Record page 1)

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Education
\r\nExam results: Pass rates for standard grades and highers are expected to show an increase as results are announced today. (Scotsman page 12, Sun page 2, Daily Mail page 18, Daily Record page 12, Times page 19, Press and Journal page 10, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 4, Courier page 9)
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\r\nHealth
\r\nVitamin C: Vitamin C jabs have the ability to break up cancer cells new research has found. The study has found that the jabs have the ability to cut cancerous tumours in half and kill cancerous cells. (Daily Express page 1, Press and Journal page 5, Herald page 3, Daily Telegraph page 12)
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\r\nJunior doctors: Half of Scotland’s junior doctors are working hours which breach new European rules. (Monday’s Herald page 1)

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Local Government
\r\nHousing: Paul Edie, Housing Convenor in Edinburgh Council, comments in the Scotsman (page 23) that a mix of mixed tenure communities and plans for new council houses can help solve the current housing crisis.

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Council Strikes: The leader of the Scottish Trade Union Congress, Grahame Smith, has backed calls for council strikes. Schools and nurseries are due to close when 150,000 walk out after the holidays. (Daily Mail page 2)
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\r\nPolitics
\r\nGagged Diplomats: The Public Administration Select Committee said yesterday that the law gagging retired diplomats and mandarins from talking publicly without prior approval must be changed. The law was introduced in 2006 and has been criticised for eroding free speech. (Herald page 2, Daily Telegraph page 10)

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Nuclear weapons: The First Minister’s plans of creating a separate Scottish policy on nuclear weapons and writing to all the signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty has been declared an “international flop” after receiving only 21 responses from 189 countries. (Scotsman page 6, Daily Mail page 14, Daily Record page 2)
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\r\nUK Cabinet: Gordon Brown is expected to follow the Scottish Government’s example and hold Cabinet meeting’s outside of Westminster. (Scotsman page 14, Daily Mirror page 6, Press and Journal page 5, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 10, Alan Cochrane in the Daily Telegraph, Guardian page 12)
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\r\nLads Mags: The Conservatives want to hold the editors of men’s magazines to account for portraying woman as sex objects. Michael Gove said in a speech that the magazines were partly responsible for irresponsible and feckless behaviour from young men with regards to fatherhood and relationships. (Press and Journal page 5, Herald page 6)
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\r\nFamilies: Rachel Sylvester in the Times comments on the Conservative Party’s new outlook on family life following Michael Gove’s speech on Monday.

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Scottish Labour leadership: Further comment and analysis on the competition to replace Wendy Alexander as leader of the Labour Group in the Scottish Parliament. Leadership contender Iain Gray has called for local taxation to be fairer, whilst Alex Rowley a key ally of Gordon Brown, and Tom McCabe, have stated that Scots Labour should have more independence from the UK party in an effort to kerb the powers of the SNP and move away from the current in-fighting surrounding London Labour. (Times page 14, Daily Record page 2, Daily Express page 6, Press and Journal page 10
\r\nDavid Maddox in the Scotsman, Daily Mail page 2, Times page 14, Press and Journal page 10, page 9, Iain Macwhirter in Monday’s Herald, Tom McCabe in the Sunday Herald)

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UK Labour infighting: Further comment on reported in-fighting within the UK Labour Party. John Prescott yesterday said Gordon Brown was the only man to steer the Labour party through the current crisis. A leaked memo from Tony Blair described Gordon Brown’s leadership as “vacuous”. (Monday’s Telegraph page 4 Janet Daley in Monday’s Telegraph, Monday’s Scotsman page 1, Jackie Ashley in Monday’s Guardian, Sunday Herald page 11-13, Iain Macwhirter in the Sunday Herald, Sun page 2, Daily Mail page 2, Daily Record page 2, David Aaronovitch in the Times, Daily Express page 2, Daily Telegraph page 1 and 2)

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Lib Dem leadership: Former Holyrood Presiding Officer Lord David Steel has backed Ross Finnie to replace Nicol Stephen as leader of the Scottish Lib Dems. (Monday’s Herald page 6)

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Scottish Conservatives: Annabel Goldie sets out in Monday’s Express (page 10) why people should vote Conservative at the next general election.

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State control: Jenni Russell in Monday’s Guardian (page 25) comments that David Cameron’s promise of less state control makes him electable.

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42 Days: The right of Parliament to decide on the suitability of the 42 day detention without trial has been criticised by the powerful House of Lords Constitution Committee, which believes it will undermine judicial independence. (Herald page 6, Times page 14, Daily Telegraph page 10)
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