Daily Political Media Summary: 6 August 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Rural buildings: The Prince of Wales yesterday launched a scheme to breathe life into over 1,000 redundant buildings across the north of Scotland. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 5, P&J page 4, Telegraph page 8)

Banking sector: George Kerevan in the Scotsman (page 29) comments on recent half year results from the banking sector and the implications these have for the credit crunch.

Northern Rock: The government has loaned nationalised bank Northern Rock £3 billion after it reported losses of £585 million increasing customer mortgage arrears. The government has been heavily criticised for the move which opponents argue is placing more burden on taxpayers with the prospect of very little return. (Sun page 2, Times page 34, David Wighton in the Times page 35, Guardian page 1, 2, Daily Mail page 10, Daily Mirror page 6, Daily Express page 7, P&J page 10, Telegraph B1, FT)

Stamp duty: Chancellor Alistair Darling is under increasing pressure to suspend stamp duty after it emerged that the number of people failing to meet mortgage payments rose 40 per cent in the first three months of 2008. Despite these figures the Treasury insisted that “no final decisions had been taken” regarding plans for the housing market. (Times page 3, Ross Clark in the Times page 22, Sun page 2, Guardian page 1, Daily Record page 2, Daily Mirror page 6, Daily Express page 2, Herald page 1, P&J page 10, Courier page 9, FT)

Recession worries: Fears of a UK recession grew yesterday as the worst monthly drop in incoming new business in the service sector for the past 12 years was announced. (Herald page 28)

Crime

Passport fraud: New microchipped passports designed to be “fakeproof” can be cloned and manipulated in minutes according to tests conducted by The Times. (Times page 1, 7)

DNA call: One of Scotland’s top police officers has called for DNA samples to be taken from every Scot including new born babies. Stephen House the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, Scotland’s largest police force, believes such a scheme would “catch more criminals.” (Daily Mail page 1, 4)

Transport

British Airways: British Airways loses more bags and operates more delayed planes than any other big airline in Europe. This came on the day that it launched an advertising campaign to rescue the reputation of Terminal 5. (Times page 13)

A9: The Scottish Government will detail “in a matter of weeks” how and when it will fulfil its commitment to dual the A9. (Herald page 2, P&J page 1, Courier page 1)

Education

Exam results: Comment and analysis on the improved exam results published yesterday. (Scotsman page 9, Daily Mail page 25, Daily Express page 10)

University: The number of Scots choosing to go to university has dropped from 30.2% of 17 to 21-year olds in 2005/6 to 29.6% in 2006/07. (Herald page 4)

Health

Dentists: Dentists in Scotland are to receive extra funding after the Scottish Government invested an extra £75 million in to dental services. This comes after it was reported that only half of Scottish adults and three quarters of youngsters are registered with an NHS dentist. (Daily Record page 2, Herald page 7, Courier page 4, Telegraph page 8)

Crisp row: The SNP has been heavily criticised for giving a company £500,000 to set up a crisp factory. This is despite Scottish Government efforts to promote healthier eating and the consumption of home grown produce. (Daily Mail page 17)

Politics

Scottish Labour leader: Further comment and analysis on the election. Yesterday Cathy Jamieson forgave her dying convicted nephew who had tried to blackmail her when she was justice minister, while Iain Gray appeared to benefit from increased support by not entering the row over the powers of the Scottish labour leader. (Scotsman page 7 and page 13, Sun page 2, Times page 16, Herald page 6, Courier page 8)

Miliburn to be Chancellor: David Miliband has lined up Alan Milburn to be Chancellor if the Foreign Secretary successfully manages to replace Gordon Brown as Prime Minister. (Scotsman page 7, Simon Jenkins in the Guardian page 25, Telegraph page 1)

Gordon Brown: Further comment on how Gordon Brown can improve his ratings with the public. (Ross Lydall in the Scotsman, Iain Martin in the Telegraph)

Scottish Cabinet in Inverness: The Scottish Cabinet held their second meeting as part of the tour of Scotland yesterday in Inverness. 120 people had also been invited along to a discussion on that national conversation with the opportunity to ask cabinet members questions. (Scotsman page 12, Telegraph page 8)

Lord Russell Johnston: A memorial service was held in Paris yesterday for the former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Lord Russell Johnston who died on 27 July aged 76. (Sun page 2)

Conservative tax policy: David Cameron and George Osborne are allegedly at ‘loggerheads’ over tax breaks for married couples and whether it should be a part of official party policy. The “substantial disagreement” concerns Cameron’s support for the proposal whilst Osborne is opposed. (Daily Mail page 11)

Conservative candidate: A Conservative PPC in a marginal seat has admitted to conducting a campaign of harassment in an effort to “change the political landscape.” Ian Oakley, candidate for the Watford seat, harassed his political rivals by “slashing tyres, sending poison pen letters and making silent phone calls.” (Times page 9, Guardian page 1, 5, Telegraph page 9)

MPs children: MPs will be banned from employing their children as researchers and secretaries as part of a shake up in the wake of the Derek Conway scandal. However, MPs will still be able to employ spouses and partners and the rule will not apply retrospectively so children already employed will be allowed to continue. (Herald page 6, P&J page 15, Courier page 2, Telegraph page 4, Sun page 2, Daily Record page 2)

Scottish identity: Alan Massie in the Daily Mail (page 16) comments on recent news stories concerning the Saltire and what it means for Scottish identity.