Daily Political Media Summary: 1 September 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Stamp duty: Tweed Homes has called for stamp duty to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament to help the housing market. (Scotsman page 7)

Darling & economic recovery: Alistair Darling has been accused of undermining the Government’s economic recovery strategy before it had even started by stating in an interview that voters were “p****d off with Labour” and that the country was facing the worst downturn for 60 years. The Chancellor has also admitted that there will not be enough money to fund the pension system. With Britain’s population living up to 20 to 30 years after retirement, Mr Darling conceded that the state cannot afford total funding. (Scotsman page 8, Ross Lydall in the Scotsman, Sun page 2, Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun page 8, Herald page 1, 6, Daily Record page 2, Daily Express page 2, Leo McKinstry in the Daily Express page 12, Times page 1, Libby Purves in the Times page 22, Anatole Kaletsky in the Times page 13, Telegraph page 4, Guardian page 4, FT page 2, Philip Stephens in the FT page 2, Courier page 11, P&J page 11, Sunday Times page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 1, Sunday Herald page 12)

Scotch whisky: The Scotch whisky industry has seen exports increase by 14% in the first half of 2008. (Scotsman page 25)

Engineering sector: Scotland’s engineering sector has suffered its first fall in orders for almost five years. (Scotsman page 26, Herald Business page 1)

Crime

Credit crunch crime: A leaked Home Office memo written by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has voiced fears of a rise in crime due to the impact of the credit crunch. The memo, a draft letter to Gordon Brown claims burglary, violence, racist behaviour and terrorism could all rise as the economic downturn deepens. The Home Secretary also expressed concerns about the implications for police funding. (Daily Mirror page 6, Daily Mail page 1, 8, Telegraph page 1, Guardianpage 1, FT page 2)

Education

Teaching jobs: Scottish Labour yesterday accused the Scottish Government of failing to provide enough jobs for newly qualified teachers. The attack came after a survey was published by the Times Educational Supplement which found that only 770 of last year’s 3426 probationers actually had jobs, a 10 percent fall on last year’s figure. The Scottish Government however has insisted that a “steady flow” of jobs will arise throughout the year as 6,000 teachers prepare to retire. (Herald page 6)

Class sizes: Primary school pupils in urban areas are being taught with children of different ages in order to meet Scottish Government class size targets. Some councils across Scotland are using so called ‘composite classes,’ which are often unpopular with both teachers and parents in order to meet the official target of 25 pupils per class. (Herald page 1, 2)

4,000 pupils cannot speak English: A BBC Radio Scotland investigation has found that almost 4,000 migrant school pupils in Scotland cannot speak basic English because of a lack of funding for specialist teachers. (Daily Express page 4)

Health

Cancer jag: Experts have voiced concerns about the Cervarix vaccine to protect against cervical cancer, which is being offered to all 12-13 year old girls in Scotland from today. Sexual health expert Janice Burnett said the vaccine is not as comprehensive as other alternatives. (Scotsman page 6)

NHS apology: Tayside NHS Health Board has apologised to a former NHS trust director for the late diagnosis of her husband’s cancer. Sandra MacKenzie, a former non-executive director with a former NHS trust in Dundee believes her husband Bill would have survived had it not been for the “shocking delays” in his diagnosis. (Herald page 3)

Cancer research: Cancer researchers have uncovered what could be a crucial component to a cure for cancer. Scientists have unravelled the enzyme which aids in spreading cancer cells around the body, leading to hopes that a ‘one size fits all’ drug can be developed for all cancer sufferers. (Daily Express page 1, 5)

e.coli: A leading expert on the bacteria e.coli has suggested that Scotland may suffer from the most serious form of the bug e.coli 0157. The bug is more prevalent in Scotland than anywhere else in the world; just last week 11 cases of the bug were confirmed in Aberdeenshire. A long term study which assesses how e.coli affects different countries is underway in America. (P&J page 1, 7)

Tobacco sales: plans to abolish tobacco displays and sell cigarettes from below counters will cost Scottish corner shops up to £40m. (Sunday Times page 2)

Local Government

Glasgow SNP councillor: The SNP has decided not to expel Glasgow councillor Jahangir Hanif over a row about his decision to take his children to Pakistan to learn to fire Kalashnikov rifles. Councillor Hanif has apologised for the incident but said it happened before he became a councillor. (Scotsman page 9, Sun page 2, Herald page 6, Times page 8, Courier page 3, P&J page 9)

Politics

Lib Dem reshuffle: New Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott has carried out a reshuffle of his team at Holyrood. Former leader Nicol Stephen will not have any shadow brief in the new team. (Scotsman page 9, Sun page 2, Herald page 6, Daily Record page 2, Courier page 3, P&J page 9, Murray Ritchie in the Scotland on Sundaypage 18)

SNP MPs: The SNP yesterday claimed it was on course to achieve 32 MPs in the next General Election, 12 above its official target of 20. With the Scottish Parliament reconvening this week, the SNP is claiming a “summer of success” following its victory in the Glasgow East by-election. (Herald page 6)

Commonwealth Games: The Scottish Government has asked Westminster for an extra £150 million in lottery funding for the 2014 Commonwealth Games believing it would be “fair compensation” for the money lottery investment in the 2012 London Olympics. (Herald page 3, P&J page 9, Scotland on Sunday page 1)

Scottish foreign policy: The Scottish Government is allegedly drawing up plans for an official Scottish foreign policy, a move which, if true, would be in direct violation of the devolution settlement. A leaked SNP memo claims that Scots are entitled to know what the Executive’s stance is on foreign and other reserved matters. From now on, anyone asking for views on reserved matters will receive a response in the name of the Scottish Government. This could pave the way for Scottish Government positions on NATO and the Russia-Georgia conflict. (Daily Mail page 2, Scotland on Sunday page 3)

Carbon costing: The Scottish Government is to become the first in the world to carbon cost all of its policies. (Sunday Times page 7)

Wendy vote: Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Standards Committee are threatening to quit this week if their fellow MSPs refuse to back their call to suspend former Labour leader Wendy Alexander for a day. (Scotland on Sunday page 3, Sunday Herald page 2)

Labour leadership: The contenders to replace Wendy Alexander all outline their vision for Scotland in the Sunday Herald (page 18)