Daily Political Media Summary: 11 September 2008


All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Scottish Futures Trust:
Yesterday John Swinney announced that Sir Angus Grossart had been made Chairman of the Scottish Futures Trust, which had also been registered with Companies House. However details on timescales and how the organisation will work have yet to be confirmed. (Scotsman page 6, Peter MacMahon in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Douglas Fraser in the Herald, Herald leader , Times page 9, Sun page 6, Mirror page 4, Mail page 19, Express page 15, P&J page 12, Telegraph page 13, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph)

Energy ‘joke’: Mark Owen-Lloyd, head of power trading at E.On came under fire last night for joking that high fuel prices and a harsh winter meant “more money for us.” (Scotsman page 5, Telegraph page 1)

Energy efficiency: Emergency cold weather payments are expected to be trebled this winter as part of the Government’s drive to tackle soaring fuel prices. The Prime Minister is expected to announce further details of a £1 billion package today including proposals aimed at encouraging energy efficiency. Alex Salmond has said he will fight to ensure Scotland receives a fair share of the package.(Record page 2, Sun page 2, Mail page 8, Herald page 6, Courier page 11, P&J page 1, Guardian page 2, FT page 2)

Housebuilder scheme: Aberdeen based housebuilder Stewart Milne has launched a scheme to help encourage the sale of new homes by promising to cover any losses from a subsequent sale. (Scotsman page 14)

Dunfermline Building Society: Dunfermline Building Society is to cut 50 jobs from its head office in Dunfermline. (Scotsman page 29)

Outlook for the economy: Edward George, former Governor of the Bank of England, in the Times (page 30) comments that the best way to recover from the credit crunch is to keep the authorities at arm’s length from the markets Alf Young in the Herald (page 31) looks at the prospects for the UK economy compared to other economies. EU forecasters estimate that national output in the UK will fall 0.2% in both the third and forth quarters of the year. (Herald page 32, Mail page 2, P&J page 13, Telegraph page 1, Irwin Stelzer in the Telegraph, FT page 5)

Prisoner tagging:
The Northern Community Justice Authority has said that under Home Detention Curfews prisoners may reoffend in sufficient numbers to bring the entire scheme into question. (Mail page 4)

Second rate railways: First ScotRail has complained that VisitScotland’s website describes Scotland’s rail network as “modest” with “a few major stations” which connect “Scotland’s limited rail network.” VisitScotland has now changed the website. (Scotsman page 9)

Prestwick charter flights: Thousands of Scottish tourists have been hit by the closure of Seguro Holidays, the second travel firm to collapse in as many weeks. (Herald page 1, Daily Record page 1, Sun page 18, Mirror page 4, Mail page 1, Express page 9)

Aberdeen bypass inquiry: A bid to widen the cope of the inquiry into the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route has failed. (Herald page 11)

Chinese students: There has been a 73% increase in the number of Chinese students attending Scottish universities over the past year according to Ucas, the universities admissions service. (Scotsman page 15)

Lack of jobs for teachers: MSPs on the Education Committee have been told by representatives of teaching unions that newly qualified teachers are being interviewed for jobs they have no chance of obtaining due to the large number of new teachers looking for a job. (Herald page 7, Express page 10, Courier page 3, P&J page 10)

GP waiting times:
Nicol Stephen MSP has raised concerns about how long some patients have to wait to see a GP. (Herald page 4)

NHS: Anne Johnstone praises the NHS and calls for people to fight to protect it. (Herald page 15)

Local Government
Local Income Tax: The Liberal Democrats have laid down their conditions on any deal with the SNP over Local Income Tax. (Herald page 6)

Industrial action: The GMB is the latest union to signal it will take industrial action in a dispute with local authorities over pay. (P&J page 11)

Calman Commission: Sir Kenneth Calman has said he will take the devolution commission south of the border to garner views from the English about how they would feel about more powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Sir Kenneth has also indicated that the majority of submissions have called for the Scottish Parliament to have greater fiscal powers. (Scotsman page 13, Burning issue in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Record page 12, Times page 9, Courier page 9, P&J page 17, Telegraph page 14)

Scottish spin doctor: Paul Sinclair, Gordon Brown’s ‘Scottish spin doctor’ is leaving Downing Street and going to work for a PR company. (Herald page 6, Telegraph page 12)

Harman and equality: In a speech to the TUC conference on equality, Harriet Harman, Labour’s Deputy Leader, attacked David Cameron and accused him of only being interested in women for their votes. (Herald page 7)

Unions in talks with Conservatives: Trade unions have opened top level negotiations with the conservatives after admitting privately that Gordon Brown is likely to lose the general election. (Times page 1)

Gordon Brown: Peter Riddell in the Times (page 17) comments on a Populus poll for the Times which shows that Gordon Brown is seen as being much further away from the position of the average voter than Tony Blair was when he was Prime Minister.

Trade unions: Seumas Milne in the Guardian (page 35) comments on the TUC conference and the impact of the unions on Labour.

Class war: Stephen Pollard in the Telegraph (page 23) argues that the class war is over and Harriet Harman’s return to the theme is knee-jerk hypocrisy from a party on the ropes.