Daily Political Media Summary: 15 September 2008


All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Tartan tax:
Tavish Scott has called for the Scottish Parliament to use its powers to provide an emergency 2p cut in income tax to give families a £330 rebate to help them cope with soaring bills. The pledge comes on top of the UK Lib Dems proposals to cut 4p off income tax. (Scotsman page 10, Burning issue in the Scotsman, Herald page 7, Courier page 1, Times page 18, P&J page 13, Mail page 10, Express page 2, Scotland on Sunday page 7)

Recession: The CBI will claim today that the UK is almost certainly in the early stages of recession and it expects that unemployment will reach 2.12 million by the end of next year. (Herald page 32, Times page 38, P&J page 17, Mail page 2, Guardian page 4, FTpage 5)

Public borrowing: Public borrowing over the next three years will be £65bn higher than the Chancellor’s forecast in March according to the Treasury’s ready reckoner on tax revenues. (FT page 1)

Scottish Futures Trust: Labour has called on Angus Grossart to resign as Chairman of the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) due to a conflict of interest – the Nobel Grossart Group, of which Sir Angus is Managing Director, advises the Miller Group, one of the firms expected to bid for work from SFT. (Sunday Times page 2)

Banking: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman (page 29) comments on the situation with Lehman Brothers in the US and why UK banks may not fully recover from the current crisis.

Prisons: Lord McCluskey in the Scotsman (page 37) argues that putting people in prison doesn’t work – it doesn’t deter criminals, rehabilitation is unavailable for many and too many prisoners re-offend.

Training for judges: Senior members for the judiciary have called for judges in Scotland to be given more training, pointing out that they receive only about half the number of training days each year as their counterparts south of the border. (Herald page 1)

Domestic violence: Female victims of domestic violence in Glasgow are to be given hi-tech panic rooms to protect them from their violent partners. (Record page 1)

Lord George Robertson has called for the break up of CalMac’s ferry network to allow private firms to operate some services. (Herald page 10)

Borders railway: An expert report complied by Cyrill Sweet for Transport Scotland states that the business case for the proposed 35 mile Waverley line was “very poor”. (Sunday Herald page 11)

Chemists: According to a YouGov survey Scots are increasingly turning to pharmacies for health advice. (Scotsman page 8)

Muscle disease: 40% of patients with muscular diseases in Scotland do not have access to specialist consultants according to a survey carried out by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign. (Herald page 2)

Vitamin D: A five year research project published this week argues that a national campaign to convince ever Scot to take vitamin D supplements is necessary as people are not getting enough of the “sunshine vitamin” due to the poor weather in Scotland. (Times page 1)

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary: Patients at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary are five times more likely to have the superbug Clostridium difficile than patients at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness according to an investigation by the P&J. (P&J page 1)

Immigrants: Dr Jean Turner, Chief Executive of the Scottish Patients Association has called for immigrants to be banned from receiving free NHS care until they have lived in the UK for a decade. (Express page 6)

Iain Gray:
Comment and analysis on Iain Gray’s election as the new leader of the Labour group in the Scottish Parliament. Iain Gray is expected to organise his shadow team today but has already given Margaret Curran a leading role in developing new policies and has signalled he intends to throw out Labour’s 2007 election manifesto. Accepting his new position Iain Gray commented that he had a mandate from the wider Labour party, not just the MSPs, sparking an alleged backlash from Des Browne. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1, Robbie Dinwoodie in the Herald, Courier page 1, Record page 2, George Galloway in the Record, Times page 8, Angus Macleod in the Times, Telegraph page 13, P&J page 5, Sun page 1, Andy Nicol in the Sun, Mail page 8, Express page 8, Sunday Post page 1, Sunday Herald page 1, Edd McCracken in the Sunday Herald, Scotland on Sunday page 7, Kenny Farquharson in the Scotland on Sunday)

Gordon Brown: Comment and analysis on the revelations that a growing number of Labour MPs have called for a leadership ballot at the party’s conference. However some within the party fear that the signs of division within the party will harm their chances in the Glenrothes by-election (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1, Torquil Crichton in the Herald, Iain Macwhirter in the Herald, Courier page 1, Record page 2, Times page 3, William Rees-Mogg in the Times, Telegraph page 1, Janet Daley in the Telegraph, P&J page 1, Sun page 8, Mirror page 4, Mail page 6, Guardian page 1, Jackie Ashley in the Guardian, Express page 8, Leo McKinstry in the Express, FT page 6, Sunday Times page 1, Jonathan Oliver and Marie Wolf in the Sunday Times, Sunday Herald page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 6)

Lib Dem conference: Analysis of the Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth. Today conference is expected to vote on new Lib Dem policies to cut taxes while Nick Clegg has reassured members that the party wasn’t shifting to the right. (Times page 18, Telegraph page 8, P&J page 13, Mirror page 9, Guardian page 11, Peter Preston in the Guardian, FT page 6)

Tories & Scotland: Michael Gove in the Sunday Times (page 23) argues that the election of a Conservative government at Westminster would be good for Scotland.

Robin Harper: Lothians MSP Robin Harper has announced he is to step down as co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party. (Courier page 8)