Daily Political Media Summary: 18 September 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy
HBOS: A £12bn deal which will see Lloyds TSB take over HBOS was agreed last night. Westminster backed the take-over following huge falls in HBOS share price, however the deal has led to fears of around 40,000 job losses. Alex Salmond blamed “spivs and speculators” for the circumstances surrounding the take-over. The move is likely to end the spell an end for Bank of Scotland which was formed in 1695. (Scotsman page 1 and page 6, George Kerevan in the Scotsman, Martin Flanagan in the Scotsman, Herald page 1 and page 4, Ian McConnell in the Herald, Sun page 1, Mirror page 5, Times page 1 and page 4, Anatole Kaletsky in the Times, Express page 1 and page 4, Mail page 1, Alex Brummer in the Mail, Record page 1 and page 4, Guardian page 1 and page 4, Nils Pratley in the Guardian, P&J page 1 and page 12, Courier page 1 and page 2, Telegraph page 1, page 4 and page 6, Andrew Pierce in the Telegraph, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Gordon Ryner in the Telegraph, FT page 1 and page 2)

Unemployment: Unemployment across the UK grew to 1.72million in the three months to July – the highest total since spring 1999. However Scotland bucked the trend with unemployment falling by 4,000. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 31, Sun page 2, Mirror page 5, Record page 2, Guardian page 31, Courier page 14, Telegraph page 2, FT page 8)

Public sector employment: More than one in five people are now employed by the state in Scotland, an increase of 9.2% since devolution. (Mail page 12, Courier page 10)

Energy: Jim Mather, the Scottish Energy Minister, has called for Ofgem and the National Grid to change what he sees as an “unfair” regime where a power station in Scotland pays about £25m more per year to transmit electricity that one in Yorkshire. The minister believes this system is harming Scotland’s development of renewables. (Scotsman page 21, P&J page 15, Courier page 10)

Capitalism: David Cameron has called on centre-right leaders across the world to unite to defend capitalism. (FT page 9)

Transport
BAA:
BAA yesterday admitted that customer services at its Scottish airports needed to improve but intends to fight calls to sell of any more airports other than London Gatwick, which was put up for sale yesterday. (Herald page 2, Scotsman page 34, Times page 47, Express page 10, Mail page 24, Guardian page 30, P&J page 17, Courier page 15)

Rosyth Ferry: Alex Salmond is expected to make an announcement on the future of the Rosyth to Zeebrugge ferry route today. (Mail page 27, Courier page 1)

New Forth crossing: Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson yesterday guaranteed that there would not be a toll on the new Forth crossing. (P&J page 14)

Crime
Jury duty:
The Scottish Government intends to raise the age limit for jurors from 65 to 70. (Herald page 1)

Knife crime: 5,000 people a year are caught carrying knifes by Strathclyde Police Force. (Mail page 4)

Health
Ambulance crews:
The Scottish Ambulance Service is to receive almost £5m from the Scottish Government to end single-manning of ambulances. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 9, Sun page 2, Express page 8, Record page 6, P&J page 9, Courier page 10, Telegraph page 10)

Translation: The NHS in Scotland spent £2.25m translating English into nearly 60 languages for foreign nationals last year. (Sun page 20)

Education
Graduates: As research from the OECD shows that other nations are catching up with the UK for the number of graduates produced, principals at Scottish universities are claiming Scottish universities are in greater danger of falling behind those in England because of the funding gap caused by tuition fees south of the border. (Scotsman page 13)

School for the deaf: The new school national school for the deaf was officially opened by the First Minister in Linlithgow yesterday. (Herald page 13, Courier page 6)

Catholic Schools: Bishop Devine of Motherwell yesterday blamed problems of over-crowding in Catholic schools on the large number of non-Catholic children who have enrolled. (Times page 22)

Politics
Tory support over 50%:
A new Ipsos MORI opinion poll has placed the Conservatives on 52% across the UK – the first time the party has surpassed the 50% figure since Margaret Thatcher was leader. Labour were on 24% and the Lib Dems on 12%. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 1, Sunpage 2, Express page 2, Courier page 11, Telegraph page 1)

Labour leadership: James Purnell, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has called efforts to silence Labour MPs speaking out against the Prime Minister as “ridiculous” and admitted he shared some of their concerns as the party was 20 points behind in the polls. Reports have also emerged that Eric Joyce would quit his role as parliamentary aide to John Hutton following Gordon Brown’s conference speech next week. (Herald page 7, Harry Reid in the Herald, Mirror page 6, Express page 2, Mail page 10, John MacLeod in the Mail, Record page 2, Guardian page 6, P&J page 5 and page 14, Mary Riddell in the Telegraph)

Greens to be more professional: In his bid to become Green party Co-convenor, Green MSP Patrick Harvie has said that the party needs to be “more professional” if they are to succeed. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 6)

Lib Dem conference: The Lib Dems conference closed yesterday with Nick Clegg’s speech in which he said the party was “headed” for government though stressed he did not expect the Lib Dems to form the next Westminster administration. (Scotsman page 18, Herald page 6, Times page 16, Peter Riddell in the Times, Express page 6, Anthony Daniels in the Express, Mail page 12, Record page 2, Guardian page 16, P&J page 8, Telegraph page 14, FT page 9)

Cold calling: The SNP complained to the UK information Commissioner yesterday accusing the Lib Dems of carrying out automated phone calls promoting the Liberal Democrats policies which is against the rules. (P&J page 8