Daily Political Media Summary: 19 September 2008

Reform Scotland
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Daily Political Media Summary: 19 September 2008

\r\nAll newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.

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Economy
\r\nHBOS: Further reaction, comment and analysis into the takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB. There is speculation as to what the takeover will mean for the future of both Scottish banking and the economy in Scotland. Many are questioning whether the new group will be able to keep hold of HBOS’s Scottish status. The practice of ‘short-selling’ has also been temporarily suspended. Meanwhile the US recorded its most positive day on the stock market for 6 years. Richard Lambert, the director-general of the CBI has said that the problems facing the world’s economy are on a similar scale to those of 1929. (Scotsman pages 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7; page 29; comment page 25; analysis from Peter Jones on pages 22 and 23, and from Bill Jamieson on page 24, Herald pages 1 and 4, page 5, page 32 and page 33, analysis from Ian McConnell page 19, Press and Journal pages 1, 12 and 13, Courier and Advertiser pages 1 and 11, FT page 1 and 2, page 4, page 6, analysis page 15, page 17 , Philip Stephens on page 17, Times page 1, pages 3 and 4, Guardian page 1, page 2, page 3,page 4, page 5, John Eatwell in the Guardian page 42, Daily Telegraph pages 1 and 2, pages 4 and 5, Jeff Randall in the Daily Telegraph page 24, Daily Express pages 1 and 4, 8 and 9, Daily Mail page 1,6 and 14, Daily Record pages 1, 4 and 8, Sun pages 1 and 8.)

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Scottish Enterprise: All 1,000 staff at the quango Scottish Enterprise have been given £500 bonuses creating a furore at Holyrood. The enterprise body is being scaled down with a shrinking budget and 260 jobs have already been dispensed with. The Enterprise Minister Jim Mather has denied reports that Scottish Enterprise is to merge with Highland and Islands Enterprise. (Scotsman page 11, Press and Journal page 11)

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Highland Jobs: It is thought that as many as 1,000 jobs could be created at the former Nigg Fabrication Yard in the Highlands according to a study by Highlands Council. (Herald page 12)

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Scottish Futures Trust: After the appointment of Sir Angus Grossart as the head of the new Scottish Futures Trust, Henry Hepburn, writing in the TESS asks whether it is perhaps a rebranded version of PPP, or whether there is something more to this particular capital investment vehicle. (Times Educational Supplement page 8)

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Taxes: It is being reported that the tax bill for the average family is up 51% in the 11 years that Gordon Brown has been working as both Chancellor and Prime Minster. (Daily Express page 11)

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Home Pack Kits: The £700 price tag on home pack kits that will allow those selling their homes to have a report with information such as an energy report, has led to the Scottish Law Agents Society branding the scheme as “reckless”. (Daily Express page 7, Daily Mail page 4)

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Crime
\r\nJuries: The use of juries could be scrapped for very long or complex fraud or murder trials under new proposals from the Scottish Government it has been announced today. Instead a panel of judges would sit in their stead. Kenny McAskill the Justice Secretary has also announced that the proposal of raising the maximum age limit of jurors from 65 to 70. (Scotsman page 15, Press and Journal page 8, Daily Telegraph page 12, Daily Express page 10, Daily Mail page 19)
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\r\nTransport
\r\nFerry Service: A new operator has stepped in to save Scotland’s only yearlong round ferry service between Rosyth and Zeebrugge. Norfolkline will take over the running of the service form Superfast Ferries who had planned to have the last crossing on September 13 of this year. (Scotsman page 13, Press and Journal pages 1 and 9, Courier and Advertiser pages 1 and 14, Herald pages 1 and 2, Daily Express page 15, Daily Mail page 19)

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Roads: A new type of asphalt that is more environmentally friendly could save British motorists around £1.5m. The new compound can be used many times over and will therefore have significant effects on road re-surfacing and maintenance. (Courier and Advertiser page 8)
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\r\nEducation
\r\nSchools Closures: The Scottish Consumer Council is today putting forward a raft of criticisms of the measures taken by the Scottish Government on the closure of rural schools. They claim that decisions taken are “too fast, too confused and too narrow”. (Courier and Advertiser page 9)
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\r\nSchool Curriculum: Further professional development of teachers is required if they are to be able to implement the new schools curriculum. A Glasgow University report states that if teachers are to put “draft outcomes and experiences” into classroom practice, then further support is required. Moreover, the head of a new programme designed to inject pace into the formation of ‘A Curriculum for Excellence’ has said that colleges have a vital role to play in the success of the scheme. (Times Educational Supplement pages 1 and 7, and 22)
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\r\nClass Sizes: Haddington Sheriff Court has made the Scottish Government’s ruling that classes should for p1-3 be limited to 18 void, by ruling that some children should be able to go to the schools of their parents choice regardless of Government legislation on class sizes. (Times Educational Supplement page 9)
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\r\nHealth
\r\nCO2 Emissions: New figures released today show that greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland have risen by 5% in a year. Between 2005 and 2006 they rose by 5.4% despite the Scottish Government’s claim that they will lower emissions by 80% by 2050. (Scotsman page 9, Press and Journal page 11)
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\r\nAsthma Claim: Scientists believe that children given paracetamol based medicines are more than three times as likely to develop asthma in later life. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 8)
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\r\nGPs: A Fife MSP is asking today why so few of the GPs in his area are not taking up the offer of working extended hours in return for cash incentives. Only 26% of the GPs in the Fife area have taken up on the scheme which compares with a national average of around 52%. (Courier and Advertiser page 4)
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\r\nLocal Government
\r\nGlenrothes by-election: It is reported that Frank Roy has been dropped from Labour’s campaign team for the Glenrothes by-election because of the part he played in the disastrous Glasgow-east by-election. He will be replaced by the long-time ally of Gordon Brown, Nigel Griffiths, MP for Edinburgh South. (Times page 15)
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\r\nPolitics
\r\nBanking Collapse: The Scottish Parliament was united yesterday to try and defend as many Scottish jobs and interests as possible in the wake of the takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB. Gordon Brown however, came under fire for his part in helping to broker the deal. (Scotsman page 7, Gerri Peev page 12)

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Calman Commission: An article on Sir Kenneth Calman, chairing the enquiry into the role of devolution and powers of the Holyrood Parliament, suggests that he will carry out the role with a smile on his face. (Daily Telegraph page 12)

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Gordon Brown: A poll by Labourhome.org, a grassroots party forum, has found that 54% of Labour supporters hope that Gordon Brown does not lead them into the next general election. Meanwhile, talks of a plot to bring down Gordon Brown involving a wide cast of players is being touted. (Scotsman page 10, Press and Journal page 5, Times pages 20 and 21, Peter Riddell in the Times, Daily Telegraph page 16, Daily Mail page 12, Daily Record page 2, Sun page 2)

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Labour Party Conference: Gordon Brown has today signalled that a fairer deal for the elderly will be among one of his flagship policies to be outlined at the start of the Labour party conference due to begin in Manchester next week. Prior to the conference beginning there has been a cry for unity behind Mr Brown, while Eric Joyce, who was widely expected to quit his post as parliamentary private secretary, has stated that he will not now quit. (Press and Journal page 5, Courier and Advertiser page 2, Martin Kettle in the Guardian page 43)
\r\nTourism: Iain Smith the Convenor of Holyrood’s economy, enterprise and tourism committee has said that there are a number of “significant challenges” that must be met if Scotland is to achieve the goal of boosting tourism by 50% between 2005 and 2015. (Courier and Advertiser page 9)
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