Daily Political Media Summary: 2 September 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy
Chancellor’s Recovery: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman (page 31) asks what chance the Chancellor Alistair Darling has of making any type of recovery following his statement at the weekend regarding the state of the economy. The Chancellor has come in for further criticism for not making a positive decision on house taxes; while Tweed Homes have called on the Government to devolve powers on stamp duty to Holyrood, claiming that it would ease pressures on buyers. The price of the pound has also slumped against that of the dollar and the euro. (Press and Journal page 1 and 11, Courier and Advertiser page 14, Daily Mail page 1 and 4, Sun page 2, Guardian page 1, Telegraph pages 1 and 2, Daily Express page 1 and 10, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, Peter Riddell in the Times, pages 1 and 6, and opinion page 2, FT pages 1 and 2)

Small Businesses: The Bank Barclays has warned that the stock of small businesses may drop by as much as 150,000 by 2010. The feared drop comes amidst the credit crunch and stiffer lending rates from banks, which may in turn stifle entrepreneurs. (FT page 3)

Ethical Dangers: The chief executive of the Securities and Investment Institute, Simon Culhane has said that there is a real danger of there being a lapse in ethical standards to try and beat the credit-crunch. (Scotsman page 29)

Inheritance Tax: The Tories last night announced plans to allow families to inherit up to £2m tax-free. This is more than three times the current level. (Scotsman page 7, Telegraph page 1)

Hydro-Electric: In a new report issued today Scottish Ministers will argue that there is the potential for another 1,000 new hydro-electric schemes creating another 657 megawatts of energy. Alex Salmond yesterday also opened the first new hydro-electric power station to be built in Scotland for over 50 years. The Inverness-shire dam will generate 100Mw of electricity. (Herald page 1 and 4, Scotsman page 1,3 and 5 and opinion page 25, Press and Journal page 9, Courier and Advertiser page 8, Guardian page 12)

Factory Closure: New Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott is demanding that Scottish Ministers fly to Denmark to try and save a factory earmarked for closure. The Campbeltown factory that makes wind turbines is owned by Danish company Vestas-Celtic Wind Technology. (Herald page 6)

Crime
Recession will Fuel Crime: Tony McNulty the minister for crime and policing has said in a leaked draft memo that crime may well rise as a result of a recession. He has conceded that the two are “inextricably linked” and that there could be a rise in levels of racism, xenophobia, burglary and violent crime if there is a recession. (Herald page 6, Press and Journal page 5)

Education
School Buildings: Labour has criticised the quality of school’s PE facilities and the amount of time that children are designated to do PE claiming the SNP were failing them. The SNP hit back however, claiming that they expected to deliver “around 250 new or refurbished schools over the term of this Parliament.” (Courier and Advertiser page 3, Daily Mail page 20)

Health
Cervical Cancer: 90,000 Scottish youngsters are to become the first in Britain to be given the new jab against cervical cancer. The disease kills 100 Scottish women and 1,000 in the UK annually. (Herald page 8, Scotsman page 9, Press and Journal page 7, Courier and Advertiser page 11, Daily Mirror page 14, Daily Mail page 2, Daily Record page 17, the Times page 3)

NHS Tayside: NHS Tayside held its annual review at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee last night. The meeting was chaired by Nicola Sturgeon the Health Minister who later described NHS Tayside as performing “very well”. (Press and Journal page 6)

E-coli: Microbiologist professor Hugh Pennington has said that there is a possibility that Scotland could be home to a more virulent form of the E-coli 0157 strain than elsewhere in the world. (Herald page 8)

Local Government
Strike Action: Further strike action has been described as inevitable by council staff last night after talks between local authorities and trade unions over improved salaries broke down once again. The strike action will be a repeat of the strike of August 20 when 150,000 council workers staged a one-day strike. (Herald page 9, Scotsman page 8, Press and Journal page 9, Courier and advertiser page 9, Daily Mail page 6, Daily record page 2, Sun page 2, Daily Express page 2)

Politics
Sentencing Powers: The Scottish Government is to give advice to judges on sentencing for crimes such as road accidents. In a controversial move, some of the measures will encroach on powers previously reserved for Westminster, and will also give victims a say in the final sentence. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 7, Press and Journal page 15, Courier and Advertiser opinion page 12, Courier and Advertiser page 8, Daily Mail page 19, Daily Record page 2, Kerry Gill in the Daily Express, and Daily express page 4, Times page 19)

Tavish Scott: In the Scotsman (page 24), Hamish MacDonell comments on the start Tavish Scott has made as new leader of the Lib Dems in Scotland.

Labour: Gordon Brown will today move to quash any rumours regarding the Chancellor Alistair Darling following his remarks at the weekend about the economy. The PM will further unveil a series of measures relating to the housing market to try and aid first time buyers. In the Daily Mail, Melanie Phillips has said that she thinks Gordon Brown is in real trouble, as shown by the fact that even the Chancellor is rebelling. (Herald page 6, Daily Mirror page 4)

Miliband: Children’s secretary Ed Balls has said that David Miliband would have to be “crazy” to try and take the PM’s job from Gordon Brown. (Daily Mirror page 4, Guardian page 9)

Cabinet Meetings: Alex Salmond has stated that the success of this summer’s Cabinet meetings outside Edinburgh have led him to think that it should become a regular occurrence. (Herald page 6)

Hugh O’Donnell: Tavish Scott has removed from the standards Committee Hugh O’Donnell, from the committee set up to decide whether or not Wendy Alexander the former Labour leader should serve a one day ban. The Lib Dem leader has insisted it has nothing to do with Mr O’Donnell’s statement of intent to resign from it if the sentence is not passed. Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph has commented on what he described as a “sideshow”. (Scotsman page 13, Press and Journal page 15)

Glenrothes: Labour has selected Lindsay Roy to fight the Glenrothes by-election. The Kirkcaldy High School rector will contest the election caused by the death of John MacDougall last month. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 8, Press and Journal page 7, Courier and Advertiser page 11, Daily Mail page 9, Daily Record page 2, Sun page 2, Daily Express page 2, Times page 9)

Opposition parties: In the Herald (page 13), Douglas Fraser writes about the difficulties faced by the opposition parties in the respective parliaments and what they can do to try and help themselves back into power.

New Union: Henry McLeish, writing in the Times, argues that it is time that Labour in Scotland looked towards forging a new union with England and the UK rather than continuing with the old polarised system of union or independence.

Holyrood: writing in the Times, Angus Macleod comments on the return of politicians to Holyrood and the effect the new parliamentary term will have on the country.