Daily Political Media Summary: 22 September 2008


All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Sir Peter Burt, former Chief Executive of Bank of Scotland, has warned that a rival bidder could challenge Lloyds TSB’s plans to take over HBOS as 75% of HBOS’s shareholders are needed to approve the plans. The Chancellor has rejected claims from Alex Salmond that the government could have done more to save HBOS, while Mr Salmond’s SNP colleague Alex Neil is gathering Scotland’s banking elite to try and arrange a £6bn deal to save Bank of Scotland. Labour has accused the First Minister of being a “loud-mouthed hypocrite” over revelations that Alex Salmond’s chief economics adviser, Sir George Mathewson, has benefited from the short-selling practice Alex Salmond said had led to the demise of HBOS. (Scotsman page 6, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Herald page 1 and page 4, Alf Young in the Herald, Sun page 2, Times page 8, Express page 9, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, P&J page 10, Courier page 1, Mail page 11, Katie Grant in the Mail, Record page 2, Sunday Postpage 1, Jim Spowart in the Sunday Post , Margo MacDonald in the Sunday Post, Sunday Herald page 1, Alex Salmond in the Sunday Herald, Sunday Times page 13, Jenny Hjul in the Sunday Times, Scotland on Sunday page 1, Peter Jones in the Scotland on Sunday, Alex Salmond in the Scotland on Sunday, Alistair Darling in the Scotland on Sunday)

US deal to help UK banks: UK banks which have business operations in the US, including RBS and HBOS, are set to gain from the US Treasury’s multi-billion dollar rescue of the US financial system. (Scotsman page 28, Herald page 29, Iain Macwhirter in the Herald, Guardian page 27, Times page 8, Mail page 10)

International controls, borrowing & taxes: Gordon Brown is expected to announce a drive for tighter international controls of the global money markets and a crackdown on irresponsible City bonuses to tackle the economic crisis. The Prime Minister has also paved the way for higher levels of public borrowing, breaching the treasury’s own rules, spelling fears that families could expect tax rises of more than £900 a year. (Guardian page 1, Times page 1, FT page 6, Express page 1, Telegraph page 5, Janet Daley in the Telegraph, Mail page 1, Sunday Times page 1, Sunday Times page 13)

Interest rates: Graham Turner in the Guardian (page 32) argues that unless the Bank of England cuts interest rates there could be 4 million out of work by the general election.

Fiscal fines: The Lord Advocate has told the Scotsman that claims that serious offenders are escaping justice by receiving fiscal fines is “nonsense”. (Scotsman page 13)

Gangland bosses: The Justice Secretary has said that tough new measures in the new Criminal Justice & Licensing Bill will target Scotland’s criminal “godfathers”. (Mail page 19, Sunday Post page 3, Sunday Herald page 24)

Nursery teachers: The EIS has warned that a fall in the number of nursery teachers could lead to the “dismantling” of the whole education system. (Scotsman page 9)

Alcohol ban:
Lesley Riddoch in the Scotsman (page 20) argues against the alcohol ban for under-21s.

Patients’ rights: New legislation is to be introduced by the Scottish Government to give patients a guarantee of treatment abroad if NHS waiting time targets are missed. (Sun page 2, Scotland on Sunday page 1)

Glenrothes by-election: Senior figures within the Labour party are suggestion that the Glenrothes by-election is already lost amid speculation that Frank Roy MP had been sacked as campaign manager. There are also warnings that there is not a seat anywhere in the country that Labour could hold at present while Madeleine Bunting in the Guardian (page 31) comments that defeat for Labour is now plausible in the north east of England where memories of Margaret Thatcher are fading. (Scotsman page 1, Burning issue in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Sun page 4, Telegraph page 6, P&J page 1, Courier page 1, Mail page 7, Record page 6, Tom Brown in the Scotland on Sunday)

Labour leadership: Gordon Brown yesterday admitted he had made mistakes and needed to improve, promising “I will do better”. However backbench Labour MP Ian Gibson has said the Prime Minister needs to deliver a great keynote conference speech otherwise MPs and activists may wield the axe. (Herald page 6, Sun page 1, Guardian page 4, Jackie Ashley in the Guardian, Times page 6, FT page 6, Matthew Engel in the FT, Express page 10, Leo McKinstry in the Express, Telegraph page 1, Mirror page 7, P&J page 5, Courier page 1, Mail page 6, Record page 6, Iain Macwhirter in the Sunday Herald, Sunday Times page 4, Charles Clarke in the Sunday Times)

Labour, the party for fairness: Iain Gray will claim today that the Labour party in Scotland is the only party which is a force for fairness and will argue that the SNP are adopting Conservative policies. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Times page 6, P&J page 5, Record page 7)

Greens: The Scottish Green party yesterday qualified their support for independent voting for a multi-option referendum and agreed that an independent Scotland should have a Bill of Rights and a written constitution. (Courier page 3)