Daily Political Media Summary: 9 September 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy
VisitScotland: In a report commissioned by the Royal Society of Edinburgh the tourism body VisitScotland should be scrapped because it focuses on only successful areas and does not have enough funding. (Scotsman page 8 and Burning Issue, page 23, Telegraph page 8 and Alan Cochrane, press and Journal pages 1 and 7, Courier and Advertiser page 3, Daily Express page 8)

Zoom: Administrators for the failed budget airline Zoom have warned customers not to expect their money back. Zoom has estimated debts of £25m. (Herald page 3, Courier and Advertiser page 11)

Housing Market: Analysts believe that the multi-trillion bail out of the US’s biggest housing lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the Federal Reserve may have little to no impact within the UK. The move however, has been backed by the Chancellor Alistair Darling. (Scotsman page 10, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Alf Young in the Herald, FT page 4, Times page 42, Daily Mail pages 1, 2 and 73)

Public Spending: The shadow Chancellor George Osborne has said the Tories would consider public spending cuts to try and reign in “shocking” levels of government borrowing. (FT page 4, Times page 9, Guardian pages 1, 2 and 12, Daily Mail page 10)

Jobs Outlook: According to Manpower, who have interviewed 55,000 employers in more than 33 countries the job outlook in the UK is the worst it has been since 1999, with the job market globally also faltering. (FT page 6)

Scottish Economy: Andrew Weir, writing in the Scotsman (page 31), says that although countries such as Norway and Iceland have enjoyed relative economic success recently, Scotland should not follow their lead blindly. Meanwhile, Frank Blin, Scottish executive chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers has said that Scotland should not expect to be able to weather the current economic climate, stating that he expects a “significant downturn” in his own business’s fortune. (Herald page 33, Brian Groom in the FT, Press and Journal page 16)

UK Economy: In the Scotsman (page 25), SNP Treasury Spokesman Stewart Hosie calls for the Prime Minister and Chancellor to use some of the North Sea windfall, and cut corporation tax to try and stimulate the Scottish economy. In the Herald (page 15), Douglas Fraser, in the FT, Philip Stephens and in the Times, David Wighton give their opinion on the complete lack of luck that Gordon Brown has had, and what he should do to combat it.

Scottish Futures Trust: The trade union Unison has attacked the Scottish Government’s plan to set up a Scottish Futures Trust saying that it will be “an expensive quango employing staff on six-figure salaries”. (Scotsman page 10, Press and Journal page 10)

Crime
Prisoner Construction: Kenny MacAskill has said that inmates in Barlinnie prison should be put to work building venues for the 2014 Commonwealth Games outside of prison. (Scotsman pages 1 and 4, opinion page 25, Herald page 2, Press and Journal pages 1 and 7, Courier and Advertiser page 3, Daily Record page 4, Sun page 2)

Alcohol: Speaking in Edinburgh yesterday, the former First Minister Henry McLeish has said that there should be a national debate on the problem of alcohol within Scottish society after visiting New York on a fact finding mission. Meanwhile, a pilot scheme banning the sale of alcohol to under-21’s has led to a drop in crime and anti-social behaviour in the test areas of Stenhousemuir and Larbert. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 8, Telegraph page 7, Courier and Advertiser page 3, Daily Record page 4, Sun page 17)

Transport
Air Travel: Those living in the Highlands and islands have exploited the use of a 40% discount they get on air travel by boosting passenger numbers by 12% on selected air routes. Between September 2006 and August 2007 a review has shown there were more than 415,000 flights compared to 376,000 the previous year. (Herald page 5)

Health
Child Exercise: Researchers at Glasgow and Newcastle University have released a report claiming that parents greatly overestimate the amount of daily exercise their children are receiving. (Scotsman page 13)

Sturgeon Pledge: The Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has given a personal pledge to the future of St. John’s Hospital in Livingston. (Herald page 8)

Cancer Drugs: the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) have approved the use of prescription drugs used in combating the onset of lung cancer, leukaemia and lymphoma. Nick Clegg the leader of the Scottish Lib Dems has also said that he believes patients should be able to “top-up” NHS care privately. (Herald page 11, Times page 9)

Local Government
Glasgow Council: the council has launched a child care scheme, offering food and childcare every week of the year. Priority will go to children at risk and to those whose parents are trying to get back into work. (Herald page 3 and opinion page 14)

Local Income tax: Talks between the Scottish Government and the Liberal Democrats are due to get under way in the next few days over a decision on the fate of the local income tax. (Herald page 8, Press and Journal page 8, Courier and Advertiser page 9, Sun page 2)

Politics
Scottish Television: The Scottish Broadcasting Commission has said in its latest review that there needs to be a Scottish digital TV station created at an annual cost of £75m. The Commission has not however, stated where funding for the channel should come from. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1 opinion page 14, Telegraph page 15 and Alan Cochrane, Times page 3, Guardian page 14, Press and Journal page 9 , Courier and Advertiser page 11, Daily Mail pages 4 and 12, Daily Express page 11, Sun page 2)

Gordon Brown: After taking the Cabinet to Birmingham yesterday, PM Gordon Brown has called for unity within the party. Despite receiving reassurances form leadership hopeful David Miliband, John Hutton the Business Secretary could only muster luke-warm support, saying that he “backed the work of the Prime Minister”. (Heraldpages 1 and 2, Telegraph page 14, FT page 6, Times page 16 and 17, Press and Journal page 11, Courier and Advertiser page 14, Daily Mail page 2, Patrick O’Flynn in the Daily Express, and page 2, Daily Mirror page 8, Sun page 2)

Teachers: Fiona MacLeod in the Scotsman (page 15) reports that there could be a dispute between teachers and the Education secretary Fiona Hyslop in the near future over the creation of “super-teachers” created as part of the McCrone agreement.

TUC Congress: At the trade Union Congress delegates called for “tens of thousands” to take to the streets in protest at the 2% pay increase they have been offered. Both Gordon Brown and the Chancellor Alistair Darling will attempt to placate the unions when they address them today. (Herald page 8, Scotsman page 8, Telegraph page 14, FT page 6, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, Guardian page 4, Press and Journal page 5, Courier and Advertiser page 14, Daily Record pages 1 and 2, Daily Mail page 18, Daily Express page 2, Sun page 2)

SNP and Tories: In the Scotsman, Hamish MacDonell explores the relationship that the SNP and the Tories have built, and asks what concessions the Conservatives will be asking the Government for over the course of the next political year.

Renewables: former Energy Minister Brian Wilson has stated that a fund with £100m “sitting in a bank doing nothing” should be used for renewable energy in Scotland. The funds date back to 1989 and a project called the Scottish Renewable Obligation (SRO). (Herald page 2, Daily Record pages 1 and 2)

Union: Henry McLeish has called for a fresh look at the state of the union linking the countries of the UK. He has called on “some form of federation” to be set up, and to loosen the constraints between Holyrood and Westminster. (Herald page 3, Press and Journal page 7, Courier and Advertiser page 11)