Daily Political Media Summary: 10 October 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. 

Economy
Icelandic savings:
Seven Scottish local authorities have confirmed that they had almost £40m in Icelandic bank accounts, joining numerous other UK bodies. Yesterday Gordon Brown threatened legal action to recover almost £1bn of UK assets and started to freeze the assets of Icelandic companies in the UK. (Herald page 1 and page 7, Scotsman page 6, Sun page 1, Guardian page 1, P&J page 1 and page 8, Courier page 1, FT page 1, Express page 4, Telegraph page 1 and B1, Mail page 2, Record page 2, Times page 7, Camilla Cavendish in the Times, Helen Power & Miles Costello in the Times)

Banking crisis: Further comment and analysis on the banking crisis. Yesterday the Prime Minister said that reckless City of London bankers would be “punished” and their days of big bonuses were over. Gordon Brown in the Times (page 34) argues that global cooperation is needed to survive the current crisis while Alistair Darling in the FT (page 13) comments on the meeting of finance ministers from the world’s main economies in Washington. (Herald page 6, Alf Young in the Herald, Scotsman page 8, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Peter Jones in the Scotsman, Guardian page 1, Nils Pratley in the Guardian, Simon Jenkins in the Guardian, Deborah Hargreaves in the Guardian, Martin Kettle in the Guardian, P&J page 9, Mirror page 9, Courier page 12, Times page 1 and page 7, David Wighton in the Times, FT page 2, Samuel Brittan in the FT, Philip Stephens in the FT, Telegraph page 1 and page 4, Tony Benn in the Telegraph, Jeff Randall in the Telegraph, Iain Martin in the Telegraph, Mail page 10, Max Hastings in the Mail.)

Scottish Futures Trust: Iain Gray yesterday called on Alex Salmond to temporarily shelve his new plan for funding new infrastructure and revert to PPP during the financial crisis to bring forward as many building schemes as possible to help the construction industry. (Telegraph page 12, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph)

Crime
Reform Scotland: Reform Scotland’s Research Director, Alison Payne, in the Herald (page 19) outlines the proposals in ‘Power to Protect’, which call for greater accountability and transparency in the police, prosecution service and courts in order to bring about a sustained reduction in the level of crime.

Secure accommodation: The Scottish Government yesterday said that an expansion of the number of secure accommodation places in Scotland has led to an over capacity which is now threatening the viability of secure units. (Herald page 2, Courier page 3, Express page 2)

Youth crime: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has teamed up with the SFA and police to launch a programme aimed at promoting positive citizenship through football. (Sun page 27)

Sharia law courts: Scottish Ministers yesterday dismissed demands to have Islamic law enforced by Scottish courts. (Express page 6, Times page 22)

Transport
Lib Dem proposals: Tavish Scott has said that all major transport decisions should be taken out of the hands of politicians and made instead by an independent panel. (Scotsman page 14)

Education
Universities: An international league table of the world’s top 200 universities has ranked Edinburgh at number 23, Glasgow at 73, St Andrews at 83 and Aberdeen at 153. (Herald page 5)

School meals: The Scottish Government said yesterday that it was winning the battle on extending free school meals claiming an increasing number of councils were signing up to the scheme. However the credibility of the concordat between the Scottish Government and councils is thought to be under threat due to questions over who should pay for the free meals. (Herald page 8, Scotsman page 7, Sun page 2, P&J page 13, Courier page 1, Telegraph page 8, Mail page 19, Times page 22)

Curriculum: The Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association has called for a moratorium on implementing A Curriculum for Excellence until there had been proper analysis of trialling projects, central development of teaching materials, proper planning of inter-disciplinary projects and decisions made about the future exam structure. (TESS page 3)

Additional support needs: An independent survey has shown that children with additional support needs are far more likely to get the help they need in special schools than in mainstream education. (TESS page 3 and page 12)

Health
Alcohol:
Professor John Frank, brought to Scotland to help tackle the nation’s health problems , has said that he doubts the proposals to raise the age limit for buying alcohol off-sales to 21 would be effective. (Herald page 1, Helen Puttick in the Herald, Ian Christie in the Scotsman, Mirror page 4)

Politics
Scottish elections:
Jim Murphy, the new Scottish Secretary, has rejected calls by the Scottish Government for the power over Scottish Parliamentary elections to be passed to Holyrood. (Herald page 2, Courier page 11)

Peter Mandelson: Back bench Labour MP David Taylor has criticised Peter Mandelson’s return to the Cabinet arguing he would have no mandate to MPs and would only appear in the upper chamber. (Herald page 2)

Government limos: Scotland’s top civil servant, Sir John Elvidge, has been criticised for using luxury government cars to travel on many journeys of less than a mile. (Sun page 2)

List MSPs: Nicol Stephen, former leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, has called for the additional member system, which elects from MSPs from party lists, to be scrapped and replaced with the Single Transferable Vote system, which is also used to elect local councillors. (P&J page 17)