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Daily Political Media Summary: 17 October 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy
HBOS: Sir Tom Farmer is heading a growing list of senior Scottish businessmen demanding a re-think of Lloyds TSB’s takeover of HBOS. (Scotsman page 1)

Bankruptcy: The number of bankruptcies in Scotland rose by 162% last year with nearly 6,000 people and 300 firms going bust. (Herald page 1, Record page 6, P&J page 15, Courier page 10, Sun page 43, Scotsman page 6)

Banking crisis: Further coverage of the banking crisis. Yesterday the FTSE-100 lost more than £270m in value and fell by 5.4%, a five-year low. Anne McGuire in the Scotsman (page 28) outlines why the global financial crisis makes independence for Scotland less viable. (Herald page 30, Mail page 12, Alex Brummer in the Mail, Andrew Alexander in the Mail, Express page 4, Camilla Cavendish in the Times, David Wighton in the Times, P&J page 13, Courier page 16, FTpage 3, Gillian Tett in the FT, Martin Wolf in the FT, Jeff Randall in the Telegraph, George Cooper in the Telegraph, Telegraph B1, Simon Jenkins in the Guardian, Larry Elliot in the Guardian, Scotsman page 5 and page 29, Gerri Peev in the Scotsman, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Peter Jones in the Scotsman)

FSA: In an interview with the Guardian (page 1 and page 6) Lord Turner, the head of the Financial Services Authority, has said that the era of soft-touch regulation of the City is over.

Interest rates: Interest rates may have to be cut down to 1% to protect the UK from the worst effects of the financial crisis according to economists. (Telegraph page 1)

Energy prices: Energy Minister Mike O’Brien yesterday said that the Government had ordered firms to pass on falls in wholesale oil costs to consumers and cut bills. (Express page 1, Times page 7, FT page 2)

Energy saving: Green MPSs in the Scottish Parliament are demanding a £100m energy saving package as their price for supporting the next SNP budget. (Record page 2)

Crime
Police recruits:
Chris Watt in the Herald (page 15) looks at the biggest ever intake of police recruits in Scotland, which reflects the different ethnic backgrounds of the population.

Organised crime: Senior police are warning that organised crime gangs are targeting that Highlands due to the areas economic success. (P&J page 4)

Transport
Petrol prices:
Gordon Brown has called on retailers to cut petrol prices to reflect falling oil prices. (Herald page 4, Record page 6, Times page 1, Mirror page 6, Guardianpage 6, Sun page 2)

Education
Class sizes:
A third of local authorities have cut the number of primary school teachers in their schools despite a Scottish Government commitment to reduce class sizes. (Herald page 1)

Free school meals: Further coverage of the on-going debate between councils and the Scottish Government over funding to extend free school meals to all pupils in Primaries one to three. (TESS page 1)

Health
Asprin: Scottish doctors yesterday warned that aspirin should not be treated as a wonderdrug as a new study warned that it cannot prevent heart attacks in high-risk groups. (Herald page 7, Mail page 1, Express page 13, Courier page 2)

Phone contracts: NHS Scotland is being investigated by the European Commission over the award of a £30m contract for a new nationwide health service phone system. (Herald page 11)

Politics
SNP conference: Further coverage and analysis of the SNP conference in Perth. The First Minister yesterday repeated his call for the Treasury to give Scotland an additional £1bn to aid the economy and has called for further cuts in interest rates. (Herald page 6, Record page 2, Mail page 4, Express page 2, Times page 15, Mirror page 17, P&J page 1 and page 8, Courier page 12, Telegraph page 12, Sun page 2, Scotsman page 7)

Glenrothes by-election: Further coverage of the by-election. Labour and the SNP yesterday clashed over home care costs for the elderly. (Herald page 6, P&J page 8, Courier page 1)

Spring election: There is speculation that Gordon Brown is considering calling a general election next year. (Record page 2)