Daily Political Media Summary: 23 October 2008


All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Recession: Further comment and analysis of the credit crunch. The Prime Minister yesterday admitted for the first time that the UK was heading towards a recession. (Scotsman page 5, George Kerevan in the Scotsman, Greg Rosen in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Times page 5, Times page 46, Mail page 2, Telegraph B5, FT page 1, P&J page 1, Courier page 11).

HBOS: Business leaders yesterday accused the UK government of trying to force through the Lloyds TSB takeover of HBOS after Peter Mandelson warned that the bank would only be bailed out if the deal went ahead (Scotsman page 1, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Peter MacMahon in the Scotsman, Courier page 16).

Interest rates: The tycoon Sir David Murray yesterday warned that Scotland’s indigenous private businesses urgently required significant interest rate cuts if they were to survive the credit crunch (Scotsman page 29, Record page 8).

Repossession protection: There have been calls for the Scottish Government to adopt tougher new repossession regulations, similar to those recently announced in England, in order to protect homeowners (Herald page 6, Record page 8).

Scottish economy: The Scottish economy grew by just 0.1% in the second quarter of this year. The financial services industry contracted by 1% (Herald page 34, Alf Young in the Herald, Express page 5, Telegraph page 12, P&J page 18).

New jails:
New jails are to be built to replace two of Scotland’s ageing prisons. The Scottish Prison service says it is looking for sites to replace HMP Greenock and HMP Inverness (Herald page 11, Express page 2, P&J page 7, Courier page 3).

University standards: More than three-quarters of university professors say they are under pressure to award students higher marks, according to a survey by the Times Higher Education Magazine (Herald page 2).

Hospital food: Scottish hospitals are breaching guidelines for salt and fat levels in their canteen food, according to Which?, the consumer watchdog. (Scotsman page 11, Mirror page 6).

MS: Researchers have unveiled a new drug which they claim can fight multiple sclerosis. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 3, Times page 21, Guardian page 6).

GP services: The Scottish Government yesterday announced a consultation on plans to change the law to ban private companies from bidding to run GP practices (Herald page 9, Telegraph page 12, P&J page 8, Courier page 8).

Local Government
Single outcome agreements:
Jeremy Purvis in the Scotsman (page 39) comments on the large number of targets, outcomes and indicators that councils now have to meet under single outcome agreements, and argues that burdening councils with reams of bureaucracy to monitor the targets is the wrong approach.

Glenrothes by-election: Further coverage of the by-election. Sarah Brown joined the Labour campaign in Fife yesterday, while the SNP claimed that a victory for their party would lead to action by Westminster to cut energy bills. (Scotsman page 7 and page 7, Herald page 7, Times page 4, Express page 10, Record page 4, Mail page 9, Telegraph page 11, P&J page 9, Courier page 1 and page 11).

George Osborne & donations: Further coverage of the alleged donations scandal involving the Shadow Chancellor. Yesterday the Prime Minister said the matter was “very serious indeed” and called for an investigation into the affair. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Mirror page 7, Mail page 6 Guardian page 1, Telegraph page 1, Mary Riddell in the Telegraph, Iain Martin in the Telegraph, FT page 2, P&J page 8, Courier page 12).

Dungavel detention centre: The UK Government will announce today a £150,000 pilot scheme designed to end the detention of the children of failed asylum seekers at Dungavel. Up to four families will be housed in ex-council flats in Glasgow before being deported (Herald page 1).

Discrimination law: The Calman Commission on devolution was told yesterday that it should consider whether laws on discrimination should be devolved to Scotland. The Law Society of Scotland also suggested that regulation of the sale and supply of goods could be devolved (Herald page 7).

Defence jobs: Scottish Ministers have warned that thousands of ship-building and defence jobs would be lost in Scotland if the Union was broken up (Telegraph page 1, P&J page 9, Courier page 8).