Daily Political Media Summary: 11 December 2008


All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. 



HBOS: The legal attempt by the Merger Action Group (MAG) to prevent the takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB was rejected yesterday by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).  The MAG is thought to be considering an appeal to the Court of Session in Edinburgh. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1, P&J page 1, Times page 15, Mail page 2, Record page 4, Express page 4, Sun page 18)


Scottish Budget: The SNP Government’s budget survived a number of critical opposition amendments in the Finance Committee.  The whole Parliament will debate the committee’s report next week. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Courier page 12, P&J page 13, Telegraph page 16)


UK Economy: There is continuing comment on the state of the UK economy with the pound falling in value compared to the Euro.  Kate Barker of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has said that the ‘UK economy remains very weak…and the short-term outlook is not strong.’ Alf Young comments on changes in the MPC team. (Herald page 1, Alf Young in The Herald page 31, FT page 2, Times page 1, Anatole Kaletsky in The Times page 34, Telegraph page 1, Irwin Stelzer in The Telegraph page 25, Mail page 1, Record page 10, Express page 1)


Woolworths: All of the 815 outlets of Woolworths across the UK will launch closing down sales today. (Herald page 9, Courier page 13, FT page 1, Times page 54, Record page 6, Mirror page 6, Express page 2, Sun page 6)



Edinburgh trams: The Haymarket to Granton extension to Edinburgh’s tram network has been given a four-month reprieve to see if the £50 million funding can be found (Scotsman page 17)

New Forth Road Bridge: As part of a £25 billion package of road and rail improvements, the Scottish Government has announced plans for a scaled down new Forth crossing which would complement rather than replace the present bridge.  Cars, vans and lorries would use the new bridge with buses using the existing one.  The cost will be around £2 billion, which will be met from Scottish Government resources not the Scottish Futures Trust.  There is also comment on plans for the A9. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1 and page 4, Courier page 1, P&J page 1 and page 7, Times page 5, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 6, Record page 8, Express page 10, Sun page 2)



Unemployed Teachers: A survey by the General Teaching Council for Scotland has revealed that one in five newly qualified teachers is unemployed. (Herald page 1, Courier page 7, P&J page 12, Times page 5, Mail page 21)


Glasgow University Principal: Glasgow University has announced that the leading political economist Professor Anton Muscatelli, currently head of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, will take over from Muir Russell as Principal next year. (Herald page 3)


Assaults on Primary Teachers: Assaults on primary school teachers in Glasgow are up by a third over the past year. (Herald page 9)


Prime Minister’s Questions: The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition clashed over the economic rescue package and during the exchanges Gordon Brown is quoted as saying the Government had ‘saved the world’. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Courier page 13, P&J page 5, Times page 32, Mirror page 10, Express page 8)


Welfare Reform: Further coverage of the UK Government’s plans for welfare reform while Glasgow’s incapacity benefit claimants will trial a plan to help them to get back into work. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 2, Anne Johnstone in The Herald page 15, Courier page 16, P&J page 14, Times page 24, Telegraph page 6, Mail page 10, Record page 2)


Act of Settlement: The Catholic Church in Scotland welcomed the UK Government’s plans to change the Act of Settlement which prevents Roman Catholics from becoming king or queen. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 8)


Powers of the Scottish Parliament: Gavin McCrone, the former Chief Economic Adviser at the Scottish Office, has a comment piece in The Scotsman arguing that Holyrood should be given the power to borrow. (Scotsman page 28)