Daily Political Media Summary: 12 June 2009
All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.
Economic recovery: Alistair Darling warned yesterday that Britain’s economic recovery could be held back by rising oil prices and a failure by other European countries to clean up their banks. Chancellor Darling said he was ‘confident but also cautious’ over the prospects for the economy. (FT page 1)
Swine Flu: Up to a third of the Scottish population will be infected by swine flu as the pandemic declared by the World Health Organisation runs its course, according to official predictions. The Scottish Government last night predicted that 25 to 35% of those living in the country would be hit by the virus, with up to 1.7 million people at risk. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1, Times page 1,Guardian page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Daily Express page 16)
Standard grade exams: Radical plans to improve and simplify Scotland’s complex qualifications system have been unveiled amidst accusations that future generations of pupils will leave school without taking formal exams. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 11, Telegraph page 1, Times page 11, Daily Mail page 1)
Calman Commission: Reported plans to give Holyrood tax raising powers do not go far enough, Reform Scotland has claimed. Reform Scotland’s chairman Ben Thomson said that ‘our view is the Scottish Parliament needs to have much greater power to raise its own revenue in order to enhance its financial autonomy and accountability’. (Scotsman page 2, Daily Mail page 6)
Rail probe: Scotland’s top civil servant Sir John Elvidge was yesterday severely criticised over his evidence to a Holyrood inquiry in a report by MSPs into a former senior transport official’s conflict of interest over shares he owned. In an unprecedented attack, the audit committee of the Scottish Parliament went on to claim that the impartial civil service led by Sir John Elvidge was guilty of ‘obstruction and a lack of transparency’ in its dealings with the committee. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 6, Times page 2, Press and Journal page 8)
Alan Johnson: Gordon Brown receives strong support from current and past Labour voters. However, it is reported that the replacement of Mr Brown by Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, might attract back some who have deserted Labour since the last general election. (Times page 3)