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Daily Political Media Summary: 16 July 2009

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 16 July 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.

Economy

Scottish Widows: Scotland will be dealt another jobs blow today when Lloyds Banking Group announces that up to 250 people are to go from its Scottish Widows arm. (Scotsman page 1)

Unemployment: Unemployment increased by a record 281,000 between March and May, bringing the total to 2.38 million — the highest since October 1995. The news came as official figures revealed Scotland had suffered its biggest quarterly rise in unemployment. Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman. (Scotsman page 4, Times page 11, Telegraph page B3, Guardian page 15, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Herald page 2)

Diageo: Campaigners fighting to save 900 whisky jobs in Scotland welcomed an agreement yesterday from Diageo to extend talks over plans to close a bottling plant and distillery. First Minister Alex Salmond is to join a demonstration against Diageo\’s plans. (Times page 21,Telegraph page 6, Press and Journal page 9, Herald page 6)

Crime

Scottish courtrooms: A political row erupted yesterday over leaked documents outlining the potential closure of more than a third of Scotland\’s courtrooms. Labour and the Tories claimed the move would deny justice to victims and their families, and accused justice secretary Kenny MacAskill of mismanagement. (Scotsman page 16, Times page 21, Courier page 9, Herald page 5)

Health

Hygiene: A new survey commissioned by the Scottish Government reveals that the cleanliness of the hospital accommodation is the overwhelming priority for member of the public, followed by staff personal hygiene. (Herald page 1)

Swine Flu: Almost one in eight workers is likely to be forced to stay at home with swine flu, according to UK Government figures. Nine per cent of the workforce will be sick by the end of August, say the latest official forecasts, and up to 12 per cent in September, when the peak of the first wave of the swine flu pandemic in the UK is expected. (FT page 1)

Alcohol abuse: Scotland’s children in the north and north-east are being treated for mental problems due to drinking. Figures released by the Scottish Government showed 20 youngsters under the age of 13 were admitted to hospital for “mental and behavioural disorders associated with alcohol use” in Highland and Tayside. (Press and Journal page 1, Herald page 5)

Politics

EU presidency: Tony Blair has been officially backed by the UK Government to become president of Europe, triggering a constitutional and political row. Europe minister Glenys Kinnock made clear yesterday the government would be pushing for Mr Blair to get the yet-to-be-created post of president of the European Council. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 1, Guardian page 2, Courier page 11)

Reformation: The SNP has been accused of trying to politicise history after the Scottish Government said it had no plans to mark the 450th anniversary of the Reformation next year. (Scotsman page 2, Press and Journal page 9)

UK energy revolution: The UK government seized control of key levers in the energy sector today in an attempt to kick start a stalling "green energy" revolution and head off the threats of global warming and a rundown in North Sea oil. The moves came as Ed Miliband, energy and climate change secretary, set out an ambitious road map for the UK to meet its legally binding target of a 34% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Measures range across homes, cars, business and farming, but clean electricity generation will deliver half the reduction. (Guardian page 1, Herald page 8)