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Daily Political Media Summary: 27 July 2009

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 27 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

Diageo: After 20,000 people marched through Kilmarnock yesterday the First Minister has laid down new battle lines in the fight with drinks giant Diageo, claiming the entire population is against its restructuring plans. Almost £100,000 of public money has been spent reviewing the decision by Diageo, the drinks giant, to axe 900 jobs in Kilmarnock and Glasgow. (Sunday Times page 7, Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 5, Courier page 1, Daily Telegraph page 3, Press and Journal page 1, Daily Express page 4, Sun page 1, Daily Mirror page 16, Daily Mail page 8, Daily Record page 1, BBC, STV)

Bankruptcy: Bankruptcies in Scotland have jumped by more than a third this year and unemployment is soaring. However, the 2.4% plunge in Scotland’s GDP, the third successive quarterly decline, is in line with the rest of the UK. (Sunday Times Page B2)

Job Losses: A wave of job losses and insolvencies is about to hit Scottish businesses, advisors are warning. The experts claim a government scheme to help firms cope with the financial pressures caused by the recession has failed to remove the threat of insolvency. (Herald page 1)

Tourism: The Scottish tourism industry now sits alongside the other main contributors to the country\’s wealth with tourism now considered a multi-faceted industry and a major employer. (Sunday Herald page 50)

RBS Advertising Campaign: Royal Bank of Scotland will this week launch an advertising campaign aimed at small business customers, as concern grows that the flow of credit to the economy needs speeding up. (Daily Telegraph page B2)

Crime

Knife crime: One of Scotland’s most senior police officers has said he does not believe knife amnesties work. John Carnochan, the head of the violence reduction unit at Strathclyde police, said the initiatives were “all flash and no bang” and did little to reduce knife crime. (Sunday Times page 6)

Health

Swine flu: Experts have warned about the potential dangers of using untested vaccines as the UK Government prepares to fast-track inoculations against swine flu. The European Medicines Agency, the EU\’s top drug regulatory body, is accelerating the approval process for swine flu vaccine in order to have it ready before winter. One in eight employees could be off work with swine flu by the end of August, according to a leading UK business group. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 9, Guardian page 4, Daily Telegraph page B2)

Assisted Suicide: Nurses have put the controversial issue of assisted suicide right at the centre of public debate after withdrawing their opposition to a citizen\’s right to die. (Sunday Herald page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 8)

Diabetes: People in the poorest parts of Scotland are more likely to get a form of diabetes than those in the most affluent districts, health campaigners said today. (Scotsman page 2, Courier page 9, BBC, STV)

Online Drug Sales: Police have warned that an increasing number of people in Scotland are taking "legal highs" bought online despite limited information about their potentially lethal side-effects. (Herald page 1)

Education

SNP Education Policy: The SNP’s flagship education policy to reduce class sizes to 18 or fewer in primaries 1-3 is being ignored by the vast majority of Scotland’s councils, according to the Scottish Conservatives. (Sunday Post page 16, Herald page 6)

College Contracts: Colleges across Scotland have been asked to review all their external contracts after it has been revealed that one institution had claimed millions of pounds in public money for courses it paid a private company to deliver at a fraction of the cost. (Herald page 4)

Politics

Calman Commission: Westminster has refused to hand control of air guns, speed limitsand drinkdriving legislation to the Scottish Parliament, despite cross-party support for the idea, it emerged last night. (Sunday Herald page 10, Sunday Post page 3, Daily Express page 15)

Oil Fund: This week the Scottish Government will launch a campaign for the establishment of a Scottish oil fund. Finance Secretary John Swinney is reported to claim oil wealth must leave a lasting legacy for the country. However, the bid to set up an oil fund has come too late in the life of the North Sea, an industry expert said last night. (Sunday Post page 15, Press and Journal page 7, BBC)

Licensing Law: Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill said his decision to postpone part of his licensing law reform was a "common sense" measure to ease problems for the trade. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 13, Courier page, Press and Journal page 9, Daily Express page 15)

Minimum pricing: Gavin Hewitt, the chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association says there is still confidence and optimism in the sector, despite tough economic conditions. However, Gavin Hewitt has also launched a fresh attack on the Scottish Government’s controversial plans for minimum pricing of alcohol. Molson Coors, the brewer that produces Britain’s biggest lager brand, is supportive of minimum prices to tackle dangerous binge drinking. (Press and Journal, page B1, Daily Mail page 18)