Daily Political Media Summary: 28 October 2009

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 28 October 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

Business criticises SNP: The SNP government has been warned that it is losing the trust of Scottish businesses due to its anti-private sector policies that have led to the stance of growing disquiet in the sector and a change in relations with Holyrood. This announcement comes from senior officials from CBI, Institute of Directors and Scottish Chambers of Commerce, who also warn that certain policies are endangering investment in Scotland. (Scotsman page 1)

 HBOS overdraft: The Church of Scotland has accused HBOS of “hammering ordinary customers” with its introduction of a £1-a-day overdraft charge. The Church has said this new charge will hit the poorest hardest. (Scotsman page 6)

 Crime

Crime rates: Government figures have shown that Scottish people feel safer from the risk of crime than people living in other parts of the UK, with almost half saying they believed they would suffer no crime in the coming year and 69 per cent saying they felt rates of crime in their area had stayed constant or decreased in the past two years. This comes a week after official reports showed that crime had dropped to its lowest reported level since 1980, but violence has increased in the past three years. Additionally, victims of crime are reportedly losing confidence in the ability of the police to investigate their cases. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 1, Times page 18, Daily Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 8, BBC)

 Crime policy: Senior social workers have warned the SNP that its flagship prison reforms to scrap jail sentences of six months or less would be undermined by proposed public sector cutbacks. (Scotsman page 14)

 Education

Scots history: A new website, Scotland’s History Online, has been created to fill the gaps in the teaching of Scottish history to schoolchildren including neglected topics such as the Scottish Enlightenment and Scots in Australia. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 9)

 University fees: Sir Andrew Cubie, author of the report that resulted in free university education in Scotland, is now calling for graduates to contribute financially again. He calls for a comprehensive look at aspects of funding in order for Scottish universities to avoid falling behind universities in other countries. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 1, BBC)

 Transport 

Road Safety: Stagecoach has announced plans to issue every secondary pupil in Aberdeenshire with a torch the size of a credit card as part of a school travel safety initiative. (Scotsman page 20, Press and Journal page 6)

 Glasgow Airport Rail Link: Amanda MacMillan, Glasgow airport’s managing director, warned MSPs that the cancellation of the link would leave a gaping hole in Scotland’s transport network and unless links to the airport were improved, both it and Glasgow would suffer. (Herald page 9, BBC, STV)

 Health

Lung cancer: The number of Scottish women dying of lung cancer has risen by more than 11 per cent in the last ten years, according to a report by the Scottish NHS. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 4, Daily Telegraph page 10, Press and Journal page 15, Courier page 6, STV)

 Local Government

Homelessness: A leading Edinburgh homeless outreach charity has said that almost half of the people who visit their crisis drop-in centre are migrant workers from Eastern Europe. (Herald page 10)

 Edinburgh marketing: A huge projection of Edinburgh castle and iconic images of the capital are to be beamed around English locations in the city’s biggest ever Christmas marketing drive. (Scotsman page 20)

 Politics

MP expenses: MPs could be banned from claiming their mortgages on expenses according to Sir Christopher Kelly’s proposals due to be unveiled next week. This decision would bring MPs in line with MSPs in Holyrood who will also be banned from claiming mortgage interest payments on their second homes after the next Scottish election in 2011. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 11, BBC)

 SNP in Westminster: David Cameron has reportedly branded Alex Salmond as an “irrelevance” in a response to the Scottish First Minister’s threat to make London dance to a Scottish tune if the Conservatives won the next election. Cameron says “he [Salmond] is battling for relevance and trying to say that somehow he is going to have a pivotal role when it is not an election that even involves him.” (Scotsman page 8, Herald, Times page 22, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 6, STV)

 Public Services: Labour MSP David Whitton has reportedly accused the Scottish Government of trying to “usurp” the role of parliament by launching legislation that will affect a range of public policy. (Scotsman page 5, Courier page 6)

 EU Presidency: David Cameron has reportedly unleashed a personal attack on Tony Blair in response to Labour lobbying to get the former Prime Minister elected as President of the European Union. Cameron said he would prefer the role to go to someone who would act as a chairman “rather than some all-singing, all-dancing and all-acting president.” (Scotsman page 8, Times page 23, Daily Telegraph page 6, Guardian page 14, Financial Times page 1)