0131 524 9500 | info@reformscotland.com

Daily Political Media Summary: 26 January 2010

Reform Scotland

\r\n

Daily Political Media Summary: 26 January 2010

\r\n

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.

\r\n

 

\r\n

Economy

\r\n

Recession: Official figures to be released today are expected to show that the UK economy grew in the final three months of the year, signalling that the economy is coming out of recession.  However, analysts think Scotland is unlikely to be able to declare an end to the recession until April. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, P&J page 7, Courier page 11, Guardian page 10, FT page 2, Mirror page 8, Times page 16)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Debt: David Cameron called on Gordon Brown to immediately introduce public spending reductions in order to tackle the £178 billion deficit. He went on to promise that the Conservatives would address this issue in an emergency budget if they win the election. However, the Prime Minister argued that the Tories’ cuts could send the UK back into recession. (Sun page 2, Record page 2)

\r\n

 

\r\n

North Sea: There is expected to be a rush to submit applications when the first offshore shelf licensing round in two years begins tomorrow. (P&J page 7)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Scottish Water: Barry White, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust has said privatisation of Scottish Water could save taxpayers £150 million.  Though not advocating such a move, he said a debate should nonetheless be held on Scottish Water’s status. (Times page 3)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Crime

\r\n

Addiewell prison: More than 100 criminals rioted at Addiewell prison in West Lothian last night after being refused methadone. (Sun page 1)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Community Safety: The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents have called for more of a focus on community safety among other reforms in order to restore the public’s confidence in justice. (Herald page 8, P&J page 8)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Education

\r\n

School building: Alex Salmond said yesterday that the Scottish Government has surpassed an election pledge to match the previous Executive’s plans for school building. However, Labour claim that 20 of the 251 projects were under construction as long ago as 2005. (Scotsman page 14, Record page 2, Courier page 6, Mail page 8)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Choice in education: Michael Kelly in the Scotsman comments on parents’ right to choose between state schools and argues that a “small group of parents are playing the system for their own selfish ends” and instead national criteria on placing requests are needed defining the grounds on which parents’ wishes have to be considered.

\r\n

 

\r\n

New secondary school qualifications: Parents and teachers have attacked the Scottish Government’s plan to replace Standard Grade and Intermediate exams with National courses.  The schools would have no control over timetabling and claim some subjects would have to be dropped.  (Herald page 4)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Transport

\r\n

Highland Airways: Highland Airways told its staff yesterday that it was facing “difficult trading”.  However, the board have said that they are in negotiations with several parties and hope new investment could become available in the next few days. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 12, P&J page 9, Courier page 6, Telegraph page 10)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Edinburgh trams: Tram works currently taking place in Edinburgh are up to two years behind schedule.  The likely completion date for the trams now won’t be until sometime in 2013. (Herald page 8)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Health

\r\n

Minimum pricing for alcohol: Tennent’s, one of Scotland’s biggest drinks companies, has backed the Scottish Government’s plans for minimum pricing of alcohol, although the Royal Society of Edinburgh has said the government’s plans do not go far enough. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 7, P&J page 8, Courier page 3, Telegraph page 4, Times page 18)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Rural hospitals: Rural communities in Dumfries & Galloway are fighting plans to close five community hospitals. (Scotsman page 17)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Politics

\r\n

Conservatives: The British Social Attitudes Survey 2008 found that 32 per cent of people now consider themselves to be Conservatives, the highest level for 20 years. (Scotsman page 12, John Curtice in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, P&J page 11, Guardian page 15, Telegraph page 1, Times page 21)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Independence referendum: The Government’s Referendum Bill is expected to be cleared by the Scottish Cabinet and lodged in the Parliament within weeks. (P&J page 8)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Right to die: Kay Gilderdale has been cleared of murder after giving her bed-ridden daughter a lethal cocktail of drugs. In Scotland, Independent MSP Margo MacDonald launched a campaign for her End of Life Assistance Bill by saying it would prevent such court ordeals. (P&J page 1, Courier page 13, Guardian page 1, Telegraph page 1, Mirror page 9, Times page 1, Mail page 6)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Child poverty: The charity Save the Children has warned action is needed on child poverty after finding that nearly one in ten Scottish children live in severe poverty. (Courier page 9)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Alex Salmond: The First Minister has come under fire for failing to reveal the costs of his trip to the Copenhagen climate summit in December. (Express page 2)

\r\n

 

\r\n

Reform Scotland is an independent, non-party think tank that aims to set out a better way to deliver increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the traditional Scottish principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility.

\r\n

 

\r\n

To register to receive either the daily political media summary or the regular bulletins please email info@reformscotland.com with “subscribe” as the subject.

\r\n

 

\r\n

If you no longer wish to receive either the daily political media summary or the regular bulletins please email info@reformscotland.com with “unsubscribe” as the subject.