Daily Political Media Summary: 27 January 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 27 January 2010

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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.

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Economy

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Bank reforms: Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, has told MPs that “tinkering” with the banking system will not do enough to prevent another crisis and that failing institutions needed to be broken up. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 23, Guardian page 24, Financial Times page 2)

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Recession: Analysts say the low 0.1 per cent growth signalling the end of the recession was due to a pre-Christmas credit splurge and fear the country could contract again into a ‘double dip’ recession. In Scotland, business leaders predict Scotland will likely remain in recession longer than the rest of the UK, with fourth quarter data not published until April. (Scotsman page 6, Financial Times page 1, Herald page 24, Press and Journal page 5, Times page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1)

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House Prices: Bank of Scotland figures have recorded a growth of 94 per cent in Scottish house prices over the past decade, with the average price rising from £63,809 in 1999 to £123,805 in 2009. However, this is less than the UK growth of 105 per cent over the same period. (Scotsman page 11)

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Crime

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Women’s Prison: The governor of Cornoton Vale, Scotland’s only female prison, has said that far from providing rehabilitation, many women were leaving jail in a worse condition than when they entered. (Scotsman page 6, Courier page 9, Herald page 7, Times page 21,)

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Drugs: Official figures reveal that one in ten Scots was offered class A drugs in the past year and despite an overall fall in drug consumption in Scotland, the survey found that 7.6 per cent had used drugs in the past year, with no change in the level of cocaine use. (Scotsman page 10, Sun page 4, Press and Journal page 11, Courier page 9, Herald page 8, Daily Express page 2)

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Transport

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Glasgow Airport Rail Link: Opposition parties failed in their bid to pressure Finance Secretary John Swinney into disclosing further budget details at the last meeting of the Finance Committee before next week’s final stage of the Budget Bill kills off Garl. (Herald page 6)

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Education

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School Expulsions: Figures show violent assaults on staff and pupils in Scottish schools increased last year but the number of overall expulsions fell by 15 per cent. Highland schools went against this trend, with a 16 per cent increase of pupils suspended for bad behaviour. Experts say the report hides the pressure on head teachers not to exclude even the most violent pupils and omits other forms of exclusion such as behavioural support units. (Scotsman page 15, Press and Journal page 6, Courier page 9, Herald page 4, Times page 12, Daily Telegraph page 1, Daily Mail page 8)

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Health

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C Difficile: NHS Scotland is being urged to investigate the 18.3 per cent rise in use of antibiotics between 2004 and 2008 that has been linked to an increased risk of Clostridium Difficile. C Difficile was a factor in 765 deaths in Scotland in 2008, prompting further public inquiries. (Herald page 1)

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Twins: A General Registrars report shows that more twins are being born in Scotland than ever before. Factors for this rise include the fertility techniques and an increase in older mothers. (Scotsman page 23, Herald page 5, Courier page 9, Daily Telegraph page 3)

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Politics

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Cigarette displays: The Scottish Parliament will vote today on the Tobacco and Primary Care Bill that bans the display of tobacco in shops across Scotland. (Scotsman page 14)

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Buckfast ban: Scottish Labour MEP Catherine Stihler has proposed a ban on caffeinated alcoholic drinks, which have been linked to crime and health problems, and would include a ban on Buckfast Tonic wine. (Scotsman page 9, Daily Record page 9, Herald)

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Unequal Britian: A report by the National Equity Panel shows the gap between rich and poor has widened over the past 30 years with the richest 10 per cent of the population now more than 100 times as wealthy as the poorest 10 percent (Guardian page 4, Sun page 2, Financial Times page 3, Times page 10, Daily Telegraph page 1, Daily Mail page 2)

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Devolution:  Speaking exclusively to the Times Scottish Secretary, Jim Murphy, put forward a specific timetable within which Labour, if elected, would deliver the devolution proposals published by the Calman Commission, giving the Scottish Parliament “radical” new tax powers. (Times page 3)

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Tony Blair: Lord Mandelson has revealed that Tony Blair will return to the front line of British politics to campaign for Labour at the General Election. (Scotsman page 1, Daily Telegraph)

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Iraq Inquiry: Evidence has emerged that the Prime Minster attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, warned Tony Blair that there was insufficient legal basis for military action two months before the decision to go to war but was urged to change his stance by Jack Straw. (Press and Journal page 1, Times page 6, Daily Telegraph page 1, Daily Mail page 1,)

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