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Daily Political Media Summary: 22 February 2010

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 22 February 2010

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

Financing of devolution: In a paper published on Reform Scotland’s website, leading economists Drew Scott and Andrew Hughes Hallett have criticised the UK Government’s proposals for financing devolution which are based on those of the Calman Commission saying they are a ‘piecemeal attempt to make the Scottish Parliament more accountable  which could damage the economy.  (Herald page 6, P&J page 9, Courier page 10, Sunday Times page 4, Sunday Post page 15, Mail on Sunday page 2, Sunday Express page 10 STV, PA)

 

RBS chief bonus: Stephen Hester, chief executive of RBS, has agreed to turn down his £1.6 million bonus.  (Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 27, Times page 3, FT page 1, P&J page 1, Courier page 14, Record page 2)

 

Property sales: The recovering Scottish housing market and weak pound are driving an increase in property sales to foreign buyers.  (Scotsman page 16)

 

New Forth bridge: According to the British Chambers of Commerce, the New Forth crossing will be crucial to the health of Scotland and will bring economic benefits of £6 billion to the Scottish economy.  (Scotsman page 17, P&J page 11)

 

Crime

Shared police squads: The new Chief Constable of Tayside Police, Justine Curran, has stated that shared, specialist police squads should be formed to tackle some crimes such as e-crime and murder.  (Herald page 1)

 

Stalking: The Scottish Government plans to make stalking a specific offence.  This comes as a judge ruled last year that police could no longer treat stalking as breach of the peace as had been the practice.  (Herald page 2, Courier page 3)

 

Transport 

SPT: Strathclyde Partnership for Transport has been given a stay of execution of one year to prove its effectiveness after it has been revealed the police have been asked to investigate some expenses claims.  (Telegraph page 7, Express page 4, Scotland on Sunday page 8, Sunday Times page 1)

 

Health

Trans-fats: The SNP is taking its case to force manufacturers to remove trans-fats from their food to the European Commission.  (Scotsman page 22)

 

Norovirus ward closure: Ward 31 at Ninewells hospital has been shut due to an outbreak of a winter vomiting bug five months after it was closed due to a C diff outbreak.  (P&J page 3, Courier page 9)

 

Education

Student numbers: Scottish universities may have to slash student enrolment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or face fines under a new Scottish Government decision to help cope with budgetary pressures.  (Herald page 1)

 

Politics

Labour: Gordon Brown has urged voters to take a ‘second look’ at Labour as he promised ‘a future fair for all’ in a speech kicking off Labour’s general election campaign in Coventry on Saturday.  It threatens to be overshadowed, however, by allegations in a new book by journalist Andrew Rawnsley that Mr Brown is prone to violent outbursts and has allegedly bullied Number 10 staff.  (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1, Times page 1, FT page 2, P&J page 5, Courier page 1, Express page 7, Mirror page 6, Mail page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 6)

 

Scottish Labour: Douglas Alexander has said the burdens of office are wearing on the SNP and that Labour is confident of beating the SNP even in marginal seats.  (Scotland on Sunday page 6)

 

Tory shares plan: The Tories are offering a plan to give families cheap shares in state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds as a ‘people’s bonus’.  (Scotsman page 2, Telegraph page 10, Guardian page 9, FT page 2, Express page 19, Sunday Times page 1)

 

General election poll: A new poll has indicated the gap between the Conservatives and Labour has shrunk to just six points which throws into doubt the Tories’ ability to gain an overall majority at Westminster.  (Scotsman page 5, Mirror page 19)

 

Independence referendum: The SNP have been accused of rigging the rules on an independence referendum by not consulting the neutral Electoral Commission on the intelligibility of the referendum question and instead creating its own referendum body.  (Scotsman page 9, Courier page 14, Times page 13, Record page 2)

 

Quango expenses: Scottish Enterprise is under fire for its plans to spend more than £100,000 on a team-building event this summer.  (Scotland on Sunday page 1)

 

Labour MP stepping down: Tommy McAvoy, a Glasgow MP and longest-serving government whip, will step down at the general election.  (Herald page 6, Scotland on Sunday page 5)