Daily Political Media Summary: 23 February 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 23 February 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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Scottish pay rises: Employers in Scotland have rewarded staff with larger pay rises than in the rest of the UK.  The rate of increase, however, has slowed dramatically.  (Herald page 29)

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Lloyds chief bonus: The chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group has turned down his bonus for 2009 of £2.3 million.  (Herald page 30, P&J page 11, FT page 1, Guardian page 27, Mirror page 6)

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Transport 

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BA: British Airways cabin crew have voted in favour of strike action in a row over jobs and working conditions. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 1, P&J page 5, FT page 1, Guardian page 2, Mail page 10, Record page 2, Mirror page 11, Express page 7)

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Forth Road Bridge: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments that the case for a new Forth Road Bridge is beginning to weaken.

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Edinburgh trams: Transport Initiatives Edinburgh, the council-owned organisation charged with overseeing Edinburgh’s trams project, has breached transparency guidelines by failing to advertise details of a large contract.  (Herald page 10)

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Health

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Obesity: In a report launched yesterday the Scottish Government said obesity could cost Scotland £3 billion a year by 2030 if current trends continue. As part of the report the Government unveiled a number of proposals to cut the trend including restricting the sale of high calorie foods near schools and removing sweet displays near tills. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 1, Times page 3, Telegraph page 1, P&J page 9, Mail page 4)

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Homeopathy: The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has said that homeopathy medicine should no longer be funded by the NHS because there is no evidence it is effective. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 7, Times page 8, P&J page 10, Guardian page 7)

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Education

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Class Sizes: Education Secretary Mike Russell admitted in an interview that the Scottish Government is powerless to force local councils to deliver on class size reductions. It comes as Glasgow City Council has refused to pursue SNP class size targets.  (Herald page 6)

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Stephen Naysmith in the Herald writes that although Glow, the Scottish schools intranet network, has been criticised as out of date, he believes the network can be a success and should not be abandoned.

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STEM student numbers: Business leaders have criticised SNP plans to fine Scottish universities if they fail to cut the number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) student numbers.  CBI Scotland has stated these caps will hold back important Scottish industries like energy and aerospace.  (Telegraph page 10)

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Local Government

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Edinburgh’s future: A major conference of business leaders convened yesterday to put forth proposals to steer Edinburgh to prosperity after the tumult of the financial crisis.  Reform Scotland’s chairman Ben Thomson spoke, and recommended a joint Edinburgh-Glasgow airport as a way to maximise economic opportunities for the city.  (Scotsman page 24)

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Shetland: Shetlanders marched on the council headquarters yesterday demanding the resignation of all 22 councillors over a reported £250,000 golden goodbye for chief executive David Clark who had only been in the job for less than a year. (Scotsman page 22)

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Politics

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Jim Murphy: The Scottish Secretary is to make a key-note address today highlighting the importance of faith, family and fairness.  (Scotsman page 1)

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Bullying: Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell issued an official denial yesterday that he had ever spoken to the Prime Minister about “bullying of intimidatory behaviour” and that he would not agree to an inquiry into the bullying allegations made in the book, ‘The end of the party’, by political commentator Andrew Rawnsley. (Scotsman page 4, Cary Cooper in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Times page 6, P&J page 5, Guardian page 4, Mail page 6, Record page 8, Mirror page 4)

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Allan Massie in the Scotsman argues that Gordon Brown deserves to lose the election because his politics have failed, not because he is seen as ‘nasty’.

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By-election: The Electoral Commission has criticised Labour over its handling of the Glasgow North East by-election.  The Commission said that rules were broken on postal votes and the five months that the constituency was left without an MP was unacceptable. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 2, Times page 11, Telegraph page 1)

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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.

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