Daily Political Media Summary: 1 April 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.

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Economy

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Recession: The latest quarterly Lloyds TSB Business Monitor has reported deterioration in trading in Scotland in the quarter to 28 February, dampening hopes that Scotland will emerge from the recession along with the rest of the UK. (Scotsman Business 1)

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National Insurance: In a letter to the Daily Telegraph 23 senior businessmen have backed the Conservative policy to reverse Labour’s rise in National Insurance. (Telegraph page 1)

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Crime

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Knife crime: Nine out of 10 criminals in prison for knife crime in Scotland have been jailed before for the same offence according to figures released in a parliamentary written answer. (Express page 10)

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Local government

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Chief executives’ salaries: A survey carried out by the TaxPayers’ Alliance has revealed that the chief executive of Glasgow Council earns more than the First Minister (Scotsman page 22, Sun page 2, Mail page 12, Express page 5, Courier page 9, P&J page 9)

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Steven Purcell: The Herald (page 1) reveals that the wage bill for the quangos set up by Steven Purcell during his time as leader of Glasgow Council ran to over £400,00 more than what it would have cost had the services remained in-house.

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Health

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Prescription charges: Prescription charges are to fall by £1 to £3.  This will be the final cut in price before they are abolished altogether. (Scotsman page 24, Courier page 9)

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Education

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Bus tragedy: 17 year old Natasha Paton, one of 38 pupils travelling from Lanark Grammar School to Alton Towers, died yesterday following a coach crash in South Lanarkshire.  Five other people remain in hospital.  The accident happened only 12 miles into the journey and the school and local authority are now facing questions over why the trip was allowed to go ahead despite the atrocious weather conditions.   (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Sun page 1, Times page 4, Guardian page 17, Telegraph page 1, Mirror page 1, Mail page 1, Record page 1, Express page 1, P&J page 1)

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Teaching posts: There are eight applicants for every teacher-training place in Scotland. (Herald page 3, Courier page 7, P&J page 13)

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Languages: Three quarters of Scottish primaries are missing recommended targets for the delivery of modern languages. (Herald page 10)

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Transport

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Severe weather: The continued bad weather caused further travel problems yesterday as well as leaving 210,000 people cut off by snow and 27,000 families without power across Scotland. (Scotsman page 4, Sun page 6, Times page 5, Telegraph page 17, Mirror page 4, Mail page 6, Record page 6, Courier page 1)

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Rail strikes: Commuters in Scotland face additional rail strikes after ScotRail conductors announced last night that they intend to strike between Monday 12th and Wednesday 14th April.  This strike is in addition to the four day walk-out expected by the RMT union next week.  The High Court is expected to announce today whether to grant Network Rail an emergency injunction against the RMT strike due to begin on Tuesday.  (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 3, Times page 1, Mail page 19, Express page 9, P&J page 5)

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Politics

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Salmond’s golden goodbye: First Minister Alex Salmond is coming under pressure to reveal how much of his £65,000 golden goodbye he will keep when he stands down as an MP at the general election. (Scotsman page 8, John MacLeod in the Mail, Express page 5)

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Tommy Sheridan: The former Solidarity MP laid out his vision for Scotland yesterday as part of his campaign to be elected as an MP in the Glasgow South West seat for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. (Scotsman page 23, Herald page 6, Times page 11, Record page 8)

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Prime Minister and statistics: The UK Statistics Authority has rebuked Gordon Brown over his use of non comparable immigration statistics. (Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Guardian page 6, Telegraph page 4, Mail page 10, Express page 15, Courier page 12, P&J page 8)

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Labour election material: 93% of Labour’s general election candidates have not included a photo of the Prime Minister within their leaflets. (Sun page 1)

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Hung parliament: The SNP and Plaid Cymru set out their plans yesterday in the event of a hung parliament. Alex Salmond ruled out joining a formal coalition and said that the SNP would only support a minority administration on a case by case basis. (Times page 11, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Mail page 10, Record page 2, Express page 5, Courier page 6, P&J page 12)

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Perth Conservatives: A letter from the former Conservative candidate for Perth & North Perthshire, Douglas Taylor, to Conservative activists in the area has been leaked. In it he claims the selection process for candidates is dominated by English Tories.  Douglas Taylor is now standing as the candidate for the Trust Party. (P&J page 3)

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David Cameron: In an interview with the Financial Times David Cameron says he is ready for the “daunting job “of being Prime Minister. (FT page 1)

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April fools: There are a number of April fools stories in the papers.  The Scotsman said that Scottish ministers are going to build a new Scottish international air hub, which they had considered calling Sean Connery International, over Bannockburn to replace Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. The Sun said that Alex Salmond has given the go-ahead for £150,000 statue of Susan Boyle to be erected outside the Scottish Parliament. While the Telegraph announces that ferrets are being used to deliver broadband to rural areas and the Guardian reports that Labour are to use campaign posters featuring Gordon Brown as a hard man with slogans such as “Step outside posh boy”.

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There will be no media summary on Good Friday or Easter Monday.

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