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Daily Political Media Summary: 14 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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General Election

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Conservative manifesto: The Tories launched their UK manifesto yesterday calling on the electorate to join the government of Britain.  David Cameron said he believed in “big society” as opposed to “big government”.  While he didn’t comment on where cuts would be made, he did confirm they would be “faster and deeper” than Labour’s. (Scotsman page 1, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, Peter Jones in the Scotsman, Sun page 4, Herald page 7, Ian Bell in the Herald, Express page 4, Patrick O’Flynn in the Express, Times page 6, Daniel Finkelstein in the Times, Mirror page 1, Mail page 6, Record page 4, Guardian page 1, David Hare in the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian, Courier page 1, FT page 1, Matthew Engel in the FT, George Parker in the FT, Telegraph page 1, Edmund Conway in the Telegraph, Simon Heffer in the Telegraph, P&J page 1)

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TV debates: The first prime ministerial debate is to be screened tomorrow on ITV. Alex Salmond has said that is meaningless to Scots as it will focus entirely on domestic issues which are largely devolved. The First Minister has also demanded a personal hearing from eth BBC Trust over the party’s exclusion from the TV debates. (Scotsman page 6, Mail page 8, Andrew Marr in the Mail, Record page 4, Guardian page 12, Telegraph page 7, Michael Barone in the Telegraph, P&J page 10)

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Liberal Democrat manifesto: The Lib Dems are expected to unveil their UK manifesto today focusing on delivering a “fair future”. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 1, Times page 8, Guardian page 1, Courier page 9, P&J page 10)

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Scottish Socialists: The SSP launched their manifesto yesterday. (Sun page 4, Express page 5, Courier page 9, P&J page 10)

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Voter disenchantment:  A populus poll for the Times has revealed that the electorate is sceptical about political parties’ honesty and manifesto pledges and are generally disenchanted with the campaign so far.  32% of those polled now favour a hung parliament. (Times page 1, Anatole Kaletsky in the Times)

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Single mothers: JK Rowling in the Times sets out her manifesto for single mothers.

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Economy

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Exports:  A rise in exports has led experts to believe the economic recovery is gaining momentum and that the UK should avoid a double-dip recession. (Scotsman page 2)

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Banking crisis: In an interview to be screened on TV tonight Gordon Brown admits that he should have taken a tougher line with the banks when he was Chancellor conceding that there should have been tighter regulation. (Scotsman page 7, Mail page 8, Telegraph page 1)

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Crime

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Knife crime: Amendments introducing mandatory six month jail sentences for people caught carrying knifes were narrowly passed by the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee yesterday. However it will still need to be approved by the full parliament to become law.   The committee also rejected eh Scottish Government’s plans to scrap jail terms of less than six months. (Scotsman page 9, Sun page 1, Herald page 12, Mail page 2, Record page 2, Courier page 6, Telegraph page 10, P&J page 9)

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Rape convictions: The rape conviction rate in Scotland has fallen to a 25-year low with just 3% of the cases reported to the police resulting in a guilty verdict in court. (Herald page 1)

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Perth Jail: More than a quarter of prisoners released from Perth Jail tested positive for drugs according to inspectors. (P&J page 1)

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Local government

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Aberdeen civic square: A public consultation has suggested that people in Aberdeen are against proposals for £140m new civic square project in the city.  The proposals had been backed by £50m from Sir Ian Wood who has indicated he will withdraw the offer of funds if the council votes against the plans. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 9, Telegraph page 11, P&J page 8)

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Glasgow: The Labour Party has been asked to return £4,000 of donations it received from City Building, the Glasgow quango set up by Steven Purcell. (Scotsman page 9)

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Glasgow council by-election: The candidates to replace Steven Purcell as councillor in the Drumchapel and Anniesland by-election were announced yesterday. The poll will be held on the same day as the general election. (Sun page 2, P&J page 6)

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Transport

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Driverless trains: Further coverage of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport’s (SPT) proposals for new driverless trains on the Glasgow subway system as part of an upgrade. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 4, Express page 2)

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Education

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Gaelic schools: Bord na Gaidhlig, the statutory Gaelic language development board, yesterday called for the number of dedicated Gaelic schools in Scotland to be trebled in a bid to boost the language. (Herald page 8, Mail page 17)

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Politics

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Civil service credit cards: Senior civil servants have spent £1billion on taxpayer funded credit cards in one year. (Express page 1, Mail page 4)