Scottish news bulletin: 19th February 2009
New Culture Minister Mike Russell has reportedly been accused of politicising the arts after telling the country’s cultural leaders that Scotland’s political and cultural identities are entwined and called on artists to embrace the SNP’s National Conversation consultation on independence.
Daily Political Media Summary: 19 February 2009
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.
Banking Crisis: Government and banks may not always have the answer; Peter MacMahon comments on the Treasury Select Committee of last week and the banking crisis.
(Scotsman page 31)
Brown’s economic plan: Gordon Brown published a 74-page plan for recovery that recommends working towards what he called a ‘global deal and grand bargain’ to tackle the economic downturn. He hopes for economic recovery ‘in the next few months’. (Herald page 6)
Esure Insurance: The insurance giant Esure said yesterday that they will be creating 500 more jobs in Scotland. Esure already employs 610 staff in Scotland and the Equinox office in Glasgow is the largest of its three UK offices. (Press and Journal page 18, Courier page 7)
8000 assaults: More than 800 incidents of verbal or physical assault on staff or patients have taken place on the NHS Tayside premises in the past three years. The statistics contrast with those of NHS Fife, which show a total of 50 assaults reported to the police in the same three-year period. (Courier page 8)
Rail Fares: Britain’s rail fares are by far the highest in Europe, with some commuters paying more than four times the amount for comparable journeys on the Continent. (Telegraph page 1, Times page 11, Guardian page 28)
Council Transparency A public sector watch dog has called for more openness and transparency by South Lanarkshire Council. The council has been praised for its overall performance and leadership; however the Accounts Commission found it wanting in terms of public scrutiny. (Herald page 10)
NHS Screening risks Women undergoing routine breast cancer screening are not being warned of the risks, with many tests ending in unnecessary treatment, leading health professionals have warned today.
(Times page 17)
Glasgow Schools: Stephen Purcell, leader of Scotland’s largest council, has launched an attack on the SNP government, blaming it for leaving children in crumbling school buildings because of ‘political dogma’ over private funding for capital projects. (Times page 23)
North-South Politics: George Kerevan comments in the Scotsman on the financial crisis and the confusion of conflicting messages from political parties in Westminster and Holyrood. (Scotsman page 24)
Culture: New Culture Minister Mike Russell has reportedly been accused of politicising the arts after telling the country’s cultural leaders that Scotland’s political and cultural identities are entwined and called on artists to embrace the SNP’s National Conversation consultation on independence. (Telegraph page 1, Times page 16, Press and Journal page 3)
National Conversation: Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson will address the National Conversation consultation in a Q and A session in Banff next week. (Press and Journal page 14
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.