The commentators 18-12-14
...on UK politics
The real problems of the British economy are miserably low private investment, falling wages and productivity, a broken banking system and mushrooming private debt: very similar, in fact, to those that helped trigger the crisis we are still living through, with the added threat of a new deflationary spiral in the eurozone. The only effective remedy is a public investment-led reconstruction of a broken economy.
- Seumas Milne, The Guardian
Hard as it is to ignore, the rapid fall of inflation is an irrelevance for UK economic prospects compared with productivity growth. That much is evident from the last four pages the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Autumn Statement report, which assessed the sensitivity of its forecasts to alternative paths for productivity.
- Chris Giles, Financial Times
September’s Scottish independence referendum is coming to seem anything but definitive. It was not the final answer to a question, rather a stage in a process. That process is clearly one of ever greater separation for the component parts of the United Kingdom, a separation that was obvious from the day in 1921 when Ireland began to dismantle the “first British empire”. It did so not because Irish people really wanted it, but because the London government was so incompetent at regional autonomy.
- Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
I don't know if the left will splinter by next May but a profound split is almost inevitable sooner rather than later. The break up of the left is the great story of global politics at the moment — much bigger than the split on the right that has obsessed Westminster. Only an exceptional Labour leader could prevent it and Ed Miliband, as we know, is not that.
- Tim Montgomerie, The Times
Through much of his nine-year period as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister, David Cameron has copied Tony Blair’s political strategies and emulated the Blairite system of foreign policy alliances. Cameron had a duty when he became Prime Minister to clear up the moral squalor he inherited. He has not done so and it is reasonable to ask why. Mr Cameron would be very well-advised to ensure that there are no more delays to the long-overdue Chilcot report into the Iraq war disaster.
- Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph
Men with machine guns set out on a mission. They are heading for a school where they intend to kill as many pupils as they can. They achieve their aim with a death toll of 132 children - and a teacher is burnt alive for good measure.
By any yardstick this is a big story. But not, to judge from today's front pages, as big as the NHS populating hospital wards with foreign nurses or slightly cheaper petrol. Indeed, the possibility of life on Mars is more compelling for the Telegraph than the real loss of life on Earth.
What is the thinking here?
- Editor's blog
Tuesday 25 November The Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards were announced at a breakfast ceremony this morning. David Aaronovitch was named Commentariat of the Year and his newspaper, The Times, won the award for the best comment pages. Stevie Spring, who led the judges, made it a hat-trick for the Times by choosing Melanie Reid for the chairman's award.
The FT, Guardian, Mail and Sunday Times each picked up two awards. SubScribe was also among the winners. You can see the full list of awards here. A video of the presentations will be posted online later.
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Labour and Ed Miliband
The Labour Party
Midterms and UK politics
Britain and EU