The commentators 22-12-14
...on UK politics
I never agreed with the idea that, just because Ukip support is highest in areas with fewest immigrants, that meant supporters must be idiots, drinking in threats from the Daily Express, which reads more and more like a fevered hallucination. Ukip is a protest party, first and foremost; its headline protest is against immigration, but contained within that is a protest against Westminster.
- Zoe Williams, The Guardian
Don’t vote for David Cameron next May. At least not unless you’re one of his Witney constituents. You might think you’re voting for a Cameron government but the Tories may change leader within days of the election and almost certainly within two years.
- Tim Montgomerie, The Times
Bookies are rapidly shortening the odds on there being two General Elections next year — with the first, in May, expected to leave the country in political chaos with no party having an overall majority. And so party chiefs are having to think up ways of boosting their already-depleted budgets to pay for a second campaign.
- Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
Simon Danczuk has been flirting with Ukip so rigorously that his ritual denial of the intent to jump ship, as reiterated yesterday, sounds more coquettish than categorical.
- Matthew Norman, The Independent
The mounting woes of the health service are a political opportunity. Ed Miliband wants to fight the election with scaremongering over health as the centrepiece of his strategy because he has nothing else. Is it too much to expect that Labour might address the real problems of the NHS, instead of using it as a football?
- The 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