The commentators 01-12-14
...on Black Friday
By turning shopping into a ritual, the public is deluded into thinking that promotional pushes such as last week’s Black Friday and today’s Cyber Monday – the first Monday in December has become the busiest day of the year for internet shopping – as “sensible” days to buy, when deals abound and they will somehow “beat the system”, proving worth as canny hunter-gatherers.
- Julia Llewellyn Smith, Daily Telegraph
What’s been really hateful over the past few days is the sneering: look at the pitiful people queuing at midnight to scrap over a Blaupunkt television; or the poor folk fighting in Tesco’s. There were nearly as many journalists filming the largely black, young male line around three blocks at NikeTown as there were people queueing.
- Stefano Hadfield, The Independent
British consumerism carries on gorging. Black Friday – another damned American idea – brought out the crowds. Televisions and furniture, frocks and bling, all were shovelled up like Big Macs just because a few quid had been knocked off. All that stuff, where will it go in homes already chock-full? Who cares? The must-haves must be had.
- Yasmin Alibhai Brown, The Independent
...and on the Autumn Statement
This Wednesday the Chancellor could make a £20 billion start on deficit reduction by culling Whitehall’s sprawling bureaucracy, enforcing public sector pay settlements, freezing benefits, reducing the welfare cap, scaling back middle-class welfare and looking again at the state pension. No politician wants the role of Scrooge at Christmas, let alone before an election. But voters may judge any declarations of good tidings mere humbug – unless politicians first explain how their festive giveaways will be paid for.
- Dominic Raab, Daily Telegraph
George Osborne will reaffirm his plan to embark on the second half of the fiscal consolidation that he started in 2010. If the Conservatives win the election in 2015, the pause in government austerity over the past two years will therefore end immediately after polling day.
- Gavyn Davies, Financial Times
A small country with ten national newspapers (a dozen, if you count the FT and Morning Star) might be expected to see its society accurately reflected on the newsstands. So what do we see today? Diversity? Multiculturalism? Do we see that warmth that Paddington was promised?
No, we see rejection, selfishness, triviality. Five papers splash on our terror of immigration; eight carry stories and/or photographs of people fighting to buy a cut-price coffee maker that will sit unused in a cupboard. The only paper to feature neither on the front - The Times - addresses a different kind of consumerism with an oversized cake and the word Eat! in huge letters.
- 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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