The commentators 01-09-14
...on British politics
Something incredible is happening in Scotland. The little pin badges – Yes or No – that people wear are sparking open conversation: in the pub, the swimming baths, the post office queue. An entire country of 5 million people is asking itself, sometimes quite vociferously, what it wants to be. It's even more incredible if you consider the possible outcome. If enough people tick the yes box, then come 2016 the flag of Great Britain will have to go minus a whole colour.
- Paul Mason, The Guardian
The great majority of Yes supporters are just as repelled by the threats and intimidation as their opponents. Vociferous as the cybernats are, they represent only an outer fringe, and though Mr Salmond could do a great deal more to call them off, there’s no evidence he is encouraging them. The fear is, however, that when the outcome is decided — whichever way the vote goes — deep divisions will be exposed. The ferocity of the tactics has opened up wounds within Scotland. These will be hard to heal.
- Magnus Linklater, The Times
Labour should be under no illusion. Ukip is attracting the Carswells of this world but it is also emerging as the main opposition in many northern heartlands, where it benefits from the toxicity of the Tories, moribund Labour machines that have not had to compete for decades, and the short-sightedness of some close to Mr Miliband who think only of the impact Ukip might have in 2015, and not beyond.
- Matthew Goodwin, Financial Times
Cameron faces a substantial risk of losing the confidence of his party, not to mention the electorate. Mostly, it’s because they don’t believe — despite his promise of a 2017 referendum — that he’s serious about renegotiating our relationship with Europe.
- Peter McKay, Daily Mail
Much of the public rightly feels that we are now governed by a self-serving elite that has nothing but contempt for our national interests. Our treacherous politicians have destroyed our borders, undermined our national identity, obliterated our independence and weakened our social fabric while dressing up their ruinous actions as progress.
- Leo McKinstrey, Daily Express
John Bercow is not a monarch and parliament is not his fiefdom. The Speaker is the servant of parliament and it is MPs who govern it on behalf of the people. Even if he now climbs down over Carol Mills, Mr Bercow will be tarnished and so will his office. Parliament risks being diminished as long as this discredited Speaker remains in office
- Melanie Phillips, The Times
The ethnicity of the guilty men is a central feature of the abuse, and council officials were certainly inhibited because of it... but this was a regime unwilling to confront the problem at all - regardless of who was behind it. This was a dysfunctional council that operated in a macho atmosphere of bullying and sexism. Women were lesser beings and discussion of subjects such as sex abuse was almost impossible.
This isn't about political correctness, it's about chauvinism and class
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