The commentators 08-10-14
...on British politics
In Clacton, Ukip will obviously triumph. In Heywood and Middleton, which also votes on Thursday, they claim they are going to run Labour a lot closer than people think. With more echoes of Scotland, in both places, people on the ground say that local debate is crackling with energy. As one Ukip high-up puts it: “If it matters, people vote.” As and when the writ is moved for the Rochester and Strood byelection, and the former Tory Mark Reckless prepares to meet his fate, the Tories will throw everything they’ve got at him, but a recent poll put Ukip nine points ahead.
- John Harris, Guardian
Today we stand on the brink of parliamentary history. It seems highly possible that the cartel will be broken tomorrow in Clacton and take another body blow in Heywood and Middleton. And the name of the cartel busters? Ukip
- Patrick O'Flynn, Daily Express
A central part of Ukip’s appeal is that corruption and sordid compromise characterises the “LabConDem” political class, operating in a Westminster bubble and obeying the instructions of the “Euro-Nazis”. Do away with this establishment, break the party system and we will be able to do what we like. A Ukip promise will be a different kind of promise. Ukip politicians are a different kind of politician. This is basically the same theory as the one with which the Liberal Democrats fought the last election, just with different enemies and different pixie dust. Nigel Farage is Nick Clegg after a few pints. It is almost painful to watch.
- Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
Today, Nick Clegg closes his conference with a speech in which he will promise to put mental health on a par with physical care, so ending years of discrimination. While he is to be applauded for his focus on a Cinderella service, it is doubtful whether his intervention will be sufficient to revive the fortunes of a Cinderella party.
- Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
The Lib Dems resemble an enclave whose boundaries were drawn by some thoughtless colonial cartographer, ignoring the contours of the liberal nation that sprawls across Britain. Clegg’s problem is not one of relative proximity to Labour or the Tories. It is that he wants to be the leader of a people who do not see his party as their natural homeland.
- Rafael Behr, The Guardian
Thursday 25 September Judges for the Editorial Intelligence comment awards announced their shortlists today, with ten nominations for the FT, nine for the Times, five for the Guardian, four for the Independent - and two for SubScribe.
The Times and Sunday Times scored a clean sweep in nominations for the main award of commentariat of the year, which will be decided between David Aaronovitch, Camilla Cavendish, Daniel Finkelstein and last year's winner Caitlin Moran.
Guardian's Jay Rayner was shortlisted in the food writer category, but said that he did not wish to be considered as that award is sponsored by Tesco.
The awards will be presented on November 25. See the full shortlists here
When you see "George" in a headline, who do you think of? The no-longer-eligible bachelor, the boy who is third in line to the throne, or the man in charge of the nation's wallet?
The Mail's splash today says "George scraps pensions tax". It feels wrong, too chummy.
We're happy with George for Clooney or the Prince, but not for Osborne. Why?
- Are we on first-name terms?
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