The commentators 08-12-14
...on British politics
Like Douglas MacArthur and Muhammad Ali, the greatest political general of his generation shall return. Alex Salmond’s announcement that he will contest an Aberdeenshire seat (one he is certain to win) next May, after a five-year absence from Westminster, focuses the mind on the impending constitutional nightmare. The question it poses, after all, is what the hell does he imagine he will be returning to?
- Matthew Norman, The Independent
Quality satire does not just scrutinise and ridicule the great and the good. It helps engage those who otherwise find politics tedious. Politics can be made fun, raucous and appealing (at least for those not on the receiving end of it). Maybe – as the likes of Rory Bremner suggest – politics has become stuffed with so many dreary on-message types that there’s too little comedy fodder. But while Ed Miliband is routinely mocked by many newspapers, Nigel Farage and David Cameron have largely escaped such treatment in most of the Press.
- Owen Jones, The Guardian
Some of the Labour heartlands Nigel Farage hopes to storm might warm to his aid policy but they should have a close look at his tax policies first. Ukip simultaneously wants to help the rich in Britain while scrapping funding for drought-resistant crops, flood defences and malaria nets. Its policies would be devastating for millions of people in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Somalia — people who thought they could count on Britain.
- Tim Montgomerie, The Times
Does this sometimes feel like a country under enemy occupation? Do you wonder why the demands of so much of the electorate seldom translate into policy? Why parties of the left seem incapable of offering effective opposition to market fundamentalism, let alone proposing coherent alternatives? If so, you have encountered corporate power – the corrupting influence that prevents parties from connecting with the public, distorts spending and tax decisions, and limits the scope of democracy.
- George Monbiot, The Guardian
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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