The commentators 09-12-14
...on British politics
This parliament has become an embarrassment to its own members and to the electorate. It is now doing so little useful work that MPs are required to turn up at Westminster only two and a half days a week. But thanks to David Cameron’s imposition of five-year parliaments back in 2011, we must endure this one for another five months before a general election.
- Max Hastings, Daily Mail
The Lib Dems failed to fulfil early promise to deal seriously with a system of social provision that supporters of big government seem content to continue inflating until it blows up in our faces, at which point the poor really will suffer. Maybe if the Coalition corpse rises from the dead after the next election, they can finish the job; but it will be a lot harder to do so after the posturing of recent days.
- Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
In the build-up to the next election the poor are not alone in their sense of impotent fragility. Poverty in the UK is a moral issue, but on its own is of limited electoral significance. In the 1980s entire communities were left without support after their industries collapsed. The Church raised several loud alarms and the Conservatives continued to win landslides. The difference between then and now is that the affluent also worry intensely about the cost of living..
- Steve Richards, The Independent
The Institute for Fiscal Studies says the cuts to public spending envisaged by George Osborne, the chancellor, imply a “fundamental reimagining of the role of the state”. The august think-tank is right but any Briton over the age of 35 has already lived through one. Any Briton born around the time of the second world war also grew up during a great mutation of government, when healthcare and industry were nationalised.
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
Ed Miliband is a decent man who starts out with strong good instincts on inequality, predatory capitalism and the need to build housing and borrow for capital investment. He won the leadership partly because he rejected the Iraq war. Has he the grit and the nerve to be a good prime minister? You can never tell. Simply by denying the Tories power, a Labour government would save Britain from irreparable harm.
- Polly Toynbee, 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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