The commentators 15-10-14
...on British politics
Ed Miliband is lucky. He was fortunate to win the Labour leadership at a time when his battered party had lost its once insatiable appetite for revolt. Since then, he has defied low expectations and maintained the modest poll lead that suggests he might surf into Downing Street, albeit on a wave of indifference. But political chances are destroyed in the blink of an eye. A doom-laden conference followed by an unexpected fright at the by-election in the hitherto safe Labour seat of Heywood and Middleton have prompted the question: is it all over for Ed Miliband
- Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
There is a new division in the Labour party. It is between those who want Ed Miliband to change the way he leads, and those who accept that he won’t. The old feuds, between defenders of Tony Blair, ex-acolytes of Gordon Brown and a nostalgic left that sees New Labour as a virus in the body of true socialism, are in temporary abeyance before the more pressing task of beating the Tories.
- Rafael Behr, The Guardian
The Ukippers' only chance of real success is to open up a second front. They need another campaign and they think they have found one in the countryside. Ukip strategists have pinpointed 12 million voters in rural towns and villages who are feeling marginalised and unloved. Polling this week by the Countryside Alliance suggests that 82 per cent of rural voters feel abandoned by the three main parties.
- Alice Thomson, The Times
Live TV debates are usually a nightmare for the incumbent, who must defend a record while the opposition remorselessly attacks it, and Farage’s nicely synthesised university-of-real-life appeal is ideally suited to the format. In a one-off debate, he would hurt the PM and add at least a few points to Ukip’s polling figures.
- Matthew Norman, The Independent
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
The crime of rape is not about the level of violence inflicted, but about possession and subjugation.
That it may take place in a comfortable, rather than hostile, environment; that it may be the result of a failure of self-control rather than a deliberate act of aggression makes no difference to that central fact. The core offence is that of a man believing he has the right to do what he wishes with a woman, regardless of whether she objects.
And until that message gets through, there will always be men - and women - who think that there are different "degrees" of rape, with some more acceptable or understandable than others. The level of violence or the ordeal suffered by the victim may be reflected in the sentence, but the basic crime is still the same.
- Press review
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