The commentators 18-11-14
...on British politics
Next May, MPs from 10 different parties will be elected to Parliament; and the chances of an outright majority for the Conservatives or Labour are disappearingly small. This atomisation of the political system is evidence that the diffidence and restraint that once marked out the British character have gone and Ukip’s rise reflects this new readiness to complain.
- Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
If the Conservatives’ pursuit of Ukip were achieving nothing, it would just be a waste of time. But it is worse than that. The grisly spectacle of the chase could sully David Cameron’s electoral advantage: his perception as a commanding hand on the national tiller. It might also leave a lasting taint on a party that, when Mr Cameron is gone, will have to win votes in a country that is becoming more liberal.
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
Mr Cameron started off as a leader wanting to rebrand his party to make it fit for the new century. Now, quite logically, he cares only about survival in six months’ time. That explains the change in his approach and attitude — but also the growing sense of frustration among those Tories who might one day hope to succeed him.
- Rachel Sylvester, The Times
David Cameron’s pitch in the Guardian that “red warning lights are flashing on the dashboard of the global economy” will no doubt draw some wry smiles from readers, with good reason. Ah, so when global tremors threaten a Conservative government, it’s not their fault. But when the greatest global crash in generations strikes a Labour government, the cause is Gordon Brown overspending on tax credits for the low paid.
- Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
Our public services, housing stock and infrastructure cannot cope with the numbers arriving, and that the problem cannot be wished away, however powerless ministers may feel in the face of the EU.
- Ross Clark, Daily Express
We're in the mood for looking back, so let's recall those primary school arithmetic problems and apply them to this situation:
If it takes 8,000 volunteers three months to assemble and plant 888,246 poppies, how long will it take a similar number of volunteers to pick them and pack them away ready for cleaning and despatch?
There is no set answer, but you can bet it's not 24 hours. The poppies won't disappear by tomorrow night. The Telegraph suggested last month that it would take a couple of weeks. In other words, politicians and the Press have delivered to a sentimental public a bonus that it was going to get anyway.
Editor's blog A last post for the poppies SubScribe Poppymania
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
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