The commentators 20-11-14
...on British politics
Look elsewhere if a polished performer is what you prize most in the next prime minister: Cameron and Blair are past masters, setting a high thespian bar. But if it’s the policy that matters in government, Ed Miliband is right on the principle of a mansion tax. Clement Attlee might have been flummoxed too in handling Myleene Klass, but my guess is that he would also have taken the proceeds of the mansion tax if he needed to shore up collapsing finances in the NHS.
- Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
Myleene Klass speaks for another Britain — dormant, battered by years of economic turbulence, but ready to be reawakened if only the Tories had the gumption, and the courage, to do so. Unlike Mr Miliband, she was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Through hard work and application she obtained a place at the Royal Academy of Music.
- Max Hastings, Daily Mail
Neither Tory pledges to resurrect stalled house-building nor Labour’s plan for 200,000 new homes a year by 2020 will meet demand. Any incoming government will also need to build more subsidised social housing, bring in an orchestrated programme of fairer land and property taxes (as opposed to a crude mansion tax) and raise the cap on council borrowing.
- Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
Now we know for sure George Osborne’s economic plan has failed, even on its own account. For all the self-congratulation about credit-fuelled growth, the recession in wages goes on. Four years into the coalition, most people’s living standards are still falling.
- Seumas Milne, The Guardian
Most Ukip voters want to emigrate. Their problem is how to get there. Their nation of choice does not receive British Airways flights. It cannot be found on any map. Even Nigel Farage cannot really help them. The place where Ukip voters want to live is that other country, the past. By four to one, they would prefer to turn the clock back twenty or thirty years rather than continue to live in Britain as it is today.
- Peter Kellner, The Times
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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