The commentators 21-11-14
...on British politics
Ukip has been a good thing for British politics. It has filled a vacuum on the right of British politics because the Conservatives have spent too much time worrying about the centre ground, not the common ground. The party has been chasing centre-left voters under the mistaken apprehension that people on the right would have no other party to vote for apart from the Conservatives.
- Peter Bone, The Guardian
To beat Ukip and retake command of the national political narrative, the mainstream parties have to reconnect with the people and to demonstrate that they share their concerns, are being honest about the problems ahead, and have faith in the common sense of ordinary people. Labour and the Tories have to remember that – to borrow an American phrase – the average man and the average woman is the king and queen of British politics. They are the masters and the successful politician is simply their servant.
- Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph
In a country run by Ukip, Britain’s most beloved immigrant would have got no farther than the station after which he is named. Instead Paddington Bear, stateless, homeless and without official documents, would probably have been stopped as he got off the train, closely questioned on his skills and background, then deported back to “darkest Peru”. And Britain would be immeasurably poorer as a result.
- Ben Macintyre, The Times
From Ed Miliband down, Labour people increasingly seem inconsistent, incoherent, in dire danger of looking as if they take the electorate for fools, and nasty with it. Already far more people than Labour would like feel repulsed by such behaviour, and what it will surely entail if the party manages to re-enter government.
- John Harris, The Guardian
If the Green Party isn’t allowed into the TV election debates, there should be a compromise, such as its MP, Caroline Lucas, being allowed to present an episode of Top Gear. She could zip through the Lake District, saying: “But while it HANDLES like a DREAM, the new Alfa Romeo 2.3 litre XL Deluxe has just one problem. It’s an UNBELIEVABLY inefficient way to use energy compared to a reasonably priced renationalised rail network.”
- Mark Steel, the Independent
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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