The commentators 27-10-14
...on British politics
Russell Brand may be about as convincing as a political theorist as a toaster made by Russell Hobbs, but he is at least engaging his Left-wing audience with something they can recognise as passion. Alas, I don't have the slightest confidence that he will run for Mayor of London – as his publicists were confiding yesterday to a credulous media. But he would be thrilled if he did. As a phenomenon he is a sign of the disintegration of the Left and the weakness of Ed Miliband, and he therefore needs every possible encouragement.
- Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
A significant section of the Conservative party has become Bennite: ardent followers of the views espoused by the leftwinger Tony Benn, who died earlier this year. The rightwing Bennites do not look to their leadership for guidance. Like Benn used to do, they follow other lines of democratic accountability. Due to a matter of deeply held principle, the leader can never count on their support, even when he seeks to appease them.
- Steve Richards, The Guardian
You would think that Tony Benn’s children will now face a very large tax bill on their purely monetary inheritance. But it will be much smaller than it might have been because of a tax avoidance manoeuvre. It is one of the characteristics of the Left that it tends to regard the whole idea of charity with suspicion and even contempt. Rather, it supports the idea of an all-encompassing welfare state — funded by taxation — which would make redundant the very idea of individual giving to the needy.
- Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
Meltdown is an over-used political cliché. But no one can doubt that the Labour party in Scotland is in serious trouble. Without a leader, an ideology, or any real sense of purpose, it has lost control in a nation where, just a few years ago, it wielded unchallenged power. Now, with the resignation as leader of Johann Lamont, who struggled to make her mark, it is looking for excuses.
- Magnus Linklater, The Times
The Tories have never stood up for our northern towns and cities. They will never be the party of the North. Only Labour has an economic plan that will deliver real devolution, more good jobs and rising living standards for all, not just a few.
- Ed Balls and Andrew Adonis, 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 decision to free Roberts is clearly of great public interest, so the story required prominence. Of course it was appropriate to seek the opinions of those close to the victims and interested parties. Their reaction, however, was predictable...it would have been good to learn what is involved in preparing an institutionalised 78-year-old man for life in the outside world? Where will he live? What money will he have to live on? What benefits will he receive? Will he be given a new identity? What, if any, consideration has been given to the company he will keep, bearing in mind that a man who has been incarcerated for two-thirds of his life is likely to be acquainted almost exclusively with criminals?
SubScribe The release of Harry Roberts and how the murders were reported
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