The commentators 28-10-14
...on British politics
When you read of prison sentences for benefits claimants stealing food, remember that this is the same country in which – just a few years ago – over 300 parliamentarians were found to have claimed expenses to which they weren’t entitled; hundreds of thousands handed over to some of the richest people in the country for duck houses, moat repairs and heating their stables. A mere handful were sent to prison. For others, the punishment was just a career break.
- Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian
For the election next year, the Labour Party must dance to the same tunes in England and Scotland. It cannot advance different positions in relation to the bedroom tax or, say, Europe, and then form a single government at Westminster with a single policy on such huge issues. If there are separate, autonomous parties we might as well have separate, independent countries.
- Steve Richards, The Independent
The rise of both Russell Brand and Nigel Farage has proven one thing: to many people the Tories and the socialists are an indistinguishable mass of squawking, fingerpointing and hypocrisy that means nothing to them. And with the lack of a political colossus on the horizon like Tony Benn, we can make do with that guy from Get Him To The Greek who was once wed to Katy Perry.
- Grace Dent, The Independent
Any attempt to turn immigration into a taboo subject just plays into Ukip’s hands. The greatest antidote to the party’s bluster is frank, rational discussion, where voters are treated with maturity. After all, the British people have proved to be remarkably tolerant about the changes brought about by mass immigration over recent decades.
- David Blunkett, Daily Mail
The political reality in Britain is that Mr Cameron cannot pay this EU surcharge, certainly not by the due date of December and probably not by the general election in May, if ever. It would risk political death. From the anti-EU UK Independence party, his own Conservatives and much of the electorate would come a torrent of anger that he might not withstand.
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
Thirty years ago, amid the Renaissance splendour of Fontainebleau Palace, south of Paris, Margaret Thatcher demanded Britain’s money back and got it – or most of it. The summit of European leaders marked the culmination of a five-year battle over the amount the UK was paying into the general Brussels pot for distribution throughout what was then called the EEC. Now is the time for Mr Cameron to invoke the spirit of Fontainebleau.
- Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
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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