The commentators 31-10-14
...on British politics
If there were people lined up at Dover, desperate to get to Calais, it would be time to panic – our problems are, in no small part, the problems of success. Leaving the EU will not make these problems go away. And if Cameron wants to start beating Ukip, he should be brave enough to say so.
- Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
Politics is positioning, and daily we see David Cameron struggling with his persona as a leader. Here is a man whose pitch to the public was that he is non-ideological, clear-eyed and sensible, now bobbing and weaving into ever more absurd positions just to keep himself relevant.
- Hugh Muir, The Guardian
Perception is reality. It's entirely appropriate that it was a political strategist who coined this phrase in the 1980s, and election campaigns ever since have been played out according to this tenet. Lee Atwater, the man responsible for the phrase, worked on George Bush Senior's campaign in 1988, in which Bush turned round a 17-point deficit to claim the White House.
Forget the facts: if you can make people believe something, it becomes, if you like, a de facto fact. It looks like our next General Election campaign, too, is going to be contested according to Atwater's law.
- Simon Kelner, The Independent
At different times, the Conservatives have been called the “nasty party” and the “stupid party”. He is beginning to wonder whether the epithets now apply simultaneously; that the Tories may have become both nasty and stupid.
- Andreas Whittam Smith, The Independent
The only hope for the public finances is that they are rescued by a global economic boom, because salvation isn’t going to come from Westminster. No party in British politics, including the governing parties, has any serious plan to get rid of the deficit. If any ever did.
- Tim Montgomerie, The Times
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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