The commentators 16-07-14
...on Cameron's reshuffle
The sacking of Michael Gove - for assuredly, his demotion from Education Secretary to Chief Whip amounts to nothing less - has shocked Middle England. Here was the undisputed Tory hero of the past four years - a man with a mission, a crusader, an obsessive, who has shown the courage to hurl himself into the task of salvaging Britain’s ruined schools system in a fashion no other holder of his office in modern times has attempted.
- Max Hastings, Daily Mail
Gove's record deserves a more in-depth scrutiny. It is a mixed picture. Some of his reforms have genuinely benefited pupils, while others have taken a good idea and been derailed by a blinkered determination to push forward as far and as fast with them without considering the consequences.
- Richard Garner, Independent
Even many of those who have been promoted privately accept that Cameron lacks vision. They are driven not by loyalty to the prime minister but hunger for what he can give them. Vacancies were created by disposing of old timers such as Clarke and Hague, whose appetite for office looked sated, or those like David Willetts, the sacked science minister, who lacked partisan aggression.
- Rafel Behr, the Guardian
Moving Michael Gove is one of those changes that is so obvious once it happens. The hatred of him among teachers had become so unreasonable that there was nothing to do but to appease it. Especially with his former special adviser Dominic Cummings counterproductively lashing out at all his enemies, and the Liberal Democrats lashing back.
- John Rentoul, the Independent
Has William Hague changed the country in his quarter of a century in politics? Not really. But he has served it well enough. He has also shown that a politician can get somewhere near the very top of this pitiless game while retaining some humanity, and in fact gaining some.
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
If Mr Hague proved effete in office, that failure is partly of his own making. While no one should belittle his campaign to end the use of mass rape as a weapon of war, pictures of him with Angelina Jolie marked an unwise foray into selfie statesmanship. For a Foreign Secretary to usurp the humanitarian niche once occupied more successfully by the late Diana, Princess of Wales indicates a black hole in British foreign policy.
- Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
My perfect William Hague story? George Osborne, in the opposition leader’s office, holding up the front page of a newspaper in which William was pictured, sitting next to Jacques Chirac. “Did you ever imagine,” George said, “that one day, here you would be, on the front page of the Financial Times, sitting next to the President of France?” William gave him a puzzled look and replied: “Of course I did, you idiot.”
- Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
The annual Editorial Intelligence comment awards were officially launched last month with the announcement of the seventy-strong panel of judges to be led by Stevie Spring, chair of Children in Need.
They include Lorraine Heggessey, Nihal Arthanayake, Karren Brady, Damian Barr, Lynne Franks, Nicky Gavron, Laura Kuenssberg, Adrian Monck and Kirsty Lang.
Anyone is invited to nominate their favourite commentators for the awards, which are divided into 16 categories. There is no charge for entry.
Public sector strikes
Public sector strikes
Westminster sex abuse
Oxfam, baby buggies
May v Gove
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