The commentators 01-10-14
...on the Conservative conference
Conservatives should run to the centre and not towards Ukip. Pull voters from the right towards a successful centre-right governing party by its momentum and the possibilities of change that come with power. There is nothing to be lost doing this. Even if it fails in the short run, in the end no party on the right can govern without the centre. Not Ukip, not anyone.
- Daniel Finkelstein in The Times
The Prime Minister is today expected to promise to ring-fence spending on the NHS for five more years, in order to head off any new assault from Labour. No two elections are the same; but for all the sound and fury over Europe, human rights, Ukip and the rest, next year’s will once again be fought on the same territory as it was 22 years ago: economic competence and the NHS. The Tories need not fear that challenge.
- Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
Never mind the polls that at present point to a Labour victory in 2015 the next election is very much in the grasp of Cameron. On the very most important issue – the economy – Labour is scoring well below the Tories in the polls. As election day approaches that is going to weigh heavily on Labour’s narrow lead. But if David Cameron is going to win next year he isn’t going to do it by letting the EU issue drift. He needs to start those renegotiations now and be able to show some progress before May.
- Ross Clark, Daily Express
This government’s neglect of the GP system has been blasphemy. David Cameron and his health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, would be wise to spend the next couple of months on their knees praying that winter, when it comes, is not accompanied by the brutal flu pandemic that would bring down the temple.
- Matthew Norman, 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
When you see "George" in a headline, who do you think of? The no-longer-eligible bachelor, the boy who is third in line to the throne, or the man in charge of the nation's wallet?
The Mail's splash today says "George scraps pensions tax". It feels wrong, too chummy.
We're happy with George for Clooney or the Prince, but not for Osborne. Why?
- Are we on first-name terms?
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Nato and Isis