The commentators 02-12-14
...on Gordon Brown
There was something in this dark-fringed Scot that was strangely compelling, something that should make us stay our hand before we dismiss him. He was a brooder, fraught with grievances against the English smoothie Tony Blair. He was difficult, contradictory, a broiling bruiser. He was as complex, deep, unhappy, as a Rachmaninov symphony. Not a great Prime Minister, no. But a fascinating study of a man.
- Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
Gordon Brown's place in history will turn on achievement rather than personality. To be sure, he begins at a disadvantage: the man ejected from office after only three years at the top. Future historians may well say that fate was avoidable, if only he had not ducked the election that never was and which Brown might well have won in 2007. Any future judgment will take a dim view too of the mistakes he made as chancellor.
- Jonathan Freedland, the Guardian
Brown serves as a guide to those currently in power or who seek to win, even as those same individuals have for different reasons established brutal distance from him. The sequence of simultaneous emulation and distancing is typical of Brown’s career in its multi-layered complexity. As historians seek to make sense of this complexity they will come to regard him as one of the most significant figures in post-war British politics.
- Steve Richards, The Independent
For all his many faults, Brown deserves a reassessment. He is a complicated man but not a terrible one. A man of considerable intelligence who was overwhelmed as prime minister by the thing that intelligent people understand least of all: events beyond their control. He was far nobler in character than his predecessor. In political ability, he outranked his successors in at least one regard...None of the men who are currently in power casts nearly as much of an impression as Gordon Brown does when he is out of it.
- Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph
A small country with ten national newspapers (a dozen, if you count the FT and Morning Star) might be expected to see its society accurately reflected on the newsstands. So what do we see today? Diversity? Multiculturalism? Do we see that warmth that Paddington was promised?
No, we see rejection, selfishness, triviality. Five papers splash on our terror of immigration; eight carry stories and/or photographs of people fighting to buy a cut-price coffee maker that will sit unused in a cupboard. The only paper to feature neither on the front - The Times - addresses a different kind of consumerism with an oversized cake and the word Eat! in huge letters.
- Editor's blog
Tuesday 25 November The Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards were announced at a breakfast ceremony this morning. David Aaronovitch was named Commentariat of the Year and his newspaper, The Times, won the award for the best comment pages. Stevie Spring, who led the judges, made it a hat-trick for the Times by choosing Melanie Reid for the chairman's award.
The FT, Guardian, Mail and Sunday Times each picked up two awards. SubScribe was also among the winners. You can see the full list of awards here. A video of the presentations will be posted online later.
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