The commentators 25-11-14
...on Lewis Hamilton
The British public has not taken Hamilton to heart. In 2008, when he seemed a shoo-in for the British public’s vote as BBC sports personality of the year, he lost out to cyclist Chris Hoy. The preceding British F1 champions, Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell, had each won the viewers’ vote twice – including years when they hadn’t even won the title. For all the huge achievements of black sportsmen and women, it seems the public still struggle to accept them. If he never gains national acceptance through the sports personality vote, it will say more about Britain than about him.
- Joseph Harker, The Guardian
Has Britain fallen so low, are the British people so desperate to clutch out at fame and glory, that we are willing to kid ourselves that somebody belongs to these shores who only turns up here for the occasional race, match or movie premiere? If they do not pay UK tax, however, then like Lewis Hamilton and his kin skulking in Monaco, Switzerland and the Caribbean, they may deserve plaudits for their achievements, but not a date with the Queen.
- Max Hastings, Daily Mail
...and private schools
With a Labour government, private schools will only be exempt from business rates if they can show a meaningful impact on state education. England’s independent schools need to raise their game. Britain will only thrive in the 21st century on the back of an education system where pupils enjoy equality of opportunity. This crippling public-private impasse has gone on too long. Ed Miliband’s Labour party is going to end it.
- Tristram Hunt, The Guardian
...and on observing grammatical rules
My defence of pedantry is twofold. The negative argument is that the writer or speaker should do as little as possible to distract the reader or listener from what is being said. And the positive argument is that it is worth observing the conventions of “correct” spelling and grammar, even if we know that they are arbitrary, because they are markers of quality...
If you avoid annoying people, by censoring phrases such as “whisper it” and “wow factor”, they are more likely to think that you are cleverer than you actually are.
- John Rentoul, The Independent
There are plenty who take issue with Google's trajectory. Whether it becomes News Corp and its papers to question other businesses that are dominant in their markets, that want to drive competitors to the wall or that don't pay their fair share of taxes is for others to debate...
There is a big issue here to be tackled journalistically, but it requires an overarching approach and heavy investment in personnel and money - and those are resources in short supply. And who can look at the entire question of privacy, personal security and surveillance without being accused of having a vested interest? .
- 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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