The commentators 07-10-14
...on the Liberal Democrat conference
Clegg has made mistakes but that does not make him a lying so-and-so. He is a leader who has had to compromise endlessly. Since Margaret Thatcher leaders have felt the need to appear strong at all times. But another hung parliament is possible next year, meaning more compromises over policy are inevitable. We need to get used to the idea that sometimes leaders seem weak because they are in weak positions, not necessarily because they are hopeless or mendacious.
- Steve Richards, Independent
Nick Clegg is that rare thing: a figure of both fun and hate. Britain’s deputy prime minister is the most despised politician in a country that knows how to despise politicians. He might also be the most effective politician around: the one who consistently does the most with the least promising circumstances. When he speaks to his party conference on Wednesday, eight months before a general election they all dread, he does not need to beg for his reputation.
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
The Lib Dems must be careful not to fall down the middle and disappear into the void. At the moment, their main pitch to the electorate is that they would be a restraining influence on either a Labour or Conservative government. That has some appeal among an electorate nervous of the Tories’ motives and equally mistrustful of Labour’s competence; but to get noticed, the Lib Dems need positive identity as well as negative definition.
- Rachel Sylvester, The Times
To the public the Lib Dem promise-breakers traded their principles for red boxes. With dismal polls, battalions of councillors lost, their boosterism rang pretty hollow in a half-full conference where Clegg mugs sell at half price. They will need to reinvent themselves. Jeremiahs don’t get elected, says political folklore, but telling hard truths without necessarily having all the answers might be their route back to public respect.
- Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
All political parties come up with some daft ideas from time to time but there is usually some logic behind them: they have been devised as a means of appealing to a section of the population whose votes they feel they would like to capture. What the Lib Dems have so far produced in Glasgow by contrast is a range of policies which seem calculated to offend the greatest possible number of potential voters.
- Ross Clark, Daily Express
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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War on Isis
Nato and Isis